Saturday, 28 June 2014

Always Believe In Because You Are Gold

If there's one thing I can't get enough of, it's fantasy booking.

I can't help myself. I'm a writer: stories are my jam.

Image © niekverlaan via Pixabay.

And when I see a story with weak spots, I want to take it and make it better.

So what do I want to fantasise about today?

MVP's Unnamed Group and their quest for power.

Don't worry: I'm not going to complain about MVP's motivations making no sense. I already did that.

Instead, let's talk about super-groups and gold.

Cast your minds back to the dark days of Hulk Hogan and Immortal for a moment. Do you remember Fortune?

They wanted all the power in TNA. And as such, they wanted the gold.

Not just the Heavyweight championship. All the gold.

X Division belt for Kazarian. Tag belts for Beer Money. And the Heavyweight belt for AJ Styles.

And that makes sense. If you control all the championships, you control all the divisions.

So... why don't MUG want to do this?

We all know by now that Bobby Lashley is the new Heavyweight Champion. And that works for me from a story perspective.

Image © Caleb Jones via Wikimedia Commons.

But MUG need to go further. They need to think bigger. And they need to go for all the gold.

Now the X Division Championship candidate is obvious. Kenny King should go for that, and he should win it.

He has the abilities. He has the ego. He just needs the belt to prove it.

But what about the Tag Team Championships?

Now that one is more tricky. But if I ran TNA, here is what I'd do.

I'd use Ethan Carter III.

MUG have worked with EC3 before. They've tagged with him. And they've threatened him.

But what if, instead of threatening him, they threatened his Aunt Dixie?

"Work with us, EC3. And if you don't, we're taking your aunt down."

What could he do but say yes? After all, he's been fighting for Dixie's honour for weeks, now.

Image © Simon Q via Flickr.

MVP then organises a Tag Team Championship match: him and EC3 against the Wolves.

Yes, I'd put MVP in this match despite his injury.

Why?

So EC3 does all the work.

Ethan gets the heck beaten out of him throughout the match, then one of MUG cheat and MVP steals the pin and takes all the credit.

And there you go.

World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Lashley. X Division Champion Kenny King. And Tag Team Champions MVP and EC3.

MUG would have all the gold and all the power.

Now there is a problem with this, and that problem is that EC3 is spread rather thin already.

He's instrumental to the plot between Dixie and Bully Ray, plus his feud with Kurt Angle still needs resolution.

So putting him in yet another conflict could be overkill.

But whether MUG use EC3 or not, I still say that they should be gunning for all the belts, not just the Heavyweight Championship.

Image © Shop TNA courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Because what's the point of taking power if you don't go all out for it?

– Stark

Thursday, 26 June 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 25th June 2014

Did you know that the six-sided ring won the vote?

If you didn't, you do now.

But enough of that: how was Xplosion this week?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

Despite TNA misspelling Jessie Godderz' name, his match with Tigre Uno was good.

Tigre deserved the win that he got.

But I have a bone to pick about Robbie E.

I know he's filming another show, but why haven't TNA made up an excuse for where he is?

And why don't Jessie and DJ Z seem to care where he's gone?

The flashbacks were well done this week.

The Impact Wrestling Rewind covered Eric Young's second title defence and the return of Bobby Roode.

And the post-Slammiversary match interviews with the victors were all fun.

The Spin Cycle is still gone, but Spud Across America was just as funny.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Rockstar Spud, EC3 and Jeremy Borash snarking on a bunch of behind-the-scenes tour footage is solid gold.

The highlights? Spud bring up "ECSpud". Earl Hebner's Dad dancing. Spud working in Waffle House. And Spud trying to photobomb the Wolves.

But that wasn't the best part of the show.

That was the Impact Match of the Week from Destination X 2011.

Austin Aries, Zema Ion, Low-Ki, Jack Evans, and incredible amounts of acrobatic awesome.

Also, Jack Evans might have invented an anti-gravity device.

This is what the X Division can be, what it should be, and what we want it to be.

Please bring Evans and Low-Ki back if you can, TNA.

We'll love you for it.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 18th June 2014

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 22nd June 2014

Do you play the MVP Drinking Game?

You do?

I am so sorry.

Now if your hangover has passed, let's talk about whether the episode was any good.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

First, the Knockouts. Taryn Terrell's return is welcome, but it looks like she's here to wrestle rather than referee.

