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Since last Smackdown Edge has been arrested for kidnapping, assault and reckless endangerment. No wait, that would make sense. No instead a bald monster is going to hit him with a chair. Here’s Edge now. We’re treated to a Benny Hill inspired recap of the whole silly storyline. Edge is desperately trying to steer this feud back on course by reminding us of the evil Kane has done. All he’s done is beat Kane at his own game.

Tonight we’re going to get a rematch from Monday. Rey Mysterio faces The Miz again. Teddy Long tells Edge that Kane may not even show up Sunday and it turns into a clustersnuggle as Del Rio and Mysterio show up wanting shots at the title. The end result is the Smackdown main event for TLC gets changed to a Fatal Fourway.

Kofi Kingston comes out for a tag match and his partner is Kaval. That’s good, that means he’s not really injured. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger provide the opposition. Ziggler, Kingston and Swagger will also have a Triple Threat Ladder match at TLC for the Intercontinental Championship. Kaval and Kingston get to do some flying, but Kaval spends most of the time as a punching bag. When Kofi gets the hot tag at the end he picks up the win over Ziggler.

Time gets wasted with JTG as well as Drew McIntyre hitting on Kelly Kelly. And still more filled with one of “Dashing” Cody Rhodes’ grooming tips. At least he’s in a match when we finally come back from commercial. Rhodes picks up a win over Chris Masters in a match not really worth talking about.

The Miz/Mysterio match is coming up for the show’s midpoint. This is actually a good match up. Miz doesn’t look ridiculous beating on Mysterio and Rey provides the flash that Miz lacks. As a heel Miz’s lack of flash isn’t necessarily a drawback but I still shudder remembering his awful PPV match against R-Truth. Here Miz keeps countering or cutting off Mysterio whenever he tries to string a series of moves together. Reilly interferes, to no affect, then Del Rio interferes but it’s still not conclusive. But when Mysterio Baseball Slides Del Rio in return, then tries for a Senton off the top rope, the delay allows Miz to lift his knees then pin Rey after he crashes into them. Del Rio tries to beat down Rey, Edge comes out for the save. But before a brawl breaks out Teddy Long pops out from the back to book the four of them in a tag match tonight. That was a long match to expect Rey and Miz to wrestle again later tonight. Normally in these situations they cut the first match off quickly. But this was fine and I’m not going to complain.

The women get some time as Lay-Cool protest their upcoming Tables Match. Natalya and Beth bring a gift-wrapped table, which they unwrap to reveal awesome caricatures of Lay-Cool. Natalya and Beth are not stellar on the mic but they can get a point across and let Lay-Cool provide the entertainment. This is actually enough to provoke Lay-Cool to attack but they come up short and McCool barely saves Layla from going through the special table. Chavo Guererro brings Tyler Reks as his partner to face the tag champs. The champs win. With the Cobra.

The main event is a pretty good match, not really long but fast-paced. Miz eats a 619 and a Spear so it looks like he’ll actually eat a pin. But no, Kane arrives to interfere and toss the match out. It takes the entire Smackdown locker room to separate Kane and Edge and even then they end up brawling to end the show.

This was far less stupid than past weeks. The near total lack of Kane was smart as he’s been overexposed on the mic lately, but the jarring change of main event went nowhere and feels like two feuds being thrown together and not the culmination of a storyline. I had never planned to get the PPV. I’ll probably miss a few good matches, but I doubt it’s going to be a show of major surprises.

Let’s see what TNA expects us to swallow this week. To clarify, Matt Morgan versus Ken Anderson will be at the next Pay Per View. What will Jeff Hardy be doing? Anderson is supposed to tag with Morgan tonight but it seems Anderson still isn’t cleared. They continue Matt’s campaign against the injured wrestling. Jeff Hardy tries to stir the pot. He tries to sell the TNA belt as the most important belt in wrestling. Let me clear this up. I would rather hold the WWE United States Championship than the TNA main belt.

Jay Lethal gets yet another X-Division title match against Robbie E. This time Chrissy Hemme handcuffs herself to Cookie to keep her out of the match. Robbie E really has no moveset so it’s a pleasant surprise when Lethal pins him to regain his title. Meanwhile, Eric Bischoff is still disappointed with AJ Styles. AJ takes his frustrations out on Douglas Williams. Eric Young appears to have found the old, retired, World Title belt. He’s wearing it now and calling himself a champion. And his bosses have no problem with this? Eric then confuses his tag match with a Battle Royal. Eventually we get something of a real match with Jordan and Young coming out ahead of Generation Me.

We have the knockout tag tournament continuing as Bischoff makes Mickie James team with the debuting Ms. Tessmacher to face Tara and Madison Rain. Tessmacher can do an Arm Drag and a Dropkick but spends most of the time practicing her selling. Tara never gets in the short match but her elbow brace makes the difference as it knocks Mickie out so Madison can get the pin.

