SlamJamz Central

Sunday, July 16, 2006

SLAMJAMZ: The Ballad Of Matt Hardy (One Year Later)..and more...

Greetings from the land of Goonie that is SlamJamz Central! Time to take a look into that wacky world of professional wrestling - come on along for the ride!

First up, A song....

::AHEM:: (clearing throat)

Sung to the tune of "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by The Beatles
New Lyrics by TC Kirkham (verse) and Kim Brown (Chorus)

it was just one year ago today
Matt Hardy said To TNA
"I'm not signing, no way no how
You gotta have TV right NOW
They called from Stamford, you see
Gotta Jump, they said it's time for me
I'm gonna main event in WWE----eeeeeee!"

It's back to Vinnie Mac's Same Ego Show
I know it will be great this time!
Back to the same zoo that fired me before
What could possibly go wrong this time?
So I used the 'Net fans
So I screwed the 'Net fans
Who cares about the 'Net fans
You can bet not me!

::end song::

Well, OK, techincally, it's not a year was a year ago last Tuesday, I believe, that Matt Hardy returned to the WWE, showing a massive case of internet ignorance, confident that working his fans on through his own website could only lead to newfound glory.

The internet fans he'd carefully used and cultivated during his 90 day release period felt betrayed. Most of them wanted Matt to sign the very lucrative contract offered to him by TNA. And for the final days of his release period, Matt continually referred to his "independence day". He even cut several videos he then released on the net, which clearly implied that he would in fact be heading to Orlando, as did his posts. He was Matt Hardy, The "Angelic Diablo" (a term which makes NO sense whatsoever, but what the hell, it's pro wrestling), and he wasn't putting up with any more crap.

But, we are lead to believe that in the last days of his waiting period, the WWE had a change of heart. Someone from WWE had decided that there was big money in a feud with his now real-life nemesis, Edge, and his ex-girlfriend Lita. Matt let himself be convinced that it was true. Besides, he felt that without a TV show at the time, TNA couldn't possibly give him the exposure he needed. He didn't understand the fact that he WAS TNA's new TV deal - had he signed with TNA, they most likely would have been back on the air in less than a month's time.

So, the night before his proclaimed "independence day", Matt returned to RAW without warning, jumping Edge and Lita backstage. He became the "rebel".

Feeling totally used and betrayed by him, his fan base plunged. Some hardcore wrestling fanatics laughed and joked about the way Matt had "worked the marks". Trouble was, those fans were the ones who had come on board to help Matt through a very rough period of his life, accepting him as one of their own on the net, one who could sound off about his situation and have tons of sympathy come his way. They had stood by him, through e-mails, posting on his board, and preparing to buy the new internet show he was putting together. He was open, honest, and forthright with them from the beginning. And in the beginning, I believe he WAS sincere, stung by the thoughtless and arrogant way WWE had released him after he went public with the intimate details of what had happened between himself, ex-girlfriend Amy Dumas, and ex-best friend Edge. But the way he jumped back to WWE, which may have started as much as six weeks earlier, after Edge and Lita got "married" on WWE TV, and after spending a week shouting about his "independence day" on his website, really hurt those who had accepted him into their commmunity.

Overnight, this new large fanbase virtually evaporated.

Matt didn't seem to care one bit about those fans or their feelings, and for the next week and a half, continued to "invade" WWE tapings. Then, as the return angle progressed, Teddy Long signed Matt to a new contract with Smackdown, and Matt came out to deliver his thanks in a promo on one of the shows. Which he BLEW. BADLY.

And Matt Hardy has been consigned to WWE purgatory ever since.

Less than 12 hours after Hardy returned to RAW, I blasted him with a heartfelt column about how he had used the fans who had helped him through that rough period in his life; by betraying their trust in him, I predicted it would ruin his career. I got deluged with the largest surge of mail this columnist had ever seen. A lot of people sided with me, but there were a lot of people who didn't see it my way, and they told me in so many terms to go to hell. Some of the mail was so mean that I almost pulled the plug on my column. Those fans reacted in the way they always do...with hate-filled diatribes about how I didn't get it, how it was fine that Hardy "worked the fans".

Had it been within the confines of the wrestling community, I would have agreed with them. But Matt had been OUTSIDE the confines of said community at the time. He had been accepted by the fans on his site as one of their own, and I felt then and continue to feel that it was WRONG of him to do so.

Within a month, the pops his entrance USED to recieve were gone...

Within a month, having blown his promo opportunity, he was in the WWE's version of purgatory...

Within two months, Edge had beaten him on PPV...the so-called "Big Money feud" was over...