And don't get me wrong: more Knockouts is positive. But this means we're stuck with Brian Stiffler. And that's terrible.

Getting to the first match as quickly as possible was a smart move.

But I do wish they'd let Kenny King win something.

I know he's supposed to be cocky, but if he never wins anything, you start wondering what he's cocky about.

MVP going mad with power worked well.

After all, he can't physically dominate anyone due to his injury, so it makes sense he'd throw his weight around another way.

I don't know what they're doing with Earl Hebner getting fired, though.

Either it's a way for him to retire, or somebody is going to reinstate him when MVP gets kicked out.

Image © Ed Webster via Flickr.

MVP's freakout also led to some good matches.

The Wolves versus Joe and Aries versus Willow and Abyss was great fun, although why MVP wanted any of them to win the belt is beyond me.

And I love the back-stabber double-team the Wolves keep using.

Their match against Bram and Magnus was awesome too.

Even the ending worked once we found out MVP paid them to cause pain, not win.

Also, Eddie Edwards having his NECK wrapped in a steel chair was terrifying.

Shifting gears for a moment, Dixie Carter.

I will defend Dixie as a performer to the death. I like seeing her on the show.

She does what she's supposed to do and she does it well.

And if you can't find joy in her kneeing Tommy Dreamer in the nuts... well, that's fine too. I just disagree.

Image © Simon Q via Flickr.

Oh, and EC3 was defending Dixie's honour again like a hero. Remind me: why is he a villain?

Which brings us to Kurt Angle. EY calling him for help was... odd.

Kurt has had two surgeries on his knee. He can't really do anything to help. So why call him?

Unless TNA are trying to keep him sweet so he'll re-sign, I suppose.

He got sent away again in no time, just like everybody else.

Well. Everybody except MVP, King, Bobby Lashley, EY, Taz, Mike Tenay, Brian Henber, and AN ENTIRE AUDIENCE OF FANS.

That sure was an empty building, MVP.

And I'm reserving judgement on Lashley winning the belt.

EY dropping the strap the week AFTER Slammiversary was ill-advised. But this has a lot of storyline potential.

And Bobby Roode jumping the barrier to save EY from a beat-down? That was freaking awesome.

Image © Robertlbeukema via Wikimedia Commons.

MUG needs more members though. There are three of them against six others now. And that's not including Dixie and EC3.

This episode was cruel to livers everywhere, but I enjoyed it well enough because it was fun.

And sometimes, fun is all you need.

– Stark

Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Wrong Ends by the Wrong Means

#6sides or #4sides?

Image © John Jewell via Flickr.

That's what TNA asked on their Twitter feed this week. Apparently, they want us to choose what their wrestlers will be performing in.

Of course, there are benefits and drawbacks to both ring set-ups.

For example, a six-sided ring is unique and eye-catching, but could come across as gimmicky.

And a four-sided ring is easier to recognise, but doesn't particularly stand out.

Do I have a preference? Naturally.

I voted for the six-sided ring because it's what TNA had when I first started watching. And I'm a stubborn curmudgeon with nostalgia goggles.

Do you prefer the classic six sides? Or the more traditional four sides?

It doesn't matter. There's a more important question that needs asking.

Should we the fans be the one who decide this?

Image © nicubunu via OpenClipart.org.

Now I'm not saying that we aren't important. Without fans, a wrestling company is not going far.

But without wrestlers, a wrestling company doesn't exist at all. So it should be the highest priority to make sure that the talent are happy.

You know, the men and women actually using that using that four-sided or six-sided ring.

And TNA employees and alumni have mixed opinions on six sides.

On Wednesday, Chris Sabin said on Twitter that he liked it.

But then you've got Austin Aries, who does not.

Aries said on his Facebook page that he found it harder to move around and less forgiving on the body.

And AJ Styles appears on the fence.

He said on Chris Jericho's "Talk is Jericho" podcast that he preferred the six-sided ring.

Image © Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

But he also admitted that taking a Kurt Angle belly-to-belly suplex on a four-sided ring was pillow soft in comparison.

And that is important. More important than whether the six-sided ring looks unique. More important than nostalgia for TNA's past.

If a six-sided ring causes more pain and is less fun for the wrestlers to use, there is no reason that we should switch from the four sides.

And that's why TNA shouldn't leave this decision in the hands of us fans.

I'm willing to bet 90% of us don't wrestle. I know I don't.

We don't know what it's like to perform in any kind of wrestling ring, four-sided or otherwise.

