Monday, 31 March 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 30th March 2014

Another Sunday, another Impact. But how was it?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Negatives first, and we'll start with TNA 365. Interviews? Fine. Long repeats of last episode? Boring. Summarise and get on with it, please.

Kenny King's return was lacklustre. Weeks of build-up for him to arrive with no fanfare and do nothing. You couldn't have waited until his first actual match next week?

As a match, Bully Ray and Bobby Roode's segment would have been fine. As a fight, it dragged and was in dire need of sparkle.

And my low point of the evening: Gunner versus James Storm. The match? Great. But the ending? So frustrating.

Storm and Gunner have wrestled one-on-one three times. How many times has Storm won?


Outside of the ring, Storm is rocking this angle. But if he can't capitalise, what's the point?

Then there's Knux. His segments feel like someone spliced some of a Discovery programme in. I'm interested, but only because I don't understand.

As for Samuel Shaw, I'm going off him. His acting is fantastic, but his behaviour squicks me so much that I'm more creeped out than entertained.

But what about the good bits?

Velvet Sky choosing Angelina Love over Madison Rayne was no surprise. Despite this, I'm still enjoying the drama between them. We should get some great matches from them.

Was the #MVPMakesBadDecisions hashtag appropriate this week? Yes and no.

Giving Abyss a title shot when he's apparently not under contract? Bad decision. Adding Eric Young to the three-way title match? Excellent decision. You can do it, MVP!

Speaking of EY, he shone like a diamond. I don't give "Person of the Evening", but if I did, he would get it.

The man got more of a buzz than Samoa Joe. Think about that for a minute.

And sure, their match was good. But if the refs aren't going to do anything about a contested finish, why bring it up?

The other two members of the four way dance are also butting heads. I like that they're sowing conflict between Magnus and Abyss, but I doubt it'll stick. They've only just teamed up: why split them already?

Their match against the Wolves was the best part of the evening for me. I cannot put into words how much I love the Wolves. They back-flipped out of a double freaking choke-slam!

Bad Influence are my favourite heel team. But my favourite faces? The Wolves. Hands down.

And finally, the biggest surprise of the evening: The Hunt for Willow. EC3 and Rockstar Spud are always hilarious, yet the atmosphere was still creepy. Especially with Willow acting like a slasher villain.

Then somehow, they managed to cram in heartwarming when EC3 – spoilt one-percenter brat – went back to save the abducted Spud.

I don't care what anybody says: I think EC3 is a good guy.

A bit of mixed bag, then. But the bad parts were mild irritants rather than infuriating and I still enjoyed it.

See you Wednesday with the first Stark Remarks poll.

– Stark

P.S. This is officially my 25th on-topic post on this blog! This calls for a picture of a cake!

Image © Scheinwerfermann via Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Wish I Could Make It Right, Me and My Bad Decisions

I'm trying to get an #MVPMakesBadDecisions hashtag going. But why?

Besides the obvious.

Because TNA have fumbled the Dixie versus MVP storyline, and that means that... well. MVP makes bad decisions.

Let me explain.

Good authority versus evil authority is easy to understand. The villain abuses their power, and the hero attempts to thwart them.

Image courtesy of Walls4Joy.

It's simple. Yet TNA have muffed it up by taking away the opposition too soon.

Let's take a look.

The episode before Lockdown, MVP made Davey Richards wrestle injured (#MVPMakesBadDecisions).

As I said in my opinion post two weeks ago, Dixie Carter should have forced Davey back to the ring, not MVP.

Good authority should care about the wrestlers' health while bad authority just wants to get their way.

It was obvious that TNA weren't sure what they were doing.

And it became more so at Lockdown when MVP got full control and Dixie was out on her ear.

The fun of opposing authority figures is seeing them compete over time. One comes up with a plan, the other thwarts them, and both try to get the upper hand.

MVP debuted on-screen less than two months ago and he's already claimed the company? That's way too fast. It doesn't work.

And worse, taking Dixie off the show is why #MVPMakesBadDecisions exists.

Without somebody to oppose him, MVP ends up making his own obstacles. How? Through bad decisions, of course.

Take last week. Eric Young can't get involved in the main event as planned because Abyss has sent him to the hospital.

What does MVP do?

Image © Krystal Bogner via Flickr.

Ask Willow for help.

Yes, Willow. The man who hides in the rafters, cackles like a lunatic, and thinks crippling people is fun.

Reasoning with Willow is like teaching a brick algebra. It's pointless and frustrating, and you'll look like an idiot.

