A “Because WCW” blog post by Lance Storm


Thought you and the rest of the blog would find this interesting. A slew of "Because WCW" moments as told by Lance Storm. He wrote this to commemorate the re-release of the "Death of WCW" book.


Here's a sample:

"This next story is another great example of how overly booked and over written all of the WCW shows were in 2000. There was an Ambulance match booked between Mike Awesome and Booker T on Nitro. An Ambulance match is usually a blow off type match to end a big feud because one man has to beat up the other guy so bad that he is able to stuff him in the back of an ambulance and send him off to the hospital. I was in Gorilla (backstage area right behind the curtain where they send time cues to the refs, cue music and send the guys for their entrances). Mike Awesome went to the ring first and I was standing backstage with Booker. As Mike is standing in the ring Booker is waiting for his music to hit and I hear Ed Ferrara, who was the one giving time cues, send word to the ref to tell Mike Awesome to "Take it home" (go into the finish to end the match) I looked and Booker, Booker looked at me, and I asked him, How is Mike going to do the finish with you standing back here? Booker of course had no idea and just shrugged. His music finally hit so he could do his entrance, with the realization that the people in charge already wanted this match over, and it hadn't even started yet."

​To be fair, WWE asked him to do lots of equally stupid stuff, too.  ​

Waiting for the Trade – X-men

Waiting for the Trade
by Bill Miller

Marvel Masterworks
Uncanny X-Men vol. 11

by Chris Claremont
& Dave Cockrum with Len Wein

collects Giant Size
X-men #1 and X-men 94-100


Why Bought This: Surprisingly
this was in the discount bin of my favorite local comic store. I’d never read
these issues before despite their importance to comic book history, so when I
saw this on sale I was like why not?


The Plot – Now
classic X-men heroes Wolverine, Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler join the team
as Chris Claremont begins his legendary run on the title.


Chapter 1 – In Germany a mob with pitchforks and
torches is about to kill Nightcrawler when Professor X saves him and recruits
him for the X-men. He then recruits Wolverine away from the Canadian
government, former X-men foe Banshee, Storm out of Africa where she was being
worshipped as a goddess, Sunfire (whom he is previously acquainted with) from Japan, Colossus off a farm in Russia and
Thunderbird off an Indian reservation. He introduces the new recruits to
Cyclops, who recalls how the current X-men team (Jean Grey, Ice-man, Angel,
Havok and Polaris) met defeat on Krakoa while looking for a new mutant. Cyclops
had his powers drained but managed to escape, and now he and Professor X need
these new X-men to mount a rescue mission. Cyclops’ powers return and he leads
the new team to Krakoa. They split into groups of two to search the island and
each group is attacked by natural phenomena like vines or rock slides. They
eventually all find their way to a temple where the original X-men are being
held hostage and their powers drained by vines. When they free them the island
rumbles and comes to life as Krakoa itself is the mutant detected by Cerebro.
New and old X-men unite to throw every super power they have at Krakoa to
little effect. From across the Atlantic Professor X lends a telepathic hand,
which hurts the creature. Storm, Cyclops and Havok feed energy into Polaris to
enhance her magnetic powers and she then hurls the creature into orbit.

Chapter 2 – Professor X offers the new heroes permanent
membership on the team. All but Sunfire accept, who then goes home to Japan. With the
plethora of new members available all of the originals except Cyclops quit
noting they enrolled in Prof. X’s mutant school as teens and now they are
adults and want civilian lives. Scott and Jean share a kiss before she departs.
We get a training montage in the Danger Room as Scott forms the new recruits
into a team, although Thunderbird’s pride sees him have trouble fitting in.
Meanwhile a group of five animal people named the Ani-men take over NORAD under
orders from Count Nefaria (at this time just a rich crime lord and not the
Superman-inspired powerhouse he would later become in The Avengers). The military calls the Avengers for assistance, but
they are on a mission so Beast refers the call to the X-men. They fly the
Blackbird to NORAD, where Nefaria shoots it down forcing the X-men to bail out
sans parachute in mid-air.

Chapter 3 – With only Storm and Banshee able to fly (and
only by gliding on wind and sound currents) and only Colossus able to survival
the fall the team is literally short-handed as Storm can only carry two people
and Banshee only one and they have four non-flyers. As leader Cyclops orders
the others rescued first and Banshee is able to come back for him at the last
possible moment. Nightcrawler teleports into NORAD only to be attacked by a
frog man. They have a battle of dueling acrobatics that Nightcrawler wins. He
then opens the hatch-door for the rest of the X-men but once inside Nefaria
gasses them. The team breaks through a wall to escape. They are attacked by
hypnotized soldiers, whom Storm takes care of with wind and rain. Next all five
Ani-Men attack (a gorilla, frog, cat, dragonfly and bird) and after four pages
of battle the X-men win. Nefaria attempts to escape in a fighter jet and Thunderbird
jumps on the wing. The plane explodes in mid-air and Thunderbird dies.

