#ImpactWrestling – Total Nonsense Analysis

The_Persistence_of_Memory

The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali

I went to bed last Thursday night without watching the end of Impact Wrestling. I had caught the beginning where MVP, Kenny King and Bobby Lashley come out upset that Eric Young had evaded their attempts to take the TNA World Championship from him. MVP called out Eric Young who promptly threw down a challenge to MVP which was then accepted by the impetuous Kenny King due to MVP’s injury. Eric Young won in short order thanks to help from everyone in the back who is now anti-MVP. In the next segment, MVP set up a second match for the champion against Bobby Lashley. This is where I stopped watching. Much to my surprise when I saw headlines the next day, Bobby Lashley had been crowned new TNA World Champion. Here’s my break down of this epic ineptitude.

As noted in previous editions of this column, I try to start with a clean slate. When EY came out for his verbal beat down, the crowd in Bethlehem PA was very much behind him. I feel like the Orlando crowd was getting behind him too. I can accept that everyone doesn’t view him as a blatant rip off of Daniel Bryan so he’s worthy of being cheered. Even though many people, including myself, ripped the decision to give EY the belt, he is trending in the correct direction so you shouldn’t take the strap off of him. Having the heel faction in charge continue to put him behind the eight ball is Wrestling 101. I did think to myself “More copying of Daniel Bryan” but what other options are available for an unworthy, small wrestler? I can accept repeating that aspect of the angle by having EY take on both King and Lashley. After that point though, I start scratching my head.

I don’t get why you’d take the belt off of EY once you commit to the angle. If the wrestler in question were a big name, I may be able to accept it. I am assuming that MVP was going to be the recipient of the title had he not been injured. I’m also assuming they were going to have him win the strap at the Slammiversary. If that was the case, why not give Lashley the title at the PPV? Jeremy covered this on Stunt Granny Audio 260 when he said that it was carnie booking. If the advertised match doesn’t happen, the person who was advertised for the match has to win. I think that is a dumb theory. MVP isn’t a big enough name to get me to accept this angle though I would argue he’s a more recognizable name than Lashley. TNA doesn’t realize that Lashley isn’t a big enough name. Lashley may have been in the WWE but he was far from a big name there even if Donald Trump chose him as his combatant in a Wrestlemania match against Vince McMahon & Umaga. One would think that TNA would realize that if Hulk Hogan can’t move the needle, no retread from the WWE is going to do so.

Since I’m assuming MVP was going to win at Slammiversary, the next question is why chose Lashley instead of letting MVP heal? MVP is doing all of the talking for his faction. He is the more complete package as far as wrestling and mic work goes. It is terrible how he has been booked going from baby face to heel with a drop of a hat. I think MVP’s delivery and demeanor have come off well in the segments. If you believe MVP, his injury wasn’t major. Why not wait until he heels to move the strap over on the next PPV? You could feud Young with King and Lashley so that Young can finally get to MVP. You could build up EY while waiting for a better option as your future champion to recover.

Bobby Lashley has said next to nothing in the group. Kenny King has supplied the comedy for that group. I’m really glad TNA decided not to give him the belt. The reason Lashley hasn’t gotten the mic is that he is terrible on it. It’s been quite a few years now that being good on the mic is a required skill for a main eventer. Brock Lesnar may have a mouth piece in Paul Heyman, but he’s got a couple of things Lashley doesn’t. He isn’t terrible on the mic. Lashley may have won the NAIA Wrestling Championships but Lesnar trumps him by winning the NCAAs. Lashley may have been in MMA but Lesnar was the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Could Lashley tie most of us into a pretzel? Sure. Does he have a resume even close to that of Lesnar? No.

Another person that I could think to compare Lashley to is Roman Reigns. He was in The Shield. He was the guy who didn’t get any mic time in his group. Reigns still isn’t getting much mic time which I think is a good decision on the WWE’s part. But he and Lesnar both possess something that Lashley hasn’t even had, good in ring skills. Lashley may have a laundry list of accomplishments, but it hasn’t translated to the ring for reasons that are unknown to me. Lashley is a big guy but not a monster like Lesnar. Lashley (6′-3″, 275) is about the same size as Roman Reigns (6′-3″, 265) but he doesn’t possess his athleticism. Lashley isn’t going to pull off an apron drop kick any time soon. Lashley has neither the mic or in ring skills to be a champion.