Within two months, Matt Hardy, supposedly vindicated WWE Superstar had become Matt Hardy, WWE J.O.B Squad leader...

And it's been that way EVER SINCE.

Just a few weeks after the fiasco began, in his August 24th, 2005 News Hotline on this site, Dave Scherer said this:

"...TC Kirkham on this site wrote a passionate column about how [Matt] screwed up at the time. I said to TC, 'Hey, [Matt] did what was in his heart, and he did what he felt was the best move for him.' At the time I didn't necessarily think that [Matt] was doing the wrong thing. TC did, wrote a great column, and TC? Right now, you're looking pretty smart, buddy, because [Matt] definately screwed up. TC said to me in an e-mail, 'How could [Matt] put his trust in a company that has already misused him in the past and expect things to change?' And in the end..[TC] was right...[Matt] put his trust in the WWE to make the angle work, and [Matt] blew it, the WWE blew it And [Matt] left....a lot of hard feelings behind..."

Do you know how badly I did NOT want to be vindicated with this story? I was a HUGE Hardy fan, and although I'm still a fan of his work, I wouldn't ever....EVER...put my trust in him again as a fan.

Maybe one day, his career will recover from his colossal mistake...I will always hope that it will...but I don't think it's yet "his time" again...

And Matt? I am TRULY sorry what I predicted came to pass...

But with all respect, you hurt a LOT of people when you led them on OUTSIDE the confines of a wrestling angle. You were cold and calculating in the way you worked the fans who came to you to offer comfort and support. You should have been more mindful of what the reaction would have been...

As Gypsy on MST3K used to say, "It's YOUR dishwashing liquid...YOU soak in it!"

Although, as a postscript, let me add this...seeing the way TNA has completely BOTCHED the use of Team 3D and Christian Cage since they came over from WWE...well, i'm sure you get the picture....


Second up, another song....

No commentary needed on this one...the lyrics say it all...step up to the mike, lady o'mine...

::Ahem:: (clears throat)

To the tune of "Look What They've Done To My Song, Ma" by The New Seekers
New Lyrics by Kim Brown

Look what they've done to our fed, fans
Look what they've done to our fed
Well, Vince has taken what was so good and right
And has turned it on its head
Look what they've done to our fed

Wish I could find a good fed to watch now
Wish I could find a good fed
But Japan is just too gosh-darn far away
Stop beatin' that horse-it's dead now
Wish I could find a good fed

Why can't they leave it alone, now?
Why can't they leave it alone?
The past is gone and the present show
Makes me choke like a chicken bone
Why don't they leave it alone?

Look what they've done to our fed, fans!
Look what they've done to our fed!
Imitation's not a form of flattery.
This is making me see red - you bastards!
Look what they've done to our fed!


Thanks, honey, for that spirited verse. Those of us who remember the REAL meaning of those three letters Vinnie Mac is blaspheming these days SALUTE YOU!!!



I will be making an announcement in this column about something I hope all wrestling fans will get behind and enjoy. So don't miss it! Better yet, i'll probably be announcing it sooner than that on my website, so you may want to drop by and check things out this week.

Until then, as always....


Friday, July 07, 2006

TNA: If THIS is the rub Nash is giving to Sabin....if I were Sabin, I'd GIVE IT BACK

When yesterday started it was a decent day. And then I sat down and watched part of TNA's show, and began to have other thoughts as well.

Let's start with the Kevin Nash/Chris Sabin angle.

You know, when this whole angle started, I actually didn't think it was such a bad idea. Here was Kevin Nash, looking for ANY WAY back into the TNA mainstream after his heart scare a few months ago, offering to help put over the X Division. He wanted to play the big, cowardly heel, who says that ::ahem:: Size DOES Matter, at least when it comes to wrestling. He wanted to go out and put over someone from the X Division - when it was first planned, it was AJ Styles - as an eventual giant killer.

The first two interviews were funny, driven, and well thought out, and it looked like this angle had real potential, especially if Nash, notorious for protecting his own ass while in WCW, was sincere.

As the development of the angle went on, TNA changed it around a bit. AJ moved up to work with Christopher Daniels as a tag team, feuding with AMW, so it was decided that Team TNA captain Chris Sabin would become the beneficiary of Nash's planned angle.

Now, on paper, this was a better than average, if not brilliant, plan by TNA's (usually lacking) standards. Sabin, who has been with TNA longer than anyone else in the division except AJ and Daniels, and more than anyone in the X division with the possible exception of Alex Shelley, has been working hard, trying to come up with something that will move himself up to the next level. Someone who can step into those big to fill shoes as AJ's successor as the leader of the X Division. Lately, he's stepped up his already-intense game with some spectacular high flying moves, and given himself a new haircut (and a somewhat laughable bleach job) that once it grew out a bit actually WORKED, revamping and refining his look. His airtime, however, has been lacking - for some reason TNA can't comprehend that you can't build a character personality without promo time, as this is one of their biggest all around sins - although he's trying to make the best of what time he's being given.

