Friday, 31 October 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 26th October 2014

Like yesterday, it's still Friday somewhere. Let's talk Impact.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

First, I'm gonna give kudos to the crowd because they were so much better.

A good crowd makes all the difference and these guys really weren't bad.

#TNA365 wasn't bad this week. But I do have to mention Rebel because she is the Queen of Stating the Bleeding Obvious.

Crazzy Steve is crazy. Cheating isn't nice. Coming soon? Water is wet.

Although you have to feel sorry for her.

She's got a nice match all scheduled up against Angelina Love, and what happens? Havok comes and splats here.

Still. It was nice to see Gail Kim again. Suggests she's staying with the company.

Oh, and I have no idea what's going on with Brittany, Samuel Shaw and Gunner.

So Brittany interferes in their match against Samoa Joe and Low Ki.

Why?

Why does she want them to lose?

Why does she dislike Gunner?

Why does Gunner want her to stay away?

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Wasn't he supporting this relationship a few weeks ago?

What's going on here?

All I have are questions right now. And I'm trusting TNA to answer them with something other than "Well they're crazy, woo, crazy people".

Speaking of crazy, Bram is.

No, I don't have anything else to say about that. It's nice to see Magnus still has Bram's back, and the dude is freaking nuts. He's great.

And his hardcore match against Devon was pretty fun too.

Crazy brings us to cults. Cults brings us to Storm's Revolution. Storm's Revolution brings me to my worst nightmare coming true.

If TNA break up the Wolves...

No. Just no.

I will only accept one outcome here. If Davey Richards joins the Revolution, Eddie Edwards must beat sense back into him and save him.

Anything else? I will start a riot.

Moving on, the rest of the tag tournament.

Samoa Joe and Low Ki obviously moved on because of the Shaw and Gunner interpersonal drama.

Image © Jason Garber via Flickr.

But what of the other three matches?

I still don't care about Ken Anderson and Chris Melendez. I'm sorry, but it's not working for me.

And Kenny King and MVP won away. Yawn.

The Hardys versus the BroMans was fun, but I'm tired of the BroMans getting the short end of the stick.

They're former champions. Give them a break.

And finally, the match that lifted and broke my heart: Rockstar Spud and EY versus EC3 and Tyrus.

This is the Rockstar Spud I want to see. He's such a great wrestler and it's wonderful to see him getting a chance to show that.

Even if EC3 and Tyrus did win. Bah. Can't have everything, I suppose.

And finally, the contract signing between Bobby Roode and Bobby Lashley.

It was a contract signing. Kurt Angle's the special referee now. Lashley disobeyed MVP's wishes.

It wasn't all that exciting, really.

Image © Caleb Jones via Wikimedia Commons.

This episode was a touch lighter on story than usual, but made up for it with great matches.

I had fun with it. Hopefully you did too.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: TNA Impact: UK Air Date 19th October 2014

Thursday, 30 October 2014

British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 26th October 2014

It's still Thursday somewhere. Let's talk about Boot Camp episode two.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Alistair McGeorge via Mirror.co.uk.

Second-hand embarrassment kills me. And this episode had a lot of it.

For example, Grado. Mate. Please give it up until next year?

And a few others auditioning gave agonising promos.

I don't blame them. Standing up in front of Samoa Joe, Gail Kim and Al Snow must be stressful.

But like I said, cringe comedy isn't my thing. So I paused this episode a lot.

Also, advice from me to everyone: never say "I'm bad at this" at an audition.

I don't care if you suck at it. Don't say that you do. Just give it your best shot.

Image © OpenClips via Pixabay.

It's not modesty to say you're awful. It's putting yourself down, and you're better than that.

Peptalk aside, I loved seeing Kris Travis and El Ligero go through.

I've heard of Rampage Brown but not seen him, and he seems pretty awesome.

And as for Mark Andrews, how have I missed this guy?

He was freaking fantastic. Ten out of ten for him.

And all the ones who got turned down took it graciously again, which is great.

Oh, and in other news, Rockstar Spud continues to confuse me by looking classy as all hell.