And when Willow said no, MVP volunteered himself for the job.

There was no reason for MVP to do either of these things. Nobody needed to chain anyone to Abyss when MVP could change the rules. He's the boss.

"Abyss is banned from ringside". Or "If Abyss interferes, he'll be suspended without pay". Or even "Abyss will be chained to a metal pole backstage".

But no. MVP chose to chain himself to the six foot, three hundred pound monster. Because #MVPMakesBadDecisions.

This plot needed Dixie to provide a reasonable explanation. Abyss can't be banned from ringside, suspended, or chained backstage because she says so.

She could have been MVP's obstacle.

Instead, MVP made a rod for his own back for no reason.

And that's the problem. Without an adversary, all MVP's problems seem to come from his own actions. And that just makes his decisions look... well. Bad.

We need someone to thwart MVP so he stops thwarting himself.

Having said that, unchaining himself from Abyss was all on his head. I guess sometimes #MVPMakesBadDecisions all by himself.

Either way, it's time for #MVPMakesBadDecisions to start trending on a Sunday night. Who's with me?

See you on Twitter.

Image © JordanGosselin via DeviantArt.

– Stark

Monday, 24 March 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 23rd March 2014

Let's talk about a happier topic: the latest episode of Impact.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

The Knockouts got a lot of screen-time again this week. The reformation of The Beautiful People and Angelina Love's beef with Madison Rayne were great set-up for future stories.

Having said that, I was disappointed that the Gail Kim and Lei'D Tapa feud resolved so quickly. It started last week and ended this week with very little ceremony and felt rushed.

It's still nice to see the Knockouts getting the respect they deserve, though.

James Storm and Gunner were skipped last week, so it was good to see them again. And while Gunner showed mind-boggling genre blindness, Storm has officially become my favourite heel in the company: magnificently evil and so easy to hate. I adore him.

Speaking of evil, I've decided that Willow is an unpredictable, loose cannon monster heel and that makes him a lot easier to understand. His attack on EC3, his refusal to help MVP and his bizarre promo were all a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing him again next week.

EC3's match with Bobby Lashley was fine, but I care more about the disharmony and animosity between him and Magnus. I'd love to see the two of them face off sometime, perhaps even for the belt. Good stuff.

Animosity is also blooming between Samoa Joe and MVP, and for good reason: #MVPMakesBadDecisions. More on that later.

The Abyss and EY opening brawl was brutal and effective, although I would have liked to see security at some point, even if it was just at the very end. Despite that, it worked well.

Unlike the main event, my low point of the evening. Joe still selling the Janice shot was great, but because #MVPMakesBadDecisions, he lost yet again and with a ref bump. Can we please think of a way for the heels to cheat that doesn't involve a ref bump? I'm getting bored of it.

The high point, though was the Tag Team Title Match. While the BroMans and Zema Ion's "comedy" made me want to disown the English language, the wrestling was amazing. I was just disappointed that the BroMans retained.

Although I'll forgive that if I can see a #1 Contendership match between the Wolves and Tigre Uno and Sanada. Please, TNA?

Somebody else I'd like to see is Kenny King. When is "Coming Soon" going to become a set date, TNA? I'm getting impatient!

In other news, Knux appeared on the show to talk about his family problems. Why? Where is this going? I don't know, but it should be at least mildly interesting.

And last but not least, Bully Ray getting a beat-down from Bobby Roode? Fine. But not one person on Earth believed Dixie Carter was in the room with Bully and trying to hold the tension for the reveal was daft.

This show had good and bad action, but on the whole, it was solid, enjoyable, and consistent with TNA's current quality.

See you Friday.

– Stark

Friday, 21 March 2014

You're No Damn Good For Me

Warning: This post discusses stalking and suicide. If reading about these issues causes you harm, please contact a relevant hotline. Thank you.

Let's get serious for a moment.

Wrestling is supposed to be fun. Yes, it has serious stories. But at the end of the way, we watch professional wrestling for entertainment. It makes us happy.

And that's why the Samuel Shaw storyline worries me.

Image © Pedrohoneto via Wikimedia Commons.

Do I like it? Hell yes. I think it's well-acted, incredibly creepy, and abundantly clear that Shaw is not somebody we want to model ourselves on.

So why do I also think that the way he's being portrayed is irresponsible and possibly harmful to a good chunk of TNA's fans?

First, we need to talk about the ladies. The WWE say that 35% of their regular viewers are women, and I imagine the percentage is pretty similar for TNA.