Chapter 4 – Cyclops is blaming himself for Thunderbird’s
death alone in the woods. He loses his temper and shoots off an optic blast
which happens to damage an obelisk. The others are practicing in the Danger
Room when Wolvie loses his temper and tries to kill Nightcrawler, who teleports
away. Banshee chastises Wolvie, then goes with Prof X to meet new housekeeper
Moria MacTaggurt with whom Banshee is instantly smitten. We cut to Scott Lang,
who is maniacally building Sentinels for the government only to be confronted
by some military commander who intends to shut the project down. Back at the X-Mansion
Cyclops is suddenly thrown through a wall from outside by a demon he awoke at
the obelisk. Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler each attacking it one at a time
with marginal effectiveness until Wolvie steps up, goes berserk and slices it
to death. The demon however resurrects by draining off a portion of the life-force
of those in the room to do so. Pro X tries to read its mind and is nearly
driven insane until Banshee intercedes. Pro X did discover the Obelisk is its
weakness during the telepathy so Storm flies out to it and blows it up with
lightening killing the first of what will be many demons over the years.

Chapter 5 – Prof X is having nightmares that he is an alien
exile. He confides in Moria when he awakens. Meanwhile an unseen foe surprises
Havok and Polaris at home, defeating and hypnotizing them with ease. At the
airport the X-men are meeting Jean Grey’s plane as she comes to visit only to
be attacked by Havok and Polaris. In the course of the fight Havok blows up
some planes. The mystery villain is revealed as Eric the Red (apparently a
former identity of Cyclops). As the fight continues Polaris nearly kills Jean
and Storm, while Cyclops is forced to fight his own brother. Nightcrawler and Colossus
try to fight Red but he proves to be just as strong as Colossus and hits him
with a plane. Storm loses her temper and electrocutes Polaris. Even hypnotized
this pisses off Havok, who blasts Cyclops and then tends to Lorna. When Prof X
and Wolvie arrive, Red sees the numbers are not in their favor and the villains
retreat. Cyclops has a chance to shoot Havok to stop him but can’t bring
himself to do it causing Wolverine to criticize him.

Chapter 6 – It’s Christmas and the X-men are shopping in
their secret identities when they are attacked by Sentinels. Jean is captured
and Cyclops finds himself hanging from a building but is saved by Storm. Storm
uses a hurricane to defeat one but has to stop because they are in the middle
of NYC. Banshee and Wolverine are captured off-camera and the robots retreat.
Meanwhile Prof X is on vacation in the Caribbean
when he too is attacked by a Sentinel. For some reason his telepathy actually
shuts it down but then he has an alien nightmare again (while awake) and
another Sentinel is able to capture him. Scott Lang is gloating over the
captured X-men. He slaps Jean which annoys Wolvie enough to break his bonds. He
destroys a Sentinel then frees Jean and Banshee but not Prof X since they don’t
have his wheelchair and there are more Sentinels to fight. They destroy a bunch
but when they break a hole through the wall to escape they discover they are in
outer space.

Chapter 7 – The three heroes are about to die in the vacuum of
space when a Sentinel retrieves them. Lang gloats how there is no escape. The
remaining X-men figure out where their teammates are being held and somehow
arrange a space shuttle launch to save them. The shuttle is attacked by
Sentinels and breached, sucking Storm (in a space suit) out into space. The
remaining heroes ram the shuttle into Lang’s base. A Sentinel attacks Storm,
who discovers her powers are far stronger in space as she can manipulate
stellar storms of cosmic energy. In the base the heroes defeat some more
Sentinels then rejoice when Storm turns up alive. Jean is able to sense Scott
and telepathically let him know she and Prof X are in a different cell block
than Banshee and Wolverine. Scott sends everyone else to Wolvie while going for
Jean and the Prof himself. He finds Lang and pummels him with his fists for
taking Jean hostage; until Lang is assisted by an unseen foe to take them down.
The rest of the new X-men come looking for Scott only to find him with original
team in their original costumes out for blood.

Chapter 8 – We get a big fight between the two X-men teams
that leads to the first ever Wolvie-Colossus fastball special. Wolvie manages
to fight his way to Prof X (who is working with the originals) and confronts
him on what is going on. Prof X rises from his wheelchair and decks Wolvie.
Jean then uses telepathy on Wolverine. This reverts Wolvie to animal mode and
he disembowels Xavier, revealing a robot. We see Lang still has the real Scott,
Jean, Pro X and their astronaut pilot prisoner. Cyclops escapes and he and Lang
fight while the new X-men finish up the original X-men robots (aka
X-Sentinels). Lang gets more irrational as the fight goes on, and ultimately
kills himself when he tries to kamikaze attack Cyclops with a hovercraft. The
heroes still have to get back to Earth but there are severe solar/cosmic ray
storms and their shuttle’s shielding has been damaged around the ship’s
navigation controls. Jean realizes she is the only one who can pilot the ship
as she uses telepathy to read the pilots mind to teach herself how to fly the ship
and then hopes her TK force field will protect her from the solar storm as she
pilots the craft while the others are shielded. Scott and Wolvie both try to
talk her out of it but she mind zaps Scott and tells Wolvie off. After a
tearful farewell with Storm, whom she makes promise to tell Scott she loves him
she embarks on the most fateful flight in comic book history. And we see her TK
field fail before the onslaught of cosmic rays in the cliffhanger.
Critical Thoughts:
There’s a reason this run is legendary. It starts off good, as the new
characters find their footing on the team and quickly accelerates to great when
we get to the Sentinel story and Jean’s sacrifice. And as we all know the best
was yet to come with Jean.

