1. Day 1 - Wrestlemania Was AWESOME (If You're A Casual Wrestling Fan)
My Two Centsss - Impact Tweeting Diary
By Super Chrisss
Apr 12, 2012 - 11:17:53 PM
2. Day 2 - Brock-Talk
3. Day 3 - Impact: Pros & Cons
4. Day 4 - The Birth Of A New Streak?
5. Day 5 - What If...Zack Ryder Had A Stable?
6. Day 6 - Super SmackDown: Pros & Cons
7. Day 7 - Impact Tweeting Diary
TeamFarrell, you're the man
CON: The Hulkster throws his weight around
Impact kicks off with an in-ring segment that would have undoubtedly pissed off Hustle if he gave a **** - the mother of all cluster****s. Sting and Dixie Carter are standing in the ring with the entire TNA roster surrounding the Impact Zone, and when Hulk Hogan is introduced, we have approximately 582 people on our TV screens at once. If that wasn't enough, World Champion Bobby Roode crashes the party with a half-dozen lawyers, and gives Al Laiman a boner by hamming it up and over-acting when Hogan informs Roode he'll be wrestling Mr. Anderson tonight.
A complete waste of time, as all it did was announce one match for Lockdown and three for later tonight, which could have been accomplished via a mini-video package instead. Ten minutes in, and Impact is already off to a bad start.
PRO: Hardy vs. Angle
Even though Jeff Hardy's ridiculous amount of face paint is becoming a distraction, this was a good match, which shouldn't come as a surprise given the competitors. It wasn't 5-stars, as Angle boasted on Twitter, but it was a hell of a TV match. Angle took a sick bump early on when his head crashed into the barricade that I believe legitimately busted him open. They told a good story, as Hardy refused to tap out to the Ankle Lock, and every time Hardy had Angle beat, Angle would try and cheat. Eventually, Angle had enough and got himself counted out, which led to Hogan booking Hardy vs. Angle at Lockdown. Nothing shocking here, but the action was good while it lasted.
PRO: Bully Ray/Calfzilla calls out Austin Aries/TGMTEL
So, Bully Ray is now calling himself "Calfzilla" (because his calves are muscular for a chubby guy - get it?). Also, Austin Aries is now a face (because he's standing up to a Bully and unlike his last rival, Xema Ion, he didn't almost end another wrestler's career - get it?). I'm not sure how I feel about either development, as "Bully Ray" sounds a lot more menacing than "Calfzilla" and AA plays the cocky heel so damn well. Still, when you have two of the best promo men in the company feuding with each other, you can't go wrong. After gaining the upperhand on the man nearly twice his size, Ray takes out Aries with a SICK jumping/running powerbomb (you read that correctly). I'm disappointed to see Aries join the good side so early in his TNA run, but I think a feud with Bully Ray - even short-term - could be awesome, if handled properly. Great way to build heat for this budding rivalry.
CON: Six Knockouts too many
If you've been paying any attention to TNA programming in recent months, you'll know it has revolved around three women: Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky, and the current Knockouts Champion, Gail Kim. However, Hogan apparently doesn't follow storylines he's not involved in, as he has no idea who should be the number one contender to Gail's title (hint: it's one of the women I just mentioned). Since Hogan suffers from ADD and illogical booking 101, he books a six-way to determine who should face Gail at Lockdown: Rayne vs. Sky vs. Angelina Love vs. Mickie James vs. Tara vs. Winter.
The match? Much like the opening segment, a complete waste of time. The action was sloppy, which was surprising, considering the amount of talent in the ring. I just can't get over the stupidity of the match. For starters, why would only two women be allowed in the ring at the same time? If it's one fall to the finish, shouldn't every Knockout want to remain tagged in? Furthermore, we have't seen four of these six women on television in AGES. What did they do to deserve a number one contender's match? Velvet gets the win, to absolutely no one's surprise. They couldn't have just booked Velvet vs. Madison one-on-one instead?
