And guess what. They’re alright. Not… great? Well, it was good! Really good!
But it had one main issue, least for me. They tried too hard. It was ECW all over the place. Taz kicking off the show, in the crowd. Doing his old catch phrases. Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer, then Rhino, Devon returning. Everything was BS from that one time in Wrestling that they managed to do something “different”. But it was a select kind of different, not a main stream type of different. “Everyone’s got the same look in their eyes!”.
TNA’s been plugging this whole ECW thing since day one, trying to be the edgy company, trying to find the similarities, now TNA is going back to their “roots” with the 6-sided ring. All this does is encourage people to chant ECW. I for one get a kick out of the organic TNA Chants. This isn’t ECW. Nor should it ever be. And the only thing more depressing than trying to re-create something that wasn’t all that great in the first place, is bringing back the guys that did it, for no reason other than that. Hey look, here’s Tommy Dreamer again, after his first really unsuccessful run in TNA, and now Rhino’s back. Hey Rhino used to be a big deal in TNA, then he left, then they brought him back for their ECW Revival, and got rid of him shortly after… now he’s back again.
TNA have just announced that they are bringing “Hardcore Justice” to their next TV Tapings in New York next month. Which pretty much means, hey look… ECW’s back…. again.
TNA is on a much bigger level than ECW, look at the stars they have. The calibre of talent. That’s not to say some of the guys from ECW weren’t talented, because they were, just not the majority.
TNA has the majority, and to label themselves, this company, which by all means is far Bigger and Better than ECW ever was, it just feels cheap. Focus on what makes TNA great. Rather trying to pander to an old audience of what, 4 years prime, 15 years ago, so that audience then see’s their old favourite under-ground stars telling you why you should like TNA. Here’s an idea, just show people TNA Wrestling.
Aside from the odd occasion, it seems liking TNA is becoming less of a “cool” thing. TNA chants used to dominate like the old ECW chants did, and still do. Yet during this show, ECW and ROH chants took centre stage. So well done on promoting everything else.
On the plus side, New York did bring out some lovely creepy folks I laughed at in the Audience, which is probably my new favourite section!
Queue Creepy guy staring at the back of TAZ!
Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer vs. Rhino and EC3
How bad is that, I just wrote above “vs. Rhino and ECW”… ugh
So yes, ECW kicked off TNA. Which as I stated above… was great.
Bully Ray is once again sporting the Biker Cut, this time it’s a Bully Ray – 5150, which looks much less cool than the Aces and Eights one. Here’s a thing, the one person the Cut looked worse on, was Bully Ray. So that’s ironic.
Rhino and EC3 came out after, with EC3 obviously playing the doofus, which really stands out with an ECW type of spot light. I’m sure that was the point.
Bully then got everything chanting Tables, and much to my surprise TNA didn’t even attempt to plug the fact that Rick Moranis was in attendance…
Well the 6-Sided ring is back, and I completely forgot it was till I started watching the show. I remember that being one of the big excitement moments, and now it’s back! It almost doesn’t look or feel quite as it did, given that it has the Impact Wrestling branding rather than the old school Black and Red from TNA Impact. Either way, it’s awesome to have it back, and I actually really enjoyed seeing how everyone Wrestled in it, who I haven’t seen compete in it before.
I think I mentioned this earlier, but for this Storyline to be where it is, and to the level it is, with Dreamer and mainly Rhino just coming back recently, feels a little odd.
I suppose when you have the history in place it writes itself… again. No idea how long Rhino will be sticking around for, we all know Dreamer is working with TNA behind the scenes, so he can easily pop up every so often.
Spud being the breath of fresh air he is in this old fashioned revival caused the distraction and EC3 pinned Tommy Dreamer. How much longer will this go on for you might ask, probably quite a while… maybe not, maybe even next week will be the end of it? So says..no one.