So how can we accurately weigh up the pros and cons of either set-up when we can't judge how it is for the performers themselves?

Simple. We can't.

And so we shouldn't.

As Aries put it on his Facebook page, this is people who don't wrestle letting people who don't wrestle decide what he has to wrestle in.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Doesn't that sound ridiculous to you?

It's like a non-engineer asking another non-engineer how best to set up a work station for an engineer. It's a waste of time and potentially dangerous.

So whether you prefer #6sides or #4sides, it shouldn't matter.

We shouldn't be the ones deciding this anyway.

TNA, please. Don't ask us about this.

Ask your talent.

It's their livelihoods and their bodies. It should be their choice.

– Stark

Friday, 20 June 2014

TNA Slammiversary: UK Air Date 18th June 2014

I have to admit, for an excuse TNA scrambled together in less than a week, MVP's justification for the main event worked well.

But did the rest of Slammiversary? Let's find out.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Anthony Mango.

The X Division Championship ladder match was my favourite part of the evening.

The bump Davey Richards took to the horizontal ladder was sick.

And Sanada retaining for so long is so much better than title belt hot potato.

Bobby Lashley defeating Samoa Joe was less welcome. I know they want Lashley to be a monster.

But Joe only just came back. Can't he have a few victories first?

And I thought Magnus versus Willow was going to be a tag match. This wasn't well communicated.

Magnus winning worked though.

Team 3D in the Hall of Fame? Awesome. But did we need ten minutes of "We want tables"?

Austin Aries' top rope brainbuster on Kenny King was sick, but I'm not sure about him winning.

Mostly because when was the last time King won... anything?

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

As for the latest generation of Von Erichs, fingers crossed they stick around.

Although if TNA could tell us where Robbie E has gone beyond "He ran from the clown", that would be nice.

Then the Knockouts Championship match.

This. sucked.

Earl Hebner finally responds to Brian Stiffler's incompetence, then promptly gets knocked out.

And then we find out Stiffler's not useless: he's blatantly corrupt.

But they still let him officiate another match later on the card. Because that makes sense.

To be fair, at least this is a plot point instead of suggesting all men are that distracted by Velvet Sky's assets.

I might be alone in this, but I liked the ending of the Texas Death Match.

Bully Ray didn't keep his eye on the ball and he lost for it. It makes sense to me.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

If he'd concentrated on EC3 instead of Dixie Carter, he would've been fine.

Also, nice to see Rockstar Spud out of the neck brace at last.

Ken Anderson versus James Storm was more disappointing.

The match was good, but Anderson should not need help from a rampaging footballer.

I know they were trying to make up for all the Dallas Cowboy cheap shots from the heels, but it still annoyed me.

And finally, the main event. This was awesome.

Eric Young picking up Lashley and Aries at the same time was amazing. And the elbow drop from the top of the cage was sick.

But I don't know if I like Aries taking the fall.

Again, they want Lashley as a monster and they wanted EY to win, so there wasn't anybody else.

But it worries me that Aries can't get momentum going right now.

But despite little things like that and that Knockouts match fiasco, Slammiversary was a good PPV.

Image © Charles LeBlanc via Flickr.

All the matches had good wrestling in them, even if they didn't end the way I would have liked. And TNA delivered on both fun and action.

Hopefully they can keep this momentum going.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA One Night Only: Joker's Wild II

Thursday, 19 June 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 18th June 2014

Where the hell has the Spin Cycle gone?

It was my favourite part of this show and we haven't seen it for two straight weeks!

Not cool, TNA.

But what did we actually get on this week's Xplosion?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

Well, at least a quarter of an hour of repeated flashbacks from last week's Xplosion.

Which were flashbacks from that week's Impact.

We've seen these segments three times, TNA. Was there really nothing from this week's Impact you could've shown us?

... oh yeah. There wasn't.

The Match of the Week between Sting and Bobby Roode was good.

I hadn't seen it before and the clips showed some good action. No complaints here.

Then the Xplosion Xclusive. Which was head-tilting.

So Angelina Love is wrestling Brittany. Makes sense.

But there are two things that don't sit right.

One: referee Brian Stiffler.

And two: the Knockouts Championship.

Title shots on Xplosion are weird enough as it is.

But Angeline putting her belt on the line in the week of Slammiversary?

What would have happened if Brittany had won?

They would have had to change all their Slammiversary promotional material!

