#RingOfHonor Is Second Best

dry-tortugas-florida-keys

Dry Tortugas in the Florida Keys from nationalparkguides.com

I didn’t watch “Best In The World” but I did read the results on Prowrestling.net. I only care about one match result and that is Michael Elgin beating Adam Cole for the ROH World Title. This result is so logical that they automatically jump ahead of TNA in competency with it alone.

Michael Elgin has been built up on two previous occasions. He won the Survival of the Fittest Tournament in 2011 which allowed him to have a shot at Davey Richards. Elgin came up short against Richards in a match that many people who watched it called a five star match. Elgin was not expected to win that match. It was his coming out party. Elgin then beat Adam Cole to get his first true shot at the ROH World Title. He took on Kevin Steen at Glory By Honor XI: The Unbreakable Hope. He was built up enough on TV that they used his nickname “Unbreakable” in the title. He lost to Steen.

Elgin then had his second crack at the title coming when Jay Briscoe got injured and had to surrender the title. Elgin was entered in as one of the favorites. After getting to the finals of the tournament, he was defeated by Adam Cole at Death Before Dishonor XI in September 2013. If you haven’t listened to any of the podcasts in which I’ve trumpeted Adam Cole then I can direct you to written forms of that opinion here, here and here. Much like Jason Powell, in some ways I didn’t want to see the strap removed from Cole’s waist. I brought up the month of his title reign because Cole had the belt for eight months. That is plenty long enough to establish your young star.

Michael Elgin got a shot in a three way match with a returning Jay Briscoe against Adam Cole for the title. Everyone who watches wrestling knows that the champion has a 99% chance of winning because his two opponents always turn on each other. I’d discount that chance also. Elgin then had to stew while a returning Chris Hero got a shot then Jay Briscoe got his one on one shot. Elgin then got the build up again on TV. ROH ended the Elgin build up by airing the assault Cole and Mike Bennett along with Maria Kanellis on their hype show on Saturday. That was another small positive about “Best In The World”, they aired it on Sunday like a professional wrestling organization should. That made the hype show more effective than airing it the same day and sometimes after the Saturday scheduled PPVs. Back to the beat down, Cole & Bennett zip tied Elgin to the ropes and cut his hair. ROH tried to market the mullet but it was still a horrendous choice because Elgin is balding. Cutting Elgin’s hair was another correct move. MsChif came out to make the save. We found out is Elgin’s wife while Cole denigrated both of them. Cole then gave her a choice to kiss him or watch her husband get assaulted. MsChif spit on Cole. He then decided instead of attacking Elgin to slap the Figure Four on MsChif while Bennett held her arms down. It makes Cole look like an absolute dick but I don’t like that aspect of the angle. I know she can take it but it doesn’t look good. The angle was made worse by security showing up after Cole let go of the hold. Cole should have beaten down Elgin.

TNA was in charge of a similar scenario twice, with James Storm and Bobby Roode. Roode was hyped through out the Bound For Glory Series only to lose to Kurt Angle in the Finals. To make matters worse, TNA decided to give the title to Storm on the next Impact Wrestling show after BFG. Roode recovered when he turned heel on Storm by breaking a beer bottle over Storm’s head to capture the TNA World Title. Roode went on to have the longest title reign in TNA history. James Storm had a couple of months off then came back to TNA with much video build up of him working on his farm. Storm didn’t win the TNA Title after the BFG series the next year because Roode cost him a match against Bully Ray in the semi-finals. Storm got the better of Roode at BFG but didn’t get the title because it had been won by Austin Aries. Storm later won a three man match with Roode and A.J. Styles. Storm then lost his contendership on the next episode of Impact. Storm has never recovered in the two following years.

If Michael Elgin had lost against Cole again, I fear that he would become James Storm. Elgin would have been hyped up too many times to believe that he can win the big match. ROH did the right thing though and put the strap on Elgin so that he can become Bobby Roode. – Kevin

#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

From Deviantart.com done by Supersaz.

From Deviantart.com done by Supersaz.

MVP having the three contenders (Bobby Roode, Gunner & Mr. Anderson) is good and bad. I’m glad someone like Magnus, who later complained about it, wasn’t put in just as a mandatory fourth person. Challengers shouldn’t need to be in even numbers. If they had included someone else though, they could have held this match off until next week to put some hype into it. A champion, even Eric Young, shouldn’t be defending the title as often as the old TV Title used to be defended.

