What did I do?

No, seriously. Was it not enough to lose a job, get another one that required driving 120 miles a day, get divorced, move closer to work, get laid off for no reason to do with my performance at work, have the house go into foreclosure because it wouldn’t sell and destroy my credit, and remain completely unemployed for four months? Was that not enough? Apparently not.

This week’s “Impact” is quite possibly the worst televised wrestling program that I have ever had the misfortune to endure. That’s saying a great deal. The awfulness was made all the more stinging by the fact that, comparatively speaking, this was supposed to be the go-home show to TNA’s “Wrestlemania.” Stop and put that in perspective. If I joined Edge’s “War on Stupidity,” this show would have been a violation of the Geneva Conventions and a crime against humanity. Observe.

Exhibit A: The show opens with Abyss kidnapping Dixie Carter. In front of lots of people. On live television. With no efforts made to stop him or save her. Yes, really. Dixie was chained in some form, but the number of people who stood by and watched as Abyss dragged the president of the company around the backstage area and to thing ring was astonishing. That Abyss carried “Janice” and made no effort to use it, which he can’t without actually murdering someone, actually did not help. Eric Bischoff runs down to make the save, and brings security guards. Cue the entrance of Sting, Kevin Nash, and “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero.

Exhibit B: The yapping about having questions and wanting answers and having cancer and whatever else can be dredged up from several decades of backstage politicking continues. They want Hogan in the ring at “Bound for Glory.” Bischoff airs footage of Hogan’s most recent back surgery and challenges them to be big men by beating up a man who has had eight back surgeries since February. Um, if he has had eight back surgeries since February, WHY HAS HE HAD SO MANY MOMENTS OF BEING THE PHYSICAL SAVIOR OF THE COMPANY??? Bischoff makes a handicapped match at the ppv between Nash, Sting, and Pope against Jeff Jarrett and Samoa Joe, both of whom have conveniently run down to save Bischoff. Bischoff tells them they can beat him up if they want to, he just doesn’t care anymore. The bad guys are left speechless in the ring.

Exhibit C: Mickie James is shown entering from the parking lot. Yes, they killed what could have been an extremely powerful debut by trying to use it as a hook at this point in the show. When asked what she is doing here, James responds that we’ll have to wait and see. She looks really good. It’s a shame that her debut was WASTED!!!

Exhibit D: A video promo from Team 3D asserts that they will have an announcement that will change tag team wrestling forever. Yeah.

Exhibit E: This is the first actual wrestling on the big live show before the biggest ppv of the year. Madison Rayne (sporting a spiffy new look with dark hair) and Tara fight Angelina Love (the current Knockouts champion) and Velvet Sky for the rights to the name and music of The Beautiful People. Love gets the pin on Tara for the victory. Like Love and Sky weren’t winning this. This match meant nothing, however. What was important was the scantily-clad Miss Tessmacher coming out with a clipboard and taking notes, then instructing “you skanks” in the ring about a four-way match meaning no alliances or BFFs. To make sure that they play by her rules, she has ordered a special guest referee. Mickie James! James makes what should have been her grand entrance, and speaks on going after whoever wins. A completely wasted debut, and I loves me some Mickie James. “HArdcore Country” Mickie James? Seriously?

Exhibit F: Mick Foley pimps his new book, and eventually gets around to mentioning his upcoming “Last Man Standing” match against Ric Flair. Flair said that he’s kiss Foley’s ass on tv if he loses. Where have we seen this before?

Exhibit G: Backstage, Dixie Carter completely freaks out over being nearly abducted by Abyss. Apparently nearly murdering the World Champion with a nail-studded club or kidnapping random crew members backstage and torturing them with chains and branding irons isn’t as big of a deal. Dixie wants Bischoff to tell Abyss that he’s fired, and to take care of it all tonight. She wants it done in the ring, so that Abyss will be as publicly humiliated as she was. Stop right there. The ultimate authority figure, the president of the company, has just been shown running to the nearest man to go fix everything and make it better because she can’t, and she is supposed to be taken seriously as a boss? This would have been fine if Dixie had already been established on tv as a firm and powerful authority figure who would never normally buckle under to fear. Establish something clearly, THEN make a change. That didn’t happen here. She acted like a new teacher who just got told off by a high school senior, and went crying to the principal for help. I want to live just long enough to see Stephanie McMahon’s head on a spike, but even I have to admit that she would NEVER allow herself to look so ineffectual as a leader on tv.

Exhibit H: This is now the second match of the live two-hour show leading in to the biggest ppv of the year. Mick Foley against Ric Flair in a “Last Man Standing” match. Why this isn’t on the actual ppv is beyond me. Foley bleeds first, and from then on, it’s like two stuck pigs on their menstrual cycles. Foley has the barbed wire baseball bat. Flair throws Foley off the ramp through a merch table. Flair tears up Foley’s book and lays out tacks. Foley backdrops Flair into said tacks. Flair low-blows Foley, then splashes him through a table. When the referee makes the ten-count, Foley can stand up slightly more than Flair, and Foley is declared the winner. Flair freaks out. Fortune beatdown ensues. EV2 run-in follows. The usual. Look, that two guys of the ages and physical conditions of these two can brawl like they did is impressive. My problem is simply that almost no one really seems to care, and that if it were that legendarily epic, put it on the ppv and make people pay for it.

Exhibit I: Bischoff comes out to fire Abyss. Rob Van Dam enters instead, threatening to quit TNA if Abyss is fired before the ppv match that they are supposed to have. Once that match is over, RVD doesn’t care what happens, but the code in the back dictates that the guys solve their own problems, and he will not be denied. This was actually good stuff from RVD, but it’s on the Exhibit list because it’s ridiculous to believe that no one else noticed that one of the biggest matches on the biggest show of the year involved those two? Come on!

