I’ve been skimming through TNA rather than sitting down and trying to enjoy it but that Hardy Contract Signing was bad/good enough to make me want to try properly.
In case you haven’t seen it yet:
I’m waiting to see how The Hardys will spin this, I’m guessing they’ll take the Frank Miller approach and call it a deliberate parody after everyone’s panned it. ”This is shit” ”Ha ha, it was supposed to be shit!”
Matt Hardy starts the show. I don’t know what accent he’s trying for, he changes his mind every sentence. He sounds more like a sixty-year old boxer. We get clips of Galloway pinning all three members of Decay last week, which is counter-productive as they’re tag champs but the roster’s so small that champs are doubling up as jobbers. Two pay cheques that way.
Matt slurs some things out and Drew doesn’t want to hear any of it and gives him a title shot tonight. Pope: ”Can you believe it??”
Madison Rayne vs. Sienna
Winner gets a shot against Jade’s Knockout Title on Sunday. Sienna’s new to the company and has an annoying manager. She sounds like a boiling kettle. Madison Rayne’s been here for years either as part of or feuding with The Beautiful People but the rest have them gone now so she’s just making up the numbers. Sienna connects with a crossbody and shortly afterwards Madison tries a Northern Lights Suplex but can’t make the pin because she’s hurt from the crossbody. Holy shit, selling! Sienna pins her after the AK-47 (Spinning Faceplant).
Winner: Sienna (Match lasted two and a half minutes so you know that Number One Contendership means something. I liked Rayne selling rather than summoning STRONG STYLE and giving Sienna a German Suplex or something but like the rest of the divisions in TNA, the Knockouts are surviving rather than flourishing. I like Jade because I’m a stupid CZW fan but even her feud and title win over Gail Kim felt like it was only there to tick the box labelled ”have some woman on the show.”)
This is the difficulty of watching TNA, you always end up bitching about everything but the issues can’t be ignored because they’re so obvious.
Oh here’s some positives, Maria & Mike Bennett talks shit on Gail Kim & EC3. Maria’s been mocking Kim for months now and Mike was made to clean toilets thanks to EC3 last week. It’s a mixed tag match tonight.
Eli Drake is shown climbing a mountain with his King Of The Mountain title. What’s he going to do if he wins the World Title? Eli Drake is a good talker but his wrestling is supermarket-own-brand generic. He could have been Ken Anderson’s alternate costume in the TNA video game.
Side-note: It’s worth watching Impact just to hear how bored Josh Mathews sounds on commentary. The voice of a man who has one eye on the ring and the other on his phone browsing Twitter. Pope’s improved though, he’s less Tazz and more Mongo.
Eli Drake has his own segment called Fact of Life where he gets to press a button that says DUMMY, YEAH. His guest is…himself. Bram gets a rematch against Bram on Sunday and he wants to talk to the Tag Champions Decay. They’re wrestling The Bromans on the PPV and I’m guessing this is the segment where we’re reminded the rest of the card. Drake asks how they’re going to win on Sunday and the crowd is absolutely silent during their responses. That’s uncomfortable. BroMans interrupt with their new fitness guru Raquel (the Brazilian one from Knockouts Knockdown) and threaten everybody. Grado & Shera show up so Drake can remind us they have a match with those French Guys on Sunday to really raise the levels of subtly. Then the French Guys show up with Coach Al Snow and start fighting and everybody starts brawling like the end of Blazing Saddles. Bram shows up and attacks Eli for good measure.
Grado, Shera, Bromans & Bram vs. Decay, Drake & French Guys
French Guys show off their interesting-looking submissions, crowd chants for Grado, everyone gets their shit in, French Guy Numéro Un kicks out of a Grado top rope splash, BroMans dive to the outside, Drake kicks Grado in the balls and pins him.
Winners: The Baddies (Big advert for Sunday’s mid-card. Crowd liked the good guys but didn’t seem arsed enough to boo the baddies).
EC3 & Gail Kim talk. EC3’s promo makes me want him to win, Kim’s make me want Maria to win.
Matt Hardy talks to Lashley, who’s not happy about Matt getting a title shot before him. He’s got a point. Matt starts to talk but Lashley’s like ”oh forget it” and leaves him. I’ll give Matt credit, I can’t tell if he’s serious or not with this new gimmick. Sign of a good parody.
A cool video package on the EC3 & Mike Bennett weigh-in. It’s full-on MMA, complete with brawling and being pulled back by security. ”You call yourself God? At Slammiversary I’m going to Church to punch God in the mouth.”
