A Good Alternative (Usually): Impact Wrestling 5-29-15

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I just started watching Impact regularly, and so far I’ve been presently surprised. Let’s see if they can keep it going.

IMPACT WRESTLING 5-29-2015  DESTINATION AMERICA

I’ve been sort of keeping up to date with Impact on my self-imposed sabbatical. Things seem status quo with the possible exception of them disappearing forever. Legends never die though, and while this in no way relates to Impact Wrestling, I’m sure rumors of their demise are overblown. Or not. Honestly who fucking knows let’s get on with the damn show.

This is how we decide who eats.
This is how we decide who eats.

Driving with Eric Young is EXACTLY the kind of show the WWE network is missing out on by refusing to hire this freak. Sure he’s sounding more and more like Kevin Malone from the Office with each passing sentence, but that’s a good thing as that character really grows on you by the end of the series. He’s been waiting to get his hands on Angle for weeks. Weeks I say! I guess it means nothing that they’ve been feuding for a metric eternity, but who am I to judge my Canadian brethren? Before I can totally wallow away in my shame Kurt Angle is waiting for him outside and the fight is on! Eric Young calls Angle a dead man which leads me to question why he didn’t just run him down with his car and call it a day. I feel like he’d say I quit with a severed spine, but again maybe that’s me being naive. He did win a gold medal with a broken freaking neck, and heart… Security breaks this up before it can go any further. Where were they when Angle was pacing back and forth like a madman in the parking lot? Probably playing Settlers of Catan, that game is boss.

What I'd rather be doing.
What I’d rather be doing.

MAY MAYHEM! STRANGE TWO SECOND VIDEO TO PROMOTE THE KNOCKOUTS! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON????

Josh and Al Snow on commentary tonight. That’s how long it’s been since I watched. Josh was alone and Al Snow was mourning Pepper. They’re KILLING it with the grey motif tonight. Al Snow’s snake skin coat can loosely be described as a war crime, while Josh is his reserved boring self.

Match # 1 – Taryn Terrell Vs. Gail Kim

I guess I missed the formation of the Doll house but the turn has clearly done the impossible and made Taryn even hotter as a consequence. Josh hypes her 191 day reign as Knockout Champion which is exactly the kind of analysis I love from my announce team. This is six sides of steel for the title and Taryn tries to escape right away. There’s some slamming into the cage and while it’s not exactly Mankind/HHH level Impact Wrestling isn’t King Lear/Hamlet level either. While you process how little sense that made I’d like to point out the fact that they bother to explain how Jade and Marty can interfere on Taryn’s behalf by using the “camera” holes in the cage. Taryn takes control and goes psychotic on Kim’s hand. The announcers imply that Taryn claims she slept with Gail’s husband who I’m supposed to know and care about. Is this supposed to make her the heel? Don’t they know we want to picture her having sex?

No one will understand this reference Aaron.
No one will understand this reference Aaron.

There’s a few nice suplexes and neck breakers here which go a long way to selling that this is a wrestling match between competitors instead of a pose off between models/whores. Gail gets pushed off the cage by the dolls (I’m guessing that’s what they’re called.) (And that they live together in some sort of house…) And Taryn hits the cutter for the win before writhing against Kim’s body and treating her like a pillow. Again who is the heel here? The Dolls hit the ring and Taryn proceeds to beat up Earl Hebner, who seems to be losing the battle against father time at an alarming rate. The three lovers (I’m imagining) beat up Kim and Awesome Kong is out for the save. Wait. Awesome Kong is the face? Ok… After rushing to lock the cage Jade and Marty kick the downed Kim while Taryn smiles and turns the key in her hands. Evil Taryn works really well but probably brings up all kinds of weird emotions for Drew MacIntyre.

I HAD IT ALL DAMNIT!!!
I HAD IT ALL DAMNIT!!!

Awesome Kong being the awesome face that she is doesn’t even bother to try and climb the cage. Instead she pts to banging a chair against the cage and screaming while her “friend” gets her fingers broken by Taryn and co. Taryn steals Kim’s wedding ring and carries it between her teeth and I feel I need a few minutes before I can continue here.

