Saturday, 29 November 2014

Off-Topic: All Quiet on the Stark Remarks Front

You may have noticed I haven't blogged much this week.

Why? Well university is kicking my arse.

I'm a third year student. I had an assignment due on the 24th November and one due on the 5th December. I have to write a formal proposal for my independent study for January. And I also have two more assignments due in around then.

This is not a pity party. I'm going to put on my big kid pants and deal with it.

And admittedly, my decision to go to XWA-UK today (Saturday) and Southside tomorrow (Sunday) is also eating up my time.

So there will not be a review of Xplosion until Monday at the earliest. I will not be live-tweeting this weekend. And I will not be posting British Boot Camp or Impact until Tuesday at the earliest.

I'll make it up to you with an extra opinion post and reviews of World Cup and Knockouts Knockdown as soon as I'm on holiday for Christmas.

And yes, I will be posting brief reviews of the XWA and Southside shows.

Thank you for your understanding. I couldn't do this without you.

– 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. Both collections end soon and neither have met their goal. Thank you.

Related Post: Special Post: Southside Wrestling 4th Anniversary

Friday, 28 November 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 23rd November 2014

Let's talk Impact.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

Now before I do anything else, I need to attack the tangled mess of MVP, Kenny King and Bobby Lashley's plot-lines.

Lashley wants his rematch against Bobby Roode. So far, so good.

But at the same time, Lashley and MVP were angry at each other. Or maybe they're not. I'm not sure.

And now MVP is attacking Kurt Angle because #MVPMakesBadDecisions. And I bet you never thought I'd bring that out again, did you?

But wait! We've also got Kenny King, who injured Chris Melendez in their match. Which means that Ken Anderson is getting involved.

And so all six of these men got into a big punch-up at the end of the show.

I'm assuming that there's going to be a big six-man tag match to sort this out now? I don't know.

At least Bram and Tommy Dreamer's story is simple: they want to smack each other's heads in with the contents of the nearest Home Depot.

Image © Ildar Sagdejev via Wikimedia Commons.

Also Al Snow was there. Because... ECW, I suppose?

Either way, Bram won, which I liked. Yes, Magnus interfered, but they're still doing a good job of making Bram look tough. And that's all you can ask for, really.

Bram and Dreamer weren't the only ones bleeding, though. Somehow, EC3 managed to bust himself open by headbutting Rockstar Spud.

Who knew the guy had such a hard head?

Still, I'm loving the drama going on here. The fact that Spud keeps coming back every single time is real underdog stuff and it works so well.

Although kicking EC3 in the balls when Tyrus is around was still a bad decision.

And speaking of bad decisions, Mahabali Shera still wants to join the Revolution. Because apparently he didn't see them assaulting the Wolves last week.

Image © Anton via Wikimedia Commons.

Seriously, people, watch the show you're on. It's not hard.

As for Manik, he was part of an excellent X Division Championship match.

I'm not surprised that Low Ki won. But I enjoyed it anyway, so take from that what you will.

Of course, we also had a Knockouts Championship match on the card. And I thought its psychology was well-executed.

Havok lost the belt, but it took two other women to take her down. Gail Kim lost, but she had an injury. And Taryn Terrell managed to defeat two opponents to win her first Knockouts Championship.

Everybody came out looking strong and competent. And that's the best kind of title match you can ask for.

Can't wait for the re-match.

And finally, the #TNA365 stuff. It was utterly pointless and didn't add anything except more footage of Brittany and Samuel Shaw sucking face.

Seriously, TNA: we didn't need that.

Image © chriscoven via DeviantArt.

I may sound a bit lacklustre about the show in tis review, but it's because it was more wrestling than story and that makes it hard to comment on.

I'm a writer, you see. I know story best.

Would I recommend you see it if you haven't? Yes.

And that's all that needs saying.

– 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 16th November 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 23rd November 2014

You know what would have improved last week's episode of Boot Camp?

Combining it with this one.

