IC Tournament Round One: Final Groups

http://challonge.com/bodic#_=_ Really, Marty Jannetty over Magnificent Muraco?  Do you think Marty could handle the acting skill of Fuji Vice while messed up on pills?  For shame. Here’s your last eight matches: IC Tournament Group Y IC Tournament Group Z IC Tournament Group AA IC Tournament Group AB IC Tournament Group AC IC Tournament Group AD IC Tournament Group AE IC Tournament Group AF

IC Tournament Round One: Groups Q-X

No more percentages because people are obviously rigging the votes somehow.  http://challonge.com/bodic#_=_ Although much of this bracket is spectacular mismatches, there’s certainly one barnburner to be had with Savage-Angle. And how did we end up with “Dolph Ziggler” vs “Val Venis” as a match? Are we seeding by ridiculous names now? IC Tournament Group Q IC Tournament Group R IC Tournament Group S IC Tournament Group T IC Tournament Group U IC Tournament Group V IC Tournament Group W IC Tournament Group X

Round one: Final results

So yes, somehow there is a bigger group of jobbers than Deuce & Domino, and it is BOOKER T & TEST, who only garnered a pathetic 22 votes against Funk & Cactus.  Also, sadly, John Cena's final shot at getting to the next round with a wacky tag team partner fell by the wayside when he and Miz were destroyed by the awesome duo of Kid & Jannetty.  Meanwhile, Steve Austin has two wacky tag partner duos in the second round.  Just saying.  
First set of votes for the round of 64 later tonight!

Tag Tournament Round One: The rest!

Should we just dispatch with the voting and send the Smoking Gunns right to the quarterfinals out of this group of losers?  Voting below the break!   Tag Tournament Group AW Tag Tournament Group AX Tag Tournament Group AY Tag Tournament Group AZ Tag Tournament Group BA Tag Tournament Group BB Tag Tournament Group BC Tag Tournament Group BD Tag Tournament Group BE Tag Tournament Group BF Tag Tournament Group BG Tag Tournament Group BH Tag Tournament Group BI Tag Tournament Group BJ Tag Tournament Group BK Tag Tournament Group BL

Tag Tourney Results Round One: Groups Y-AF

Farewell, Brainbusters.  It was agonizingly close, however.  Biggest rout of the tournament thus far was Los Guerreros over Suzuki & Dupree, unsurprisingly.  Also a mild surprise in that the Wild Samoans completely destroyed the Godwinns, who I thought would have at least got one pity round before bowing out.  
We'll step it up to 16 matches per night to close out the first round, including what should be the most intense battle of the tournament later tonight.  

Tag Tournament Round One: Block Y-AF

Not gonna lie, whoever gets out of this block is gonna have an easy time of it, because there’s some shit teams in here. However, the one match killed me when I saw that the random seedings produced it, and I’m sure you can figure out which one. Tag Tournament Group Y
Tag Tournament Group Z
Tag Tournament Group AA
Tag Tournament Group AB
Tag Tournament Group AC
Tag Tournament Group AD
Tag Tournament Group AE
Tag Tournament Group AF

Was Shawn the chosen one?

Watching Survivor Series 91, which sows the seeds of the Rockers turn and it's amazing to think a year later Shawn was in the main event.  When they decided to break the Rockers up, was Shawn always pegged as the future, or was it a case where Jannetty let the demons get to him?   Were there thoughts Marty might end up just as big a star had he stayed clean?   Or was the rocket just strapped to Shawn's back from the barbershop turn?
​Well obviously once Shawn turned it was obvious which one was "chosen".  I remember reading Herb Kunze's Tidbits on RSPW from 1990, where the suggestion seemed to be that Jannetty was going to get a singles push after WM6, but I have no idea if that held up via the WON at the time.  That being said, once it became obvious who the colossal fuckup of the team really was, they were all in on Shawn being the guy to be the singles star.  Now, whether or not that meant they saw him as the mega-star he eventually became, I have no idea.  I would guess not, because the business was very different at the time he turned and things changed dramatically, leaving Shawn as the right guy at the right time despite his size. ​

The “Rise” and Fall of TNA (Part One)

Everyone knows by now that TNA is flirting with death. Despite
the fact that they do have content and finance, they are two months away from
losing their distribution. As ECW and WCW both quickly found out, it is almost
impossible to keep a company alive without that component. Although the reports
stated that Spike TV was not interested  in renewing Impact, those rumors ended
up being false. Spike TV’s President was live at one of TNA’s New York tapings,
speculating whether or not a renewal would be worth it. Even if the renewal falls
through, TNA still can find another network to show their television show – although
one must assume that it would be a significant downgrade to their primetime
timeslot on a recognized Network. Let us look at TNA’s history with Spike TV, and how it has
led up to this fiasco in this three part installment of the “Rise” and Fall of TNA. 