PRO: Storm vs. Styles
I'm a fan of both guys, but I never expected them to out-shine Hardy vs. Angle from the first hour. Boy, was I wrong. Usually, face vs. face matches are awkward, as the fans don't know who to get behind, and rarely does one of the combatants "play the heel". Yet, Aj Styles and James Storm told an excellent story in the ring, as Storm wanted to prove he's ready for his world title match at Lockdown, and Styles wanted to test his former Fortune stablemate. Although containing very few nearfalls, Styles showed some nice psychology, working on Storm's legs to prevent him from hitting his finisher, the Last Call Superkick. After some back and forth action, Storm creates some distance and hits the Last Call for the win. He then helps his friend to his feet as a sign of respect and calls out Bobby Roode for next week's show. Definitely the match of the night so far.
PRO: The return of the Machine Guns
They'reeee backkkkk! Chris Sabin returns from injury to reunite with his longtime partner Alex Shelley to take on the same team who cost Sabin a year of his career - Mexican America. After a nice reception from the Orlando crowd, Shelley and Sabin show off their in-ring chemistry against Mexican America, who, well, are decent (I guess). Both duos pull off some nice double-team moves, but it's the Motor City Machine Guns who end up getting the win after hitting their neckbreaker/crossbody combo. As soon as Hernandez and Anarquia make their way back to irrelevance town, Sabin grabs the mic and warns Samoa Joe and Magnus that they're coming for the tag team titles. I can live with that. I'm thrilled to have one of the best tag teams in the business back in action.
CON: Hogan & Bischoff
Three words: no one cares. Seriously, nobody cares about Eric Bischoff, Garrett Bischoff, or Gunner. Hogan says that at Lockdown, if Team Garrett wins, Eric is gone from TNA (storylines), but if Team Eric wins, Garrett will never wrestle again. Since we can't have both outcomes, we're screwed either way. **** this storyline, and **** the Bischoffs.
PRO: Roode vs. Anderson
It's nice to see the world champion in THE main-event for a change, not the main-event before THE main-event featuring a promo from Sting or Hogan. Unfortunately, Roode's opponent is Mr. Anderson, which is never a good thing. On a side note, those Bobby Roode/Triple H comparisons continue to grow every week. Both guys have the same haircut, matching ring gear, and Roode's title reign is reminiscent of HHH's reign of terror from 2003-2004, as Roode has been champion for quite some time now and cuts a lengthy promo almost every week. All that's missing is a stable to watch Roode's back and a marriage to Dixie Carter's daughter.
Anyways, this wasn't bad for a Mr. Anderson match, but that's probably because it was so short (barely going over five minutes). The finish came when the referee got knocked out, allowing Roode to steal a beer bottle from an underage fan and whack Anderson over the head, giving the champion the dirty pin. BUT, Storm and Hogan come out to chase off Roode and Hogan overrules the referee's decision, giving Anderson the victory. Makes sense, since Roode is defending his world title in less than two weeks, and Anderson has no scheduled match for Lockdown - right?
Match/Segment of the night: - James Storm vs. Aj Styles. Although not given as much time as I would have preferred, both men gave their best effort and wrestled the most athletic and entertaining match of the night. In addition, it gave Storm a huge win heading into next Sunday's Pay-Per-View and put over his finisher in a big way. Oh, and did I mention there was no commercial break to interrupt the action? YouTube this match, you'll enjoy it.
Grade: B-. Obviously not on the same level of greatness as Monday's episode of RAW (although it's a bit hard to compete with the return of BROCK LESNAR), but overall, Impact was more than decent tonight. We got two good matches in Storm/Styles and Angle/Hardy, as well as two entertaining contests between Roode/Anderson and of course the Machine Guns vs. Mexican American. The show's low points were Hulk Hogan on the mic and the awful Knockouts match, but other than that, an interesting show that helped build towards Lockdown.