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

Whereas last week was a great big pile of nothing happening, this episode was pretty fun.

Seeing Austin Aries, DJ Z and Magnus put the six finalists through their paces was awesome.

My favourite was probably Kay Lee Ray versus DJ Z. And not just because it was a battle between two people with awesome hair.

I love the way Kay Lee performs. She's genuinely one of my favourite female wrestlers in the world.

I'm sorta hoping she wins, to be honest.

And I think EC3 is as well, judging by the way he kept staring at her. Which was pretty funny.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

But of course, you can't talk about British Boot Camp without talking about Grado.

To be honest, I'm not sure what they're doing with him.

On one hand, he is fairly unlikeable at times. He over-shares, spends all his time in wrestling gear, and is generally a bit obnoxious.

But on the other, I see Dave Mastiff and Rampage Brown giving him grief and... well, I just feel sorry for him.

Maybe it's because I was a victim of bullying when I was a kid. But the jokes feel more mean-spirited than funny.

So I can't decide whether I actually like Grado or not. It's confusing.

Image © nicubunu via OpenClipart.org.

But despite that, this was great fun and I look forward to seeing the six have their first official TNA match.

It should be awesome.

– 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 16th November 2014

Monday, 24 November 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 19th November 2014

We may be late, but we're still here. So let's talk about Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Match of the Week was one I think I remember. And more importantly, it made me feel old.

2007 was seven years ago. I was sixteen when this match first aired. Blimey.

I'd like to point out that three out of the four participants in the match are still with TNA. And that's awesome.

Oh, and Samoa Joe won all the title belts in one fell swoop. And how is that not the best thing ever?

I'll tell you how: because of the Xplosion Xclusive match. Which was the battiest thing on this show since Rockstar Spud wrestled Crazzy Steve.

Image © Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

You know, if there were one match I never expected to see on any TNA programming, it would be Mr Anderson versus Rockstar Spud.

And yet that is exactly what Xplosion gave to us.

And this match was...

No. I don't think I can find words to describe how unbelievably ridiculous it was.

Every single moment had me laughing. It was that freaking daft.

Some of my favourite parts?

Spud trying to be bad-ass by spitting gum at Anderson.

Anderson's many long-suffering facial expressions.

And the chase sequence that was crying out for the Benny Hill music.

But the best bit was probably Earl Hebner slamming Spud for accidentally giving him a knife-edge chop.

You don't cross Hebner, apparently.

Image © Ed Webster via Flickr.

This is exactly what Xplosion should be: ridiculous, high-energy, anarchic, family-friendly fun.

And I loved every minute.

– 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 12th November 2014

Thursday, 20 November 2014

I'm Sick of All My Kicks

How many hardcore and No DQ matches have we had since TNA went on the road?

The Wolves, Team 3D and the Hardys had a table match, a ladder match and Full Metal Mayhem.

Bram has a hardcore match every time he steps in the ring.

Image © TNA via ImpactWrestling.com.

And now Samuel Shaw and Gunner are getting in on the action.

I could be wrong, but I think we've had one match that involved weapons every single week since the New York episodes.

There's no way to know exactly why TNA are putting on so many matches involving weapons. But I have two theories.

The most obvious reason is that it's something different from the WWE. If they're going to be PG, TNA with be mature.

If the WWE shies away from blood and ultra-violence, TNA will revel in it.

And that's fine to a point. But a more cynical part of me says there's another reason.

I think it's an attempt to get high attendance at the live events. After all, nothing draws in a crowd like a hardcore match.

Image © Pacifier via Wikimedia Commons.

Just look at Southside. They told a bunch of wrestling fans that Jimmy Havoc and DJ Hyde would be lacerating themselves in barbed wire and we went nuts for it.

But that's the thing: the fans had such enthusiasm because there hadn't been a No Rope Barbed Wire match in the UK for eight years.

In fact, it was the only No Rope Barbed Wire match I'd seen before in my life. So of course I got hyped for it.

