High Road/Low Road 07.23.10: ECW vs TNA at Impact
Welcome back to the High Road/Low Road!
A brief explanation of the column: Sat takes the High Road (positive view) on angles, gimmicks, and other wrestling related “stuff” while Chad Nevett takes the Low Road (negative view).
ECW VERSUS TNA AT IMPACT
The thing I found surprising about the ECW invasion was the fact that they attacked Abyss. Abyss had been referring to them for awhile now and I think most of us were assuming that he was referring to ECW. I think it will be interesting to see who Abyss was referring to because the logical option is out of the way.
That was confusing in a way that left me turned off. It was another stupid TNA swerve for the sake of a swerve. Obviously Abyss meant them and they turned on him immediately because that’s a way to liven things up when everyone knew that this story was coming. It was illogical and inane.
The ending of Impact was great because it forced people to tune in the following week. The big brawl would have been enough to get people to tune in the next week, but to have Dixie Carter say that she invited them was unexpected. The brawl and the shocking revelation should get people to tune in to see the aftermath.
The execution of the brawl was so bad that it will just turn people off. Instead of creating intrigue and questions for what will happen next, a large chunk of people were wondering what had actually happened. It was too confusing to make out completely and, if they can’t begin the story well, why would you tune in to see the follow-up?
The one complaint that everybody is having about this invasion is that the ECW guys are way too old and broken down. In a way this is true, but in a way it is not. I think the broken down guys can give a few matches and guys like RVD and Rhino can carry the majority of the load.
I wouldn’t build a faction around those two. Rob Van Dam has had, what, two or three matches where he’s actually looked like a main event wrestler since returning to TNA? The rest have been squashes or lackluster bouts where he just went through the motions. Rhino has been a world champ, but not one that many concerned on that main event level and that was years ago. If these two are the best this faction has to offer, then it’s in trouble immediately.
I think that this invasion angle is kind of a showcase to convince Paul Heyman to TNA. I think TNA is going to do a good job with this angle because they know that if they do a good job to potentially convince Paul Heyman to come in. They still might not be able to get Paul Heyman, but we are pretty much guaranteed that this will be one of better angles that TNA has done.
Heyman won’t come to TNA without absolute control and that’s not going to happen, so if this is just a showcase, it won’t work. Beyond that, why would this convince Heyman? He’s not stupid. He knows that, for TNA and the business to move forward, you need new stars and new ideas, and this story offers neither.
The WWE recently had some success with an invasion type angle with the Nexus. The Nexus angle has been one of the better things the WWE has done and it makes sense for TNA to try to replicate it. While there are some differences, they are also some similarities and it makes sense for TNA to hope that the same can be true for them.
So, the WWE does an invasion with young guys that are the future of the company quite possibly and TNA’s response is to use a bunch of broken down old timers relying on nostalgia for a promotion from over a decade ago that others have tried to cash in on and never succeeded? All that shows is that TNA doesn’t know which parts of an angle to rip off.
The one thing that cannot be denied about ECW is that they have had a lot of success since they folded in 2001. They have had a successful DVD, two successful One Night Stand PPVs, and good ratings for the first few weeks for the ECW revival by the WWE. TNA would be stupid not to at least try and make some profit of the ECW name.
They had some initial success that went away because people realized very quickly that ECW was a product of a certain time, place, and group of people that couldn’t be replicated. The WWE couldn’t make ECW work and I highly doubt that TNA will have any more success, especially with the legal hazards of using the ECW name since the WWE owns that. More than that, they’ve already attempted trying to replicate what made WCW a success with Hogan and Bischoff (and others like Flair, Hall, Waltman) and that failed. So, what, they’re moving on to ECW now? What happens when that fails? Hiring Gabe Sapolsky to replicate early Ring of Honor? And, when that fails, what? Turning things back over to Jeff Jarrett to replicate early TNA? TNA needs to stop looking to the past and come up with new ideas based on new stars and make people interested in that.
A minor high road here, but this invasion allows for Mick Foley’s return. I think with this invasion angle, the odds are good that there will be a good reason why he is back whereas if this invasion angle had not happened, then we would have gotten a pretty weak reason. I think Foley should be refreshed from his break and he should definitely make a huge impact.
I don’t want to see Mick Foley in the ring. He hasn’t delivered anything above mediocre during his TNA run and he should know to just fade to the background.
Are you taking the High Road or the Low Road?
Simply write “High Road”, “Low Road”, or “Both Roads” in the comment section.
Results for Money in the Bank PPV:
High Road: 21%
Low Road: 41%
Both Roads: 35%
Sat: I thought that this would be a high road, but seems like people are finding faults with the PPV.
Chad Nevett: I was torn on the PPV, but that’s more because three of the seven matches left me pretty cold.
