BFG 2012

Goddamn, what a gigantic difference between wrestling quality and booking quality on this otherwise awesome show.  I didn't feel like ranting tonight because this seemed more like the "sit back and enjoy" type of show, but here's the quick rundown:

  1. RVD beats Zema Ion to put him out of his misery in a nothing match.  Whatever, it's something new for the belt.  **  Crowd was super hot and made it a very fun opener, though.
  2. Joe beats Magnus to retain in a short but entertaining match where I think the crowd helped it out a lot.  Magnus has got SOMETHING and I kind of think they should have had him go over.  Maybe he'll beat RVD for the X title, I dunno.  Fast-paced and entertaining, although there wasn't really any significant offense from Magnus before Joe got his pair of chokes and made him tap.  **1/2  
  3. James Storm beats Bobby Roode in a bloody street fight, the kind of crazy over the top brawl that's fine to do once a year but used to get burned out by Vince Russo.  As noted in the live thread, I LOVED this match.  I was hanging on the near-falls and emotion, cheering for Storm finally kicking Roode's ass once and for all, and it had the perfect finish with Storm smashing the beer bottle on his head and then finishing him with the superkick into the tacks.  FEUD OVER.  Now I never want to see them wrestle again.  Although what's the point of a special enforcer in a match with no rules?  ****1/2  However, this was DEATH to follow by the next few matches.  
  4. Joey Ryan beats Al Snow to win his contract.  Well, duh.  Ryan looked competent here and obviously Snow isn't the same guy he was 15 years ago or even 10, but fans didn't really know what to do with Ryan's act and were mainly into the Head chants.  Matt Morgan returns here instead of being saved for the A&8s angle for some reason.  Well hey, they could always use a sleazy little guy teaming with a big muscle head act, couldn't they?  *1/2  
  5. Chavo & Hernandez win the tag titles over Kazarian & Daniels and AJ & Angle.  What a strange choice of team to go over.  They had already dominated the singles matches leading up to the show and the champs were killing it week after week and there was literally no reason to change the belts here.  Kaz took some SICK bumps, one in particular to the outside that I thought was going to end his night, and the ending felt pretty flat with the Border Toss into the frog splash for the clean win.  The action leading up to it was INSANE, however, and this would have been a show-stealing classic on the last couple of shows.  ****  
  6. Tara beats Tessmacher clean with the Widow's Peak to win the Knockouts title.  Not much to this one, and the big reveal of her "Hollywood boyfriend" was the first of two big letdowns tonight.  At least it wasn't Eric Young, I guess, although that would have had funnier storyline possibilities.  Really, Frank Eudy from this season's Big Brother would have been the guy to throw money at, but I don't think he wants anything to do with wrestling, whereas Jesse Godderz has been unabashedly trying to make it to WWE since his season of the show.  He's a good slimeball heel, although I don't think anyone knows who he is yet.  Trust me, you'll hate him soon enough if you didn't watch him on the show.  Match was like *1/2.
  7. The Aces & 0.8s (tm Meltzer) beat Sting & Bully Ray in a match where amazingly NO ONE TURNED ON ANYONE.  Good enough silly brawling tag match that didn't really overstay its welcome, unlike the angle itself.  Joseph Park gets his big hero spot in and then REVEREND DEVON is revealed as the leader after Hulk Hogan takes out 17 guys with one punch each.  Honestly, the payoff kind of makes sense within the internal logic of the angle, but this wasn't the type of reveal where you wanted fans to be chanting "THE PAYOFF KIND OF MAKES SENSE WITHIN THE INTERNAL LOGIC OF THE ANGLE!", you know?  Actually, I'd like to see them try that.  I think it was Drew Gallows & Mike Knox working the match tonight, and I don't see why they didn't just unmask everyone and be done with it.  **  
  8. Jeff Harvey beats Austin Aries to win another title that he can pawn for amphetamines.  The match was awesome, but why would you build the promotion around a former drug addict with a jail record who's openly talking about leaving the company?!?  Like, does he need to violate a restraining order against his ex and get arrested five times in the same week for this company to take the hint that MAYBE this isn't the guy who should be on top?  Hearing the reaction I would have called an audible and had Aries beat him with that brainbuster, but this isn't a company that's about calling audibles unless it's to screw over James Storm and/or Bobby Roode.  Hardy can still work at least, but why turn Aries heel on the show before the PPV and then immediately blow off his heat by beating him?  I just do not get this at all.  ****1/2  
So yeah, HUGE thumbs up for the wrestling, no question.  But I do not feel good about the direction of the company after tonight.  Dixie is blinded by Hulk and Hardy and reality TV stars and it's showing in the ratings now.  Fingers crossed that this leads somewhere better on Thursday.

Beautiful Bobby In Trouble

Edit to add from the Observer site:

“Bobby Eaton of the Hall of Fame Midnight Express tag team is currently hospitalized in Arkansas.  He is suffering from pneumonia and has already had heart issues.  The report we had is that he had a bad week but is improving and is hoping to be released in a few days.”

Well that’s less bad at least.  

Bound For Glory Thread

Who will be revealed in Aces and Eights

Fwd: TNA BFG interviews plug

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: "Benjamin Leatherman" Hello Scott, I'm a journalist in Phoenix, Arizona who got a chance to interview a few TNA wrestlers (Bully Ray, Jeff Hardy, and Sting) who were promoting Bound for Glory, which is taking place here this weekend. They provided some interesting — and amusing — answers, including Sting, who poked fun at the Aces and 8's kidnapping angle, and Bully, who pulled an Arn Anderson and stayed in character the whole time. I put a lot of work into preparation and transcription for the interviews and I'm hoping you could plug them on your, which I'm a huge fan of.
Thanks, Benjamin Leatherman
Clubs Editor
Phoenix New Times


Hey Scott, long-time first time etc,

I was a big fan of the early ECW work of Matt Borne as Borne Again.
The concept of corporate gimmickry breaking a man was fascinating, but
unfortunately Matt Borne was too perfect for the role.  Yay substance

Anyway, it seems to me WWE are so far dropping the ball on Brodus
Clay.  I'm just assuming that they'll continue to do so and think
'ReClay', a disheveled Funkasaurus would be a captivating heel.  Give
him some ugly dancing girls, bad pyro effects and a hellacious man
streak and I think he could really do something.

I think they've basically given up on Brodus now because they ran out of ideas past "Come out and dance and squash dudes" and couldn't find the ??? to get them to "Profit".  It kind of speaks to the danger of relying on a win streak to get someone over and then beating them early on, because once they don't have that streak anymore, creative runs out of ideas.  Either you gotta go all the way like Ryback and just bite the bullet with a guy like Clay, or else let him start having normal feuds and see what happens.  The weird sideshow thing they chose to do with him instead, before they seemingly got bored with him, helps no one.  

Seminar on the WWE Summer of Punk

Hi Scott,

Just came across an interesting news blurb on 411:

The "Ignite Baltimore" speaking event will have a presentation on CM Punk's "Summer of Punk" WWE storyline from last year by Michael Special. Tickets are sold out, but people in the waiting list usually get in. You can find more details here (

Here's a synopsis: Despite a reputation for being "fake", the complex and politically charged world of professional wrestling routinely blurs the line between fiction and reality, sometimes with spectacular consequences. In June 2011 the talented but underutilized WWE wrestler CM Punk was weeks away from the expiration of his contract. Tired of his company's cartoonish presentation of wrestling, with a live microphone and nothing left to lose, Punk abandoned his script. He broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the audience, castigating WWE's creative direction, its management and even wishing death upon its CEO. A panicked production room cut his feed. Punk was suspended.

The event ignited a firestorm of support from fans who endorsed Punk's "real life" vision of wrestling, leaving WWE with a catch-22 – stick to the "story" and alienate a large, vocal portion of their fan base or acknowledge the legitimacy of Punk's claims and spark a very real battle for the soul of the sport itself.

Interesting, although the whole thing was totally scripted and Punk had already verbally agreed to a new contract by the time they "cut off his mic".  