I actually miss the ugly suits, though. Thank goodness he's still wearing them on Impact.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Boot Camp is still fun, but it's possible I just don't like reality TV much.

Except the Great British Bake Off. But you can never go wrong with cake.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 19th October 2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Special Post: Southside Wrestling 4th Anniversary

Southside is my favourite British wrestling company.

I've been to three Southside shows and I've loved every one.

Image © Felipe Micaroni Lalli via Wikimedia Commons.

They have good matches. They have great wrestlers. And I always feel welcome there as a fan.

And this show was no exception.

My group had second row tickets, but our names were accidentally left off.

So you know what Southside did for us? Gave us seats in the front row.

And because of that, I got shout-outs from Will Ospreay and Frankie Kazarian.

Image © Robby Green via Flickr.

And that's awesome.

Southside deserve your time and money. So if you can go to their shows, do.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: Special Post: Revolution Pro Wrestling Uprising 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 22nd October 2014

It's almost a week since it aired, but we're still here to review it. Let's talk TNA Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

I was so happy to see the Knockouts as the Match of the Week.

It hardly ever happens, so it made a refreshing change.

And a Battle Royale featuring many of my favourite women? Aw heck yeah. You bet I'm into that.

Seeing Mickie James wrestle Gail Kim again was great.

And Gail faking an ankle injury to sneak the roll-up was amazing.

That was some Eddie Guerrero level cheating there. Awesome stuff.

But what about the Xplosion Xclusive?

Mr Xplosion himself Tigre Uno lost. But who's surprised about that? Tigre Uno never wins.

Especially not on Xplosion.

It's a wonder Storm's Revolution haven't taken pity on him yet.

Image © Fotosuabe via Wikimedia Commons.

To be fair, it was a fun match. He and Manik pulled off some awesome stuff together and I definitely wasn't bored.

But it was a bit weird that neither James Storm nor Sanada turned up.

And they didn't at Bound for Glory either. Huh.

Manik's sort of the black sheep of the cult, isn't he?

And finally, Rockstar Spud on commentary.

No JB this week – apparently he was helping with Boot Camp – but Spud was a star on his own.

Great play-by-play combined with funny quips and boasting. What more do you need?

Image © Simon Q via Flickr; cropped by NiciVampireHeart for Wikimedia Commons.

This episode was your average episode of Xplosion.

Nothing awful, but nothing particularly sparkling or out of the ordinary.

But hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 15th October 2014

Monday, 27 October 2014

And Don't Underestimate the Importance of Body Language

Writing is not the be-all and end-all of story in wrestling.

Image © tuku via Pixabay.

Do I put a lot of emphasis on it? Well sure. I'm a writer myself. Writing is my focus.

But sometimes, it is possible to pay too much attention to what people are saying, and not enough to what they're doing.

And this is something that I think TNA sometimes forgets about.

I've been to several Revolution Pro Wrestling and Southside Wrestling events recently.

And unlike TNA, most of them don't have the luxury of a dozen talking segments to provide exposition.

So what do they do instead?

They rely on the wrestlers to tell the story.

Wrestlers are actors. They put on performances. And just like any good actor, they can use their appearance and actions to explain their personalities.

What do I mean? Well let's look at an example.

Take Party Marty Scurll. He doesn't have to say a single word to tell you who he is and what he's about.

Image © Stark Remarks.

He attacks his opponent with an umbrella before the match. He spits on people. He gets his mates to come down and help him win.

In short, he behaves like a tosser. And doing that screams "villain, villain, villain" without him needing to say anything.

It's personality and character expressed through body language and behaviour.

This kind of non-verbal communication is vital in professional wrestling.

When your performers can't talk well or don't have time, it's the only thing connecting them to the audience.

And that makes it just as important as anything a writer can come up with.

If you express personality through movement, you've got a relationship with the viewer.

And that's just another reason why character is so important.

If there isn't enough there, not even the best writing in the world will make the audience like you.

Look at some wrestlers who know what they're about.

