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 6-3-2015 DESTINATION AMERICA
I feel a little overloaded on TNA this week. With the move to Wednesday night I really haven’t had the chance to wash the awful taste of last week’s show out of my mouth. So with an open mind, heart and syringe full of heroin here we go with this week’s Impact.
Who are these guys in bowties in the ring? They look like a barber shop quart… Oh… Oh! Their singing EC3’s song. Acapella! Oh this is tremendous. What an amazing touch for EC3. Of course the rich douche bag would appreciate an acapella group. They’re the only people who do. The song sounds great but you’d think the lead singer would have bothered to learn the words instead of peering down at his phone every two seconds. I’m not sure what I’m angrier at: the fact that this is the biggest gig these guys have ever done and they don’t know the words or how influential technology has become as now the cell phone has replaced sheet music/writing on your arm as a cheating mechanism. What can I say I’m not a technocrat? Nor am I a fan of acapella. Except here. It’s awesome.
EC3 makes his way down to the ring with two blondes in his arms and Tyrus skulking around the back. He joins them in song in another tremendous moment. I can’t help but laugh though. If you just watched ROH not five minutes earlier you saw the Briscoes who legitimately look like murderers/serial killers pummel and destroy two guys named Jay. I don’t think you could have a greater gap between the last segment in ROH and the first on Impact. Hey, at least they’re different! Tyrus is wearing a placard reminiscent of what a Roman slave would wear. It bears the same message as the giant signs the girls hold up. Carter is number one and everyone needs to know it now. This is your typical brag promo about how EC3 has taken over the Impact Wrestling rankings and he’s going to be the next champ. He even teases the crowd with a Brodus Clay…I mean Tyrus dance. He quickly takes that option off the table and goads the crowd into chanting “you can’t wrestle,” at him. He disagrees and states that he’s very good for old time’s sake. “As the great George W. Bush once said: Mission Accomplished!” Man Carter is killing it here. He invites Kurt Angle to his soiree. He hopes he will enjoy his last few days as champion. Kurt obliges.
Kurt is “impressed” with the celebration yet he thinks that Vern “Gagner” and Lou Thesz would be turning in their graves. This coming from a man who was known for his preposterous celebrations! Kurt wants EC3 to slow down because there’s a good chance that Rockstar Spud will get the next title shot if he cashes in option “c”. That being that the X-Division champ can cash in the title for a shot at the big belt. How many cash ins does this company have open right now?
Carter doesn’t sweat that as he left Spud beaten, bloody and bald in England. Gorgeous alliteration aside he thinks that Angle is ducking him and he invites his buxom blondes to leave with him. He’s got an offer for Spud that he can’t refuse. The singers sing Carter out of the ring and just as I wonder why the bigger looking singer doesn’t have a mic, Angle slams him to end the segment. Tremendous opening segment. Please don’t be all downhill from here.
Josh Matthews is joined by The Pope D’Angelo Deneiro this week who can’t possibly be any worse than Al Snow. I’ll say this; at least Pope has a different sounding voice. They run down tonight’s card, which looks promising. So far, so good.
Match # 1 – Lashley Vs. Eric Young
It’s a smart move to bring Lashley out first. If you’re tuning in for the first time he’s just recognizable enough to lure you back into watching. That and he looks like a gigantic puffy beast. Speaking of beasts here’s Eric young in his vest adorned with scout badges. They bother to remember their own history and take us back to over a month ago when Young wore out Lashley with a chair and put him out of action. The contest starts with about two minutes of just punching and kicking. Young threatens Earl Hebner which will no doubt blow up Twitter as Eric is branded as an ageist. Then the other side will pipe in with,” Eric is juts treating him the same way as he’d treat anyone else. If anything this means he respects Hebner more.” This will no doubt devolve into an argument about racism and police brutality in America. This has been a very long way of saying that Earl Hebner is old and probably shouldn’t be in there any more.
This match is kind of just there. Lashley’s power stuff is great as usual, but can Young do anything but punch and kick? I get that he’s crazy, but even a guy referred to as “Sycho” threw in a power bomb or a side suplex now and then. Chris Melendez, with no explanation as to who he is, stands at the top of the ramp and distracts Young until he runs into a spear to give Lashley the win. Melendez hits the ring but Young escapes. Dreary finish to a nothing match. Lashley has improved by leaps and bounds since he left WWE but Young will always appear second rate to me no matter how solid he is in the ring at times. Also this was not one of those times.