I will say the demon story, while enjoyable as a fight
scene, is pretty clichéd and one-dimensional. Questions like why is there an
ancient obelisk with a demon in the woods near the X-mansion, would need a lot
more explanation in a modern story. Furthermore why does zapping the obelisk
free the demon but blowing up completely. It’s all very arbitrary.

Krakoa is also pretty lacking in explanation. It’s a mutant
island? Islands aren’t born, so how does it have X-gene? But let’s face it the
point of this story is to introduce the new heroes with a suitably big threat
that gets them together so they can overhaul the team, and by those standards
it succeeded beyond anyone at Marvel’s wildest expectations.

Ditto, the villains aren’t all that interesting in the
Thunderbird story, nor is Thunderbird a very interesting character before he
dies. But again the point was to show anything could happen in the new
reiteration of the X-men and in that case it set a tone that thrived in the
X-books for the remainder of Claremont’s
long run.


Grade: B+. That
Sentinel story is an easy A, the others are better for historic value than
actual stories. Still a trade well worth-reading and the ending makes me want
to buy the next one to read the Dark Phoenix slow build again.


Lockdown 2012

Lockdown 2012
Date: April 15, 2012
Location: Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, Tennessee
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Tazz

This is the second biggest show of the year for TNA as every match is inside a cage. The double main event is Roode vs. Storm for the title and Lethal Lockdown with Team Bischoff vs. Team Garrett in a match that no one really wants to see, even the big TNA fans. We also have Angle vs. Hardy in what should likely be Angle’s great match that he always has here. Let’s get to it.

Young/ODB vs. Rosita/Sarita has been added to the show.

The opening video is of Storm getting in a truck and saying that it ends tonight with Roode.

The regular opening video is a history of Beer Money and how they had a lot of success but they were never friends. This has a lot of audio clips from the showdown on Thursday which is a good thing.

Team Garrett has a meeting. Garrett wants to go first to earn his team’s respect. Great. MORE Garrett. The team agrees.

Lethal Lockdown

Team Eric: Eric Bischoff, Gunner, Bully Ray, Kazarian, Christopher Daniels
Team Garrett: Garrett Bischoff, AJ Styles, Mr. Anderson, Rob Van Dam, Austin Aries

I was worried this would close the show so this is a nice surprise. This is TNA’s WarGames match and if Garrett’s team loses, he’s out of TNA. If Eric’s team loses, he’s out and can’t use his name in wrestling again. Three minute opening period then two minutes for each one after that and Team Eric has the advantage. Gunner and Garrett start of course and it’s power vs. speed.

Garrett tries to avoid the power but after a missile dropkick, Gunner takes over by running him down. Into the corner and Gunner hits a running knee to the head. No pins or submissions until all ten are in remember. He rams Garrett into the steel and Bully Ray is out next for a two minute advantage. Gunner holds him for a running boot to the chest. This is pure dominance for about 90 seconds until Austin Aries is in fourth. The fans were cheering his name so they’re giving the people what they want.

Aries EXPLODES on Ray in the corner and gets in some shots on Gunner as well. At about a minute in he runs into a boot and Ray takes over. Garrett stays in the corner where he belongs as Aries, the actually good wrestler, does the work. A missile dropkick puts Ray down and Kazarian, with a nearly shaved head, is in next. The fans chant that he looks stupid and it’s a three on one beatdown of Garrett. Gunner chokes Aries as Kaz fires off kicks to the ribs of Garrett.

AJ evens things up as this is in classic WarGames formula already. Kaz tries to meet him coming in but AJ slams the door on his head. Pele takes Gunner down but Ray runs him over. Sweet dropkick takes Ray down and everyone pairs off. Here’s Daniels for another advantage. It’s 4-3 at the moment and Daniels gives Team Eric the big advantage. Ray pulls off his belt and Garrett takes a whipping.

Anderson is the fourth guy for his team so there’s just Eric and RVD to go. It’s the heel beatdown again but AJ manages a nice suplex on Ray. Now back to your regularly scheduled beatdown with thirty seconds to go before Eric comes in. Here’s Eric in business casual attire. He holds Garrett for a big chop from Ray and Gunner gets in one as well. Eric and Daniels talk trash as the clock counts down.

Here’s Van Dam and he cleans house. There hasn’t been a lot of that in this match so far. There hasn’t been much to commentate on because it’s been 17 minutes of punching and kicking so far. That’s what these matches usually are so it’s not a shock, but it’s still not that interesting. Eric hides in the corner and here come the weapons. The match basically resets here as everyone gets a weapon and Team Garrett takes over.

Daniels takes a bunch of weapon shots and Aries stomps away on Ray. Eric gets dragged in by AJ and Austin and the beating commences. Van Dam loads up the Five Star but Gunner crotches him. Ray lawn darts Aries into the cage but Anderson comes back with a swinging neckbreaker to Daniels. Kaz gets the spotlight now as he beats up everyone before focusing on AJ.

Kaz monkey bars across the top of the cage but AJ follows him and kicks him down. He drops an elbow down on Kazarian and RVD hits the Five Star. Ray takes Van Dam down but picks up a chair. YOU DON’T PICK UP A CHAIR IN A ROB VAN DAM MATCH! Van Daminator puts him down but Daniels pops up to take Van Dam out. Daniels goes after Garrett but Garrett hits his falling Diamond Cutter.