Rob Terry looks to be in the picture again as he blows off Kazarian. Amazing Red, who I expected to see on milk cartons, shows up to job to Brother Ray, who now calls himself Bully Ray. Devon drives off Ray before he can beat down Red with a chair. Speaking of Rob Terry he faces another Rob, RVD. Bischoff has put Terry in Rob’s way as RBV tries to earn a title shot and revenge on Jeff Hardy. This is a well booked match with both men’s strength played to. But, even though he controls much of the match, I never buy that Terry is going to win and it’s no surprise when he doesn’t.

Jeff Jarrett continues pretending to be an MMA star. If you are thinking of going to Impact to try to make Jarrett tap out for $100,000 then you have forgotten this is pro wrestling and they, of course, use plants. That leaves the main event. Kazarian and Jeff Hardy are united. Anderson and Morgan are divided. Anderson does wrestle, and I’m sure he’s fine, but he sells every blow to the head like it’s a gunshot. It’s a pretty short match and the end result is Rob Terry interferes on Immortal’s side and that let’s Hardy pin Morgan.

I skipped over some vignettes with The Pope because I’m not sure what they are trying to do. It might be a heel turn. Overall this wasn’t a great episode. I’m glad Lethal has the belt back so maybe he can face some real contenders but this wasn’t much of a show.

Posted on December 20th, 2010 by David Creighton | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Smackdown & TNA Week Ending 12/18/10
Filed Under Entertainment

TNA has decided to start joining matches in process to start the show. There’s a four-way tag match between Ink Inc, Beer Money, Generation Me and the Motor City Machine Guns. But with Ric Flair on announce the focus is entirely on Hogan and Bischoff being forced out and not here tonight. Sabin has to Crossbody two guys off the top of the ladder to get the announce team to actually start talking about the match. This new ref is becoming the middle of storylines as he counts the pin Ink Inc scores on Beer Money and that leads Fortune to want to rough him up. Matt Morgan takes Flair hostage to save the ref. Jackson James is the ref’s name.

Mickie James will perform later and Eric Young auditions with his cowbell. Orlando Jordan’s blue floral outfit is… is… unfortunate. I don’t like country music as a general rule, so maybe I’m not the best judge, but Mickie doesn’t sound very good. When Tara attacks mid-song I’m relieved.

Jackson wants to ref Matt’s title match but Matt still hasn’t made up his mind. I guess Flair is in charge at the moment as he’s threatening to name the ref himself if Morgan doesn’t do it tonight. One candidate, Douglas Williams, has another match with Kazarian now. Both these guys are better in the ring than out so it’s a decent enough match for TV. Williams beats Kazarian, and has a number of times before. Later, Morgan tries to talk to Williams but AJ Styles leads a Fortune attack that the road agents have to break up.

Brother Devon is back in the Impact Zone but Brother Ray won’t answer his callout until Devon calls him a coward. The crowd doesn’t care until Ray insults Taz. That gets their attention. But Bubba still won’t enter the ring to meet Devon face-to-face. This is a weird crowd. The latest chant is “He sells tickets” in honor of Devon. I’m not sure that’s true but it’s a nice sentiment. Ray uses So Cal Val as a shield to escape his half-brother’s wrath.

Enemies Samoa Joe and The Pope have to tag team together tonight. Sarita, Madison Rain and Angelina Love have a three-way match. Sartia hides outside until Rain takes out Love then Sarita steals the pin. Winter tries to comfort Angelina after the match and actually gets Love’s attention.

Ric Flair’s hand picked opponent for Matt Morgan is Rhino. Is the free agent market so weak we need to make a big deal about Rhino? Morgan blades his forehead early on to demonstrate Rhino can make a man bleed before the First Blood Match with RVD on Sunday. The hot crowd is totally behind Morgan. Rhino has never really impressed me so neither does this match. Morgan finally hits the Carbon Footprint after bleeding a crimson match. Just as he’s about to score the pinfall Fortune attacks and draws a DQ. RVD looks to make the save but goes after Rhino. Fortune continue the beat down until Jeff Hardy arrives. Hardy looks to hit Morgan in the back of the head with a chair, just like he did to Mr. Anderson. Isn’t it convenient that Anderson makes his return at that moment to drive off the heels? Steel pipes make good equalizers. Anderson’s mic skills look to be as solid as ever as he takes his customary microphone. And thus the payoff to the mystery ref storyline. Anderson offers, Morgan accepts.

Among the reasons I hate Robbie E is he forces me to watch things like “The New Jersey Fist Pump Competition”. Even Jay Lethal can’t salvage this no matter how charismatic he is. At least the brawl that follows is watchable.

