QOTD #41: Your Favorite Wrestler

Today’s Question:
Who is your all-time
favorite wrestler, and why?
That question will be looked at deeper tomorrow, as my final
QOTD installment. Start the party early by writing your soliloquys to the
wrestlers you’ve come to love by scrolling to the end of this. Otherwise, stick
around to talk a little TNA.

I asked you that if this is truly the end of TNA, what’s the
one memory you’ll have of the company? With over 12 years of footage, you had
lots to choose from.
The Jessexpress: A midget wanking in a trashcan
Wasn’t filling enough, Jess?
dffggtyrtwe: just as Leonard answered I am taken by
surprise that a single mom can make $7907 in a few weeks on the internet .
check my source
Well dffggtyrtwe, I’ll make sure that Vickie Guerrero is
aware of yours and Leonard’s money making scheme. Thank you for your valid
contribution.
Garth Holmberg, C.C.:
Missed Opportunities. TNA had 12
years to hook fans, but found new ways to muck things up at every possible
turn. Instead of going in the direction of being an alternative product to WWE,
they slowly regressed into being a painfully mediocre, watered-down version of
WWE, or if you want to get really nasty, later year versions of WCW. Poor
management and nearly non-existent advertisement campaigns have almost made
their decade plus history completely irrelevant.
White Thunder: The 2003 Super X Cup weekly PPV show was
just classic. Juvi was in the zone, and I thought for sure Teddy Hart was going
to star in the promotion after this. One of my all time favorite wrestling
shows, a perfect tournament. Plus I think the show ended with a War Games style
cage match.
This was right in the middle of my TNA recapping heyday.
The War Games itself was pretty awful, but holy hell what a show Juventud
Guerrera put on that night. I was so bloody upset that Sabin, who I LOVED,
wound up winning this thing – that’s how strong Juvi was performing at this
stage.
MyronB: The Scott D’Amore and Dutch Mantell booked
Knockout Division. When they booked the division they had compelling
storylines, good matches, and interesting characters. The Gail Kim-Awesome Kong
feud, the Beautiful People bullying Roxie LaRue, ODB being outrageous. Even
when the rest of the roster was involved in badly booked nonsense you could always
count on the Knockouts to be entertaining. Of course once Vince Russo started
booking the division and it got integrated into the rest of the TNA booking it
became really bad, really quickly.
I have a friend who couldn’t stand the Awesome Kong era,
because he felt it was FAT WOMAN SQUASH, one after another. I loved it, because
I couldn’t remember the last time we had a truly dominant champ of any division
who you believed could NOT be beaten. And lord knows she could wrestle. That’s
what made the Gail Kim win so awesome, finally someone was able to outperform
the unstoppable force. In fact, that’s straight up wrestling in a nutshell.
Perfect.
Chris Hirsch: That they gave their company the acronym
most closely associated with tits and ass.
Numerous posters would make this point, but Chris was the
first. Yes, their initial concept was more than a little short sighted. It’ll
be called TITS N ASS, and feature WOMEN IN CAGES, WRESTLING PENISES, and 600
POUNDS OF CHEEX. Is it a wonder they were nearly dead by week 10?
Darren X: TNA Had as close of a chance at re-creating
the Goldberg-like phenomenon that they needed: Monty Brown….and they dropped
the ball by turning him into a heel gopher for guess who? Which in a sense goes
back to #1: Jeff Jarrett has to be the centerpiece of everything. Monty Brown –
if used correctly – could have been big enough to singlehandedly save the
company…..and they screwed it up, and he left to become a little-used bit
player in WWE and left the business entirely. It’s a shame really. The guy was
a monster and should have been allowed to be just that, not to mention he had
the “look” and possibly could have went more mainstream. TNA has
screwed up other ways (releasing Jay Lethal, not pushing the X-Division, incredibly
botching the whole Pacman Jones thing, Vince Russo….period) but that is #1.
