Wrestling Watching Weekend

Hello and happy Sunday. I hope everybody’s having a good weekend. Mine’s been great especially since I decided to turn off my telephone because the thing was driving me nuts. Between the millions of telemarketers who seem to be out in full force right now, people calling me with nothing to say, and everybody else seeming to want my attention all at once, I couldn’t get a moment of peace. So I decided that I’m paying for voicemail for a reason, and that’s where everybody’s been going for the last couple days straight. It’s been awesome.

But Steve, what did you do with all that anti-social time you had on your hands?

Well, let’s see. I did laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. But that’s what happens when trees decide to grow into the drainage system at your house and your plumbing backs up and you have to use almost every towel you own to soak up the swimming pool that used to be your bathroom. But whatever, it’s all fixed up now and everything’s clean, so I’m a happy guy. I’m also a lucky guy since I seem to have gotten home just in time. Sure it sucked to be away for 5 days and then come back to that, but being away for 6 days and then walking into a mess like the one I awoke to the next morning would have been a lot worse.

But I did do more than laundry and housework. I also watched wrestling. Lots and lots of wrestling. I finally got to see both Taboo Tuesday and Bound For Glory among other things, and this post is more about them than about me and my domestic chores and self-imposed isolation, so here we go.

Bound For Glory was an awesome show. I don’t think I’d call it the best TNA show I’ve ever seen, but it was still fantastic. The only thing that hurt it was that some of the matches went a little short, but there was a reason for that since they had to change the entire main event angle around at the last minute because of the whole Kevin Nash thing, so really I can’t fault the company since they did a great job of making the best out of a bad situation.

It was cool to see Jushin Liger again. I don’t watch a whole lot of Japanese wrestling so I really haven’t seen much of him since his days in WCW. He can still go, and Samoa Joe is Samoa Joe and it seems impossible for him to have a terrible match these days. I’ve read a fair bit of complaining on the internet (surprise surprise) about how the match was way too short and that because they didn’t give it longer it didn’t live up to expectations. But like I said, I’m not going to be part of it. Was the match too short? Yes, but that by no means makes it bad. The action was there, the crowd was into it, and Joe’s entrance was pretty cool. Besides, it’s not like they were relying on that match to save what would have been an otherwise disappointing show.

I loved the finish of the Christopher Daniels vs. AJ Styles Ironman match. I’ve thought for years that somebody getting pinned in the last 3 seconds of a match with a time limit would be a cool finish, and this was as close as I can remember ever seeing to that. The match itself was solid too. I’ve talked to people who were expecting a different type of match out of those 2 and you can sort of tell when you watch it that some of the crowd did also, but I can’t think of anything that sticks out as wrong with it. It had a slower pace than some of their previous bouts, but there were still more than enough high spots thrown in the mix to keep the excitement going. And think about it. Doing 30 minutes of high impact stuff doesn’t make sense in the context of an Ironman match anyway. Why burn yourself out and risk potentially hurting yourself more than your opponent?

I know I’m probably starting to sound like a broken record here, but I have to say it. Monster’s Ball Match, also great. By the way, I wonder how many kids out there actually understand what I mean by broken record. but back to the match. Great hardcore action, and Jeff Hardy is absolutely insane. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, get a tape of this show and wonder along with the rest of us how that man isn’t dead or severely injured at this point.

After all this time, you’d think TNA would have figured out a way to keep the Ultimate X from falling down in the middle of matches on live TV. But if like me you would be tempted to think that, you’d be wrong. But it wasn’t simply the X falling down that ruined an otherwise fine contest, it was the reactions of the guys after the obviously botched finish that really did the job. I give TNA credit for taping a rematch for last Thursday’s prime time special, but instead of apologizing for what happened, they should have played it up as the total heel move by Petey Williams that it probably looked like to a fair number of the people watching. Reaching up and catching the thing as it falls down for the second time and getting the win is certainly grounds for a rematch on it’s own, so why draw attention to your shortcomings when you’re in the early stages of the biggest exposure and growth period in your company’s history? The audience isn’t made up of all smart fans anymore, it’s ok to try to pull one over on us now and then. We might make fun of you for doing it, but we really don’t mind, we understand who you’re doing it for.

Speaking of pulling one over on people, congratulations to WWE for actually convincing a few people to buy Taboo Tuesday. Although if you paid for that show based on the TV that lead into it, you could probably be convinced to do just about anything. Ok, I’ll just come right out and say it. If you laid down $30 of your own money for reasons other than morbid curiosity or the fact that you get paid to watch this stuff, you’re an idiot. But that being said, this show was a lot better in execution than it was on paper. Hmmm, execution, that sounds like a fine fate for the people responsible for booking WWE lately. But seriously, the show wasn’t that bad.

Joey Styles calling a WWE pay-per-view took a little getting used to. He’s a great announcer, but before today I could never have pictured him calling a WWE event. The ECW show he did back in June for them doesn’t count. But he did a great job considering the short notice and the fact that he and Jerry Lawler have never worked together, at least not to my knowledge.

The opening match was surprisingly good, especially for one in which the combined suckage of Gene Snitsky and Chris Masters makes up one team. I still love Snitsky though, even though I make fun. How can you not love that guy?

The legends match was a fun one even though nobody cares about Conway or Tomko and Eugene is starting to go down that same road. It’s generally nice to see legends, even if they do sometimes make you feel old. Sometimes it’s sad to see the shape some of them are in, but at least they get one more moment in the sun, and that has to count for something.

Is it just me, or did that not feel like Mick Foley’s big return match, or even like a feud that needs caring about? You know things are bad in WWE when they can make me not care about watching Mick Foley wrestle, especially after he’s been gone for so long. And you know something, I have a feeling that Mick Foley didn’t even really care about that Mick Foley match. but you know what’s frightening? Even when he’s half assing it out there, he’s still more entertaining than a fair number of the guys who are on TV every week, the ones who are supposed to be the future. Somebody kill me.

Cade and Murdock should not have lost the tag titles, and not just because WWE did the same thing last year with another team that they were trying to push. My main problem is that they need to be establishing a tag division, and taking the belts off of new guys that you’re trying to get over as a team and putting them on a couple of people who are essentially singles wrestlers doesn’t help.

I’m mentioning the Coach vs. Batista match for one reason, and that reason is Jerry Lawler, because he cracked me up when Vader came out. His exact words were “he hasn’t lost any size has he?” I love shoot comments that you’re not supposed to pick up on.

The last 2 matches, the Flair vs. Triple H cage match and the 3-way for the WWE title were by far the best of the night.

Flair in a cage is almost always good, and even though you can say a lot of bad things about HHH, he can still bring it when he needs to, and he definitely did in this one.

As for the title match, how can you go wrong with Michaels and Angle in the same ring? Not even John Cena, who appears to be getting worse instead of better the longer he sticks around, could have messed that up completely. This was a really well put together match with a good finish that didn’t hurt anybody. The champ stayed strong, and Michaels and Angle didn’t lose anything by not winning.

Ok, that was long. Thankks for sticking with it. One of us will be back later with something else. Until then, I’m off to eat something and watch a bit more wrestling.

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