This is Headlines and Scrutiny for August 15th, welcome and thank you for reading. Also please remember to send comments, questions, etc. to my email address email@example.com.
I liked the show Wednesday for a lot of reasons but the booking has pothole-sized gaps. The show began with The Three Live Krew (Ron Killings, BG James & Konnan) over Sinn, Vampire Warrior (Gangrel) and Devon Storm. I’m undecided on 3LK at this point. TNA is really putting them over as crowd favorites, but since I’m not in attendance every week (the crowd sees them every week in a wrestling capacity), I can’t say whether that’s reality or deception. I can say that I’m not thrilled with it. They started the deal by having Killings and Konnan challenge the–albeit fictional–racial divide the company. I thought it was good because their promos had a realistic bent to it. I also figured that it would be a good way to get both guys and some new Luchadors over. Then they introduced James, who I thought was done with the company, and nothing against him, the feel changed. They did comedy segments that I felt were unfunny with a few light spots and really funny segments. They also were borderline subtractive at one point. Last week, it was awful. Now it just seems that Killings, Konnan, and James are being degraded because of it and their match with neither horrendus nor memorable. That’s not good. TNA has room for silly, but not this silly. The Nazis (Ron and Don Harris) looked on during the match which really spells something that I wish I could ignore. First of all, the Nazis are really awful wrestlers. Second of all, them versus the 3LK is probably going to be nothing shy of insulting and borderline racist, eg. The Rappers vs. The West Texas Rednecks (Rap is Crap), which, if you remember, didn’t work out under similar circumstances. Except, WCW had money to lose.
Low Ki returned this week, as the babyface adversary to champ Aj Styles. As it were, Low Ki wasn’t a strong opponent. Yes, he has everything, but they didn’t build him up. He comes back, attacks Styles, has a brief promo, and then loses a really good match. The match could have just as easily happened next week after a little more build. So, in the end, the build was bad but the match itself was tremendous and about the level of the AMW cage match earlier this year.
Erik Watts and Jeff Jarrett are the top babyfaces and Legend, Styles, and Daniels are Russo’s main heels. Here’s the story: a lot of these guys are useless at this point, and I’m being honest. Watts has no talent and even in a talking role, he’s one of the company’s top face wrestlers. That’s an issue. Jarrett has been booked to seemingly go over everyone but he’s not over. Guess why. Legend isn’t main event quality. Styles looks real stupid when his manager towers over him, no matter how good he looks in the ring. Daniels is a question mark at this point and over time he may or may not prove himself. Giving him this chance is a good choice, though. Russo is a good heel manager (you can trust me, because I hate his guts and would be the first to call him out on something if it were an issue). I would need a lot more time to list all the holes in the booking but I think you get the point.
Lynn/Skipper was disappointing and the Callis/Lynn feud seems to continue without reason. Kazarian/Shane, which ended with division champion Chris Sabin causing a DDQ. The match did its job.
Kid Kash over Bobby Eaton was easily the worst match on the show. Kash has talent, but these matches of late can’t be upping his stock. Since he can’t abuse women anymore, they’ve got him assaulting legends with them putting him over. And the AMW-Swinger/Diamond/Gilberti feud continues and it’s a very effective use of everybody. Dusty Rhodes has been used poorly in the past with TNA, but they really maximised his effectiveness with this match which saw the team of Rhodes & AMW over Gilberti, Diamond & Swinger. The one thing is: why do you make fun of people lining up for the elbow and then do it? The worked shoot thing has no logic, but it’s trailed off recently.
And as to your most favorite on going TNA feud, Raven and Shane Douglas, don’t think I forgot to remark on it. The match was all rudimentary so going ten minutes it wasn’t bad and saw Raven go over Douglas, but for the third week in a row Raven was a dumb babyface and the New Church got the best of him and tried to cut his hair off. I suppose that explains why ROH cut the CM Punk match off.
Next week: AMW vs. Diamond & Swinger in a double bullrope match (is it just me or does TNA do the same matches each week with a new gimmick); Jarrett and Watts against Daniels and Legend (I’m only interested if it ends with the faces retiring); also a real strange gimmick in Sabin defending his title against Kazarian and Michaels Shawn in a match where there are an X of intersecting polls above the ring and you have to climb up and across. It’s either doomed or well planned. Add to that a possible Siaki/Brown match and you’ve got next week’s TNA. I’ll pass. Well, I guess I can’t.