You didn't even know what I looked like until you looked it up.
You didn’t even know what I looked like until you looked it up.

Hey they’re doing a pay per view on June 28th. Good for them. I mean that I generally want Taryn… I mean this company to succeed.

James Storm is a dear friend to Mickie James and bought her a guitar. Magnus was mad and broke said guitar over said cowboy’s said cranium. I like how they’ve set this feud up with James Storm inauspiciously saving Mickie from Bram all those months ago. Mickie joins us now to clear the air and she cuts one of the more believable promos out of a knockout’s (or Diva’s) mouth in the last year. There’s just an ease to her delivery that’s refreshing. She loves Magnus, but Storm is a dear friend and that’s why this is hard. Also she’s going to fight one more match. Why only one? Against who? For what reason? And I’ve put more thought into her return match than they have.

I'll fight her.
I’ll fight her.

James Storm interrupts and Mickie is ashamed to admit that Magnus hasn’t called to apologize yet for smashing him on the head with the guitar. I’m shocked, I say SHOCKED that a man didn’t call his fiancée’s creepy friend to apologize for stopping him from moving in on her. He’s cool with the lack of apology as he’s not a bad guy. Unless helping women makes him a bad guy, which is just insincere enough to keep him the heel here. According to Storm, Magnus is just jealous of their friendship. Yep, that’s the best thing to say publicly to quell the situation. Storm laments he dropped a lot of money on that guitar, (nice) but it’s all good because he took the time to set up meetings with important music people for Mickie. If she wants to take those meetings, great, if not he’s still there if she needs him. What a great friend! He hugs her and leaves. How cynical is the wrestling world that if Storm was just legitimately helping his friend THAT would be the swerve? Storm leaves and Mickie is going to take the meetings. Magnus is going to be fine with this.

I'm the wrong guy to talk to about trusting people...
I’m the wrong guy to talk to about trusting people…

Kenny King speaking eloquently backstage informs us that he’s going to Destination X. That was all I took from that one…

HERE’S FIVE SECONDS OF X DIVISION TO HYPE THE PROGRAM YOU’RE ALREADY WATCHING!!!

Match # 2- X-Division Gauntlet

So I guess the rules are that two guys start and they wrestle to a fall, then the next guy comes out and we repeat in perpetuity. No. It’s just a Royal Rumble. Oh a Royal Rumble until the last two then it’s a match? So it’s the 2007 Royal Rumble without the star power? Gotcha. I hate when they do shit like this. It’s just lame, and you know, isn’t actually a gauntlet. On top of which is this really the best way to promote the god damned X-Division? Take all the high fliers and make them hold on to the ropes so they don’t go anywhere? The first two out are Manik and Rockstar Spud. The former is dressed like the Zodiac Killer and the latter as a sex leopard. (Don’t act like you don’t know what that is.) Josh informs us that Spud is the penultimate champion. I really thought we were done with that expression when Breaking Bad ended. Spud makes a “U” sign with his hands to tell us he’s the underdog. I hate when someone’s gimmick is that they’re an underdog. I hate it even more when he’s still the underdog after winning countless matches/titles. I mean I really dug those underdog Edmonton Oilers in the 80’s until the big bad Calgary Flames wouldn’t put them over. Spud and Manik are just not clicking and as I thought, this is a horrible display for the division. DJZ is out next after…I don’t know let’s say two minutes… According to Josh he’s a man without a home. I think he’s confusing him with Crazy Steve but of course I’m lacking the insight that comes with being locked in a room with Al Snow “UNTIL YOU GET THIS RIGHT.” I want to say that no one currently in the ring looks like a wrestler, but realistically where else are you going to get a serial killer, a leopard in a bow tie and a guy with a blue mohawk in a wrestling ring?

Sex.
Sex.

MANDREWS is in. Business is about to pick up. Just kidding no one would have the actual balls to say that about him. Al Snow warns them that they should pace themselves which seems strange as they’re all just lazing about the ropes, but again I lack the perspective of a veteran wrestler who has slowly morphed into an elderly cat. ARGOS is here! I’m not sure who that is, but he defies gravity according to Snow. Mandrews and Manik have a nice little sequence of actual interesting moves before Mandrews is tossed. Homeless Crazy Steve is here and we are going to break!