And it annoyed enough people when they changed the the card for MVP's legit leg injury.

It was nice to see Brittany get a good match, though. She's fast becoming one of my favourite Knockouts.

So to summarise, about 50% of this episode was a complete waste of time. And for an hour long show, that's taking the piss.

Bring back the Spin Cycle, dammit.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of ImpactWrestling.com.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 11th June 2014

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Special Post: Revolution Pro Wrestling's Summer Sizzler 2014

Last Sunday, I went to my first British wrestling event: Revolution Pro Wrestling's Summer Sizzler 2014 at York Hall in Bethnal Green.

How was it?

Amazing.

I couldn't have asked for a better experience.

The matches were great. The wrestlers were great. The crowd was great.

Everything about it was fantastic.

Oh, and Prince Devitt came out dressed as Bane. Do I even need to say how cool that was? I think not.

So if you haven't been to an RPW event, check them out. You won't regret it.

– Stark

Related Post: Special Post: "Christopher Daniels & Kazarian Wrestle Aw Yeah Comics!" Review

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 15th June 2014

And the crowd went mild for this episode.

Why? Let me explain.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

First, the Knockouts.

The Triple Threat #1 Contender match was fine.

The Beautiful People on commentary worked well.

And Velvet Sky accidentally spraying Brittany instead of Gail Kim was good.

But my favourite bugbear rose again with Brian Stiffler.

Get somebody else to referee the Knockout matches. Please. Somebody who won't get hypnotised by Velvet's breasts.

Please?

Moving on, I've seen at least one complaint about Bram and Magnus's billing locations.

But I'd argue that a wrestler's billing is not always where they've lived longest.

After all, the WWE claimed Chris Jericho came from New York for a while.

Maybe Bram was born in Harrowgate. Or moved there. Or he and Magnus went to boarding school together.

It can still work.

That rant aside, I like Magnus and Bram as a pair of ultra-violence enthusiasts.

Willow agreeing that he's Jeff Hardy is fascinating from a psychological perspective.

And the reveal that he's tagging with Abyss at Slammiversary works. After all, Abyss needs revenge on Magnus.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Except... does Abyss have a TNA contract now? Was that ever resolved?

You may wonder why I'm nitpicking so much. And it's because there was hardly anything to the show.

No Wolves. No A-Double. No Storm and Anderson. Not even Samuel Shaw and Gunner.

There was a quarter-hour long TNA #365 flashback section this week. If that doesn't scream "We're out of content", I don't know what does.

But moving on.

The BroMans and the Menagerie are funny. Don't get wrong. But I can't help but look at them and think this:

"TNA, you do remember that you have tag team champions, right? And you're utterly neglecting them for this ridiculousness?"

You let Bad Influence go. And yet you have so few tag teams that the Wolves aren't even defending at Slammiversary.

I don't understand you, TNA.

Nor do I understand the following.

It's fine for professional wrestler Brooke Tessmacher to threaten an injured Rockstar Spud.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

But when EC3 comes to Spud's defence, it's not fine.

Yet Bully Ray can threaten to put non-wrestler Dixie Carter through a table and we bay for blood.

Hypocrisy at its finest.

Finally, we have EY and MVP's Unnamed Group (MUG).

Incidentally, why not tell me what MUG should call themselves via this month's poll?

This plot monopolised the show, and it was disappointing.

EY running a gauntlet? Fine. Joe coming out to save him from a Lashley beat-down? Good.

But the stakes were poorly established. I didn't know EY was fighting for match stipulations until the main event. And the whole thing felt strangely rushed and inconsequential.

Maybe if EY had asked to run the gauntlet last week and we'd been anticipating it, it would have worked better.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

But as it stands, it didn't click for me.

Which is this episode in a nutshell. While technically fine, it failed to hit the right notes and felt like a damp squib.

Slammiversary should be a lot better.

– Stark

Saturday, 14 June 2014

But You Didn't Have to Cut Me Off

Twitter is a great and terrible thing.

It definitely has its good side.

Live-tweeting #ImpactUK with y'all is one of the highlights of my week. And seeing wrestlers develop feuds over social media is a thing of beauty.

Plus it taught us that Davey Richards likes pugs and that's always a plus.

Image © Dale Leschnitzer via Flickr.

But there's a downside too.

Harassment. Abuse. Insults. Even death threats.

Don't believe me? Then just wait until somebody makes a big heel turn and see what people say.