PRO: People Power Comes to SmackDown
Kicking off a show who's theme is "A Blast from the Past" with Mean Gene Okerlund is always a great idea. If you watch WWE Vintage which is hosted by Mean Gene, you'll know he's still got it, and even at his old age, is an amazing announcer.
You could tell Sheamus was legitimately thrilled to be introduced by Mean Gene. There's playing a character, and then there's letting your real emotions shine through. Unfortunately for the new world heavyweight champion, John Laurinaitis (minus Otunga) would crash the party and force Sheamus to apologize again for Brogue Kicking referee Chad Patton last week. Sheamus reluctantly agrees, and Ace orders him to apologize twice more, getting more and more heat in the process. Finally, Big Johnny decides Sheamus' words aren't good enough, and books him in a tag team match against Daniel Bryan and Alberto Del Rio after telling him he'll be fined 500k if he touches another WWE official.
Good way to start the show, as Johnny comes across a major asshole, and the world champion is involved in both the show's opening segment and the main-event (too bad CM Punk can't say the same).
PRO: Orton vs. Henry
As someone who regrettably missed Randy Orton and Mark Henry's Pay-Per-View battles last year, this was a real treat for me. The action was crisp and fast-paced, which just goes to show how much each man has improved in the ring in recent years. Another thing I liked was not knowing who would walk away with the win. On one hand, you have Henry who will be facing CM Punk for the WWE Championship (not the world title - sorry Mizark) on Monday, so he has to look strong. On the other hand, Henry's opponent is one of the company's top babyfaces, and despite winning a great match against Kane last Friday, is coming off a loss at Wrestlemania. Technically, it was anyone's ball game.
Unsurprisingly, WWE took the safe way out and had Kane interrupt the match by standing over Orton's fallen father backstage, Bob Orton. Orton immediately rushes to the back, but Kane ends up taking him down with a lead pipe. It would be interesting to see if Kane reveals he attacked Orton and his father as a means of revenge for The Ortons taking out his "brother" The Undertaker about seven years ago. Continuity for the win!
Oh, and good match, while it lasted.
PRO: Ryback Runs Wild
Those of you who read my Funkasaurus column a few weeks back might remember I'm not a fan of the squash match. However, I really like the way they're mixing it up for Ryback's push. From the poor unknown jobber getting some mic time pre-match to get some mild crowd heat, to the legends watching backstage and wooing over Ryback's look (no homo, I assume), to Ryback's awesome music, everything seems to work. The match was pretty much over after the opening clothesline, which was absolutely SICK (YouTube it, Ryback's opponent was literally turned inside-out), but it was the post-match celebration from Ryback that I enjoyed. Even though he looks like a monster, Ryback seems to be getting pushed as a face. I'm okay with it, as WWE needs more faces than heels, anyway. Effective match/segment.
PRO: The Usos vs. Kidd & Slater
What's this? A match featuring two tag teams who - wait for it - want to become the number one contenders to the tag team titles? My eyes must be deceiving me. Unfortunately, the commentary took away from what was actually a solid match because Mick Foley joined the announce team, making it a four-way commentary booth; five if you include Jimmy Hart hamming it up (thanks Al!) with his megaphone at ringside. It sucks that Tyson Kidd was forced team with Heath Garbage Slater, but at least he was on SmackDown and didn't take the pinfall either. The Usos won in fairly dominating fashion, and hopefully this means they'll be the ones who give Primo & Epico an actual feud over the tag team titles.
PRO: Piper's Pit
What do you get when you put Roddy Piper - one of the best talkers in WWE history -, Daniel Bryan - one of the most interesting characters in WWE today -, and Aj - one of the cutest divas in WWE history - in the same ring together? Magic. Folks, as soon as this segment was announced, I was pumped up to see it, and by God, did it deliver! Piper and Bryan had some great interactions, and it was nice to see Bryan actually go face-to-face with a man closer to his height (Big Show, Randy Orton, and Sheamus are all so tall). But I also enjoyed Piper trying to talk sense into Aj (who looked ULTRA-cute last night, by the way). To me, it came across as an episode of Jerry Springer, with Piper trying to talk the innocent Aj out of Bryan's control, but Aj refusing to listen, and Bryan slapping Piper for trying to interfere in this business. Still, it was an awesome segment, as Piper once again brought his A-game, and the Bryan/Aj love angle continues to grow. Probably one of my favorite in-ring segments of 2012 so far.