Another reason I could think of to take the strap off of Young is that he needs to go film his show “No Limits” for Animal Planet. In that case, TNA shouldn’t have committed to giving him the title in the first place. EY isn’t taking off time though. He was on Fox & Friends to hype both his show and TNA. I’m just throwing this out there, but maybe if he’s the guy getting TV time, EY should be the one toting the strap. After EY is the pitch man, Lashley comes in an awkwardly stares at him to end the segment. The reason Young is out there is that he has been at a minimum good on the mic or else he wouldn’t have stuck around as a comedy act or been recruited to be a TV host.

The timing of these title changes is a whole separate problem from worthiness of who has the strap. TNA has now gone two consecutive pay per views, keep in mind that they only have four, without a Heavyweight Title change. But to keep you on your toes, they decided to have EY win the strap the show prior to one while Lashley won the show after one. Anyone that shucked out money for either of those has to feel like an idiot or at a minimum like they didn’t get their money’s worth. It is a no win position to try and defend how their decisions not to have the pay offs on PPV.

Giving the TNA World Title to Eric Young was a mistake. Having MVP win it Slammiversary would have been a mistake too. Allowing Bobby Lashley to win the title on a regular televised show is the biggest mistake of the three. Congratulations TNA, you have allowed Ring of Honor to become the second best promotion in America. – Kevin

Booker T Tells the Kettle Its’ Black And Calls Out Ronda Rousey

Pot_calling_the_kettle_black_by_CoelasquidSo when I went to Prowrestling.net, I found a link to this story on Yahoo! Sports that interviewed Booker T about his jail time, helping kids learn English in Singapore and MMA. I found the last topic the most interesting. The delicious irony of Booker T saying

I don’t think the lifespan (of MMA fighters) is very long, and you could get hurt really, really bad doing it…Plus, when it’s over with, where do you go from there?

The day after Adam “Edge” Copeland got the opening segment on WWE’s flagship show Raw, Booker tells us MMA fighters don’t have long careers. Why did Triple H make half a dozen “Stack of dimes neck” references then Book? Because Edge had a long career? Oh no, because he had a short career. I’m sure Steve Austin decided to move along during the height of his popularity because of the huge movie roles that he is landing. That’s right, Austin had to move on because of injuries too. He isn’t landing huge roles either. Austin isn’t doing bad for himself but you don’t hear Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doing a podcast because he needs some extra change in his couch cushions. I’m also going to guess that Booker thinks that Chris Benoit had a nice long, healthy career.

The second part of the statement shouldn’t go unnoticed either. Booker T, again just last night, was telling Big Show to be professional and not do anything stupid because he needed to support his young daughter and family. If WWE wrestlers are more diversified than your average MMA fighter, shouldn’t you advise Big Show to do what is right because he has a back up career? How about you Booker, what’s your back up career to wrestling? That’s right, it’s being a wrestling personality. And running a wrestling school. It certainly seems like you moved on from wrestling Book. Then he moved on to ripping on Ronda Rousey who

…couldn’t find her way in life and found it through going out and beating other girls up.

From Bustedcoverage.com

From Bustedcoverage.com

So the guy that needed jail time to get straightened out is telling a woman who got into the Olympics at the age of 17 that she couldn’t find her way in life? Who is this guy kidding? Has he even taken as much time as yours truly to read Ronda’s Wikipedia page? Maybe Booker did but I doubt it or else I wouldn’t be able to rip on him. If you get into the Olympics before you can drink alcohol legally, you have found something in life to do. I could care less if it’s beating up people of the same gender. You made a living wearing tights and well, I’ll let him hoist his own petard

Wrestling is Shakespeare. Phantom of the Opera. Romeo and Juliet. That’s what it is – men in tights

At least he laughed after that comment. Hopefully he’ll find a lot of public shaming for some really stupid comments funny too. – Kevin

