Three things about Dixie Carter’s opening salvo against AJ Styles are hilarious to me:
1. TNA’s biggest storyline is THESE TWO HILLBILLIES HATE EACH OTHER. What channel is this on, TLC?
2. Dixie Carter’s big pipe bomb is that “making people rich” is what she’s good at. I can think of exactly two people Dixie Carter could make rich: Hulk Hogan, because she’s willing to pay him 4 million dollars a year because he had a cartoon 30 years ago and pay everybody else to wrestle for Bleacher Report-style “exposure” and expired foodstamps, and the MILF Hunter, because for real.
3. I don’t really understand any of this. WWE has a thousand authority figures that can overrule one another whenever, but TNA doesn’t really have checks and balances anymore, does it? It’s just Dixie Carter. If she doesn’t want AJ Styles to be in the main event at Bound For Glory and can negate the existence of the Bound For Glory tournament by paying Frankie Kazarian to punch somebody backstage, why can’t she just say “first guy’s fired, second place guy gets the shot?” Wasn’t the second place guy Austin Aries? Wouldn’t the crowd probably be okay with that? What’s the big problem here?
Also, why did Dixie wait until the opening segment of her TV show to announce this? Isn’t paying your employees to hurt each other outside of the pro wrestling ring a huge crime? Why is she openly announcing it to everybody like she’s Harley Race, and why is she imposing a two-hour deadline? Wouldn’t it have been more effective to send a clandestine e-mail to the skeleton monsters, bipolar psychopaths and evil biker gangs in your employ on a Tuesday afternoon and shown up to Impact all OH GEE GOLLY I DUNNO WHAT HAPPENED TO AJ, GUESS WE’RE GONNA HAVE TO DO SOMETHIN’ ELSE.
Okay, four things. Dixie has her own t-shirt now, which you can buy from ShopImpactZone.com. Five funny things if you count this comment from that page:
Best: JB is the new hotness
Jeremy Borash’s reaction will never take the place of my beloved Tenay Face, but holy sh-t that is wonderful.
Worst: Aces & Eights not looking at each other
Every time Aces & Eights have a discussion out of the ring it’s in this dimly-lit back room and nobody looks at each other. Knux and Garrett Bischoff stand around in the background while Bully Ray paces with his back to them, speaking up and to the left at something off screen. I don’t get it. It’s like they’re in a sound booth recording voices for a cartoon.
Besides, what happened to the Aces & Eights clubhouse? I know they’ve only got three members now, but they should probably still have access to their card table and beer boxes. What, is one of those strippers who gave Anderson a handy to get him into the faction standing guard at the Impact Zone, waiting like that ancient dude from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for somebody to figure out the Universal Studios traps and wisely choose the Dupp Cup?
Worst: Eric Young vs. Robbie E vs. Christopher Daniels vs. Hernandez
Since we’re doing things a little differently this week, it means I have to change up my usual writing process. Generally I prefer to have the full show at my disposal because I have a terrible memory, and also because (as Brandon can now attest to), the show the first time around usually involves me angrily shouting at my television over top of whatever is happening, and then throwing myself back against the couch cushions whining and saying “I don’t wanna!” over and over again. Because we have to be on the road fairly early tomorrow, we’re going on our first impressions and writing immediately after the show has ended. Rob Conway’s eyebrows aren’t gonna make fun of themselves, guys.
The problem with this is when you get to something like this four-corner match, anything that is mundane or forgettable is…it’s just that. Nothing stands out, and you can only remember conversing about guys who are built like Mike Awesome but wrestle like Road Block, and things like “Hey, remember Cookie?” The answer is yes, but I feel like Brandon and I might remember Cookie for drastically different reasons.
The other problem is that, aside from shouting about how awful Hernandez is, and Brandon’s sudden desire to Google Cookie, there wasn’t much to take away from this match. For the life of me, I couldn’t even remember who else was even in the match. And I feel like this is a consistent problem with Impact. There can be a really great show with memorable moments, but the rest is such throwaway garbage that’s not worth remembering that it’s barely worth watching in the first place. How many actual matches can you remember from the show where Mr. Anderson and Eric Young dressed up as Sting and Muta? Or the matches surrounded the Claire Lynch baby shower? I have seen the Brooke-Bully Ray wedding episode more times than I care to admit, but every single time I’m still like “Aw f-ck, Chavandez is on this show EXASPERATED SIGH.”
I applaud TNA for the great things they do when they do them, because it usually means someone has allowed an ounce of creativity to sneak through and, on the rare occasion that something is really special, they’ve been brave enough to break the status quo and do something original. Like Joseph Park. Like Bobby Roode sitting in a big ass chair and kicking his legs around like Kermit the Frog. Like vulnerable Hulk Hogan. Allowing themselves a moment of humour and sincerity outside of the usual NO YOU’RE A BITCH I’M GONNA KILL YOU THAT’S DIMINISHING RETURNS SPELLED BACKWARDS. But when you already have a show that is almost entirely just dudes going through the motions and recycling the same things over and over, that freshness has got to extend a little further, because otherwise, these shows really aren’t worth a damn.
Worst: The loneliness of a middle card Eric Young
Aside from the half-hearted attempts at explaining how Eric Young could be on a road trip with Joe Park, but also in a four-corners match A WHOLE WEEK after the show last week, Eric Young didn’t really stand out. I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, he can’t really stand on his own. Pre-brain scrambled Eric Young was actually pretty great sometimes. He got to be cool and mean and wear suits, and not just WUH-UH-WHADDAYA MEAN MY T-SHIRT MEANS ORLANDO JORDAN LIKES TO HAVE SEX WITH MEN? The first time I could really get back on his side was when he attacked D-Lo in a convenience store while he was buying tampons or whatever, but most of that hinged on D-Lo’s reaction. As I mentioned before, Eric Young as Muta was great, but what is a Fake Muta without a Fake Sting, even if underneath the fancy jacket that Fake Sting is comprised of a shitty reverse STO and a sentient anus? Eric Young’s relationship with ODB, as well as with Joseph Park, work because they have the aforementioned moments of humour and sincerity that are rare for wrestling on any brand, not just TNA. When you take away Eric Young’s foil, all you’re left with is a beard and a real crummy elbow drop. So basically a CM Punk Macho Man tribute in a Daniel Bryan shirt, but still not as good.
Best: But no seriously, this
I have now have two favourite wrestling gifs: this, and this one of Tim Donst pushing LF Chikarason across the room because it is the most hilarious thing in the world to me, and also because I love Donst for many wrestling, Hallowhiskers, and/or some real specific lady-based reasons.
I want more like this!
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