People like Marty Scurll. Like Austin Aries. Like Eric Young.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

They know who they are. They know what they're doing. And they express that in the ring by the way they act.

And if they didn't, we wouldn't care as much.

Mind you, promos do still have their place.

They're a useful method for conveying plot. And they also help establish back story and personality.

But they're like bread in a sandwich, and non-verbal communication is the filling.

If you have a sandwich without bread, it tastes good but your hands get messy and it ends in chaos.

But if you have a sandwich with just bread, it's bland and tasteless.

It's the same with wrestling. Promos give structure and form; body language provides flavour and interest.

Writing is never a solo affair.

Even a novel needs editors, copy editors, proofreaders and many other professionals to make it happen.

And writing for wrestling is no different.

Image © niekverlaan via Pixabay.

You need your performers as much as you need to write well. You need your wrestlers.

And that's why writing is not the most important thing in wrestling.

Wrestlers are.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: I'm The Cult of Personality

Sunday, 26 October 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 19th October 2014

This review is incredibly late.

By now, the Americans have had the next episode, and we Brits aren't far behind.

But I'm going to review it anyway. Partly to preserve my blogger's integrity. And partly because it was an odd episode.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

We'll start with the Knockouts as usual.

Havok versus Madison Rayne was fun. But I'm still not pleased that they're pushing Madison towards a heel turn.

We have enough heels in the Knockouts. We don't have enough faces. Please stop that.

I know the Beautiful People are busy hanging out with the BroMans, but they're still heel Knockouts, you know.

Speaking of, TNA remembered that the BroMans and the Beautiful People are allies this week.

And so they had a match.

Against whom? The Menagerie, of course.

Is it just me, or is this feud going nowhere slowly?

I like the Menagerie just fine. And the BroMans have grown on me.

But we've seen this match so many times.

Tag matches. Singles matches. Inter-gender tag matches.

Enough is enough. This is getting over-played and dull.

Image © chriscoven via DeviantArt.

Now I can't call EC3 and Tyrus's bit dull. But I can't call it particularly good either.

To be fair, EC3 was great. And Tyrus was fine. But dragging out Shark Boy to job again was just... sad.

It makes me pine for the halcyon days of Shark Boy, Super Eric and Curry Man as superheroes. And that's quite an achievement.

And this segment also had the most confusing non-sequitur I've seen in a long time.

So Devon comes out to threaten EC3 on Bully Ray's behalf. Well that makes sense.

But then Bram comes out and attacks him.

Look, Bram, I get that you want to be the new King of Hardcore. But that was out of nowhere and just confused me.

As for the other ultra-violent Brit, Magnus decided to antagonise Matt Hardy because... why not, I suppose.

It led to a good match, so I can't complain.

Image © Robby Green via Flickr.

Which brings us to the up-coming tag team tournament as announced by the Wolves. I'm hoping for good things.

Although I do have an aesthetic quibble with it.

Why was the editing of this section trying to kill photo-sensitive epileptics?

The flash cuts were over the top and ridiculous. Calm down, guys.

You can make the Wolves seem intimidating without giving us migraines. I promise.

And last but not least, the #1 Contendership Elimination match.

This had some great action. And Bobby Roode coming out on top makes sense to me.

He got screwed over last week. And he's the only man to have kicked out of a Bobby Lashley spear to date.

He deserves it.

Oh, and one last thing: Bobby Lashley spoke this episode. Bobby Lashley should not do that.

There is a reason that MVP is his mouthpiece. That is the reason.

Image © Krystal Bogner via Flickr.

This wasn't a bad episode. But it was... strange.

Weird connections. Unexpected matches. And everything felt anti-climactic.

Fingers crossed it's just a little blip and today's episode is better.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: TNA Impact: UK Air Date 12th October 2014

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 19th October 2014

I missed the original British Boot Camp.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Alistair McGeorge via Mirror.co.uk.

It's sad but true. I've never seen it.

So what did I make of the first episode of British Boot Camp 2?

I loved it.

Rockstar Spud makes a great presenter. He's got a good hand for re-directing the spotlight onto others.