Is that a very colorful labyrinth? Nope! It’s just the back of Rockstar Spud’s jacket. He’s fought hard for the X-Division championship for fourteen years and he’s not sure if he wants to give it up for a shot at Angle’s TNA title. Hold on a second here. He just won the title for a second time in a bullshit Royal Rumble rip off LAST WEEK and suddenly he’s acting as if he’s in the midst of a Bruno-esque title reign that has lasted forever. Everyone gets shots at that title all the time Spud. It gets defended in the stupidest matches that ANYONE can win. I get trying to sell the importance of the belt but come on now, the belt changes as often as they change their commentary team.
Recap of Taryn and the Doll House beating the tar out of Gail Kim. And that’s not racist. Everyone has tar. Apparently Kong was FORCED to watch. No she wasn’t. She could have left, she could have closed her eyes or she COULD HAVE CLIMBED THE FUCKING CAGE!
Taryn is now laying in a bed with eh rest of the Doll House. Last week she beat Kim and next week she’s going to beat Kong and put the “X” in Destination X. Is she the X-Division Champion? She may as well of just said sex. Just say what you mean Taryn. No one likes anyone that beats around the bush. If you’re having sex on TV next week please tell me so I can get my family out of the house.
Chris Melendez now reminds us that he was overseas and that he’s going to make Eric Young a “casualty.” Sure I made that last part up but at least I’ve told you a little more about who Melendez is that the announcers have bothered to do.
We continue backstage, CAUSE WRESTLING THAT’S WHY, Austin Aries is giving Spud a pep talk. Aries doesn’t want Spud to cash in his title for a shot at Angle. He should do something different than all the X-Division champs who have come before him. Aries reminds us that he also has a briefcase that he can cash in against the champ at any time. I’m confused. Why would Aries dissuade him? Wouldn’t he want to “cash in” against a guy everyone besides Rey Mysterio is calling the “Ultimate Underdog?” Wouldn’t he want to fight the weaker champion? Perhaps his tone is supposed to suggest that he cares about Spud and doesn’t want to see him get hurt? Unfortunately Aries lacks the proper nuance to make that work. I can only surmise that Austin Aries is scared of fighting Rockstar Spud.
SEXY! POWERFUL! STRONG! ATHLETIC! THE TNA KNOCKOUTS!!!
Thanks… for that…
Match #2 – Jade Vs. Brooke
Brooke is so legitimately pretty that I’m very put off as she bends over and shakes her ass at the camera. Not everyone needs to be a whore. Brooke immediately tries to pin Jade in a plethora of ways. This is your typical Knockouts match meaning that it’s light years ahead of anything you’ll see the Bellas participate in, yet miles away from the sterling NXT division. Brooke is easily someone who could have coasted on her looks, so I respect the hell out of the fact that she’s worked hard to become a pretty decent wrestler. This one goes back and forth until interference from Marty backfires and Brooke pins Jade after her weird face buster thing. Honestly, this was quick but I’d much rather watch this than the opener. Brooke’s over bubbly celebration and jumping borders on the obnoxious but apparently I just can’t stay mad at her.
Jeremy Borash is uncomfortable. Which is strange because he’s never had to share a locker room with JBL. He’s not in to interviewing EC3, but he immediately looks like a jerk when EC3 graciously compliments his hair. Carter puts over Spud as a tremendous asset but not championship material. He then gets a phone call and has to leave. How many segments do we need to dedicate to Rockstar Spud’s choice???
Brooke is jumping up and down with Rebel in the back. (backstage segment 100,000) They’re going to go celebrate. Just don’t go anywhere with a pool table Brooke, we all know how that ends. Brooke hits the shower and the Doll House hits Rebel with fists until she’s dead. Pretty good beat down. They put a ball in her mouth that looks alarmingly like a ball I use to play baseball with my son. Did these whores steal my ball???? Pet peeve time: Josh uses words like “heinous” to describe the beat down on Rebel. He does it in a tone that can only suggest boredom and disinterest. I get that the recording sessions are long but it’s your fucking job man. There’s a tone that goes with a word like heinous and if you can’t be bothered to hit it you shouldn’t be an announcer.