But if I'd seen the same thing the week before, would I have gotten so excited for it? I don't think so.

And that's the problem with putting on hardcore matches every single week. People quickly get bored of them.

There are only so many ways you can smack somebody in the head with a folding chair before it starts to get repetitive.

Image © Mshake3 via Wikimedia Commons.

And the more times you put on a certain kind of match, the more excessive you have to get for the fans to give you the same response.

Bigger weapons. More blood. And greater risks for the performers.

It's the same problem that some people have with ladder matches. After a while, you run out of ways to innovate while still being reasonable.

So unless TNA want to take a page out of Combat Zone Wrestling's book and bring in the weed whacker, where's left for them to go?

Exactly.

Unless you're willing to go to real extremes, hardcore and no DQ matches cannot be the bread and butter of your company.

Will it draw people in? Yes, in the short term. But long term, they're going to get bored and leave.

You need to save matches like this for special occasions and give them the respect they deserve.

After all, the wrestlers involved are often literally giving their blood for our entertainment.

Image © KameleonKlik via DeviantArt.

The least us viewers and the company can do is give them some respect for 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: I've Got To Break Through, I'm Going Under

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 16th November 2014

Was this episode better than last week? Hell yes.

Partly because the flashbacks were minimal and the TNA #365 content fairly inoffensive.

And the rest of the show?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

The Knockouts featured heavily this week.

First, Madison Rayne versus Taryn Terrell. Perhaps a touch overshadowed by the triple threat on Xplosion, but still good enough.

Also, Taryn and Gail Kim will face Havok in a Triple Threat for the Knockouts Championship next week. Should be awesome.

Plus the Beautiful People teamed with the BroMans against the Menagerie.

Well. Minus the Freak. For reasons unknown.

The Menagerie winning? Good. Crazzy Steve picking up the victory? Awesome.

Crazzy Steve forcing kisses on Velvet Sky again? Ew. No.

Speaking of creepy, Brittany and Samuel Shaw are still constantly sucking face.

Why does Brittany want Shaw to split from Gunner, by the way? What's her motivation?

And does anyone else find it weird how quickly Gunner turned on Shaw?

So much for loyalty, I guess.

Match was fine, though.

Although added to the hardcore matches with Bram, I do wonder if we're over-saturated with weapons matches.

Image © TNA Wrestling via ImpactWrestling.com.

Answers this Thursday.

But you can't talk about hardcore without the Hardcore American Icon EC3. And that brings us to the stars of the show: Eric Young and Rockstar Spud.

I want those team as a tag team. I wan them to have a name like Crazy Potatoes. And I want t-shirts.

And Spud trying to take Bobby Lashley single handed to avenge EY? Noble, stupid, and totally awesome.

Of course Lashley was there because he couldn't get revenge on MVP and Bobby Roode. And so TNA had Austin Aries offer himself as sacrificial lamb, so to speak.

It's odd how they let Aries come so close to glory then snatch it away.

But going back to MVP, I've realised something: I don't like him as a performer.

He's probably a nice guy. But he bores me asleep.

Image © Elvira1990 via DeviantArt.

How do I know that?

Because without him, the Chris Melendez and Kenny King feud is actually interesting. And I liked it.

I know. It was a strange, distressing experience.

But nowhere near as distressing as Samoa Joe vacating the X Division Championship due to injury.

Get better soon and come back for the new champ.

Which brings me to the Wolves.

On the plus side, Davey Richards turned down the Revolution.

On the minus side, the Revolution sorta tore them apart and took their belts.

You win some, you lose some.

I loved how TNA pulled out the Feast or Fired briefcase, though. Great Chekov's gun.

Oh, and Storm is still the only redneck in the group because Abyss is from Washington. Oops.

And finally: is Manik in trouble for bringing in Mahabali Shera or not? It's not clear.

Either way, Storm? Personal space.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

At the end of the day, I thought this episode was pretty damned good and I had a lot of fun watching it.

