Tuesday, 30 October 2012

TNA Review 28th October 2012

This episode marks the first (and knowing TNA) the last episode of Championship Thursday.  What is Championship Thursday you ask?  Think WWE's Night of champions PPV except it's on free television.  This name change or new concept or whatever you want to call it is another attempt at increasing ratings for a show that seems to be forever trapped in the 1.0 or below ratings figures.  No doubt they will eventually broadcast 'Pole dancing' thursday as another concept when this one fails.

So basically every title will be up for grabs in matches throughout the night except since this is a free show there will be no title changes it just makes sense that way.  Of course ratings can't really be helped when you have one of your major personailities currently in the midst of a sex tape scandal while you sue the largest professional wrestling company in the world amongst other outside issues this company has.  Some examples are it's bizarre fixation on hiring reality TV "stars" for huge sums of money compared to what they pay their own talent, getting in bed with a MMA company and do a tonne of publicity for them for free and getting nothing back in return, being owned by a woman who has little understanding of the business and being manipulated by two people who destroyed the second, if not, joint largest wrestling company in the world.

But this is all getting a little deep into TNA's larger issues.  This review is just for the weekly shows and how good and bad they are.  We start the night with Hogan and Jeff Hardy, two men who have massively inflated ego's and opinions of themselves.  Hogan thinks he invented professional wrestling since he has had his ass kissed for so long, while Jeff Hardy thinks he is the best wrestler in the world today and a genius artist.  Hogan tells Jeff he will be facing one of four men tonight who Hogan will choose by the end of the night.  Jeff just nods alot and gives a one word answer before leaving the office.

Here is the weird part.  Waiting in the hallway are Hardy's potential opponents who all give him the eye as he walks down the corridor.  We then hear Jeff's internal monologue, no really we do.  He flatly speaks with virtually no emotion about how each of his opponents have weaknesses that he must exploit, pointing out Anderson "being an asshole", Storm "drinking too much", Angle "Being hungry", and some shit about Bully Ray.  Why TNA decided this was a good idea is beyond me.  It comes off as a cheap attempt at some kind of TV series monologue on a cop show or something, while also being completely left field.  The thing about pro wrestling is that it's simple.  You have a group of men roided to fuck ready to knock shit out of each other for our entertainment.  The story they tell is told in the ring, while the backstage area is simply for interviews and verbal confrontations.  Here TNA have broken a barrier here, we are hearing what a wrestler is thinking as he walks away from his opponent.  Are we going to be hearing every wrestlers monologue now?  It's as dumb as Hogan seeing the Ultimate warrior in a mirror suggesting that he is seeing things, but then we all saw it, so are we crazy also?  Bischoff didn't see it, but the commentary did, sorry who is seeing what now?  This is the same thing in that we are now breaking a fourth wall.
A much better match on free tv...

X-Division Title Match - RVD VS Zema Ion

This match is what we should have had at Bound for glory.  Both men run a faster match that is more exciting, has bigger spots and more of a big match feel to it.  RVD doesn't seem tired or uncoordinated and Zema looks like a credible threat rather than a hapless villian.  Zema of course loses since RVD has only just become champion, but if they feud going into Turning Point we could see another good match from these two.  I am now more interested in knowing why they didn't run this match at BFG, maybe RVD was hurt or something I don't know, but this match was good and is a good sign for the beginning of the show.

Post match RVD gets knocked out by Matt Morgan who boots him in the head.  Joey Ryan acts like Salacious Crumb laughing at RVD for being dropped while Morgan gets a mic to let Hogan know that now we will be seeing the other side of Matt Morgan.  I predict this story will go nowhere, I mean we aren't going to be seeing Matt Morgan face off against Hogan so I have no idea who he will actually fight, but as I said with the way TNA creative handle these situations, nothing will happen.

Back in the corridor (read stage) outside of Hogans office we see Austin Aries taking the piss out of the four challengers for Hardy's belt.  He makes numerous references to Hogan's past movie roles and calls them all sycophants, casually ignoring that prior to his rapid heel turn he was kissing Hulks ass like the rest of them.  He decides to mock those who Hogan eliminates one by one, but whats funny about this is how much of a change Aries character has gone through.  When he first arrived Aries was a cocky, arrogant loud mouth who made promises.  Generally he made good on his promises because he could back up his arrogance with victories.  He was instantly likeable and got quite a following from the fans.  As he became a face in his run up to fighting Bully Ray people still liked him because he was still a heel, but he didn't take shit from anyone.  Eventually he wins the title and becomes a face people can like.  Now though he has become a petty wimp heel character, like Alberto Del Rio.  A guy you know can put on a good match, but has been told to play up the cowardly heel persona, it just doesn't fit either guy especially Aries who started out as a much better heel.

Back ringside Kazarian and Christopher Daniels hit the ring looking a little pissed.  They claim that there is a conspiracy against them led by Hogan and that he had a hand in preventing Kazarian from being ringside a couple of weeks back.  I'm not sure how that has any impact on their tag match at bound for glory, but whatever.  They then turn their attention to the new tag champs.  Kazarian goes the racial stereotype route by saying they are probably illegal aliens, While Daniels makes a veiled dig at WWE about courting Mexican wrestling fans.  What I found funny about this was how they claim Dixie is the one pandering to mexican fans when there is no evidence, so he is clearly digging WWE for branching out to the lucrative mexican market.  Kazarian produces a petition to get them a title shot which people in the front row begin to sign. 