Let's look at TNA's viewing figures from March 13th: 1.2 million viewers. If we assume 35% are women, that makes 420,000 female viewers.

One in twelve of those women have been stalked in their lifetime, and one is six has been physically assaulted.

That's 35,000 stalking victims watching Impact Wrestling. 70,000 assault victims.

These women may have psychological scars from their experiences. They may still be traumatised from what they went through. They may have flashbacks, panic attacks, any number of psychological difficulties.

Image © Jiri Hodan via Wikimedia Commons.

How do you think they're going to feel if they turn on TNA Impact and see Christy Hemme going through the exact same nightmare that they did?

It doesn't matter that Samuel Shaw's behaviour is not be endorsed by the company. It doesn't matter how often Anderson beats the heck out of him. It doesn't matter how many times the crowd chants "Creepy bastard".

The way he behaves is unnervingly realistic and it could cause psychological harm to people who have already been victimised once in real life.

But that's nothing compared with Shaw's behaviour at Lockdown, which brings me neatly to my second point.

Talking about depression and suicide is difficult. Often, when a person is desperate, even hearing suicide mentioned can be enough to trigger the urge to attempt. And the average man is three to four times more likely to commit suicide than the average woman.

Why do I bring this up?

Because Samuel Shaw threatening to jump from the top of the cage and take his life was dangerous towards TNA's core male demographic.

Image © Lloyd Morgan via Flickr.

You may think that somebody mentioning suicide is not enough and that I'm being over-sensitive. But sometimes, it's the smallest, silliest things that tip you over the edge.

So am I saying TNA should change Shaw's gimmick?

Honestly, I don't know. I'm enjoying the stories myself, but should my enjoyment come before the mental health of other fans?

Is it TNA's responsibility to protect their fans?

Should they provide a list of warnings online so that the fans can prepare themselves in advance?

I don't know for certain. All I do know is that Samuel Shaw is a walking trigger factory, and vulnerable viewers should tread carefully around him.

Please stay safe, readers.

– Stark

Monday, 17 March 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 16th March 2014

Now we're back in Orlando, how did Impact go?

One word: awesome.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

The high level of Knockout coverage was a breath of fresh air. Newcomer Brittany had a great match with Gail Kim, and Kim's subsequent fall-out with Lei'D Tapa and the end of their partnership was swift and satisfying.

On top of that, Angelina Love's return and the potential for either a Beautiful People reunion or a feud with Velvet Sky is full of promise.

The feud between Magnus and Samoa Joe is going well. Magnus continues to shine on the mic, and Joe sold the Lockdown Janice shot like a pro. Solid stuff.

I also loved the way that the conflict between EY and Abyss has been neatly intertwined with Magnus and Joe. I look forward to seeing how it'll work in episodes to come.

You all know that the BroMans and Zema Ion drive me nuts, but you know what? I'll put up with them forever if I get to see more Sanada and Tigre Uno. I don't care if they're teaming or wrestling solo: those two are spectacular, I want more of them, and their match with the BroMans was my highlight of the evening. Please let me see them every week.

Speaking of people I want to see every week, Ken Anderson continued to take precisely none of Samuel Shaw's crap seriously, and he is officially my hero. Shaw remains decidedly creepy and I'm excited to see more of the feud between them. However, there was no need for the rematch to be a Street Fight. I don't think anyone even looked at a weapon during it.

I wish I could say the same for the match between Rockstar Spud and Willow. Spud was on fire: his farewell to Dixie was absolute side-splitting and he hammed it up like a pro. I was fully looking forward to seeing him and Willow go one on one.

The problem was that when Willow was destroying Spud's knee in a steel chair, I couldn't help but think that this was the sort of thing that the villains did. Revenge is one thing, but deliberately going out of your way to cause serious injury is vicious and unnecessary, even if you are doing it to somebody who's an ineffectual villain. This was my low point of the evening.

And I felt similarly about Bully Ray and Team Roode. I understand why Bully would want to attack Team Roode after they assaulted him at the outset of the show, but he seemed to deliberately wait until they were weak before attacking them.

There's a difference between fighting smart and kicking somebody when they're down, and this definitely felt like that latter. It left me feeling sorry for the BroMans and Zema, for goodness' sake.

Despite this, the first Impact of the MVP regime was one of the best shows I have seen in a while. If the rest of his reign is as good, we're in for some great shows.