Or just look at the bile thrown at MVP or Seth Rollins.

I don't even follow that many WWE accounts and I've seen enough Shield-related death threats to last me forever.

It's gross, kinda scary stuff. And it's definitely part of Twitter's dark side.

But there's another, more subtle negative layer to Twitter. The charcoal grey to the black of abuse and threats. And that's what I want to talk about today.

Just like other celebrities, when wrestlers go on Twitter, it creates an expectation.

We as fans see the account and assume we can follow it and send our favourites messages to our heart's content.

Image © Twitter via Wikimedia Commons.

But that is not necessarily the case, and it's not necessarily a good thing.

We don't remember that when our favourites were young, they hardly ever met wrestlers.

And now here we are, expecting to twenty-four hour access to their lives.

We lose sight of the fact that underneath the layers of muscle and bombastic character, wrestlers are people.

And people get frustrated. People get upset. People get offended.

And that's when wrestlers start blocking people and former followers start getting angry.

We forget that the wrestlers we follow on Twitter don't owe us the private information we're getting. We take our access for granted.

Then it's taken away and we start shrieking like children pulling toys out of the pram.

Image © Olga/ Олька via Flickr.

We have to remember that, for most of us, wrestlers aren't our friends. Much as we'd like them to be.

And sometimes, we're going to do or say things that upset or anger them, and that might lead to them blocking us.

Maybe your icon annoys them. Maybe you said something terrible.

Or maybe their mouse cursor slipped while they were blocking someone else.

They have every right to block you for whatever reason they choose. They don't owe us anything.

(Although it would be nice if Twitter sent you a message explaining why they blocked you. I know that if I've been an asshole, I want to know what I've done so I can fix it.)

Sometimes, you're going to screw up and you're going to get blocked. It sucks, but it happens.

You just have to move on from it and try to do the best you can.

And that is the great thing about Twitter: there's always somebody else to follow.

Image © JordanGosselin via DeviantArt.

Or Twitter just randomly had Magnus block me. Which it apparently does sometimes. And I got worked up and wrote this post for no good reason.

Either way.

– Stark

Thursday, 12 June 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 11th June 2014

I'd like to start this review with the Spin Cycle.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of ImpactWrestling.com.

I'd like to, but I can't. Because the Spin Cycle was mysteriously absent this week.

With luck, they only cut it to make room for the Slammiversary promo and it'll be back next week.

And this episode was both far from a disappointment regardless, and unexpectedly Wolves-heavy.

The Impact flashback was Eddie Edward vs Davey Richards, completely with extra interview segment.

And the TNA Xplosion Xclusive saw the Wolves put their titles on the line against Tigre Uno and Sanada.

Which was awesome.

Although Davey's ribs weren't taped up for it, so I have no idea how Xplosion fits into the canon now.

Nor do I know why the Wolves have a title defence on Xplosion but not at Slammiversary.

Image © nicubunu via OpenClipart.org.

Perhaps we just shouldn't ask questions.

As for the Match of the Week, this was yet another Slammiversary flashback.

I hadn't seen the #1 Contenders match between Ken Anderson, Jeff Hardy and RVD before.

It was pretty good.

Seeing Jeff as... well, Jeff again was weird after having Willow around so long.

Seeing Anderson with dark hair is weird after having Anderson bleach blond again.

And seeing RVD was weird because I've had a grudge against him ever since the stupid EV2.0 angle during Hogan's reign.

I will summarise said grudge with two phrases: "Why would you trust Bischoff?" and "Why is Rhino the villain?"

This show was good despite no Spin Cycle, and I enjoyed it.

Good work, TNA.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 4th June 2014

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 8th June 2014

I may feel like death lightly sautéed with garlic this week.

But if Davey Richards can wrestle with two cracked ribs and liver damage, I can blog with the sniffles.

So this week's Impact.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

The Beautiful People winning without help from Stiffler's libido was a nice change.

And Brittany and Madison are still fascinating.

Although Brittany has gone from creepy to petty. Ah well. Baby steps.

Speaking of pretty people, Magnus has picked the dark side, presumably for the cookies.

And you know what? It's more original than all the Brits sucking on crumpets, so I like it.

He and Bram could be an interesting tag team, too.

Although Willow needs to stop being the patron saint of rubbish DQ finishes.

This is where I link to Samuel Shaw through creepiness. But really, his interactions with Gunner are the most heart-warming stuff I've seen on Impact in months.

