wrestling / Columns

The Tuesday Communique 11.20.12: Did I Make The Cut?

November 20, 2012 | Posted by Nick Marsico

The Wrestling News Experience with Stephen Randle
The Wednesday Wrestling Week That Was with Sam Smith
Thursday Sports Entertainment News Report with Sean Kelly
The Wrestling 5&1: Divas Royal Rumble! with Tony Acero
The Piledriver Report: Most Important Matches in Wrestling History with Ronny Sarnecky
The 8 Ball: Most Improved Wrestlers of 2012 with Ryan Byers
Ask 411 Wrestling: Water Tossing, Naming Warriors, Roddy Piper & More! with Mathew Sforcina
The Contentious Ten Survivor Series Matches with Gavin Napier

Seth Rollins is here
Ambrose and (not) Luther Reigns

WWE Monday Night RAW from || Live Recap

– Ryback is out to start the show and he’s not happy. A short but simple promo got his point across, and most importantly he didn’t stumble over himself or look unsure. Vickie wants to satisfy his appetite, giving him Tensai.

Ryback v. Tensai
This match is a step up from the good one they had on SmackDown a few months back and much better than the one on RAW where Tensai sandbagged Ryback on Shellshocked. The crowd was amped and both guys looked good out there. It was a short match but may be Tensai’s best since his return. That’s not really saying much, but it’s something. Ryback def. Tensai, Shellshocked – 4 min, **

Non-title: Kofi Kingston v. Wade Barrett
Kofi controls early but Barrett slowly turns the tide. The winds changed, as it were. Barrett gets two off a snapmare and hits an ugly neckbreaker. Clothesline out of the ring and Kofi lands on a commercial break. Barrett is still controlling after the break, raking the eyes and nailing big boots. Kofi sells the shit out of getting his head pounded into the steps. Looks like they’re going with some kind of eye injury here. He finally comes back with a sweet sunset flip-like reversal to the Bossman slam for 2 and it’s comeback city! Kofi hits the Boom Drop but walks into the Bossman slam for real this time, but Wade can’t put him away. Big crossbody from the top gets two and the SOS gets another. Kofi runs into a mule kick, though, and Barrett rakes his eyes on the ropes. The Bull Hammer elbow follows up and gets the win. Not so good before the commercial, but everything after that was well done. Barrett def. Kingston, Bull Hammer – 12 min, ***

– Backstage, Paul Heyman tells some PAs to call their friends about Punk’s celebration tonight, if they have any. Pornstache Striker asks stupid questions and Punk does not approve.

Kaitlyn v. Aksana
Aksana tries to run away but clobbers Kaitlyn with a clothesline when she chases. Then it’s two minutes of choking and screaming before Kaitlyn gets the gutbuster for the win. At least she’s hot. Kaitlyn def. Aksana, Gutbuster – 3 min, 1/2*

Non-title: Antonio Cesaro v. Brodus Clay
R-Truth is on commentary and Little Jimmy is missing for the second night in a row. Somebody in a windowless van probably offered him candy. Brodus starts off in control but Cesaro goes to the knee, which will likely never heal, and grabs a cravate after a double stomp. Brodus comes back but misses the Vader Bomb. That leads to a diving European Uppercut from the second rope and the Neutralizer. Cesaro def. Clay, Neutralizer – 3 min, *3/4

– John Cena granted his 300th Make-a-Wish recently. I have a feeling that eventually my kid is going to fake a terrible disease to try to fool me into getting him to meet Cena. Eventually Cena will do an autograph signing down here and then any time the miniature asks me to do something I don’t feel like doing I can just say “Shut it, kid! I brought you to meet John Cena!”

– Speaking of Cena, Vickie Guerrero comes out with two people and I walk away to put my kid to bed. I come back to Cena coming out and kissing AJ. Then AJ jumps him and kisses him some more when he turns around. This leads to Dolph Ziggler running out but getting chased away from Cena. I wasn’t expecting to ever get to a Cena/Ziggler match, but it looks like they really are going to do it! Cena tweaked his ankle running after Ziggler. Didn’t seem like it will be a big deal, though. I hope.