WHAT ARE YOU????
WHAT ARE YOU????

We’re back and Tigre Uno is tossed. I didn’t see him enter or do anything but the show is taped so I can’t possibly expect them to be able to get me that footage. Kenny King gets The Undertaker/Hulk Hogan 1992 treatment and gets to enter last. He nails everyone with some sweet looking kicks. Crazy Steve is kicked back to the underpass, Argos loses his argument with gravity and just like that the champ has tossed out two guys. I should mention Kenny King is the champ as they seem to switch this belt every forty eight hours or so. DJZ hits a Thesz press and follows up with some of the worst looking punches you’ve ever seen. How can you watch this after seeing Kyle O’Reilly take years off of Jay Lethal’s life this past week on ROH television?

“Who will leave as champion?” Asks Matthews in a tone that suggests we’re going to break. We don’t and now I’m in a state of confusion and or rage. This match is terrible. King Tosses DJpussypunch and eliminates Manik leaving he a Spud one on one. If this is the end game why do the lame Royal Rumble. Why sully the Rumble. Hasn’t 2015 been hard enough on the Royal Rumble? King chops Spud then tries to rip his face off. Spud then rolls him up for the title. X-DIVISION BABY! Rockstar Spud is “The Ultimate Underdog!” We’re stealing that nickname now. What’s next? ” The Cerebral Assassin” Eric Young? “Controlled Frenzy” Jessie Godderz? “Jezebel” DJZ? “The Lunatic Fringe” Kurt Angle? “The Con Man” Mandrews?

The Swiss Superman.
The Swiss Superman.

Old man Winter and Josh Matthews talk about next week’s time change/death sentence. They better put on a better show than this if they want to follow ROH. Snow talks about the amazing jacket that he’ll wear at the PPV and Josh fakes vomiting. That always looks genuine and hilarious and here is no different. We re-cap the opening brawl again for the third time tonight. It was like forty minutes ago and it wasn’t that good. They didn’t even recap Foley coming off the cage that much.

Match # 3 – The Dirty Heels Vs. The Wolves

This is match two of the best of five series for the vacant TNA tag team titles. Wolves are up one to nothing. Aries cuts a promo telling the wolves to come out. They’re coming. They’re contractually obligated. Why doesn’t this so-called greatest man understand this? The Wolves do come out (I’M SHOCKED) and the heels jump them before the bell. Fast and furious action for the first couple of minutes until the Wolves chop and kick Bobby Roode into oblivion. (TM Bobby Heenan) See now this is what I’m talking about. The match is moving so well I don’t even want to take notes I just want to sit back and enjoy. That is until Roode hits a Mr. Perfect snap mare with none of the torque or appearance of any pain. I HATE this about Bobby Roode. I want to like the guy, it seems like he has all the makings of a star but fails to grasp all the little details. Great seller, but too much of his offence looks weak or limp. Such a shame.

He did WHAT??
He did WHAT??

Josh decides to expose the business by stating that these best of whatever series all seem to go the distance. He laments the fact that it probably won’t be the sweep he was hoping for. I don’t even know what to say about that kind of stupidity. Meanwhile the actual match is actually quite good despite The Wolves wearing their Destination America tights. Matthews again hints that there’s a break coming and before I can get out of my couch I’m startled into to an awesome enzeguri/German suplex/roll up/stomping the shit out of people spot. Stop telling me how epic this is Josh! Aries attempts to teach Roode how to put some snap in his work as he strings a knee breaker into a suplex followed by the Last Chancery. Of course this is lost on him as he applies the weakest looking cross face this side of Maryse. Of course both guys get to the ropes after being in the “painful” submissions for more than enough time to submit. Wouldn’t want those moves to look good would we?