Now, he was going to benefit - and according to TNA it would be HUGE - from getting the "rub" from Kevin Nash's plan.

Like I said, this was a pretty good idea....ON PAPER.

In its execution, like so many other windows of opportunity in the past, TNA has completely BOTCHED the angle.

Instead of looking like the underdog fighter, every match since last month's pay per view has only served to weaken Sabin's character (what TNA allows him to have of one, that is) even further. The result of the angle has seen Alex Shelley, who is acting as Nash's X-Division connected lapdog, get most of the rub, and Sabin get very little, if any.

And then...on this week's "TNA iMPACT", they had a stunt that COULD have completely turned the angle around. It had a bit of potential - JUST - but still, it could have been something that would have had the fans FURIOUS at Nash and had Sabin coming out looking stronger than ever before...

And, as always, THEY DROPPED THE BALL....what else is new?

Instead of producing a killer angle that had long legs, it not only horribly undercut Sabin, who now looks weaker than ever, it completely undermined the ENTIRE X DIVISION.

Here's what happened, courtesy of Richard Trinofo's weekly iMPACT report on PWInsider. Com:

We are back with the latest "Paparazzi Production"’ from Alex Shelley. This time Kevin Nash mentions "Humiliation 101" and how it is in the bag. Kevin mentions the old body bag. Nash says that they pull something out that the fans have not seen in two weeks. Nash asks Alex and Johnny what they think and they applaud.

Don and Mike wonder what it meant when it said "to be continued tonight..." ’ While Don and Mike talk, we see Kevin Nash come out along with Johnny Devine and Alex Shelley with a shopping cart with a body bag. The body bag is rolled into the ring and Nash gets on the mic. Nash says that there is hot news. He says that he caught Osama bin Laden. Nash talks about how they are going to split the money three ways with Shelley and Devine getting six million each. They open the bag and it is Chris Sabin with his hands tied up. Shelley and Devine kick Sabin while Nash watches. Jay Lethal comes out and he fights off Devine and Shelley. Shelley, Lethal, and Devine leave the ring while Lethal checks on Sabin.

Now, BEFORE it aired this week, I wrote to Richard after reading the taping spoilers and asked him for more details on the angle. It sounded weak but intriguing. We have been corresponding since then about the angle. And we're both disappointed with it. So is my lady, who's done theatre work and who thought the entire bit was just LAME with a capital L. I can't speak for Richard, but my lady and I were REALLY disappointed. Here was a golden opportunity and once again, TNA's absolutely incompetent booking team totally missed the boat.

For some unknown reason, said TNA bookers thinks this angle is giving Sabin the rub....but I've got news for's having the EXACT OPPOSITE EFFECT. If anyone is getting a rub from this angle, it's Shelley...which is good, but NOT what's intended.

TNA gets SOOOOOO many opportunities to make real killer angles, and they just seem to have butter on their fingers 24/7. I can no longer count the number of times they have dropped the ball on just about everything. They could have made this work, in exactly the way Nash said he wanted it to work when it first started, but so far, everything they've done has served only to weaken their newly appointed ( or would that be anointed?) X Division leader. I mean, even the body bag thing this week COULD have worked, if they'd put a little thought into it and had been a little more aggressive about it. I mean, if they had went about it right with this whole "body bag" angle, it could have been much more effective. But let's take a really hard close look at this - if Chris Sabin, a smaller but pretty muscular and agile guy, can't break free of what appears to be a single strand of black plastic electrical tape wrapped lamely once or twice around his wrists, which are in front of him, even while "half-suffocating" from being in the body bag (according to the announcers, at least) , then how can he POSSIBLY hope to beat even perennial TNA Job Squad members Shark Boy or Norman Smiley, let alone a top notch X competitor like Alex Shelley or , God forbid, a "monster" like Kevin Nash? It makes him look hopelessly WEAK.

And WHY is it just Jay Lethal coming to his aid? I know Lethal is his tag team partner, but really, Isn't the WHOLE X Division (with the exception of Shelley) PO'ed about what's happening to Sabin? Don't they realize Nash is making ALL of them - the ENTIRE X DIVISION - out to be fools? EVERY X Division player - faces AND heels - should be coming to the ring...and they should have one or two who are always out to either force Nash back into the ring where they can get at him, or chasing him out of the Impact Zone. Every X Division player, regardless of their personal feuds and angle orientation, should be out to aid and protect Sabin from Nash and Shelley when the situation gets out of hand. Why? Because no matter how they feel about each other, they are ALL X Division players, and Nash's war is supposed to be with the whole X Division. That way, Nash looks even more like a blustery coward - which is what I thought the point to this entire angle was. Sure, Tenay and West are TRYING to sell him that way anyway, but it's not working, because Sabin is looking weaker and weaker with every confrontation that has happened since the last PPV.