He covers Daniels but Eric grabs a kendo stick to pound away on him. Eric insults his own wife by calling Garrett an SOB and beats Garrett half to death. The fans want blood. Eric is the only one up at the moment. Garrett pops up and guitars Eric for the pin at 26:04 to get rid of Eric for I’d say three months or so. That was completely out of nowhere.

Rating: C-. This was probably the worst Lethal Lockdown I can ever remember. There was A LOT of punching and kicking and no big spot at all. Also the whole thing here was supposed to be about Garrett’s big comeback but really all he did was pop up after a bunch of kendo stick shots, hit Eric once and pin him. Naturally that probably means more TV time for Garrett because that’s what the fans are screaming for in Eric’s ears, but that’s life in TNA. Getting this out of the way first was a good idea though.

Tag Titles: Motorcity Machineguns vs. Magnus/Samoa Joe

The Guns have generic music to start but their regular theme starts during their walk to the ring. Methinks that was a glitch. You can win by pin, submission or escape for the rest of the matches. Magnus and Shelley start things off. Things speed way up to start and Magnus gets a clothesline for two. Sabin gets a blind tag and a pair of kicks get two. Off to Joe who is too fat for Sabin to run over.

A crucifix into a sunset flip doesn’t really work either so let’s try a dropkick. That at least slows Joe down and it’s off to Shelley. Back to Magnus who gets caught in a pinball series of punches. Magnus comes back and manages a fallaway slam to throw Sabin into Shelley in a cool spot. Back to Joe who pounds Sabin down to give us a face in peril. I think he’s in peril to another face but you get the idea.

The champions double team Sabin to keep him in the ring including a big boot to set up a backsplash for two. Magnus hooks a chinlock but Chris comes back with a jawbreaker to get out. A spinning spinebuster puts Sabin right back down and it’s off to Joe again. Snap suplex gets two. Sabin grabs a tornado DDT while climbing up Magnus and is able to make the tag. Shelley comes in but even that doesn’t wake this crowd up.

Sliced Bread is broken up but Sabin powerbombs Joe out of the corner. Magnus is knocked off the top and a top rope double stomp gets two for Shelley. A move I think called the elevated Hero’s Welcome gets two on Magnus. Skull and Bones is broken up and Sabin is caught in the Clutch. Sliced Bread hits Magnus and Joe has to break up the choke to make the save. The champions’ finisher misses so Sabin hooks up a rear naked choke on Joe. Magnus hits a kind of Michinoku Driver on Shelley and Joe runs out of the corner, dropping Sabin on Shelley. The snapmare/elbow gets the pin on Shelley at 11:19.

Rating: B-. This started really slow but once they stopped the tagging it got a lot more exciting. I definitely agree with the champions retaining here as there’s nothing for the Guns to do in this division anymore. Having them as something like Beer Money for the last year they were together would be a much better spot for them which is something they could do now.

Robbie E says he’ll get the TV Title back. Why didn’t this go after Lethal Lockdown to save the crowd a bit?

TV Title: D-Von vs. Robbie E

D-Von rams Robbie into bigger Rob to start. Robbie takes him down and stomps a lot, followed by a middle rope forearm for two. Time for the chinlock for a bit before Robbie goes to the top rope (yes rope, not corner), only to get crotched. D-Von comes back with a shoulder block and Miz’s Reality Check. Corner splash sets up the spinebuster to retain at 3:26.

Rating: D+. I get the idea of filler, but it’s still D-Von Freaking Dudley with a title. I could definitely see Ray having a belt at this point as he’s elevated his game huge, but D-Von is so average it’s unreal. He’s huge and has gotten in great shape, but how many other people would be better with the title? In short, no one because it’s never defended so it doesn’t really matter, which is the much bigger part of the problem.

Robbie T beats down D-Von post match, probably to continue the feud.

Matt Morgan says that he’s in wrestling to make money and win titles. Tonight, it’s about revenge though and the cage is a prison cell.

Knockouts Title: Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky

No pigeons again and Tazz is upset. Her outfit is different this week as it’s more like a skirt. Madison comes out with Gail. Velvet grabs a fast rollup for two but Gail hits her in the back to take over. Velvet fires off some shots but Gail knocks her back, hitting a missile dropkick for two. More back work in the form of a backbreaker with the bending over the knee by Gail before she moves on to a knee lock, bending it around her own head.

Gail hooks something like a dragon sleeper which is countered by a jawbreaker. She misses a charge in the corner but Velvet is down too. Flying headscissors puts Gail down but she pops up to try and climb out. Velvet follows her up for some knees on the top rope. She looks for In Yo Face but settles for a sunset bomb for two instead. Madison starts yelling at Velvet as Gail tries to escape. Sky notices and tries an O’Connor Roll which is reversed into a rollup by Gail with tights for the pin at 7:27.

Rating: C-. Not the worst match ever but they’re not doing anything to help this already bad crowd. Gail keeps the title here, which I can live with because there was very little build for Velvet, but they need someone to breathe some life into this division. Gail and Madison has been played but it didn’t get mentioned at all here for the most part.