I could play by play this one some more but it really is a great match you should seek out. Both these teams are awesome despite my nitpicks about Roode’s work. Josh of course is killing this one for me by saying shit like “I don’t want this match to end.” That’s the kind of commentary that takes me out. They make it about the artistry rather than the actual competition. All it would take for me to shut this off and write off Matthews as a Cole lite would be for him to declare it a “5 star match,” but thankfully he doesn’t so I watch on. The Wolves finish after nailing a power bomb into a back cracker that will surely cost Austin Aries thousands at the chiropractor. Hey why is it all chiropractors tell you there is no risk of stroke from chiropractic treatment while EVERY doctor guarantees you’ll have a stroke? The series is now two nothing and Josh is hoping for a sweep. I’d bet the thousands I paid in stroke recovery that this thing ends up tied going into Slammiversary.

Also, wrestling is fake.
Also, wrestling is fake.

Angelina Love is here. So is Velvet Sky! She’s going to handle this now! I read an article about the weirdest TNA angles of all time and they listed the whole Angelina Love/Winter brainwashing. What alarmed me the most was how much Love has aged in only four years. I’m legitimately concerned for her health.

Kenny King really needs to get a hold of Montel Vontavious Porter. MVP needs to dump all good friends that call him by his first name on his voicemail.

Angelina Love is out to yell at Velvet Sky who’s sitting among the “idiots.” Her bird like voice is so shrill that it makes me long for the soothing love of the Duck Hunt dog. Angeline Bird even has her own security force to protect her. I’m curious how the actual TNA security force feels about this, but come to think of it they’re probably very busy keeping Angle and Young in separate rooms and not getting paid. Velvet looks great aside from the Destination America hair (man they had some strange demands). Angelina is quick to remind us that she was fiiiiiiiiicawcawiiiiired! This is such an obnoxious segment. Like Bellas screaming at ringside obnoxious. Velvet finally very slowly climbs the barricade and attacks. The screeching heard during this “fight” reminds me of Mr. Woo and his pigs from Deadwood. Louis CK and the scab security team break it up. Cocksuckers.

woo

Mr. Anderson is mad that it’s always been Mr. Anderson versus EC3 and Tyrus. He’s so worked up he repeats this. Oh wait that’s his gimmick. Not to worry though he’s built a structure that will solve that problem. Wait? HE built something?

Match #4 – EC3 Vs. Mr. Anderson

Josh feels that EC3 should be champ. He’s undefeated for 500 days, beaten everyone… Yeah, why isn’t he champ? EC3 grabs the mic and hits us with “Despite all his rage, Titus will not be a rat in that cage. Hashtag EC3 for champ.” He and Truth Martini should hit up a slam poetry session together.

Doubt thou that the stars are fire, Doubt thou that the sun doth move,  Doubt truth to be a liar. But NEVER doubt my love.
Doubt thou that the stars are fire, Doubt thou that the sun doth move, Doubt truth to be a liar. But NEVER doubt my love.

Really? Mr. Anderson is still doing that damn mic thing? He’s like the worst example of something getting over so the performer clings to it for the rest of his career. He started that ten years ago and it was MILDLY over! Anderson passes the cage that he “built” which suspiciously looks a lot like the cage that Robocop saved Sting from years ago. Josh assures us that Anderson built that cage so I guess he’s a master of metallurgy. Side note I only know that word because of the computer game “Civilization.” I learned a lot including how to get gunpowder by 1000 A.D.

Boy do I hate those Zulus.
Boy do I hate those Zulus.

I can’t let this go. Where are the vignettes where Anderson is building the cage? Imagine the heat they could build with him declaring it to be double wide and double deep. The copy every other fucking thing WWE does, how come we don’t get a rehash of The Undertaker/Kamala masterpiece? They started using the word abeyance last year! Take the good stuff for fuck’s sake! This show is making me mad, and this is coming from someone who wants Impact to succeed.

I’m done wit this match. I love EC3 and hate Anderson. When Anderson gets his spots in the crowd doesn’t give a shit. Anderson is more concerned with getting Tyrus in the cage than winning the match and ending the streak. I’m a little embarrassed to admit I’m actually invested enough in the streak that I got a little nervous on one particular near fall. Not him, just please not him… EC3 ends up winning clean and then he refuses Anderson’s handshake. He then departs passing by a still caged Tyrus, not even bothering to help. Roode should take classes in detail from EC3.