As lame as the whole angle was, it COULD have been saved. Let me describe a scenario for this week's angle that TNA could have used, one that would have made a killer angle, if only they'd given it a little more thought and a little more logic. If done properly, it could have continued to make Nash's "cowardly heel" character grow, and also served to greatly strengthen Sabin's now-precarious position.

Point one - Instead of just one lame pretaped bit, do several mysterious pretaped bits to be shown throughout the show. One bit has Shelley stalking Sabin with his camera, the second bit has Sabin being surprised and jumped by someone, possibly Devine, or something along those lines. Cut the "pretaped" footage while Sabin is still fighting with whomever jumped him. THEN throw in the bit they did with Nash, Shelley, and Devine. Imply that all of this went down much earlier, perhaps as much as 24 hours earlier. Nash then makes the whole Body Bag announcement. Make two things clear - that they have already filled the body bag, and that someone is inside of it, and that it's lying on a bench, table, or on the floor of an area of the arena where no one would be likely to stumble across it.

Next, book the rest of the angle to END the show with. NOT in the center of the show, where it gets wasted, but the very end of the show, so that the last shot of the week's angle is the last shot you see as Spike changes programs. Play it out pretty much as they did, except the body bag is not moving around nearly as much. It's still moving around, but not like it was on the show this week, often flopping around like a fish.

Next, do something ELSE TNA has difficulty with - have some GOOD CAMERA WORK, without missing the money shot as usual. Have a camera close up on that body bag when Shelley and Devine open it up. Because when they open it up to reveal Sabin, we see a Sabin that is in FAR WORSE condition than he was on the actual show. As they dump Sabin out of the bag in this scenario, things are much worse off for him.

1) Sabin is NOT dressed for the ring; he's in his street clothes, implying that he was grabbed by Devine and Shelley when he wasn't prepared, so they could take advantage of the surprise element.

2) Sabin has been beaten to a bloody, swollen pulp - make with the bruise and scar make up, people. Realistic as possible, please (though I realize this is TNA we're talking about, and it's going to be practically IMPOSSIBLE for them to do something this intricate in a believable manner...)

3)Sabin hasn't been moving around much in the body bag because he can't - in addition to being beaten up and sore (Mike and Don can get hysterical selling "internal injuries"), he's trussed up pretty tightly...maybe a modified hogtie, where he can completely stretch out, but still have his wrists, bound BEHIND his back, also bound to his ankles, which are also bound. You could truss him up even more if you like. Maybe dried blood, which had come from his nose, is streaked down across the duct tape over his mouth. It becomes immediately obvious that Sabin, normally someone who could protect himself, had no way to even try and yell for help. Hell, there's plenty of things you could do and you could do it however you want to do it, but for pete's sake, make it believable - which this week's show WAS NOT - because the whole point is to drive it home to the viewers that Sabin is/was completely helpless. Make sure the camera gets the mixture of the fire of anger, and the fear of the situation he's managed to get himself into in his eyes (he CAN do it - he did it this week, but the angle killed it). THEN Have Nash do his best "JBL" imitation, taunting Sabin a little bit more, claiming to be an "unstoppable monster" and slamming the X Division, as Shelley and Devine work him over some more.

I do seem to remember something really similar about 18 months ago, where Raven brought a bound and gagged Sonjay Dutt to the ring, also in a bag of some sort, in an attempt to get to Sabu. So they DO know HOW to do this kind of thing...but I digress...

Anyway, back to this week's angle. Instead of just one person, about a minute after revealing Sabin, tied up in the bag, Nash, Shelley, and Devine get the surprise of their life, as EVERY SINGLE PERFORMER from the X Division come out of BOTH Ramps. Give it a minute before some of the guys - say Shark Boy and Matt Bentley - take Shelley and Devine out, leaving Nash trapped at ringside, with both of his regular exits cut off by the rest of the Division - and AJ and Samoa Joe, who are blocking the entrance ramps at the top. As Nash finally manages to escape with several X guys on his tail around the outside of the announcer's table, cut back to the ring, where Petey Williams, Jay Lethal, and Jerry Lynn are working to get Sabin untied. Make it clear to the live audience and the viewers at home that Kevin Nash has thrown down the gauntlet and lost - the X Division - ALL OF THEM - have now declared WAR on Kevin Nash.