Stunt Granny Audio #203

Kevin and Dusty are at the helm for this edition of Stunt Granny Audio, and what an edition it is! The two heroes are momentarily distracted by Dusty’s A’s destroying Jeremy’s Tigers, but are eventually able to turn their attentions towards the latest happenings in the world of professional wrestling. Both Brian Gewirtz and Jim Cornette lost their jobs as head writers for WWE and ROH, respectively. What is the fall out going to be for those two promotions? Can we expect tangible changes, or are these just superficial changes that won’t really incur actual changes unless other moves are made? CM Punk had showdowns with both Vince McMahon and a fan on this past Monday’s Raw. Can a slap really reverberate to the knee, or is the fan just looking to get his sue on? Is it ridiculous for Vince McMahon to be standing toe-to-toe with a top wrestler? TNA’s salary information got leaked on the internet mysteriously. We agree that it’s fun to just gossip about things you’re not really supposed to know. Who is overpaid? Who is underpaid? Will Kurt Angle be heading back to WWE anytime soon? Dave Batista made his MMA debut recently. Is he in it for the long haul or is he just trying to keep his name out there until Vince takes him back? Will he actually be successful at this endeavor? Would he stand any kind of chance whatsoever against Brock Lesnar in a shoot? And finally, much like walking in on your parents as they are, you know, getting busy, the Hulk Hogan sex tape is something you see that you can never ever unsee. But it’s news, so we have to talk about. And you can listen to it by downloading the link, so you better do that immediately.

Stunt Granny Audio Show #203

Dave “Brass Body” Bautista fancies himself an MMA fighter. You be the judge

Here is the full fight of Big Dave in his very first MMA fight. I watched it live last night and feel even worse about this than I did while watching. You be the judge. That is of course if you have a few seconds to see Dave get punched by a walking bag of liquid marshmallow for 3 minutes before he gets taken down and beaten like a self defense rape dummy. It is up to you. -Jeremy

The best wrestling promo of the year so far

IMO. – Dusty

Batista to open MMA training facility; first course: Beating Asthma and Muscle Tears 101

batista

Screw it, this is our default Batista picture from now on.

According to Gerweck.net (via TMZ.com), former WWE star Dave Batista plans to open an MMA training facility in Tampa, Fla., with Cesar Gracie called Gracie Fighter Jiu Jitsu. So, in other words, Cesar Gracie plans to open an MMA training facility in Tampa, Fla., while Batista sits in the corner. This is the same Dave Batista who trained for MMA and swore up and down he had a deal with Strikeforce, only to see that never come to fruition. He claims it’s because UFC bought Strikeforce and couldn’t free up the kind of money Batista said he could make for them. I claim it’s because Batista is 42 years old with a history of asthma/poor conditioning and brittle muscles and ligaments due to years and years of (anabolic) wear and tear.

Batista has claimed Ric Flair as a close friend since their days in Evolution. You may recall that, in September 2007, Flair, who is infamous for spending more money than he made, opened a business called Ric Flair Finance. (It closed in July 2008 and Flair filed for bankruptcy.) Now Batista, who has never fought one MMA fight, is opening an MMA training facility. Up next: Triple H teaches guys without ponytails how not to be a douche, and Dusty Rhodes opens a speech therapy school. -Eric

Batista claims UFC-Strikeforce merger ended his MMA career (*cough*)

Nope, no red flags here.

According to Prowrestling.net, Dave Batista is claiming that his pending deal with MMA company Strikeforce fell through due to UFC’s purchase of the brand. According to my calendar, my lung doctor and my brittle friend who loves steroids and my friend who lives in reality, Batista’s MMA deal is falling through because he’s 42 years old, he’s an asthmatic with no otherwise obvious cardiovascular conditioning, years of (alleged) steroid use have made his muscles cracklier than oat bran, and he’s not worth the money to any MMA company that he’s been asking for. With Undertaker on his annual and ever-growing vacation, Triple H transitioning further into an office position, and Edge recently retiring due to injury, does this mean Batista would be welcome back with open arms? Maybe, but he’d get gassed running toward the embrace. Offer him 20 dates and a hot angle as The Rock’s muscle leading up to WrestleMania 28 and I bet he’d do it for an inhaler and a clean syringe. -Eric

Stunt Granny Big 11 – Week Ending 1/22/11

Yeah it's magical.

