Greetings conversationalists all across the fruited plain, it is I your personal Harvester of Sorrow the one and only Phantom Lord and this is my Rant Of The Week. As always I am coming to you from my bunker in the urban cesspool that is Brooklyn, New York and I hate it when the seasons change so rapidly. This whole week has been rather cool. Now normally I’m happy when I’m not sweltering, but when it goes from hot to cool in a matter of a couple of days it takes for ever for me to readjust. Ah well according to the farmer’s almanac we’re going to be getting a winter from hell so you know that’s going to be fun.
I got a lot of feedback from my last column where I dared to say what needed to be said about TNA and that was Fire Jeff Jarrett. Most people agreed with me while others thought I was insane because I said I’d take a Kevin Nash match over others. Yes I might be crazy, but at least Nash has the sense to call Jarrett on TNA’s bullshit. But there was one piece of feedback that made me laugh because the guy said I was a mark. Now I don’t need people telling me the obvious. I’m not in “da business” so of course I’m a mark. I just happen to be a mark with an Internet column on some websites where I spout my opinion on what I see. When something is good I offer heaps of praise saying so. But when something is bad, I unleash the anger and fury and tell it like it is.
I can’t help that TNA’s direction sucks. The only people who really will say TNA is a good product are people who are apologists for TNA. And there are two kinds of people who are apologists for TNA. You have people who work for them so over course they will tow the company line. And the others are people who are just so diehard into TNA they don’t know any better. Oh I’m sure I’ll get some more hate mail for that one, but it’s the truth. TNA is too stupid to see what’s coming right at them. Any time TNA has anything of worth they always manage to shoot themselves in the foot and take ten steps back.
The big story with TNA right now is the signing of Mick Foley to a short-term deal. As we saw on Impact (well the few of us who do actually watch it), they threw Mick right into the mix with the Jarrett/Angle feud they are hot shoting. At first it appeared Mick would be facing Angle but now it seems likely he’ll be the guest referee or “enforcer” for the match. I’m sure they’ll get him to do some insane bump at some point. This is TNA after all. Now I wish Mick all the luck in the world with TNA. I don’t think he would have signed with them if he didn’t think it would be worth it. But on the other hand, Mick makes no bones about taking easy money so to speak so I figure this one is more about the money and having to do less work then wanting to make TNA worth a damn. Though it makes you wonder why he just didn’t stay on Smackdown? According to the newssheets, Mick got upset when Vince yelled and screamed at him over the headset.
What some people don’t realize is with television production, if you have a headset on then you’re connected to the control room. We give Vince a lot of grief, but the guy is as hands on as it gets. Even if his vision of things is called stupid, what we need to remember is it’s still him calling all those shots and he’s on a headset in the back feeding lines to the commentators. Now one can’t blame Mick if this is the reason he did let his contract expire. Some people just can’t take verbal abuse or being yelled at in general. But even if that’s the case I still can’t figure out why Mick would want to jump onto a sinking ship like TNA. It’s almost like if a ship got to the Titanic and one of the rescuers hopped on and said he was gonna go down with it. Mick if given the chance has so much to offer to any company and he going to TNA will end up being bad. I can just see it now because TNA has no interest in growing or trying to become a true alternative.
Some of you might think I’m being to negative right now. I like to think I’m being realistic here. Every time TNA has had one of these MAJOR SIGNINGS THAT WILL CHANGE THE FACE OF THE COMPANY (had to that one in caps for added effect) it always ends up the same. They bring a guy in and hot shot him into a feud and blow their collective wad real early. They did it with Kurt Angle and they will do it with Mick Foley. It always amazes me how clueless TNA is and how much they just love to shoot themselves in the collective foot.
Now some of you might think I enjoy bashing TNA but to tell you the truth I don’t. It pains me to have to write about TNA’s ineptitude. I mean why do you think it’s becoming harder for me to do this column even on a bi-weekly basis. I just get sick and tired having to write the same crap over and over. But on some level I am a masochist so I enjoy pain and I suffer through TNA. I mean it’s not all bad, but the bad does out weigh the good.
On Impact the big thing was Jeff Jarrett responding to Kurt Angle’s interview in the UK Sun.
If you have not read the interview in question, feel free to do so by clicking on this link just to give the next part of the column the proper context.