2 out of 3 falls: Alberto Del Rio v. Randy Orton
King makes a weird reference about how he’s old enough to remember when we had 9 planets. Okay then. Both men try for quick pinfalls but can’t get it done. King makes the Hose-A and Hose-B joke about Ricardo Rodriguez’ brothers, which he also made during the PPV. Why are people glad that he’s back? Del Rio works on the arm a little bit too much and the ref DQs him for excessive use of the ring post. He’s still working the arm after the commercial and King says that Del Rio’s strategy might be that he doesn’t think he can beat Orton anyway so he might as well hurt him. That makes no fucking sense at all. Orton begins to make a comeback but quickly taps out to the cross armbreaker and it’s one fall apiece. See, King, his strategy was to hurt orton enough to get himself an easy fall even though he had to drop one himself, because going after the arm hurts Randy for the whole match, thus giving him a better chance to win. Not that King should know that or anything. Orton gets a clooooose near fall with the rollup out of the corner but gets distracted by Ricardo and takes the backstabber. Ricardo gets tossed out and Orton blocks an RKO and gets the rope-assisted DDT, but his RKO gets blocked. That leads to the cross armbreaker. Orton gets out by getting a close 2-count and finishes it with the RKO after ADR misses the step-up enzugiri. Good match. Orton def. Del Rio 2 to 1, RKO – 14 min, ***1/4

– Cena gets his knee taped up backstage.

Handicap match: Great Khali v. Primo & Epico
Hornswoggle makes his long awaited return and squirts Rosa with water from a fake flower. Khali gets the double chokeslam and wins. Khali def. Primo/Epico, Tree slam – 1 min, 1/16*

– Backstage, Paul Heyman wants BALLOONS! Damn it somebody get this man some balloons!

The Miz v. David Otunga
Otunga throws Miz into the post and hits an ugly bodyslam and some elbow drops. He hits Miz with a HARD forearm to the back of the head. He gets a nice clothesline and running shoulderblock and shows off something new. Two short-arm clotheslines without letting Miz go down followed up by a third. Simple but pretty good, actually. Miz comes back and they nearly fuck up a schoolboy but Otunga clotheslines him and goes back for ANOTHER chinlock. I love how a face turn automatically makes a guy spend the first few minutes of every match getting his ass kicked. Crowd is turning on this because nobody cares about Otunga, but they finally wake up when Miz calls for his big corner clothesline. The top rope double sledge leads to the SCF, which Otunga takes like shit. I think I’ve said it before, but at least he’s not Otunga Bad any more. Still stinks, though. Miz def. Otunga, Skull Crushing Finale – 5 min, **

– Sheamus recaps the past 6 weeks and gets the “WHAT?” treatment. They do cheer when he calls out Big Show, at least. Show hobbles out and tries to talk, but Sheamus very rudely interupts and pisses him off. What the fuck, dude? Let him speak! Big Show says that Sheamus doesn’t deserve the title, and he’s not really wrong. He proved to be a sore loser at the PPV and now he’s ranting and raving like a child. Chill, dude! Sandow interrupts and the match is on.

Sheamus v. Damien Sandow
Sandow runs away for a while and cheapshots Sheamus to get control, but neither man can hold an advantage. We hit a commercial break with Sheamus tossing Sandow out of the ring by his beard. Sandow took control during the break by trying to rip off Sheamus’ face. Sandow controls the match for a while and somehow his chinlocks aren’t boring. I can’t quite figure out why. Sheamus hits the Irish Curse backbreaker out of nowhere to counter the ELBOW OF DISDAIN! Shameful! He follows with some great kneelifts and the chest destruction in the ropes. He gets the top rope shoulder block and White noise leads to the Brogue Kick. Sheamus def. Sandow, Brogue Kick – 14 min, **3/4

– AJ storms into the men’s locker room only to be completely torn to shit by Dolph Ziggler. So she attacks him. Cena breaks it up but gets speared through some bathroom stalls for his trouble. There’s no way that awkward landing for Cena was planned, is there? It seemed to realistic. Hmm.

