Greetings conversationalists all across the fruited plain, it is I your personal Harvester of Sorrow the one and only Phantom Lord and this is the debut of The Phantom Rant. Now you might be asking yourself why exactly is this a debut if you’ve been posting for a billion years (in internet years). Well I’ve decided that I need a rebranding.
The WWE rebranded their selves.
TNA rebranded their selves (well sort of).
Why not me? I’ve been in a dire need of a change and “The Rant Of The Week” while it served me well just had ran it’s course. So here I am with The Phantom Rant. I am Phantom Lord and this is well my Rant.
I had originally started work on this column about two weeks ago but as usual writers block and topic changes hit me hard. Just when I think I’m starting to get on a roll something happens and I have to stop in my tracks. So with that in mind I am going to focus all of my attention on TNA for this column. Over the last week Uncle Eric has been picking a fight with the IWC and after the events of the Slammiversary World Championship match…and well…
Wrestling matters is the new slogan right? Well there was a lot of wrestling so I’ll give them that. Some of it was really good. Some of it was meh. But there was wrestling so I can’t fault them there.
What I can fault them on…especially you Uncle Eric is the bullshit ending to the Sting/Anderson World Title match. How hard is it to just stay away from the ring and not be an evil authority figure. The match was going great until you had to smugly walk down to the ring. Don’t get me wrong, as a producer I hope I can achieve the level of success you have with Bischoff/Hervey Productions when I eventually get into the entertainment business. But my GOD I am getting sick and tired of watching 1999-2000 happen all over again.
Now if given the chance I would love to go back to 1999 so I can redo the last decade of my life. But just because I would like to do that doesn’t mean I want to see the same stuff I saw ten years ago happen again. Now I get it. You guys fucked up WCW back then so you figure you can do it all over again the way you wanted to but couldn’t. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. The ego trip you are having right now is as usual at the expense of we the lowly fans that watch this stuff. Now the first thing you’ll probably say is “well if you don’t like it, then don’t watch it”. Well just because I don’t like what you guys who are running are doing doesn’t mean I have to give up watching the people I do like.
This match with Sting and Mr. Anderson; you know they both deserve better then this. Anderson is the kind of guy you can build a company around. Sting is Sting. He doesn’t have to be there but he is. The match was going really well as I said until Uncle Eric strolled down to the ring. This nonsensical Hogan/Sting angle is just stupid. We know that Hogan in the back of his deluded mind still wants to “wrestle”. By wrestle I mean put himself over of course (which is what Hulk Hogan has always done). Hulk Hogan doesn’t do anything unless the end result is it benefiting Hulk Hogan. Now if this were even ten years ago I’d be okay sure why not, Sting and Hogan one more time. But this isn’t 2000 and Hulk Hogan isn’t the Hulk Hogan of even five years ago much less ten. So to see Bischoff come out and ruin a good match all to further this really dumb angle that has been done a thousand times since Austin/McMahon really pissed me off.
It’s the same old story about how TNA has all the tools in place to be a really good and successful company. This past Thursday’s Impact wasn’t half bad. Sting being off the rocker insane is actually a rather interesting idea. New Testament Sting has been boring for a long time. But Sting going all Old Testament has so much potential. Now despite the bullshit of the PPV title match ending, I have no problem with Mr. Anderson as champion. While many here on the Internet hate Anderson, I actually love his whole shtick. There’s just one small problem with how it went down on Impact.
Instead of Anderson having to face Kurt Angle and the start of that feud since Angle is now the number one contender; Gunner confronts Anderson. Apparently TNA is getting ready to put a rocket ship up his ass and push him straight to the moon. Why I have no idea. I mean he’s not bad from a wrestling standpoint, but from a character standpoint I have no reason what so ever to give a shit about him. So to see him being pushed is just confusing. I do have a theory as to why TNA is pushing Gunner.
Psycho eyes + horrible tattoos = Randy Orton.