October Countdown: WWF In Your House 11, Buried Alive

The SK Retro Rant for In Your House: Buried Alive. (This was a historic show for me personally, as it marked the first time I met with a couple of the Edmonton-based people I knew off RSPW for a PPV.  It was there that I first met my future roommate and best man at my wedding, and also the first time we watched a PPV by less than honest means.  But not the last!  Oooh, man, not the last.)  – Boredom sucks. Let’s rant. – Live from Indianapolis, Indiana. – Your hosts are Vince, King & EVIL JIM ROSS! – Opening match: Steve Austin v. HHH. Five years ago, this was hardly a money match, as Austin was supposed to be finishing off Jobbio Vega for good here, but injuries to Vega prevented that and HHH took his place. (That’s a weird dynamic for 1996.  Why put another heel in there with Austin?)  Austin’s pre-match promo is awesome (for 1996), as he cusses everyone out and says that those who have a problem with his language can kiss his ass. That’s why he was the coolest guy in wrestling at that point. (Cooler than Kevin Nash?  I find that hard to believe!  Nash says so!)  Jim Ross’ microphone has mysterious transmission problems, most notably when he’s bitching out McMahon for firing him those other times. It’s a running gag throughout the match and it’s a damn funny one. HHH gets an armdrag to start and hits the FORMAL BOW OF DOOM, which is 1/5 of his offense at the time right there. Hunter bails and jaws with some fans at ringside, and stalls. Back in, Austin flips him off and works a headlock. JR, meanwhile, claims full responsibility for bringing Bret Hart back to the WWF as Vince rolls his eyes. Hunter bails and stalls. Slapfest and Hunter bails again. Back in for a criss-cross and Austin hits a pair of elbows for two and works an armbar. Austin goes to a wristlock, which Ross sarcastically helps Vince out with calling. You haven’t LIVED until you’ve heard Jim Ross going “That’s called a wristlock, Vince” in his most patronizing voice. (And now he gets to kiss the boss’ ass on TV, figuratively and sometimes literally.)  HHH goes low as Lawler tries to defuse the situation by calling THAT, but Austin clotheslines HHH for two and he works the arm again. HHH knees out and takes over, pounding Austin in the corner. Austin rallies, but gets backdropped out of the corner. Hunter suplexes him and hits a kneedrop for two. Backdrop suplex gets two and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Sleeper, reversed by Austin, reversed again by HHH, but Austin counters with a jawbreaker for two. See, now THAT’S how to do that spot in a fresh way without just doing the stupid sleeper/reversal bit. Stungun and the FU Elbow get two. HHH USES THE KNEE to come back and comes off the 2nd rope with (what else) a kneedrop for two. Then one of those surreal moments hits as Lawler tries to stir the pot at ringside by egging JR on with “Don’t you just HATE it when Vince goes ‘1-2-he-got-him-no-he-didn’t?”, drawing ominous silence from Vince. Too bad that Ramon & Diesel Mark II was such a stupid idea, because the bickering announcer bit was hilarious.  (Less so today, although mainly because Vince is scripting all the HILARIOUS lines and feeding them from backstage.)  Double KO in the ring, and Mr. Perfect struts out to a big pop. He was feuding with HHH at the time, and he continues his MO from that time by stealing HHH’s valet. Austin jumps Hunter, and then gets in Hennig’s face for good measure. HHH uses the distraction to take over again, but stops mid-Pedigree to chase after his wayward valet. Austin follows, but gets suplexed on the floor. Pedigree attempt out there is reversed into a catapult that sends HHH into the ringpost, and back in we go for a Stunner (with no KICK or WHAM) that gets the pin at 15:28. For those keeping track, this was the match that indicated once and for all that Austin was being groomed for the main event. ***1/4 – WWF World tag title: Owen Hart & British Bulldog v. The Smoking Gunns. Poor Billy and Bart were having problems, what with Sunny dumping Billy and all, and this actually ended up being their last match on PPV.  (I wonder if Sunny kept coming to Billy’s house to “get her stuff back” even after the breakup, until police had to arrest her and set bail at $100,000?) I’m convinced that cutting their hair and shaving their porn-star moustaches off was the deathblow to the team, but maybe I’m alone in that feeling. Billy grabs a headlock, frustrating Owen. Owen tries his alley-oop wristlock counter, but gets clotheslined. Billy goes up, but misses and the champs double-team him into oblivion. Bulldog misses a blind charge and the Gunns work him over. Bart powerslams him, but misses a bodypress. Bulldog hits his own for two. Owen comes in with a missile dropkick for two, and Bart is YOUR cowboy-in-peril. Bulldog literally whips Bart from pillar-to-post. Owen gets a legdrop for two. Billy does some showboating on the apron, and Bart accidentally collides with him on an irish whip. DISSENTION! The Gunns cheapshot Owen and hit a double legsweep for two. Billy gets a neckbreaker but won’t cover. Bart hits his own for two. The Gunns get their own version of Poetry in Motion and set up for the Sidewinder, but Bulldog casually sneaks in, pushes Owen out of the way, and Owen hits the stunned Bart with a leg lariat for the pin at 9:13. Decent little tag match, but the lack of clear heel-face lines hurt the heat. **1/4  (Two heel-heel matches to start the show.  Weird.)  – JR storms out of the broadcast position and hits the ring for some random bitterness, absolutely letting loose on Vince McMahon and claiming total credit for bringing Bret back. He finishes with a flurry, calling Vince an egomaniac who talks out of both sides of his mouth, and then departs.  (By contrast, JR was someone who talked out…you know what, never mind.)  – Earlier tonight, Ahmed Johnson punked out Faarooq, resulting in him taking a month off and resurfacing as the leader of the Nation of Domination. Faarooq thus loses his rematch from the I-C title tournament finals and is replaced by Goldust. – Intercontinental title match: “Wildman” Marc Mero v. Goldust. (This match would have had funnier undertones if Mero was still doing the Johnny B. Badd gimmick.  Although I don’t recall much interaction from these two in WCW.)  Goldust fondles Mero to start and pounds him. Mero comes back and works the arm energetically. Goldust nails him, but gets speared and backdropped, so he bails. Mero follows him out with the somersault plancha, then tosses him back in for a slingshot legdrop that gets two. He goes up, but Goldust pulls him down with a chokeslam and tosses him. Back in, lariat gets two. Mero runs into a knee and Goldust gets two. Criss-cross leads to a Mero bodypress for two, but Goldust hits a lariat and stops mid-match to cut a promo about the usual “kissing everyone in the audience” nonsense. Mero comes back with a backdrop suplex, and the Merosault gets two. Goldust tries the Curtain Call, which is reversed to a rollup for two. He dumps Mero, drawing color commentator Mr. Perfect over. Hunter of course joins us as well, jawing with Perfect to keep him from helping Mero. Back in, Mero finishes with the samoan drop and Shooting Star Press at 11:36. I tremble with disbelief at how good Mero was and how not-good he became mere months after this era. **1/4 – Sid v. Vader. Winner here gets the shot at Shawn Michaels for Survivor Series. Oops, gave away the winner. Slugfest to start, won by Sid. Legdrop gets two. Vader nails and pounds him in the corner, and knocks him down with a clothesline. Avalanche and Sid bails. He sells a back injury on the floor for what seems like an excessively long time, but it might just be the usual time-space dilation that occurs when watching a Sid match, which renders each minute into an hour. Sid tries a sunset flip in, but gets a butt in the face. Vader hits a pair of short-arm clotheslines, but Sid suplexes him. Vader misses a blind charge and Sid goes upstairs(!), but Vader catches him and hits a Big Fat Splash for two. Another one, but he picks Sid up at two. That’s never smart. Rule #3 of wrestling: Don’t EVER pick the babyface up at two. Pump splash hits knee, and Sid comes back with a slam. Big boot leads to the powerbomb, but Vader goes low to block and tries his own. That doesn’t work either, and Sid chokeslams him for the pin at 7:58. Sid wasn’t looking too cooperative there for whatever reason. *  (Do you know how FUCKING OLD it makes me feel when we’re now watching the KIDS of these two on TV?  This show was only from the 90s, man!   The Attitude Era isn’t supposed to be something that the previous generation watched.  What the hell happened?)  – Buried Alive: Undertaker v. Mankind. (Man, if Dewey ever makes his professional debut, I’ll just crawl into my mausoleum and end it all for good, because it will obviously signal that I’m too old to continue.)  Slugfest to start, won by Mankind. Taker comes back, so Mankind bails…and gets kicked in the head and into the railing. Taker goes up top and follows him out with a tope(!). Air Callaway! They fight down the aisle and over to the grave, where a shovel gives Mankind the upper hand. Both guys roll down the hill and head back to the ring. Taker pounds on him and Mankind bails again. Taker follows and chokes him down with a cable, and they head into the crowd. UT then tosses him over the railing, and follows with a dive over the railing himself, onto Mankind! It’s LUCHATAKER tonight, kids. Back in, Taker keeps pounding poor Mick. Ropewalk, but Paul Bearer crotches him. Choking follows. Taker fights back, but Bearer slips Mankind an international object, and he makes good use of it. Taker comes out of the corner with an elbow and takes over with the object. Flying lariat and legdrop put Mankind down. He stops to chase Paul, but gets decked with a chairshot. They fight back to the grave, where Mankind beats him down and puts him into the hole. UT rises from the dirt and pulls Mankind in with him, but a well-timed DIRTBALL OF DEATH blinds UT. He manages to hiptoss Mankind off the dirt mound and they head back to the ring. Mankind gets a pulling piledriver and pulls some of his hair out. Taker comes back, but misses an elbowdrop and Mick DDTs him on the chair, then rocks out with the urn. Zombie situp and UT chairshots Mankind and a legdrops a chair on his face. Mankind retreats to the apron, and necksnaps Taker on the top rope. Piledriver attempt on the floor is reversed, and UT falls backwards, with Mick hanging upside-down on his back, right into the stairs. SICK. UT brings the stairs with him back in the ring and blasts Mankind with them. It’s like playing No Mercy. Tombstone kills Mankind dead, and Taker carries him to the grave on his back. Mankind suddenly slaps on the Mandible Claw, but Taker breaks and chokeslams him into the grave, and buries him alive at 18:29. The gimmick pretty much ruined the match, as the finish was too anticlimactic thanks to Taker having to carry Mick to the grave, but it was an effective brawl otherwise. ***1/2  (There you go, the one and only good Buried Alive match, ever.)  – Suddenly, Terry Gordy, as the Executioner, attacks out of nowhere with a shovel and the heels proceed to burying our hero. Then, amazingly, an electrical storm breaks out, and it just happens to be localized inside Market Square Arena, as the lights go on and off and Undertaker escapes through the trapdoor. Er, I mean, moves onto the next spiritual plane. A bunch of heels come down to help with the shovelling, and after a brisk 10 minute dirt-piling session, the grave is maybe ¾ of the way full. Well, no one ever accused the average heel of being a perfectionist (with one notable exception), so that’s good enough for them and they leave. BUT WAIT! After Gordy sticks a shovel into the symbolic grave, a LIGHTNING BOLT strikes from the ceiling, and Undertaker’s gloved hand pops up through the grave. Geez, even in DEATH the guy has to get one last babyface comeback. Undertaker would of course be resurrected just in time for the next PPV, with spiffy new threads and a more realistic character, and I’m not sure what happened to that Mankind guy. The Bottom Line: I don’t remember liking this show originally, but it’s a surprisingly solid outing from the WWF at a time when the only solids being produced by them were of the fecal variety. I could live without Sid v. Vader, but everything else is good->really good and the finishes are all clean, so no complaints here. I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to track it down outside of the novelty of the opening match, but if you’ve got it, it’s worth a looksee. Mildly recommended.