Here’s Flair for some chatting. If anyone can get a crowd fired up it’s him. Flair asks if the people know who he is and insults some fans at ringside for not knowing who he is. I think he’s drunk. He’s ticked off and that’s not good for who he’s ticked off at, and that would be Hogan. Tonight Hogan ended Eric Bischoff’s career and that’s not cool. He insults some fat guy in a yellow t-shirt and here’s Hulk.

Flair talks over Hulk’s music about how Hogan has ticked him off and there’s a good Hogan chant, the first solid crowd reaction in about an hour. Hulk asks if he can get in Flair’s ring and Flair says that’s fine. Ric sounds very drunk. Hulk says if Flair has a grievance, say it now. This is pure filler in case you couldn’t tell. Hogan says Flair asked if people knew who he was. He’s at Lethal Lockdown (is that match still going?) and here at Lockdown, Eric Bischoff is gone and can’t use his name again.

Hogan challenges Flair to a fight right now and that REALLY ticks Flair off. Hulk drills him and makes a funny face at him….and that’s it. Seriously, it was one punch. Flair says come back here and takes his tie off. Hogan leaves and Flair yells at Tenay. This has been going on WAY too long and it’s not accomplishing anything at all. The fans chant Space Mountain and Flair asks if someone wants to ride it….and that’s it.

We recap Crimson vs. Morgan which is pretty much Morgan’s feud with Abyss and Hernandez all over again.

Crimson vs. Matt Morgan

Crimson is now billed as “The Undefeated” on his graphic. Crimson goes for the door very quickly but Morgan keeps pulling him back in. Morgan walks into a clothesline for two as momentum shifts. Crimson rams him into the cage as the crowd is a little more awake now. He chokes Morgan on the ropes and a spinebuster gets two.

Crimson sets for what looked like the spear but walks into the discus lariat. Big boot puts Crimson down and it’s followed by a nice belly to back suplex. Morgan loads up the Carbon Footprint in the corner but gets tangled in the ropes. Crimson tries a quick escape but they wind up fighting on the top rope. Morgan gets crotched and tied up in the rope, allowing Crimson to climb out for the win at 7:26.

Rating: D. You know, if the time is such a problem tonight, maybe you could have this go a few more minutes and have the TV Title go longer than three minutes. It might keep the issues down a bit more. Anyway, this match was really boring as the feud has been put on hold for the last two weeks. This show is bordering on disaster at this point but there are some big matches to come.

We recap Angle vs. Hardy, which is because of Kurt not liking the way Hardy looks and acts, partially because of Angle’s son being a Hardy fan. Angle cheated to win last time at Victory Road.

Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy

Angle said that he and Hardy could match HHH vs. Undertaker here and he’s had a great track record at this show so hopefully he continues that here. Hardy’s paint is black and white here. There’s this, the world title and the Knockout Tag Titles left so the show still has a small chance. Angle’s thigh is taped due to a legit injury. Kurt pounds him in the corner to start but Jeff comes back with the legdrop between the legs.

They’re going very slowly here but it might be a slow build. Jeff whips him into the corner and hits the slingshot dropkick but he’s holding his neck. Jeff seems to be ok though and he pounds Angle down in the corner. Kurt slams him into the cage which had a great sound. Snap suplex gets two. Back into the cage as it’s pretty clear Kurt is nowhere near 100%. It looks like Jeff is busted a bit but you can’t see that well.

Kurt rams him into the cage again and walks around a lot. Oh yeah Jeff is busted. Jeff comes back with a clothesline and both guys are down. Things speed up again and Jeff comes back with some forearms. Whisper in the Wind gets two. Twisting Stunner puts Kurt down and he loads up the Swanton, but Angle runs the corner and hits a GREAT Angle Slam out of the corner for a close two. Kurt goes for the door but Jeff dives for the leg. Angle pounds on his head and goes for the climb over but Jeff pulls him back. Now Jeff goes up and knocks Kurt back, hitting a standing top rope Vader Bomb for two.

Both guys are down again and it’s Hardy up first. He goes for the door but Kurt grabs the ankle and puts on the ankle lock. Jeff counters into the ankle lock on Angle (on the good leg) but Kurt rolls out. Twist of Fate puts Angle down and Jeff goes for the corner. Swanton connects but he goes up again and hits a second one which gets two. Kurt pulls him head first into the cage and the Angle Slam gets two. Hardy counters the Slam into one of his own before going all the way to the top of the cage for a super Swanton for the pin at 14:48.

Rating: B+. While it’s not as good as Kurt’s other matches, this was a HUGE step up over what the rest of this show has been. I don’t ever remember my heart being in my throat for a spot more than that Swanton though as I thought he was going to kill himself. Angle’s injury slowed this a lot but it was still a very good match and a major help that this show needed.

Knockouts Tag Titles: Eric Young/ODB vs. Rosita/Sarita

Eric and ODB have hockey jerseys on. ODB charges in to jump Sarita and Eric doesn’t know what corner to go to. Isn’t this where Eric is billed from? It’s a comedy match of course with Eric thinking he’s referee, which causes ODB to get in trouble. The girls keep trying to seduce Eric as they work over ODB. ODB comes back, spears Sarita and hits the Bam on Rosita for the pin to retain at 4:17.

