Wrestling thread

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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sat Dec 19, 2009 2:27 pm

Since Bret Hart would already be there and involved in the angle as a major player, he could do it. Another name that comes to mind is Jim Cornette, but he's Executive Producer of Ring of Honor and probably wouldn't be interested. Another possibility might be Paul Heyman, especially if Vince folds ECW which would give him a "reason."
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:40 pm

Paulie would be a good choice but I'm not sure he'd be interested. He seems happy doing his own thing with The Sun over here (he has a talk/review show called The Heyman Hustle over here).
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:13 pm

A four month gig for about a million dollars a month for about 20 total (16 episodes of Raw and 4 PPV) appearances might get his interest.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sun Dec 20, 2009 2:55 pm

Well, yeah. If we're talking that kind of money, we could get.... Hey, crazy idea but how about Hugh Heffner?
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:40 pm

Ebon wrote:Well, yeah. If we're talking that kind of money, we could get.... Hey, crazy idea but how about Hugh Heffner?
I'd love to see Hef do it. Just think of the last Diva dressed battle royal they could have at Wrestlemania. It could make the main event irrelevant.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:07 pm

Hell, a lot of guys would pay fifty bucks for the PPV of just that match...
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:24 pm

Well, Raw sucked last night. I liked the fact they're giving Swagger a mini-push, but I don't like the fact that Vince seems to want his actually talented wrestlers to play the kick, punch, stomp, cheat heel role. Let the guys who know amature wrestling wrestle, damn it. The DX skits were amusing for the kiddies, I guess, but the push Sheamus is getting makes me want to throw up. When HHH finally allows him to lose, I hope it's a wrestler (Shelton Benjamin?? Please?) that does it. If the next couple of weeks are as bad as last night, TNA just might give them a ratings surprise they won't like.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:30 am

Your feelings are much the same as mine. Sheamus simply doesn't have the skills to carry a topline position. If he was allowed to show a bit more actual wrestling skill (he's a competent power-based worker but that doesn't fit his current gimmick), he'd be a perfectly acceptable mid-card feature but as things are now, he's totally out of his depth.

I'd like to see Shelton get a decent push as well. He's a real talent and, when he's not chained up with stupid crap like Mama Benjamin, he's someone fans can believe in. OK, he's not a giant (as Vince prefers) but he's the same size as Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. Will Regal's not very big either but he's a genuinely tough guy and fans believe in that (Regal came up through the Blackpool Riot Squad, a notoriously tough scene who used to do the old "last three minutes" game around the tourist towns). But Regal's getting on a little and the bookers have clearly lost interest in both Shelton and Swagger (Swagger just needs a little more time to perfect his mic work and he'll be the total package).

Personally, I'm not sure of the wisdom in running head-to-head with RAW. If it's for one night, then fine. You might pick up a few viewers who go channel-surfing during commercials (and personally, I'd book very few skits and almost entirely PPV-quality matches that night for that exact reason) but there's also the danger that your own viewers might defect and I want TNA to succeed. If TNA succeeds, the boys have more power to negotiate and the fans have more options, forcing both sides to be more creative. I love ROH but ROH is a niche product, geared to hardcore fans. ROH can't compete with Vince and they don't try to, they put out something entirely different. TNA has teh talent and bankroll to compete.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:38 pm

Ebon wrote:Your feelings are much the same as mine. Sheamus simply doesn't have the skills to carry a topline position. If he was allowed to show a bit more actual wrestling skill (he's a competent power-based worker but that doesn't fit his current gimmick), he'd be a perfectly acceptable mid-card feature but as things are now, he's totally out of his depth.
IMO, the longer they keep him unbeatable, the more they denigrate the belt. He has to learn (or if he knows - show) some actual wrestling ability or the WWE belt will become less important than the Intercontinental or the US belt. I noticed on Raw last week they have a tape about the World Championship belt that traces it's history back 100 years. That is pure bullshit. The current WC belt used by the WWE is the same belt Ric Flair created when WCW left the NWA and had to return that belt, which still exists. The NWA belt replaced the old National Wrestling Association belt when Lou Thesz joined the NWA in the late 1940's. Thesz also held the old Association belt uniting the two championships. The Thesz family still has the Association belt. The oldest chamiponship belt that still is actively competed for is the NWA belt, it's about 60 to 65-years-old and has never been held by the WWWF/WWF/WWE.

Ebon wrote:I'd like to see Shelton get a decent push as well. He's a real talent and, when he's not chained up with stupid crap like Mama Benjamin, he's someone fans can believe in. OK, he's not a giant (as Vince prefers) but he's the same size as Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. Will Regal's not very big either but he's a genuinely tough guy and fans believe in that (Regal came up through the Blackpool Riot Squad, a notoriously tough scene who used to do the old "last three minutes" game around the tourist towns). But Regal's getting on a little and the bookers have clearly lost interest in both Shelton and Swagger (Swagger just needs a little more time to perfect his mic work and he'll be the total package).
Shelton is the same size as Cena as well. The difference is Shelton never shows light when making his moves. Regal's only 41, so he's a long way from old. He also has that shooter background that so few in the business have today. I think his biggest problem is Vince is not a big fan of the British style, so Regal never gets a push and Sheamus never gets to use a wrestling move. Perhaps that's why the Brits all seem to go to TNA, Swagger was an excellent amateur as were Angle, Lesner, and Benjamin. I'm not sure Vince likes amateur ability either. The only true amateur who I remember having the opportunity to show his wrestling talent as champion was Bob Backlund and he got screwed when Hogan was brought in.

Ebon wrote:Personally, I'm not sure of the wisdom in running head-to-head with RAW. If it's for one night, then fine. You might pick up a few viewers who go channel-surfing during commercials (and personally, I'd book very few skits and almost entirely PPV-quality matches that night for that exact reason) but there's also the danger that your own viewers might defect and I want TNA to succeed. If TNA succeeds, the boys have more power to negotiate and the fans have more options, forcing both sides to be more creative. I love ROH but ROH is a niche product, geared to hardcore fans. ROH can't compete with Vince and they don't try to, they put out something entirely different. TNA has teh talent and bankroll to compete.
From what I hear, this is a one night thing, and it will be the first time Hogan appears in a TNA ring. Maybe they believe they will draw some old WWE Hulkamanics. I would emphasize the X -Divison, and use all the ex-WWE stars on the roster either in action or in promo sessions. That would mean using Angle, Lashley, Tara, Nash, Jarrett, Foley, Team 3D, Steiner, and D'Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke). I might also book a match between Samoa Joe (who Vince took CM Punk over) and Desmond Wolfe (who Vince wouldn't sign because of a failed physical, or because he is British) so the WWE fans can see what they're missing. Oh, yeah, I would also bring in Sting at least to talk to Hogan and Nash. The three could shoot a bit on Vince.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:56 am

TPaine wrote: IMO, the longer they keep him unbeatable, the more they denigrate the belt. He has to learn (or if he knows - show) some actual wrestling ability or the WWE belt will become less important than the Intercontinental or the US belt.

I think I've come up with two ways the Sheamus experiment can work. The first is the old "fluke champion" gimmick, played to perfection by JBL a few years back: The performer who's totally over their head and manages to escape by the skin of their teeth each time. The second was the way ECW handled Balls Mahoney (Hacksaw Duggan did the same pre-WWF): The brawler with a surprise. In essence, this is the performer who loves to brawl until he comes up against someone who can counter his brawling. Then he starts whipping out some technical moves to surprise you. It's not as sudden as a gimmick switch, so retains what fans they already have but allows a performer to broaden their offence. Mahoney was an accomplished amateur which helped him (until he got banned for punching a ref, true story). But Sheamus could go the same route. Pair him up with someone who can counter the brawling (even Cena would work in their upcoming rematch) and, just when the fans think Cena has his number, start working in a little technical work or the British style that Cena has no answer for. Suddenly, you've got a champion with a much more layer persona.