ROH TV Review 10.7.12

by Adam Curry ROH TV 10-7-12 Whit Ryan Murphy working trough some personal issues I’ll be taking over the ROH TV rants for a little while. Seeing as how this is just a temporary gig I won’t bother going through my whole backstory of wrestling fandom, most BofD regulars probably know me by now anyway. So let’s just get to it. ROH TV airs on Sunday night in my market, so this is last week’s show, this week’s will be up sometime Monday. Survival of the Fittest Qualifier: Adam Cole vs. Tadarius Thomas. The Survival of the Fittest is a kind of mini tournament, with 6 qualifying matches, the winners advance to a 6-man match to crown the champ, who gets a title shot whenever he wants it. Right away we see the problems with the ROH taping schedule, as the winner was crowned (and the results posted online) before this even aired. I won’t spoil it for those who don’t already know. Cole is the TV champ, though the title isn’t on the line here. After his terrible showing a few weeks back I’m frankly shocked that Thomas is still with the company, though his opponent in that match (QT Marshall) sucks, so let’s see if he can do better against a decent worker. Lock up and basic wrestling sequence to start, then Thomas flips out of an ugly rana. McGuiness pushes Thomas’ capoeira background (a Brazilian sort of dance-fighting), which in the wrestling sense means dancing around and lots of crappy kicking. More basic stuff, then Cole hooks a Northern lights suplex for 2. Shoulder block and a great neckbreaker each get 2, then Thomas hits a legsweep to take over. He hits some nice looking kicks (already looking far better than his first match), but Cole responds with a beautiful jumping enziguri that only gets a 1 count. Shoulder breaker by Cole gets 2, and now Thomas goes into the stupid dancing kicks, a lot of which barely make contact, and a running neckbreaker sends Cole to the outside. Thomas does the highspot fake-out, but an ax-handle from the apron earns him a kick to the ribs. He does manage to sunset flip his way back in for 2. Figure-four by Cole is blocked, he hits a kick to the head (incorrectly called a superkick by Kevin Kelly for the second time in about 30 seconds) and the Florida Key (German suplex) finish it for Cole. **, far better outing for Thomas this time around, though he needs A LOT of work if he hopes to advance anywhere beyond the level of ROH job guy. He was working pretty loose here too, which is a bit of a problem when his whole offense is kicking. Quick but funny Briscoe Boys promo hyping the PPV Fusion DS (Stevie Dragon & Pat Saigon) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Charlie Hass. Sign in crowd: “Push Fusion DS”. McGuiness calls the WGTT “wankers”, reminding me why he’s my favorite commentator these days. But first, Rhett Titus joins us, sends Fusion DS packing, and challenges the WGTT to a match. BJ Whitmer attacks Haas from behind, so we get: Rhett Titus and BJ Whitmer vs. Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas. Brawling inside and out to start off, Shelton gets left alone in the ring and takes a backdrop suplex from Whitmer. Tag to Titus, who gets backdropped to the apron. He tries to springboard back in, but Haas hooks his legs and the WGTT pound him on the outside to take over. Back in, Shelton tags and they hit a double-team gutbuster. Tree of woe by Haas, and Benjamin chokes out Titus behind the ref’s back. Haas misses the Kevin Nash “legdrop the guy’s back while he’s sprawled on the second rope” bit and Titus gets the hot tag (at about a minute and a half in?) Exploder suplex on Hass, spinebuster on Benjamin (now the legal man), Haas makes the save. Titus dumps him, Shelton misses an avalanche and gets rolled up for the pin. *1/2, at barely over 2 minutes this was way too short to be of any worth. WGTT do a beat-down after the match, including the dreaded ringpost ballshot on Whitmer. Inside ROH: Kelly runs down the PPV that’s going on as I type this. We cut to an interview with Maria Kanellis, which is interrupted by Mike Mondo, who grabs her and kisses her and walks off. Clips of a Davey Richards promo from last week, and a quick promo from Jay Lethal hyping the Lethal/Richards match at the PPV. Clips showing Tommaso Ciampa’s “knee injury” from Boiling Point, his manager R.D. Evans tells us he’s fine with a brutally bad promo. Kevin Kelly brings out S.C.U.M. Kevin Steen is wearing a “Kevin F’N Steen” shirt that could easily lead to a lawsuit from WWE if they were so inclined. Steen calls out Michael Elgin, who comes out with Truth Martini, or Willie Wanker as McGuiness calls him. They continue to tease the House of Truth/Elgin breakup and eventual face turn for Elgin. Steen cuts a good promo (most of WWE, especially the people that script the promos, could take a few pointers from this), Elgin retorts with a punch to the face. He holds his own against S.C.U.M. for a little while, but a belt shot by Steen turns the tide. Roderick Strong comes out but just stands there, and finally Rhyno and the former Headbangers make the save. Interview in the back with Mike Bennett leads to Maria complaining about Mike Mondo. This segment, and the one with Maria earlier, were both pretty useless. ROH Tag Team Title: Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs (C) vs. Caprice Coleman and Cedric Alexander. Coleman and Alexander had a ****+ match with the Young Bucks a few weeks ago on the same show that had that terrible Marshall/Thomas match, so this could be pretty good. Jacobs has the worst nickname I’ve ever heard for a wrestler, “The Zombie Princess”. Corino has ditched the peroxide blonde hair again. Coleman starts off on Jacobs with some punching. Jacobs hits a jawbreaker to make the tag, but Coleman takes right over on Corino. Alexander gets a blind tag and they hit a cool-looking spinebuster-axe kick combo. Alexander then misses… I dunno, something off the top that missed by about 8 feet. I don’t know if that was a mis-communication or what, but it was really weird looking. Jacobs back in now and he works the back and neck, then does the bit where he mimics a dog pissing on Alexander. Funny stuff. Lots of quick tags from the heel side as we cut to commercial. Back from the break as we see Alexander trying to make the comeback on the heel side, but he knocks heads with Jacobs, sending Jacobs to the floor and Alexander to the mat for a Corino 2 count. A Jacobs senton finds Alexander’s knees, and the hot tag is made. STO on Corino, but a blind charge on Jacobs misses. Jacobs goes for the double-stomp in the corner, but Coleman fights back and goes with a rolling Northern lights suplex. Corino tries to break it up on the third one, but a kick to gut leads to a double Northern lights. It gets 2 on Jacobs. Corino gets sent to the outside, and Coleman hits a great springboard dive to the outside. Lots of hangtime there, then Alexander hits a running somersault dive to the heels on the floor. Top rope legdrop gets 2 on Jacobs, and then they badly fuck up Total Elimination on Corino. Rana and a sweet frog splash on Jacobs, but Corino hits Coleman with a roll of quarters right in full view of the ref for the DQ. ***1/2, good energy, good amount of highspots, and some laugh-out-loud moments make for a fun match. Michael Elgin makes the save and shakes hands with Coleman and Alexander. I guess that’s your face turn. Good thing too, a heel vs. heel main event on 2 PPVs in a row would be pretty silly. Good show here, I can’t really think of anything to bitch about. Next week: Steen vs. Titus for the ROH title, plus more Survival of the Fittest with Davey Richards vs. Mike Bennett and Jay Lethal vs. Tommaso Ciampa.

NWA-TNA Weekly PPV #13


September 25, 2002


Your hosts are Don West and Mike Tenay


The director tells Tenay there is a melee outback as we see
Goldylocks run over where Sonny Siaki and Jerry Lynn are brawling all over the
backstage area as Lynn is pissed at Siaki for his interference in his match
last week. Security runs out and gets tossed until Don Harris breaks up the


Tenay and West run down the show, including AJ Styles vs.
Low Ki in a 2-out-of-3 falls match for the #1 contender spot in the X-Division.
Plus, Brian Lawler & Elix Skipper vs. Syxx Pac & Scott Hall and Chris
Harris & James Storm vs. Ron Harris & Brian Lee in a tables match for
the Tag-Team titles. Also, Jerry Lynn vs. Ron Killings for the X-Division Title
in a Lumberjacks Match as Killings apparently wants to destroy the X-Division.
I think Bruce Pritchard is going that route today. Finally, the main event is
Jeff Jarrett vs. BG James. Not exactly a thrilling match.

Amazing Red vs. Sonny


Siaki is no longer dressed in the Elvis attire and is wearing
black pants. Also, he is selling an arm injury from the backstage brawl. Red
hits Siaki with a senton as he approaches the ring. Red kicks him down then
hits a Shooting Star Press from the apron. He rolls him back in and gets two
but then gets caught with a flapjack/neckbreaker combo for two. Red dodges a
clothesline and hits a spinkick. He gets a dropkick in the corner but runs into
a clothesline. Siaki with a series of shoulder thrusts in the corner but Red is
able to dodge the last one and comes back with an inverted Tornado DDT for two.
Red charges but Siaki backdrops him outside. Siaki drops Red on the steps then
on the guardrail. Camera shows Mortimer Plumtree on the ramp, taking notes. In
the ring, Siaki catches Red with a belly-to-belly suplex, getting two. He pins
him again, getting two. Bearhug by Siaki then he chokes him out with his foot.
Red manages a kick then gets the Code Red, which gets him two. Siaki alley-oops
Red, who lands on the second rope and comes back with a jumping STO. Spin kick
gets two. Red goes up top but Siaki ducks the attack then hits the Money Clip
for the pin (7:22) **1/4. Jorge Estrada is standing on the ramp and tells Siaki
that before the show is over, he wants his Elvis gear, including his “Blue
Suede Shoes.”