Mr. Anderson pretending like he had the crowd in the palm of his hand was sad. He thinks he can still do the Rock routine but he can’t. They haven’t been behind him much in the recent past so I don’t know why he thinks it’s working. You’ve had the exact same gimmick for nine years, if you start the clock at his Smackdown debut. Please, change it up some.

– I have no idea what they are trying to do with Knux and Rebel. They have made Rebel a complete dip shit including her continued “concern” over “Crazy” Steve. She’s also an idiot for pretending like TNA is at minimum the WWE, if not more like being on a movie set kind of awe about her. They are going to be called The Menagerie.

– Thank goodness Bobby Roode won over Gunner. Roode is much better and one of the few worth while talents in this company. Pretty sure he was dumb enough to sign an extension, so good luck being stuck in a terrible situation.

– It just dawned on me that Dixie Carter is now ripping off, of all people, Paul Heyman. He beat CM Punk and got to brag about beating the “Best In The World.” Dixie, you putting Bully Ray through a table isn’t on the same level. If Dixie really wants to copy the WWE correctly, she needs to have a hired gun like Brock Lesnar. If she brings back Rampage Jackson or King Mo, I’ll cry during my laughter.

– Taz & Mike Tenay are trying to make Willow “more sadistic” and “different offense than from Jeff Hardy” but just as they are saying that, he does his hip bump but on the outside so they had to sell it so much more lethal. It was comical. I’ve been meaning to mention that it has driven me batty that he hasn’t changed up his offense at all. Hardy also only came up with a coat and mask but not new sleeves, pants or shirts. He has the creativity but I think it’s lazy not addressing those areas.

Sanada and The Wolves destroyed The BroMans as they should have but the problem with that is the tag team division is non-existant of these two teams.

Just for Dusty. From some wrestling forum who probably saved it from Impactwrestling.com

Just for Dusty. From some wrestling forum who probably saved it from Impactwrestling.com

– Somehow, the Knockouts are in a worse state than the WWE Divas. Except in looks as Dusty & I discussed last week.

– I asked while talking to Jeremy about Eric Young having longer matches. The main event bell struck at the 1:45 mark of Impact Wrestling. Fifteen minutes isn’t enough time especially if you’re putting him in there with one of your best hands in Bobby Roode. At least Taz pointed out the bad decision to defend the title this often. Eric Young getting the win over Roode burns through an opponent that should have been on a PPV. I know they’re trying to play catch up with EY’s legitimacy but I’m still not buying. I smell desperation. After the big win, why are you putting someone else on the TV? Why? – Kevin

 

#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

Marilyn MonroeI needed to get Impact Wrestling off of the DVR before we leave for New Orleans for Wrestlemania so, what the hell, I’ll review this stupid show again. If Chelsea Peretti comes to your town, it’s a good idea to go see her. Very funny.

– We start off with Bully Ray & Willow competing in a tables match against EC3 & Bobby Roode. I start paying attention when Willow puts EC3 on a table and attempts a Swanton. Rockstar Spud comes down and distracts him. Willow takes Spud to the back. “He’s so unpredictable!” screams Mike Tenay. That’s one of his character’s flaws. I understand him drop kicking a heel in a wheel chair. I mean, how can that not be funny? But there’s no reason to drag Spud to the rear while you’re in a match. Why would Spud be the main target of Willow’s pay back? It makes no sense. Roode & EC3 take advantage of Willow’s absense and put Bully Ray through a table for the win. It achieved a desired result in that Roode can brag over the win. Roode ends up putting Ray through two more tables. Nice beat down.

MVP is doing solid work but it’s not enough to save this burning wreck. Ken Anderson has to drag out his feud Samuel Shaw for a rubber match. I like the idea behind Shaw but I’m not sure there’s much of anywhere to go with him after this angle. Every time I see Anderson, I hate myself a little bit more for liking him at some point. It seems like such a long time ago when I thought that. I forget enough stuff, why not that factoid? Samuel Shaw gets the big win which is nice of Anderson to give him the rub because TNA certainly thinks he has something to rub.

Eric Young  just wanted to handle Abyss but stumbled into the title match. He says he deserves it because he’s earned his stripes. Taz backs him up by casually saying “EY has a legitimate gripe!” Thanks for backing him up with one line. EY needs more selling than that because he has never been anywhere near the Title hunt. But Taz knows that so he goes with a single line. Kenny King interrupting Tigre Uno and Sonata was a nice move by a heel. MVP doesn’t have a good reason to keep King down. Why not book him in a match immediately and save yourself from wrestling? Now that you’ve won control of the company, back off having matches so often.