And he looks surprisingly awesome in the more toned-down suit, I gotta say.

But what about the wrestlers?

Well. I'm a huge fan of Kay Lee Ray. So I was over the moon to see her get to the next round.

Nikki Storm is fantastic and I can't wait to see more of her.

And while I'd heard of Noam Dar, I'd never seen him perform. So I was happy to see him too.

Image © Pokipsy76 via Wikimedia Commons.

And the three who didn't make the cut had such great attitudes about it.

That's one thing I've always loved about Brits in reality TV: their good grace. And these guys were no exception.

And as for the judges... well.

They were clearly having a great time and it showed.

I loved Al Snow being the grumpy dad type who didn't get selfies. And his evil laugh when he announced that the potential recruits were getting in the ring with Joe.

And I think all three of the judges put a lot of thought into their choices and made good decisions.

Image © Charles LeBlanc via Flickr.

All in all, British Boot Camp looks set to be a lot of fun.

And I can't wait to see who they bring in next week.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: Hey, Hey, I Wanna Be a Rockstar

Monday, 20 October 2014

TNA Bound for Glory: UK Air Date 15th October 2014

Bound for Glory is the biggest show of the year for TNA. Did it live up to expectations?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Enrico Delfino via SoloWrestling.

We'll start with the Knockouts.

Why Velvet Sky was face for this, I don't know. But it was good.

And I'm starting to warm to Havok as Knockouts champion.

To complement this TNA-only match, the show also had a Wrestle-1 only match.

Now I wouldn't mind this, except for one thing.

The production team consistently told us who everybody was. And as a Brit who can't spell Japanese names, that was helpful.

Except for this match, which didn't name Andy Wu and El Hijo del Pantera.

I had to Google them.

And I don't know why it was just them.

Still, the match was good. It only goes to show that you don't need to know somebody as long as they can still tell a story.

More on that another day, unless something else comes up.

And that brings us to the inter-promotional matches.

EC3 versus Ryota Hama was fun. Lots of fun.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Turns out that EC3 is just as good at comedy as Rockstar Spud is if you give him a chance.

We've had a whole year of EC3 now and I have to say, I still want to see more of him. He's fantastic.

But then there was MVP against Kazma Sakamoto, which felt odd.

Somehow, and for some reason, MVP is face in Japan. This doesn't make much sense and I'm sure he'll be back to heel next week.

But it was interesting to see. And an entertaining match.

Even better was Samoa Joe versus Low Ki and Kaz Hayashi.

Was it predictable that Joe would win? Maybe.

But thanks to the addition of Hayashi, the journey was different enough to make the foregone conclusion a non-issue.

And it was the same with Tommy Dreamer and Abyss versus Team 3D.

There was no way Team 3D would lose at their Hall of Fame Induction PPV.

Image © Gordon Woolley via Flickr.

But the match was enjoyable enough for what it was that it didn't matter.

Speaking of Team 3D's induction, it was just what a Hall of Fame induction should be: brief, sweet and heart-warming. Great stuff.

And finally, we've got Storm's Revolution.

They had a bad night of it, didn't they?

First Minoru Tanaka overcame Manik. Which was a fantastic match, by the way, and a highly enjoyable start to the show.

And then Sanada and James Storm himself lost to Tajiri and the Great Muta.

Not even the post-match beat down was good for them, what with Team 3D coming to the rescue.

I'm not sure what this is going to mean for the Revolution, but I do hope it's not going to break up.

They're one of the most interesting things in TNA right now. I want to see more.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Bound for Glory was incredibly enjoyable for me.

All the matches clicked and I had a good time.

I hope this week's Impact was just as good. Can't wait to watch it.

– Stark

P.S. If you haven't already, please consider donating to either the Trav Aid or the Showing Some Love Indiegogo funds for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: TNA No Surrender: UK Air Date 21st September 2014

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Special Post: Revolution Pro Wrestling Uprising 2014

What can I say about this show?

It was a thing of beauty.

Image © Stark Remarks.

The matches. The talent. The crowd. Everything.