Gail Kim & EC3 vs. The Bennetts
Ah, but Maria doesn’t think the match is worth it so she lets her assistant Allie take her place. Mathews reminds us Mike is still the only wrestler to pin EC3. He’s also a dick and immediately tags in Allie. She’s not supposed to be a good wrestler but is somehow able to go toe-to-toe with Kim. But…ah fuck it. EC3 in now and as soon as he gains the advantage Mike does a runner and EC3 chases him. This leaves Allie and Gim but Gail Kim The Mega Vet somehow manages a sneak pin on Allie for the win.
Winner: Gail Kim & EC3 (Did it’s job.)
Afterwards Kim tries to attack Maria but Sienna runs in and levels her. They chair-shot her leg and pose like dicks.
Willow briefly hijacks the signal and laughs. But wasn’t Willow revealed as Matt Hardy a few weeks ago? This is turning into the Spider-Man Clone Saga.
Braxton Sutter (CZW’s Pepper Parks) makes his debut tonight. Good for him.
Eddie Edwards vs. Trevor Lee (X-Division Title)
Eddie had an Ultimate X Match won a few weeks ago but Lee’s manager Shane Helms distracted the ref and Lee managed to retain. So Eddie’s not happy and attacks Lee before he gets in the ring. The bell rings, but it shouldn’t as neither man is in the ring and Lee still has his fucking title belt on. Once they start wrestling it’s fine though. Can’t be bothered to type everything because it’s a competitive X-Division Match and this show’s getting long. Helms cheap shots Edwards so Lee can roll him up to retain.
Winner and still X-Division Champ: Trevor Lee (At least the X-Division title has some direction other than ”watch these guys flip.” But it’s a four-way match on the PPV so maybe not.)
Braxton Sutter vs. Billy Callis
Sutter squashes Callis and pins him with a jumping Downward Spiral.
Winner: Braxton Sutter (Post-match Sutter is humble talking to Borash and the crowd like that. Nice start. He has a match against somebody on the PPV.)
Willow talks backstage and makes Big Money Matt sound like Matthew McConaughey.
Drew Galloway vs. Matt Hardy (TNA World Title)
Matt Hardy’s had more attention this week than TNA World Champ Drew. I wonder if this means they’re headlining? Of note: Josh has moved from shilling Schitt’s Creek on PopTV to Rock This Boat. Phew. There’s nothing wrong with this match but no-one believes it’ll go anywhere with a PPV in a few days time so it’s hard to get into and you wonder why they’d try. Not trying to be overly negative here but a World Title shot before the PPV has never changed hands because it’d be fucking madness. They try hard and Drew takes a Side Effect on the steps, so there’s that. And then Lashley runs in to fuck with Drew as everyone was expecting. They brawl to the back leaving Matt by himself and the lights go out. When they come back, everyone in the crowd has a Willow mask on. Willow’s music plays and more Willows appear on screen. Willow talks more (fast forward fast forward) and Jeff Hardy runs out and they brawl as the show goes off the air. Well they didn’t disappoint doing something nutty.
Overall: TNA set up things by having a wrestler talk shit or attack another wrestler so you know WHY a match or feud is happening but most of them are just not entertaining enough to make you care. Exceptions include The Bennetts, EC3, Grado and (rightly or wrongly) The Hardys.
TNA Slammiversary matches of interest:
Drew Galloway vs. Lashley (TNA Title), Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy (Full Metal Mayhem) and Mike Bennett vs. EC3. The rest is just there.
I was going to type something about NXT but this week’s episode is only a Preview Of The End that looks like an old episode of The Bottom Line and I’m already hyped for Takeover tonight so frig it. Here’s the line-up:
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Tye Dillinger
The guy who used to be La Sombra makes his debut. I’m not a huge lucha guy so your guess is as good as mine but I like Tye so should be alright.
American Alpha vs. The Revival (NXT Tag Team Titles)
The best good guy tag team vs. the best bad guy tag team. Can’t be bad.
Asuka vs. Nia Jax (NXT Women’s Championship)
Asuka said YOU TALK TOO MUCH so yeah.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Austin Aries
Oh well fuck, what do you think? Aye it might be decent. Maybe.
Samoa Joe vs. Finn Bálor (Steel Cage match for the NXT Title) Joe winning the title on a house show was a bit odd, I’m assuming it was done to boost house show attendance during the everyone-is-fucking-injured tour after Wrestlemania. They’ve had fine matches together, even managing something watchable during the triple threat match with the medic at Dallas Takeover. Cage match should end the feud and they can move onto other things and sites can continue to post BALOR TO JOIN THE CLUB ON RAW?!?! headlines.