I noticed on Raw last week they have a tape about the World Championship belt that traces it's history back 100 years. That is pure bullshit. The current WC belt used by the WWE is the same belt Ric Flair created when WCW left the NWA and had to return that belt, which still exists. The NWA belt replaced the old National Wrestling Association belt when Lou Thesz joined the NWA in the late 1940's. Thesz also held the old Association belt uniting the two championships. The Thesz family still has the Association belt. The oldest chamiponship belt that still is actively competed for is the NWA belt, it's about 60 to 65-years-old and has never been held by the WWWF/WWF/WWE.

Yeah, I saw that too. Let's see: The National Wrestling Association merged with the NWA so you've got a title lineage there; the NWA withered to just JCP and a few Japanese promotions and then sold up to Turner to create WCW so I guess you could claim a lineage there. But then, the WCW belt was abandoned when Vince brought out WCW so that title lineage is dead and the current big gold belt is a title lineage that was created for Tripper when the brands were split so it doesn't even make sense by it's own reasoning. I mean, if they were going to document the title lineage of the National Wrestling Alliance/Association, you could make a good argument that the lineage stretches back a century since Lou Thesz unified the titles but I have no idea who they're trying to fool with this effort.

Shelton is the same size as Cena as well. The difference is Shelton never shows light when making his moves. Regal's only 41, so he's a long way from old. He also has that shooter background that so few in the business have today. I think his biggest problem is Vince is not a big fan of the British style, so Regal never gets a push and Sheamus never gets to use a wrestling move. Perhaps that's why the Brits all seem to go to TNA, Swagger was an excellent amateur as were Angle, Lesner, and Benjamin. I'm not sure Vince likes amateur ability either. The only true amateur who I remember having the opportunity to show his wrestling talent as champion was Bob Backlund and he got screwed when Hogan was brought in.

I tend to think Backlund was a case where Vince Sr liked the guy and promoted him (like a lot of old-timers, Vince Sr liked guys with a real sport wrestling background) and Jr stuck the title on him, essentially to act as a placeholder until he could get someone else. You're probably right about Vince and amateur acomplishment. Vince seems to have a long history of resenting people who succeeded in areas he couldn't. Lesnar was huge so he was ok and Kurt was just so damn good that even his atrocious early gimmicks (his original gimmick was being boring) couldn't harm him. In the end, Kurt got to be so popular that his brief ECW run was marked by a change in style to, effectively, hyper-aggressive amateur wrestling and the fans ate it up. Benjamin has been subjected to some utter crap since he split with Haas. The "Mama Benjamin" angle alone could have killed his career.

Tom Billington talks a little about Vince's problems with the British style in his autobiography. Essentially, by the time he made it to the WWE, he'd been forced to abandon the submission-based mat wrestling of the British style and create a whole new style of pro wrestling which mixed WWE-style brawling with Japanese-inspired aerials and complicated submissions from the Brit style. Since WWE was very TV orientated and the Bulldogs were faces, he was forced to pretty much drop the submission aspect (since Vince at the time was under the impression that faces couldn't be submission wrestlers). So, in order to be credible, he felt a tremendous pressure to bulk up and took massive amounts of steroids. Now, take a guy who already has a vicious temper (the "Dynamite" nickname came from his temper, not his style) and load him up on roids and you can imagine the result. So, in the end, there was one incident too many and Vince fired him. Tom is, rightfully, proud that the style he pioneered has remained popular and the moves he invented (both the superplex and back superplex were invented by him) are still used today.

Vince has never understood the British style. The fact that it's mat-based means it doesn't look all that impressive on TV unless you get right into the face of teh workers (which has only recently become possible) so guys like Regal (who could tie half the roster in knots if he chose) get stuck working an alien style which they, naturally, arn't very good at.

From what I hear, this is a one night thing, and it will be the first time Hogan appears in a TNA ring. Maybe they believe they will draw some old WWE Hulkamanics. I would emphasize the X -Divison, and use all the ex-WWE stars on the roster either in action or in promo sessions. That would mean using Angle, Lashley, Tara, Nash, Jarrett, Foley, Team 3D, Steiner, and D'Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke). I might also book a match between Samoa Joe (who Vince took CM Punk over) and Desmond Wolfe (who Vince wouldn't sign because of a failed physical, or because he is British) so the WWE fans can see what they're missing. Oh, yeah, I would also bring in Sting at least to talk to Hogan and Nash. The three could shoot a bit on Vince.

Turns out that McGuiness wasn't hired because the physical showed that he would be prone to injury in the future. Suprised me that WWE would look at that but there you go. Fully agree on emphasising the X-Division, that's their money point, that's what makes them different to WWE and mainstream fans haven't seen that style since WCW folded. You need to be careful to show the ex-WWE workers but without making your homegrown stars seem inferior to them. Personally, I'd open the show with a three-way involving Team 3D, the Machineguns and the British Invasion (Machineguns sneak a win over 3D). Segue into a promo by Hogan, interrupted by Sting, then Nash and finally, Angle (setting up an Angle/Sting main event later in the show). Quick commercial, followed by D'Angelo Dinero Vs Amazing Red for the X title (that should wow a few fans, Dinero lifts the X title)), then some kind of confrontation between Wolfe and Joe (NOT a match but tease the match for the future so any new fans have a reason to tune in next week) before going to a Tara/Kong (Tara retains on a wild DQ) rematch. Another commercal, then we go to Lashley/Abyss/Steiner (probably with some kind of gimmick, maybe Monster's Ball? Lashley wins to set up a program with Abyss).

I could keep booking this for the whole two hours but you get the point. Show the ex-WWE stars but do so in such a way that they're part of the TNA scene, not above it. Wow the fans with a few shocks (Dinero lifts the X title) but also hold back on a few things to give them an incentive to keep watching (Hence, holding Joe/Wolfe off until later) while mixing different styles so there's something for everyone (Not keen on Dinero/Red? No problem, stick around twelve minutes and we give you Lashley, Abyss and Steiner pounding hell out of each other). Then again, I think all shows should be booked like that. Jim Cornette once said something which I think every booker, or fantasy booker in this case, needs to keep in mind: "Does it sell tickets? And if it doesn't, why is it on your show?". These days, it's more about ratings and PPV buy-rates but the point remains the same.

That said, I hear rumours that Hogan and Bisch have asked for TNA's futuristic 6-sided ring to be replaced with a traditional square one which doesn't fill me with confidence.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Mon Dec 28, 2009 8:43 pm

Ebon wrote:I think I've come up with two ways the Sheamus experiment can work. The first is the old "fluke champion" gimmick, played to perfection by JBL a few years back: The performer who's totally over their head and manages to escape by the skin of their teeth each time. The second was the way ECW handled Balls Mahoney (Hacksaw Duggan did the same pre-WWF): The brawler with a surprise. In essence, this is the performer who loves to brawl until he comes up against someone who can counter his brawling. Then he starts whipping out some technical moves to surprise you. It's not as sudden as a gimmick switch, so retains what fans they already have but allows a performer to broaden their offence. Mahoney was an accomplished amateur which helped him (until he got banned for punching a ref, true story). But Sheamus could go the same route. Pair him up with someone who can counter the brawling (even Cena would work in their upcoming rematch) and, just when the fans think Cena has his number, start working in a little technical work or the British style that Cena has no answer for. Suddenly, you've got a champion with a much more layer persona.

The last time they tried that angle was with Santino Marella when they gave him the IC belt on a European Tour. If you remember he was a "fan" who came out of the stands in Milan and beat Umaga with an assist from Bobby Lashley. I've never had a chance to assess Sheamus' actual skills, so I don't know how well he'd do as a technical worker. If you plan to use that gimmick, would there be a better opponent than Shelton Benjamin? Cena couldn't counter the brawling in their previous encounters, so if he suddenly found the ability I'm not sure it would sell. Also Cena works light too often. He needs an opponent who is good at selling.