1. Derrick Bateman – Wow, did he have an awful commercial on Raw. The reason I mention him is because he started out in Pro Wrestling Ohio under the name Michael Hutter. I’m whoring out the PWO, go figure. – Kevin

2. Eric Bischoff – Mr. Bischoff redlined a column by our former boss Wade Keller at the PW Torch. He gave Keller an undressing that made no sense what so ever. Bischoff claimed that they misreported that “TNA is considering scrapping the X Division.” After giving Keller a number of definitions, Bischoff seemed not to realize that the word “consider” doesn’t mean “will definitely scrap.” Well, Bischoff must have allegedly stopped drinking because he’s had the good sense to take the berating down. Check the url – HERE – which now is unavailable. I’m even more entertained by Bischoff’s idiocy. – Kevin

3. Kimbo Slice – Could the former MMA star be the key to creating buzz for WrestleMania? Absolutely. If this were 2009. Hey, maybe that homeless guy with the golden voice can do ring announcing for the main event of WrestleMania 31! – Eric

4. The Core – First it was Nexus and now it is The Core. Wade Barrett and friends team up again on Smackdown and the marketing genius give them that as a name. The fact they broke up Nexus in to smaller units is good but naming them after a shitty Hilary Swank vehicle is ridiculous. I have a name for a new group that I think is way more marketable; how about shittymcfagcunt? – Jeremy

5. Chris Jericho – He was interviewed by Pro Wrestling Illustrated, and his answers to general questions about the wrestling industry as well as specifics about his career, life, books and side projects show that he’s the smartest and most level-headed man associated with wrestling today. If he never wrestles another day in his life, he’ll still go down as one of the greats. – Eric

6. Dave Batista – The guy hasn’t been around for months and has generally been out of the spotlight as well but yet his name keeps coming up as a possible entrant in the Royal Rumble. Jim Ross went so far as to kind of sort of deny it on his blog so take that for what it is worth. Of course Big Dave is pretending to start a MMA career with Strikeforce but we all know how that will turn out. What’s Bobby Lashley up to these days? – Jeremy

7. Randy Savage – The old man is slowly getting back in good with WWE. First he appears a few months back to announce that he is finally getting an action figure worthy of his stature. Now he is featured in a commercial for the upcoming WWE All-Stars video game. Being he was my most prized Hall Of Fame inductee for Atlanta this a good start. But then they have Shawn Michaels as the headliner which effectively killed that idea. Still, seeing Randy Savage in any sort of WWE capacity is good news. Oh, and the old bastard can still talk. – Jeremy

8. Dirty Laundry – That was the title of this week’s episode of iMPACT! Unsurprisingly, it didn’t deliver since Kurt didn’t air any dirty laundry about Karen and Karen didn’t get to say anything before Kurt attacked Jeff Jarrett. Good thing this episode was so boring I got to make my dirty laundry clean. – Kevin

9. Tom’s Snacks – Peep this:

The new sponsor for TNA. Out of all the snacks in the world, Tom’s Snacks are certainly among them. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. – Dusty

10. New Best Match Ever – It’s this:

Dusty

11. I can’t even count to 40 – I had to do something wrestling related this week for the 11 spot since I only got three. I know Eric loves the guy, but Jim Ross recently wrote, in all his resplendid wisdom and glory, “Bitching, moaning & complaining re: 40 man RRumble match underway. When has there EVER been more than appx 10 potential, viable winners?” That is an asininely stupid argument, because that’s *exactly* the reason why adding 10 more non-viable winners is a horrible decision.

Remember the 1992 Royal Rumble? (You should, we just did an audio about it!) Remember how almost everyone in that Rumble could claim some type of legitimacy towards winning the thing? Like even Greg Valentine, you could say, Hey, he’s a former Intercontinental Champion, he’s legit as hell. But then remember Skinner, and how when he got eliminated, Gorilla was all, “Well there’s one longshot we won’t have to worry about”? Well, now WWE is adding 10 more Skinners to the Rumble and expecting us to be excited about it. Smells like fresh fail to me. – Dusty

Willy The Worker Strikes Back

Who can it be now?