Show value: $6.50
Jeremy’s Rash news. He starts out with, “Fairly solid reviews from this past Wednesday night from the masses.” I’d really love to know what wrestling sites he’s reading. The two most popular matches in TNA history, Jeff Jarrett vs. Raven, more for the build than for the match, and the match of the year candidate in America’s Most Wanted vs. XXX will be airing on the September 10th TNA show, that’s one cent for iNDemand subscribers. Borash announced something called the “TNA Super X Cup Tournament” in the X-Division on the September 3rd show with a lineup to be announced next week (the week before the two week vacation and one-cent show). Dave Meltzer obviously has the hookup so he listed it before Borash. Suck on them nuts, slappy. Hopefully it won’t be like the awful Hard-10 tournament where they had a bunch of people who had no place being there hitting each other for points. Anyway, these are the rumored competitors: Juventud Guerrera (good choice), Nosawa (famous internationally-known wrestler, I am not familiar with his work), Teddy Hart (Stu is his maternal grandfather, his mother is Georgia Hart, he works for Stampede Wrestling–actually most famous for his appearance on the Real Sports special on death in wrestling when he, more than subtly, indicated that steroids were an option for him if he needed to “step it up”), Jonny Storm (British wrestler, already has experience with TNA’s X-Division), Chris Sabin (heel X-champ), Frankie Kazarian (last face contender for X-title), Michael Shane (#1 contender for X-title) and Jerry Lynn (been away from X-division, lately, might be replaced). I guess they are going to be narrowing the field before the actual 9/3 show. Danny Doring suffered minor issues after his match last week but was fine. Borash tells a story of going to a wrestling show and seeing Spiderman fight Bruce Banner with Banner doing all the selling until he falls behind a curtain and a muscular man in green comes out and wins the match. Vince Russo is moonlighting.
Len Sabal, who was Jay Hassman’s right-hand man during their relationship with TNA that went to hell, sent a letter, dated 7/29 to iNDemand, DirecTV, TVN, Comcast and Cablevision saying that on 9/11/2001, a judgment was rendered for under $2000 in his favor and billed them for the costs, expecting that they’d, in return, pay and cut it out of TNA’s final revenue since they get the money first. Sabal isn’t lying and the judgment is real, and was made in small claims court after the much larger suit, which was settled last week, was filed against Hassman, Sabal, and their companies. TNA representatives never showed up in court and they have yet to pay.
Mad Mikey did an interview with Get in the Ring Radio and No Holds Barred Wrestling Radio last week. Mikey joked that he was mad because of where he used to work but then said that he wasn’t mad because it was a mutual departure. He confirms the rumors that he got in a verbal fight with Brian Gewertz but negotiated his release with the artist formerly known as Johnny Ace. He says he’s the happiest in years and having much fun in TNA. Surprise, he was frustrated with the way he was booked in WWE. Vince Russo came up with the Crash Holly name and he feels indebted to him and Bob Holly, who took him under his wing. I wouldn’t want that position. Mikey said that Mick Foley is good at Mikey says that Mick Foley is “good at falling off the top of cages and landing on thumbtacks if that’s a person’s definition of hardcore” but that the people who really got the belt over were Tazz, Perry Saturn, and the Mean Street Posse in 2000. The only problem with that theory is the belt wasn’t over in 2000 and no one took it seriously. Mikey harbors no bad feelings to Vince McMahon (he’s not burning bridges, he’ll want his job back when the indys no longer think he’s such a hot commodity). Mikey is looking forward to working with Raven and D’Lo Brown but the main problem is: they aren’t jobbers. He says he’ll be glad, however, to work with whomever TNA officials want him to work with. He says morale is better in TNA. Not only does he leave the door open for a return but he says that he respects the McMahons for getting in the ring even though they don’t have to. Well, I would get in the ring if I were a bad wrestler but I was going to get paid top dollar for doing little. His favorite wrestler is Tommy Dreamer and he’s sorry he hasn’t gotten a push yet. Mikey’s current contract with TNA, is stipulated with them paying him as needed week-by-week, which they do with all their talents who they aren’t ready to make a commitment to. Well, actually, they do it in general for financial reasons. It saves them money, but it also leaves them open to WWE being able to cunningly raid them and TNA still wouldn’t have any standing in court claiming they were trying to monopolize. He said that as long as he can get work to look like an idiot, entertain people, and make them laugh then he’s happy to continue doing that. Meanwhile, talented performers like Lance Storm are forced into doing it for no reason and their career is subsequently ruined because of it. Barry Buchanan also did an interview this week, with wrestlebreakdown.com, one of the hosts, Andy Steven, works here. Buchanan, who worked in WWE for years as a jobber, said that he talked with TNA the day after his release from that company. He said TNA had good ideas for him but he has no clue why they haven’t contacted him yet. Can you keep a secret? So can I.
Before we go today, I also want to make a correction from last week. I unknowingly contradicted myself when I said this, “I remember (Chris Daniels) from Roland Alexander’s APW where he was probably what Chris Jericho is now on RAW minus the Triple H effect. I still don’t see a Jeff Jarrett putting him over at this point.” Maybe the glass ceiling is perfectly intact in TNA after all.
Thanks for reading Headlines and Scrutiny. See you next week. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matchmaker: Trevor Hunnicutt
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