Ebon wrote:Yeah, I saw that too. Let's see: The National Wrestling Association merged with the NWA so you've got a title lineage there; the NWA withered to just JCP and a few Japanese promotions and then sold up to Turner to create WCW so I guess you could claim a lineage there. But then, the WCW belt was abandoned when Vince brought out WCW so that title lineage is dead and the current big gold belt is a title lineage that was created for Tripper when the brands were split so it doesn't even make sense by it's own reasoning. I mean, if they were going to document the title lineage of the National Wrestling Alliance/Association, you could make a good argument that the lineage stretches back a century since Lou Thesz unified the titles but I have no idea who they're trying to fool with this effort.

The NWA still exists. When the WCW dropped out they had to adopt the Flair belt as their Championship belt. That belt is still the WC belt in the WWE. If you recall, TNA used the NWA belt until 2007 when the NWA ended the agreement. They still have a collection of independent territories in the US, Japan, and Mexico under their banner. The current champion is Blue Demon, Jr. in NWA Mexico.

Ebon wrote:I tend to think Backlund was a case where Vince Sr liked the guy and promoted him (like a lot of old-timers, Vince Sr liked guys with a real sport wrestling background) and Jr stuck the title on him, essentially to act as a placeholder until he could get someone else. You're probably right about Vince and amateur acomplishment. Vince seems to have a long history of resenting people who succeeded in areas he couldn't. Lesnar was huge so he was ok and Kurt was just so damn good that even his atrocious early gimmicks (his original gimmick was being boring) couldn't harm him. In the end, Kurt got to be so popular that his brief ECW run was marked by a change in style to, effectively, hyper-aggressive amateur wrestling and the fans ate it up. Benjamin has been subjected to some utter crap since he split with Haas. The "Mama Benjamin" angle alone could have killed his career.

If you think about it, very few actual wrestlers have succeeded under Vince. Bret Hart was one, Angle another. Owen was turned into more of a comedy act with the Blue Blazer crap, Lashley was driven out, Regal never got squat, Benjamin we've discussed to death. Backlund got screwed, Swagger may never get above mid-card unless he goes to TNA. Smaller real wrestlers who actually did great mat work like Taz and Dean Malenko were buried by Vince. And on it goes.

Ebon wrote:Tom Billington talks a little about Vince's problems with the British style in his autobiography. Essentially, by the time he made it to the WWE, he'd been forced to abandon the submission-based mat wrestling of the British style and create a whole new style of pro wrestling which mixed WWE-style brawling with Japanese-inspired aerials and complicated submissions from the Brit style. Since WWE was very TV orientated and the Bulldogs were faces, he was forced to pretty much drop the submission aspect (since Vince at the time was under the impression that faces couldn't be submission wrestlers). So, in order to be credible, he felt a tremendous pressure to bulk up and took massive amounts of steroids. Now, take a guy who already has a vicious temper (the "Dynamite" nickname came from his temper, not his style) and load him up on roids and you can imagine the result. So, in the end, there was one incident too many and Vince fired him. Tom is, rightfully, proud that the style he pioneered has remained popular and the moves he invented (both the superplex and back superplex were invented by him) are still used today.
Billingham, Taz and the Steiners were suplex machines. For some reason Taz and Rick never went the overload of 'roids the way Tom and Scott did. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit were more into the flying style, but actually could wrestle. Vince just didn't like them doing it.

Ebon wrote:Vince has never understood the British style. The fact that it's mat-based means it doesn't look all that impressive on TV unless you get right into the face of teh workers (which has only recently become possible) so guys like Regal (who could tie half the roster in knots if he chose) get stuck working an alien style which they, naturally, arn't very good at.

As I understand it, Regal has worked a Vince's policeman, keeping rebellious wrestlers in line. It's a shame he never got any kind of a push for his efforts. The only one on the WWE roster I can think of off the top of my head that could kick Regals ass in a contest is Vladimir Kozlov with his MMA, sambo, and kick-boxing background.

Ebon wrote:Turns out that McGuiness wasn't hired because the physical showed that he would be prone to injury in the future. Suprised me that WWE would look at that but there you go. Fully agree on emphasising the X-Division, that's their money point, that's what makes them different to WWE and mainstream fans haven't seen that style since WCW folded. You need to be careful to show the ex-WWE workers but without making your homegrown stars seem inferior to them. Personally, I'd open the show with a three-way involving Team 3D, the Machineguns and the British Invasion (Machineguns sneak a win over 3D). Segue into a promo by Hogan, interrupted by Sting, then Nash and finally, Angle (setting up an Angle/Sting main event later in the show). Quick commercial, followed by D'Angelo Dinero Vs Amazing Red for the X title (that should wow a few fans, Dinero lifts the X title)), then some kind of confrontation between Wolfe and Joe (NOT a match but tease the match for the future so any new fans have a reason to tune in next week) before going to a Tara/Kong (Tara retains on a wild DQ) rematch. Another commercal, then we go to Lashley/Abyss/Steiner (probably with some kind of gimmick, maybe Monster's Ball? Lashley wins to set up a program with Abyss).

I like the three-way tag with the Guns winning, but would like to see Beer Money get some action as well. Due to his feud with Wolfe, Angle is a face right now, and Sting cannot work as a heel. His time in the Main Event Mafia proved that. He was high-fiveing fans throughout the gimmick. However Sting is the only major star who has never been in the WWE. You do want to use him. They've been building a Nash/Foley feud for a few weeks, maybe a Steiner/Nash vs. Foley/Abyss? I like Tara/Kong with Tara retaining. Lashley beat Steiner at Final Resolution which should end that stupid angle. Since Joe got the briefcase for the WC title match at Final Resolution, I'd be tempted to book AJ/Joe in a title match as a main event. Both are better that Sheamus and about any main event face Vince could book against him. I'd also like to see a Lashley/Wolfe feud.

Ebon wrote:I could keep booking this for the whole two hours but you get the point. Show the ex-WWE stars but do so in such a way that they're part of the TNA scene, not above it. Wow the fans with a few shocks (Dinero lifts the X title) but also hold back on a few things to give them an incentive to keep watching (Hence, holding Joe/Wolfe off until later) while mixing different styles so there's something for everyone (Not keen on Dinero/Red? No problem, stick around twelve minutes and we give you Lashley, Abyss and Steiner pounding hell out of each other). Then again, I think all shows should be booked like that. Jim Cornette once said something which I think every booker, or fantasy booker in this case, needs to keep in mind: "Does it sell tickets? And if it doesn't, why is it on your show?". These days, it's more about ratings and PPV buy-rates but the point remains the same.

Another feud that's been teased is Jarrett/Angle over the RL situation with Karen. Played right, it could become an excellent feud with JJ playing the heel role which he's so good at.

Ebon wrote:That said, I hear rumours that Hogan and Bisch have asked for TNA's futuristic 6-sided ring to be replaced with a traditional square one which doesn't fill me with confidence.

Most traditional fans I know dislike the 6-sided ring. IMO, the boys that work in the ring should have the final say.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Tue Dec 29, 2009 7:32 am

TPaine wrote: The last time they tried that angle was with Santino Marella when they gave him the IC belt on a European Tour. If you remember he was a "fan" who came out of the stands in Milan and beat Umaga with an assist from Bobby Lashley. I've never had a chance to assess Sheamus' actual skills, so I don't know how well he'd do as a technical worker. If you plan to use that gimmick, would there be a better opponent than Shelton Benjamin? Cena couldn't counter the brawling in their previous encounters, so if he suddenly found the ability I'm not sure it would sell. Also Cena works light too often. He needs an opponent who is good at selling.

Benjamin would work. So would Regal, who's on something of a high right now.