Rating: D. Was Eric ever legally in? This was a comedy match to bring the crowd down a bit before the main event. There’s not much else to say here other than the girls minus ODB looked good and Eric is still not that funny. This served its purpose well enough though so points for that.

The announcers talk about the main event for awhile.

Roode says tonight is a fight, not a wrestling match. He’s out for blood and they hate each other. Some idiot fan tried an ECW chant during this.

We recap the main event. It’s another excellent package with Roode talking about how he’s the champion and he’ll do anything to win and Storm talking about how it took ten years to get to this moment.

TNA World Title: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode

Storm drives a truck into the arena. He has something resembling the AMW trenchcoat but it’s not quite the same. Storm jumps him on the floor before the bell rings and takes the fight to him. He rams Roode into the cage and drops an elbow from a table. The bell hasn’t rung yet and they have over half an hour. Storm blocks a cage shot and they fight up the entrance. All Storm so far.

Storm swings a chair at the cage but misses, allowing Roode to hit a clothesline to the back of the head to drive Storm’s head into the steel. Roode gets a beer bottle and Storm is busted. The beer is put on the steps as Roode hammers away. Montgomery Gentry and Storm’s wife are here. They go into the cage and there’s the bell. Roode is in full control and rams Storm into the cage again.

Roode yells a lot and the crowd is quiet enough that you can hear most of it. Suplex and knee drop get two. That cut is opening more and more. Storm Hulks Up and wins a slugout but a running elbow takes him right back down. Storm gets a boot up in the corner but Roode takes him down with a big clothesline for two. Roode does the cheese grater spot on the cage and the tape on Storm’s wrists are all covered in blood.

Roode is still shouting in Storm’s face and has Storm’s blood on his face. We cut to Storm’s wife and she looks as interested as parents when their kid isn’t on stage in a third grade school play. Storm comes back with a bunch of punches and clotheslines. Here’s the Eye of the Storm but Roode escapes. A catapult sends Roode into the cage and the Eye of the Storm gets two.

James walks into a spinebuster for two. Roode is busted also. Closing Time (Codebreaker/Backstabber combo) gets two. Now Roode gets the cheese grater treatment. Roode ducks a dive and Storm eats cage, allowing Roode to hook the Crossface. Storm manages to roll to the ropes but both guys are spent. They go to the corner and Storm fights out of a superplex but gets his head rammed into the cage.

Roode climbs on Storm to try to get out and he kicks Storm down to the mat. Storm climbs up and gets Roode dangling on the top of the cage. He’s back in now and they slug it out on the top rope some more. Storm pulls him down and loads up the Last Call but it hits the referee flush on the jaw.

Roode takes him down and has the door wide open but he wants the beer bottle. He busts it over Storm’s head and demands that Hebner come in for the cover but it only gets two. Instead of sprinting out the door, Roode walks into the Last Call but Storm can’t follow up. Storm superkicks Roode out the door, AND HE KEEPS THE TITLE at 17:39.

Rating: B. This company amazes me. If there was EVER, I mean EVER, a more perfect setup than this, I’d love to see it because this was as perfect as you could get and they go the other way. On top of that, they do it TONIGHT, with the crowd being as uninterested as they’ve ever been. The match was great, the ending…..oh dear.

Storm hugs his wife to end the show.

Overall Rating
: D+. The first half of this show was dreadful, ranking up there with some of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. Angle vs. Hardy breathed life into it and the Knockout Tag was as good as it was going to be. The main event was going strong and then they completely deflate the place (ok it was deflated already) with the ending. This was the perfect place to end Roode’s reign, but instead they swerve us just like at Bound For Glory. I get the idea of a surprise, but there are times where you go with the obvious. This was one of them.

Team Garrett Bischoff b. Team Eric Bischoff – Garrett pinned Eric after a guitar shot
Samoa Joe/Magnus b. Motorcity Machineguns – Middle Rope Elbow to Shelley
D-Von b. Robbie E – Spinebuster
Gail Kim b. Velvet Sky – Rollup with a handful of tights
Crimson b. Matt Morgan – Crimson escaped the cage
Jeff Hardy b. Kurt Angle – Swanton off the top of the cage
ODB/Eric Young b. Sarita/Rosita – The Bam to Rosita
Bobby Roode b. James Storm – Storm superkicked Roode out of the cage

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Impact Wrestling – April 12, 2012

Michael is out tonight so I’m filling in.

Impact Wrestling
Date: April 12, 2012
Location: Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Mike Tenay, Taz

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

It’s the go home show for Lockdown and again there aren’t any spoilers for the show tonight. The main idea here will probably be the announcing of the teams for Lethal Lockdown, or the Garrett Bischoff Showcase, whichever you prefer to call it. Other than that we’ll likely get a face to face showdown between Roode and Storm. Let’s get to it.

Tonight is the ODB/Eric Young wedding.

Here’s Eric Bischoff to open the show. I’m still not sure how the stipulation of him never being able to use his own name again works, or why most fans would care about that but it’s something else I guess. He starts talking about Lethal Lockdown and the fans chant that they don’t care. He brings out his team: Bully Ray, Gunner, Kazarian, Christopher Daniels and….there’s no fifth man.