I was sat by the ramp, so I got a high five from almost every person on the card.

I got Austin Aries' autograph.

And I saw Rockstar Spud live and in the rainbow suit, no less. Highlight of the evening right there.

I could not have asked for a more awesome time, and I cannot wait for the show in February.

Image © Stark Remarks.

Buy your ticket for that as soon as you can. It's going to be awesome. I guarantee it.

– Stark

P.S.: If you've got any money to spare, please consider donating to the IndieGoGo for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: Special Post: Southside Wrestling's Cruel Intentions II feat. Combat Zone Wrestling

Saturday, 18 October 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 15th October 2014

The Bound for Glory review will be here soon. But until then, let's talk Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

Last week, everybody in the Xplosion Xclusive was mysteriously flying solo. But not so this week.

Angelina Love came out with Velvet Sky.

And best of all, Rockstar Spud was back on commentary with JB.

The match – Velvet against Taryn Terrell – was good.

Although the ending was... questionable.

Earl Hebner pretending to dip Velvet? Earl grabbing Angelina? Not cool.

You would never see the male wrestlers treated like that. And it annoys me when they do it to the women.

They're wrestlers. Not eye candy. Give them respect.

And Spud's commentary was a little off.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

I love the guy – I wrote a whole post about that – but his tone was odd.

Time and time again, Spud has said he doesn't like girls.

And now he's fawning over the Beautiful people and how lovely they are?

It feels like TNA are just trying to make him more sympathetic. And they don't need to do that.

Spud is likeable enough just being himself. Let him keep doing what he's doing.

As for the Match of the Week, it was interesting.

Looking back, this Magnus versus Sting match was the start of Magnus's push.

And look at how far he got. It's fascinating.

Of course, the action was pretty good too.

Image © Simon Q via Flickr.

This was a solid, entertaining episode of Xplosion. Nothing particularly outstanding, but nothing disappointing either.

It's a good baseline to maintain. I approve.

– Stark

P.S.: If you've got any money to spare, please consider donating to the IndieGoGo for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 8th October 2014

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Hey, Hey, I Wanna Be a Rockstar

Rockstar Spud is amazing.

Image © Simon Q via Flickr; cropped by NiciVampireHeart for Wikimedia Commons.

I'll admit it: I hadn't heard of him until I started watching TNA again in January.

But he's fast become one of my favourites.

I've barely even seen him wrestle and I still think he's great.

Why?

Because he has personality by the truckload.

As I was saying last week, a wrestler without a personality is boring.

You could be the greatest athlete born, but without that spark, people won't care.

And everything Spud does proves he has that spark, that special something that grabs the audience and keeps us there.

Think about all the segments with him and EC3.

Trying to hunt Willow. The Dixie Carter-as-boss memorial. The amateur wrestling moment immortalised in this t-shirt.

If those moments had been anyone but Rockstar Spud and EC3, would they have worked so well? I don't think so.

Everything about Spud just worked for comedy. He was the goofball to EC3's straight man and it went down great.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Of course, being funny doesn't mean you can necessarily do drama as well.

There's a certain art in shifting from comedy to drama without making the shift in tone contemptible.

TNA and Rockstar Spud have nailed it.

The move from "Laugh at Spud" to "Empathise with Spud" has been slow, natural and effective.

He's gone from annoying but amusing twit to someone I care about in less than a month.

How? Good acting.

Almost everyone has had a toxic friendship at one point or another. We know how that feels.

And Spud has done an excellent job of expressing that pain, confusion and misplaced loyalty.

You just look at his face and it's all there. It's fantastic work.

So if I've loved Spud as a comedy character, and I love what TNA are doing with him now, where do I want to see him go?

Simple. I want to see him take on EC3.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

I don't know how TNA are going to tackle this. And I'm fairly confident that they'll do a good job whatever they pick.

But if I were writing this story, here's what I would do.

I would put Spud in a match against EC3. Spud fights back until EC3 brings in some kind of a weapon.

EC3 gets DQ'd, but Spud gets seriously hurt.