In 2005, FSN declined to renew Impact’s contract for the next year, leaving the show without a network. They decided to air
their shows online by using Bit Torrent, but shortly after, received a deal
from Spike TV. Even though Spike TV was a step in the right direction, TNA
still found themselves in a timeslot that made it hard for people to find the
product.

Although the company was struggling to find additional
viewers, it was still doing a good job of pleasing their hardcore fans. In addition
to that, the product had a sound strategy: they placed an emphasis on the wrestling in the mid-to-upper card and had the recognizable top-names in the
main event. The top names were making people watch, but the upcoming talents were the ones stealing the shows. In sum, the wrestlers of the past were bringing in wrestling fans to see what the foregone future of TNA was going to be (or so we thought).
TNA’s main commodity, which made it an alternative over WWE, was
its X-Division.  Kindred to the Cruiserweight Division, the X-Division had a
high-flying and fast-paced style. But unlike the Crusierweight division, it had no weight limits.
Even though there were a lot of talents who stuck out from this division, none of them stuck out as much as Samoa Joe did. Joe was someone who mainstream wrestling never really seen anything like before. He was an overweight and husky wrestler, who could move around and fly
like someone half his size, with had an outstanding work ethic.
TNA’s main event scene resembled a cast of over-the-hill
talents, but that somewhat changed when they signed Christian – a talented wrestler who was
misused in WWE.  They quickly added him
into the main event scene, and not too long after that, he became the TNA champion
by defeating Jeff Jarrett (who the fans were sick and tired of due to him
constantly hogging the title). As if it couldn’t become any better, TNA made its biggest
signing yet – The “Icon” Sting. 

Unfortunately, though, TNA could not come to an
agreement with the head booker Dusty Rhodes – who was tremendously helping the
company. Even though year 2006 took a dip in quality the department as a result, the company still had a lot
going for them. After all, their PPVs continued to be better than WWE’s PPVs, and they kept continuing to grow. In fact, Sting’s return to the company led to Impact’s
biggest rating ever, and because of that, Spike
TV gave them a primetime slot on Thursday nights.

Even though Sting winning the title at Bound for Glory was a big deal, TNA’s newsworthy signing of
Kurt Angle overshadowed that moment, as well any moment in the company. In spite of being around for only four
years, TNA made more strides than some wrestling companies ever had and were on track of becoming legit competition with
the flagship wrestling company.