Tigre Uno and Sonata had a fun little match but if it’s a best of three, I expect a longer match that seems more evenly matched. Instead, it was mostly a Sonata show case who won with a double underhook suplex.

– I understand having the segment between Magnus and Abyss, even if I thought it was drug out. The problem I had was when Eric Young attacked. He’s stupid for doing so when both of them around knowing you’d get a beat down. Samoa Joe’s look after saving EY told you how much of a joke everyone feels he is which is just another reason to have Taz sell him more.

– Why do I like train wrecks so much? These #KnuxReturns segments are ridiculous. The acting is terrible. The “lighting” or lack there of is supposed to provide a grittiness but just looks low rent. Knux family talking about him chasing his dream wrestling seems like they’re trying to paint him as this country boy gone city boy but I don’t think of wrestling as a big city job. Plus, they’re so generic no matter what they’re talking about. We know a flood was bad, a business may be lost and that stuff needs to be repaired. We don’t know where this flood took place, what this business is or what needs to be repaired. Don’t you think that’d be good information to fill in?

– While I was typing the previous paragraph, the Beautiful People won their return match with little fan fair. Madison Rayne had a partner named Brittany who I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before. The Beautiful People only won because Brittany made a poor tag which doesn’t make them look strong and makes Madison look stupid. 2 birds, 1 stone.

– If MVP has a feud with Kenny King, I’ll scream. After a brief interlude with Magnus & EC3, TNA confirms this feud will continue. Wrestle or be the figure head. Not both. Ugh.

– The World Heavyweight Title is on the line between Magnus, Abyss, Samoa Joe and Eric Young. Keep in mind that they interacted about 40 minutes previous to this match. We then get a commercial and nine minutes left when they get back. You do realize that the WWE is running matches longer than this, right? With more skilled people, not even in their main event? I’m saying that liking Magnus and at least Joe in the ring. Eric Young ends up getting pinned like a joke too. Magnus told Abyss he loved him again which got Abyss to abort pinning EY who then had to sit there for a long time before Magnus dropped the big elbow.

@ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

The Lloyds of London Building by Richard Rogers from theguardian.com

The Lloyds of London Building by Richard Rogers from theguardian.com

– I’m a much bigger fan of Magnus when he doesn’t act like a coward which is when he isn’t around Dixie Carter. I liked how he talked down to Samoa Joe, who had no verbal come back. Joe decided to beat the tar out of Magnus which isn’t a good sign for his chances at winning the TNA Title at Lockdown. I think Joe needs that kind of win to help make his character relevant again. The only problem with giving him said victory is that Magnus isn’t in a position to lose either. His reign hasn’t been long enough yet for a freshly minted heel.

– I love sneaky wins by heels. Bromans let the American Wolves do the damage to Kazarian of Bad Influence and swooped in for the pin fall. The problem with this type of win is that Bobby Roode wants a winner between Bromans & Bad Influence to join his team at Lockdown. If you see a pin like that, it can’t fill you full of confidence. I wouldn’t want to choose them any more than I did before the match.

James Storm and Gunner had some good banter going back and forth. One expects it out of Storm but it was a nice surprise out of Gunner.

– I’m sad to see Austin Aries in TNA. He is excellent and has been so in his segments with Bobby Roode and MVP. It helps to be in good company but I really like his style. He has gotten pushed back some but isn’t as lost as Bully Ray is. Here’s to hoping that him being the “hot free agent” helps bring Aries back to prominence.

Kurt Angle had a nice speech for his Hall of Fame speech. The guy has been around for quite sometime and despite his white trashness, he’s been a good performer the majority of that time. EC3 came out and continued to show why he was stuck in NXT. He’s just not as good as even Xavier Woods as I discussed with Dusty last week. He’s being served up perfect spot after perfect spot but he’s just not cutting it.

– At least they finally covered Samuel Shaw being completely crazy. He has a pretty decent delivery. Ken Anderson didn’t feel like he was in the rut he was against Bully Ray. From time to time, Anderson still shows why he could be a difference maker. Hopefully they can find some way to move the Shaw character on after his feud with Anderson.

– I have liked the videos from Willow. I always say how stale TNA is. Jeff Hardy is definitely out of the box thinker so I can’t blame him for trying to freshen up his look. I was wondering two things during this vignette though: Is he going to wear his mask in the ring? Because if he doesn’t, won’t it be a dead give away that it’s Hardy? Second, if he is really selling this personal change, does he bring in a new move set? If he uses all of his old moves, isn’t that a give away that it’s Hardy?