And then a couple of weeks later, he comes back and challenges his former friend to a match.

After all, he's Rockstar Spud. Nobody gets to treat him like that.

And even though he's still injured, Spud fights back and gives EC3 his first pin-fall loss in TNA.

Wouldn't that be satisfying?

After all the humiliation and pain EC3 has dropped on Spud's head, it would be great to see him get his comeuppance.

And the story could continue for a while longer if EC3 wanted revenge for his first loss. It practically writes itself.

Will TNA do that? Probably not.

But as long as they keep giving Spud the spotlight, I don't care.

Image © Leon Brooks via Public-Domain-Image.com.

Hey. He's a rockstar. He deserves it.

– Stark

P.S.: If you've got any money to spare, please consider donating to the IndieGoGo for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Related Post: I'm The Cult of Personality

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 12th October 2014

This was what I call a good episode.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Were there a lot of flashbacks? Of course. It's TNA. It's hardly worth mentioning.

The Rockstar Spud and EC3 ones were practically emotional weapons, and the Gail Kim and Havok ones worked nicely.

Which brings us neatly to the Knockouts.

The #1 Contendership match between Angelina Love, Taryn Terrell and Madison Rayne was good.

They still seem to be teasing a Madison heel turn, though. And I'm not sure if that's where they need to go right now.

With Gail out of action and Havok a heel, the Knockouts only have Taryn as a face at the moment.

And one face is not enough in the whole division.

Unless Brittany is in the middle of a face turn. I don't know.

I still don't understand why she has a crush on Samuel Shaw.

But at least the stuff between Shaw and Gunner is still interesting.

Image © Pedrohoneto via Wikimedia Commons.

And seeing Bram on the show is always a plus.

Mind you, it might have been a bad idea to schedule a No DQ match on the same evening as Full Metal Mayhem, but what do I know about booking?

Speaking of things I don't understand, Storm's Revolution still isn't entirely comprehensible.

But I'll be damned if it isn't compelling television.

Their match against Low Ki and Tigre Uno showed how well they work together.

And Manik's drive-by interference was as elegant as cheating possibly can be. It was practically a handicap match.

Storm's Revolution are a great heel group and I hope they stick around for a while.

And, of course, we had an actual handicap match on the card too.

Bobby Roode's willingness to sacrifice anything for a chance at the title is a great character trait.

MVP and Kenny King were at the appropriate end of annoying.

Image © Krystal Bogner via Flickr.

And Bobby Lashley interfering in the match suggests to me that Roode may be the one intended to dethrone him in the future.

And I'd be happy with that, I can tell you.

And then we get to my two favourite parts of the show, starting with EC3 and Rockstar Spud.

I don't have the words to describe how awesome it was to see Spud standing up for himself.

And the moment he smacked EC3 back? I cheered for it.

These two work together so well. I love every interaction they have and this is no exception.

I can't wait to see more.

And finally, Full Metal Mayhem.

We had one man with a groin injury, one man with a broken toe, and one man with a broken leg.

It was a match of the walking wounded. But every single participant tore the house down.

And the Wolves retaining just made it all the sweeter for me.

Image © Anton via Wikimedia Commons.

This was one of the best tag matches I have seen in TNA in a long time and the perfect way to end a fantastic episode.

If Bound for Glory is anywhere near this good, I'll be a happy fan.

– Stark

P.S.: If you've got any money to spare, please consider donating to the IndieGoGo for Kris Travis. Thank you.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Announcement: Clarifications and Posting Schedule

This is just a short post to let you know exactly what I'm doing right now and when to expect a few things.

One Night Only: World Cup of Wrestling

I have this recorded, and I will be getting around to reviewing it as soon as I can. However, I'm currently away from the Sky box where it's recorded for half the week and I have a job, so this will happen when it happens.

Bound for Glory 2014

Sadly, I won't be able to live-tweet this with you because I need to be awake at 7 a.m. the following morning. I do have it recorded, though. And I will try my best to get it reviewed by the Sunday after it airs.