We’ve covered this at least once before, but the lost
opportunity with Monty Brown was unforgivable. The first time I turned off TNA
was in the first (forgotten!) Hulk Hogan era, where suddenly the likes of Jim
Duggan, Buff Bagwell, and Lex Luger were being given prominent roles. The
second time was after the Monty Brown heel turn, that just sapped the life out
of the entire babyface side of the company, and once again put all the
attention on Jeff Jarrett. I never fully came back after that one.
Ryan Yoder: The one negative I will think of is how
Samoa Joe never got to the level he could have. I’m still foggy on the details,
but I just remember he was going to be the top monster badass heel, and then he
was just some guy.
Joe was hot off his 2 year run as ROH champion, and was
putting on performances the likes of which mainstream fans had never seen. Joe’s
shelf life was obviously limited due to his size, but the fact they didn’t just
go balls to the wall and put this guy directly on top of things until Angle’s
arrival was another obvious gaffe. By the time he WOULD eventually get anointed
the champion, a lot of the mystique of Joe was gone. To compare Joe today to
who he was in 2005 isn’t even possible. They are completely different
wrestlers.
The Fuj: Elix Skipper walking the cage.
Sexy choice, Fuj. That was straight up one of the ballsiest
things you’ll ever see done inside a professional wrestling ring. If he slips,
it’s all for naught, and lord knows it’s hard enough to concentrate on
something like that without the added pressure of performing in front of a
crowd. Great spot.
Q. Ross: Maybe I’m getting too deep here, but I think
about all of the arrogance and contempt they rolled up. They were arrogant enough
to blow off Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. They were arrogant enough to drive Jeff
Jarrett off. They were arrogant enough to even lie to the same people who have
been spending the past four years trying to prop them up. I know lying is a
part of business, but the fact they never even took the steps to make sure they
didn’t get caught is something else. Contempt? Where do we start? Contempt for
the fans by depicting them as the most undesirable losers whenever they appear
on camera, having Desmond Wolfe get destroyed after winning the #1 Contender
poll, and then letting Jeff Hardy wrestle when he was in no condition. Contempt
for the people who work there, whether they are on screen or off: Jesse
Sorensen, any of the women (Awesome Kong and Daffney in particular), AJ Styles,
their production crew, Rob Terry. Contempt for the realities of the business
today. The fact I associate them with those two things instead of their
talented roster is not something I take glee in.
It speaks volumes about his burial that I have completely
forgotten about Desmond Wolfe. You make some excellent points here about where
the company went wrong. They never truly found their direction, because like
WCW in the past, there was always tons of different people in charge, and their
later years were spent placating the egos of the bigger stars instead of doing
the right thing. I’m still wondering if at nearly 40 years old, AJ Styles will
ever shake off the table of being “The Future” of TNA.
Chris B: X-Division. When I first started getting to
watch it in ’04 that is what always stood out. You heard names like AJ Styles,
Daniels, Low Ki, Amazing Red, Samoa Joe, etc etc on the Internet but I never
really saw them wrestle. At its height – which for me was the AJ-Joe-Daniels
matches from 06 (right?) it was as good as wrestling got.
The X Division was such a brilliant concept that they nearly
killed in year 1. Kid Kash’s never ending run of the title, and subsequent
nearly DROPPING of that belt to Trinity would have finished it quick.
Thankfully, a solid run of Sabin / Michael Shane / Kazarian brought it back to
life, and it held on for years, right through the absolutely sickening
Joe/AJ/Daniels series you mentioned above. Had they continued to promote this
as a main event title for a specific breed of wrestlers (much like UFC will
promote any of their titles as a main event title), they could have run that on
forever.
Piperfan01: The very first thing I associate with TNA?
The very first thing is Jeff Jarrett. Which is unfortunate because he never had
any favor with me and that wasn’t ever gonna change.