Thoughts: Decent opening match. Siaki wrestled a power style
and it worked well with Red. This was mainly about the Siaki/Estrada feud,
which is now about the Elvis costume. I give credit to Estrada in trying to
sell the mannerisms and sayings but it’s a lost cause.


Again, the camera cuts out back. This time, Killings his
beating the crap out of the Amazing Red. He then goes to Goldylocks and yells
that he is going to get rid of the X-Division. He thinks that it lowers his


Video recap (shown in black-and-white) of Harris & Storm
winning the belts last week. I actually think the black-and-white stuff is a
nice touch. Much more interesting than anything else they have done at this


Tables Match

NWA-TNA Tag Team

Ron Harris &
Brian Lee vs. “Cowboy” James Storm & “Wildcat” Chris Harris (Champions)


Harris and Lee jump their opponents before the match. Lee
catches Wildcat in a powerslam then punches away. Wildcat gains the advantage
and punches Lee out of the ring. Ron charges in and gets backdropped to the
outside. Storm gets caught after attempting a pescado (he nearly came up short)
but Harris flies out and takes them all out. In the ring, Wildcat with an axe
handle to Ron but Lee interferes then Ron boots him down. Sideslam by Ron then
a tag to Lee. Ron brings the table into the ring and places it in the corner.
Storm comes in and breaks up a press slam attempt but gets tossed outside by
Ron. He picks up Wildcat and hits a powerslam instead of putting him through
the table. Suplex by Ron and he tags out. Lee drops a few elbows then yells at
the crowd. Slam by Lee as the table is just sitting there, getting ignored. Lee
misses a diving attack and it allows Storm to tag in. He beats on his opponents
and now it is a brawl. They take out Ron with a clothesline. Lee lands on the
apron after a backdrop and clotheslines both men down. Storm breaks up a suplex
attempt and then jumps off of Wildcat and hits a forarm, sending Lee through
the table (6:39) DUD. After the match, Ron Harris attacks and lays out
everyone, including security, until his brother Don comes out and pushes him.
They have a heated confrontation then Ron leaves.


Thoughts: This match sucked. The psychology around the table
was awful. They bring a table in the ring and leave it in the corner, ignoring
it like the fat chick at a middle school dance. Ron Harris is an awful worker
and apparently allergic to selling. In regards to the tag-champs, the announcers
kept referencing that they were lucky to have won last week. Way to bury the
champs.  The end looks like a potential
feud between the Harris brothers. I guess it’s a positive if it takes him out
of the tag-title mix.


In a pre-taped bit, Goldylocks interviews Bruce in the
parking lot. Sara the Ticket lady comes over upset at the fact that Bruce stole
her handicapped parking spot. She threatens to stick her umbrella up his ass
and he orders her to walked her “crippled ass” into a nursing home. He pushes
her and she slaps him back as onlookers, including Tiny the Bellkeeper, break
up the confrontation. The “edgy” humor just comes off as embarrassing.


Ron Killings enters the ring. Once again, he refers to the
city as “Trashville” and orders the crowd to shut up. He tells us about the rat
problem in the projects that he grew up in then asks the crowd how they would
react to having rats in their bed. He then talks about the growing prejudice in
NWA-TNA, stating how he hasn’t seen Ricky Steamboat since he got his title shot
and doesn’t have any merchandise or even a private dressing room, which is what
Ken Shamrock had. He also gets pissed that he has to fight an X-Division
wrestler surrounded by X-Division Lumberjacks. BG James interrupts and
apparently has his “posse” in his pants. He tells the Truth that he might be a
primadonna and reminisces about their time in the WWF, when he stood up for the
Truth after all the “boys in the back” complained about him. Truth then turns
the table and says that James was in trouble and found the “Suntan Superman” to
pick up his slack as the crowd is now starting the “What” act. After some more
trips down memory lane, Truth tells BG that as long as he is in the Asylum, he
is his “bitch.” BG then attacks the Truth, who rolls out of the ring. He then
tells the Truth that unlike Demi Moore or Tom Cruise, he can handle the Truth. Whoever
is responsible for James’s dialogue needs to be shot.


Goldylocks is with Brian Lawler and is girlfriend, April. He
says there are no issues and that she has been straightened out. April says
that she has found comfort and has put up his crap but Lawler cuts her off and
orders Goldylocks away. He then yells at April for talking about their
business. This Lawler stuff is intolerable.


2-out-of-3 Falls

Low Ki vs. AJ Styles


Winner of this match gets an X-Division title shot next week
and the loser falls out of the title picture. The two trade some moves on the
mat for a while to start things off. Ki escapes an arm wringer with a kick then
gets in some chops. He drops an elbow, getting two. AJ then gets some stiff
kicks to the chest and copies Ki’s mat slap before getting booted out of the
ring. Ki gets a running Koppu Kick from the apron. Back inside, Ki gets two and
gets in some more chops. He charges but AJ catches him, crotching him on the
ropes. Backbreaker then a gutbuster by AJ and he beats him in the corner.
Dropkick by AJ as the crowd tells him he sucks. AJ gets a chinlock but Ki
escapes then both men do the double clothesline spot. Flying forearm by Ki who
then gets a springboard kick. He locks on the Dragon Clutch as AJ tries for the
ropes. Ki turns it around and takes him away from the ropes as AJ taps (6:35).


Second Fall: AJ gets an eye rake then kicks him in the back.
Clothesline gets two. Delayed Vertical Suplex is followed by a kneedrop, which
gets two. Spinning heel kick by AJ who taunts the crowd. Enziguiri by AJ sends
Ki to the floor. AJ tries a baseball slide but Ki spins him around and kicks
him in the face, dropping AJ to the floor. Ki tries another Dragon Clutch but
AJ drops him on the ramp. He rolls Ki in and gets two. Both men are on top but
Ki knocks AJ off and then gets the Hanging Dragon. Ki blocks a powerbomb
attempt with a rana but AJ rolls through and gets the rollup for the pin


Third Fall: Ki kicks AJ out of the ring and follows him
outside. AJ catches the leg of Low Ki during a kick and slams it into the
guardrail. That was a cool spot. AJ goes to work on the leg. In the ring, AJ
places Ki up top. Ki tries a rana but AJ blocks that and gets a shinbreaker. AJ
goes back to the work on the leg. Ki manages to get a small package for two but
AJ goes right back to work on the leg. He tries a powerbomb but AJ turns it
into a rana, getting two. Ki tries a suplex but AJ picks him up and rams him in
the corner. Rollup by AJ gets two. He then picks him up for the Styles Clash
for the win (14:44) **3/4.


Thoughts: Disappointing match that featured a lot of
kicking. It featured a slow pace and basically no high-flying stuff. AJ is back
in the title picture, again.


Goldylocks is with Jeff Jarrett. She asks him about BG
James, Syxx Pac, and Scott Hall being in TNA making his life difficult,
especially when it comes to the TNA title. He tells her that she can sell hits
from the 70’s at 4am and that he is more focused than ever and the title will
be is but first he will eliminate his obstacles.




“Primetime” Elix
Skipper & Brian Lawler w/April vs. Syxx Pac & Scott Hall


No idea why Skipper is in this match. Disco Inferno was Lawler’s
partner last week in the Gauntlet match. He botches his backflip entrance.
Lawler covers up April with his jacket then pulls her very short skirt down in
an attempt to keep her covered. He then yells at her to sit down. Syxx and
Skipper start out and Syxx teases him with a test of strength, only to engage
in crotch chopping. Hall also does the same from the apron. They then dodge
each other’s kicks until Skipper finally connects, causing Lawler to go crazy
on the apron. Skipper wants Hall to tag in and he does. Now, Lawler wants in
and he tags. Hall tosses the toothpick at Lawler, who then runs out and yells
at April. Back in the ring, more stalling from Lawler who then again runs out
and now orders April to sit down. The overacting from Lawler is unbearable.
Skipper now tags himself in and Hall hammers away. A terrible looking chokeslam
by Hall gets two. He barely even got him in the air. Skipper slides outside and
he and Lawler crotch Hall with the ring post. Legdrop by Skipper gets two.
Lawler bites Hall behind the refs back then tags. He punches Hall in the corner
then charges with a shoulderblock, getting two. He tells April to watch as he
gets a suplex. Tag to Skipper, who gets an axehandle. He knocks Syxx off the
apron and after botching the spot the first time, Hall then catches Skipper and
hits a back suplex. Lawler runs outside when he sees Don West consoling April
and pushes him away. Syxx Pac tags in and catches Skipper with a kick.
Powerbomb by Syxx and he knocks Lawler off the apron. X Factor gets two as
Lawler breaks up the pin. Hall punches Lawler and he oversells dramatically as
he flies over the top rope. He then catches Skipper with a fallaway slam. Syxx
sets up for the Bronco Buster but Skipper moves away. Lawler jumps in and
attacks Hall as Syxx catches a leaping Skipper with the X Factor for the win
(9:09) ¾*. After the match, Jarrett hits Syxx Pac and Hall with the stroke.
Lawler and Skipper help out Jarrett until Don Harris and security run out to
stop the assault.


Thoughts: Lots of stalling in this match. Too much of it
revolved around the Lawler/April stuff. I thought it was a bit strange to see
Hall do a majority of the selling in this match.


Goldylocks is with AJ Styles, who is acting cocky. AJ says
he has a big mouth, is cocky, and the best Sports Entertainer in the business
today. He then claims to see a belt hanging from the ceiling, hinting that he
wants a ladder match next week for his title shot. He then gooses her before
walking away. At least they are trying to give AJ a gimmick but he was quite
bad on the mic when he first started.


Bruce walks to the ring. He says he almost bought into the
idea of women being treated equally as the crowd starts a loud “Faggot” chant.
He babbles on about being the only woman in TNA and calls Tenay’s wife
disgusting. Sara the Ticket Lady come out from the stands with a broom as Bruce
calls her an “old douchebag.” Borash, West, and Don Harris prevent Sara from
entering the ring. A complete waste of time and this Bruce stuff makes you embarrassed
to watch wrestling.


