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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 time to see how Smackdown can treat its main face like a heel and its main heel like a face. Yep, Kane is out first to beg for his daddy. And here’s Edge, on the TitanTron, hitting Bearer with a chair. This is not working on any level at all. The crowd is just dead. Bugs Bunny couldn’t make this work.

Damn, Cole is back, but Josh Matthews has replaced Todd Grisham. If I had to choose between the two I’d go with Matthews. At least a Jack Swagger/Kaval match promises to be less stupid. Kaval picks up a kayfabe leg injury early in the match so is fighting from a disadvantage through the whole match. He still does okay but can’t climb the turnbuckle to finish it. When Swagger locks on the Ankle Lock it’s over quickly. Not sure what the point was of making Kaval unable to do a lot of his flashier moves due to a fake injury, but Kaval wasn’t embarrassed here. Swagger is upset he lost the number one contendership after being struck while in the ropes. Did you know being struck in the ropes is illegal? I’ve been watching regularly since 2002 and I’ve never heard someone bring up that rule.

Far less importantly, we have the Soaring Eagle taking on Hornswoggle. Did the creative staff never learn that comedy matches are meant to be short? This is not good and goes on way too long. There’s a place for some comedy in professional wrestling. This was not comedy. Our real main event will pit Kane and Alberto Del Rio versus Edge and Rey Mysterio.

Teddy Long is right, I’d rather see Santino and Koslov on both shows than Nexus. But Chavo Guererro promises to find a partner and make their reign a short one. Speaking of titles there’s a nice long match for the IC title between champion Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston. Unfortunately it’s not a clean ending as Jack Swagger returns to attack Kofi Kingston and end the match without a decisive winner.

A Masterlock Challenge? Really? Cody Rhodes has to try to get out of the devastating Full Nelson. And yes, that’s sarcasm. Cody stalls and Masters slaps him in the face and squeezes his nose. This, of course, infuriates Rhodes who eventually tries to leave. Masters grabs him in the Masterlock, over the ropes, and pulls him into the ring. Rhodes actually passes out to the hold. I’ve never been a fan of Chris Masters and I am not sure why they even keep the guy employed. And Rhodes was in the ropes; didn’t we establish earlier that attacking someone in the ropes is illegal?

Remember a little while ago when Drew McIntyre turned his back on tag team wrestling? Well he joins Chavo to challenge for the tag championships. Do I have to take up Edge’s failed crusade against all things stupid? McIntyre is sullied by being brought into this. And I never thought I’d have to talk about a Cobra being badly hit, but Chavo does eat the pin and McIntyre beats him down afterward to try to rebuild his dying embers of heat.

As we continue to plug the Pay Per View we learn Mysterio and Del Rio’s match will be a Chairs Match. Natalya brings Beth Phoenix with her for her match with Layla. They are some of the most impressive Divas I have seen in a while. Natalya is being booked strong. So strong when she locks on the Sharpshooter and McCool tries to pull Layla to the ropes Natalya actually drags McCool into the ring. Phoenix takes care of McCool and Layla taps out quickly. I’m not sure if the belts are going back to LayCool or, if they don’t get them back, what creative will do with them.

The main event changes when Kane refuses to wrestle. That leaves Del Rio in a Handicap Match. A heel on the short side of a Handicap Match? Except Kane comes back and Edge runs from him. So now we just have a Mysterio/Del Rio match? Apparently. It’s not bad but you can tell they are holding back so the Chairs Match looks more impressive. We end with Kane finding two ladders set up on a catwalk with a wheelchair inside. Expecting another dummy Kane just tips it over. But now it’s the real Paul Bearer and Kane has to try to look shocked at what he just did. He looks dumb instead. This feud would be better suited to a cartoon than professional wrestling. And pushing a man over a catwalk seems less than PG.

Smackdown is turning into a show where young guys get to strut their stuff and learn at the same time but with a bunch of stupid crap thrown in. Get rid of the eagle. Don’t have Hornswoggle wrestle and come up with credible main event feud.