Give it a look if you haven't already. You might like it 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 9th November 2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 16th November 2014

This week's British Boot Camp was not what I'd call eventful.

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

It started with a ridiculously long recap of who everybody was.

Necessary for those just joining us? Perhaps.

But for those who've been watching from the beginning, it felt like the worst parts of Impact.

And let's be honest: there's only one show that can make sitting down for a meal interesting, and that's Hell's Kitchen.

Watching the six finalists eat dinner with Dixie Carter was not riveting television.

Having said that, seeing them messing about in the RV was a lot of fun.

And Rockstar Spud and Dave Mastiff bickering over trivia was like an Abbott and Costello routine.

Image © NBC Television via Wikimedia Commons.

But the most interesting part was probably the match-ups with TNA superstars.

Of course, we'll only see three, but they all sounded at least decent.

Mark Andrews versus DJ Z should be fun. And Rampage Brown versus Bram should be rough and ready.

Noam Dar versus Austin Aries sounds mind-bogglingly awesome. Kay Lee Ray versus Gail Kim likewise.

Mastiff versus Samoa Joe is a match made in Heaven.

And then you've got Grado.

I still don't know how I feel about him. He's funny, and it's nice to have a consistent storyline in the show.

And yet... well. Grado. Do I have to say more?

His match sounds amazing though. Grado versus EC3? Too funny.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

All in all, this episode was missable.

If you haven't seen it, don't bother hunting it down and skip on to next week instead.

– 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 9th November 2014

Saturday, 15 November 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 12th November 2014

I've said it before and I'll say it again: it's still Saturday somewhere. And it's time to talk Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Xclusive this week was a Knockouts match. And it wasn't good.

Isn't that a miserable thought?

The Knockouts are some of the toughest, most awesome women in wrestling today. And yet a triple threat Knockouts match bores me.

Admittedly, Angelina Love's match introductions don't help. You can tell she's trying, but it's not working out.

The wrestling was fine. But the story didn't engage me.

There was no real link to the Madison and Taryn feud that's going on. Nothing related to the Beautiful People.

Image © Mshake3 via Wikimedia Commons.

And the story they were telling in ring just... didn't grab me. I don't know why.

Long story short: the best part of this match was JB and Rockstar Spud on commentary.

Also, it's gratifying that Spud notices the same inane details that I do. Like somebody's foundation or fake tan rubbing off on the mat. Makes me feel like less of a weirdo.

Now the Match of the Week was far more interesting.

A gauntlet leading into an Ultimate X match. And the ten guys in it?

Christopher Daniels. Jay Lethal. Manik as Puma. Homicide. Sonjay Dutt. Petey Williams. Shark Boy. Elix Skipper. And Low Ki as Senshi.

Or in other words, pretty much the entire classic X Division roster.

And it was glorious.

Image © Charles LeBlanc via Flickr.

More a damp squib than an explosion, this episode was... okay.

I've been better. But I've also seen much worse.

– 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 5th November 2014

Thursday, 13 November 2014

I've Got To Break Through, I'm Going Under

Is TNA about to go under?

Image © United States Coast Guard via Wikimedia Commons.

That seems to be the hot question of the moment.

From what I can gather, TNA are still struggling to get a new Spike TV deal.

And they're going to run out of Impact footage before the end of the year.

If they're desperate enough to put on Christmas clip-shows... well. Surely that means that they're in dire straights, doesn't it?

Here's the thing: I have no idea.

I'm not an employee at TNA. I don't know anything about what's going on in the company.

And without that insider knowledge, how can anyone reasonably speculate on their future?

Maybe things are as bad as everybody says. Maybe they're not. It's impossible to say.

So instead, I'm going to ask a different question.

If TNA does go out of business, what alternatives are there in the world of wrestling?

Obvious answer: the WWE.

After all, it's the world's most famous wrestling company. Even people who know nothing about wrestling have heard of them.

Image © WWE courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Sure, you have to pay for their PPVs in the UK, unlike TNA's. But it's still wrestling.