Match #3 – The Beat Down Clan Vs. The Rising
What’s with all the masks and flags for the BDC? Are they wrestlers or a travelling theatre troupe? Does the p in MVP stand for Puicinella??? There is zero, and I mean zero reaction for The Rising when they come out. I suppose that’s what you get when your factions mission is to stop bad finishes in wrestling instead of winning matches and titles. Their whole gimmick is so meta that it has no chance of working. I agree Drew, I want wrestling to be better, but to use the BDC as an avatar for Vince McMahon and the WWE is dumb. Their angle is just dumb. The Rising for those of you who may have missed the one time they were named on TV are Drew Galloway, Eli Drake and Micah. Eli Drake starts the match with some great intensity on MVP but then immediately kills the match for me as he very slowly looks at Kenny King and backs into him for King to “blindside” him.
Low Ki gets to come in and legitimize the whole match. I could watch this guy go all day. He’s the only guy from the BDC who just doesn’t punch and kick. After a while though the match just kind of falls apart. They put Galloway on the top rope, and lock him into a tree of woe. Unfortunately something is off with the timing and everyone kid of meanders around looking confused until Galloway sort of powers up and tosses Ki off the top. I’d give Galloway’s effort a .2 Makabe. Thankfully The Rising finish Low Ki with a doomsday device before this one can descend any further down the shithole. There’s too many experienced guys in this match for shit like this to happen. I expect better out of guys like MVP, Kenny King and Drew Galloway. Low KI can’t do it all on his own.
Spud is next!!!!! Finally!!!!
EC3 was on the phone!!!! Will change Spud’s life forever!!!!
So apparently Spud isn’t next as we need to go over what happened last week between James Storm and Mickie James. He’s her friend who set her up with some meetings with people in Nashville. What a great guy! So now Mickie is in a very white train station in Nashville. She’s on the phone and tells presumably Magnus to “Give Donovan a Kiss for me.” I know it’s wrong but I can’t help but picture Magnus taking care of Donovan Dijak, which could either be very creepy or the greatest love story ever told.
Mickie is lost in the train station with no one to pick her up. The place is literally empty except for her. Were there no lower level employees available to act as extras in this one? As James searches for another living, breathing human being a loud, “Mickie!” is heard. An imposing cowboy enters the frame. “James? What are you doing here?” Queries Mickie as we fade out. Jesus Christ! What the fuck am I watching?
Spud hits the ring with the same worried expression he has for every match/appearance. He’s still unsure. Borash pushes him to answer. Borash then channels his inner Bob Barker to ask if Spud is “Ready to give it all up for a shot at this man!!!” Angle enters very slowly for his second entrance of the night. He hits the ring and attempts to dissuade Spud from cashing in. What’s his problem with Spud trying to win the belt now? Everything we know about Angle would suggest that he wants to face the best competition and give shots to anyone who deserves it. What’s the hesitance here? He’s a fighting champion. Is he scared of Spud too?
EC3 is here again! I’m happy to see him but the multiple entrances from each guy is really killing the pacing of the show. He respects Spud but he’s a fish swimming with sharks. Carter puts over Angle as “The greatest professional wrestler who ever lived…until I came around.” EC3 is now dissuading Spud. Why????? Why does no one want to fight this guy??? Carter has proven that he can beat him why wouldn’t he want to take the title from him. Carter offers Spud the role of “Chief Of Staff” for life if Spud just doesn’t cash in. Boy am I tired of hearing the phrase cash in!!!
Spud then cuts a fantastic promo about how he’s worked his whole life for this shot and is going to take it. Carter is a self entitled prick and he can stick it up his ass, he WILL fight Angle next week. When Spud gets fired up he really is great on the stick. He shakes Kurt’s hand which of course draws the obvious cheap shot from Carter. Look the build and the promo here were very good, but did we need to stretch this out over five or six segments? This could have easily been done in one. Unfortunately, and I hate writing that for these guys, we’re getting more of them as there’s now a tag match later tonight!
While chilling in the back like a couple of ring rats Austin Aries Casually asks Bobby Roode what they’re best at. Roode replies wrestling which is clearly wrong. Austin suggests cheating… Roode is conflicted…
I’m so glad we’re now back with James Storm and Mickie James. If I suggested to you that Storm marry Mickie and take her name so that he could be James James you’d probably call me a stupid fucking nincompoop. And while you’re milling over the juxtaposition of a silly Billy gumdrops word next to a curse word, take a deep thought about the juxtaposition of this stupid ass segment in the middle of a wrestling show. Storm and James are now sitting on a white couch in a white room in what is clearly the classiest train station in America. If this whole thing is supposed to be some weird metaphor for Heaven I’m blown away by the delusional deepness of the writers of Impact Wrestling. Really though should I be blown away? The guy writing this shit is the same guy who doesn’t give a shit despite how wretched he appears to be. There. I can be deep too you bald fuck.
