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Dedicated to Craig Rose, a shining light has gone out in this realm.


I do like the Smackdown opening credits. We’re in Long Island. Too bad Zach Ryder is on RAW. Alberto will throw another party tonight.

Can you dig it sucka?!

It’s Booker T, in a suit, being introduced as an announcer. He stops by the ring to deliver a Spinaroonie. Did I ever mention I once saw Lance Storm do a Spinaroonie? And it was live.

Here comes Vickie, with Dolph. Josh Matthews is saying Teddy Long might never be back. Tonight qualifying matches for the Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match, where the title is on the line. Dolph and Lay-Cool have a match tonight against Kelly Kelly and Edge. And Vickie wants Kelly out here RIGHT NOW! Huh? The title is on the line in this match? Vickie plans to humiliate KK and make her the reason Edge loses his title. Kelly goes off on Vickie and it comes close to acting. Dolph gets some mic time too. Dolph is the uncrowned World Heavyweight Champion, according to him. KK slaps Dolph clean off his feet but Lay-Cool come  to Vickie’s rescue. That draws Edge. Everyone backs off and we go to commercial.

It’s the tag champs and who I now know spells her name Tamina. We recap the punt to the skull of Husky Harris who is apparently off camera indefinitely. Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater of The Corre get a non-title match. Heath Slater still needs to go away. 450 from Justin Gabriel on Kozlov earn The Corre the winn.

The first qualifier is Kofi Kingston versus Drew McIntyre. Edge and Dolph Ziggler get in the chamber automatically so we only need 4 qualifiers. Booker T is anti-Cole. I like him. He still needs to find his feet though. He does seem to focus on the match though. Cole does his best to distract from what turns out to be a decent match by running down Jerry Lawler and discouraging anyone from getting the Pay Per View. Alberto Del Rio gets an introduction even when he’s just on the Titantron. Kofi falls victim to the distraction and a Future Shock DDT and Drew McIntyre gets a big push all of the sudden.

That awesome western promo plays again.

Rey Mysterio is getting into the ring despite his very real injuries when he’s supposed to be sparing himself for Wrestlemania where he faces his handpicked opponent, Cody Rhodes. He’s facing Jack Swagger in a qualifier I hope Swagger wins. Rhodes is never far from the announce team’s lips.

I have to pause the show to let a friend know of Craig’s passing. Not fun.

Again, a decent match but Mysterio winning means he’s going to submit himself to an Elimination Chamber.

Edge thinks Kelly will cost him his title. Kelly is not happy and also not over Drew McIntyre. Out comes Hornswoggle with Rosa Mendez. Now Roberto Rodriguez is announcing Alberto Del Rio. He has such swagger. Alberto clears up that he is interrupting the midget. He needs to be reminded where they are. He’s offering the piñata to Hornswoggle. It’s about 8 feet up how is this supposed to work? He does bring it down after a while. Hornswoggle crotches Del Rio with the stick. When he recovers he kicks the leprechaun in the head. Then he beats down the poor little guy until Kofi Kingston makes the save and drives Del Rio off. Nope he sneaks back and attacks. A good old fashioned caning follows. Then a Cross Armbreaker that needs a host of referees to break.

The Elimination Chamber was designed by the Devil himself. So I guess Eric Bischoff really is in the WWE doghouse now.

Okay I do not buy Chavo Guererro making the Elimination Chamber. So I’m betting heavily on Kane. Yeah, it’s a squash. Last qualifier is Big Show versus Wade Barrett and the whole Corre is out to support him. We’re not far into the match before a ref bump allows Jackson to level Show. Show manages one kick out but a DDT on a kneeling show finishes it and Barrett is in the Chamber. The Corre beats down Show after with Jackson again Bodyslamming Show. Big Show’s problem these days is when they want someone to look tough they have them take down the Big Show. He’s the Worf of the WWE.

The western promo again? Eh, that’s okay.