CON: Six-Person Melee
The first con of the night is brought to us by one of the most random assortments of characters in history - The Great Khali, Alicia Fox, and Natalya facing off against Drew McIntyre and The Bella Twins. 30 seconds in, McIntyre abandons The Bellas, yelling this was a waste of his time (I couldn't agree more). 15 seconds later, Alicia hits a bridge (a.k.a. THE DIVA ROLL-UP OF DOOM!!!) to win the match for her team. McIntyre was right; he deserves better than this, and so does Natalya. By the way, didn't one of the Bellas turn face AND defeat Beth Phoenix last week on SmackDown? What happened to that?
The only redeeming quality of the match/segment was when Mae Young showed up to kiss Khali. I bet he regrets being The Punjabi Playboy now. Still, it wasn't enough to save this disaster.
CON: Hunico (with Camacho) vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan (with Sgt. Slaughter)
Another match that wasn't really a match. Hunico will never get over if they don't add depth to his character. His Spanglish promos are leaving the crowd with mixed feelings of confusion and not-giving-a-****ness. With Duggan as his opponent, the match was never going to be any good, but I did like Sgt. Slaughter coming out to keep Camacho at bay. For some reason, I've always been a fan of the Sarge, even if his better days were before my time. This was too short to amount to anything, but good to see the legends continuing to tangle with the current stars.
PRO: Cody, His Father, and The Giant
It was nice to see Cody Rhodes cut a promo about being the future of the company, and having his father Dusty come out made perfect sense. Actually, maybe not entirely, because the last time Cody and his father were in the same ring, Dusty turned heel by helping Cody beat down Rey Mysterio. Boo for non-continuity.
Anyways, I didn't mind The Big Show flashback as I marked for the old "Grooming Tips" segment. I know it was intended to embarrass Cody for wearing lip gloss, but I found it really funny. Good way to continue the Cody/Big Show feud. I'm wondering what the stipulation will be for their match at Extreme Rules, though.
PRO: Bryan & Del Rio vs. Sheamus, Mean Gene, and Two Dozen Other WWE Legends
With less than minutes left, you knew this wasn't going to last very long, especially with Mean Gene as Sheamus's tag team partner. That being said, Bryan and Del Rio did a good job double-teaming Sheamus, and the Howard Finkel cameo gave this match a big-time feel, believe it or not. The ending was also rather unexpected, as it resulted in all the WWE Legends coming to the ring to help their buddy Okerlund fight off Bryan, Del Rio, and Ricardo Rodriguez. They provided the distraction which allowed Sheamus to hit the Brogue Kick on Bryan, and when Michael Cole randomly crashed the party, he got beat up a bit as well. The match was nothing spectacular, but seeing all the legends come out and beat up on the heels was a lot of fun. A nice, heart-warming way to conclude the show.
YouTube Worthy: Ryback almost decapitating his opponent; Piper's Pit
Grade: B+ A pretty strong show, overall. It was missing another really good match to push it into the A-range, but top to bottom, it was a lot of fun. The pros definitely outweigh the cons, especially since the show's lowlights were pretty short. I thought WWE did a great job in blending the past, present, and future together. Could we have got some longer matches? Sure, but I think everyone in the building had a lot of fun - the superstars, the legends, and the fans. Catch the replay on Friday if you missed it.
I had a lot of fun with this 'tweeting diary', but what do you guys think? Like the format? Hate it? I'd love to hear your thoughts, so I know how to proceed with reviewing Monday's RAW. In the meantime, I'll be back over the weekend with my Lockdown predictions and maybe a WWE-themed column as well.
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Take it easy.