British Boot Camp 2014

I will be watching and reviewing this year's Boot Camp.

Current Posting Schedule

Monday: British Boot Camp
Tuesday: Impact
Thursday: Opinion post
Saturday: Xplosion
Sunday: Any PPVs (e.g., Bound for Glory)

Thank you for reading. I'll see you tomorrow with my Impact review.

– Stark

P.S.: "The Shooting Star" Kris Travis of Project Ego out of action due to serious illness right now. If you've got any money to spare, please drop a few quid into the fundraiser for him. He deserves it.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Special Post: Southside Wrestling's Cruel Intentions II feat. Combat Zone Wrestling

Yesterday, my friends and I hiked up from Essex to Nottingham to see SWE and CZW clash.

And it was awesome.

I got three t-shirts. I met Tyler Bate, Biff Busick and Drew Gulak. And I had my photo taken with Jimmy Havoc after he beat DJ Hyde in a barbed wire rope match.

It was freaking amazing. And I would go again in a heart-beat.

Fingers crossed this isn't the last time SWE and CZW get together.

– Stark

P.S.: "The Shooting Star" Kris Travis of Project Ego out of action due to serious illness right now. If you've got any money to spare, please drop a few quid into the fundraiser for him. He deserves it.

Related Post: Special Post: Southside Wrestling's Retribution V

Saturday, 11 October 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 8th October 2014

Sometimes, Xplosion does something so wonderful that I have to just sit back and stare.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

The last time this happened, Rockstar Spud faced Crazzy Steve.

And this time? Crazzy Steve won a match.

And I could not be happier about it.

Steve has jobbed since he got here, so seeing him achieve a little success was brilliant.

Although it was strange that everyone was alone this week.

No Jessie or DJ Z. No Menagerie. And even Jeremy Borash was doing commentary stag.

Weird stuff.

Oh, and the crowd was abysmal. I think TNA must collect them from the local morgue to fill seats.

The only time they made any noise was clapping at one point to encourage Steve. Apart from that? Totally dead.

Image © OpenClips via Pixabay.

Honestly, people, you're at a wrestling show. Get excited. Make some noise. It's not difficult.

The Match of the Week was one I'd seen before, from Bound for Glory 2013, but it was still good.

Kurt Angle pulling off a moonsault is always amazing. And his Angle Slam on Bobby Roode from the top rop was ridiculous.

Also, isn't it odd how quickly we get used to the new?

I watched Bobby Roode wrestle with long hair and no lyrics in his entrance music for ages.

And yet now it feels weird to see that.

Just shows how fast we adjust to a new status quo, doesn't it?

Image © Status Quo courtesy of AllBum.it.

This was a solid episode of Xplosion. And if next week is this good or better, I'll be happy.

– Stark

Related Post: TNA Xplosion: Air Date 1st October 2014

Thursday, 9 October 2014

I'm The Cult of Personality

Wrestlers need character.

Not exactly a ground-breaking statement, I know, but one TNA has apparently forgotten.

So let's talk about Chris Melendez.

I don't get him.

Image © nicubunu via OpenClipart.org.

I don't hate him, but I'm not interested either.

And I think I've finally worked out why.

He's got no character.

Think about it. What do we know about Melendez so far?

That he's a veteran and an amputee. That's it.

Two brief descriptions and a whole lot of nothing.

First, he's a veteran. So why not compare him with two other vets?

Ken Anderson is an asshole. He'll smack-talk you like there's no tomorrow and he's not above fighting dirty.

But ultimately, he's a good guy. If he's your friend, he'll protect you from creepy weirdoes trying to stalk you.

Plus he's hella funny.

Melendez is a veteran.

Gunner's wrestling nickname literally comes from his military past, but he's also Mr Intensity. The guy who'll hit his own head on the corner to get stoked.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

And he's stubborn, too. He doesn't give up easily and he will keep on fighting to the bitter end, as James Storm discovered in their I Quit match.

But at the same time, he's generous and altruistic. He'll go out of his way to help somebody in trouble because it's the right thing to do.

Melendez is a veteran.