It appeared that nothing could slow them
down from expanding to higher levels. However, TNA brought back a familiar face to the creative team – someone who was referred as a genius to some people while an idiot to others – Vince Russo.  This sparked a lot of controversy on the
internet about the decision. Some people thought it was a good idea, some thought it
was a terrible idea, while others didn’t think it would matter all that much.
Even though this had nothing to do with Russo, TNA
made a huge mistake with the Samoa Joe character. Joe – who was undefeated in his tenure in
TNA – jobbed to Kurt Angle in Angle’s first PPV match ever in the company. To make matters worse, Angle made the “Samoan Submission Machine” tap out to the Ankle Lock. Joe ended up getting
his win back in their rematch, yet Angle won the blow off match. Within three months, the biggest dream match people wanted
to see in TNA was already over. The feud could have been an epicly built up one,
yet it was instead poorly booked and hotshot.
Creatively, there were some recognizable changes within the
company. They were starting to have crazier gimmick matches, more wacky segments,
more focus on overbooked finishes, and less emphasis on wrestling. The pace of
Impact was also on speed – trying to fit in too many things in a short amount
of time. It was evident that Vince Russo was the new head writer of the show
and his booking philosophies hadn’t changed a bit.
While the Against All Odds 2007 PPV looked like a good show on paper, it ended up being one of TNA’s worst shows ever. In what was supposed to be
a heated feud, LAX and Team 3D ended up having a goofy-looking brawl. Austin Star
and Senshi, who are capable of stealing any show, had a toned down match with
most of its attention being on Bob Backlund. In an unlisted tuxedo match (I
wonder why), Hemme wrestled “The Big Fat Oily “Guy in what was a trainwreck of
epic proportions. Abyss and Sting had an over-the-top “Prison Yard” match. And
the main event between Christian Cage and Kurt Angle had the following: Samoa Joe as the guest
enforcer, a ton of run ins, a referee bump, and an anticlimactic finish. Russo
officially ruined one of TNA’s PPVs with gimmicks that hindered rather than
elevated matches, unpleasing finishes, run ins, overbooking, and angles that were either convoluted, muddled, trivial, or all of the above.
A month later, fans began to refute
against the company at Destination X. They chanted “that was weak” after Kurt Angle and Scott
Steiner’s match and then chanted “Fire Russo” during a goofy Last Rites match
between Sting and Abyss. However, much like 2007 in a nutshell, the roster did
a good job of overcoming the terrible booking and that resulted in a perfectly watchable
PPV.
Dixie Carter was upset from the fire “Fire Russo” because he had nothing to do with the angle. Even if it
was not Vince Russo – which it was – there still was a big problem: the fans were becoming tired of the booking. In spite of her being so
concerned about it, she did NOTHING about it. Consequently, another
“Fire Russo” chant broke out a month later at their Lockdown PPV. This time, it
was because of an “electrified” cage match between Team 3d and LAX, and I use
the word electrified loosely because it ended up being the saddest display of
effects ever. They turned off the lights off and lit the ring with a light
bluish color, and whenever a wrestler touched the cage – the light flickered
and the wrestlers fidgeted around as if they were tased. There were other times
where the wrestlers touched the cage and nothing happened. And, laughably, Hernandez wore gloves to climb the cage and miraculously could not be shocked
because of them. Meanwhile, Harris and Storm were forced into wrestling
a blindfold match on the same exact PPV, and the crowd managed to chant “Boring” and “We Want
Wrestling” during it.

Despite Vince Russo becoming an enormous problem, neither Jarrett nor Carter wanted to admit it. In fact, they were more
concerned about defending the booking rather doing anything about it.
And because the product wasn’t growing, they brought in as much former WWE
talent as possible – which caused the wrestlers who were supposed to be the future
of TNA to become afterthoughts in the main event scene. They also decided to
put the title on Kurt Angle at Slammiversary and then devote most of their hour of Impact around him. Thus, critics and fans began calling TNA “Total Nonstop
Angle”.

The company then signed Pacman Jones – who was suspended from the NFL for an entire year because he slapped a stripper in the face – with them thinking that any exposure is good exposure. To make matters worse, they gave Jones 250,000 DOLLARS before they realized that he could not do anything physical. This was arguably the worst decision the company ever made. 
Meanwhile, the overexposure of Kurt Angle started to become worse. For their
Hard Justice (August) PPV, they named Samoa Joe vs. Kurt Angle, with every
title in the company on the line as well the IWGP title. Logistically,
everyone thought TNA would build this up as an ultra-serious and important
match. Vince Russo, however, did not believe that was what this feud needed –
and for that reason – the main storyline was about Karen Angle dating and
sleeping with Samoa Joe. In what could have easily been hyped up as the biggest
match in TNA’s history ended up being a ridiculously overbooked episodes of “Days of our Lives”. Joe – who was a freakish monster a few months ago – also was turned into the
biggest fool in the company when Karen Angle cost him the match. It was a
swerve that literally everyone (yes, EVERYONE, Fuj) saw coming.

Angle was then forced to defend every TNA title at No
Surrender. And out of all the wrestlers that he could have picked to
co-hold the tag titles, he picked Sting – the same guys he had problems
with in the past. To no one’s surprise, they did not get along and it caused
them to lose the titles to R-Truth and Pacman Jones (the same “wrestler” that
cannot do anything physical). Angle lost the X-Division title to Jay Lethal, cleanly, in a hard-fought battle. But moments later, Lethal was saddled into
being one of the wrestlers that came out to stop Samoa Joe from killing
Christian. Joe ended up throwing Lethal out of the ring as if he was
a jobber – which hindered his definitive clean victory over Angle. Lastly, Angle
defeated Abyss to retain his TNA world championship, and after the match, Judias
Medias pulled Abyss down under the ring – which started their carbon copied
Undertaker vs. Kane feud.