Had they done things THIS way, they would have set the stage for a battle that could have lasted all summer long without any lagging storylines, finally culminating in a final Nash vs Sabin match in September at the Unbreakable PPV, where Sabin would have at long last vanquished the evil "giant". Again, wasn't that the original point of this angle?The rest of the summer would have been Nash and his X Division biatches against the rest of the X Division. During all this, AJ and Joe slip out of the X Division unnoticed and move back into the heavyweight battle, further concentrating the angle to Sabin, Petey, Sonjay, Matt Bentley, and the other members of the Division.

I really think it could have been THE angle that TNA has been looking for, and a battle that would have generated great ratings....


Okay.....granted, this takes things to extremes, but it would have been WAAAAAY more interesting than what they did. They could have fixed what they DID do with an in-between piece showing Shelley and Devine waylaying someone in the men's locker room, not showing who, and just having the noises of a fight coming from the locker room. If Sabin had been beaten on just a little bit, the lame-ass binding might have worked. And it was extremely important - which they missed - to see him get jumped, because that would leave a little believablity room. But they didnt, and seeing as Sabin still seemed pretty clear headed when he came out of that bag, NO WAY do I believe he couldn't have freed himself BEFORE they opened that bag.

All I know is that the idiot bookers in Florida (it's such a pity, I used to have a TON of respect for Mike Tenay, at least) need to FIX THIS ANGLE NOW. Before they completely destroy Sabin's career. And the rest of the X Division with it.

It would help if Kevin Nash would stop OVERACTING as well...Kevin, you're too over the top - pull back just a tad, ok?. And, hey, Johnny Devine....under NO circumstances are you supposed to mug to the camera that SHOULDN'T be there....YOU are the cameraman, remember? Go look at tapes from the early NWO to see how to do this kind of thing RIGHT...

Hey, but what do I KNOW....i'm just a FAN...and all fans want to be bookers, right? Hey, i'm just trying to make it a bit more believable...not because I'm trying to tell you how to do your job, but rather because I CARE about TNA, it's long term health, and also about Nash, about Shelley, and especially about Sabin...

OK, that's my rant about the Sabin/Nash angle. Now, on to a few other things bugging me.

Another Note to TNA bookers: Punishing Andy Douglas for refusing to cut his hair in this day and age only makes the petty people running this business look bad while stroking their own egos for the percieved power they have. But the fans know the TRUTH - that today's fans DO have brains and CAN tell who is a heel and who is not, and the length of their hair DOESN'T MAKE ONE BIT OF DIFFERENCE - NOT ONE DIFFERENCE AT ALL. You know WHY? Because most fans are NOT what the wrestling industry both believes them to be and makes them out to be -- STUPID. So GROW UP, you morons...

I despise that TNA has been tending to follow the same paths as WCW and ECW before it, and I feel for the people in the entire industry. I really do. All the fans want - all the fans have EVER wanted - is to be taken seriously, thought well of, and maybe even RESPECTED. That's why we offer up these kinds of critiques - only to have them ignored and laughed at. It's only because we care.

And while i'm at it....Hey Spike TV? You need to grow a're NEVER going to even be a player in the wrestling game until you turn TNA loose. TNA Needs TWO HOURS on LIVE TV, Tuesday Nights from 9 to 11 PM. The ex-ECW wrestlers on the TNA roster are mad as hell about Vince McMahon's bastard version of's time you let them loose and let them KICK VINCE'S ASS....

It's time someone in TNA, WWE, and everywhere else to get a friggin' clue...stop treating the fans as the ENEMY. We're not. All we want is decent angles that make sense. The Nash/Sabin segments on this week's show DID NOT WORK because they MADE NO SENSE and cut the rug out from the person you're supposedly trying to build up: Chris Sabin.

Is THAT any way to book an angle? Whoops....I forgot, this is professional wrestling....OF COURSE IT IS....


And as always, it's Me Against The World. REPRISE THE THEME SONG AND ROLL THE CREDITS!

Monday, June 19, 2006

TNA SLAMIVERSARY: I predict TNA will be dead before the end of the year...

I'm not always known for my accuracy...but i'm going to make a prediction right here, and I have this horrible sinking feeling that i'm going to to watching it as it unfortunately comes true...

TNA will NOT make it to their 5th anniversary...

Especially as Sunday night they put a gun to their heads and pulled the trigger...

The conclusion to Sunday's TNA Slamiversary PPV was by far the most arrogant, the most outrageous, and most importantly the MOST STUPID thing the promotion has ever done.