– Stark

Saturday, 15 March 2014

TNA Lockdown: UK Air Date 12th March 2014

I've seen Lockdown! But how did it fare?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of John Boarman.

The non-wrestling segments varied. The video packages, Kenny King promo and Joe and Magnus interviews were spectacular, but the Lockdown teams talking pieces were pointless. And while the segments with Dixie Carter were interesting, the mid-show flashback to her Jeff Hardy announcement were useless and should have been cut.

As for the matches, the opening was energetic and awesome. The Japanese trio got over despite fighting Americans in America, and Chris Sabin and Bad Influence were great. However, I'm annoyed that for the second time in a month, a championship changed hands off television, and it would be nice to see Bad Influence actually win once in a while.

Samuel Shaw versus Ken Anderson began well but ended badly. Shaw's escalating creepiness is terrifying and Anderson is fast becoming a true hero, but why has nobody at least given Christy Hemme pepper spray or a taser to defend herself? And while Shaw winning worked for the story, the ref bump conclusion was weak and frustrating. A mixed bag.

I'm reserving judgement on EC3's open challenge until I see where they go with Bobby Lashley, but I can't help but feel sorry for Ethan. Nothing ever goes right for him.

Then there was the best match of the evening, Manik versus Tigre Uno. No complex plot: just two acrobatic athletes beating the heck out of each other, and that's all it needed to be. Absolutely sublime from start to finish.

Conversely, Gunner versus James Storm disappointed. The match was good, but I don't think Gunner winning progresses the plot well, and it made Storm look weak and ineffectual. I'm not sure.

On the other hand, I expected Madison Rayne versus Gail Kim to bore me due to a lack of prior emotional investment. However, the two Knockouts drew me in to their story through wrestling alone and I really enjoyed it. A pleasant surprise.

An unpleasant surprise was Magnus versus Joe, my low point of the evening. Abyss interfering? Fine. Abyss rising up like one of the mole people? Silly. Abyss re-enacting the end of "Drag Me to Hell" on Joe? No. Just no.

And finally, Lethal Lockdown.

I was happy that Davey Richards's shoulder was still strapped up, that Team MVP kept him out of the match for as long as possible, and that Team Roode made targeting his injury a priority. It made everybody look smart, and it meant that Davey got to fight through like a badass instead of looking like a dumbass.

That nobody on Earth is even pretending to believe that Willow isn't Jeff Hardy is funny, but I worry that Willow won't be able to stand out as a character on his own because of it.

And Bully Ray being the special ref and making a heel-face turn was genuinely unexpected and shocking, and I liked it.

Overall, Lockdown balanced setbacks with successes and surpassed Genesis. If Sacrifice is this good, I'll be happy.

See you Monday.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA #OldSchool: UK Air Date 12th February 2014

Friday, 14 March 2014

We Shoulda Noticed by Now Our Behaviour is Dumb

MVP's an idiot.

Image © Krystal Bogner via Flickr.

And now I've got your attention, let me tell you a story.

This Wednesday, I sprained my ankle. Unable to afford a taxi, I bought a support a bandage, limped nearly a mile and climbed two flights of stairs to get home.

Now, my mild sprain is nothing compared with Austin Aries pulping Davey Richards's shoulder with a steel chair, but I bring it up as a point of comparison.

I kept going while hurt because I had no choice. It was walk home or be stuck on the streets all night. The benefits outweighed the risk of exacerbating the damage.

When Davey got hurt, MVP browbeat him into wrestling on his injury so that they didn't automatically lose the man advantage at Lockdown. Davey was subsequently defeated by Bobby Roode targeting his shoulder and lost the man advantage at Lockdown.

In other words, they gained nothing and made Davey's pain more debilitating than it already was.

And that's why MVP is an idiot and I'm not.

I was enjoying the development of this plot until that point. I liked that Aries got himself DQ'd on purpose to give Bobby Roode an advantage by injuring Davey. It was clever.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

But then our heroes grabbed the Idiot Ball with both hands and refused to let go.

If I were MVP, and I had a choice between "make my injured team-mate worsen his injury for no real gain" and "let my injured team-mate go to hospital and heal before the big match", I would only pick the first option if I were blind stinking drunk.

So how would I fix this and make the Wolves and MVP look like they have an ounce of common sense between them?

By re-writing half the plot to make the detriments of forfeiting outweigh the benefits.

Picture this: Davey is out the back getting treatment from the medic, Eddie Edwards and MVP at his side. Dixie Carter appears and says that if Davey can't complete the match, he's clearly too injured to be in Team MVP. And without a fourth man, Team MVP will be disqualified.