I like the three-way tag with the Guns winning, but would like to see Beer Money get some action as well. Due to his feud with Wolfe, Angle is a face right now, and Sting cannot work as a heel. His time in the Main Event Mafia proved that. He was high-fiveing fans throughout the gimmick. However Sting is the only major star who has never been in the WWE. You do want to use him. They've been building a Nash/Foley feud for a few weeks, maybe a Steiner/Nash vs. Foley/Abyss? I like Tara/Kong with Tara retaining. Lashley beat Steiner at Final Resolution which should end that stupid angle. Since Joe got the briefcase for the WC title match at Final Resolution, I'd be tempted to book AJ/Joe in a title match as a main event. Both are better that Sheamus and about any main event face Vince could book against him. I'd also like to see a Lashley/Wolfe feud.

Another feud that's been teased is Jarrett/Angle over the RL situation with Karen. Played right, it could become an excellent feud with JJ playing the heel role which he's so good at.

OK, stick with the current layout but have Hogan make a main-event of Angle/Sting vs Beer Money (DQ, due to interference by a returning Jarrett, setting up an Angle-Jarrett run). If Hogan is willing to work as a heel, he'd be a lot more useful. Obviously, I'd only use him in the ring on very rare occasions (maybe once or twice a year to give some up-and-comer the boost of beating Hogan) but if he was willing to work as a Hollywood-style heel, he could make a superb instigator and he has the built-in storyline of unfinished business with Sting.

Within the next couple of weeks, Jarrett and Wolfe form an alliance, hellbent on destroying Angle's career. Since Sting is tied-up dealing with Hogan, Angle is outnumbered and struggling to survive. In the semi-main position, put AJ against Daniels as a routine title defence. AJ takes a close win and Joe walks out, stares at AJ and then leaves. No words, just tease the tension.

Most traditional fans I know dislike the 6-sided ring. IMO, the boys that work in the ring should have the final say.

Agreed. I like it personally but it's up to the boys in the end.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:00 pm

Ebon wrote:Benjamin would work. So would Regal, who's on something of a high right now.
I'm not to sure Vince is going to allow Sheamus to show any skill. Last night was another match with Cena and he used a poorly done ref bump to get DQed. Of course he then put Cena out with a couple of very light looking kicks and did his pose with his foot on Cena's throat. I hate to say it since I've only seen him on Raw, but as of now, other than Vince himself who held the title for six days in 1999, I have to rate Sheamus among the worst WWE Champions of all time along with the Ultimate Warrior and Hogan. At least Hogan could sell his opponents moves. I never saw either Warrior or Sheamus do that. It's almost like Vince told HHH, "Ok, I'll give your damn buddy the belt, but he's never going to be allowed to look like he deserves it."

Ebon wrote:OK, stick with the current layout but have Hogan make a main-event of Angle/Sting vs Beer Money (DQ, due to interference by a returning Jarrett, setting up an Angle-Jarrett run). If Hogan is willing to work as a heel, he'd be a lot more useful. Obviously, I'd only use him in the ring on very rare occasions (maybe once or twice a year to give some up-and-comer the boost of beating Hogan) but if he was willing to work as a Hollywood-style heel, he could make a superb instigator and he has the built-in storyline of unfinished business with Sting.
I can see a running heel-Hogan/face-Sting feud working perhaps on one Impact match and one PPV every other month. At 50 Sting is too old for regular action, and Hogan has been washed up for years. However on the Monday special, I'd use Hulk as a face to hopefully draw old Hulkamaniacs from Raw and Bret Hart. Perhaps he could do some promo work with Sting as if they were good buddies, then tease a Hogan heel turn on Impact the next week. I'd also like to see them draw Nash into it because of the history there. Does anyone still remember what happened in WCW other than hardcore fans like us?

Ebon wrote:Within the next couple of weeks, Jarrett and Wolfe form an alliance, hellbent on destroying Angle's career. Since Sting is tied-up dealing with Hogan, Angle is outnumbered and struggling to survive. In the semi-main position, put AJ against Daniels as a routine title defence. AJ takes a close win and Joe walks out, stares at AJ and then leaves. No words, just tease the tension.
I love the JJ/Wolfe alliance against Angle which could set up JJ/Wolfe vs Angle/Lashley. AJ beat Daniels at Final Resolution and an AJ/Joe match could top anything the WWE could throw against it as a main event. They've already teased that match on Impact for several weeks with Joe inciting Daniels agains AJ and Joe getting in AJ's face. Don't forget, they also have Tomko who just returned to TNA and has history with both AJ and Angle as the Angle Alliance in 2008.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:41 am

TPaine wrote: I'm not to sure Vince is going to allow Sheamus to show any skill. Last night was another match with Cena and he used a poorly done ref bump to get DQed. Of course he then put Cena out with a couple of very light looking kicks and did his pose with his foot on Cena's throat. I hate to say it since I've only seen him on Raw, but as of now, other than Vince himself who held the title for six days in 1999, I have to rate Sheamus among the worst WWE Champions of all time along with the Ultimate Warrior and Hogan. At least Hogan could sell his opponents moves. I never saw either Warrior or Sheamus do that. It's almost like Vince told HHH, "Ok, I'll give your damn buddy the belt, but he's never going to be allowed to look like he deserves it."

I'm getting that impression as well. Ah well, hopefully Sheamus drops the belt in the near-future and then drops down to the mid-card where he can reinvent himself a little. Don't misunderstand, he's no Ric Flair but he is significantly better than he's being allowed to show right now.

I can see a running heel-Hogan/face-Sting feud working perhaps on one Impact match and one PPV every other month. At 50 Sting is too old for regular action, and Hogan has been washed up for years. However on the Monday special, I'd use Hulk as a face to hopefully draw old Hulkamaniacs from Raw and Bret Hart. Perhaps he could do some promo work with Sting as if they were good buddies, then tease a Hogan heel turn on Impact the next week. I'd also like to see them draw Nash into it because of the history there. Does anyone still remember what happened in WCW other than hardcore fans like us?

I think so. At the height of the Monday night wars, RAW and Nitro combined were drawing around 7.5 - 8 points. When Vince brought out WCW, his rating never went higher than about 4.5. That means there's about 3.5 points worth of fans out there who liked the WCW product (although WCW did their best to piss them off in the last year) but don't care for Vince's style. That's enough fans to make a profitable promotion.

I love the JJ/Wolfe alliance against Angle which could set up JJ/Wolfe vs Angle/Lashley. AJ beat Daniels at Final Resolution and an AJ/Joe match could top anything the WWE could throw against it as a main event. They've already teased that match on Impact for several weeks with Joe inciting Daniels agains AJ and Joe getting in AJ's face. Don't forget, they also have Tomko who just returned to TNA and has history with both AJ and Angle as the Angle Alliance in 2008.

OK. In that case, move Angle/Sting vs Beer Money to the semi-main (DQ still from Jarrett's run-in) and put AJ vs Joe up top and really promote the hell out of it throughout the show. Training videos, highlight packages, the works. That puts a lot of weight on them to deliver but I think they can handle it. The JJ/Wolfe alliance sets out to destroy Angle and, for a while, they'd have some success. After about a month of getting beaten silly, Angle goes looking for allies to even the odds and forms an alliance with Lashley (who I've put in a short program with Abyss to keep him occupied in the meantime). That allows for some stunning tag matches and will eventually segue into Wolfe vs Lashley and JJ vs Angle singles programs. By the time that ends, we should have some idea of how long Lashley is sticking around and can book him accordingly.

Hogan says he's going to be TNA's version of Vince and that's fine. The guy can still cut a promo so I've got no problem with him being the authority figure on the show, just so long as it doesn't revolve around him. He would do his little speech, welcoming everyone to a new era of Impact, interact with Sting and Nash (playing off his history with both) and book the semi-main and main events onscreen. As time goes on, we do a slow heel turn with him and he becomes the tyrannical authority figure with shades of his old Hollywood persona (who I always thought was a much more interesting character).

I admit I'm taking some booking cues here from Bill Watts, who felt that faces should usually be outnumbered (because it made them look more heroic when they won).