The debacle that took place was worse than the blatant bait-and-switch of their early days on the air, when the company advertised for nearly a month and a half that Chris Harris would be getting a title shot against Jeff Jarrett when they had NO Intention from day one of ever giving Harris that shot - Harris was "injured" as the then-weekly PPV show went to air, and AJ Styles was substituted into his "guaranteed" title shot slot.

Last night, the company pulled out all the stops, and for the most part, put on a terrific pay per view effort. But the entire show was ruined in the last 3 minutes, as first Larry Z and then Earl Hebner apparently consipred to make sure Jeff Jarrett would be the one who became the champion again....

The probblem with doing that is that TNA has been told by it's very loyal fans (they'd HAVE to be loyal for the crap they've had to put up with) FOR OVER TWO YEARS that Jeff Jarrett is a likable performer but that the fans do NOT want to see him with the belt.

Problem is, TNA and it's bookers, which include the aforementioned Mr. Jarrett, don't want to hear that and continue to book him as champion when it's possible for them to do so.

I don't think they expected what happened at the end of Sunday's PPV, nor do I condone such behavior....but I can't say i'm surprised.

TNA is lucky it wasn't much much MUCH More.

When the people who book the storylines and angles show total and blatant disregard for the fans' desires, it's only a matter of time before something ugly happens. I do seem to remember Eric Bischoff taking a full Coke in the face a few years ago.

And as if that wasn't bad enough, then they did a horrible non-ending, where people who paid $30 to see who would come out with the title got to see...NO ONE come out with the title.

And you can bet the farm that TNA would NOT give away the results on one of the IMPACT episodes that will be taping this, they're going to be "smart" and hold off and force some sort of run off at the next PPV...

And what's worse...they're letting Jarrett KEEP the title with the proviso that he wrestle the winner of a four way dance to determine his opponant, and both of those matches are now scheduled to take place at their next PPV, Victory Road. They're VERY lucky that the audience attending the IMPACT tapings didn't do worse than what was done Sunday night when that announcement was made. And in letting Jarrett keep the title, they just blew any chance of the viewers taking Jim Cornette seriously as the new "Face of TNA Management". Oh sure, he did a few other things at the taping, but the decision to let Jarrett keep the belt he so blatantly cheated to win will tarnish any chance Cornette had to bring TNA a chance to level the playing field against WWE.

MEMO TO: Dixie Carter, Jeff Jarrett, Mike Tenay, Dutch Mantel, Scott D'Amore, and other members of the booking committee...


The fans have stood by TNA for FOUR LONG YEARS and hoped they could hang on just so Vince McMahon wouldn't be the only one in the wrestling game.

Those same fans have been screwed by TNA so many times that they have lost count.

Those same fans declared by their actions on Sunday night that they are NOT GOING TO STAND FOR IT any more. And they did so in a way that TNA cannot, should not and hopefully WILL NOT FORGET.

Jarrett as champion DOESN'T CUT IT. PPV screwjob endings DON'T CUT IT. And TNA should be thanking it's lucky stars that something A HELL OF A LOT MORE SERIOUS didn't start at the end of Sunday's PPV.

Has it ever occurred to TNA that one major problem, one real, honest-to-goodness psuedo-riot, and Spike TV will probably cancel them? With no tv, you have NOTHING. Don't believe me, TNA? Ask Eric Bischoff and Fusient Enterprises....

TNA needs to step back and take a LONG, HARD look at what they intend to do and where they intend to be in this business in one year.

They can slam it all they want...but Vince's version of ECW got DOUBLE what TNA's highest rating has EVER been IN IT'S FIRST WEEK ON THE AIR.

TNA needs to stop looking at each individual tree, and start looking at the forest. Or otherwise they are about to be put out of business by a combination of a chicken-s*it network deal, a shrewd marketing division in Stanford, and THEIR OWN BLATANT ARROGANCE AND STUPIDITY.

And there are too damm many good workers for TNA to blow their own heads off...they'v ebeen trying and missing for at least two years.... but Sunday night, they succeeded in finally hitting their target...their own brain...

Now, TNA is on life support, in critical condition....and after their boneheaded doctors (aka The Booking team) made a tragic misdiagnosis, their chances of survival are less than 50 percent and getting worse, and every day they continue to allow the patient to be handled by those "doctors"...and they're slipping more and more towards flatlining with every day that passes.

I wonder if wrestling fans can sue TNA's "doctors" for malpractice...

Reprise the Theme Song and Roll The Credits....

Friday, April 28, 2006

Let ECW Rest In Peace....because a WWE version is doomed to total failure from the start...

Everyone has been talking and gossiping about the news that hit the internet last Sunday...that WWE was reviving ECW full time - and as soon as possible...