Some brief thoughts on TNA. At the last PPV Jeff Hardy retained, but AJ Styles lost the Television Title to Doug Williams. Hogan is off camera selling the injunction but Bischoff is here. And that’s great. See, Bischoff knows how to play a key role without putting all the focus on himself. Hogan doesn’t. Bischoff books Matt Morgan to face Ken Anderson (who is still not medically cleared) for #1 contendership. I thought it was for tonight but I guess not.

Brother Ray tries to prove he can win with anyone by having some no name student as the new “Devon.” Plan doesn’t work as they lose to Ink Inc., which is awesome, and Devon stops Ray from putting his student through a table. TNA tries to make the Women’s Tag Titles matter but, come on, the WWE Cruiserweight Title carries more prestige and it was retired when it was held by a leprechaun. I didn’t even know Daphne was even still employed.

Anderson tells Morgan he’ll get himself cleared for the match. Morgan does more of his usual pontificating on the danger of concussions. Douglas Williams defends his new title against Abyss. It’s a fluke win but it’s a win nonetheless. Jeff Jarrett actually beat Samoa Joe in a Submission Match at the PPV? Sure there was interference but that is horrible for Joe. Jeff Jarrett issues an open challenge to any fan who can make him tap out, with $100,000 on the line, and nearly causes a riot.

The main event is a Knockout Cage Match between Mickie James and Tara. They spend the whole night building to it, with Tara even lip-synching a song to show up Mickie. These two wrestle a match that would work just as well if they were both men. The problem is they are not impressive when compared to most male wrestlers. So when they wrestle like men they come across as mediocre. Even the money moment, Mickie hitting a Thesz Press off the top of the cage, isn’t as flashy as a lot of the moves I’ve seen off the top rope. Still, it gets Mickie the win.

There was nothing wrong with this episode but putting the focus back on the women at this stage isn’t helping. The booking of their matches seem boring. Like whoever is booking them is giving no thought to the fact these are women wrestling and may be able to use some different moves than the average male. Maybe if the cage had been used more viciously the main event would have stood out more. Or let one of the women bleed. You rarely see that. Do something to make it stand out. Because, overall this episode didn’t.

Posted on December 11th, 2010 by Lucian | Comments Off on Wrestling Recap: Smackdown & TNA Week Ending 12/11/10
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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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Can I stretch TNA into a column of its own? We’ll see. The opening promo is all about Jeff Hardy but it’s Ric Flair who opens the show. Ric is the new special guest referee for Matt Morgan’s title shot against Jeff Hardy. Flair calls out Morgan, who answers. Flair, who has never lacked for balls, wants Morgan in a match. Morgan says wrestling Flair was number one on his bucket list anyway so he’s happy. Later they add a stipulation, if Morgan wins he can pick a referee. Lose and not only does he lose his title shot he never gets another shot at Hardy again.

We get a weird mixed tag next. The Motorcity Machineguns join Jay Lethal and Velvet Sky to take on Generation Me, Robbie E and Cookie. This is a fast paced and athletic match. During it we learn Lethal gets a rematch against Robbie E at the next PPV. It takes spray to the eye and a handful of tights for the heels to pick up a win. At least TNA is letting some young guys win matches. The guns demand a rematch with Gen Me alone on Reaction. Reaction?

Jeff Jarrett is afraid of Kurt Angle despite planning to show off his MMA skills. And abusing interviewer Jeremy Borash is a cheap way to get heat. Jarrett seems to be playing the heel well again but does he really deserve this spot any more? If he wasn’t the founder would he still have a job? Jarrett has six MMA students out for an exhibition tonight. The crowd is chanting “You Sold Out” so they’re buying what Jeff is selling. Jeff displaying moves in slow motion then hurting students is pretty boring. Shout out to Ken Shamrock though. “Boring” chants take over as this goes on but it’s the kind of boring that makes you want someone to interrupt the heel rather than wanting to change the channel. It’s Samoa Joe who interrupts Jarrett makes Joe go through two of his students to get a Submission Match with Double J. Jarrett just throws students at Joe then runs away. This wasn’t terrible but Joe beating up a student is not a decent enough pay off. The six jobbers added nothing.