Do you see the difference?

Anderson and Gunner have three-dimensional characters. They have personalities. They seem like real people.

Chris Melendez currently feels like a cardboard cut-out. He looks good, but he's flat.

So much for being a veteran.

Let's tackle the thornier issue of Melendez being an amputee.

Right now, the fact that Melendez has a missing leg is possibly his most interesting trait.

And that is dangerous.

It's far too easy to render a disabled character nothing more than their disability.

For Melendez, being an amputee threatens to leave him a curiosity.

And they rarely have lasting appeal.

After all, Kenny King's already tried to steal his prosthesis.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

Where do you go from there?

What do you do when the audience gets used to a one-legged man in a wrestling ring?

You need to forge a lasting connection with the audience or you'll end up a flash-in-the-pan when the novelty wears off.

And that's why being a veteran and being an amputee aren't enough to support Melendez as a wrestler.

So tell us more about him, TNA. We want to know him better.

What was his childhood like? Who's his favourite superhero? Does he like peanut butter (and if so, smooth or crunchy)?

What does he want to do in TNA?

Does he want to save people from bullies on like Eric Young?

Be the longest reigning Heavyweight Champion like Bobby Roode?

Get into the TNA Hall of Fame like Team 3D?

What are his ambitions? What are his hopes? What are his dreams?

Image © geralt via Pixabay.

In short, what is his motivation?

Because if I don't find out soon, my motivation certainly won't be to watch more of him.

– Stark

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 5th October 2014

I've got two words for ya: damp squib.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

It didn't help that the crowd was near silent, which kills momentum dead.

But the writing wasn't exactly inspiring, either.

All that build up and Bobby Roode just asks for another match and gets turned down by MVP.

That was worth it.

As for MVP, I sigh whenever he starts talking.

He's not bad on the mic. But his promos are endless and it gets dull.

Mind you, even a star talker like Chris Jericho would be struggling with the Chris Melendez storyline.

Not even Ken Anderson can make me care.

TNA are assuming that everyone will adore Melendez automatically.

But the problem is that we don't know him yet. So how can we care about him?

I'll get into this more on Thursday.

Moving on, let's talk about Shark Boy in a fake belly.

I wish I was making that up.

Image © Alex Proimos via Flickr.

Look, TNA, I know I said I'm tired of Tigre Uno, Crazzy Steve and DJ Z jobbing.

But this was... I have no words for it.

James Storm and his cult are still neat, I guess. But you lost me, TNA.

Also mystifying was why Team 3D and the Hardys transformed into assholes overnight.

Just last week, the two teams were still complimenting the Wolves.

Yet now the Wolves are suddenly cocky upstarts punching above their weight.

Either Team 3D and the Hardys are sore losers, or this is a cheap ploy to get the Wolves sympathy.

Trust me. They don't need it.

I follow a lot of people on Twitter. Do you know how many of them actively dislike the Wolves?

One.

You aren't going to make the Wolves look better this way. Knock it off.

At least Full Metal Mayhem should be good.

But how about something I did like?

EC3 and Rockstar Spud.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

I love the direction Spud's character is taking.

He's become incredibly sympathetic and I genuinely care about what happens to him.

And EC3 has become that heel you love to hate. It's great stuff.

Now we just need to let Spud wrestle and everything will be dandy.

Samoa Joe defending his title against Austin Aries was also good.

The dead crowd dampened things a little, but the action was great. And it's always fun to see Joe and Aries wrestle.

And finally, Gail Kim and Havok.

The Knockouts getting the respect they deserve and the main event slot? Awesome.

But I'm not sure on the outcome of the match.

Havok is still so new that giving her the belt feels premature.

If Gail needed to lose the belt, I'm unsure if Havok is the right one to take it.

And I'm also annoyed that I still haven't seen her wrestle a proper match.

Image © Tabercil via Flickr.

This episode had a couple of gems. But a lot of it was dull. There were too many flashbacks. And large swathes either lacked character or threw people through the heel-face revolving door.

You're better than this, TNA. Get it together.

– Stark