Exhibit J: The new tag team of Eric Young and Orlando Jordan play at a carnival. Then they have a match against Ink, Inc. The team itself isn’t bad, as I have a weakness for “odd couple” tag teams, and these two could make it work. IF they were allowed to wrestle and IF they could just do their thing in their own way. Nope! The focus on this team is that Eric Young has brain damage after being kicked from the top turnbuckle by Suicide on “X-plosion,” and Orlando Jordan continues to be portrayed as a homophobe’s worst nightmare, groping and grinding and kissing on his opponents. It’s not edgy. It’s not controversial. It’s not garnering effective heel heat. It’s lazy, cheap, and insulting. There was more to the Goldust character, even at his most sexually explicit, than this, so the comparisons aren’t apt. The team is fine, and could be fun to watch, but the way that they are written is not. Jordan hits Moore with a low blow and pins him for the victory. Post-match, Young takes a mic and forfeits the match. Huh? He says that the ending of the match would never stand up in a court of law. Who finds this funny??? It is not entertaining! A rematch at “Bound for Glory” is teased.

Exhibit K: A video promo of Jay Lethal at his parents’ house. The camera never focuses on anything that Lethal points at.

Exhibit L: Bischoff brings Dixie papers to sign, which she does. He says that it’s a termination agreement, and it will take place at 12:01 am on Monday, October 11. We get it, already! Bischoff is part of “Them,” and Dixie just signed away control of the company. Look, this type of story only works under certain conditions. Full-company warefare, involving even the non-wrestling personnel, is only effective when the product has been well-established and defined as a particular thing, when people care passionately about the continued existence of that thing, and when all the actual wrestler-based and title-based stories tie into this big picture effectively. NONE of that is happening here! Does anyone really care in the slightest if Dixie Carter has lost control of TNA to Eric Bischoff? Doubtful. That’s why this is stupid, and will not work.

Exhibit M: The Shore. It’s Robbie E and Cookie. I’ll be the first to agree that it’s amazing that TNA has actually put up a gimmick based on something that has current 2010 pop culture relevance (as much as something as insipidly horrific and vomit-inducing as the actual “Jersey Shore” may be), but their introduction didn’t seem to get the desired response. It felt more like X-pac heat than it should have. Good idea, poor execution. That’s why it’s on the Exhibit list.

Exhibit N: The match that follows spills over into “Reaction,” and takes up a great deal of that show’s time as well. TNA is essentially pulling the “Nitro” bit of having a three-hour show with an hour to 90 minutes of material. People aren’t going to keep watching “Reaction” because TNA refuses to end matches on “Impact” anymore. Doing that works when used sparingly, but you can’t do it every time.

Exhibit O: This is it. The last one. This is the $100,000 prize “over the top rope” elimination battle royale that features every male that is booked on the “Bound for Glory” ppv. Battle royales with this many people are just too difficult to watch , and too much of a cluster mess, and the “over the top rope” elimination style works against so many of the smaller, faster, more athletic guys. Can’t it be pinfall, submission, or time out instead? A new guy enters every 45 seconds or so. The first three are Kurt Angle, Mr. Anderson, and Jeff Hardy. During the commercial, Tommy Dreamer, Chris Sabin, Max Buck, Douglas Williams, and Sabu entered. The next actual entrance that we see is Jay Lethal. Then it’s Jeff Jarrett, The Pope, Robert Roode, and Sting. Nobody has been eliminated yet. More entrances. Abyss starts eliminating everyone, almost ten guys in all. Kevin Nash, Matt Morgan, and Samoa Joe enter in order. Both members of Generation Me were eliminated, and seconds later, Alex Shelley enters. Why on Earth did he NOT stop to kick the Bucks in the head or otherwise abuse them? Chris Sabin had already been eliminated, Gen Me was laying prone right there, and the MCMG promo last week said that they’d climb over the rest of the guys in the battle royale to get even with Generation Me. So much for that. Abyss continues eliminating people, even both members of Beer Money at once. Funny moment when Roode tried to eliminate Storm, and when he failed, he claimed that it wasn’t personal, that it was all about the money. Nice! The last four are Angle, Hardy, Abyss, and Anderson. Of course. Obviously. Abyss eliminates Hardy. Despite there having been a very long time since anyone entered, and everyone involved seemed to have come out already, here comes RVD! RVD eliminates Abyss with a dive, and it’s down to Angle and Anderson. Draw your own conclusions about the ppv main event. Angle eliminates Anderson with an Olympic Slam, a move that I never understood as being an effective finisher. Angle celebrates with the $100,000 in cash that was laid out on the announce table, for some reason.

FINAL PPV THOUGHTS: No. Just no. This was terrible all around, and certainly didn’t make anyone want to buy the ppv. If I were employed with income, even I wouldn’t want to buy it, and that’s even knowing about the Motor City Machine Guns tag team title match against Generation Me. Sure, there will likely be some good matches at this show, but the promotion, hype, and build have been awful. I did a better job with my high school plays than TNA has done with their version of “Wrestlemania.” If I can find a way to watch it without paying for it (like at a friend’s house or a bar or something), I shall try to have a review of it up, but I promise nothing. I’m tired now. I give up.

Peace out,



  1. On Exhibit H, I just have one question to add that you didn't raise in your point. Why the hell was there a merch table in the middle of the arena where fans couldn't get to it anyway? I mean, yeah, the spot looked awesome with all the DVDs and shit flying up in the air, but rather than being able to suspend my disbelief, which I've actually been allowing myself to do lately, I just sat here wondering why the hell there was a random merch table in an area fans couldn't access.

    • I did notice that, but I think that I failed to mention it in the review purely because I forgot about it amongst all the other points that I wanted to make. You're right, it did look cool, but WHY???

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