Either they're going to become a tag team or Shaw's going to turn on Gunner and break his heart.

Whatever happens, this was my joint favourite part of the show. I love it.

Image © Charles LeBlanc via Flickr.

And their former feud partners are still bringing the house down.

Ken Anderson dressing as the world's worst Hallowe'en cowboy was both cringe-inducing and funny.

And James Storm kicking him in the face and stealing his hat was the perfect ending to the bit.

These two bounce off each other well and they're a lot of fun. I hope to see more of this feud in the coming weeks.

Speaking of fun, the developing feud with the Menagerie has done the impossible. It's made me like the BroMans and DJ Z.

Yeah. Me. The person who wrote a whole post about how I hate them.

And I'll have to do the rest of the show in one go because of MVP's Unnamed Group (MUG) tie everything up like a Gordian knot.

The Wolves accidentally talking themselves into a match against each other rocked.

Image © Anton via Wikimedia Commons.

And Kenny King getting kicked about is always fun. This was my other favourite part.

My least favourite bit was MVP putting Samoa Joe and Austin Aries into a contract versus contract match.

It just didn't have enough build-up to be credible.

Bully Ray and EY using heel tactics on Brian Hebner was weird and yet it worked.

And speaking of Bully, his mic work was excellent as always.

And him winning the eight-man First Blood match by making EC3 bleed worked well for both the match and his story with the Carters.

Finally, Dixie Carter's interactions with MVP and his gang are still awkward.

Dixie should not be an authority still. It doesn't work.

And every time MUG threaten or beat up EC3, he becomes more sympathetic. Which is going to be a problem if/when Kurt Angle comes back.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

But these are minor nitpicks, even my least favourite part of the show. As a whole, I enjoyed this episode a lot because it held together and it was fun.

Hopefully Xplosion will be as good.

– Stark

Saturday, 7 June 2014

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

MVP's plans make no sense.

Image © Krystal Bogner via Flickr.

I know I've been banging on about this since his heel turn, but it's true.

We know what he wants. We know what his philosophy is. But we don't know how those two connect.

What MVP wants is the World Heavyweight Championship. But... why?

Because it's certainly not for power. MVP already has all the power he could ever need.

After all, he can fire people if they disobey him enough, and put himself in title matches on a whim.

Dixie Carter may threaten him with the Board of Directors, but they've done nothing so far.

For all intents and purposes, MVP is omnipotent.

So what power could the belt give him that he doesn't already have?

There's nothing. So let's forget about it.

MVP's philosophy is "Money, Power, Respect".

The belt won't bring him any more power. And it's certainly not for the money, either.

Image © At.morey.tota via Wikimedia Commons.

If he can afford to buy majority shares in TNA on a whim just to piss Dixie off, MVP cannot be hurting for cash.

That leaves us with respect.

Does it work?

Yes. Surprisingly well, too.

Now MVP does get some respect for being the boss. But that's because he's an authority figure rather than because he's a good wrestler.

And a champion is somebody who is better than you. Somebody worthy of respect.

So MVP winning the World Heavyweight Championship would get him what he wants.

It's sensible. It's logical. And it works with MVP's personality and motivations.

So why the hell did TNA decide to push the power angle instead?

Because their writers and bookers are sloppy.

Their plots work on a broad level, for the most part, but when it comes down to the details, they let mistakes slip through.

And this isn't the only example.

Another good one is the Davey Richards shoulder injury angle from Lockdown.

Image © Anton Jackson via Flickr.

I said at the time that if Dixie had forced Davey to wrestle injured, it would have made more sense.

One line of dialogue from MVP would have done it. Something like "Dixie says if you don't wrestle tonight, you can't wrestle at Lockdown."

Or how about MVP picking fights with his employees?

If TNA had emphasised the disrespect, it would have worked to fuel MVP's desire for the belt and the respect it brings, too.

But they didn't.

And I'm not demanding big sweeping changes here. These are little things. Tweaks, if you will.

Because, you see, it frustrates me as a writer that they're letting plot holes like this go. Holes that tighter writing and another one-over from the editor could have closed.

Image © chriscoven via DeviantArt.

If you can't straighten these issues out, TNA, then for the love of Heidegger, let me proof-read it for you. I won't even charge.

And that's why I'm going to keep complaining. It's not about MVP. It's about standards. It's about good writing. And it's about putting some effort in.

Because if they don't, TNA will be full of MVP: Mangled Vexing Plots.