8-Man Gauntlet – X-Division Championship
Yes Kurt Angle is booking matches out of his ears, least no cheat sheet this week. But newly crowned X-Division Champion Austin Aries has the deck stacked. But I like the fact Aries’ character is one of “bring it on, I’m better than everybody you’ve got”. And we all know it, believe and encourage it.
He’s like the legit Eric Young.
Not that EY doesn’t mean it, only Aries backs it up with reality.
So here’s the thing that bugs me about the X-Division currently, and certainly this match. Well two things. But they go hand in hand here, almost.
Austin Aries, Eddie Edwards, Davey Richards, Manik, Crazy Steve, Tigre Uno, Sanada make the 8-Men competing for the X-Division Championship, pretty much guaranteeing he who wins will get the chance to cash it in next week for a World Title Match at Destination-X.
It’s just like last year, only if Aries lost (which would really suck) it would far, far better than having someone, like, oh I dunno, Chris Sabin, be the World Champion. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!
Here’s the problem, Crazy Steve, one of the best new-comers to TNA, awesome character, he’s different, people love him. I get that, it’s awesome. I love Crazy Steve. He’s the flip side to him, he’s a goof character, we all get it, that means he can get away with some things, maybe eliminate Robbie E, or something from a match. But no, The FIRST, FIRST!!! Person to be eliminated was Tigre Uno.
Hey, I praise Uno every time he steps in the ring, no-matter who he is with, Uno stands out. Hence why Uno vs. Aries would be amazing. TNA beat this guys drum when he joined the company, but now he’s being the first guy eliminated, by the goof character. Really? Is that how you sell people on this highly talented athlete. This makes me think, if it’s budget cutting time, Uno is gone. If his contract comes up, he’s not going to re-sign. Why would he?
I hope he gets a really good outing at Destination X, and I really hope after the World Title picture cools off, Uno actually gets the chance to raise to the challenge. Say going into BFG as the X-Division Champion, even if he loses, that would be sweet.
So yes, in the end, it came down to Aries and Sanada, the last two left then becomes a Pin-Fall / Submission outcome, and your down with the over-the-top-rope stuff. So it was like a mini rematch from last week’s fantastic bout. This, was also fantastic, which on the flip side, last year was similar with Aries and Sabin.
Only Sabin just didn’t cut it higher than that.
Aries once again kicked it up a notch, and defeated Sanada, rightfully so and retained the X-Division Championship. Here’s the thing, Aries is either not going to cash it in, because he’s “too smart”. Or he will cash it in, and lose. I don’t see Bobby Lashley dropping the belt anytime soon, (spoilers for the main event) and quite honestly, I don’t want him too either.
Kenny King and MVP vs. Bobby Roode and Eric Young
EY and Roode are officially Team Canada’ing it up. And it works. Roode is awesome.
What I’m confused on, is MVP’s injury. Because either he’s really good at selling, or he really isn’t fit to compete. Which I get it, he’s not really doing any kind of Wrestling, but just being back in that environment is bad news. He might have agreed to this, he might be 100% fine and just putting it on. OR he might be injured, and if he’s injured, this match wasn’t fun to watch. I get the storyline bullet dodging, I’m cool with that. If he actually isn’t 100%, he shouldn’t be in that ring, at all. I’m perfectly fine with that and perfectly in support of that.
The New York Tapings left me very confused as to where on earth the fans were in relation to being up to date with TNA. I’m fairly sure they’ve missed almost a Month’s worth of Television and Storyline Development before this show. So nothing would have made sense. Let’s be fair, that really sucks if you’re a fan going to watch your favourite Wrestling show and having all of it spoiled for you.
In the end MVP and King used the Crutches to beat down Roode and EY, getting a DQ.
However next week, Angle booked Roode vs. MVP in a falls count anywhere match. So either MVP is actually fine, or something shady is going down.
Madison Rayne vs. Brittany – No DQ
It’s weird putting the Women on a show in front of the New York fans, the “ECW” Crowd.