Non-title: Team Hell No v. Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara
Kane kills Sin Cara with a shoulder block and Bryan tags in. He dominates both luchadores but Kane tags himself in, which almost leads to a 619. Rey gets the seated senton to the outside but walks into Bryan’s flying knee off the apron, but then he gets nailed by a Sin Cara suicide dive. Commercial break dives! During the break, Sin Cara did a silly backflip and Kane kicked him in the face for it. The Prime Time Players are on commentary here, by the way, and I’m not sure if it’s entertaining or annoying. They’re certainly having fun. Eventually Rey gets the 619 on Kane. He gets caught trying for the top rope splash, but that’s when PTP finally runs in. All four match participants kick their asses and run them off. Hell No def. Mysterio/Sin Cara, DQ – 11 min, **

– CM Punk and Paul Heyman jerk each other off for a while, which is all well and good. Ryback eventually interrupts only to have Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose put him through the announce table again. Punk stands over Ryback while the three NXT dudes stand in the ring. No explanation yet. Okay then.

Overall RAW Thoughts
This marks three weeks in a row for episodes of RAW that I enjoyed. Nothing dragged, the wrestling was all pretty strong and outside of the AJ/Vickie stuff, which I missed anyway, nothing was stupid. And even THAT looks to be leading up to Ziggler v. Cena, so I can’t hate it too much. Good show this week.

Triple H Wants Sting
According to recent reports, Triple H is said to be very interested in getting Sting to jump from TNA when his contract expires at the end of the year. It’s been well publicized (by Dixie Carter and Sting themselves) that Sting signs a one-year contract at the end of every calendar year to stay on with TNA. The deal he wants would likely bring us WWE licensed Sting action figures, a retrospective DVD and a probably Hall of Fame induction. I don’t think HHH has a chance in hell at getting that deal done, no matter how much money he throws as Mister Borden. Even if he were to jump, it would probably be with the blessing of Dixie since they’re apparently really close and she would understand why he’s doing it. I doubt he would agree to go into the WWE Hall of Fame if he did take a deal, though. He’s too loyal. Out of curiosity, how does WWE not have any rights to produce a Sting DVD/action figures/put him in the games? Is it because he personally owns the name, even though WWE owns the footage? There’s gotta be some weird legal situation there. I would have loved to see Sting be revealed as the 2/21/11 guy, which reportedly was WWE’s original hope, but at this point it’s best to just let it rest, in my opinion. Hopefully, though, when he does fully retire, he at least works out a deal to let WWE release a DVD for him and have him in the video games.

Developmental Cuts: Main Roster on the Way?
Time to bring out the ‘ol chopping block! We’ve been seeing a number of developmental releases over the past few weeks and word is that with Linda’s campaign over it’s time for some fall cleaning. And why not? Get rid of the dead weight and debut some new guys in the weeks leading to the Royal Rumble. Bring back the qualifying matches so that guys need to earn their way into the match. That works for both new and established talent. That notwithstanding, here’s what we know. The men cut from developmental are: Lucas Di Léo (weird-looking Frenchman that asked for his release), Chase Donovan (looked like a mix of Curt Hawkins and Tomasso Ciampa, which made him oddly generic), Nick Rogers (who wore sunglasses!), Chad Baxter (Randy Orton if he stayed on the juice and had even worse tattoos) and Lincoln Broderick (Blade?).

This leads us to the question of who will get cut from the main roster? I’m throwing these names out there: Hunico, Camacho, JTG, Big Zeke and Curt Hawkins. I say Hawkins only so there’s a white guy to point at if people start claiming racism. Look, we fired a white guy too! Linda 2014! Honestly, everybody else on the roster is used on a regular basis outside of Ted DiBiase. Maybe get rid of Yoshi Tatsu and Aksana to round it out.

Big Things For Developmental
Going in the complete opposite direction, it has been reported that the WWE main roster TV debuts of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose are on the horizon happened at Survivor Series. On top of that, Jim Ross stated recently on Twitter that he is “legit excited” for the future of WWE’s developmental program. It is, according to him, “going to get MUCH bigger and better in the near future.” What could that mean? Is it the move up to Connecticut that was rumored/reported a few months ago when NXT first moved to Full Sail and they dropped the FCW name? Are they bringing in more top flight trainers like Sara Del Rey and new indy guys? Very interesting.