Ray wants to know if the fans know who Eric is. The fans again say that they don’t care. Ray is proud to go to war for Eric, but Eric has made one mistake. That mistake is Garrett. Eric says that tonight there’s a best of three series to determine who has the advantage. Gunner is ready for whomever Garrett’s team brings to the table. Speaking of Garrett here he is. The fans cheer for him so there’s validation for him to be on the show I guess.

He has his own team, comprised of Anderson….and I guess we have to wait for the rest of the best of three series to find out the rest.

Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner

We join the match in progress after a break with Anderson ramming Gunner’s head into the buckle. Anderson misses a charge into the corner and Gunner takes over as they head outside. Gunner tries to ram Anderson into the post but gets sent himself. He goes into the barricade face first a few times as well and they head back inside. Anderson drops him with a clothesline and a few elbows but Gunner comes right back. He’s so intense you know. Gunner grabs a rollup with tights for two. They slug it out and Gunner is sent into the post twice. Anderson chokes him into the corner and won’t let up on it, drawing the DQ at 4:47.

Rating: C. This wasn’t bad as Anderson was showing some fire for the first time in a very long time. He’s not interesting for the most part though and that really hurts him. Anderson is just kind of there for the most part and the same is true for Gunner. Neither guy does anything of note in the ring and it makes most of their matches boring. This was a bit different but not by much.

Young is in a poweder blue tux and glasses when Joseph Park shows up. Park asks Eric about a pre-nup which Eric thinks is a dog. Joseph asks Eric to think and the last thing he remembers is that Abyss was involved with Immortal. Joseph leaves Young a business card in case he needs anything. I like the Park character and it’s nice to see him FINALLY get somewhere with this.

Here are the Guns with no entrance and a title match on Sunday. They talk about how great they are and how Joe/Magnus haven’t teamed together long at all. Here are the champions for the semi-traditional tag team face to face talk. Magnus says he respects them (also traditional) but it’s not about who the best team ever is. It’s about who the best team today is, and the Guns are looking at it. A challenge is laid down to fight right now and the Guns are ready but here’s Mexican America to stop it. Anarquia says they should be in on this and both teams promptly destroy them.

Christopher Daniels vs. Austin Aries

Match #2 in the series for Lethal Lockdown advantage. Well at least it’s not AJ. Aries controls with a headlock to start but Daniels gets one of his own. They feel each other out a bit and Aries is moving better than Daniels here. The crowd has been hot all night too. Daniels charges into an elbow but Aries gets crotched as he goes up. Daniels tries a dive on the floor but Aries slides in and hits that sweet suicide dive of his.

Back in Aries takes him down and hits a handspring elbow drop for two. Sunset flip out of the corner gets the same. They trade some reversals and Aries tries to use tights but gets caught. Release Rock Bottom looks to set up the BME but Aries moves. He heads up and hits a missile dropkick followed by a running dropkick in the corner. The Brainbuster gets the clean pin at 5:32.

Rating: B. I’m not a fan of Daniels about 80% of the time, but this was a really fun match. Having Daniels getting away from AJ almost always proves to make him much more enjoyable, probably because it’s ANYTHING but him vs. AJ, but this was good stuff. Aries was flying out there and having him get the clean pin was a nice plus as he needs to get some wins over the bigger names on the show.

Here’s Hardy to cut a promo as they’re assembling the cage for the wedding. He talks about how Angle cost him the world title and on Sunday it all ends in a steel cage. They’re going to hurt each other….and that’s it. He only talked for about 40 seconds.

We get a promo from last Thursday where Storm rants about Roode disrespecting Montgomery Gentry.

Young is still giving himself a pep talk when Rosita and Sarita come in and hit on him. They want the titles back and imply that once the ring goes on his finger his life ends. They both flash him and Young turns them down.

It’s time for the wedding. Let’s get this over with. Eric comes out and is nervous. Here Comes The Bride plays and there’s no ODB. Oh ok she comes out to her theme music. So Cal Val locks them in the cage and Eric looks nervous. Young’s middle name is Cornelius. The minister isn’t thrilled with how strange this is. He says that the cage is symbolic of the strength and commitment needed for a marriage.

There’s a video of their history together which is set to a bad love song which sounds like something off an SNL parody. A lot of Bronco Busters are included. Eric seems quite proud after the video. The fans chant for ODB who looks nervous. They both have their own vows. Eric’s say he be with her no matter what she does and he’ll allow her to rub his feet whenever she wants because he knows she’s into that. She promises to not take his last name but she will take his ring music. She’ll also slap him when necessary because he’s into that. Apparently Eric gets sex whenever he wants.

The minister asks if there’s an objection and cue….Mexican America. Oh wait just the chicks. Didn’t they get repossessed or something? Sarita talks about flashing Eric in the back and says he can have the best Knockout tag champions ever. Rosita takes off her robe and dances in lingerie. He seems interested and ODB is crying. Sarita does the same sort of dance and ODB says she doesn’t have what they have. She does however have this, and she strips her dress off to reveal lingerie and a small flask of her own.

Eric turns to ODB and says he knows the missing ingredient now. He strips down to his underwear as usual but leaves the cummerbund on. They make the minister strip too. Eric says yes, ODB says yes, and ODB kisses him to the mat. This got nearly 14 minutes, or longer than almost two of the first match and the second match combined.