Aries new heel persona apparently forgot how to wrestle
Not long after this Chavo and Hernandez appear and simply tell them that they will face Kaz and Daniels anytime anywhere, in fact why not next week at Open fight night.  Kaz and Daniels accept and then a fight breaks out.  I don't know what to think of TNA's handling of Chavo yet.  He came from WWE after being pretty much humiliated and buried for months on end, but he still has quite a fanbase.  He joins TNA and doesn't get into the main story with the aces and eights, instead they stick him in the pointless tag team division with virtually no one to fight.  Maybe they will add him to the main story later, but for now he just seems like another wasted investment by TNA.

Back in Hogan's office we have to suffer another of his pre-taped elimination segments.  These are done so Hogan has more time on screen each episode without actually being in the arena.  His first elmination makes me laugh.  Last week he tells Mr. Anderson that he wants him to be part of the title match opportunity, only for Hogan to eliminate him first for not wanting to kiss Hogans ass.

As Anderson leaves Aries mocks him a little and for this he gets absolutely leathered by Anderson.  But that isn't the part that makes this segment interesting, its the part near the end when you hear someone say "Cut!, Alright" and then Anderson laughs and walks toward Aries.  TNA is so fucking horrible at their job that they fail to edit out the camera crew saying "cut" and showing Anderson and Aries walking toward each other smiling.  This segment was pre-taped for fucks sake, how did they miss that?

Meanwhile in the evil lair of the aces and eights we see them drinking and playing cards.  Devon tells them that they have been ordered to never let there faces be revealed no matter what, so I guess Devon is fucked then.  How do they drink beer if they can't show their faces?  Also playing cards with those masks on much make it very difficult to spot a bluff.  Anyway they decide to pick a new victim for tonight and throw a dart into a load of pictures on the wall.  We don't see who they picked.

Television Title Match - Robbie T w/Robbie E VS Samoa Joe

This had the potential to be great.  Samoa Joe is pretty badass and Robbie T is freaking huge so really they should have had the stand out match of the night.  The early stages does show off Robbie T's strength but not long after this he gets pasted by Samoa Joe.  The ending really does look stupid, as Joe repeatedly locks in his chokehold even going so far as to have crazy eyes and screaming like a madman as he rises up for a final time to submit Robbie T. 
Does anyone else believe Bully ray?

They show a short piece of Tess speaking but all I heard was white noise because she is so dull.

We next see Hogan eliminate Bully Ray because he is too focused on fighting Devon.  You know he wouldn't have been so focused on him if you had let him fight Devon last week instead of the ancient Sting.  I am still clueless as to why Sting was given the match against Devon and not Bully Ray.

Singles Match - Mr. Anderson VS Austin Aries

Aries spends this match wrestling like an early 90's heel.  He drops knuckle dusters to trick the ref, rolls out of the ring every five seconds and barely wrestles at all.  Anderson seems oblivious to Aries repeated cheating attempts, not even informing the ref of his actions and eventually loses when Aries knocks him out cold with another pair of knuckle dusters the third of the match, where the hell was he keeping three sets?

Backstage Tara complains to Brooke about the match she had last week with ODB, while Brooke tells her to focus on her title defence tonight.  She also tells Jessie that ODB apparently has her eye on him which is odd considering how much she likes Eric Young.  I guess Eric won't be around enough to continue the story so they are changing it.

Knockouts Title Match - Tara VS Tessmacher

So one again we get another bound for glory rematch here as Tessmacher attempts to regain her title.  Jessie spends the entire match failing to be a good heel but does cost Tess the match.  The match itself is ok but nothing special.  Post match Brooke tells Jessie that he will face ODB next week at open fight night.

Once again we cut to Hogans office as Joseph Parks demands Hogan grant him his match against the aces and eights.  Hogan seems more bothered about the legal ramifications so Parks produces a document stating that TNA will not be held responsible if he gets injured.  Even with this Hogan still isn't sure.  Also when are we going to find out what it is that Parks learned all those weeks ago.

Still looking like a dick there Jeff
Bully comes down to the ring to kiss Sting's ass some more before demanding Devon come out here and face him.  Devon appears from the crowd with the rest of the aces in tow.  Devon blames his change of heart on management and how they misused him.  Bully then reveals that the reason he betrayed Devon was because he had turned his back on the fans due to being rich.  So Bully has no claimed that Devon was always the heel and he was a face the entire time he was being a heel?  What the fuck?

TNA Title Match - Kurt Angle VS Jeff Hardy

Obviously Hardy wasn't going to drop the strap in this match, but regardless they put on a long match that has both men kicking out of each others finishers multiple times before Hardy wins out.  Aries knocks out Hardy and takes the real belt for safe keeping after he announces he will face him at Turning Point (like that is a shock) and he leaves.

Backstage we finally see who the aces targeted when Kurt Angle is attacked and badly beaten, before being saved by Brisco and Garret.


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