Kurt Angle spoke the God’s honest truth in this interview. Everything that is wrong with TNA was covered. But in the WCW 2000 fashion that Jarrett and Russo are pain-stakingily recreating, we got a “shoot” based on something at the most maybe a handful of people actually read. Now if it were something mainstream maybe just maybe it would make good fodder for an angle, but once again all they are doing is trying to recreate McMahon/Austin.
It’s the old boss vs. employee angle only the heel and face positions are reversed this time around (at least till Jarrett swerves everyone and turns heel when he costs Joe the title). I know 95% of wrestling is basically recycling and stealing stuff people have done before you. But for the love of God can we please just end the Authority vs. Anti-Authority angles once and for all. I never want to see another Boss vs. Employee angle again.
I’ll say it right now. The only reason it worked with Austin and McMahon the first time is because for the most part it was something never done on that level. Occasionally it was done in the territory days (Eddie Gilbert attacking Bill Watts, Gilbert in Memphis) but once it was done it was done. They didn’t keep recycling it over and over and over. This is 2008 and here we are stuck watching a second rate company recycling angles and gimmicks from eight years ago.
Personally with Jarrett’s big response I was hoping he was going to defend TNA’s listless direction. And as the ratings showed for this week (a whopping 1.0) all those gimmicks and angles recycled from years gone by sure are drawing in the viewers. Funny thing is some TNA defenders will fight you to the death about ratings.
“Ratings aren’t that important”
Last time I checked, wrestling was a business and part of that business is getting tv viewers to tune in. Now it’s great when you have a steady audience, but when that steady audience is only a 1.0 rating when by all accounts they should be able to draw at least double that…steady is not so good. But since I am a fan of Mick Foley I am willing to give TNA some leeway here in the hope that they don’t ruin this like they have ruined so many things before. Material aside, Mick and Kurt had a great segment and the eventual match you know they will have will be good (even if its gimmicked to hell).
It’s amazing how Kurt Angle is probably insane but he’s also probably one of the smartest guys out there in wrestling. If Dixie Carter had any sense in her head she would read the interview Angle did where he picked apart everything wrong with TNA and clean house and get some competent people in there.
For those of you who are interested in the Bound For Glory ppv that TNA is holding, they have a partial card up at the moment.
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Champion Samoa Joe vs. “The Icon” Sting
TNA GRUDGE MATCH
“King Of The Mountain” Jeff Jarrett vs. Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle
Special Enforcer: Mick Foley
MONSTER’S BALL WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Champions Beer Money Inc. vs. Team 3D vs. The Latin American Xchange vs. Abyss & Matt Morgan
Special Referee: Steve “Mongo” McMichael
TNA KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Champion Taylor Wilde vs. Awesome Kong vs. Roxxi
THE RETURN OF THE STEEL ASYLUM MATCH
The X Division superstars battle inside the steel dome to try to escape
Sting vs. Joe is a match I’ve wanted to see since Sting came to TNA. I knew they would eventually get to it. Only thing is I did not count on TNA turning what could possibly be this decade’s Sting/Vader into a joke. Lets face the facts here. Sting is only in TNA for the money. If he were interested in “giving back to da business” he would be on the road with TNA drawing people in for house shows instead of only showing up to TV when he’s needed. But having said that I still think Sting/Joe will be a good match up until the ref bump and screw job finish.
TNA in their infinite wisdom instead of building up Sting vs. Joe as the biggest match in their history has instead opted to push Jarrett vs. Angle with Mick Foley as the “enforcer” as the biggest match in their history. Jarrett heel turn aside, there’s only one of two things that will happen in this match. Either Foley turns heel and screws over Jarrett or Foley screws over Angle. Either way we’ll get a ref bump and a guitar shot and Mike Tenay having an orgasm to a match that at the most would have probably been a main event for Nitro back in 2000. Biggest match in their history not so much.
The Monsters Ball match has the words cluster fuck all over it. But it has one plus to it and that’s Mongo McMichael. Yeah I know is more WCW crap but I like Mongo and if anyone is due for a comeback in wrestling it’s him. Personally though if TNA really wanted to get a Chicago Icon they should have at least gone for Jim McMahon (oh think of all the puns they would have had being able to say the name McMahon) or at least Denis Rodman. I mean that one would have made sense considering how great Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling will be. Plus CMT and Spike are all part of the Viacom corporate umbrella. Why TNA doesn’t take advantage of that I will never know.