But guess what, Brittany and Madison Brought It!
The Knockouts are fantastic! I love them. I want more and more of them, one Knockout match a show used to be un-common for a brief period of time. Hey, I love it when they main event. I know on average there aren’t as many “high quality” Women’s Matches on the same scale as how the Men compete. But Angelina and Gail tore it down, and Madison and Brittany hit it right back. If this keeps up, I’ll have to re-think my categories for Match of the Year.
It was hard hitting, highly entertaining and just awesome! It makes me so happy to see Brittany in this light, because it emphasises what a great asset to the Division she is, and that’s what you want to see out of new talent. Madison we all know is great, but she’s been on a different level lately too.
Madison dropped Brittany with her “Package DDT” which is an awesome move, and took the win. Also on a side note, seriously happy Madison seems to have switched her finisher, because what she did before, the “mood swing”, knee to the back fall over thing, it was a little awkward, and not always that impactful. This Package DDT… is fantastic!
Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Lashley – World Heavyweight Championship
So I gave ECW a lot of crap, and related it back to TNA. I love nostalgia more than the next guy, I guess ECW just wasn’t my thing. Not that I didn’t watch it, own some of it. I just don’t like a lot of it. I like the talent that came from it, and I understand the paying your dues, but Bully Ray is far more synonymous with the WWE and certainly TNA.
Regardless, this was a great show, the X-Division Gauntlet was great, Brittany vs. Madison was great, but it was easily Jeff Hardy and Bobby Lashley who stole the show.
I’ve said it before, but as a life-long Jeff Hardy fan, it’s amazing to see him at this stage of his career right now, doing the best work he’s ever done. Sure he’s had crazier matches in his past, and that part of his career could certainly look like his prime. But he’s never been delivering matches to this quality since he came back to TNA a few years ago.
So I shall say it, he’s certainly not for everyone, but I do feel those that are put off by his popularity or stance as a Face, respect his abilities and respect his position with TNA.
It actually felt really good to have Jeff Hardy back.
And Lashley, is legit. And I love that.
I love how he’s just big, tough, confident and highly talented. I love that he doesn’t talk, doesn’t back down. He’s what you want in a World Champion.
Not that I’m against EY, or Jeff or especially Austin Aries being Champ, just right now, I’m enjoying the Lashley train.
It seems to be around this part of the year where you tend to get most of your “Match of the year” matches popping up, usually getting more and more as you head into the big PPV’s to close out the year.
This match, Hardy vs. Lashley, goes right into the Nominations. And it’s weird how just one moment in a match makes you feel on a different level, and that rises your excitement and involvement, and it’s that which boosts how you view it, for its entirety.
Yes, I’m talking about Jeff doing a Swanton Bomb from the Top Rope onto the Steel Steps. I’ve never seen that before.
I was shocked.
I expected him to do a Leg Drop or something, I didn’t expect him to a Swanton and Lashley to Move. Obviously they planned it, but it was awesome! Totally unexpected and a perfect finish. Jeff took himself out, Lashley speared him and got the Win. Perfect.
Dixie, EC3, Rhino and Spud closed out Impact, with Dixie showing she’s not afraid of Bully by going to the ring in front of his fans to protest the whole being “put through a Table” lark. Which obviously feels like it’s being put on far too thick, that sooner or later Dixie is going to have to go through a Table.
Bully has been losing for Months, getting his ass kicked, being put through Tables, by everyone. Yet he’s still built as this force. So sooner or later something is going to have to give, and you are in a Betting mood, I’d put a safe bet on the gears shifting next week.
Bully and Tommy Dreamer came out to battle, getting really close to putting Dixie through the table. Everyone escaped but EC3, and with the return of Devon, poor EC3 went through a Table.
So I might actually throw out my early prediction of Bully being a Heel. I think he’s face, with Devon, the hall of fame, and Dixie is going to have to go through a Table.. which seems absurd.