These are all of the e-mails that we received this week. We do not respond to the actual e-mail, but the reply to your e-mail will be below.
Sat: We had one email which was for voting purposes. Let’s go to the comments.
Below are the comments for last week’s columns and our responses. Every comment will not be included because it makes our lives a lot easier. The comments section was last looked at on Monday Morning Pacific Time.
how about someone who has actually seen drew when he worked on the UK indy circuit gets the chance to voice their opinion not just a bunch of people who saw the crap he was given and judged him for it would you say bryan danielson sucks because he lost 13 matches and his “big win” was against santino?
Sat: I must have missed the people who have seen Drew in the UK indy circuit because I have not heard anybody say he was awesome there.
Chad Nevett: Who was stopping anyone who had seen McIntyre in the UK from voicing their opinions? And considering we were judging that story, why would we take into account his previous work beyond evidence that, perhaps, he can do better? Then again, his in-ring work hasn’t been spectacular. Even in losing efforts, Danielson looked great in the ring.
Both, but probably more low.
High Road – The crowd loves a gimmick match.. And with eight of each show’s bigger stars, it is a win win for people at the show. At the end of the day, that is really want matters.
Low Road – The Raw has all of its bigger stars (outside of Cena) in this match while SD’s MITB match has what seems like all of the roster in it. What is the rest of the card? Chopped liver? Cena and Rey may be the most over dudes, but they are facing guys who really can’t get reaction without doing something. The tag title match is a total who cares match. And I don’t mind the Divas, but I think it is pretty duh that they are reaching for straws to fill time if they have both titles defended on the card.
Sat: MVP is a notable guy on SmackDown that is missing. Some of the undercard matches are underwhelming.
Chad Nevett: Swagger gets reactions. He does!
Low Road, I’ve grown tired of MITB. It’s getting stale and just a cheap way to put guys on a card for no reason. How many times has a champion been in it instead of defending it at WM? It’s just an easy way for WWE creative to put guys on there without doing anything or making a interesting feud instead since you know, that would require creative to do some work for a change.
Sat: Main eventers generally speaking haven’t been in the match that much.
Chad Nevett: How is that different than the Royal Rumble? I like Money in the Bank because it helps elevate people ala the Rumble.
Has it been confirmed that MITB will happen at next years WM or is the MITB PPV the only time we’ll see the match itself?
Sat: It hasn’t been confirmed, but I think we will see it at WrestleMania, just because of the fact that these briefcases can only be cashed in on the certain champions.
Chad Nevett: We’ll have to wait and see. I hope that if MitB sticks around in ‘Mania and as its own PPV then the PPV gets moved back to September or October to stick the two events at opposite ends of the year.
ROH Commish Writes:
MITB is actually something worth paying to see. However, WWE needs to deliver big bumps for this PPV to become a staple. Hell in a Cell got buys based on its history but the matches underdelivered to say the least. However, the problem of stories not having the intensity to warrant a cell is avoided. MITB is a simple story to understand and promote.
The thing is WWE should change B PPVs almost yearly. I was a fan of IN YOUR HOUSE branded PPVs which had various names that reflected the big feuds at the time.
Sat: I don’t think there are any new bumps that the WWE can do for this match. Various names would be cool, but I don’t see the WWE doing it.
Chad Nevett: I think the WWE already is doing the various names, but need something generic since they need to advertise so far in advance.
The MITB matches are generally good, 2 in a night does seem to be overkill but the ‘E has been able to create matches which are different enough in Elimination chamber and HITC so they should be watchable at least. The thing that I’m not looking forward to is the actual cashing in, I really don’t need to see another surprise match against a beat – up champion (I know it makes storyline sense, I’m just tired of it) and another 2 of them would be far too much, let someone hold on to one for a while, and have one announce a match in advance. With this, someone could win MITB and NOT win the title and end the predictability of it.
Sat: I think that one of the briefcases is going to be cashed in at the pay per view. Hopefully, I am right.
Chad Nevett: And we have a case of Sat answering comments before the PPV obviously…
The Gold Standard Writes:
Low Road. First off sorry Nevett about the spelling last week. I think this burns out the WrestleMania Money in the Bank and is obvious which Money in the Bank is more star studded but I’m intrigued with the SmackDown one as is filled with young stars.
Sat: I think if you have the WrestleMania briefcase being the one that you can cash on any champion, then you should have no problems. The WrestleMania one will also be multi branded which also makes it different. Though with the rumors that a good buy rate would end the Money in the Bank match at WrestleMania, it seems like it will be either be one or the other and not both.
Chad Nevett: No worries about the name thing. And I do think that it should be either or, not both. I liked the difference between the Smackdown and Raw line-ups for their matches. That alone gave the two matches different flavors.