I believe that TNA thinks that Gunner can be their version of Randy Orton. See Gunner has the crazy psycho eyes and not the crazy sociopath eyes so it’s not an exact version. If TNA must push him I have only one small request as a lowly viewer.
Give him a last name for Pete’s sake. I don’t care what name it is, just give him something. I hate wrestlers who only use a first name purely because of copyright reasons from the company. I mean the WWE manages to give everyone a first and last name. Most of the time it’s picked from a random generator and the names are horrible…but they have first and last names. So I’d probably take Gunner a bit more seriously if he had a last name. I’d also probably take him a bit more seriously if he were you know established. But that just goes back to the logic argument I’ve been making for oh I don’t know THE LAST FUCKING DECADE.
So with Anderson as the World Champion they decide to have a match with him and Gunner and Anderson LOSES to Gunner. It wasn’t even something screwy. It was a clean pin when Anderson got too full of himself. Okay that I can buy…but to GUNNER???
The thing that doesn’t really make sense is Immortal are the big heel group in the company. Anderson is now a full-fledged heel as champion. Bischoff and Hogan are going to sick the dogs of war on Anderson because he dared to not join them a month or so ago. Sting is at war with Immortal because Bischoff and Hogan are a cancer. Do I have all of that so far or am I missing anything? This is TNA’s problem in a nutshell. There’s no direction and focus. And when there is direction and focus it doesn’t make any damn sense.
Basically Immortal is after Anderson because he wouldn’t join them. This is essentially the N.W.O. vs. The Macho Man from 1997. Savage was part of the group but because he wanted the world title and to be the leader, Hogan declared war on him. I am not comparing Mr. Anderson to The Macho Man, but that’s the only thing I can think of since TNA is so intent on redoing all things WCW. So does this mean Anderson as champion will slowly have members of Immortal switch sides and join him until Bischoff and Hogan are down to just themselves? I liked it better when Anderson was becoming 1997 DDP. Anderson as a face who just doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself (shades of gray baby) would be better then this.
This is one of those times where this 10%’er is going to say I know more then the guys doing it. Okay if Immortal wants to take the belt off Anderson then Gunner is not the guy to do it.
There is only one person who Immortal should have as it’s top guy going for the gold right now and that man is Bully Ray. Week after week after week he continues to deliver and he had by far the match of the night with AJ Styles at the PPV. Bully Ray is the only person in all of Immortal that I give a shit about. I don’t care about Gunner. Don’t care about Abyss and his sudden ability to read A book. Matt Hardy is Robert Gibson to Jeff Hardy’s Ricky Morton. Out of all of these people the only one I care about is Bully Ray and that’s because he has a proven track record of being a guy who can piss people off. You want a heel that can piss off the crowd to the point to where they want to jump the rails and take him on. Even in a toned down form from his ECW days, Bully Ray knows how to push buttons and do this. All it would take is Bully Ray calling some kid’s mother a whore and that would be all that was needed to get the crowd against him.
I would have much rather seen a feud between Old grumpy fire & brimstone Sting against Bully Ray. Bully Ray would know every button to push to get Sting to want to kill him. But instead we are probably going to get Sting against Hogan (for the reasons mentioned earlier).
I will give TNA some credit. They have something in theory that could be interesting with this Bound For Glory title shot tournament. I believe it’s supposed to be like a Round robin tournament like they do in Japan. But instead of taking time to really explain the damn thing and everyone who is in it they just threw something up on Youtube and then did some brief rundown on Impact. And the very first match right out off the bat with no build up what so ever? RVD vs. Samoa Joe. A damn main event PPV right there and they did it with no build up what so ever.
They could have at least signed it for next week and hyped the hell out of it. It turns out it was a pretty good match as Samoa Joe had the first signs of life in him in months. But this is TNA’s problem (and the WWE’s for that matter) in a nutshell. They do these matches that people would want to see but instead of building interest for it they just throw it out there and hope for the best. Well despite that it should be interesting.