Fans were becoming more and more frustrated with the
company’s development (or lack thereof). They were especially frustrated with
all of the former WWE/WCW/ECW talent hogging up the spotlight over TNA’s
homegrown talent and Vince Russo’s illogical and silly writing. But instead of taking the responsibility,
Dixie Carter started to blame it on the lack of airtime on Spike TV. She said that if
they received two hours, they would then be able to focus on other talents.
But even with the two hours they finally received, AJ Styles was still booked as a
goober, Samoa Joe was no longer the monster he once was, MCMGs were jobbers,
Chris Daniels was back in a spot he was in three years ago (one of the members
of Triple X), LAX were being improperly used, and the X-Division champion, Jay
Lethal, was being beat up on TV every week.

TNA, meanwhile, signed any former
WCW or WWE talent they could get their hands on – including Dustin Rhodes, Test, and Rikishi.  In sum, the X-Division title
lost most of its credibility, there was no more emphasis on the in-ring
product, wrestlers that could barely move in the ring were given higher spots
in the card than the talented wrestlers, and the booking, as a whole, was a disaster.
Everything that made TNA an alternative was quickly vanishing before its diehard fans’ eyes.


That concludes part 1. Part 2 will look at the downfall of Samoa Joe, the signings of more former WWE talent, the worst ECW reunion ever, failing to sign Paul Heyman, Jim Cornette vs. Vince Russo, the calm before the
storm, the entrance of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, and the short-lived Monday
Night Wars. Sorry in advance for errors I may have made. Most of this information came from what I could remember. 

Catching up on ROH TV Part one: September 7th-8th edition

The last two weeks have been focused squarely on the world title tournament, with 6 tourney matches being put in the books.  #1 seed Michael Elgin faced Paul London, BJ Whitmer wrestled what was likely his final match, TV Champion Matt Taven had stiff first round competition in triple crown winner Roderick Strong, Jay Lethal and Adam Cole kicked of the quarterfinals and “Mr.Wrestling” fought what appeared to be a stoned Jesus Christ. This is the super late Review for LAST week.  The Thrilling conclusion of “please forgive me I’ll be getting these out in timely manner again starting next week” is coming tomorrow.  With the house cleaning out of the way, we have our opening contest…

1st round match: “Sicilian Psychopath” Tommaso Ciampa vs” The Last Real Man in Pro Wrestling” Silas Young

Young has a surprising amount of heat, dude got more universal distaste from the crowd then anyone else on the show.  They start with a crazy intense lockup that sends both men to the floor.  They still don’t break the collar ‘n’ elbow!  They take turns ramming each other into the barricade, neither breaking the stalemate.  Sinclair gets count gets too high for either guys liking so they finally break and run back into the ring.  Young sweeps the leg for some ground and pound.  Ciampa stops the assault by rolling Young’s shoulders down for a 2 count.  Young escapes a chin lock with a back suplex and beats Ciampa from corner to corner.  Young charges but gets caught with a boot.  Ciampa goes to pull his knee pad down when the crowd starts a chant…

RIP THE MUSTACHE clap* clap* clap clap clap*     

RIP THE MUSTACHE clap* clap* clap clap clap*

Tommaso responded by picking Silas up BY HIS MUSTACHE, and then throwing him…BY HIS MUSTACHE!  Beard Money is still weeping at the injustice.  Ciampa does pull down the kneepad now, but his running knee is cut off with a clothesline.  crowd is pissed.  Young doesn’t give his last real shit what they think as we fade to commercial…