Kid Kash vs. Jorge


Lockup and then the two trade wristlocks. Estrada gets a
hiptoss then an armdrag. Again, Mortimer Plumtree is shown watching another X
Division match. Estrada then hits a tilt-a-whirl headscissor takedown before
sending Kash to the floor with a clothesline. Estrada with a suicide dive but
comes up way short, almost breaking his neck in the process. Kash goes on
offense then gets a double springboard senton. He tosses Estrada back in the
ring and gets two. Estrada gets two off of a hiptoss then a running shooting
star press for two. He heads up top but Kash shoves the ref against the ropes
and Estrada gets crotched. Kash snaps him off with a rana, getting two.
Pumphandle slam by Kash but he runs into an elbow. Estrada gets two off of a
split-legged moonsault. A chopping battle ensues until Kash gets an eye poke. DDT
by Kash gets two. He signals for a double springboard rana but Estrada catches
him with a powerbomb. He then hits the TCB (Springboard Somersault Senton) for
the win (6:04) *1/2. After the match, Estrada demands Siaki to turn in his Elvis
suit. Siaki comes out and says he never meant for this to turn out this way and
that he can have the suit back. He also says that he gave it the proper burial
and shows a video on the screen of Siaki tossing the suit into a flaming
barrel, calling it a “Hunka-Hunka burning crap.” Estrada is beside himself in
the ring.


Thoughts: Kash is one of the better workers in the company. For
some reason, he fli-flops between face and heel on a weekly basis. Estrada is
alright but can get really sloppy in the ring. He wasn’t very impressive here.
The Elvis suit stuff was really corny.


Another black-and-white video recap of last week. This time,
it’s the match of Lynn
vs. Killings in which Siaki turned his back on the X Division. Probably the
best video package from TNA at this point.


Lumberjack Match

NWA-TNA X-Division

Ron Killings vs.
Jerry Lynn (Champion)


All the X Division regulars, with the exception of Styles,
are the lumberjacks. Killings ducks out after Lynn connects on a few punches only
to get tossed back in by Low Ki. Snapmare by Lynn is followed by mounted
punches. Lynn then yells “Who the man!” before punching away. Top-rope bulldog
by Lynn and Truth ducks out. He gets tossed back in and Lynn gets two. Killings
shoves Lynn in the corner then hits a shoulder block from the top rope. Lynn
fights back but Killings takes him down with a clothesline. He tosses Lynn
outside and Kid Kash stomps away until Estrada and Amazing Red question his
antics. AJ is on the ramp with a ladder. Back in the ring, Killings hits a
backbreaker for two.  Powerslam gets two.
Loud “Jerry” chant breaks out as Lynn manages a brief comeback before getting
caught with a powerslam, which gets two. Killings gets a front facelock and
puts his feet on the ropes for leverage until the ref catches him. Hairpull by
Killings. Lynn floats over on a slam attempt an gets an inverted DDT. He fires
away on Killings and catches him with a powerbomb, getting two. He attempts a
German Suplex but Killings blocks it with a low blow. Red and Estrada complain
to the ref as Low Ki and Killings yell at each other. Lynn shoves Killings near
Ki, who snaps Truth’s neck off the ropes, allowing Lynn to hit the TKO for the
win (9:02) **1/4. After the match, Killings yells at ref Scott Armstrong,
blaming him for his loss.


Thoughts: Much better than their match from the previous
week but still disappointing. These two just don’t have good chemistry. Looks
like the Killings vs. X-Division feud will continue.


West sells next week’s show. AJ Styles vs. Jerry Lynn in a
ladder match for the X Division Championship. Ron Killings will wreak havoc on
the X Division. Where is Sonny Siaki going and Jeff Jarrett, Syxx Pac, and
Scott Hall will be here. Actually, one of those workers will in fact, not be
there. Can you guess who?


Jeff Jarrett vs. BG


James grabs the mic and promises Jarrett he will feel his “B
to the G” sting and uses his “Get it, got it, good” catchphrase. Oh my lord.
James with a punch then some dancing. Inverted atomic drop followed by a
kneedrop, which gets two. Enziguiri by Jarrett and he yells at the crowd. Dancing
punches by James and Jarrett goes outside. James hits Jarrett in the back with
a chair. He knocks Jarrett over the guardrail with a chairshot and they brawl
in the crowd. Jarrett lands several chairshots then tosses him back to the
mats. He delivers some more chairshots to the back then yells James catchphrase
towards Tenay. More chairshots by Jarrett and we experience some audio
problems. In the ring, Jarrett catches James with a sleeper. After a while, James
escapes and locks in his own sleeper hold but Jarrett counters that with a
backdrop suplex. BG gets a few shots and takes down Jarrett with a big boot.
Mounted punches in the corner by James and the ref goes down. Jarrett grabs a
chair and wedges it in the corner but James stops the attack and rams Jarrett into
the chair. Elix Skipper runs out but gets taken off the apron by James. Jarrett
tries a sunsetflip but James blocks it and gets two. Lawler runs on the apron
and holds James for Jarrett but he escapes and  James gets a rollup for two. As the ref is
distracted by Lawler and Skipper, Jarrett grabs a chair and hits James on the
head. He covers and gets two. James reverses a go-behind then hits the
Pumphandle slam and covers but Lawler and Skipper break it up and the ref
signals for the DQ (9:06) *3/4. Syxx Pac and Scott Hall run out for the save as
the crowd barely makes any noise. Killings then runs out and lays out the faces
with belt shots. Jarrett asks for the belt and hits James.


Thoughts: They really worked around the limitations of James,
who was blown up in seconds last week. Jarrett carried things to make it a passable
match but certainly not a decent main event or anything. There was no
explanation as to why Lawler was helping Jarrett, as there month long feud that
led to nothing has apparently been erased from history. This looks to set up a
6-man tag for next week but will that happen?


Final Thoughts: A dull show overall. Besides the Bruce
stuff, nothing was truly horrible. However, they actually seem to be building
towards logical feuds, even if they aren’t very exciting. The thing is, there
are far too many WCW and WWF rejects in roles that are not suitable for them. I
like Skipper but in no way should he be near the top of the card. Lawler is
awful, like the Harris Brothers and Brian Lee. BG James and Scott Hall can
barely even wrestle at this point. Also, another AJ/Lynn match is a little
much, even if they have good chemistry.