Guest #6683 Writes:
– It’s a recognizable match with a significant prize that deserves to be the centerpiece of a PPV.
– The briefcase itself is almost like a championship.
– Now that it is a main event level match, established guys will be in it. One or two is fine, but it needs to be all about “elevating” new guys.
I have grown to accept gimmick PPVs. They are more marketable and offer something different from Raw or SmackDown (minus commercials). I just wish that WWE would offer more variations on a theme.
For example, in one night you could have a MITB match along with a Tag Team TLC match. They are very similar but different enough that you’ll see different spots. (Screw the TLC PPV. It flopped.)
Or for matches like Cena vs. Sheamus, you could have a cage match where the only way to escape is to climb a ladder and crawl through a hole in the roof of the cage.
You could even get the Divas involved. Give them some hokey _______ on a Pole match to fill a couple minutes while we get something to eat.
Sat: Going in I felt that that somebody would be unsuccessful cashing in the briefcase, but now I think that the Miz will be cashing in successfully.
Chad Nevett: Oddly, I would have been interested to see a Divas MitB match. That would have been… different.
Lord of the French Fries Writes:
I love Money in the Bank. I love ladder matches. Until this actually proves to be bad, I’ll love it. Like the Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber matches, WWE knows how to do Money in the Bank matches.
And just look what it did for Swagger. Guy goes from jobbing to freaking Santino TWICE in a row to beating Randy Orton clean and crippling the Big Show and Mysterio. Imagine what it’ll mean if Christian or Morrison wins…
Sat: Swagger has really benefited with the win. I don’t see that Christian or Morrison will have the same kind of success.
Chad Nevett: MitB can elevate guys effectively, though it takes more than just winning the briefcase to do so as the post-MitB wins for CM Punk and Swagger have shown. Bad, weak booking after the fact can ruin it somewhat.
Low Road- Money in the bank has and will continue to lose its appeal. Go back and watch the first one, every performer deserved to be in that match and the concept was fresh. At this point I wonder if they can keep doing money in the bank now that it is overexposed…
Sat: Somebody deserving to be in it is relative and because of that I don’t think that the first money in the bank match was full of deserving competitors. I think that most people feel that way just because it was the first one.
Chad Nevett: What does ‘deserve’ mean? What’s your criteria?
Comment Board Poster Writes:
PPVs should never have gimmicks automatically tied to them.
Wrestler A: I hate wrestler B and wish to have a cage match with him.
Promoter: Well, you’re in luck since Lethal Lockdown is this weekend.
Wrestler A: What luck that I just happen to hate him enough to have a cage match right now!
Plus, I don’t like the concept of Money In The Bank. Want a title shot? Earn it. Or, piss off the champ enough to get one so the champ can get their hands on you.
Money in the bank is a cheap way of creating a title shot without having to book a backstory.
Sat: Technically, they are earning a title shot by climbing the ladder. Plus, the Money in the Bank match has been one of the better concepts that the WWE has come up with.
Chad Nevett: Since MitB exists outside of feuds, I don’t mind the gimmick as much. When feuds are forced into a type of match regardless of it being the right time or fit, that’s a problem. MitB doesn’t suffer from that.
While I love the WM MiTB matches, I have to give this PPV both roads. The reason is the Raw match is loaded with upper card stars and with the situation of HHH and the Undertaker still out, the WWE can’t risk those guys taking and giving a lot of big bumps. Without the crazy flips and jumps, the MiTB is just boring.
Now everyone, with the exception of Big Show, on the SD roster is mid-card talent. So I expect some big bumps. Especially with Hardy and Christian!
Sat: This had not occurred to me and it is an excellent point. With the injuries to HHH and Taker, the WWE can’t risk somebody else getting injured.
Chad Nevett: Injuries happen at random times and the WWE knows that. Look at the injuries those two suffered: not from taking big bumps, but from routine work.
The Great Captain Smooth Writes:
Both roads, leaning high. The only real trouble I see is that having two matches might be too much. They should get rid of it at WM. I’m digging the fact that more wrestlers will be in the spotlight. It would be nice to see a Primo or a JTG get a fluke win to get into the match and perhaps get a rub out of it. I am curious to know if the title shot will only count for a certain show or if the winners can pick. If the shot only counts for one show, would the Draft change the belt a wrestler could go for?
Sat: Seems like the title shot will only count for one show.
Chad Nevett: I don’t see the draft playing a part, because I don’t see the Miz waiting that long to cash in his shot.
Your reasons for taking the High Road, Low Road, or Both Roads and suggestions for future High Road/Low Road are welcome at [email protected] or in the comment section. Your reply will be included in next week’s column.