I don’t even know where to start where Jeff Jarrett is
concerned. From week 1, literally, it was the Jeff Jarrett show whether we
liked it or not. Because of his favor in WCW through the end of the company,
Jarrett was largely considered the best wrestler on the indy scene available,
and as TNA owner, he could pimp himself to no end. In the first show, Jarrett
was featured in every other segment. And it didn’t stop until he got the belt
that December. He was put in insipid feuds with folks like Joe Legend, and a
directionless Chris Daniels, which he used to idle himself when he wasn’t
holding the belt. He booked himself against Hulk Hogan as some sort of Bash At
The Beach 2000 Wet Dream or something. He looked to be moving away, only to
swerve us and take the belt back from Rhino at a HOUSE SHOW of all places. We’ve
mentioned the Monty Brown fiasco. He called himself “PLANET JARRETT”, and with
the way TNA was booked for its first 4 years, it was a well deserved nickname.
Devin Harris: in the beginning, I thought it might be a
good alternative to the WWE. Throughout the years I have tried giving it a
chance but I could never get into it. So, I guess my overall impression is that
it never had a clear cut direction. If you want me to join you on a journey
then at least give me some idea of where you are taking me. TNA could never
tell me cause they never figured it out themselves. Shame though. Could have
really been a contender.
joedust: They knew exactly what they needed to do to
be different (X-Division and Tag Teams) and instead de-emphasized those things
to become a second rate cheap impersenation of the WWE.
It’s almost laughable. James Storm was the perfect face for
everything you’ve just described. He could wrestle any style, with anyone. He
was making hay 3 years ago, and since then has done … what? A series of
mid-card feuds? This is a guy who made himself a superstar with Chris Harris
early, then left without a buddy he did it again with Bobby Roode. Meanwhile,
Eric Young has been completely rejected as any kind of serious player, so
naturally he was rewarded with a World Title run he didn’t deserve, and was
featured prominently as the face of the company because he bore a slight
resemblance to Daniel Bryan. Kudos to you, TNA.
TheConvictor: The title match at Victory Road in 2011 when
a clearly disgusted Sting had to pin an inebriated Jeff Hardy in less than 3
minutes. The pre-match stuff (Hardy’s entrance, Bischoff coming down to relay
last minute instructions and Hardy trying to figure out where to throw his
T-Shirt) lasted nearly three-times as long as the actual match. As for the fans
that just paid their hard earned money to watch the match – sorry, but you’re
out of luck! They enabled a troubled figure like Hardy solely because he had
been a name in WWE (and refused to fire him after he pulled this crap). When it
was clear he wasn’t going to be able to work that day, they still sent him out
there, knowing he could hurt himself or Sting (luckily they called the
audible). That, in a nutshell, summed up TNA.
Irresponsibility at its finest. And there’s your difference.
WWE realized that Kurt Angle was a liability and let him go. TNA hired him a
month later, and happily had him wrestling a more dangerous style than ever,
ignoring his growing substance abuse problem.
thebraziliankid: AJ Styles. He was the guy that made me watch
TNA in first place. I might be wrong but he was the Spirit of TNA, they
should’ve made him The guy of TNA, he was someone that crowd loved and gave to
us TNA’s best matches.
Don’t give up! He’s still THE FUTURE of TNA! Even from the
sidelines of New Japan!
Marv Cresto: The Joseph Park/Abyss angle was easily some
of the best character work in any promotion in the last fifteen or twenty
years. The angles surrounding that character arc were crummy as usual but the
character by itself was tremendous stuff.
In the WWE, Glen Jacobs was unable to get over, wasn’t
particularly good looking or charismatic, so they stuck him under a mask and
called him Kane. Next thing you know he’s the main eventer they’d always hoped
he’d be. Over in TNA, Kid Kash finds a “monster” locked in a cage and names him
Abyss. He was an NWA Wildside cast-off, who’d worked a little with AJ Styles.
The thing was though … this guy was completely oozing charisma and we had NO
idea for YEARS because he was stuck under the mask for the first decade of his
wrestling career on the main stage! Joseph Park is the best pure emoter since
Steven Regal in mid-90’s WCW. Talk about a mis-cast!
Jared Bellow: The red cage from their opening Monday Night
War show. So much illogic and failure packed into one neat little package.
Quintessential TNA.
I went into that night with so much hope. With WWE stacking
the deck via Bret Hart, I figured TNA was going to go balls out. But … what the
hell was with that cage? What human being did they believe was going to be able
to climb at a near horizontal angle, and THEN propel themselves over and out?