And when their top guys all finally get back from injury, they should put on a few half-decent shows.

It's a fine alternative, if you can put up with John Cena versus Randy Orton for the billionth time.

Me? I probably won't switch over to them if we lose TNA.

The WWE just put on too many hours of programming for me to keep up with.

So if I'm not going to go there, where am I going to go?

Simple: the British wrestling scene.

Now the biggest disavantage of this is obvious: cost.

Watching TNA is absolutely free. Watching a local show means you have to pay for tickets, transport and beverages.

But you know what? I think it's more than worth the money.

I've posted several reviews of Revolution Pro Wrestling and Southside Wrestling shows. And I have not had a single bad experience with them.

Image © Southside Wrestling courtesy of @miguitore via KGB-Wrestling.com.

Live wrestling is a completely different beast from watching it in television. There's an atmosphere that just can't compare.

You get comedy. You get drama. You get violence. There's something for everybody.

And you get to discover new people you've never heard of before.

Until I started going to live shows in the UK, I had never seen Marty Scurll, Jimmy Havoc, Robbie X, Tyler Bate or Kay Lee Ray.

Now? They're some of my favourite performers.

So if those are the alternatives, what should we do about TNA's possible impending doom?

Simple. We need to calm the hell down.

We can't predict TNA's future right now.

Maybe it's dark. Maybe it's bright. But what's the point in worrying when we just don't know?

We should just enjoy TNA Impact while we can. And if worst comes to worst, there's so much talent in the UK for us to see.

And after all, if Samoa Joe says that we should do it, who are we to argue?

Image © Jason Garber via Flickr.

– 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: Could It Be That It's the Season of the Shark?

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 9th November 2014

Ugh. This episode of Impact.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

I've been putting off this review because it was just so... meh.

Maybe I was in a bad mood. Or maybe it was all the dull flashbacks.

If the end of year filler episodes are this boring, I'm turning to drink.

Twenty-six minutes until the first match? No. Just no.

Now for the Knockouts.

Gail Kim's rematch with Havok was lacklustre. Probably because "Fight through injury but ultimately lose" was how Gail lost the belt in the first place.

Didn't grab me.

And as for Brittany... well, I have a little request.

This is wrestling. Not porn. So could she spend less time dry-humping Samuel Shaw on air in future, please?

Oh, and Gunner is now calling Shaw a creepy bastard. So much for trying to be his friend, then.

Speaking of creepy, Manik is already in the ear of Mahabali Shera, the new guy from India.

Image courtesy of CMPuLs3 on TheWWEForum.com.

And James Storm is still whispering to Davey Richards like the devil on his shoulder.

Maybe he's lonely. After all, he's the only white guy in his supposedly redneck revolution right now.

Then again, Davey's from Washington. So he's not exactly a redneck either, is he?

As for other non-Americans, Bram and Magnus lost to Devon and Tommy Dreamer.

Look. I know Devon and Dreamer are hardcore legends. But Bram and Magnus are up-and-coming stars.

Please cut them a break. After all, you let EC3 beat Sting, Kurt Angle and Bully Ray.

Just give them a chance.

And I didn't like who won the tag team tournament either.

Don't get me wrong. I love the Hardys. My brother's love for them was the reason he forced me to watch wrestling when I was a child.

If it weren't for the Hardys, I wouldn't love wrestling.

Image © Christian Korsager via Flickr.

But they've had two shots at the tag team championship already. They had a one-on-one match with the Wolves, and they were part of the tag team hoedown.

Low Ki and Samoa Joe haven't had a shot yet. So why on Earth wouldn't you give them one?

It's ridiculous.

So was there anything I did like on this show?

Well. There was Rockstar Spud calling EC3 a wanker and a big-nosed douchebag. That was indescribably amazing.

Also amazing was the way he threw himself at EC3 to avenge Jeremy Borash. And Eric Young coming in to lend a hand was bad-ass.

And that's why #ImWithSpud, folks. Best part of the episode.