October Countdown: WWF In Your House 4

The SmarK Retro Rant for WWF In Your House IV (By popular demand of the one guy who asked for it, I continue on with the WWF’s contributions to October.  A lot of these were done relatively recently in the grand scheme of things, but I’m sure I can find SOMETHING to snark on.  This one would have been 2000-ish, after my apartment burned down and the building management company gave me a nicer basement apartment a few blocks away because they were so nice.  And then they kicked me out after two years because it turns out I couldn’t actually afford the higher rent that came with the nicer apartment.  And then I learned a valuable lesson about collection agencies and how they’re full of shit 99 times out of 100, only I didn’t learn that lesson until MANY years after I let them bully me into paying an outrageous exit bill by taking out a high-interest loan due to illegal pressure tactics on their part.  But I digress, because I just remember stupid details like that somehow.)  – Originally aired October 22, 1995, this show not only was so humdrum that they couldn’t think of a witty subtitle, but it also has the distinction of earning the lowest buyrate ever for a WWF PPV, at 0.4. Kevin Nash, just call him “Money”.  (Kevin can rest easy knowing that December to Dismember shattered that buyrate non-record.)  – Quick plug for a pretty funny site parodying my Bash at the Beach 94 rant: I’m sure all of you Hogan sympathizers who wrote me the whiny e-mails following that rant will be happy now.  (Geocities is of course deader than my sense of shame and good taste, so sadly that link is gone.)  – By the way, thank you to the Russians for inventing vodka, so I was able to make it through this one. On a related note, thank you to the makers of ibuprofen.  (I feel like we discussed hangovers and Advil sometime recently.  Did I already repost this one?  Or do I just ramble about homespun hangover remedies a lot?)  – Live from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. – Your hosts are Vince, Jerry & JR. – In a pretaped segment, President Gorilla strips Shawn Michaels of the IC title because he has a boo-boo and is incapable of laying down for Dean Douglas. (It was NINE MARINES, man! You literally cannot walk the streets of Syracuse without getting jumped by drunken military members.  It’s a fucking FACT.)  If you want to stop and get some Kleenex in case of bursts of tears now, I’ll wait for you. – … – Okay, all done? On with the show… – Opening match: Makin’ a Difference Fatu v. Hunter Hearst Helmsley. Welcome to Gimmick Hell, as Fatu gets repackaged in one of the dorkiest gimmicks in history – The Caring Samoan. See, the WWF was then gonna bring in his evil cousins, the Samoan Gangsta Party, who were kinda streetwise, rappin’ samoan with attitudez. They’d try to corrupt him like D-Von Dudley did with Buh Buh Ray in ECW, but they’d probably fail because he’s Makin’ a Difference for the kids on the street. (Related question:  Did the Samoan Gangsta Party ever amount to anything?  I mean, it sounds like a REALLY fringe political party, but were those the guys who ended up as Three Minute Warning?  Because this would have been written about 2 years before they actually debuted with that gimmick.)  Sadly, Fatu’s career collapsed in on itself when everyone released what a moron he must have been for taking this gimmick, and the Gangsta Party never saw the light of day. (Actually 2000 Scott, the more I think about it, the more I think they DID see the light of day and went to a surprising amount of stardom, in fact.)  More’s the pity. I’m not sure if Wrestlecrap has a section for Fatu, but they really should. Fatu gets a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack bodydrop to start (ah, Vince McMahon, play-by-play guy, those were the days). They brawl outside, and back in where Hunter stalls. Fatu does this horrible leapfrog out of the corner, but gets hung up in the ropes, and Hunter pounds on him. He hits a piledriver, which is no-sold by Fatu. They slug it out, but Hunter hits a neckbreaker for two. Kneelift gets two, and we HIT THE CHINLOCK. Vince notes Hunter’s undefeated record. Oh man, even back in 1995 that guy wouldn’t job. (HIGH FIVE!  Anyone?)  Lariat leads to the 360 clothesline sell by Fatu, although with Marty Jannetty on this card he might have competition later. Hunter gets two, but Fatu rolls him up for two. Pedigree is reversed, and a superkick cues the comeback. A pair of clotheslines and a backbreaker for Fatu set up the flying headbutt, which gets a one count. Running Diamond Cutter out of the corner sets up a flying splash, which misses. Pedigree finishes at 8:00. As blueblood snob v. streetwise samoan matches go, this was pretty decent. ** – The drama continues as Henry O Godwinn stalks Hunter with a bucket of slop, setting up the allegory for the Monday Night Wars that was the Hogpen Match at In Your House V. – WWF tag team title match: The Smoking Gunns v. 1-2-3 Kid & Razor Ramon. This was to set up the heel turn that would turn Sean Waltman into the character that eventually became X-Pac. So think about that – he’s essentially been playing the same annoying little creep heel for 6 years (…and longer), and people wonder why the gimmick’s stale? Anyway, the Cliquesters have matching lavender tights here. Both teams were ostensibly babyfaces, although the crowd likes Ramon the best. Kid & Billy start, as Billy debuts the short hair look that remains to this day. Billy wins a hiptoss sequence, so Razor tries next with Bart. Bart holds him off pretty well, and stalling follows. Kid cheapshots Bart, and the Red Eye Express takes over. Ramon pounds on Bart in full heel mode, but still draws mad face heat. Kid hits his kick combo and a pair of snap legdrops, then Razor suplexes him onto Bart for two. Beating continues, but Bart gets a hair takedown for a double KO. Taggery abounds. Billy cleans house and drops an elbow on Kid for two. Bart comes in and kills him with backbreakers for two, and the Gunns hit their suplex/dropkick combo for two. Billy misses a blind charge, but Kid is still out and Bart rolls Billy on top of him, and then Razor sneaks in and reverses that for two. Hot tag Razor, and he cleans house. Razor’s Edge for Billy, but the Kid wants the tag. Razor obliges, and Kid promptly gets pinned at 12:44. D’oh! Kid heels on the Gunns and steals the belts, but Razor makes peace. How sweet. **1/4 – Marty Jannetty v. Goldust. This is Goldust’s in-ring debut after months of bizarre promos. The morality factor is somewhat in question here, as you’ve got your alcoholic drug addict taking on the sexual deviant son of Dusty Rhodes. However, the presence of Rhodes DNA swings things to Marty’s side by my count. I’m shocked Jannetty didn’t try to snort the gold confetti that fell from the ceiling during the entrances. (Or try to stuff it in a bottle of vodka and sell it as Goldschlager.)  Jannetty attacks and dumps Goldust, who takes a walk up the aisle. Back in, he bails again. Stalling follows. Goldust gets a rollup for two, but Marty comes back with a rana, and you guessed it, Goldust stalls again. They exchange leapfrogs and Goldie gets a lariat (allowing Marty to work the 450 clothesline sell in) and chokes him out. That goes on for a while, then he changes things up with a chinlock. Backdrop gets one as the match drags JUST A BIT. Marty gets dumped and they brawl for a bit, then he hits the post. Suplex back in gets two for Dustin. Back to that thar chinlock. Jannetty escapes and fucks up a backdrop reversal spot, then hits the post again. Goldust DDTs him for two. Jannetty gets a Rocker Dropper and goes up, but misses the fistdrop. However, in the most intelligent spot of the show, he doesn’t sell it because it wouldn’t actually hurt to miss that move. He goes up again and this time Goldust holds up his foot, and that gets sold. Front suplex finishes for Goldust at 11:12. Amazingly, his push actually continued after that performance. ¼*  (Lemme tell ya, kids, if Goldust went out today and had that match on PPV after months of build, they would send his ass to NXT to “learn how to work” and you’d never see him again on the main roster.  That is why the system is BROKEN today.  Sometimes you have to give people a chance to get over and work things out on their own.)  – Yokozuna v. King Mabel. Yes, you read that right. Just accept it. Both guys were still heels, but were being punished for putting Undertaker out of action for three months. That’s all well and good, but there’s no need to cause misery for the poor fanbase, too. Slugfest to start, and Mabel bails. Back in, he gets a lariat and now Yoko bails. Back in again, Mabelanche hits and he takes over. Mabelanche #2 misses, but Yoko misses the Hulkbuster. Mabel misses an elbow as I’m having trouble keeping up with the torrid pace. They brawl outside for the merciful double countout at 5:12. And the fans actually BOOED the end of the match. As if they wanted it to continue. Well, that’s Winnipeg for ya. –**  (This is the city that was like “Oh yeah, we’ll take the Atlanta Thrashers if no one else wants them.”  OK, I really have nothing against Winnipeg, but it’s not like Saskatoon has any natural rivals to go after, so I take what I can get.)  – We get our Heartfelt Moment as Shawn Michaels comes out to surrender the Intercontinental title to Dean Douglas, due to his being horsewhipped by 12 guys in a bar in Syracuse. (Come on now, last accepted fake number was only nine.  TWELVE is just exaggerating for the sake of it.)  My heart bleeds. Here’s a hint on Wrestling Ethics and why Shawn isn’t in the WON Hall of Fame: If you’re healthy enough to WALK, you’re healthy enough to do the right thing. (Clearly Shawn learned that lesson and is now in the Hall of Fame, both WON and WWE versions, as a result.)  On the other hand, if anyone deserved to get screwed over this badly, it’s Shane Douglas, so really it’s just funny on all sides. – Oh, and since the fans DEMAND a title match tonight, Douglas has to defend against Razor Ramon. But the Clique didn’t have any backstage power, nope. – Intercontinental title: Dean Douglas v. Razor Ramon. Douglas bails early. Back in, Ramon works the arm. That lasts a while. Dean comes back and stomps Ramon, but walks into a blockbuster suplex and gets dumped. Stalling follows. Suplex back in and Ramon stomps him. Douglas bails again to keep up the excitement level. Back in, Ramon goes back to that arm. Razor’s Edge is reversed, and they brawl outside. Back in, Douglas goes upstairs and gets caught with a chokeslam. Slugfest is won by Ramon, and he goes for a superplex, which is blocked. Bodypress by Douglas is rolled through for two. Douglas takes over, but gets suplexed and pinned out of nowhere at 11:00, despite having his feet in the ropes. Nice of Ramon to basically give him no offense and then pin him with a transition move. No wonder Douglas is so bitter. This, by the way, is the shortest IC title reign ever. ½* – WWF World title: Diesel v. The British Bulldog. Yes, kids, this is actually the main event of a PPV. To spite Lex Luger, Vince McMahon actually pushed his partner to the main event for three PPVs to end 1995 (In Your Houses 3,4 and 5). Bret Hart joins us for commentary, replacing Jerry Lawler. Diesel hits an elbow and Bulldog bails. Stalling follows. Back in, but Diesel bails and jaws with Bret. Back in, Bulldog works the leg. That lasts a while. They head outside and Cornette pounds on Diesel’s leg. Back in, Bulldog gets a half-crab to work on it. Diesel uses his POOCHIE POWER to escape, but Bulldog goes back to it. Legdrop gets two. Diesel fights back, but Bulldog goes back to the leg. IT JUST KEEPS GOING. Diesel reverses a suplex for the double KO. Bulldog goes to a bad-looking Sharpshooter, but Diesel powers out. Powerslam is escaped and Diesel gets the big boot, but Cornette comes in and gets tossed, as does Bulldog. They brawl outside and Diesel eats post, drawing Bret into the ring for the DQ at 18:13. The crowd just boos that finish out of the building, and after the show went off the air Vince threw his headset down in disgust and chewed Diesel out right at ringside, basically sealing his fate then and there. He jobbed the title to Bret Hart at the very next PPV and was gone to WCW six months later. * The Bottom Line: Aside from the Shawn Michaels farce and the seeds of the 1-2-3 Kid’s heel turn, this may be quite possibly the most unremarkable show in the history of WWF PPV. Several horrible matches on top of the card didn’t help matters, either. But hey, if you like that early Goldust stuff, this is the show for you! Strong recommendation to avoid.  (That is the understatement of the YEAR right there.) 

Smackdown – October 12, 2012

October 12, 2012
HP Pavilion, San Jose, California
Josh Matthews, John Bradshaw Layfield
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
got three shows left before HIAC and things are starting to shape up.
The main thing is that tonight Orton is going to be here, likely
confronting Del Rio. Other than that we’ll likely see more from
Sheamus vs. Big Show. The calendar says it’s time to lock them in a
cage so the story better be ready for it, no matter how big of a jump
it may be. Let’s get to it.