Main event time. Vickie again bans Edge using the Spear. Edge starts of course but it’s only a matter of time before Ziggler tags out and, as Josh Matthews puts it:

Ladies and gentlemen, Kelly Kelly is defending the World Heavyweight Championship.

Once Kelly is in Lay-Cool have no reason to tag Ziggler when they can just keep trading places and double teaming Kelly Kelly. When Kelly is finally able to tag the ref misses it. But Kelly hits a Spear on Layla and gets the win! Vickie only banned Edge from using the move. But Vickie fires KK. Vickie gives Dolph yet another rematch next week with Vickie as the special guest referee. And Dolph punctuates it all with a Zig Zag.

I can respect the idea of doing something different. But defending the World Heavyweight Title in a handicap mixed tag match? I’m not a big fan. Three of the qualifying matches were good. Booker T needs time to improve and losing Matt Striker was not that good. Let’s hope Booker wrestles at least as often as Jerry Lawler. Dolph Ziggler is getting tired in the title picture and needs to turn face. Del Rio feuding with Kingston until Elimination Chamber works. Post-PPV shows often stutter a bit and this was no exception. But at least the overall direction is working.

?

Posted on February 5th, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: WWE Smackdown Week Ending 2/5/11
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Here’s some quick thoughts on last week’s TNA.

Concussion mania is on in the Impact Zone as Mick Foley is here to complain about another one. What is the payoff for this going to be? A guy with a concussion wrestles and is okay?

Amazing Red, the white Funaki?

A Fatal Fourway with all heels?

The women’s backstage brawls are getting nastier than the men’s. And I’m not keen on someone just taking the place of an injured competitor when it’s a tournament. Regardless Angelina Love and Winter are now the Knockout Tag Team champs.

I could watch AJ Styles versus Douglas Williams several more times.

I’m not a big fan of tag titles being on the line in 8-man tag matches. It makes the extra four competitors with no shot at the title seem out of place. But if it gets the Motor City Machine Guns in the main event, and winning to boot, then it’s not all bad.

On to this week’s show.

We open with Mick Foley. He immediately calls out Ken Anderson. Same old same old, concussions bad. Matt Morgan interrupts to remind Ken once the bell sounds at Genesis it’s on. Ken is willing to fight right now. It’s Jeff Hardy’s turn to interrupt. He thinks these guys are ready to fight so he’s selected two partners for them so they can battle each other in a tag match.

Robert Roode and Chris Sabin square off in singles action. These guys prove why tag teams still matter when they can put on a good singles match to build a tag feud. Roode picks up a clean win this time out. Orlando Jordan and Eric Young’s New Year’s party features lame bisexuality jokes and an appearance by Shark Boy.

RVD’s mystery opponent is Robbie E. Not a good sign for him. Robbie E can’t be an X-Division contender forever, he’s not ready for the TV title and there’s no good tag partner for him on the roster. He hasn’t caught fire so what’s left for him? Losing to RVD tonight for one. Van Dam will have yet another mystery opponent for Genesis. Survive that and he gets his chance for revenge on Hardy.

Lets see how Velvet Sky and Sarita can do in a Strap Match. It’s a very long strap. I forgot these matches are won by touching all four corners. It’s not too long, somewhat violent, but the ending is pretty typical. Velvet drags Sarita behind her as she touches the corners but Sarita touches them too. When they get to the last one Sarita flips Velvet and wins the match. Angelina makes the save but Velvet is not happy with her or anything else. Angelina tracks down Sarita to bully the bully. Sarita turns the tables and Winter makes the save.

When Jeff Jarrett challenges Amazing Red’s baby brother I’m expecting Angle or Joe to come out. Instead it’s a big guy, a debuting wrestler I guess. Jeff finds himself in genuine trouble and his ring crew have to come to his aid. Even a guitar attempt is stopped by Red himself. Jarrett ends up walking off, being “held back” by his guys. So shouldn’t he get counted out and forfeit the prize money?