It was failure from the start of that show, on what should have been their
defining night. Truthfully … it probably was.
LScisco: I’ll remember TNA for killing Chris Candido.
I’m gonna say that’s a little presumptuous, and a lot harsh.
Vintage: Having Aces & Eights pretty much kill
their entire roster for well over a year, unless it was against Hulk Hogan and
Sting, in which case they couldn’t help but fall like dominoes. That whole
angle was abysmal, right down to the fact that the roster cuts pretty much
murdered any chance at a satisfying payoff.
If you ever saw Sid’s push in the summer of 1999, it was the
same deal in WCW. He flattened EVERYONE in his path, unless he was standing toe
to toe with … well, Hogan, Sting, or Goldberg. Full-cycle.
Timeandtherani: Val Venis pinning Daniels on the first
Bischoff/Hogan PPV and the crowd in the front row turning their backs on the
show I’ll always remember
I actually only picked this comment to compliment the poster
on their fine name choice. I haven’t watched Doctor Who since the reboot, but I
was a big fan of Sylvester McCoy’s doctor through the late 80’s.
Andy PG: Dixie Carter’s unbelievable combination of
unawareness and ego. You are the money. Just keep writing off the losses and
let the wrestling people do the wrestling.
I never thought Dixie would make herself a main character,
but then, never doubt the power of ego where wrestling is concerned. I figured
if ANYONE would be able to avoid the mistakes of Dusty Rhodes, Vince Russo,
Verne Gagne, and leave themselves out of the shows, the “has nothing to do with
wrestling” Dixie Carter would be it. Nope. She’s been the owner we root for.
The owner we hate. Can she now be the owner who sells? Please?
Adam “Colorado”
Curry:
I’m tempted to go with TNA
fucking EVERYTHING up in spectacular fashion, right down to not even coming up
with a decent name. But my lasting memory is watching one of the greatest
matches I’ve ever seen in Styles/Daniels at Destination X 2012… and the crowd
was dead silent because it was literally like the 150th match between the two
in that building alone so no one gave a fuck, rightfully so.
I’m pretty sure that feud officially jumped the shark the
minute Chris Daniels pulled out a screwdriver and threatened to kill AJ Styles
on PPV. Where else do you go from there?
WCW1987: I refuse to participate in this discussion
because the first part of the question suggests that TNA has folded.
This man lives ON Planet Jarrett.
VadersBuffetShit:
The REVERSE Battle Royal. People actually
got paid to come up with this stuff!
How dare you bring this up but ignore the Dupp Cup. Or the
Hard 10 Tournament.
Riraho: Paparazzi Productions. Nash: They dont watch
porno tapes…what are they aliens?!
I was a huge, huge fan of everything Kevin Nash did with
Alex Shelley. The PCS contest remains Youtube gold.
Ripner Cabbit: The fact that they would give Scott Steiner
a live Mic so often. There was a time period the main draw of TNA was seeing
what Steiner would do and day that week. The percentages promos is still one of
the unintentionally funniest things in the world.
VintageECW: That string of shows early on with Russo
where they had a surprise return every single week. I nearly died when Ahmed
Johnson returned.
There it is. I am absolutely with you VintageECW. During the
first run of shows of TNA, they went through this strange periods where every
week a random “big” name would return. Vader. The Harris Brothers. Ahmed
Johnson. Paul Bearer. There was no rhyme or reason for it, they would be there,
sometimes wrestle, sometimes not, and from a storyline perspective it made no
sense.
One night in particular will always stand out to me – and this
screams “TNA” more than anything else they would ever wind up doing. With an
evil goatee, and a Hawaiian shirt, a man with a lot of rage came storming on to
the TNA set, and had a lot to say to his old broadcast colleague. What was the
POINT of this heel turn? Why was this on PPV? Why was it … impossible to look
away from it? Could it be the GREATEST night in the history of sports? Could
this be settled with a refreshing can of Surge?
This is as TNA as TNA gets. Enjoy it … and enjoy your Friday
too as we hit the weekend. I’ll be back tomorrow to wrap up QOTD. Take care.