In other words, if Davey doesn't get back in the ring, Team Dixie wins.

Eddie tries to talk Davey out of it because for him, his friend's health comes first. MVP says that it's up to Davey, but he knows that Davey will do what's right. And Davey demands the medic strap up his shoulder so he can get back out there.

We then follow the plot of the show: Davey fights and loses, but he proves that he can still wrestle at Lockdown and saves Team MVP.

Image © Anton Jackson via Flickr.

Now Dixie looks villainous, MVP hasn't nagged anyone into fighting hurt, Eddie and Davey's friendship gets spotlighted, Davey courageously sacrifices his own well-being for the greater good, and everybody achieved something.

Because let's face it: last week, Team MVP achieved jack squat but hurting themselves.


MVP's terrible decisions.

And that's why he's an idiot.

See you next week.

– Stark

P.S. It doesn't look like there will be a review of Lockdown from me because I missed it. If I can't get around to watching it before the next episode of Impact, I'll look up the results and make a quick commentary post before Monday. Sorry about that.

Monday, 10 March 2014

TNA Impact from London: UK Air Date 9th March 2014

It's the last Impact before Lockdown: how well does it set up the PPV?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

First, nobody cares about Austin Aries wanting half Bobby Roode's ten percent, TNA. It's dull and slows the episode to a crawl. The Six Man Elimination Tag highlighted the interplay between them much better and with more excitement.

Elsewhere with Team Dixie Carter, EC3 is desperately acting out to get his aunt's approval, and Dixie and Magnus are butting heads over strategy. The little tensions in the group are fascinating: Dixieland could well be on its way to implosion.

EC3 had some excellent mic work and his assault on Angle worked well. I hope they follow up on the storyline when Kurt is back in the ring.

Speaking of things to come, the "Coming Soon" promos were once again fantastic. Willow is still creepy, Tigre Uno still looks awesome, and Kenny King should have a good impact on the plots. Can't wait.

On the other hand, I'm struggling to care about the storylines with the Knockouts, which is why it's one of my two low points of the evening. I got bored of Velvet Sky's tiff with Chris Sabin and Alpha Female long ago, and the feud between Gail Kim and Madison Rayne over the belt is cripplingly underdeveloped. These ladies could be utterly engaging if they had a chance to hook us in, so why not give it a try, TNA?

Just look at Gunner and James Storm. They confronted each other again, exchanged verbal blows, and Storm got a cheap shot in for good measure. We know what they want and why they're fighting, so we care.

Another confrontation that worked amazingly was Joe and Magnus. The mic work was great, Magnus head-butting Joe was ballsy, and Joe making Magnus tap just added to his tremendous momentum. Great stuff.

And then there was Davey Richards.

I like Davey Richards. He's an awesome wrestler. And his injury from Aries had potential for plot.

But MVP insisting that Davey go back in the ring and wrestle was the stupidest thing I have seen this year.

I'll write more about this on Friday, but suffice it to say that this was my other low point of the evening because it proved that the Wolves and MVP don't have an ounce of common sense between the three of them.

But enough of the nadirs. What was my zenith?

Everything between Ken Anderson and Samuel Shaw.

Shaw is still unnerving to the max and his choke finisher is convincingly brutal. But even better is Anderson. He refused to take Samuel Shaw seriously, called him on his creepy rubbish at every turn, and defended Christy Hemme's choices when even security couldn't be bothered to step in. Ken Anderson is a freaking hero. Somebody give him a bonus or something.

This episode started slow, but picked up momentum and ended on a high note with Joe and Magnus. If Lockdown is this good, I'll be satisfied.

See you at the PPV.

– Stark

Friday, 7 March 2014

You're a Pain in Every Day of Every Month of Every Year

I hate Zema Ion.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Not exactly a shock after I've been saying it for about two weeks, but still true. And today, I'm going to elaborate.

Two weeks ago today, I explained that I don't hate Zema because he's a heel, because of his acting, because of his wrestling, or because of the man behind the character.

Nope. I hate the character himself. Why? Because there is no curse in Elvish, Entish or the tongues of Men for how tooth-grindingly irritating he is.

"But wait!" you cry. "Zema Ion is supposed to be a pain in the neck! That's the point!"

And you're right. Zema Ion makes hangs around with the BroMans and makes asinine foghorn noises specifically to get our hackles up. It is on purpose.

