oh hey look, it’s a reason for me to watch Impact
If you haven’t gotten a chance to see The Artist Formerly Known As Derrick Bateman’s TNA gimmick, he’s (as far as I can tell) a combination of pre-Crisis Alberto Del Rio and NXT’s Tyler Breeze. Hell, his music even sounds like Tyler Breeze’s. And at first I’m like, “man, I wish he wasn’t dick-biting Tyler Breeze,” and then I think NO, that’s GREAT, because if you’re TNA, the #1 thing you should be doing is seeing what works in NXT — for all intents and purposes the only WWE show “not on TV” — and do it for a mainstream TV audience.
So as it stands, Ethan Carter III (along with Trent “Greg” Marasciulo and maybe Joseph Park) is my reason for giving Impact another shot on the reg. TNA Guys, if you’re reading this (and I’m sure you are, assuming you’re literate) (I’m not sure you’re literate), give EC3 all of the fame and on-time paychecks you can. This is the best talent acquisition TNA’s made since Kurt Angle back when Kurt Angle wasn’t the literally-dickheaded skin-shell he is now.
Best: Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin
This is the first time I’ve gotten to watch Impact live with Danielle in my living room, so we spent a lot of the show “talking shop,” discussing how we process the show and write about it. One of the interesting things that came up was how an excessive familiarity with the show can give you an educated point of view, but how it can also make the writing process interminable because you’re having to come up with 5,000 new words about a barely re-written thing you’ve seen three times already this month.
I write about Raw a lot (a lot), so I’ve developed an eye for what I call “Raw boredom.” It’s not boring like an episode of Game of Thrones might be boring, it’s very specific to Raw … that mid-show lull where they’re just parading out recap videos and throwaway Tons of Funk matches or whatever and R-Truth keeps going for the chinlock and god dammit why won’t somebody do something exciting. Later on in the show they’ll give you a Shield match or something and you’ve got a lot of Bests to write about, but Raw boring is ever-present and ready to make your comedy column-writing last forever. It usually takes me three to four hours to crank out one of those things.
I don’t ever watch Impact. I try, don’t get me wrong. I average about 8 minutes before I get mad about something and turn it off and decide to find out what happened by reading Danielle’s column. Because of that, “Impact boredom” is relatively fresh for me. Danielle can watch a match like Samoa Joe vs. Chris Sabin where they’re going through the motions and hitting all the same stuff they always hit and doing nothing to kill time before a massive Ultimate X Participants Run-In-A-Thon with her head in her hands, but I’m like, “remember when Joe wore tights instead of shorts” with a vague smile on my face because wrestling is happening. “Vague smile” is a good way to put it. It’s not bad necessarily and it’s also not good, but at least it isn’t MizTV. Does that make sense?
My other big conversational takeaway from this match was, “how hard do you think it would’ve been for Macho Man to get over if Elizabeth was three inches taller than him.”
Best: Someone’s been playing Smackdown vs. Raw
Even though some of the storyline objectives were super terrible, I have a real fondness for those backstage video game segments. AJ Styles vs. Bounty Hunting Bad Influence wasn’t really much different, but I really wish AJ would have had to punch Kazarian until his was groggy, and then knock him out against a vending machine. Or having Christopher Daniels use a chair three times before it disappeared into thin air and he had to go find another one.
Speaking of disappearing, I love how AJ Styles grabs the fire extinguisher and then uses it to Criss Angel himself out of the hallway. I would have enjoyed it more had he gone full hilariously self-aware Spectacular Spider-Man Mysterio, but I think that’s asking way too much from a guy who has to hold his arms out to his sides for longer than usual to prevent himself from doing his up button signature taunt because he’s not wearing gloves, and it makes no sense without them.
I’m pretty sure that, unlike how Mysterio used technology disguised as magic, AJ Styles took a cue from Rey Mysterio and used real magic to cast Irrelevance; not running away but rather crossing over into the television purgatory that’s inhabited by the real Raw General Manager and Park Overall.
Worst (but also hilarious Best): Hashtag Whoopsy Daisy
Hey friends, be sure to tweet Mickie James to tell her exactly what she’s missing by not being stuck in this sinkhole of sadness anymore.
Worst: AJ Styles, Still Talkin’
There’s so much to write about here, but I’ll keep it simple: hey AJ, when you say “you aren’t Ric Flair and I’m not Dusty Rhodes,” you’re totally right, but not in the way you mean.
I want more like this!
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