As for this match it’s Beer Money vs. LAX vs. Team 3D vs. Abyss and Matt Morgan. Personally I love Beer Money. It’s another gimmick TNA never intended to get over but it has gotten over huge. I would hope they keep the titles here but with TNA who the hell knows. I mean there is reports they want to split up LAX (they all ready got rid of Shelley a.k.a. Salinas and sent Edd…err Hector Guerrero back to the Spanish booth). LAX is one of the most over teams they have yet they continually shit on them. As it stands right now I wouldn’t be surprised if Homicide and Hernandez say fuck it and let their contracts run out. They deserve a lot better and they won’t get it in TNA under its current brain trust. LAX are just a part of a large number of people in TNA who have been dicked around by TNA’s management (and when I say management be clear I am talking about Jarrett and company)
I’ll get into who else has been screwed by TNA but before that let me finish my thoughts on this train wreck of match. The other teams in this match are Team 3D and Matt Morgan and Abyss. I respect the hell out of Team 3D. They will always be one of my favorite tag teams, but TNA has never let them be the great tag team that they can be. When they first arrived in TNA they always played second fiddle to AMW even though the crowds were begging to see 3D win the tag titles. The forth team in this mess is Matt Morgan and Abyss. Why they are a team I don’t know. The whole purpose of Abyss in this match is to make him freak out because he can’t be around any kind of weapons due to his “therapy”.
I really couldn’t make up the mess that is Abyss over the last year or so even if tried. Then again I think the rumor is Abyss has a lot of input into TNA creative so a lot of that was his own doing. As for Matt Morgan, I do not see what is so special about him. I don’t buy the whole blueprint gimmick that is being shoved down everyone’s throats. I just really hope they don’t hot shot the tag titles onto him and Abyss. Beer Money is one of the few things TNA has done right in a while so they deserve a run with the gold.
The Knockouts match is what it is. The Knockouts division while still TNA’s only real draw has been pushed down to meaningless levels sort of like the X Division. I think it’s safe to say certain people in TNA have women issues. I mean first off they lowballed Gail Kim and let her walk. Now granted it appears she hasn’t resigned with the WWE as she really hopes TNA will come to their damn senses and make her a really good offer, but the fact they were willing to let Gail Kim leave speaks volumes.
The angle with Awesome Kong being unstoppable was actually fun and I really wish they kept it going instead of ending it the way they did. When it did end they put the title on Taylor Wilde (Shantelle Taylor) and she’s been playing the role of the underdog ever since. Why TNA didn’t put the knockouts title on Angelina Love at the last PPV I don’t know but here we are with this match. If anything I think Roxxi should win because considering all she’s done since she came to TNA (being saddled with The Old Age Outlaws, getting her head shaved) she’s always been one of the best women’s wrestlers they have and it would be a welcome change to have her in the top spot. Plus as an added bonus they could go back to the Roxxi/Beautiful People feud that they ended with no real conclusion.
Finally we have the X Division mess of the night THE STEEL ASYLUM. You know what I’m not going to even waste time writing about that match. It is such a stupid premise to begin with, as escape matches are stupid. The whole match is basically built up to one guy climbing up to the dome and hanging on for dear life as everyone is under him and then he lets goes and falls on everyone and Don West marks out like a school girl because IT WAS SO FREAKIN INSANE. Frankie Kazarian won the last one and what did he get for his troubles? They have him lose the X Division title match and say he’s quitting only because he’s going to be SUICIDE…a character from the abysmal TNA Video game. Of course Frankie is on the shelf after getting some much needed surgery on his torn triceps so it will be a while before we find out who is suicide. As for this match who the hell knows who will win. I say give it to Jay Lethal if he’s in it. He deserves a big win after the whole Sonjay/So Cal Val angle.
I’m not going to be ordering this PPV that’s for sure. And as an added bonus while our entire economy is in the mist of a nuclear meltdown, TNA decides now is the time to up the price of a PPV to $34.95 (at least for this one).
According to one of the news sites the following was said by a TNA spokesman.