And finally, the Heavyweight championship picture.

I don't know why MVP got a title shot. I don't know why he and Bobby Lashley are apparently no longer friends. And I don't know why TNA are breaking up their team when they never got a name in the first place.

And I don't particularly care.

Bobby Roode is still an awesome champion, though. So there's that.

Image © Robertlbeukema via Wikimedia Commons.

This episode was a cavalcade of mediocrity with one sparkling gem.

You can do better than this, TNA. And next week, I want you to prove 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 Impact: UK Air Date 2nd November 2014

Monday, 10 November 2014

British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 9th November 2014

Here it is. The UK Finals of British Boot Camp 2.

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

Every single match was awesome. And I mean that. Every single one.

It was some of the best wrestling I've seen in a long time.

Congratulations to every single man and woman in that ring. You were all amazing.

My favourite match? Well. It had to be Mark Andrews versus Kris Travis, didn't it?

Those two were absolutely mind-blowing and I cannot praise them enough.

Oh, and Trav's pink furry shorts with a bunny tail? Still more fashionable than Rockstar Spud's suits. Just saying.

But of course, I can't talk about Boot Camp without giving my opinion on who did go through.

I have to admit: I honestly expected Noam Dar to go through straight away.

Image © Isle of Slingers.

Picking Grado over Sha Samuels makes sense from a comedy perspective. But from a wrestling perspective, it's a bit batty, to be honest.

Grado is funny, but I'd choose Sha over him any day.

And it was ridiculous that they passed over Martin Stone after that amazing promo last week.

But the biggest punch to the gut was seeing Trav picked to go through.

He deserved to be a finalist. He deserved to go to America. And it sucks in so many ways that he couldn't.

I know I add these links under every post now, but I'm going to ask again.

If you liked Kris Travis on British Boot Camp 2, please considered donating to the Indiegogo campaigns for him.

Image courtesy of Pro Wrestling Wiki.

Thank you.

– 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 2nd November 2014

Saturday, 8 November 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 5th November 2014

And we're back with Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

This week's Match of the Week is one I remember.

It was the Ultimate X match for the X Division Championship from Victory Road 2011.

I didn't like it then. I don't like it now.

I have no problem with the match itself. It's good wrestling.

And okay, this was still during the time when Robbie E was completely unbearable and had Cookie. But that wasn't too bad.

No, the reason I hated this match was that it essentially broke up Generation Me.

Yeah. Remember that? When TNA thought it was a good idea to break up the Young Bucks when their tag team division was already struggling?

Image © Alex Proimos via Flickr.

They really did make some agonisingly stupid decisions during the Hogan period, didn't they?

At least the Xplosion Xclusive was absolutely brilliant.

I'm still not sure on Angelina Love as announcer.

But James Storm versus Gunner versus Eric Young? On Xplosion?

We are so freaking spoilt, people.

And EY winning is always cool.

But my favourite part was Rockstar Spud gushing about EY on commentary.

I would love to see those two team up more often. They'd be an amazing odd couple team.

A mad Canadian who looks like a feral lumberjack and a pint-sized Brummie rockstar in terrible suits?

I don't know what the team name would be. But I swear the team itself would be utterly glorious.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

This was a good episode of Xplosion.

And you can't really ask for more than that, can you?

– 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 29th October 2014

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Could It Be That It's the Season of the Shark?

You know what I'm excited about right now?

Shark Boy.

Image © FreddiusMercurium via Wikimedia Commons.

No, that's not a joke. I'm serious.

When they brought him in to job to Manik, I thought it would be a one-time thing.

When they brought him back to job to Tyrus, I thought it was the same miserable lightning striking twice.

But now that TNA have teased him getting back into shape and back into the game, I'm genuinely interested in what they could do with him.

No matter how silly it gets.

After all, when you get down to it, Shark Boy has always been a comedy character.

Look at him. He's a fully grown man who dresses up in a fish mask and pretends to be a shark. Which was daft enough in itself.