Now that Rob Terry is in Fortune he gets to tag with AJ Styles. Magnus and Douglas Williams are teaming up once again so the announcers actually remember The British Invasion. Terry is the least talented here to say the least, but it’s not a bad match and AJ gets the win by using William’s finisher, Rolling Chaos, on Magnus. Feuds involving stealing the other guy’s move are rare these days, but there’s also a title and AJ’s place in Fortune on the line, which makes me wonder if they are overcomplicating things.

Madison Rain is starting to act like Vickie Guererro in her promos. She gets to dress up and do an elaborate entrance for the holiday but it doesn’t stop Mickie Jame from coming out to smack her around.

That brings us to the main event, with Foley on commentary. Ken Anderson has “Bully” Ray as his partner, Morgan draws Devon. The match gets ignored as Bischoff orders Gunnar and Murphy to remove him and they end up knocking him out with a nightstick. We finally focus on the ring as not only does Anderson not get along with his heel partner but he’s overselling every blow to the head. I’m sure Anderson is fine but this storyline still makes me uncomfortable. Everything they’re saying about concussions is very true and Anderson did have one. So why is it okay for them to play off this? Reaction looks back at what was, we must admit, an eventful year for TNA. But with every opportunity TNA has had all year why aren’t they doing a lot better than they are?

Posted on January 1st, 2011 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: A Look at the Past 2 TNA Shows!
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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 Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Smackdown & TNA Week Ending 12/18/10
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It’s Thanksgiving tonight and we celebrate with some nice trash talk between Fortune and their ex-members Doug Williams and Matt Morgan. We’ll have an 8-man elimination tag match, basically ripping off Survivor Series; Matt and Doug need to find two partners. And Eric Bischoff has invited Dixie Carter here tonight.

There’s a very tame street fight between Tommy Dreamer and Rhyno where Dreamer actually picks up a win for a change. Rhyno refuses to make peace and puts Dreamer through a table before RVD drives him off. RVD wants to bust Rhyno open so, at Final Resolution, these two will have a first blood match. Meanwhile, Morgan and Williams recruit Samoa Joe.

We get some knockouts brawling and Winter (the former Katie Burchill) actually reveals herself to all the women. We get too much recap of last week’s fight between the Motor City Machineguns and Generation Me. This is just to let us know they’re going to try to take it up a notch at Final Resolution with a Full Metal Mayhem Match, which is what TNA calls Tables, Ladders and Chairs matches. It takes some work to convince The Pope to join Morgan’s team but it looks like the foursome is set.

I guess Sarita turned face on Xplosion or something because Madison Rain calls her out for a match and, this being non-title, actually gets upset. This is a long match but it’s not particularly good. We see way, way too much of Immortal celebrating Thanksgiving. Jeff Jarrett continues to declare his love of MMA. We see him lecturing a group of kids at a kick boxing school. And yeah, he hurts a little kid. Then he hurts Jesse Neal in a Submission Match. Thanks to a ref bump Jarrett goes old school and hits Neal with a guitar.

We now come to the eight-man main event. I say main event but the appearance of Dixie Carter is yet to come so that’s what TNA thinks people really want to see. They’re wrong. Storm goes out early and the faces seize the advantage going into the first commercial. Kazarian goes next and the faces are surprisingly strong so far. Then Joe and the Pope tag in at the same time and end up fighting each other on the outside. We’re already past 11:00. The heels take out Williams and that leaves AJ and Roode to take on Morgan. Morgan manages to take out AJ but, as he sets up for the Carbon Footprint on Roode, Jeff Hardy shows up. Hardy kicks Morgan in the junk then takes out the ref with a Twist of Hate. That lets Jeff, AJ and Roode beat Morgan down for a bit.

It’s not a swerve, Dixie really is here. Bischoff and Hogan offer Dixie an office job but Dixie decides to serve an injunction on Hogan for signing talent without authorization from the board of directors. And these two are no longer in charge. So who is? Do we care? Hogan’s eyes are really bloodshot. Is he on something?