Austin Aries handing the win to Bobby Roode over MVP still could leave enough air space that Aries is acting as a double agent which could effectively make it a 6 on 4 for MVP’s team at Lockdown. It could be well played. We’ll see if TNA is that smart. – Kevin

@ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

002 Tarek (Moritz Bleibtreu)Eric Young‘s experiment on Abyss/Joseph Park took a turn that I had not predicted last week. Young was determined to unmask Abyss and he finally did near the end of the match. It seemed it had dawned on Abyss that he was indeed Joseph Park. TNA cheesed it up by having him see himself in a broken piece of a mirror. I could get behind an unmasked Park because he looks better without the ten cent Mankind rip off mask.

Bobby Roode‘s baby face turn was planted even more with his frustration with Dixie Carter since she couldn’t make him the number one contender against Magnus. TNA has lost more baby faces than heels in the mass exodus of talent so they could use someone else on that side.

MVP is claiming to not want in ring action. Rockstar Spud is terrible as a lackey. His size fits the bill but that’s it. MVP makes a match between Magnus and Kurt Angle. I think it’s terrible to not build up this match now that Magnus is champ even if it’s to a TV PPV.

Bully Ray is making the best of some bad writing. It’s not enough to overcome the limitations. Curry Man comes out then Bully Ray comes out. Now is Curry Man’s opponent not going to come out? Or did he come out at an unscheduled time because Curry Man has free reign in TNA? Neither of those explanations are good to me. Unfortunately for him, he gets his ass handed to him by Bully Ray. Bully finishes Curry Man off by getting him into a pile driver then yelling “Anderson” then executing the move. Jeremy Borash follows up with what has to be the dumbest line that will be said all year “That was a direct message to Mr. Anderson.” with dramatic pauses in there. Just wow.

Zema Ion did the smart thing and assaulted Austin Aries with his X Division briefcase then calling for the referee. It’s a heel tactic by a heel. TNA uses logic for a change. Congratulations. No surprise that Ion was in a glorified jobber match. He got offense only because of the briefcase. Aries wins with the brainbuster.

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@ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

bizarro_world

From panelsonpages.com

– I really wish England would have made Magnus‘s promo a Bizarro World style one where the crowd cheered for him. Unfortunately, the crowd really wasn’t that into him. Kurt Angle is going to continue using Sting’s description of Magnus as a “Paper Champion” which is catching on for some reason but it shouldn’t be. That term is older than most of JBL’s references. Dixie Carter tried to talk Magnus out of a match that could make Angle or Samoa Joe number one contender but it wasn’t successful. I like Magnus’s defiance to Dixie is reasonable and not over the top anger which makes his character interesting. Too bad he isn’t selling it to me in any other way.

Lai’d Tapa is still so undependable that she wasn’t tagged into her own match with Gail Kim against Madison Rayne & Velvet Sky. The match was window dressing for her angle with Chris Sabin though. I’m glad Velvet ended their relationship because that angle had tons of potential and TNA pissed it away.

– I don’t like Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe only threatening Bobby Roode ahead of the main event. You know the heels have been getting help from their friends. Take the friends out so they can’t get help. Baby faces shouldn’t always be dumb.

– The James Storm makes up with Gunner promo was supposed to be touching with buddies realizing that they went over board with each other. It does happen in real life but two tough guys like this don’t make up with words. They make up by beating the hell out of a common enemy. They did that against Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, who are perfect foils for this situation. Too bad they didn’t interrupt this lovefest earlier.

– The only thing good to come out of Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards first appearance in the ring was the stipulation that no one could interfere in the match or else you are fired, which makes threatening Bobby Roode pointless by Angle & Joe. Why are you wasting your own TV time being redundant? You only have two hours. You can’t waste it like that.

– I like the story they are telling with Abyss and Eric Young trying to control him. They’ve treated this whole angle as an experiment, using the term often, and he’s been testing out hypotheses. I believe his thinking in having a Monster’s Ball match is to snap Abyss out of his rampage by making him sympathize when he beats the tar out of Young next week and turn back into Joseph Park.

Probably my favorite Christy Hemme picture ever. Saved from Fanpop.com.

Probably my favorite Christy Hemme picture ever. Saved from Fanpop.com.