– Stark

Thursday, 5 June 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 4th June 2014

You're probably aware of how I felt about last week's Xplosion. Was this week's any better?

Yes. A billion times yes.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

For one thing, it took an element from Impact and made it coherent.

TNA picked up the plot thread between the BroMans and the Menagerie in the Xplosion Xclusive match.

Knux and Crazy Steve wrestled Jessie and DJ Zema while Robbie E freaked out because he's scared of clowns.

This worked for me and I do hope it becomes a full storyline on Impact.

It'd keep both teams occupied and free up the Wolves to fight MVP's regime.

Knux still needs a top hat, though.

The Spin Cycle was pure glory.

Jessie and DJ Z's antics were... interesting. And Rockstar Spud turning his eyelids inside out was gross but cool in a juvenile way.

But EC3 was the true star.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

The way he kept corpsing was amazing.

And as for the ending... maybe it's to make the show more kid friendly?

Otherwise I have no idea why Sanada is now a wizard who can make people disappear.

Still. Spectacular.

Finally, the match of the week was Samoa Joe versus Austin Aries for the X Division Championship.

And all I can say is that it was fantastic.

I would pay good money to see these two men wrestle again. It was awesome, and it made me happy.

This week's Xplosion was the best episode I've seen so far. Hunt it down and watch it right now. You won't regret it.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 28th May 2014

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Poll: What should MVP's group be called?

Are you looking forward to Slammiversary?

Search me – nobody answered in our last poll. Which is an awful shame.

As for me, I'm sort of looking forward to Slammiversary. Could be good, could be awful. We'll see.

This month's poll is this: what should MVP's new group be called?

And if you don't like any of my names, give me a suggestion on Twitter and I'll list it in the results post next month.

See you tomorrow with the Xplosion review.

– Stark

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 1st June 2014

Xplosion made me angry and miserable, but what about Impact?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Starting with the Knockouts, why are professional wrestling lesbians always creepy stalkers?

Mickie James, Winter, and now Brittany screaming for Madison Rayne to like her.

It's a weird trend. But at least it has good potential for drama, I suppose.

Another relationship with drama potential is the one between Magnus and Bram.

I'm still not sure if Magnus is becoming more evil or turning face, but either way, it's fascinating.

They shouldn't have jobbed out Tigre Uno, though.

Oh, and Bram is more crazy than Willow. Just saying.

Speaking of crazy, Gunner defending his decision to help Samuel Shaw is still awesome.

And it surprises me how well him and Ken Anderson work together.

If TNA run out of solo stories for them, I'd be into seeing a more long-term Gunner and Anderson tag team.

Although I couldn't help but ask where James Storm was this week. Hung over, maybe?

And the BroMans match was fine, but why did the Menagerie show up after?

Are they going to start feuding? Or was it just for giggles?

Also, ringmaster Knux needs a top hat.

Image © Nikodem Nijaki via Wikimedia Commons.

In other news, Bully Ray's table obsession is getting out of hand, and EC3's all over the place.

He's still a villain, but he comes across as sympathetic.

He gets upset when his friend goes through a table. MVP's Unnamed Group (MUG) have to menace him into co-operating.

Unless they want to turn him face or tweener, that doesn't work so well.

And I'm not sure they can do that until they give resolution on the Kurt Angle plot.

Rockstar Spud still can't catch a break.

And I don't know why Dixie Carter is involved with MUG at all.

I understand her feud with Bully even though I don't like it.

But too many evil authority figures gets confusing.

Moving on, it goes without saying that Austin Aries was awesome.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Watching him tag with the Wolves against MUG was the best part of the show.

And it was also the worst.

Why?

The audience.

You'd get more enthusiasm at a funeral, for goodness' sake.

And it's hard to get into even the most awesome match when the crowd are apathetic.

And then there was the main event.

MVP forcing Bully and EY to wrestle is fine.

MVP threatening to fire Bully if he disagreed? Not so much.

Because if he can do that, why does he need the Heavyweight Championship? He already has ultimate power.

And the match ended much as I expected: MUG beating up Bully and EY.

And then Samoa Joe turned up.

I wasn't expecting that.

And it was just last week that I asked where Joe was, too. Either I have magical powers or TNA are screwing with me.

And if it's the former, can we have Abyss back yet?

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

I enjoyed this episode. It had little quirks and problems, but for the most part, it was solid and entertaining.

Good work, TNA.

– Stark