Sunday, November 19, 2006

TNA Genesis

I ordered the TNA show tonight. There were a lot of positives, but also a lot of negatives. Overall I'm glad I ordered the show, but the promotion really could use better booking. The LAX/AMW feud is such crap. It reminds me of Smoky Mountain Wrestling's stuff with the Gangstas, complete with Jim Cornette involved in it. The idea I guess is you have a heel racial faction that you have an insidious heel faction, and then you can have the faces do racist promos and they will be supported. It was bad enough trying to run it in a regional promotion 12 years ago, but it's even worse in a supposed national promotion in 2006. I think the crowd like LAX more than AMW anyway, and they reacted really negatively when Jim Cornette stripped them of the tag titles for no reason. The booking of the feud makes TNA look totally backwards and out of touch to me.

The final two matches were the tale of pro wrestling in 2006. The main event was tremendous, because it was so simple. You had a wrestling match. Both men fought to prove who was best. There were no ref bumps. No foreign objects. No interference. Just wrestling until one man won. And because it was actually about proving who was best, it was greatly exciting. But then the match before you had barbed wire boards, thumbtacks, people hanging from ceilings, ref bumps, interference and a title changing hands after all that because of a DQ with one wrestler shoving the referee. It was just utter nonsense, and the crowd reaction to it reflected that. Angle-Joe shows how easy wrestling can be, and Sting-Abyss showed how pro wrestling companies have totally screwed that up with overbooking. Sting-Abyss was pro wrestling in 2006. Angle-Joe reminded me a lot more of MMA, and that's a bad thing for pro wrestling. I may write about this more in the next day or so if I have the time.


Anonymous Charlie Kane said...

Todd, I didn't watch Genesis, but I read the results on their website just out of curiosity as to whether Angle would do the job or not. I'm mixed on whether he should have or not--to me, whatever sort of 'money feud' that TNA could hope to muster should have been built a bit longer than they did, and while I understand the need to get the paydays out of it while they could, and even the need to direct Angle towards the title (seems a foregone conclusion now, as it's unlikely that TNA wants to have a champion who does not even talk--and a mouthpiece who has a shtick right out of Mid-South), but was it the right thing to job Joe? Wouldn't it have been better to have Joe win, then go on to beat Abyss, or whoever, for the belt, and then have Angle get his win back for the title? That'd build more heat for what would be an 'epic' title match (60-minutes, I'd know they could do it), instead of having Angle take the title from a guy, Abyss, who is in the scheme of things kind of a non-entity. Most of the show did read, result-wise, as a typical and useless Russo Clusterfuck of idiotic stipulations, garbage matches, and other crap. The first match is re-started? The tag belts are stripped due to...what, exactly? LAX works as a heat machine, positive and negative, and this dumb stuff serves only to diminish the importance of the tag belts, which at least in TNA has a legit division, to where it's just going to be more kangaroo court styled shenanigans. I won't even go into the idea of losing the world title on a DQ--that's worse than a cheesy WWE ref bump, run-in ending. I doubt that Sting wasn't willing to do the job...did they just wanna get the belt off of him fast, so they can hotshot it to Angle? It makes no sense, which I should expect, I suppose. One step forward, and ten steps backward for TNA, as this kind of stuff just disappoints everybody in the end,particularly, as you pointed out, the fans in the arena who've supported TNA the most of all. Can it be so hard to book quality cards which tell a story and dictate a certain logic, even in the admittedly illogical world of pro wrestling? This dead horse I keep flogging is really showing some serious wear, but to me there is no clearer reason for the slow and irreversible decline of rasslin' than all these idiotic, irritating swerves, pointless and humorless skits, and lapses in sound judgment which just sap all of the enthusiasm from the fans, who only want some goddam fun for a couple of hours. Well, as Barnum has always reminded us...there's a sucker born every minute. Thing is, most of those suckers are fast finding something else to do, and something else to spend their hard earned bread on. This was TNA's moment to offer a clear alternative to the nightmare that is WWE--and all they'd done is show that they can take better athletes, better workers, more exciting talent, and piss it all away even worse than those cretins in Stamford do. I can't really get into MMA, for my own reasons, but I sure as hell understand why you and so many others do. It's just too bad that even the guiltiest of pleasures aren't much fun anymore.
Time to move on for good. Good luck.