Back with Ciampa and Young trading blows on the apron.  Silas is stunned by a jumping knee, but Ciampa takes way too long following up and is suplexed to the floor!  both guys are hurting when they break the count at 14.  The kneeling men trade headbutts and we get the first generic indy stand-off of the night!  Silas whiffs on a clothesline to set up a dragon suplex that gets Ciampa 2.  Tommaso exposes the knee and runs the ropes, right into a basement dropkick form Silas.  School boy gets 2, Ciampa kicks out right into a backbreaker/lariat combo that also gets 2.  Roll through Green Bay slam sets Young up for a top rope headstand split-legged moonsault. (overcompensating for something Silas?)  Young spends to much time on his head and Ciampa takes him back down with a knee to the mustache.  Super kryptonite krunch is blocked by Young.  Young dives into a…spinebuster I think. Ciampa must not have accounted for the extra weight of Young’s manliness because this was bowling shoe ugly.  Ciampa’s sloppy catch gets 2.  Project Ciampa is slipped out of for generic indy stand off #2.  Silas wins the battle of forearms with a guillotine drop, followed by a boot and a lariat.  Ciampa just MANS UP and no sells the whole beat down and we get GENERIC INDY STAND OFF #3!!!  Silas runs the ropes only to be caught in a pop up project Ciampa for the 3 count!  **This was the definition of inoffensive.  Nothing bad, but also nothing you’ll remember after it’s over except maybe a comedy spot with the World’s “Last Real Facial Hair”.  Young refuses the code of Honor post match, because he’s a prick.

1st Round Match: “Buzz Saw” BJ Whitmer vs Michael Bennett
Code of honor is adhered to, but Bennett goes for a cheap shot when BJ turns his back.  BJ ducks and catches Mikey with an enzugiri.  Exploder suplex gets 2 for BJ.  Bennett takes a powder, but BJ follows him out with a suicide dive.  Bennett is suplexed on the floor and tossed back in to the ring.  BJ pounds Bennett all over the ring till a drop to hold reveres their positions.  BJ is hung on the second rope, so Bennett leaves the ring to dropkick him in the face from the floor (for some reason).  I said this the last time Bennett did this spot and I’ll say it again here: STOP!! Jesus H. Christ Bennett, you have the worst fucking dropkick ever thrown by a man under 500 pounds, so stop trying to look cool by throwing it from the floor.  Bennett pulls BJ outside and runs him into the barricade.  A pair of Yakuza kicks from Bennett serve as a backdrop to Maria coming on commentary.  “We like it rough” she says.  Oh no, at this rate she’ll flip Nigel’s pervert switch!  “I’ll bet you do.”  Too late.

Commercial

Back with BJ hitting a belly-to-back suplex for 2.  Bennett responds with a main event spinebuster that also gets 2.  Bennett gets nowhere fast with a chin lock before transitioning to the Boo/Yay spot.  Crowd is way into BJ here.  Double clothesline ends that with both guys down.  Maria throws her shoe in the ring for Bennett and distracts the ref.  Nigel has had enough and he ejects he from the match personally.  I’ll pretend he wasn’t slapping her on the ass as he carried her out, cause sexually harassing an employee’s girlfriend would be an awfully douchey thing for a babyface to do.  Nigel gets massive heat for taking Maria away (no one said the fans weren’t equally misogynistic), so I’ll assume she was the reason the crowd kept chanting BJ! BJ! BJ!  Bennett leaves the ring to protest Nigel’s involvement, so BJ dives off the top to wipe him out.  Whitmer appeared to land on his face, which would suck, at least it can only go up from there right?  Back inside, a powerslam gets 2 for Whitmer.  BJ follows up with a corner to corner knee and rolling vertical suplex into a northern light suplex–with the bridge–for 2.  BJ contests the count, then walks into a jaw breaker from Bennett.  TKO gets 2, and now Bennett argues with the count.  BJ rolls a fisherman neck breaker into a fisherman suplex–with the bridge–for 2.  They fight out to the apron where BJ tries for an exploder suplex.  Bennett piledrives him on the apron and suddenly Kevin Kelly’s commentary track changes as though it were taped some point after the show.  BJ is unable to continue and Sinclair calls for the bell.  **3/4 What isn’t shown is the aftermath, with Richards and other paramedics coming out to check on BJ, Bennett looking horrified with himself, and the crowd falling into a hushed silence.  I’ve been to a lot of wrestling shows in my short life, but I’d never seen something like what happened to the crowd here.  Match was going pretty well (shitty dropkick not with standing) till the ugly finish.  Want some black comedy?  A quote from me back in June describing BJ’s title match with Jay Briscoe: “He’s still has the charisma of
a rock, but as long as he throws himself headfirst through a table every match
he should be fine.” 