I kind of miss the Turkey Bowl. At least that was original and not a blatant rip off of Survivor Series. I’ll be glad when Jeff Jarrett moves past this whole MMA thing, presumably after his Submission Match with Samoa Joe at the PPV. It’s nice to see the tide turning against Immortal but Dixie Carter is not someone I want totally behind. She needs a champion who can actually wrestle. Is Kurt Angle coming back?

I hope my American readers had a great Thanksgiving as we now have to suffer through five weeks of Christmas music.

Posted on November 27th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: TNA Week Ending 11/27/10
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Wrestling Recap WWE

It’s time to test my theory that TNA is better without Hogan, because he’s back tonight. Immortal is riding strong once again after running the table at Turning Point. They debut a new title belt, which looks like a Halloween mask. The Pope, Matt Morgan, RVD and Samoa Joe step up to oppose them. They still seem heavily outnumbered. Samoa Joe has to take on Gunnar and Scott, Matt Morgan gets three opponents: Beer Money and Doug Williams. RVD faces Kaz and if he wins he gets a title shot. AJ Styles already has a date with Stevie Richards so it’s a full card already.

Team 3D tease me with retiring but Ray turns on Devon so they’ll be around a while yet. Joe wins his match easily but Jarrett leads a beat down until Kurt Angle appears to drive him off. RVD loses when Rhino turns on him, despite supposedly no longer being under contract. The Pope gets to beat up Eric Bischoff and Matt Morgan manages to win his three-on-one match and earn a rematch versus Hardy from a cocky Bischoff. This managed to be an ok show, despite Hogan being here. But at a time when the heels are running wild over the show did we really need two more heel turns?

Time to close out the wrestling week with Smackdown. Edge is set to face David Otunga so Nexus prepares for a beat down. Vickie Guererro is in charge tonight since Teddy Long got delayed by customs. Vickie makes the Otunga/Edge match a Lumberjack Match with not only Nexus but the whole roster surrounding the ring. There’s also a Big Show versus Kane match set for tonight.

Alberto Del Rio face Kofi Kingston. This is a good match and serves as a reminder that this show busts out good wrestling with more regularity than RAW. Del Rio gets the win but his celebration is short as Rey Mysterio arrives to reignite their feud. Layla and Natalya have a pretty good match that ends with Layla tapping to the Sharpshooter. The Survivor Series match will pit Natalya against both Michelle McCool and Layla so I don’t see Natalya winning.

I figured Edge and Otunga would be last but they get the 9:00 slot, leaving Kane and Show to end the night. Nexus being at a disadvantage numbers wise is a nice change. Although they seem to be scraping to find 16 lumberjacks. Goldust is out there and he’s a RAW superstar. Even Fit Finlay is out! Yay Fit! Alberto Del Rio doesn’t play nice and messes with Edge a few times. But Otunga is on the ropes until Kane appears out of nowhere and Chokeslams Edge, giving Otunga the win. Nexus has lost enough people. As weak as Otunga’s ring skills are he can act and plays a decent role in the stable.

MVP gets his shot at Dolph Ziggler’s Intercontinental title. There are two reasons he won’t win. One, this is free TV. Two, he’s MVP. It’s not a great match but there are a lot of cover attempts to add drama. MVP should have won at one point when the ref was distracted reattaching a turnbuckle cover while MVP scored more than a three-count. In the end Ziggler wins, but only after pulling MVP’s foot off the ropes, which should force a break. Hard to say if this was a filler match or this feud will go on for a bit.

Cody Rhodes goes for cheap heat by making fun of British people’s teeth. It’s not original but it works.