Inicdently, Tommy Dreamer just posted that he may be going to TNA. Two reasons that's good news: 1) Tommy is really good at working with younger talent, helping them polish their personas; 2) Tommy is legitimatly one of Paulie Heyman's closest friends. While Paulie has The Heyman Hustle, he might be tempted if his best buddy comes to him, telling him that this is a good company. Obviously, you can't do ECW all over again but even with some limitations imposed on him, Paulie is still probably the most creative booker around.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Fri Jan 01, 2010 9:07 pm

Sad news: "Dr Death" Steve Williams passed away yesterday of throat cancer at the age of 49. His last match was back in October, at the tribute to Mitsaharu Misawa.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:33 am

Ebon wrote:
I'm getting that impression as well. Ah well, hopefully Sheamus drops the belt in the near-future and then drops down to the mid-card where he can reinvent himself a little. Don't misunderstand, he's no Ric Flair but he is significantly better than he's being allowed to show right now.
The trouble is, Raw has no main-event quality faces to take the belt except Cena (who Sheamus has beaten regularly) and one of the two members of DX. I think Jericho & Show will win the tag belts back on Monday, so DX can do singles work. I see a Michaels/Hart program around the corner, and the regrettable possibility that HHH is setting himself up for another title run.

Ebon wrote:I think so. At the height of the Monday night wars, RAW and Nitro combined were drawing around 7.5 - 8 points. When Vince brought out WCW, his rating never went higher than about 4.5. That means there's about 3.5 points worth of fans out there who liked the WCW product (although WCW did their best to piss them off in the last year) but don't care for Vince's style. That's enough fans to make a profitable promotion.
I'm going to watch Impact and check on Raw during commercials. I want TNA to succeed simply because competition = quality.

Ebon wrote:OK. In that case, move Angle/Sting vs Beer Money to the semi-main (DQ still from Jarrett's run-in) and put AJ vs Joe up top and really promote the hell out of it throughout the show. Training videos, highlight packages, the works. That puts a lot of weight on them to deliver but I think they can handle it. The JJ/Wolfe alliance sets out to destroy Angle and, for a while, they'd have some success. After about a month of getting beaten silly, Angle goes looking for allies to even the odds and forms an alliance with Lashley (who I've put in a short program with Abyss to keep him occupied in the meantime). That allows for some stunning tag matches and will eventually segue into Wolfe vs Lashley and JJ vs Angle singles programs. By the time that ends, we should have some idea of how long Lashley is sticking around and can book him accordingly.
My only problem would be turning Abyss heel again. They turn him like a steak on a grill and I believe that hurts the character eventually. Lashley could do a program with Raven, short term, or Tomko for a longer run.

Ebon wrote:Hogan says he's going to be TNA's version of Vince and that's fine. The guy can still cut a promo so I've got no problem with him being the authority figure on the show, just so long as it doesn't revolve around him. He would do his little speech, welcoming everyone to a new era of Impact, interact with Sting and Nash (playing off his history with both) and book the semi-main and main events onscreen. As time goes on, we do a slow heel turn with him and he becomes the tyrannical authority figure with shades of his old Hollywood persona (who I always thought was a much more interesting character).
Much as I loved the Hollywood character, wouldn't doing an evil Vince-like character give the WWE a way to say, "All those guys can do is copy our stuff. They have nothing original of their own." It might work if you do a feud for power angle by using Dixie Carter as the beleaguered owner, and Hollywood as the tyrannical usurper.

Ebon wrote:I admit I'm taking some booking cues here from Bill Watts, who felt that faces should usually be outnumbered (because it made them look more heroic when they won).
I can't agree with you about Watts. I've found that when faces have to be too heroic it stretches kayfabe beyond the limits to which a fan can suspend disbelief. Also Watts was manacial when it came to kayfabe. It could not be broken for any reason. Faces and heels had to use different locker rooms and were even forbiden to associate away from the arena. This put a strain on a lot of friendships when the boys were in the Mid South area Watts controlled. It was one of the main reasons he was fired by Turner Entertainment along with his rules about no mats around the ring, and no highspots off the top rope. The best thing he ever did was to turn Sting face by giving him a championship match against Eddie Gilbert, and making Ron Simmons the first black WCW Champion.

Ebon wrote:Inicdently, Tommy Dreamer just posted that he may be going to TNA. Two reasons that's good news: 1) Tommy is really good at working with younger talent, helping them polish their personas; 2) Tommy is legitimatly one of Paulie Heyman's closest friends. While Paulie has The Heyman Hustle, he might be tempted if his best buddy comes to him, telling him that this is a good company. Obviously, you can't do ECW all over again but even with some limitations imposed on him, Paulie is still probably the most creative booker around.
If Tommy is known for anything it is his loyalty. He stuck in there with ECW through the really bad times even as far as answering the phone in the office when there was no one else to do it. When ECW collapsed he gave Vince that same loyalty and was rewarded by being used as a jobber. There must be something seriously wrong in Vinceland if Tommy Dreamer is thinking about going to TNA or anywhere else.
A friend and I were sitting around talking about who we would hire if we won the lottery and had the money to start a major promotion. We agreed we wanted Paul Heyman as booker, and I wanted Joey Styles to call the match and Jim Cornette to do the color commentary although I realize Styles is better working alone than he is with a color man. As I recall, my friend came up with Ross and Lawler. Picking a roster of workers could be an interesting discussion.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:49 am

I'm sorry to hear about Steve's passing. I remember him as a part of Kevin Sullivan's Varsity Club in WCW with Mike Rotunda and Rick Steiner. I never saw much of the Miracle Violence Connection team he had with Terry Gordy in All Japan, but I liked him in his few visits to ECW. I wish he had spent more time in the US.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Sat Jan 02, 2010 7:23 pm

TPaine wrote: The trouble is, Raw has no main-event quality faces to take the belt except Cena (who Sheamus has beaten regularly) and one of the two members of DX. I think Jericho & Show will win the tag belts back on Monday, so DX can do singles work. I see a Michaels/Hart program around the corner, and the regrettable possibility that HHH is setting himself up for another title run.

Normally, I'd be pissed at that but if it gets the title off Sheamus, it'll do. Especially if it doesn't involve Cena.

I'm going to watch Impact and check on Raw during commercials. I want TNA to succeed simply because competition = quality.

Another reason to watch TNA; BREAKING NEWS: RVD is confirmed to be on the three-hour show. RVD is versatile enough that he can be placed in the X or heavyweight divisions.

My only problem would be turning Abyss heel again. They turn him like a steak on a grill and I believe that hurts the character eventually. Lashley could do a program with Raven, short term, or Tomko for a longer run.

Confession: I forgot Raven was back in full-time. Assuming he can still go (he was looking a little battered last time), he'll do nicely.

Much as I loved the Hollywood character, wouldn't doing an evil Vince-like character give the WWE a way to say, "All those guys can do is copy our stuff. They have nothing original of their own." It might work if you do a feud for power angle by using Dixie Carter as the beleaguered owner, and Hollywood as the tyrannical usurper.

Make the feud for power between Dixie and Bisch (giving Bisch chance to do his "slimiest man on tv" act), with Hollywood acting as Bisch's mouthpiece/enforcer.

I can't agree with you about Watts. I've found that when faces have to be too heroic it stretches kayfabe beyond the limits to which a fan can suspend disbelief. Also Watts was manacial when it came to kayfabe. It could not be broken for any reason. Faces and heels had to use different locker rooms and were even forbiden to associate away from the arena. This put a strain on a lot of friendships when the boys were in the Mid South area Watts controlled. It was one of the main reasons he was fired by Turner Entertainment along with his rules about no mats around the ring, and no highspots off the top rope. The best thing he ever did was to turn Sting face by giving him a championship match against Eddie Gilbert, and making Ron Simmons the first black WCW Champion.