James wants her to be a star but wants to take their relationship further. James wants to know what he’s driving at. What the fuck do you think he’s driving at??? If a guy takes you into a heavenly white room and starts talking about feelings of all things, put two and two together and realize he either wants to spend the rest of his life with you or wants to eat your heart as the life leaves your eyes.
James tells her that the music will always be there but he wants her to join him on his journey. Oh god don’t bring them into this now. He wants to give her gifts and Magnus can’t do that because he’s a stain. Magnus can’t provide for her so she should join his Revolution. Oh Jesus Christ does he want to fuck her or have her escort him to ringside. The real shame here is they had a perfectly interesting story being built with innocent James Storm helping his friend and Magnus losing his shit over it. It could have been so tight and nuanced, on top of which James Storm is so much better as the honest guy than the weird cult leader. So of course she shuts him down and she says she has to go. Where? Where does she need to be if there actually aren’t any meetings? If you’re going to write this nonsense at least give these guys some plausible dialogue. Storm apologizes and says he’s sorry. They hug is out and he tells her to be careful there’s a lot of crazies around here. Too late to go back to the nice guy. Storm is the worst manipulator in wrestling history, which says a lot in a business in which a guy named the Jackal couldn’t control three South Africans. Worse than that though is Mickie being the dumbest human on earth. Get away from this guy. He brought you to heaven to ask you on a date. Not the worst segment I’ve ever seen in a wrestling show but way too close for comfort.
Match #4 – The Wolves Vs. The Dirty Heels
So this is match three of the best of five series to crown the TNA tag team championship that the Hardy Boys had to vacate because of Jeff’s injury which they won in a match after the Wolves had to vacate due to Eddie Edwards injury. Quite the lineage they’re building here. Wolves are up two to nothing and if wrestling has taught me nothing else it’s that these types of “best of five, seven whatever” series never go to the limit and are always super unpredictable. The Heels are wearing their T-Shirts which elicit a reaction not un-similar to 1998 when the LWO shirts were released. The Wolves are in the wrong promotion. They are just so good that they blow away every team in the division including the Heels. I just want to see them fighting the Young Bucks and reDragon from here until eternity but instead I’ll be told at some point how lucky I am to watch them fight the Hardy Boyz. That will make me less mad than the portrayal of the Hardyz as the most legendary team of all time but that in itself makes me less mad than listening to Michael Cole for five minutes so I think I …wait where was I going?
They don’t even bother to show us the belts at ringside so I guess this is a special “forgone conclusion” match. Unless that is they’re handing out Hulk Hogan HOF rings as titles now. Josh then talks about the titles being vacant and says they’re in a state of “abeyance.” Of all the things to steal from WWE you take abeyance??? It was dumb then, it’s dumb now and I think I’ve crossed the threshold of actively hating Josh Matthews at this point.
The match is fine, perhaps a step behind the last two weeks but I can’t help being bored as it’s soooooo clear what’s about to happen. I like the idea that The Heels can’t beat them so they have to cheat, but does it need to be so stretched out? After throwing everything they have at the Wolves without any results, Aries throws a chair in the ring for Roode to wallop them with. He hems and haws before winning the match with the scientific low blow/chair shot combo. Josh screams about how Bobby Roode didn’t want to do it while Roode gives a sinister smile to the camera. Are you even fucking watching Josh???
Back at the train station Storm pushes Mickie in front of the track. We hear a train coming. I guess Mickie James is now dead. My interest in the TNA product is now dead.
For the second week in a row I’m pining for the show to just end. Of course it doesn’t end as Madison Rayne is in the ring and I feel like I’m watching Saturday Night Live at 12:45. Madison is pissed because she doesn’t get opportunities while all anyone else has to do is suck a lollipop to get on TV. Hey, be happy you weren’t murdered in a train station or worse forced to act with James Storm for three segments. Madison hates Velvet Sky, and says if the audience cheers for her loud enough Velvet will appear despite not working there any more. How many times does Velvet have to make her way uninterrupted before we can tell the audience she’s works here?