Kane versus Big Show is a pretty major match for filler in someone else’s feud. This could easily have been the Survivor Series matchup instead of Kane/Edge. Paul Bearer has been missing all night and we soon see him tied up next to a convenient monitor showing the match. Props to Todd Grisham for remembering these two were once tag team champions together. Again, the wrestling here is not superb but the storytelling helps a lot. I’d rather watch this again than another Kane v. Taker match. Kane looks to finish off Show when Edge interrupts the match by wheeling out Paul Bearer and threatening to shove him off the stage. Remember, he’s the face. Big Show recovers to Chokeslam Kane and win the match. Show may be the only other person on the roster who could beat Kane at this point in time without killing Kane’s heat. Edge leaves with Paul Bearer, presumably holding him captive for a week. Man the laws that are casually broken on wrestling shows.

Not a bad match. It pushed the PPV fairly well and the wrestling was interesting if not technically stellar. Kane cost Edge his match; Edge cost Kane his match. Nexus never looks as strong without Wade Barrett and perhaps that’s the point. At this point I’d like to see the Survivor Series card settled, perhaps with a Survivor Series match? But what they are doing so far should be getting people interested in buying the show.

TNA Wrestling Recaps

TNA is entitled “Kung Fu Bischoff” which doesn’t inspire confidence as I never want to see Eric Bischoff fight again. Bischoff wants Anderson to pin him or he won’t get a shot at Jeff Hardy ever, but Anderson is supposedly at home healing. I have no idea if Anderson has a legit concussion after a scary looking chair shot. His phone voice sounds pretty shaky so my gut instinct is that he is legit hurt. That’s what happens when you take unprotected chair shots to the back of the head.

Fortune continues to try to turn RVD against his EV 2.0 compatriots. I thought back today to how bad on the mic AJ Styles was when I first checked out TNA back in the days of weekly PPVs. Styles really is the biggest success story of TNA, a few years back that would have been Samoa Joe but he’s been floundering for a while. Speaking of Joe, Jeff Jarrett will face him at Turning Point if Joe can make it. Joe shows up to beat him up so that match is actually happening.

And yes Team 3D claim they are retiring from professional wrestling after Sunday’s match. I don’t think that’s going to happen but I hope it will.

RVD and Rhyno face AJ Styles in a Triple Threat for the TV title. Styles retains and RVD just gets more and more paranoid. Now Tommy Dreamer wants RVD at Turning Point. So, another last minute match. Flair puts Doug Williams and Kaz against each other to work out their differences, but Beer Money interferes on Kaz’s side just making Doug Williams even more on the outside. Abyss and the Pope get a start to a match before Abyss just starts attacking fans. So the match is thrown out and Pope proposes a PPV Lumberjack Match with fans for lumberjacks. Abyss has no problem with that.

We get a long drawn out introduction that Jeremy Borash has to read. When Borash balks Bischoff decides Anderson isn’t here Borash will make a good opponent. Anderson’s promo plays, but that’s just to allow Matt Morgan to sneak up on him and kick him in the face. So Morgan signs the contract to face Hardy in Anderson’s place. Ric Flair even comes out to make it official. He wants Morgan to suffer for turning on Fortune and what better way than a match with Jeff Hardy.

TNA has done its best to stay on course despite injuries, limited appearance contracts, and just the limited state of many of their veterans, but not everything can be booked at the last minute. If a TNA fan skipped this show I doubt they’d buy the show Sunday. I don’t buy TNA shows ever, but I’m not excited about this one.

Posted on November 6th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: TNA Week Ending 11/6/10
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TNA Wrestling Recaps

Welcome to the all TNA column! TNA opens with a backstage brawl between Tara and Mickie James. These two are reasonably talented wrestlers and it’s nice to see the women grab the spotlight again. These gals put on a brawl just as good as the men until Madison, Serena and the Beautiful People show up and turn it into a street fight. The talent drops as the participants rise but there’s still some good brawling. They eventually all end up in the ring and Ric Flair comes out with Gunner and Murphy, the security guard newbie wrestlers. Flair takes a whole heap of slaps here but still won’t hit a woman. For some reason Flair is able to book a six-woman tag match for later. I have no complaints whatsoever with how this was handled.