Oh, granted, Watts had a lot of faults (his habit of urinating off his balcony into the carpark below raised some eyebrows too) but in his day, he booked some of the most seamless television with the UWF.

If Tommy is known for anything it is his loyalty. He stuck in there with ECW through the really bad times even as far as answering the phone in the office when there was no one else to do it. When ECW collapsed he gave Vince that same loyalty and was rewarded by being used as a jobber. There must be something seriously wrong in Vinceland if Tommy Dreamer is thinking about going to TNA or anywhere else.

My guess is that, without Linda or Shane around to keep him in check, Vince is becoming even more overbearing than usual. We've always known that Vince is borderline sociopathic (in the clinical sense of treating others purely as extensions of himself) but while Steph and Tripper tended to encourage him, Linda and Shane tended to diffuse or deflect his rages. Now that both of them are off doing other things, I reckon Vince is becoming impossible to work with.

A friend and I were sitting around talking about who we would hire if we won the lottery and had the money to start a major promotion. We agreed we wanted Paul Heyman as booker, and I wanted Joey Styles to call the match and Jim Cornette to do the color commentary although I realize Styles is better working alone than he is with a color man. As I recall, my friend came up with Ross and Lawler. Picking a roster of workers could be an interesting discussion.

My number one pick for workers would be Petey Williams. Seasoned pro who never looks lost, happy to lose to anyone without complaint, just enough flair to be memorable. Shark Boy is another reliable hand. Jack Evans and Pac (the British one, not Sean Waltman) are so damn spectacular that they're worth having just for jaw-dropping stunts. That's four cruiserweights to build that division around (eight if Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Tajiri and Bryan Danielson can be tempted). On the heavyweight end, I'll take Will Regal (as the resident submission specialist, dropping the Lordly mannerisms to be portrayed as his real self, a Blackpool roughneck) and Desmond Wolfe in an alliance of British street thugs, Samoa Joe (resident hardman), Tommy Dreamer (resident punchbag, frequent victim of the Worf Barrage), D'Lo Brown, John Morrison (with a slightly tweaked gimmick) and RVD (who I see in an alliance of laid-back babyfaces). If I could get him, I'd take Shawn Michaels as resident legend. If not, Randy Savage could probably use the gig. Add Paulie as booker, Joey Styles on play-by-play (joined by Bobby Heenan for PPVs) and Jim Cornette as the on-screen authority figure.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:18 pm

Ebon wrote:Normally, I'd be pissed at that but if it gets the title off Sheamus, it'll do. Especially if it doesn't involve Cena.
Cena does decent mic work, but his wrestling hasn't progressed much beyond the rookie stage as far as moves go. He isn't bad at selling his opponent's moves though.

Ebon wrote:Another reason to watch TNA; BREAKING NEWS: RVD is confirmed to be on the three-hour show. RVD is versatile enough that he can be placed in the X or heavyweight divisions.
No RVD, but Jeff Hardy is a damn good substitute, and the word is he's signed a contract. It's not just a one time thing.

Ebon wrote:Confession: I forgot Raven was back in full-time. Assuming he can still go (he was looking a little battered last time), he'll do nicely.
It looks like Lashley finally got his wish. He wanted to turn heel in the WWE but Vince said no. It looks like he'll finally get the chance. I don't think he'll be very good in the role. He needs Kristal to do his proms for him. He doesn't have the mic skills to handle a main event heel role. He does have the in-ring skills, though.

Ebon wrote:Make the feud for power between Dixie and Bisch (giving Bisch chance to do his "slimiest man on tv" act), with Hollywood acting as Bisch's mouthpiece/enforcer.
Works for me. Hogan is in black tonight. Maybe we'll be right

Ebon wrote:Oh, granted, Watts had a lot of faults (his habit of urinating off his balcony into the carpark below raised some eyebrows too) but in his day, he booked some of the most seamless television with the UWF.
It didn't translate to WCW. I wasn't fond of his booking there.

Ebon wrote:My guess is that, without Linda or Shane around to keep him in check, Vince is becoming even more overbearing than usual. We've always known that Vince is borderline sociopathic (in the clinical sense of treating others purely as extensions of himself) but while Steph and Tripper tended to encourage him, Linda and Shane tended to diffuse or deflect his rages. Now that both of them are off doing other things, I reckon Vince is becoming impossible to work with.
I missed the Bret/Vince confrontation on Raw because I was watching the AJ/Angle main event on TNA. That one match was better than anything I've seen in the WWE is a long long time.

Ebon wrote:My number one pick for workers would be Petey Williams. Seasoned pro who never looks lost, happy to lose to anyone without complaint, just enough flair to be memorable. Shark Boy is another reliable hand. Jack Evans and Pac (the British one, not Sean Waltman) are so damn spectacular that they're worth having just for jaw-dropping stunts. That's four cruiserweights to build that division around (eight if Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Tajiri and Bryan Danielson can be tempted). On the heavyweight end, I'll take Will Regal (as the resident submission specialist, dropping the Lordly mannerisms to be portrayed as his real self, a Blackpool roughneck) and Desmond Wolfe in an alliance of British street thugs, Samoa Joe (resident hardman), Tommy Dreamer (resident punchbag, frequent victim of the Worf Barrage), D'Lo Brown, John Morrison (with a slightly tweaked gimmick) and RVD (who I see in an alliance of laid-back babyfaces). If I could get him, I'd take Shawn Michaels as resident legend. If not, Randy Savage could probably use the gig. Add Paulie as booker, Joey Styles on play-by-play (joined by Bobby Heenan for PPVs) and Jim Cornette as the on-screen authority figure.
I'll have to give this some thought I do want to say that Heenan, unfortunately, would have to be out. He's had a tough time talking since his bout with throat cancer followed by his jaw reconstruction. In December he had to be hospitalized for an infection in the rebuilt jaw.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:26 pm

Grading Impact
The opening cage match was a total clusterfuck. They burned up the entire X-Division, their strongest suit, in a poorly booked cage match which was almost impossible to see through. The cage wasn't even built very well. One side was not correctly anchored. Homicide using the collapsible baton to take out the entire group and getting DQ'ed was pure horseshit. Then his having to hang at the cage opening in what had to be a mistake in the timing made him look like a total spastic ape. Jeff Hardy's appearance may have saved TNA's bacon. Grade F-

ODB vs. Tara was a decent match, far better than the womans match I saw on Raw. Grade C+

Hopefully Flair will be more than a one night stand and he will actually be allowed to use the mic. Grade A- for the arrival surprise, F for the limited roll he had.

I don't know what they're doing with Foley. If he was actually gone he would not have has a role. Could Mick be the heel to Hogan's face? It could work. Grade Incomplete.

I already commented on Lashley in my previous post.

The Beautiful People playing strip poker has to get at least a B+

Hall and Waltman hopefully are a one time thing. Neither can so sober long enough to be reliable, but the nWo reunion was a good call. It could bring in the unhappy ex-WCW fans, and I thought having Sting in the rafters was perfect. Grade A

I thought the women's tag match was below average, but Hamaga has some real talent so I'll give it a C-

The strip poker game is back. Val Venis? Hopefully another one night deal. He had become a jobber in the WWE. That's not someone you can promote as a main-eventer in TNA.

Why was I surprised to see the Nasty Boys? After all they're Hogan's BFF. If they're in shape they can help what already is a first class tag division. Grade B+

Matt Morgan and Hernandez are getting a major push with their squash of Raven and Stevie Richards. Grade C

Orlando Jordan? Is he there for one night or did they sign him?

Wolfe vs. the Pope. I'm surprised the jobbed Wolfe in this match. Elijah Burke was a mid-carder at best in the WWE. Again, that's not someone, despite his talent, that you want to push when in head to head competition with the other brand. Grade match B+ booking D-

More attacks by a mystery person. First the Guns, then Rhino, finally Beer Money.