Flair gives Ray a pep talk.

Roode says he has no problem with the match vs. Storm being personal.

Bully Ray vs. AJ Styles

The respective winning team gets the advantage in Lethal Lockdown on Sunday. Feeling out process to start before AJ speeds things up. Everyone is on the floor to watch this one including Flair. Ray sends him to the apron and a big boot puts AJ on the floor. Ray misses a splash and AJ speeds things up, hitting a clothesline and another in the corner.

Tornado DDT is countered and Ray hits a great Samoan Drop for two. Ray goes up but AJ nips up and hits a rana for two. Styles goes to the ropes but Kaz trips him, starting the big brawl. In the ring AJ hits the Pele for a delayed two. AJ gets distracted and Ray gets his chain. AJ tries the springboard forearm but jumps into the chain for the pin at 6:44.

Rating: C. Pretty fun match here as you would expect from both of these guys. I’ve heard rumors that Ray might be getting a world title reign this year and while I would initially think it’s company suicide, it’s no stupider than Garrett’s push. This was a pretty decent match for the most part with AJ doing his usual high flying and Ray being a decent power brawler. Good stuff.

And here’s Hulk to say that now it’s 5 on 5 and Bischoff has three minutes (commercial) to get his last guy.

Back and Flair wants to be the 5th guy but Eric says no. Eric thinks that Hulk is going to be the other team’s fifth guy so Eric wants to be in there so he can stand over Hulk. Hogan says he won’t he (as in Hogan) won’t be in the match but the fifth man will be…..Rob Van Dam. So to recap, we have a two time world champion, a former world champion, the hottest commodity in the company, and the most decorated man in the history of the company all as foot soldiers for GARRETT BISCHOFF. Also, could this match be any more one sided? Eric’s biggest name is who, Ray? But hey, it makes Garrett look good right?

Video on Roode vs. Storm, narrated by Roode. As usual, this was awesome.

We run down the card for Lockdown. I completely forgot about Morgan vs. Crimson.

Madison Rayne/Gail Kim vs. Mickie James/Velvet Sky

Velvet doesn’t do the pigeons thing and Taz is furious. Madison and Mickie start things off. Mickie tries to escape a wristlock so Maidson kicks her in the face. Off to Gail who walks into a flapjack. Velvet comes in and Gail runs over to tag. Sky isn’t in long and it’s back to Mickie who plays pretty face in peril. Mickie avoids a charge in the corner and it’s hot tag to Velvet. Madison makes the save off a bulldog so Velvet DDTs her. Gail tries to leave but Mickie throws her back in. In Yo Face is broken up but so it Eat Defeat. In Yo Face gets the pin at 3:56.

Rating: C-. Not a good match or anything but this was exactly what it needed to be. Velvet gets the pin on Gail to set up their match on Sunday and Mickie and Madison are there to keep the match from happening early. Now why is that such a complex idea for most other matches to get?

Time for the showdown with Storm and Roode. Storm talks first, talking about how they’ve been down the road together and gone to Japan as Beer Money, all while talking about how cool it would be to be world champion one day, then laughing because it wouldn’t happen. Roode says he isn’t going to pretend Beer Money didn’t exist, because it was a proud moment in his life.

However there’s another moment that Roode wants to talk about, and that’s when they both entered the BFG Series. They wrestled in the semi-finals and Roode wound up winning the tournament where he lost in the main event of Bound For Glory while Storm didn’t have a match. This is all accompanied by clips of what they’re talking about which helps a lot. Storm says he remembers that, and then the next week he beat the guy that beat Roode in record time.

Roode remembers two weeks later where he beat Storm for the world title. That was also the night he turned heel. Storm says that was the night that Beer Money’s legacy was destroyed. Roode says there was no legacy because they never were friends. They hated each other and only had success because of that hatred. Storm goes off on Roode for selling out and says his superkick foot is getting antsy.

Storm says this is leading to Nashville but Roode says that this isn’t about Nashville or Storm’s redneck wife and kids. Storm takes off the jacket and Roode says this is getting personal. He talks about Storm’s dead brothers and dead father and they go nose to nose…and we’re out of time as they’re still yelling. Solid segment but they threw a lot at us at once.

Overall Rating: C+. This show was pretty good, but as usual with TNA, if you don’t like the main angle they’ve got going on, you don’t have much of a reason to watch the show. When you look at this show, you get about five segments on Lethal Lockdown, one long one on the title match, a decent one on the tag titles, a match about the Knockouts, and that’s about it.

Angle vs. Hardy got 40 seconds and Crimson vs. Morgan was mentioned in the PPV preview and that’s it. There’s a TV Title match which wasn’t mentioned, but I didn’t expect it to be. In short, as always the problem is too much Bischoff. Lockdown should be good though, so that’s a good sign. Hopefully they don’t screw this up like they do everything else.

Gunner b. Mr. Anderson via DQ when Anderson wouldn’t stop choking Gunner
Austin Aries b. Mr. Anderson – Brainbuster
Bully Ray b. AJ Styles – Ray pinned Styles after hitting him with a chain
Velvet Sky/Mickie James b. Madison Rayne/Gail Kim – In Yo Face to Kim

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