Unless the conditions are right, ECW fans will rebel against WWE's plans...and the conditions, at least as I see them, are most certainly NOT right...

WWE's revival of ECW isn't aimed at becoming a real success, and you're kidding yourself if you believe it is. No, the REAL aim of the ECW revival is trying to bankrupt TNA.

To Vince's credit, it's the first real salvo the WWE has launched against TNA. But trying to take them on with the ECW brand name is suicidal, and it is doomed to failure from the start. And here are the reasons why.

First off, most of ECW's biggest superstars - Raven, The Dudley Boyz, Spike Dudley, Rhino, Jerry Lynn - are all under contract to TNA, and with the exception of Rhino, they are all long term contracts locking them in for at least three years. And as much as WWE likes to believe, and the fans would desperately hope, and his enormous skill and talent aside, Rob Van Dam cannot carry the ECW brand name to success on his own. It just cannot be done. The proper mix of classic ECW talent isn't there...yet. And bringing in Sandman, Justin Credible, et al, isn't really going to help either.

Strike One.

Secondly, WWE is approaching the project as if Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer being in charge of the writing will be all they need. Already, Stephanie and Trips have been making waves, upset that Heyman will have a greater role in product. She will not have any say, but presumably Vince will. The problem with this: we all know the McMahon penchant for meddling where they should keep out of. Last year's ECW One Night Stand PPV is a perfect example. Yes, it was and is a great show - but it would have been even better had WWE's non-ECW people stayed completely out of it. The chances of Paul Heyman and Tommy Dreamer staying at the helm longterm are not good, especially if they actually DO manage to produce some quality material. Because the better Heyman looks, the worse Stephanie looks (actually, you can't get much worse than she and Daddy already are looking given this horrible "God" angle and the overexploitation of the late Eddie Guererro), and eventually, Heyman will either be completely out of a job - AGAIN - or back at OVW for the long term. Stephanie takes over ECW, and the rest is history.

I ask you - Remember the ECW Invasion of 2001? Stephanie wrote that....and wasn't THAT entire angle a piece of brilliance? Nuff said on that I think...

Strike Two.

Third, WWE doesn't plan to run separate shows for ECW. Rather, they intend to tape them before Smackdown and air them on the internet. Although not official at this point, several online sites are reporting that WWE has officially cancelled Velocity (the single WWE show that is actually WORTH WATCHING these days) and ECW will take its place until they can find a TV home for it, if they EVER can.

So let me get this straight - WWE is cutting it's ONLY cruiserweight-oriented show - a division that is TNA's specialty - and replacing it with hardcore? Not a good trade off if you ask me. And it's also going to mean something else...another massive talent purge. I can't see WWE using current WWE Superstars on a true ECW product. No more than I can see ECW-type matches happening on Velocity on a regular basis. Some cruiserweights have been in ECW before - Super Crazy and Psicosis are at the top of the list. And yes, London and Kendrick could adapt. But I don't think many of the other cruiserweight flyers, for all their talent, really scream "ECW", do you?

And not wanting to commit to giving ECW it's own look and feel is the true death knell of this so called "revival". It's not a revival. It's WWE Velocity/Saturday Nights Main Event but using the ECW name. Is THAT what ECW fans want? God I hope not.

ECW is the WHOLE experience. And one of the biggest reasons it went belly up as time went along was because they insisted in trying to get bigger by moving into bigger locations (a fact lost on TNA, which is starting to make a series of serious mistakes along the same line that rival both WCW and ECW's final days, and may be fatal if they're not careful).

If WWE is going to insist on trying this revival, then the single MOST IMPORTANT element about it is the venue. It cannot be taken on the road, it cannot be taken to smaller houses. WWE needs to pick ONE central location, and shoot ECW there on a regular basis. Not before "Smackdown" every week, but ONE LOCATION. Right now, the Hammersmith Ballroom would be a good starting point. Maybe in time, they could grow it to other places, but to start with , it is CRITICAL that they have one central point where fans from around the country can come together. That single point location is whathelped make ECW's reputation in the 90s, and is why the ECW Arena became legend. It is also now what is helping to make TNA as well.

House shows? Taping before "Smackdown"? Canning "Velocity"?

Strike Three. And YOU'RE OUT!

I'm sorry. I'll give it a chance. But I really think this is a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE mistake. And I think Vince and family - and any wrestlers involved with the new revived brand - are in for - pardon the pun - an extremely rude awakening...

As usual, it's Me Against The World....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

A really good reason NOT to order the Royal Rumble...Let me offer an exciting (and BETTER) alternative....

So this year's Royal Rumble is almost upon us....