This was recently on the Observer front page, under the title “A former major wrestling star looks at where TNA stands today”:

By name withheld

I was thinking about this when I heard that Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff were not at the TNA PPV & the last TV taping. They are already setting up their exit strategy with 3 months left in their contracts. It’s no secret to even an idiot like Dixie that they conned her for a bunch of money & some initial press releases that made TNA seem bigger then they seemed. After 9 months they brought nothing to the table.

1. The Monday night war cost a ton of money with reduced TV viewership. The end result was that TNA spent the last 3-4 months rebuilding their lost audience from the move from Thursday to Monday to Thursday. TNA garnered roughly the same 1.2 rating prior to the Hogan faction a year ago.

1. PPV revenue to my knowledge had gone down with the Hogan faction. They hot shotted all of their main matches & angles on free TV to an audience that had no interest in paying to see anything on PPV. The initial PPV’s were chalked up as building blocks to a PPV that would be a bigger pay off. Thus far their PPV business had been worst off then a year ago.

1. House show business had been up in some markets & down in others. This is more indicative to advertising. In 8 years, TNA had never even built up any core cities that they can regularly return several times in a year with a steady fan base.

1. Booking is no better or worst, since Vince Russo is being retained for god knows what reasons. Either Hogan & Eric are keeping him in order to blame him for all of the booking problems. Either Dixie is just so clueless that she is not open to any changes in creative.

1. Eric Bischoff had probably spent the last 10 months pitching SPIKE one TV concept after another. SPIKE might already be tired of listening to his used car salesmen pitches about an additional midget wrestling show & additional TNA programming. Once Eric no longer got anybody from SPIKE to listen to his new TV ideas, his usage for TNA is no longer needed.

I see Hulk Hogan hot shotting some big angle in September in hopes that it could lead to a contract renewal. If that doesn’t occur, excuses ranging from back surgery, family issues, new TV reality show, etc will be his exit strategy. Eric probably had already packed his bag off of this sinking ship with nothing to gain by being aligned by TNA if he got nothing to sell to SPIKE.

Just Eric’s comment that there is no similarity between the MMA & wrestling fan base is either a combination of being oblivious & not having a pulse on the industry. The older wrestling fans have graduated from wrestling to MMA for the elements that wrestling is currently lacking in it’s over scripted & over booked environment. Wrestling is no longer creating the chase for the title in which wins & losses mean anything. The champion is overexposed by working on TV every week & being made to look like they don’t deserve the title.

The MMA promos seem more genuine & realistic in creating empathy or hatred based on the personalities. I don’t follow MMA, but a normal UFC countdown special is more likely to sell more buys to me by presenting the wrestlers as athletes VS. A immobile 57 year old man cleaning house on the main heel character.

Eric is a one trick pony that is still living off of his limited successes from WCW in 1996-1999. I still can’t believe a simpleton like Dixie after 8 years had never bothered to read a sheet to inquire about Eric & Hulk’s track records in creating stars.

All of TNA’s big money acquisitions look bush league with the booking that is behind them. With all of Jeff Hardy’s baggage, he is no where over as he was a year ago on WWE TV. They took a legitimate WWE headliner that is fairly young and made him just another performer. Accept he got a high price tag with no real booking to emphasize his strengths & to hide his weaknesses [awful promos].

Rob Van Dam went from a guy with a cult like following to nothing but TV fodder for Hulk Hogan to save. I got no problems with TNA making money acquisitions for Jeff Hardy & RVD in order to attract some of the WWE audience. I just question their lack of long term planning to keep them special & how they should be PPV draws by headlining matches that weren’t possible a year ago against the TNA roster as if they were dream matches. RVD VS. Samoa Joe for example was a PPV quality match up that had already been given away for free.

In 8 years, the company had barely created one bonafide star on their own. A.J. Styles should have been their RVD long before they got the real one. A.J. had been turned so many times that nobody even cares about him.