Madison basically says that Velvet looks like shit (she does) and Velvet gets pissed and attacks. This segment sucks. The offence is terrible and everyone looks like they’re trying way too hard to “act.” Queen of the birds Angelina Love now joins us and screeches until my wife asks, “What the fuck are you watching.” When I tell her it’s wrestling she’s more confused than anything else. Angelina on the mic makes me want to die. No one has any emotion in their faces as they slog through the trail that Austin and Vince McMahon carved when he “assaulted Stone Cold Steve Austin and got away with it.” Velvet is taken out of there and Love is arrested for attacking a “fan”. Fuck you TNA.
Match #5 – Kurt Angle/Rockstar Spud Vs. EC3/Tyrus
Here’s our RAW main event! Kurt Angle and EC3 get their full entrances, their third of the night. Imagine how much more of the train station we could have had without the god damned entrance parade. Who even takes the train any more??? Spud starts off by punching and kicking, which is boring as fuck. It does make his sequence with EC3 look like an actual fight though. Until the blatant telegraphed ducks as EC3 tries to punch him in the head. The announcers don’t seem to notice/care though as there’s another show next week to pump up.
The match is an abomination. Just lousy shit considering who’s in the ring. These guys are better than this trite. Tyrus does the worst fall off the ropes I’ve ever seen followed by the worst looking Angle slam in the history of man. Spud pins for the win. It just hit me that Spud gave up the X-Division title so we get to hear the word “abeyance” for at least another week or so. Austin Aries now joins us to tell us that next week he’s challenging the winner of Angle/Spud right after their match. This all sounds decent in theory but after this clusterfuck of a show I have no idea how they plan on pulling this off with any sort of semblance of sense or excitement. The whole time Aries was talking at the end, EC3 is seen sitting in the aisle screaming “Come on!!!” I hear ya brother…
Best Match: The Wolves Vs. The Dirty Heels
Worst Match: Main Event Of Nothingness
Best Promo/Skit: Spud gets fired up.
Worst Promo/Skit: Mickie James is murdered.
What Worked Really Well
– The opening segment was fantastic and made me excited for the rest of the show. In a lot of ways it was very cruel to do that to the viewers.
– Brooke Vs. Jade was fine for what it was.
– Taryn Terrell is surprisingly good as heel. I believe her. Now she just needs a better writer than the guy who thought “Tonight, Tonight” was a good idea for a song title.
– When they let him go, Rockstar Spud is a pretty great promo.
What Sort Of Works
– Pope was light years better than Al Snow, that being said he brought nothing to the table; he just didn’t take away from the product.
– The Heels heel turn was a decent story just way too drawn out.
– As much as I hated the Angelina Love/Velvet Sky segment at least they’re trying to write stories for everyone.
What Didn’t Work
Where to begin…
– The Train Station play will probably go down as one of the worst angles not named Eric of 2015. I feel I’ve made my thoughts clear on this one.
– The booking of the whole Rockstar Spud story is all backwards. Why does no one want to fight the guy? Isn’t the logical thing for everyone to underestimate him only to have him do well in said matches? Instead the whole roster looks like cowards for not wanting to fight the smallest guy in the company.
– Experienced guys shouldn’t be having sloppy shitty matches. Shame on MVP, Angle and Kenny King. You’re supposed to be the veterans showing us how it’s done. You’re not supposed to look confused mid match… on a taped show…
– Josh Matthews has become unlistenable. Besides taking all the worst sayings from his “Titan” training he just has no idea how to convey emotion in a match. You can’t use words like heinous and despicable in the same tone which you use to tell your wife how your day was. I was really a fan of his when they started on Destination America. What a regression…
– I was a fan of the whole show since they made the move to DA. The show was based on winning and losing instead of the “drama” and “abeyance” we have now. Such a shame.
So Why Should I Watch This Instead Of Raw?
Don’t. If you’ve been burned by TNA in the past and have heard great buzz on how they’ve improved, this was not the show to come back for. The ROH show that preceded it was superior in every conceivable level. One made me excited to be a fan, the other made me embarrassed… TNA should watch ROH. They should try emulating them more instead of trying to emulate RAW. You have great talent on your roster; let them wrestle instead of doing shitty skits and endless entrances. Play to your roster’s strengths instead of forcing Angelina Love to screech promos that no one wants to hear. I hope they can get on board and change here. People don’t want more RAW. They get five hours of WWE programming every week. They’re tapped out. Be the alternative you can be. I’ve been cheerleading you since you moved Impact; I want you to be good. You’ll never get there though if you insist on being a cheaper version of Raw. Get it together.
Thanks for reading! See ya next week!