Then he began acting like Stone Cold Steve Austin to boot.

And his little super-hero group with Curry Man and Super Eric wasn't exactly the epitome of seriousness, was it?

Image © John Jewell via Flickr.

A fish-based Stone Cold impersonator, a "Japanese" man with food on his head, and a Canadian in a cape.

Truly they were the equal to the Justice League.

But you know what?

That's a good thing.

I've said before that wrestling cannot be all serious all the time or it gets boring.

That's one of the reasons I like Bad Influence/The Addiction so much. They know when to drop the growly macho nonsense and have a bit of fun. Normally at other people's expense.

And it's also why I quite like the Menagerie.

You need a mixture of ultra-violence, light relief and serious plot to give the audience some variety.

And TNA has that mix down fairly well, I think.

They've got hardcore matches for the ultra-violence fans with people like Abyss and Bram.

And they've got serious plot in the Heavyweight and Tag Team Championship scenes.

That just leaves comedy. Which is currently embodied by the Menagerie.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Nick Paglino via WrestleZone.com.

And you know what? I think Shark Boy would fit in with them.

I'm serious. I would love to see Shark Boy join the Menagerie.

After all, what are they? A carnival freak show.

And what's freakier than a half-man, half-shark who drinks like a fish, if you'll pardon the pun?

He could even start a new super-hero group with Crazzy Steve. After all, he's crazy! He'd do it!

I would pay good money to see Shark Boy and Crazzy Steve running around trying to solve mysteries and bring evildoers to justice.

And even if TNA don't go that route, there's so much potential with a comeback kid storyline for Shark Boy.

Don't tell me that you don't want an 80s sports move training montage with this guy.

I can just imagine him jogging desperately on a treadmill with "Eye of the Tiger" playing in the background.

And after that? The world is his oyster! So to speak.

Image © 663highland via Wikimedia Commons.

That's why I think that if TNA gets this right, Shark Boy's return could be fantastic.

And that's the fishing line 'cos Shark Boy says so.

– 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: Beware of the Force of Nature

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

TNA Impact: UK Air Date 2nd November 2014

And we're back with more Impact. How was it?

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Rasslor.

The #TNA365 content was decent this week. The flashbacks were a bit overlong, but the interviews were interesting.

Can't complain.

Moving on, let's talk about the Knockouts.

Do you know how many face Knockouts there are in TNA?

Three: Gail Kim, Taryn Terrell, and arguably Rebel.

There are five heels: The Beautiful People, Brittany, Havok, and now Madison.

Doesn't this seem unbalanced to you?

Madison is a great heel. But when the ratio of face to heel is that skewed, you start to wonder what the end game is.

Funnily enough, I feel the same way about Davey Richards joining Storm's Revolution. Only more so.

I don't know whether to hate TNA for threatening to split my favourite team, or to applaud them for getting me to mark out so much.

Either way, I cannot wait to see more of this plot. And I really hope it doesn't end badly for the Wolves.

Image © Anton via Wikimedia Commons.

#WolvesNation all the way, I say.

Speaking of tag teams, we had the semi-finals of the tag team tournament.

Samoa Joe and Low Ki winning? Awesome! They're great!

Kenny King and MVP losing? Not so great. Because that means they're going to be going back to the storyline with Chris Melendez.

Spare me.

And EC3 and Tyrus losing in only their second match together was a bit of a kick in the face as well.

I know we don't want the Hardys to look bad, but you literally just brought Tyrus into the company.

He's only managed to defeat an out-of-shape Shark Boy and Rockstar Spud. Why not give him some credibility before having him lose?

Which brings us to Shark Boy.

If I do not get a cheesy 80s sports movie montage of Shark Boy getting into shape set to either "Eye of the Tiger" or "You're The Best Around", I will be devastated, TNA.

Image © FreddiusMercurium via Wikimedia Commons.

You can't bring him back like this and do nothing. Go all out. Make it ridiculous.