The problem with that is that it works too well and I want to dropkick him out of a window.

It's possible to write annoying characters who are also tolerable. Vickie Guerrero, for example, is both exasperating and fun to watch.

Image © Mshake3 via Wikimedia Commons.

Or if you'd rather I focus on TNA performers, there's Rockstar Spud, whose sycophantic attitude towards Dixie Carter and attempts to act tough before being tossed around like a rag-doll can both be irksome.

The difference between Rockstar Spud and Zema Ion? Spud is still funny. The expressions he pulls, his bow-ties, the way he adores Dixie like a lovesick puppy – they all come together to create something amusing.

Zema Ion has no such saving grace. He's just insufferable.

I swear, every time I hear that stupid foghorn noise, it puts my teeth on edge. And it doesn't help that Taz feels compelled to do it whenever Zema Ion does it as well.

It's getting to the point where I'd rather shove sharp objects down my ear canals than listen to it again. It makes me want to break things and hurt people.

Are there any redeeming graces to his character? Well, it means that I feel vicious pleasure whenever he gets beaten up.

The problem is that there is a fine line between "exasperating enough that you want to see them get beaten up" and "insupportable to the point that I just threw my TV remote through the screen".

You need to be careful. It's a difficult tightrope to tread and more often than not, you're going to fall on the side of "I can't stand you".

Image © Wiros via Flickr.

So what would I do to fix it? To be honest, I really don't know.

Zema Ion's personality is bound up with the BroMans – whom I also find unbearable, incidentally – and I rather wish the entire Jersey Shore muscle-bound idiots accompanied by grating DJ gimmick would just curl up in a corner and die a quiet death.

What would I replace it with? Something else. Anything else. They could be Batman, Nightwing and Robin impersonators for all I care.

All I ask is that Zema Ion's siren noise is silenced because I cannot freaking stand it.

Or him, for that matter.

See you Monday.

– Stark

Monday, 3 March 2014

TNA Impact from London: UK Air Date 2nd March 2014

TNA has gone to London, but how was the show?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Dixie's absence meant there was no progression of her plot with MVP, but more on him later.

The Knockouts had a big match, but sadly, it was my low point of the evening. Lei'D Tapa and Alpha Female defeating Madison Rayne and Velvet Skye with help from Gail Kim and Chris Sabin was fine, but I don't care about any of the feuds going on because I haven't been given a reason to. Having said that, ODB saving the day is always nice to see.

Speaking of nadirs, the Wolves winning the Tag Team Championships at a house show after being in the company less than two months and with no build-up is ridiculous. And having the BroMans in Lethal Lockdown is irritating, if understandable as they'll be opposing the Wolves there.

Also. Bad Influence. They are awesome. Use them more.

The Lockdown Heavyweight Championship match is being set up well, with the ball firmly in Samoa Joe's court. The contract signing and Joe's destruction of Bad Bones were good. However, while I understand wanting to make Joe look unstoppable, it would have been nice for Bones to get a little momentum too.

Someone else who could've had a longer match was Doug Williams, who lost to EC3 far too quickly. It was nice to see that EC3 had to cheat to win, though, and the match gave him momentum for his up-coming bout against Kurt Angle, which should be awesome.

Kurt's induction to the TNA Hall of Fame was fantastic. Enough said.

We're now being promised two newcomers at Lockdown: Willow and Tigre Uno. Tigre has an awesome mask and I look forward to seeing his work. Willow continues to confuse and terrify me and I cannot wait to see what he gets up to.

And going from creepy to creepy, somebody has finally stood up to Samuel Shaw. Who? Our favourite asshole Ken Anderson of course, hot off his feud with Bully Ray. This has a lot of potential and I'm hopeful for a good feud from it.

Then we come to James Storm. His confrontations with Gunner were the highlight of my evening. I love how Storm catapulted himself from legitimate grievance to complete asshole in one sentence. Absolutely sublime: can't wait for their match.

And finally, we have MVP versus Bobby Roode with Austin Aries as the special guest referee so he could decide whose team he wanted to join for Lockdown. And he chose Roode.

I'm torn on this. On one hand, I'm glad that Aries has decided to stop vaguely oscillating between face and heel. But on the other, coming off James Storm's excellent heel turn last week, this felt like an anti-climax. Like I said on Friday, the first rule of heel turns is scarcity. I'm not convinced.

This episode was a tad shaky, but otherwise fine. I've seen better, but I've also seen a heck of a lot worse.

See you Friday.

– Stark