This show needs to end already. Spud backstage compares himself to Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels and Austin Aries. The promo is heartfelt but come on now Spud. He has a big decision to make for Destination X. I just… I just can’t do this anymore. Did you know when he was a teenager Julius Caesar was abducted by pirates and when they demanded 50 talents of gold for his ransom he scoffed and insisted they asked for 100. What a cool guy right? Didn’t deserve to die right?

In fact there’s really some debate whether about what his intentions as dictator for life really were. It is possible that the Roman Republic model was outdated and on an inevitable metamorphosis towards Empire anyway? A solid argument could be made that if they were going to name an Emperor he really was the best person for the job. I think it’s easy to assume he was power hungry, but couldn’t a part of him really be trying to save Rome from itself. Keep in mind this was a man who lived through the tyranny of Sulla and saw how power can corrupt. You’d think he’d be smart enough to not make the same mistake. Really the only sweeping legislation he passed, was empowering the poor of Rome to have greater access to social programs. The conspiracy theorist in me might point out that he was killed by the very oligarchy he was stripping rights away from. An Oligarchy that would be systematically eliminated when his “son” came to power fulfilling everyone’s darkest nightmares.

We're gonna kill you.
We’re gonna kill you.

Anyways Kurt Angle tapped out Eric Young who quit right away. It was fine. Next week they’re moving to right after ROH. They’d better get their shit together.

Best Match: The Wolves Vs. The Dirty Heels
Worst Match:  Royal Rumble 2015 b
Best Promo/Skit:  Mickie and her pal Cowboy.
Worst Promo/Skit: Angelina LoCAWCAWCAWCAW
MVP:   The Wolves/Austin Aries

What Worked Really Well

– Taryn Terrell is the greatest performer of modern times.

– EC3 improves every time I see him.

– The tag match was quite excellent, which made it stand out on this terrible show.

– James Storm cuts a believable promo when he’s not ripping off Bray Wyatt. See they copied that too! I like where the program with he and Magnus is going.

What Sort Of Works

– I’m in for the Doll house put its weirdness is going to take some getting used to.

– I like that they’re setting up plan “C” for Destination X, but that stip worked really well when the X-Division champ was a credible challenger. Not Spud.

What Didn’t Work

– This show dragged. By the end I kept checking the time to see how much closer we were to the end.

– Josh and Al Snow were terrible. They said stupid shit and detracted from almost every match. I’m not sure what happened here as I usually enjoy Josh on commentary. Maybe it’s Snow.

– It makes no sense to make all your most athletic guys compete in a Royal Rumble with no fun or innovative spots. That was a waste of everyone involved.

– This show just had no focus. There was no Mayhem for “May Mayhem.” The matches were a step down from previous weeks I’ve seen and everyone was way more concerned with telling us about their time change than what was going on in the ring.

– Brutus should have just spoken to Gaius to get a better grasp on what his intentions were.

So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?

Because it’s shorter. I don’t know what to say here. I loathe when people are happy when they hear that TNA may be going out of business as since the start of the year their program has been nothing short of refreshing. Why wouldn’t you want them to succeed? I’ve heard a lot of people lambast TNA for being behind on paying their staff, and they’re right to do so. But we can’t forget how Vince McMahon has nickel and dimed wrestlers for years, not to mention all the guys who have died because of the demands of his ridiculous schedule. Anyways I’m waaaaaay off base here but wrestling is a pretty seedy business and if the worst that TNA has done has been to go bankrupt I hope we can agree they’re “not that bad.” This show was a clear stinker though. I just want to put it behind me and check out next week. I’ve put up with a ton of WWE shitshows over the year so let’s just pretend this one didn’t happen. Also Taryn is a goddess.

Thanks for reading! See ya next week!

My name is Henrik Ibsen. I wrote a play called A Doll's House. That's the reference.
My name is Henrik Ibsen. I wrote a play called A Doll’s House. That’s the reference.

Author: Aaron George

Aaron is a classically trained Shakespearean actor by day who fulfils his culture quotient by watching wrestling by night. He has two sons a great wife and once explored the sewers in his hometown.