After all, he's a man in a fish suit doing an impression of Stone Cold Steve Austin. You can't really do much else but ridiculous with him.

Shifting gears, Magnus and Bram are freaking awesome. I'd love to see them as a full-time tag team for a while.

Especially if they started calling themselves Brothers in Blood. Just saying.

And with Tommy Dreamer as Devon's partner, fingers crossed for some good hardcore matches.

And finally, the big one. The main event. Bobby Lashley versus Bobby Roode for the World Heavyweight Championship.

This storyline worked perfectly.

For so long, we've seen challenger after challenger fall before Lashley. He looked like an unstoppable monster.

And now the monster is slain.

And doesn't Roode look absolutely freaking fantastic for it?

Congratulations, champ. You deserve it.

Image © Robertlbeukema via Wikimedia Commons.

This was a fun episode with a few minor nitpicks here and there.

But then nobody's perfect. So why should I expect TNA to be?

I had fun with it. And that's what counts.

– 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 26th October 2014

Monday, 3 November 2014

British Boot Camp 2: Air Date 2nd November 2014

We've reached the final audition stage for British Boot Camp 2. How was it?

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

First of all, if you aren't following Kris Travis on Twitter, do it now. His commentary is fantastic.

Go on. I'll wait.

Done? Good.

This episode had some amazing auditions.

Dave Mastiff. RJ Singh. Joel Redman. Even Richard Parliament was a laugh.

Then there was Martin Stone. He was unreal.

I've seen him wrestle a few times now, but I'd never heard him give such an awesome promo. Nice work, Guvnor.

As for Sha Samuels... well. I have a confession to make.

When people called him the East End Butcher, I thought they were speaking metaphorically.

Image © Stark Remarks.

I didn't realise he's actually a butcher.

And the image of him chopping up a cow was pretty terrifying all by itself. So, uh. Yeah. I'm scared of Sha now.

Oh, and after the Manchester women all sank, it was great to see the Owens twins going through. And they seemed pretty cool.

And then there's Grado. The underdog story of our times.

I don't think he's going to win. But I'll be damned if I haven't enjoyed his plot thread.

Plus it's always funny to see Al Snow getting his knickers in a twist. Sorry, Al, but it's true.

Image © Tabercil via Wikimedia Commons.

This was a fun episode with some great talent.

And I cannot wait for next week and the matches in Round Three.

Kris Travis versus Mark Andrews? Noam Dar versus El Ligero? Hell yes. Do want.

It's gonna be awesome.

– 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 26th October 2014

Sunday, 2 November 2014

TNA Xplosion: Air Date 29th October 2014

We're finally up to date. Let's talk Xplosion.

Image © TNA Wrestling courtesy of Wikipedia.

How often do you get two people like Magnus and Bobby Roode competing in an Xplosion Xclusive match?

I can't remember seeing anything like this before.

The closest was probably James Storm versus Tigre Uno.

And it was freaking awesome.

Roode and Magnus were great. Not that I'd expect anything else from those two, to be honest.

They're two extremely talented guys and when you put them together, you get gold.

Although Magnus is not having a good time of it recently, is he? I can't remember the last time he won a match.

And Jeremy Borash and Rockstar Spud on commentary were a delight as usual.

Image © Mike Kalasnik via Flickr.

From referencing the Iron Sheik to bickering over whether Spud's too arrogant, they're always a joy to listen to.

In fact, I sometimes prefer them to Mike Tenay and Taz. Not gonna lie.

And finally, the Match of the Week: Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs Mr Anderson and AJ Styles.

I missed this the first time around. But from what I can tell, it was the genesis of Bad Influence/The Addiction.

Of course it was awesome. And of course I'm sad we won't see a rematch any time soon.

But the most noteworthy thing for me? How weird it is seeing Kaz with long hair.

What can I say? I'm used to the short hair now.

Image © Robby Green via Flickr.

This was a good episode and I had fun with it.

And there's nothing more I can really say.

– 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 22nd October 2014