And for the second year in a row, I'm making a concsious decision to NOT order it. Not even the long awaited and highly anticipated return of Rob Van Dam in the Rumble (which, let's face it, you already know in your heart he's NOT going to to be booked to win) can get me to order it.

Why? Quite simply, there's something more exciting, more adrenaline-pumping, something REAL I care about also going on just a few channels over from the local PPV channel.

As I did last year, i'm skipping the Rumble, and also RAW on Monday night, to watch ESPN's coverage of the Winter X Games. Specificially, coverage of the Mens Snowboard Superpipe prelims (Sunday) and finals (Monday).

This years' X Games will be a real test of the Snowboard team representing the US in Torino in February. The 2002 mens team swept the Olympic medals in Salt Lake City, but this year, they're really going to have their work cut out for them, and the all of main non-US snowboarders who could be a threat to a second straight sweep of Olympic Medals will be at this weekend's X Games, save one.

Last years' finals were a nailbiter, as wunderkind Shaun White, returning from a serious knee injury, found himself knocked off the podium at the last minute by Finland's amazing Antti Autti and US Snowboard team member Andy Finch. Why? White had not put a 1080 into his routine, and Finch, Autti, and others like Danny Kass (last year's X Bronze medal winner) were doing them all over the place.

This year, White spent several weeks in New Zealand practicing in late summer, and it paid off, as he won Gold in EVERY SINGLE EVENT in the US Olympic team qualifiers - five events in all (and a new truck is his now as well due to his sweep), a feat never done before.

Last weekend, the US Snowboard team was announced after the final qualifying event was held at Mammoth in New Jersey. The US will be represented in Torino by 19-year-old Shaun White, 23-year-old Danny Kass (2002 Olympic Silver medalist), 24-year-old Andy Finch, and the rookie of the bunch, as well as a surprise to many veteran snowboard fans like myself, 18-year-old Mason Aguierre. Mason has really stepped up his game this season, after barely missing the podium on four occasions last season. Like White, he spent time in New Zealand practicing this summer, and it has shown in his superior work since the start of the qualifying season.

If the White Knight can pull off another Golden win at this weekend's X Games, Torino Gold will be his to lose. Some of his toughest competition for the Olympic Gold outside of his own team - the aforementioned Autti, his fellow Finn Risto Mattila, and Japan's Kazuhiro Kokubo - incredible snowboarders all - are coming to the X Games, and will give us our first taste of what's to come later in February in Torino. And throw in Norway's incredible Terje Haakonson, who isn't competing this weekend, as potential Olympic spolier as well (that is, IF he decides to get off his high horse and actually agree to represent his country in the Olympics; he doesn't like the Olympics, feeling that Snowboarding is better than that), and you've got a field of Europeans which could signal the end the US men's domination of the major contests in the sport.

No doubt the action and excitement on ABC and ESPN this weekend will be three times what the Royal Rumble could ever hope to achieve, and I for one don't want to miss it. Last year, I was absolutely electrified, and I hope this year will be the same.

Just for the record, here are my predictions:

Gold: Shaun White
Silver: Danny Kass
Bronze: Antti Autti

Oh, you wanted my predictions for the RUMBLE? In the immortal words of one of my heroes, Jamie "Quack, Damn You!" Hyneman of "Mythbusters"..."Ah, Whoops!"

Sorry about that....but here goes...and keep in mind, unlike the superpipe, I correctly predicted the outcome of EVERY MATCH last year, a perfect 100% score!

Those matches announced so far:

Smackdown World Title - Kurt Angle retains over Mark Henry

Raw World Title - Edge retains with help from Lita...

Diva Match - Referee Trish turns on Ashley and helps Mickie James beat her, and they have HOT LESBIAN ACTION in the ring together...leaving Ashley as the SOLE WWE Diva face

Goofball match - JBL defeats The Boogyman when Jillian interferes

Royal Rumble - I think this one is pretty obvious...but i'm going to go with a backup here because there's always an air of mystery..the same kind of mystery that occurs when Vince has a Great Idea...look for either a) Randy Orton to pick up the win on his own, and head to Wrestlemania against Kurt Angle...or B) (AKA VKM's 'Great Idea') there is NO Winner because Shawn Michaels wins the Runble, then Vince strips him of the win and awards it to the runner up, who is, once again, Randy Orton...

Now, after reading that...wouldn't you RATHER watch REAL action?

Remember, the Winter X Games Men's Snowboard Superpipe Prelims and Finals, Sunday and Monday evening, ESPN, check your local listings...

And I have to say it....GO, FLYING TOMATO, GO! Bring home the X Gold!

And on that note...

Reprise the theme song and roll the credits....