You Know Your Enemy? Mine is a house guest at the moment.
Cole tonight? Ok then.
there’s a KO Punch vs. Brogue Kick Challenge which starts right now.
Here’s Booker to explain what’s going on. He talks about how
everyone is wondering about which is stronger and we have the power
of the punch machine from long ago on NXT. Both guys come out and
Show thinks this is stupid. He won’t go first and says if you want
to know how strong his punch is, ask everyone he’s knocked out. The
fans boo which ticks Show off. Sheamus says he’ll go first if Show
didn’t hit it perfectly but gets a score of 1322 pounds per square
inch. Show thinks shenanigans are afoot and won’t do it. He rants
some more and Sheamus asks if he needs a hug. Is it that Show is
afraid of losing? It can’t be more embarrassing than Show’s last
time as world champion. That’s enough to tick Show off and he gets
1809 pounds per square inch to destroy Sheamus’ score.
says that’s impressive but the machine is standing still. Tensai
jumps Sheamus but Booker sends him to the back.
vs. Tensai
is after a break. Tensai does a full entrance while Sheamus is still
in the ring. They start brawling in the aisle with Sheamus pounding
away on the bald one. Sheamus blocks a shot into the post and sends
Tensai into it instead. They get inside for the bell and Sheamus
charges into the corner and starts pounding away. Tensai gets in an
elbow to the face but Sheamus takes out the knee for two.
clothesline puts the champion down and we’re told that Tensai means
destruction. Why did it take that long to tell us? It could be
because no one cares. Sheamus hits his ax handles and a powerslam
for two. Tensai clotheslines him down again but the backsplash
misses. White Noise sets up the Brogue Kick for the pin at 3:36.
D+. This was just a step above
a squash which is about all Tensai is good for anymore. I’d be
stunned if he still had a job around Wrestlemania time. Sheamus and
Big Show should have an entertaining brawl and they’ve done a good
job of not letting either of the finishers hit, which is the main
point of the feud. That’s a good idea for the feud and it’s got me
interested in seeing the match.
get a video from two weeks ago after Smackdown with Orton getting
beaten down by Del Rio.
and Del Rio are in the back and Ricardo is nervous about Orton
finding them. Alberto says it’s cool and sends Ricardo to find
is looking for Orton in the back and he hears something hissing. He
finds the Cobra with a Santino attached. Santino warns Ricardo of
the Viper being somewhere around here and Ricardo storms off.
Slater/Jinder Mahal vs. Santino Marella/Zack Ryder
Mahal and McIntyre declare themselves The Band and proceed to play
air guitar together. This is as dumb as it sounds. Also they come
out to “I’m a one man band” for their theme music. JBL freaks
out over the idea of Rock Paper Scissors picking if Ryder or Santino
start. It’s Ryder vs. Mahal to start with the guy from Long Island
taking over. Off to Santino who comes in off the bottom rope to go
after Mahal’s arm. The saluting headbutt misses and it’s off to
and Jinder pound away on Marella in the corner but Santino rolls away
and dives for a tag….but he comes up short. That’s a nice twist.
The second attempt works though and Ryder hits the knees in the
corner and a middle rope dropkick. Broski Boot gets one and
everything breaks down. Ryder has to take out McIntyre and the
distraction lets Slater hit a falling forward cutter (can we outlaw
new variations of that move already? There must be six people
between WWE and NXT using some form of a cutter or some form of a
neckbreaker) for the pin at 3:51.
D+. Well assuming they’re going
for a low level comedy act for The Band, they’re hitting it
perfectly. Slater is much better suited for the comedy putz role
than as the leader of a faction, and the air guitar thing is dumb,
but I think that’s the point. They’re fine for stuff like this and
for getting destroyed by a guy like Ryback or Brodus too.
get a clip from Raw of HELL NO surviving somehow against Del Rio and
Ziggler. Ziggler has touted a challenge to a match with Kane
vs. Dolph Ziggler
goes right at him but Kane throws him down into the corner. Dolph
keeps charging at Kane in the corner but he gets shoved back every
time. Kane sends him over the ropes but Ziggler skins the cat. That
goes badly for him as Kane kicks him to the floor as we take a break.
Back with Kane getting guillotined on the top but Ziggler jumps into
a choke. The chokeslam is countered into a Fameasser for two and
Dolph takes over.
swinging neckbreaker gets one on Kane and Ziggler stomps away for a
bit. A series of elbows gets two and Josh talks about Ziggler being
champion for five days. Wasn’t it more like an hour? Kane comes
back with a clothesline for two and a low dropkick for the same.
Kane hits a side slam and goes up for the clothesline, only to get
crotched by Dolph. Ziggler gets knocked off the top but grabs the
briefcase to knock Kane out of the air, drawing the DQ at 6:03 shown
of 9:33.
C-. This didn’t have the time
to go anywhere but Ziggler was wrestling like a face for the first
half of the match and it was working. He’s a guy that could be
something similar to Shelton Benjamin from back in 2005 who was more
athletic and talented than almost anyone else on the roster, but with
some charisma unlike the vacuum that Benjamin was.
comes in for the save and Striker comes in to talk to the arguing
champions. It’s a NO Lock and a chokeslam for the annoying
is still looking for Orton. He walks past a door and hears an
electronic version of Orton’s voice. It’s Hornswoggle playing with a
Brawling Buddy. Ricardo steals it and beats it up.
get a clip from the Larry King segment on Raw.
Kingston vs. Big Show
is on commentary. Kofi charges into the corner which goes about as
well as a small guy charging at Show in the corner can be expected
to. Miz runs down his long resume and Show chops Kofi down. JBL
talks about hazing Miz when Miz started in hopes of making Miz get
better. JBL: “Josh when I haze you it’s because I hope you quit.”
Kofi gets in a kick in the corner and actually drops Show. Boom
Drop hits but Trouble in Paradise is easily blocked. WMD gets the
pin at 2:12.
comes in to talk some trash to Kofi post match. No attack though.
is with Del Rio again when Bryan comes in again. Trash is talked and
they have a match later.
and Kaitlyn are with Booker and they’ve found a blonde wig in Eve’s
bag. Apparently Aksana found the wig. Eve comes in and says she
found a blonde wig in Teddy’s bag. Booker, Layla and Kaitlyn leave
and Eve and Teddy don’t like each other. This is so stupid.
Sandow vs. Sin Cara
fires away with kicks to start and there’s the spinning armdrag out
of the corner. We head to the corner with Sandow coming out with a
Russian legsweeo and wind up elbow. Cara armdrags and ranas Sandow
to the apron and enziguris Sandow to the floor. A big dive from the
top takes Cody down as he tries to help Damien. Back inside there’s
another enziguri to Damien and Cody gets ejected for being attacked.
Damien yells at the referee, allowing Cara to hit a West Coast Pop
for the pin at 3:17.
C. Nothing great here but it
sets up the tournament final on Raw a little bit better which was the
point here. Sandow has a lot of potential but I’m not liking him in
the tag team. It’s taking the focus off of him which is something he
doesn’t need when he’s still pretty hot at the moment. The match was
just ok.
tells Kane not to come help him no matter what.
Del Rio vs. Daniel Bryan
goes on a rant about how stupid it is to try to manage anger in
wrestling. Both guys go after the shoulder to start with Del Rio
taking over by pounding Bryan down into the corner. Bryan changes
his strategy and kicks out the knee for two. Bryan moonsaults out of
the corner and hits a clothesline as the crowd is getting fired up.
There are the YES kicks but Del Rio comes back with a kick of his own
in the corner.
sends Del Rio to the floor but misses the running knee strike.
Alberto sends him into the barricade and we take a break. Back with
Bryan charging into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two. Del Rio
works on the arm but can’t hook the cross armbreaker. Bryan counters
into the NO Lock but Ricardo has the referee. Alberto crawls from
the middle of the ring all the way to the rope for the break.
Alberto grabs the cross armbreaker while they’re still in the ropes
and sends the arm of Bryan into the post. The armbreaker goes on in
the middle of the ring and Bryan taps completely clean at 6:54 shown
of 10:24.
C+. Not bad here and it’s nice
to see the armbreaker actually get a win. That’s one of Del Rio’s
(numerous) problems: his finisher rarely wins anything so it’s hard
to take it seriously. I’m not sure what this does or why Ziggler and
Del Rio are feuding with the tag champions in the first place other
than to give the champions something to do, but I really don’t see
the point in having Bryan lose to a member of a team that won’t even
be number one contenders after Monday.
says that he doesn’t think Orton is here (even though multiple people
told Ricardo they had seen him) and we see clips of the attack from a
few weeks ago and of Show beating on Orton on Main Event. Del Rio
says that Orton is just a garden snake and that Randy is smart to
hide. Alberto mocks Orton’s pose and mocks the twist into the RKO
position, only to find himself face to face on the mat with Orton.
That was pretty cool. Orton destroys Alberto and sends him into the
steps. Ricardo breaks up the Elevated DDT off the table as Del Rio
runs. Orton RKOs Rodriguez onto the table to end the show.
C+. This was a somewhat
awkward show. There’s enough stuff on it to advance the feuds we’ve
got going on, but the main angle didn’t quite work for me. The main
idea of this show was that Orton is back. Ok, that’s fine but it
would have been a lot better if Orton hadn’t been in a match two days
before this (which he lost) on Main Event. That’s the big problem
with having so many shows: it makes things you see elsewhere seem a
lot less important. We’ve reached the point where a lot of HIAC is
set so there wasn’t much new added tonight, and that’s ok. Decent
show this week.
b. Tensai – Brogue Kick
Band b. Santino Marella/Zack Ryder – Falling Cutter to Ryder
b. Dolph Ziggler via DQ when Ziggler used the MITB Briefcase
Show b. Kofi Kingston – WMD
Cara b. Damien Sandow – West Coast Pop
Del Rio b. Daniel Bryan – Cross Armbreaker
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at

New Face of the Company?