Bischoff and Flair are palling around, but still concerned about Angle. The head trainer complains Ken Anderson shouldn’t be facing Jeff Jarrett tonight given he has a concussion. Not sure how I feel about that. Even Matt Morgan is opposed to this. Oh and it’s a Steel Chain Match.

Jay Lethal has a casket and Taz has a nice, subtle dig at The Undertaker while he does. It’s Abyss he’s after. And he gets him. I still don’t know why there’s a casket here. Abyss kidnaps some fans, again sending the wrong message. Jeff Jarrett wants Samoa Joe at Turning Point, but plans to take out Mr. Anderson tonight. Robbie E (Jersey Shore boy) takes on X Division champion Jay Lethal in a “Jersey Street Fight” for a shot at Jay’s title at Turning Point. I bet he wins. There was a time when the X Division was the best thing going on this show, but those days are long gone. If you are going to put a guy in a trashcan and hit it with something, a kendo stick isn’t that impressive a weapon. Cookie’s can of spray tan blinds Lethal and gives Robbie E the match after a rather tame match for a Street Fight.

EV 2.0 is out wondering why RVD has been ignoring their calls and tweets. I cannot make this up. So they call him out to reassure Rob they are on his side. Wow Raven goes to the weed reference. Rob is not buying it. So Fortune comes out to rub their dysfunction in their face. Fortune has EV 2.0, again at Turning Point but tonight Raven and RVD have to team  up to face Kaz and AJ. Doug William is annoyed he never gets to wrestle any more. So Flair swaps him in for Kaz.

The Knockouts have yet another brawl before they even get in the ring. Serena hits a cool Tiger Bomb like finisher on Velvet and the heels get the win. A bit anti-climatic after all the build up but, overall, the Knockouts do a great job tonight. There’s a good three team tag match between Generation Me, Ink Inc., and The Motor City Machineguns. The title is on the line, but the guns retain. That brings out Team 3-D to restate their challenge to the guns. They claim they are retiring. My sources tell me they just re-signed. The guns finally accept the challenge.

With Matt Morgan taking his concerns about Ken Anderson to Eric Bischoff I’m starting to think he’s turning face. His Fortune-mates AJ and Douglas are up against RVD and Raven. The heels jump Raven before RVD even comes out from the back. Rob walks to the ring at grandmother speed while Raven is getting beat down. Another of TNA’s useless refs takes forever to restore order. Even the heels aren’t getting along but Flair sneaks to ring side and takes out Raven with the title belt. RVD doesn’t see it and the heels get the win, but Williams is still upset because AJ stole his pin. It’s way too soon for Fortune to be utterly falling apart. The show needs to be about the faces banding together to take out the heels, not the heels self-destructing while the faces are fractious and ineffective.

The main event doesn’t even start until Reaction is on. Instead they waste time plugging an appearance by their talent on The Family Feud. Matt Morgan comes out before Anderson to try to talk sense into Jarrett. It goes as well as you’d expect. We haven’t seen Ken Anderson all night and I’m not sure we even will. The crowd is chanting “Morgan”.  The big man chains himself to Jarrett and they start the match with these guys. Matt’s not even in wrestling gear. Credit to TNA this turn is going really well. It’s a good match for the time they have. Morgan goes for the Carbon Footprint, but Jarrett ducks under it then crotches Morgan with the chain for the pin.  Morgan gets post-match revenge and is about to choke him out when his former Fortune allies come after him. They end up hanging Morgan with the chain, something you won’t see on WWE.

I decided to give TNA it’s own column this week because it’s one of the better shows they’ve done in a while. The heels end up on top again, but they’re taking losses. Morgan looked great for the first time in a long time. The problem with TNA is the same problem WCW had when Bischoff ran it. All the focus is on the heels and there are no strong faces to get behind. RVD is being misbooked as paranoid and petty. Joe is out. Kurt is out. Anderson didn’t show up tonight. Without turning Morgan I don’t know what they would have done. I again point out that this show had no Hulk Hogan and again it’s good. Maybe Hogan is still doing a lot backstage but having him off screen seems to help the product not harm it.

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