Desmond Wolfe had the chance to get over. They rushed thru his program with Kurt Angle that could had been more beneficial if they stretched it out with an in ring rivalry as the main premise to the story line.

Don’t even get me started on Samoa Joe. Just a chase for the title & a MMA build up with Kurt Angle was enough to build up to one of TNA’s best PPV buy rates. If TNA didn’t learn from that scenario, then they are just beyond clueless. Too many jobs, repackaging, & stupid story lines made Samoa Joe from a killer/main eventer to just another guy on the roster.

I can’t believe Dixie now thinks the new recipe in turning the corner is by hiring Paul Heyman. In 8 years, Dixie hired almost every WWE main eventer that was no longer working for them. Instead of taking TNA to the next level with their already solid roster, the company continued their path to no where. Simple reason the company went from stagnant & in to the toilet, the booking sucks. Vince Russo had probably done more damage to the point Paul Heyman might not even be able to turn it around.

I don’t blame Heyman for making big demands. Nobody wants to risk their reputation & time in to a project that doesn’t have big rewards at the end of the tunnel. Nobody wants to waste their time in being blocked by the pecking order of trying to find out who got more stroke then the other. Plus the current booking will take a month or two in order to wrap them up before you have a clean sleight in order to restart the company.

I don’t blame Paul Heyman in wanting to revamp the entire brand marketing of TNA to the general public. After 8 years, TNA should have some sort of buzz to the general public, rather then be considered a bad WWE rip off. I got nothing bad to say about their roster, since it is on par & possibly better then WWE in many aspects. After 8 years, they had not created any larger then life superstars on their own.

TNA thus far had not created any merchandise that is being sold in any retail stores that is a top seller. Children don’t care enough about their wrestlers or even follow the product enough to have purchased their figure line that was sold 4 years ago. The video game was not a top seller. With the dwindling DVD market, most of their retail DVD’s are constantly being marked down. Obviously TNA had not reached out to whatever base line of fans that they have in order for them to further support their product by making additional purchases outside of PPV or house show tickets. I always gauge a successful wrestling character or company based on the amount of T shirts I spot in public or at a wrestling show.

I seen countless children with Rey Mysterio, John Cena, & Dave Batista shirts when I’m at the mall or anything wrestling related. When was the last time any of us seen any TNA shirts worn outside of a TNA event? Obviously TNA already missed their mark on the children demographic. I guess by having Ken Anderson encourage the audience to scream asshole will bring that missing children demographic, bring in major advertisers & licensing deals, & not have TV executives frown upon the wrestling & fan audience.

TNA should be appealing to the 25 & above male demographic that no longer finds WWE appealing to their tastes. Instead TNA had already handed that audience over to MMA by not learning from what works in MMA & incorporating it in to their product with sensible booking.

Hopefully my ranting & raving made sense. It was just various aspects of TNA that had really been annoying me for some time.

I love how everything is under number one. I guess that means it’s all equally important. As to who it was who wrote this, let the speculation begin! – Dusty

Batista to tear every muscle, lose breath during MMA training

According to FightScoops.com, (recently departed?) WWE superstar Batista is training in mixed martial arts, possibly to enter MMA competition. Here’s a guy who can’t keep his balance when performing a simple powerbomb, something lanky lugs like Sid and Diesel could execute with ease. Here’s a guy who’s more waterlogged than a hydroelectric dam and more brittle than the peanut-laden snack of the same name. Here’s a guy who’s more asthmatic than an entire comic book convention, who blows up at the site of his opponent running around the ring. And he’s gonna try his hand at MMA? Please. He might be a 280-pound tattooed gorilla, but as soon as any skilled fighter gets Batista in the clutch, I promise you, it’s over. At least Batista’s aim is noble: Despite a complete lack of explanation in this video, I gather that part of the reason Batista is training to fight is to raise money for cancer awareness, a disease that has affected Batista’s “now ex-wife.” I‘m sure Melina will be thrilled to hear about this. -Eric

(P.S. I hope everyone else finds the misspellings in the above links as funny as I do.)

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