I don't like old school wrestling.
Call me a spoilsport, but all too often, it translates to "ECW alumni hit each other with sticks".
And yet somehow, TNA's #OldSchool worked for me.
The video packages were well made and expanded on character histories, and the interviews established motivations well. Although Bully Ray's speech was the most inconsistent, balancing great exposition with unintentional hilarity. "Your heart may belong to Terry Funk, but your ass is mine" is far too easy for immature twits like me to misinterpret.
Every match did what a good match should: tell an effective story though body language and performance. The wrestlers were fantastic and I can't praise them enough. I was especially impressed by how everyone stayed in character despite alignment shifts, such as Bad Influence turning in a face performance consistent with their heel cockiness and fun (which I've waxed lyrical about here).
Was it perfect? No. But there were only four matches that I had any quibbles with: all the others told their stories properly and were simply glorious. Kudos to:
Then there's the not so great. James Storm versus Bobby Roode, Last Man Standing, had awesome action, and James Storm looked an indisputable bad-ass, standing up despite handcuffs and several head-shots, but he still lost and that frustrates me. I haven't seen him get any payback yet and it grates.
Samoa Joe and Magnus also had good one-on-one action, but the fact that EC3 interfered and the finish involved a ref bump threatens a return to the cluttered finishes we seemed to be moving away from. That worries me.
Speaking of EC3, his winning streak may be vital to his character, but I've had enough of him beating the crap out of Dewey Barnes and/or Norv Fernum with no consequence. I know that they can't beat him without it being farcical, but couldn't they get some back-up from somebody stronger than themselves à la Amazing Red getting Crimson to beat up Jeff Jarrett way back when? EC3 is well overdue for some payback and it's annoying me.
Then there's Tommy Dreamer and Bully Ray's Street Fight.
Now I hate it when wrestlers spit on each other. It may be short-hard for disrespect, but it's also disgusting, and this match had far, far too much of it from both competitors.
But putting that side, the biggest problem? The ending. Bully tries to use lighter fluid, his opponent takes it and tries to set a table on fire, but Bully revives and takes advantage of the distraction to win.
It should: it's the same ending as his match with Mr Anderson at Genesis. And I didn't like it the first time.
Having said that, the rest of the show was fantastic. I may not like old school, but #OldSchool is well worth your time.
See you tomorrow.
Related Post: TNA Genesis Part Two: UK Air Date 26th January 2014