I have a very keen sense of hindsight

-Recap of Davey Richards killing Paul London at Border Wars 2013. (Is this injuries sustained on the apron week!?)  I was at that show too…

1st Round Match: “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin vs “Intrepid Traveler” Paul London
London is out to a great ovation.  Crowd tops it with the hometown pop.  Elgin looks like he’s in the best shape of his career, he’s dropped the singlet for standard wrestling tights and there is no belly to speak of.  Feeling out process to start.  Chain wrestling continues gaining in speed until Elgin is rolled up for 2 and dumped to the outside.  Elgin runs right back in but misses with a clothesline.  London lands a dropkick but Elgin doesn’t go down, instead responding with a dominant shoulder tackle.  London earns a full 1.0 on the Marty Jannetty scale with his sell job.  London fights out of the corner with a boot and a diving knee off the second rope.  Elgin still wont fall down.  Reversals are traded and Elgin gets dropkicked in the knee, followed by one to the face.  Cover only gets a 1 count.  Elgin powers out of a front face lock by dropping London on the apron.  A right hand stuns Elgin, but he catches the attempt at a springboard crossbody.  Snake eyes is also reversed and London jumps off Elgin’s face to get to the apron–only to springboard into a powerslam!  Awesome sequence.  Paul gets a prolonged lesson in Elgin-ese with the super delayed vertical (crowd lost count somewhere around 35 seconds).  That’s not what he meant when he asked you if you’d help him get high Michael!

Commercial

Back with both guys fighting on the apron.  Crowd chants “please don’t die” (See Whitmer, BJ).  London leaps and Hurricanranas Elgin from the apron to the floor!  London recovers first and he throws Elgin into the ring.  “Unbreakable” pops up for a DVD but London escapes into Sunset roll up position.  Stop me if you’ve heard this next one; Elgin is to big and strong to be rolled into a pin, but London won’t stop trying.  The big man then eyes the crowd and formulates a plan; he leaps into the air like an idiot, the small man darts out of the way and the larger wrestler lands flat on his fat ass.  It’s right up there with trying to powerbomb Kidman in the “Wrestling plays that never fucking work” list.  Standing shooting star press equates to another 2 count.  London misses a dive and gets kicked in the face, but he stays on top of things reversing a German into another 2 count.  Elgin is done with this losing shit and drills London with a Bossman slam that puts Ray Taylor to shame.  Dead lift German gets 2; Elgin signals for the buckle bomb.  Paul escapes and sweeps the leg for a Davey double stomp to the Canadian’s face for 2.  Both guys are up at the same time, and we all know what that means right?  GENERIC INDY STANDOFF IV!!!  Elgin no sells an enzugiri, London does not no sell getting his head smashed in by an elbow.  Elgin spends too much time on a wind up lariat and is dropkicked to the outside.  London goes up and it’s a Davey double stomp to the floor.  He throws the canuck in the ring for a cover but he only gets 2 again.  London wants to fly again (because really, what else is he gonna do with the size differential).  Elgin cuts him off up top; London’s sunset bomb attempt flops and he’s sent to the apron.  Dead lift superplex gets 2.  Buckle bomb connects, but London turns the Elgin bomb into a reverse hurricanrana!  Shooting Star Press connects, the crowd gasps–and Elgin kicks out at 2.  Toronto nearly had a heart attack on that one.  London is out of moves and tries something drastic with a super hurricanrana.  Big mistake, Super powerbomb from Elgin–no cover.  Elgin picks him up for a spinning backfist, a buckle bomb, and an Elgin bomb that mercifully ends Paul’s night.  Moral of the story, don’t piss off Michael Elgin.*** Very good match, but ACH and Anderson had a similar match that was, in my view, better just last week.  I hope we see London again (preferably teaming with Kendrick), but Elgin going over is the only thing that made any sense here

Decent show.  The BJ match is marred by a legitimately scary ending, and the opener is “meh”, but a solid main event ties it together in an acceptable package

See you all tomorrow for the 14th to 15th edition, and next week for the new show.  In the meantime check out this Article on the greatest US champions of all time I contributed to at Placetobenation.com; my list is on the second page.

/http://placetobenation.com/the-five-count-top-united-states-champions/