Abyss vs. Joe: Good match, bur Chris doesn't have the technical ability to rally show Joe's talent to the best. I think Daniels would have been a better choice. Grade B-

Is there a history between Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore? Could we have another top tag team in TNA? Grade Incomplete

The Jarrett promo was well done. Could we see Jarrett/Foley battle Hogan/Bischoff for control of TNA with the the ex-nWo team being the faces? It could actually work. Grade Incomplete

Kurt vs. AJ: This match was better than anything Raw could put on right now. Both guys are technically excellent, they work well together, and the continuous false finishes were off the charts. To me this is an early match of the year candidate and one of the few five star matches I've ever seen on free TV. Grade A+

Overall grade: C+. The opening clusterfuck could have killed the promotion, but the main event more than made up for it. IMO, TNA has more talent than Raw, and if they fire Russo and bring in someone like Heyman to book, they could give Vince a serious run for his money, especially if there is no one to help control Vince's ego.

How did you evaluate the night.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:47 am

Well, you said much of what I was going to. I'm psyched about the possibility of JJ/Foley vs Hogan/Bisch power struggle, that could turn into something very interesting.

The Natys, it's going to depend what kind of shape they're in. Neither can wrestle a damn but they can certainly brawl and a few wild brawls with, say, Beer Money, would be worth watching.

The Beautiful People's strip poker angle was priceless although it ran a bit too long. Shame it was on free tv, if you catch my meaning. Val Venis has never been anything special but he's an acceptable curtain jerker if he's sticking around.

The opening cage: Ugh, what the hell was that? OK, I get that the intention was to put Homicide over as a psycho but there were much better ways of doing that.

Nice to see Hall and Waltman. I doubt Hall will stick around but Waltman seems to be getting control of his problems so he might and a sober Waltman can work some decent matches. Sting in the rafters... Not sure what to make of that yet. Ditto Flair's introduction. Given that working for TNA has undoubtedly burned his bridges with Vince for the time being, I have to think Flair's in for the long haul but I'm not sure what role he can play. At 60+, he can't wrestle very often.

I'm amazed Pope went over Wolfe. After Angle went all out to make Wolfe look like a killer (and succeded), fans had brought into him as someone to believe in. So jobbing him to Elijah Burke strikes me as counter-productive.

Matt Morgan is, was and always will be a waste of space and Orlando Jordan isn't much better.

Abyss v Joe: Decent match but both are capable of better. Abyss's speciality is the unhinged brawl and Joe couldn't show his pure wrestling credentials here so something of a style clash was to be expected. Probably about as good a match as could be expected but both could and should have been booked better.

There IS history between Hardy and Moore. They were childhood friends, Moore competed in their backyard matches and, later, for OMEGA, the small-time promotion the brothers put together. In addition, Moore was one of Matt Hardy's "acolytes" during Hardy's "Mattitude" phase in WWE. They've teamed before, back in OMEGA, and their styles compliment each other well, they could make an excellent team. Hardy's new deal with TNA is apparently only short term though. Remember that Hardy also has some serious drug charges hanging over him.

I could do without ever seeing Bubba The Love Sponge again.

Angle v AJ: Just superb. Really, how many more superlatives can we heap on these guys? The match was an early entry for this year's match of the year and probably the best TNA match since Styles/Daniels/Joe from a few years back. I thought keeping the title on Styles was the right decision since you want any incoming fans to accept him as a worthy champion before you switch the title.

In terms of ratings: Initial reports are that TNA did a 1.5 (up about 0.4). Obviously, that's not as big a jump as TNA was hoping for but it's worth remembering that even when WCW launched the nWo angle that set their business on fire, it took a few months to pick up steam.

TNA has always had the talent to succeed. With a few notable exceptions (Morgan again), everyone on their roster can perform at a good or better level and, more importantly, everyone is committed to the promotion. If Styles or Joe was in it for the money, they'd have taken the WWE offers but both have refused them because they actually care about the art of wrestling. I appreciate that and I appreciate that a standard Impact show is going to have more and better actual wrestling than a standard WWE show. TNA's biggest problem is Russo. If they can get rid of him and bring in someone worthwhile to book the shows (Paulie is the obvious choice but Jim Cornette is a decent booker too), they can make a real success of things.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by TPaine on Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:13 am

Sting in the rafters goes back to WCW. With Hogan, Nash, Hall, Waltman, and Sleazy E in the ring, it was the perfect move to put Sting in the rafters - watching. If you want to relive one of the top moments in WCW, here's a video from the nWo birthday party. Link
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 11:39 am

Live-blogging the replay, pt1:
Steel Asylum was a waste of time, as it usually is. The space is too confined for the kind of high-flying stunts the X-Division is known for.Apparently, Homicide was supposed to climb out of the top of the cage at the end but he'd twanged his shoulder earlier in the match and couldn't manage it. Then Jeff Hardy comes out of the crowd. Almost didn't recognise him with a socially acceptable haircut and no makeup.

Nash interview. Nash shouldn't tie his hair back, it makes him look old. Which he is but in such a perception based business, it's foolish to draw attention to it. Nash cuts a long and rambling interview. I'm presuming he's been told "fill for five minutes" to make up for the time problem at the end of Steel Asylum.

ODB V. Tara: ODB is not the best female wrestler in the business but her biker chick persona is deeply amusing. Tara is a genuinely good worker though and personally, I find her creepy girl persona kinda hot. Match was ok but rather short and had a cheap finish. Match gets a C from me. Nothing special but nothing offensive either.

Ric FUCKIN' Flair arrives! Arena explodes. He was meant to walk into AJ's locker room but the cameraman didn't catch it.

Chatting to fans, don't care.

Lashley / Kristal: Kristal cuts a great heel promo. Probably wise to let her do the speaking. As good a wrestler as Lashley is, his promos leave a lot to be desired.

The Beautiful People play strip poker. Given that their personas are to be the mean girls from high school, the dim-witted exchanges are priceless. Shame we're not on PPV... Also a shame they bleeped the fan's chanting cusswords, this ruining any possibility of T&A.

Hall and Waltman. Hall sounds smashed. This is not a good sign. They eventually get in. Hall looks smashed as well. This is not going to end well. Waltman seems sober though.

Hogan finally arrives. Nice music, obvious limp. Hulk, your guns aren't that impressive anymore, put them away.

Pt 2 to come...
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:33 pm

Pt 2:
Hogan gets a really nice welcome. Wonder if he's noticed that the fans are chanting for the promotion, not him? Hogan's pimping the younger talents, Yay! Then mentions his old friends in the back, Boo! He just said he spent all day in the back. But didn't we just watch his limo driving to the arena? Hall and Waltman hop the railing, Hogan invites them in the ring. Oh cheeses, Hall actually is hammered. Hall slurs a few references to the nWo. Hogan tells him to piss off, nicely done. Waltman says much the same as Hall but with less slurring. Hogan says it's time to grow up. He's 56 and still hasn't managed it. Hall unintentionally points out how frickin' old Hogan is. Nash comes down and can obviously barely walk. He still calls Waltman "Kid", Ha! Nash makes some more references to the nWo and seems to be teasing that Hogan might be a mole. Hogan just said "4 Life". They're going about as far with the references as they can without being sued.

And here comes Bisch! Bisch is being slimy, not sure it's his persona or just him. Waltman looks like he's considering kicking Bisch in the head. Bisch says something about "earn your spot", Nash calls him "Easy-E", shares a significant glance and leaves, just like that. Hmm, intriguing... If I was a betting man, I'd say this is going to lead to a storyline of Hogan (face) feuding with Hall/Nash/Waltman and Bisch playing both sides. Dixie looks nervous in the front row and I don't blame her, this is running too long and out of steam. Bisch says there's nothing wrong with the format and then tears it up anyway? Hogan should never use the phrase "TNA-maniacs" again. He also says that if you can't wrestle or talk, you should pack your bags. I presume Morgan's on his way out then? Sting watching from the rafters. I get the nWo reference but I'm not sure how that's going to work into the storyline.