Raven has to beat Jeff Hardy or he gets fired. EV 2.0 is a shell of what it is was and maybe Raven should go so this storyline can die out. Sure, Tommy Dreamer can find a place on the roster and they try to give some rub to Brian Kendrick through his association with them but really, the stable has been running on fumes for a while now. Hogan comes out to mockingly say good-bye to Raven but he does nail some of his catchphrases nicely. Let’s take a moment to recall that Raven was in TNA long before EV 2.0. Raven was once the premiere babyface in the company and he’s a former TNA Champion. I don’t know why he’s leaving now but I wouldn’t blame him one bit if he’s finally hanging up the boots. It’s just a pity his good-bye match, if it turns out to really be that, was little more than a squash by Jeff Hardy. With Mick Foley off promoting his book EV 2.0 is now reduced to Stevie Richards, Tommy Dreamer and Brian Kendrick. They give Raven a good send off.

Dreamer sticks around to call out Rhyno. So why did Rhyno turn on them? Well, he too was here long before EV 2.0 and they came along and stole his spotlight. But, more important, none of them lifted a finger when his contract expired. Eric Bischoff cared about him. Dreamer calls him a sellout and a quitter and this leads to violence. Rhino easily deal with Dreamer so Van Dam can come out. But a Gore actually leaves Rhino on top. Does anyone still care about Rhino?

Do we even expect Shannon Moore to last long in a Casket Match against Abyss? He actually puts up a fight but I never even consider that he might win. The Pope magically appears in the casket and attacks before it ends and, somehow, we get a disqualification in a Casket Match. Angelina Love and Mickie James have a #1 contender’s match. It’s more competitive than just about any WWE Diva’s match.

How did a beached whale get in the Impact Zone? Oh no, it’s Brother Ray. Ray is taking credit for the 3D and I guess WWE let some trademarks drop because he actually calls it the Dudley Death Drop. Apparently Chris Sabin was the first man to ever kick out of a 3D and Ray blames Devon. But do we have to revive the old “I’m Shawn Michaels you’re Marty Jannetty” shtick? The crowd wants Devon but don’t get him. Brother Ray walks off tall tonight.

If you haven’t figured out by now that you need to DVR Reactions to see the end of Impact you need serious help. If you are still using a VCR, I pity you. They must have taped this show after the amusement park closed because the crowd is actually behind the new wrestlers not just mindlessly chanting for any old familiar face they see, regardless of if they’re a face or a heel. Ric Flair is a legend, but watching this match I had to wonder if he was any better today than Sergeant Slaughter was on RAW? There’s a really long ref bump that lets Flair cheat a bit then a Fortune run in to beat down Morgan. Doug Williams stays on the outside looking in. Then he starts his turn on Fortune as well. Williams gives Morgan time to recover and once he cleans house he hits a Carbon Footprint just in time for the ref to recover and Morgan will name the referee for his title shot. Look, Ric Flair is my favorite wrestler of all time but he didn’t look good here. Ric already had the best retirement a man can hope for and it’s really feeling like joining TNA is just tarnishing his legacy.

Reaction isn’t a bad show. It has a lot of solid interviews. But all it does is add depth to what we already know. It’s never new information. Now, tonight, we have an actual match on the show. But it’s an empty arena match and I’ve never been fond of those. The crowd matters to the feel of a match. Sometimes it helps; sometimes it hurts (see Goldberg vs. Lesnar – although that was so bad it was good on a bizarre social experiment level) but I want it there. The camera work on the match is also really crappy since this isn’t supposed to be heavily produced television. With no crowd, and little commentary, you can hear everything these guys say. There’s also no ref. It’s just a really long back and forth brawl The trash talk is very good but it’s too long for what it is.

Apparently, to see the end of Reaction you have to tape the show after it too. There was supposed to be more interviews with Raven and Hardy. If you stayed up until after midnight and watched them please leave a comment.

I gave TNA a lot of time tonight and I’m not sure it deserved it. This wasn’t a bad episode but the more recent ones have been better.

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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