Question for you and the blog of doomers if you're looking for material:

I think it's been pretty clear that no matter what happens and no matter how WWE tries to manipulate the situation, Cena really isn't going to have more than 60% of the arena in his corner (even on his best days).  I also think that it's likely Cena is going to have to pass the torch as the face of the company at some point in the next 12-18 months.  For various reasons, the odds-on favorite for this designation seems to be Sheamus.  But if you had the power to really rally behind someone and make them the face of the company, who would it be?  I'm also referring to all of the responsibilities that come with it:  media interviews, charity events, appearances at seemingly random quasi-celebrity or sporting events.  So, he'd have to be a guy who is willing and able to do all of that.  There are some clamoring for Punk to take charge, but I've seen/heard a couple of trainwrecks with Punk promoting that night's Raw or PPV.  In particular, there's been dorky radio morning show hosts who were completely shut down because Punk didn't feel like playing along…and then it just got awkward from there.  I just start to feel bad for everyone there, including Punk.  So while I think he is an acceptable face for a wrestling promotion, I'm not sure if he WANTS to be when it comes to all of the added peripheral responsibilities.

On the other hand, I've seen guys like Orton and Bryan just absolutely nail it (media interview, radio show) despite the fact that they don't have these larger-than-life personalities. Are we left with Bryan (after he trims his beard), Ziggler, and Sheamus as possibilities or is there another guy who you think can take the title of "face of the company" and run with it?  Or are we just waiting for lightning to strike with someone else for the next two years?

Oh, it's gonna be Sheamus, and you're gonna LIKE IT.  Even though he's only a year or so younger than Cena.  
Personally I say Ziggler, or on an outside shot John Morrison.  They're both young and well-spoken, can go in the ring, seem to understand social media, and seem like cool guys and not arrogant fuck-ups like a certain third-generation guy with two strikes.   

Tough guys

Hypothetical question/situation: Just out of curiosity……lets say – hypothetically speaking, you're in a barroom, or an alley (no weapons), or wherever Shawn Michaels was that night he got jumped by 9 thugs (allegedly). You are surrounded, and you fear for your safety/life. If you could choose 8 wrestlers in their prime (in the ENTIRE history of wrestling) that you would want on your side to win a fight, who would they be? 

This would be a perfect place to plug Jonathan Snowden's new book "Shooters: The Toughest Men In Pro Wrestling":
Although bar fighting is a totally different animal than a relatively controlled in ring fight.  You never know who can win if one guy is gonna kick te other one in the junk or bite his nose off.  Anyway, I'd go with a mostly old-school crew from back when getting beat up in the ring was a real possibility.  Lou Thesz, Ed Strangler Lewis, Frank Gotch.  Plus some guys who you ought not to mess with in a fight, like Ken Shamrock, Bruiser Brody, and Stan Hansen.  Can I have Anderson Silva too for fun?  .  

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact–10.11.12

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 10.11.12 Well, we’re at the go-home show for Bound For Glory, and I’m kinda not caring about the PPV. Hope this can change that. James Storm v. Austin Aries This seems like kind of a huge potential PPV payday to give away on TV like this. They work off a headlock and Storm armdrags Aries out of the ring, but he comes back before walking into a big boot. Aries tosses Storm and he skins the cat back in, but misses a dive. Aries doesn’t miss his. Neckbreaker through the ropes gets two. Storm makes the comeback, but misses a blind charge. They exchange some great chops in the corner and Aries gets a low dropkick for two. Storm pounds away in the corner, but so does Aries, and Storm fight him off with a Russian legsweep. They slug it out and Storm tries the helicopter slam, but Aries escapes and necks him on the top rope. Missile dropkick whiffs and Storm tries the codebreaker, but Aries blocks it. Storm escapes the brainbuster and they fight over a rollup before both guys collide and are out. And cue the run-in, as Bobby Roode sends Storm into the post behind the ref’s back. Brainbuster finishes at 7:18. Kind of an obvious finish. Match was surprisingly sloppy, especially when they were fighting for the rollup in the finishing sequence, but it was otherwise good. **3/4 Meanwhile, AJ Styles thinks that Kurt Angle doesn’t have his head in the right place for the PPV. Oh, and Wes Brisco is going to be there as Angle’s guest. Hulk Hogan and Sting are out to talk about the Aces & Eights situation (maybe it was THEM who leaked the sex tape!), but the World Tag Team Champions of the World interrupt because picking Bully Ray was a stupid decision and everyone knows it. Kaz has a plan: Cancel the tag title match, boot out Bully Ray, and put Kurt Angle into the spot instead. Bully Ray joins us as well and points out that since it won’t be a wrestling match, you don’t want a wrestler out there. And since it’s the wrestling BUSINESS (tm HHH) and not wrestling friendship (tm Bryan & Kane), they don’t need to get along. So Bully proposes himself and Sting against Daniels & Kaz tonight as a warmup, which the crowd goes NUTS for. AJ Styles v. Hernandez AJ quickly gains the advantage with an enzuigiri, but misses a charge and gets tossed around by Hernandez. Bearhug follows, but AJ slugs out, so Hernandez clubs him down. AJ with the dropkick to put Hernandez on the floor, and he follows with a dive. Back in, AJ misses a slingshot move, and Hernandez hits him with a shoulderblock for the pin at 3:50?! That was…random. ** Meanwhile, the Leader continues the abuse of Joseph Park and cuts a promo on Hogan. Zema Ion is out to complain that he has no match for the PPV, so Rob Van Dam shows up to challenge him. Ion hides behind the belt, so RVD kicks it in his face. Good, hopefully they change the title there because RVD is at least a more interesting choice. Meanwhile, Hogan still doesn’t trust Bully, but Bully points out that he’s never conned anyone. Sting stops just short of saying “If you swerve me I’ll leave you for dead” but you could tell he wanted to. Meanwhile, Tara continues annoying Brooke Hogan. I’m never gonna be able to see her answering a cell phone without getting weirded out from now on. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian v. Sting & Bully Ray Bully pounds on Daniels in the corner and works on the arm, then leads the crowd in a cheer for Sting before tagging him in. Sting with a clothesline for two, and Kazarian comes in for more of the same as the babyfaces double-team him. Bully with a backdrop suplex for two. Sting with a suplex for two. Bully with his own massive suplex, which sets up the Stinger splash. Another one misses, however, and Daniels posts Sting to make him Heath-in-peril. Daniels lays the beatdown in the corner and the champs take turns with slingshot moves, as Kaz gets two. Kazarian holds a straightjacket, but Sting elbows out before running into a spinkick. Daniels boots him down for two. Finally it’s the hot tag to Bully and the crowd is nuts for it. Fallaway slam on Daniels gets two and it’s BONZO GONZO as Sting tosses Kazarian out. Bully boots the belt out of Daniels’s hands and we get the MEGAPOWER HANDSHAKE from the babyfaces, so you know you can trust Bully. Sting even tells him to get the tables. Bully’s a little confused about being a babyface again, but he obliges, and Daniels takes a ride on the pine for the DQ at 9:48. The fans are actually MAD about that. Well shit, he powerbombed the guy through a table in the middle of the ring, what did they expect? Really fun match. ***1/2 Meanwhile, Magnus and Samoa Joe threaten to get into a fight backstage, but Magnus wants to wait for millions of people to see it on PPV. He’s in for a long wait. Good promo here from Magnus. Miss Tessmacher v. Gail Kim Gail attacks to start, but Tess takes her down with a headscissors and sends her to the floor. Gail necksnaps her for two to take over, and chokes her out on the ropes. Clothesline on the ropes gets two. FLYING BODY ATTACK in the corner, but Tess slugs back, so Kim rubs her ass in Tessmacher’s face. That annoys Tessmacher enough to make the comeback with a neckbreaker, and she goes up. Gail brings her down, but Tess gets a crucifix for two. Gail blocks a rana with a powerbomb and goes up, but Tess moves and makes another comeback. Front suplex finishes at 5:21. And then Tara attacks and lays her out, but Tess gets the last laugh to set up the PPV match. Champ wins clean in a good match, challenger attacks, champ stands tall to end it. All good. **1/2 Meanwhile, a pissed off James Storm interrupts a Bobby Roode promo and they threaten each other until King Mo breaks it up. Bobby Roode v. Jeff Hardy Roode attacks during Hardy’s entrance, but really it’s Hardy’s own fault for painting eyeballs on his eyelids. If you’re gonna walk down to the ring with your eyes closed, you deserve what you get. Roode pounds away to start, but Hardy quickly comes back with an atomic drop and low dropkick for two. Backdrop out of the corner and he clotheslines Roode out of the ring and follows with a dive. Back in and Hardy pounds away in the corner, but Roode clotheslines him and drops an elbow to regain control. Hardy gets tossed and they fight on the floor, with Hardy getting a suplex out there. We take a break and return with Roode holding a neck vice before they head out to the floor again. Hardy meets the stairs, and back in a neckbreaker gets two for Roode. Hardy tries to escape, so Roode catches him with a sleeper. Only two drops of the arm, however, and Hardy fights back, but Roode hangs on. Finally Hardy runs him into the corner to break, and comes back with the Whisper. I don’t know how Roode didn’t break his neck on that bump, because he ended up in totally the wrong position to catch him. Hardy with the spinkick for two. Yodelling splash gets two. Roode catches him with a spinebuster for two. They fight to the top and Roode wants the superplex, but Hardy puts him down, then misses the swanton. Roode spears him for two. Hardy reverses the fisherman’s suplex into the Twist of Fate, but Roode blocks a second one with a low blow for the DQ at 16:47. ***1/2 Austin Aries comes out and TEARS UP THE SCRIPT after the match, because he’s SHOOTING, BROTHER. Oh lord. He’s not actually jealous of Hardy’s rap sheet, but he’s jealous of Hardy getting special treatment while he gets shafted out of a new entrance and music. Aries asks him to leave so he can bask in his glory, but then he attacks Hardy and gives him the brainbuster on the belt instead. Well there’s your heel turn and probably title change on Sunday. The promo was a bit CM Punk-lite, but hopefully THIS company will actually have a payoff for it. The Pulse Good wrestling, good hard sell for the PPV, no Aces & Eights outside of one segment = a much improved show over last week. I’ll probably get Bound For Glory if I’m home, but no promises.