Knockouts Tag title: Kong & Hamada Vs. Taylor Wilde & Sarita. Hamada's rather easy on the eyes and I've always thought Sarita was stunning. Could do without their dance routine though. Nice feeling-out process early on. Wilde needs to work on her selling though. Kong does a good impression of a female Vader. Nice double-dive from Wilde and Sarita. Kong's channeling Lean White again. Nice four-way cross-up. Nice missile dropkick/powerbomb combo from Kong & Sarita to win the titles. Match gets a B-. Good match but could have used an extra couple of minutes.

Beautiful People are back and in their underwear. Val Venis shows up, makes a few puns, stops Lacey from using his name. And that's it? Weird.

Mick Foley gets tossed out again, followed by the Nastys.

Raven & Dr Stevie Vs Morgan & Hernandez. Now, Raven/Stevie is a nice throw back to ECW and Daffney is gorgeous (I like goth girls). Hernandez is a competent power worker. Morgan throws one kick and wins? Time issues again or was the intention to kill Raven and Stevie dead?

D'Angelo Dinero promo. "Delicious chocolate cup of saving grace"? OK, that got a guffaw from me. Pope seems to be a cross between the Rock, Prince (the pop star) and James Brown. I love this character. Hysterical promo but Jordan is a waste of time. Seems no-one has informed TNA what the word "wanker" means or how offensive it is in this country.
Dinero Vs Wolfe: Hmm, Dinero got the promo so he's getting the victory here. Wolfe starts trying to use British-style tactics to disassemble Pope's arm. Pope stole my hangtime elbow! Pope wins with a roll-up. That was fucking annoying. The action was good and looked like it could have become a great match but just when it started heating up, it was over. Gets a D for what there was but could go much higher if they get some decent time.

Jeff Jarrett arrives, looking like a country music star.

I'm begging the mystery someone to attack Bubba The Love Sponge. Also, Taz's pastel orange jacket is vile.

AJ promo: AJ still sounds dumb as a sack of hammers. Generic interview promoting his match with Angle at Genesis. Bisch shows up and makes AJ Vs Angle for the main event.

I think I just saw Necro Butcher in the front row.

Jarrett on his way to the ring. I miss his old road-map intro video, really put him across as the journeyman who'd been everywhere and done everything. Dixie's giving him a high-quality death glare. Jarrett cuts the same speech he gives every time TNA hits a milestone about how he started the company, no-one gave them a chance, etc. It's all true, of course, but I've heard it all before. He makes a point of the six-sided ring. Hope they keep that ring, helps the show establish itself as something different. Says he's given a lot of young guys the chance. Again, true but I've heard it before. Jarrett deserves a lot of credit for what he and TNA have done but doing this in the ring comes across as ego masturbation.

Hogan interrupts, saying much the same as I just did. Hogan gets booed for pointing this out. He puts Dixie over, says he's now Dixie's partner and JJ gets nothing. He gets booed some more. Hogan seems to be playing tweener. Hogan says that JJ has nothing and will be treated the same as everyone else. Intriguing.

Chris Daniels starts to cut a promo and gets cut off by Borash telling Mick Foley to clear off. Foley barges his way in and he wants to see Hogan.

Jeff Hardy is painting. It's about as good as his singing.
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Re: Wrestling thread

Post by Ebon on Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:26 pm

pt 3:

Abyss Vs. Joe: Abyss's escaped mental patient look has been augmented with a truly disgusting ring jacket. Joe starts it off hot and Abyss kicks his face off. Abyss seems to be possessed by Nick Dinsmore's "Eugene" character. Joe wins with a chairshot and the choke. Something of a style clash there which didn't help either man.

Bisch is doing layouts with someone in the back. He and Kristal try to out-bitch each other. Kristal wants a meeting with Hogan. Bisch blows her off in hilarious style.

I dearly want someone to kill The Love Spooge.

Nastys trying to get in again. Love Spooge gets them in.

Interview with Angle. What's that around his neck? Kurt needs to grow his beard back. Fairly generic promo about AJ but delivered as only Angle can.

Hardy & Moore apparently have everything they came for in a couple of manilla envelopes before they get mobbed by three screaming girls. Huh, only 3? I guess only three of the boys could be talked into bringing their daughters in. Jeff gives them his lousy painting from earlier.

Nasty's trash a dressing room. Cheeses, Sags is huge these days. That gut is something to see.

Angle Vs AJ: OK, this is what we came to see. Kurt's intro lists him as the best wrestler in teh world. Not sure about that but if he isn't, he's damn close. Also lists the Angle Slam as his finish. Always thought that was a pansy finish myself but it's a perfect set-up for teh Angle-Lock. AJ sounds like he has those same girls screaming for him, amusing. Dueling "Let's go, Angle", "Let's go, AJ" chants. Nice flip dive to the outside from AJ but he landed badly. Run-in attack on AJ from the masked man is repelled by [i}Angle[/i]. Then he helps AJ up and backs off to let him regain his focus. Nice touch. Pretty sure it was Wolfe under the mask this time but I doubt it matters since they just get whoever's handy to fill in.

Match is superb. Effective story of AJ's speed attempting to counter Kurt's mat wrestling advantage. Did Kurt just try a frog splash? Yes, and it missed. Holy crap, he just hit a frog splash. Hope he doesn't do it again, it looked awful. Crowd starts a chant of "Who needs Bret?". Kurt just knocked AJ silly with a released German suplex. AJ returns fire with his moonsault DDT. False finishes are coming thick and fast here. Styles Clash reversed into the Angle-Lock. Flair walks out. Tenay says "we're going to stay live on Spike until we have a winner". Then they go to commercial. Flair walks off. AJ hits the Clash but doesn't have the strength to roll Kurt over. AJ finally wins with a springboard 450. Just a fantastic match. Dixie is beaming in the crowd and she has to be pleased with that. A+ match, all the way and an early entrant for match of the year.

Here comes Hogan again. Kurt looks like his mother's ghost just turned up. And Hogan's music now sounds more like the nWo theme. Hmm... Puts over Kurt and AJ, puts over all the boys, soundman interrupts him to say Foley's in the building. Foley is chanting "WHERE IS HOGAN!?!?!", gets directed to Bisch. Bisch tells him that his shareholder status is worth precisely dick. Foley gets ready to paste Bisch but gets smacked around by Jordan, Hall and Waltman. Hogan comes in, looking unhappy, to finish the show.

OK. The impression I'm getting right now is that Bisch is putting together a new gang of Hall, Nash, Waltman and Jordan. Meanwhile, Hogan is either working everyone or trying to reign in Bisch's new nWo. Certainly, the beatdown was very heel-ish. So right now, we're looking at Foley and Jarrett (maybe together, maybe individually) as faces against a hell faction of Hall, Nash, Waltman and Jordan. That's good, that has a lot of possibilities. The question is where Hogan fits in but I guess that's something to keep fans tuning in.

Overall: Jordan's newfound prominence baffles me. The night was slightly overbooked. I would have liked to see the actual matches go a bit longer but seems there was a lot to get through. Nice to see the Knockouts still prominent, I had a horrible suspician they'd be minimised to appeal to a WWE crossover audience. Nice to have been wrong. Joe/Abyss didn't help either man. Such a clash of styles never does. I'm mystified by the burial of Wolfe but I love Dinero's character, hopefully this leads to something bigger between them. Burying the X-Division was just plain stupid and Bisch, of all people, knows better. Main event was just, it just doesn't get any better than that.

Over on RAW: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels resolved things between them in a way that was actually quite moving. Night ended with Vince cheap-shotting Bret. Presumably, that leads into Bret's ongoing storyline. Best guess right now is that Bret feuds with Vince and, since he can't wrestle these days, recruits the Hart Dynasty.

Incidently, you can get a replay of RAW and Impact back-to-back here: http://www.justin.tv/scheelz123#r=3GkhYyU
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