It seems like whenever I decide to write about wrestling anymore, it’s usually to complain. Today will be no different, but I’m going to start off with a few good things that I’ve been meaning to mention for a while just to kind of balance things out.
Ring of Honor on HDNet. If you haven’t seen the show, try to catch it. It’s a wrestling show with wrestling on it, which nowadays is nothing short of revolutionary. You might have read some complaints about it on the internet especially from some long-time fans of the promotion, but don’t listen to them, the show isn’t bad at all. I’m more likely now to give the company a chance and spring for a DVD or a pay-per-view than I ever have been before, so on some level the show is accomplishing what any good wrestling TV product is supposed to accomplish, bringing in fans and turning them into customers. As much of a wrestling fan as I am, I could never sit through an entire ROH event before, even when they were split into parts like they are on the Fight Network where I watched most of my ROH until the HDNet show came along. Don’t get me wrong, there was some great stuff on those shows, but there was just too much going on and there was too little sense of how to properly build wrestling from start to finish. If I’ve sat through 3 hours of craziness complete with everybody kicking out of things that should be finishers and doing insanely stupid things that could kill them and am completely burned out by the time the main event comes around, that’s bad. I should want to see the 2 best wrestlers in the company wrestle for an hour. I should not cringe when I realize that fuck, there’s still another hour left before I can go do something else. With the TV show, ROH has figured out that not every match on every show has to be the best. some can just be ok. They’re slowly introducing the characters and giving people a reason to pay attention to them. The main events are always good,and there’s none of the stupid backstage shit that pollutes TNA and WWE. It even comes complete with its own drinking game. whenever lead announcer Mike Hogewood tells you that something hurts, do a shot. I tried that once and didn’t wake up for 3 days. but in spite of his relying too much on the that hurt stuff and his being new in wrestling, he’s got a lot of potential and seems like he really wants to learn and improve. Now if somebody could tell me what exactly slap the porpoise is supposed to mean…
Moving along, I’m happy to say that TNA has been ok the last few weeks. It’s still pretty damn stupid, but grading by TNA standards it’s not nearly as stupid as usual largely thanks to Mick Foley. He’s fantastic in the role of the insane guy with money and power, and the segment where he interviewed himself before Lockdown was some of the best stuff TNA has done in forever.
Even WWE, who I happily shat all over around Wrestlemania time for putting on such boring programming, has gotten much better. From Backlash to now, most of the shows have been pretty entertaining. Smackdown in particular has been awesome, with guys like Edge, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin and John Morrison to name just a few putting on great matches week after week. The storylines even make sense, believe it or not. It’s amazing how paying attention to the little things and the big things for that matter can greatly improve the quality of a show.
Speaking of little things, I’m enjoying the Christian vs. Jack Swagger feud on ECW a whole lot. The story that the young Swagger keeps getting out cheated by the more experienced Christian is just great. I want to see how long they can keep it going and how Swagger will finally beat him if they go that route.
Raw pretty well sucks, which only strengthens my long held theory that WWE has a policy that all of the shows can’t be good at the same time.
And now for the complaining, which I guess I kind of started in the last paragraph. Oh well, who cares about order anyway?
As good as Smackdown has been lately, I saw something on the most recent episode that drove me completely nuts. Umaga. Specifically Umaga with a microphone speaking perfect English and challenging CM Punk to a match. Just…NO! Umaga is supposed to be a madman from the Islands, a savage they sometimes call him. He comes out, beats the stuffings out of people, leaves them for dead and then goes home…wherever that is. He does not come out, beat the stuffings out of people, leave them for dead,then pick up the mic and say “I am issuing a challenge to you for a match at Extreme Rules” in the same overly scripted manner that everybody else is forced to use. I got over the fact that this crazed island beast doesn’t have a manager to speak for him or to handle his money anymore, but I’m not getting over this. It’s too much and I possess not the required amount of suspendible disbelief to make it work. Umaga, one of the few truly unique characters in the whole company for the last 3 years, is now just another guy after 30 seconds of stupidity. Nice work, you fools. Not every character needs to talk, and whoever made this call is an idiot.
Ok, I think I’m done. I’m going to go watch the Jays play like the Jays for the first time in what seems like forever. Hopefully they won’t blow the 7-2 lead. bye for now.