Here are who is in this tournament. The final four fight at No Surrender in September and the winner of that faces the World Champion at Bound For Glory in October.
Out of all of those people I want it to come down to Bully Ray, James Storm, Samoa Joe, and Scott Steiner.
Realistically I want to see either Bully Ray or James Storm win the whole thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being Robert Roode, Crimson, AJ Styles, and Gunner.
Crimson is another guy I just don’t care about…but TNA sees something in Redberg. Just stop saying he’s from Brooklyn. I’ve been through Bushwick and Crimson is not from Bushwick…or Bed Sty (Do Or Die) or Crown Heights or Flatbush or my home turf of Bensonhurst. Crimson is supposed to be Goldberg with the streak. See it does all come back to WCW. Despite my lack of interest in Crimson he is another person who we will have to suffer through.
It all goes back to my line of thinking about how all-new wrestlers debuting in any company need hype videos for at least one month in advance before they even set foot into an arena for a television show. You need something to hook people in. Going back to the Redberg/Goldberg comparison, I remember Goldberg’s debut in WCW. He was just some guy who debuted on a random Nitro one week. Somehow by pure luck he kept on winning and all of a sudden people started rooting for him. That was something genuine because no one had ever seen this guy before. When “streaks” are done artificially (I know it’s wrestling so that’s ironic), meaning they want you to pay specific attention to someone where they ram it down your throat most of the time it has the opposite effect.
Now if Crimson was built slowly and surely from the ranks perhaps I could buy his streak being something. I can’t see TNA doing a Goldberg like streak for him but with this Bound For Glory tournament it’s sadly a safe bet that he will almost certainly make it to the final four.
It’s like I said. It’s not that I think he sucks. It’s just that they have given me as a viewer no reason what so ever to care.
This column took way too long to write as usual. I hope this summer that I will be more frequent with the rebranded name and such. One thing I was going to mention had I written this column last month was I went to a local Indy show right here in Brooklyn. FEW. Eric Young vs. Jay Lethal & Winter vs. Rosita with Christy Hemme as the special guest referee headlined the show.
Being about ten feet away from Winter…My God. I would have gotten some great pics but I forgot my memory card at home.
Anyways I had a lot of fun at this show. It’s so great to just be a fan and to yell and scream all the insults you can think of at the bad guys (or root for them in some cases) and cheer for the good guys. I almost lost my voice by the end of the night.
They have a DVD of their May 14th event coming out and I think it’s worth buying the DVD just for Eric Young vs. Jay Lethal alone. It was easily one of the best matches I’ve seen in ages and it makes you wonder how in the hell does TNA squander Eric Young and how did they let Lethal go. Lethal did his great Macho Man tribute (which was a week before his untimely passing) and Flair tribute as well.
Winter vs. Rosita was interesting since Rosita was a face and thus ignoring everything they have her do in TNA now as part of Mexican America. I think if TNA ever decides to come to their senses and turn her good she would be massively over. She was the perfect face in peril with Winter. I was rooting for Winter the entire match though. Never the less it was a fun match and if it happened in TNA it would dispel the rumors that the Knockouts can’t wrestle.
The rest of the show was stellar as well. There was this one guy named Malta The Damager who we really liked. He had an Undertaker vibe to him. Plus he was also accompanied to the ring by an actual Friar (I believe it said Most Venerable Order of St John of Jerusalem Military Hospital on the back of his cloak). For a big man he is very agile and he should get a look from someone in the big leagues.
So if you are in the NYC area or want info on the DVD check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FWEWrestling
Well on that note I believe I am done for this “first” edition of my Rant. The tone of this column might have been directed towards Eric Bischoff and his opinions on the Internet, but most of you who have read my columns by now know I am hardly some annoying workrate smark. It’s like I’ve always said. If I like something then I’ll say so. But if I don’t like something then you’ll definitely know about it.
So on that note take care and remember someone has to give you this information and it DAMN well has got to be me.
COMMENT as you see fit.
E-mail me at PhantomLordNYC@yahoo.com