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Todd, after covering the Bears-Jets game, I went home and ordered Genesis. Simply put, it was the biggest waste of $29.95. I normally don't fall asleep during shows, but I did last night.

Let me go, point-by-point, through what was wrong with the PPV:

Preshow: Roode jobbing to Young. Nothing against Eric Young, but Bobby Roode should be positioned to squash jobbers. After spending weeks and money developing the idea that Roode is something special, TNA jobbed him out in a way that he looked silly and remarkably non-threatening to title holders.

Christian-A.J. skirmish: Shouldn't Christian, the heel jump babyface A.J.? A better question might be why was Christian wrestling three days after the barbed wire cage match with Rhino?

PPV: VKM vs. Raven's Flock version 3,987,654,321,123,456,789: Great, Monty Sopp and Brian Armstrong hate HHH, HBK and Vinny Mac. Nothing anyone hasn't heard before. Way to job out talented X-Division guys, too.

Naturals vs. Dutt and Lethal: What an amazing lack of heat. No one buys Douglas and Stevens as heels. It's a shame that Dutt and Lethal, two talented wrestlers weren't really given an opportunity to get over.

Aries/Shelley vs. Hoyt/Killings: It's a shame that two talented guys like Aries and Shelley are forced to be the straight men to Kevin Nash.

Sabin vs. Daniels: One of the better matches on the card, but the "heel-faking-respect-then-attacking-the-unsuspecting-babyface-after-the-match" angle has been over done. The only possible benefit is if there is a Sabin-Jerry Lynn PPV match.

LAX vs. AMW: Don't care. Don't care. Don't care. I think LAX could be sympathetic heels; who hasn't felt that their rights have been trampled on? When did AMW turn face? This is textbook Russo booking, nonsensical turns without any prestory.

Now, LAX is going to be stripped of the belts because they threatened to set the flag on fire? Ridiculous. What would have happened if they did set the flag on fire? Get arrested?

Sting vs. Abyss: So it's okay to hang your opponent upside down, chokeslam him into tacks and swing a chair like David Ortiz after a slider. It's not okay to push a guy through a table wrapped in barbed wire and shove down a ref. Okay. It clearly wasn't the time for Sting to lose the belt and Abyss wasn't the guy that should have beaten him. Joe or Angle should have been the men that took the belt away from Sting. It came off as anti-climatic. How long does Abyss run with the belt before dropping it?

Joe-Angle: For a match that was "the dream match of the decade" and "the match of the year," this was decidedly not that great. There is something disturbing about watching a man willingly and wantonly try to kill himself. Also, the match should have taken place a year from now, where it really would hav meant something.

----Denis Gorman

3:20 PM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

Charlie, I'm just glad that they did a clean finish for Joe-Angle either way. I think Joe losing was the right move overall, but I just wanted to have them pick someone and put them over. And after all the nonsense on the undercard, it was a pleasant surprise. You're absolutely right that a title change on a DQ is worse than WWE finishes. Hell, it's worse than most WCW 2000 finishes. The whole reason they had the titles change on a DQ stip was to guarantee you get a winner, not to use DQs for title changes. And yeah, the swerves, skits, irrationality and lack of finishes are totally what is killing interest in wrestling. And it's so far gone now it's going to take more than a big star to turn things around. It's sad in a way people are just giving up, but probably good for them.

Denis, I think you nail the problems with the card from beginning to end. Extremely poorly booked. I do enjoy the Nash stuff with Aries and Shelley, though. I think it's funny, even if it is admittedly counterproductive at times given the way Nash is. I think Abyss will be dropping the title shortly to either Joe or Angle. One would have thought Joe going in so Angle could chase him, but Angle refusing to wrestle Joe again seemed to suggest Angle winning the title and Joe chasing. But either way this is a short term thing. Of course, you could do an interim champ without totally devaluing the title.

12:53 PM  

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