If you were wondering who Samoa Joe and The Pope have to face it’s fairly obvious, Abyss and Jeff Jarrett. The early story is the faces not working together. Then we switch gears at the end when the ref gets knocked out, Jarrett tries to use a guitar, Joe kicks it to pieces but, when Joe picks up the remains of the guitar, the ref sees it and thinks Jow cheated. So they get DQed. The heels try a beat down but Kurt Angle is hiding in the casket to make the save.

TNA has to lug about nine matches at once for their PPVs. WWE gets to split their feuds between two shows so they have a lot more time to build them. Yet, this did not seem like a great show on the cusp of the PPV. I’m not particularly upset that I won’t see Final Resolution.

Posted on December 3rd, 2010 by David Creighton | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: TNA Week Ending 12/4/10
Filed Under Entertainment

tna special

TNA’s special TV episode, The Whole Effin’ Show, seems worthy of devoting full attention to. Expect a lot of wrestling here and, if TNA isn’t lying, Pay Per View quality matches. And we’re opening with Kurt Angle versus AJ Styles so I’m feeling pretty good from the start. Did AJ get a huge new tattoo? It’s distracting. Both guys are getting support from the typically wacky Impact Zone crowd. Styles busts out the Pele, Angle hits a Moonsault Bodypress. AJ kicks out of an Angle Slam as they tease a lot of finishes. But the real finish comes when AJ goes for a mule kick low blow only to be caught and reversed into the Ankle Lock. AJ doesn’t last long in the hold and the forgone conclusion of Angle winning is realized.

Straight into another match, well after the commercial, as Angelina Love challenges again for the Knockouts title. These two are not the best female wrestlers in the world but they keep the crowd into it. The motorcycle mystery woman shows up again, only to be attacked by Velvet Sky. Velvet rips the helmet off but the mystery woman is wearing a mask under that. What a tease. Madison Rayne tries to win with a belt shot but Angelina gets the last laugh and captures the title once again.

Another commercial then a custom intro by Ken Anderson but we’re going straight into another match, a Triple Threat Match between Anderson, Matt Morgan and The Pope D’Angelo Dinero. The crowd chants “You Still Suck” and I’m not even sure who they are aiming that at. Oddly, the two faces are double teaming Morgan at first. But that only lasts until the first attempt at a cover. It’s not a very long match and the ending is boring as Anderson takes down the Pope, only to be ambushed by Matt Morgan who steals the pin.

Jeff Hardy made an open challenge. Let’s see if anyone interesting responds. Shannon Moore? Really? That’s it? It’s certainly a fast paced match as these two friends go at it. And the announcers have no issue repeatedly telling us these two are friends. There’s no doubt Hardy is going to win but he goes out of his way to make his buddy look good out there.

Now a match that’s been building for weeks, the finals of the best of 5 series between Beer Money and The Motor City Machineguns. It’s a two out of three falls match. No rest period between falls though. The crowd is totally into this match as both teams show their stuff. Beer Money grab the first fall but the Guns even it up very quickly and we’re into sudden death. But the third fall is worthy of being a match by itself and it could go either way several times. There’s far too much double teaming, a problem with TNA and its treatment of officials, but when the Guns finally do pick up the win their celebration is well earned. TNA is trying to make tag team wrestling matter again and they’re doing a better job than WWE lately.

We’ve been “promised” Hulk Hogan is going to speak tonight. So why is the main event starting now? A Stairway to Janice match may be the stupidest name of all time. Abyss goes for the weapon before RVD even gets to the ring but a flying kick takes the ladder down. After the match Van Dam went through against Sabu at Hardcore Justice I’m surprised at how physical they make this match. Lots of fun with ladders. Tacks, barbed wire and glass also make appearances. A Rolling Thunder onto a board covered in barbed wire is a very nice visual spot. Abyss’s hardcore tactics keep backfiring on him but it’s he who climbs the ladder and claims Janice. Van Dam does some nice high flying moves that end up getting him the win. I suppose you’d expect him to win when the show is named after him.

After a whole night of action-packed matches it’s time for Hulk Hogan to send us home on a low note. More Hardcore Justice talk? Is he actually trying to justify that show as helping the brand. They drag out all the EC- I mean EV 2.0 people out. Sabu, Guido, Mamluke and even Bill Alphonso are still around collecting paychecks that could go to stolen Ring of Honor talent. No Raven in this lovefest. The lights go out, and we’re expecting Sandman but instead it’s Fortune, Matt Morgan and I’m not sure who else who attack the EV 2.0 guys. Raven and Sandman even try to come to the rescue. Abyss join the party to get some revenge on RVD and, sadly, this storyline is not going to die. When your storyline is talented wrestlers people care about beating up has-beens why would any self-respecting fan cheer for the has-beens?

A really solid episode of Impact. Some long running storylines were continued with the matches but we were heavy on the action until the unfortunate final scene. For TNA’s sake let’s hope a lot of people tuned out before Hogan arrived.