– The Samuel Shaw angle was completely not sold by Mike Tenay or Jeremy Borash, which is criminal. Shaw had a basement wallpapered in Christy Hemme along with having a mannequin of her that he kissed to close the segment. I know Bully Ray, who came out next, is more important but don’t you think you talk about the angle you just saw as Bully makes his way to the ring? Shaw needs some help to sell his angle. He’s new. Bully Ray can sell his own angle. And that’s exactly what he did. Ken Anderson continues to have not developed on iota since leaving the WWE. They’ve beaten this feud to death so I’m glad a casket match will put it out of it’s misery.

– The “Investor” got out of the car before their last commercial break. I haven’t been this unexcited for a TNA announcement ever, which is quite a statement. I haven’t read the spoilers because that’s a waste of my reading time. Samoa Joe ended up choking out Magnus to become number one contender. Samoa Joe really hasn’t developed at all since he came from ROH. Mostly yelling again in this promo. Pull another tone out of the bag of tricks. Just as Kurt Angle starts to talk my DVR cuts out so I don’t know who the investor is. It’s 12:08 EST. I’ll find out who it is after a nice sleep. (Next Day Note: It really was MVP. So TNA decided to cut Hulk Hogan & AJ Styles but they brought in Edwards, Richards and MVP. TNA is probably still saving on pay roll but doesn’t it bringing in these guys undermine the concept? They’re not going to improve their product. MVP has been gone for so long, I barely remember that I loved his character a decade plus ago.) – Kevin

@ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

derailed

AJ Styles, Dixie Carter and Magnus opened the show with the now normal fifteen minute talking segment. This segment was a perfect example of why the WWE will not be hiring AJ Styles. We all know that the WWE likes bigger men but if they are exceptional in the ring, they’ll bring a smaller man on board. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are perfect examples of this exception. I think that Styles is good to very good in the ring. A step or two below exceptional. That aspect isn’t what showed up in this segment though. AJ Styles bombed during this segment. The WWE knew that CM Punk could talk already but they took a chance on Daniel Bryan and it has paid off. AJ Styles has been in the spotlight for years in TNA and his verbal skills haven’t followed the path that Bryan’s have during his tenure in the WWE, which has been much shorter. AJ Styles wouldn’t make it in the microphone dependent WWE.

“This is ridiculous!” were words directly out of Mike Tenay‘s mouth during the main event of AJ Styles versus Magnus on Impact Wrestling. I have never agreed with Mike Tenay more. Let’s count the ways this was ridiculous. Rockstar Spud, EC3, Jesse, Robbie E, Zema Ion, Christopher Daniels, Kazarian and Bobby Roode came out to help Magnus. Sting came out to help AJ Styles. We’ve got a nine on two which naturally means it’s an easy beat down for the heel, right? Well, that was the complete opposite of what happened. Magnus eeked out a victory. I actually felt bad for Taz during this segment because he had to sell the heel angle of this segment. The tenor of his voice was a give away that even he didn’t believe what he was saying.

The other more ridiculous aspect of this match was that they did away a time honored tradition in wrestling, having a leaving wrestler do a job to make the wrestler who is sticking around, usually a champion, look better. They did the complete opposite in this case too. The clown car in no way helped this aspect of the match. Magnus has struggled to look like he has a spine. Having him score a clean victory over AJ Styles does the trick and covers a time honored tradition. They looked a gift horse in the mouth.

The only thing that all of that interference does is make Dixie Carter look like she’s the evil owner. I will admit that I thought she finally sounded the appropriate amount of bitchy and was abusing her power in a good way. But just like the Authority and Randy Orton, they’re placing the heat on the wrong person. Magnus needs the heat, especially since he is newly turned heel after spending the last year or so in the main event mafia. Putting heat on the wrong people is, well, wrong.

The last aspect that makes the main event such a train wreck is the fact that they have spent the whole show building up feuds for next week’s Genesis “pay per view” on free television. TNA had already extended AJ Styles once to complete this story line. Why not give him enough money that he can’t refuse to show up for Genesis? Wouldn’t you think it’d be appropriate to at least have this travesty on your big show that you’ve built up for the rest of the 1:45 minutes of show you just aired? This angle is a huge fail. This segment led to Jeremy deleting Impact Wrestling from recording on his DVR and I can’t blame him. This product is on the longest skid that I can remember. I remember having hope once every six months or so but I’m pretty sure we’re past the six month threshold and having to dig out of this disaster isn’t going to make the good times come around any time soon. – Kevin

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