According to TNA spokesman Steven Godfrey, the price increase is for Bound for Glory only and the $29.95 pay-per-view price will resume for future TNA pay-per-view events, reports ProWrestling.NET. Bound For Glory is treated as TNA’s biggest pay-per-view event of the year, hence the $5.00 price increase.
One of the few things TNA had was that at the very least you could order a PPV for a reasonable price and get some good matches out of the deal. $34.95 is way to expensive considering how tight money is for a lot of us and if things go the way I suspect they will I would probably need a new television since I would be tempted to throw something at it after the show was over. A pay per view can be BIG and still have a small price tag. TNA only gets butyrate’s in the 30,000 to 50,000 range. At this point you really don’t want to be making any potential buyers pass on a show because of a price increase.
Now as I mentioned before there are rumors TNA wants to split up LAX. As you can imagine the same reports say Homicide and Hernandez are not exactly thrilled about this and are doing all they can to persuade TNA not to do it.
LAX are just two of many people in TNA that get screwed over by TNA’s direction.
Take The Motor City Machine Guns for example. Now I’m not a big fan of theirs, but it’s clear they are over with the crowds but ever since the whole angle with Team 3D and Jay Lethal where they apparently wouldn’t blade after a beat down they have been in TNA’s doghouse and now they seem like a ship with out a rudder. TNA has so many great wrestlers on their roster but they do nothing with them.
And some how Kip James is still employed…excuse me its Kute Kip now.
Well if you’ve made it this far I suspect you are probably fading like me so I’m going to do some random WWE thoughts before I finish this up.
–Glammerella continues to be the best thing on RAW as Santino continues to bring the awesome. Him on RAW talking about how his favorite team is the Oklahoma City Thunder while in Seattle was just tremendous. I truly believe he is starting to come into his own and can be the new Roddy Piper. But the WWE is booking him like The Honky Tonk Man. I mean that’s not so bad, but Honky at least was serious in between getting chased by Savage. But never the less Santino does rule and I look forward to the Honk A Meter every week.
–Why is Rey Mysterio on RAW? He does not fit into the show at all and this whole feud with Kane is one of the most confusing ones they’ve done in a while. Normally confusing is good as it makes you want to know more but this is the bad kind of confusing. This is more along the lines of why the hell did they do that. I got the same vibe from TNA with the Jay Lethal/Sonjay Dutt angle over So Cal Val. At No Mercy I’m really surprised they didn’t have Rey lose his mask. A gimmick match on such short notice usually spells certain doom…well at least in TNA. But why is Rey on RAW. He fit in so much better personality and ring wise on Smackdown.
–I am really glad Vladimir Kozlov is getting a mega push on Smackdown right now. I wish they would have put him in the US Title picture since a hated Russian holding the United States championship is always good for heat. I look forward to any matches with Jeff Hardy or Triple H with him. Yeah Triple H will KICK WHAM PEDIGREE him, but if Kozlov can hang with them they have a great star on their hands. And to think TNA passed on him because they didn’t want to wait for him to be seasoned.
–Speaking of Triple H, can they just turn him heel all ready? I’m well past the usual Internet hate of Triple H. But his snarky insider joke phase is growing old. I’d prefer to just see him crack guys like Jeff Hardy in the back of the head with his sledgehammer. Then again Smackdown is a bit heavy on heels so I guess we’re stuck with it for the time being.
Well praise the Lord I am done. I am sorry to all my readers for being so long in between columns but between writers block and just general being bored with wrestling it was hard as hell to finish this one out. But fear not it’s a new television season wrestling wise so there is plenty for me to complain about.
Oh before I forget please check out Lethal Radio on LethalWrestling.com We just put up our second show and it stars yours truly and Letha’s resident MMA expert TV Dog. We cover the Elite XC show on CBS, TNA, which diva will be in Playboy and much more. It’s a hilarious 45-minute show that will give you something to listen to if your bored and need a good laugh.
Just click on this link or copy it into your browser and you’ll get the full run down of the show and download instructions and directions on where to send us hate mail.
On this exhausting note I am done for this week. I swear I will be back more or less on time for the next column. Lets just all hope that the web bots are wrong and the shit doesn’t hit the fan between now and then.
Until next time take care and remember someone has to give you this information and it DAMN well has got to be me.
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