WWE Survivor Series 2012 || PPV Review

– I was unable to catch the Youtube pre-show but I expect that there was some juking, jiving, air-guitaring and cobras flying everywhere. Or a wrestling match between two comedy teams. Either may be accurate.

5-on-5 Elimination: Mysterio’s Funky Flyers def. Los Lores del Tiempo Principal
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel & Brodus Clay def. Darren Young, Titus O’Neal, Primo, Epico & Tensai

I am very glad that they decided to put another classic elimination tag match on the card, and the opening spot was the perfect place. All of the men put in some damn good work and this was a lot of fun to watch. I was worried we were going to see 10 guys get a total of 8 minutes on PPV but they ended up giving them a strong 20+ minutes to really get into a groove. Once the big men were eliminated from their respective teams it became a fast-paced match with four true tag teams in action. The finish was great, as the faces all hit high-flying moves on D-Young to score the victory for the good guys. ***1/2

Divas Title: Eve Torres def. Kaitlyn
This match was a very pleasant surprise. Both women looked more than competent for the entirety of the contest and the crowd saw that and responded accordingly, which in turn helped the quality of the match. I was most certainly expecting that this was set to be Kaitlyn’s big title win bit for some reason they didn’t pull the trigger and Eve held on to the gold. It looked like the finish was imminent and that it was going to be a very satisfying conclusion. Kaitlyn takes control and Eve begs off, Kaitlyn doesn’t let up (with the crowd’s enthusiastic approval) and destroys her with a simple yet really brutal-looking (in a good way) gutbuster. It ended up being a really great nearfall as opposed to an equally great finish, and then moments later Eve hits her rolling neckbreaker and retains the title clean-as-a-whistle. That was very disappointing, in all honesty. Where do they go now? Will Kaitlyn whine until she gets her rematch even though she got a fair shot and couldn’t get the job done? **

United States Title: Antonio Cesaro def. R-Truth
Can Cesaro please have a legitimate match soon? Dude has been putting together some cool offensive stuff but he hasn’t really had a truly good match since being called up, and that’s a real bummer. Pardon my late 1980s lingo, if you will. This felt like it belonged on RAW in 2002. My hope is that Jack Swagger returns and becomes the #1 Condender for TLC. He gets a Tables match with Cesaro but comes up short when he gets pushed through a table. Have Cesaro dodge him for a while and build up Swagger’s credibility while AC puts together some decent title defenses against anybody who is not Jack Swagger, since clearly the most All-American American that exists simply could not get the job done. The have Swagger get the big win at WrestleMania and boom. It won’t happen, but a boy can dream. Notice how I didn’t even talk about this match. Oh, and was Little Jimmy out sick? *1/2

World Heavyweight Title: Sheamus def. Big Show via DQ
It wasn’t as impressive as last month at Hell in a Cell but these two put on a very strong follow up match to their significantly overachieving first bout in October. It started out hot but got slow for a while, then Sheamus got a HYOOOOGE electric chair drop out of the corner and the final few minutes were great. The finish was pretty good — I generally dislike ref bumps (I’d bet that’s the general consensus) but Big Show’s reaction to the decision being changed to him taking a DQ loss was great. A win got him out of the situation with Sheamus, as he would have defeated him in the obligatorally-obligated rematch clause rematch match, but when the decision was reversed he suddenly realized that “Oh shit, now I have to face him again!” Sheamus attacks him with a chair (a lot) to really hammer in the fact that next month they will have a Chairs match, which makes it two years in a row for Big Show. I would have preferred an elimination tag match with Show & Sheamus as captains that saw Sheamus get eliminated due to a chair shot (one simple shot so as to not insult everybody by making sure that we know it WILL BE a chairs match at TLC), but this is the way they went. Oh well. ***

5-on-5 Elimination: Ziggy Sandust & The Lawyers def. Foley’s Hodge Podge Mod Squad
Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Alberto Del Rio & Wade Barrett def. Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Kane, Kofi Kingston & The Miz

They gave us another classic elimination tag match that had time to develop and play out! Sweet! It looked like Otunga got his bell rung when Kofi landed directly on top of him with the dive to the outside, but then again who can tell? He would probably wrestle better if he didn’t have his full faculties about him. I really enjoyed Miz’ enthusiasm during this match, as he really tried to play up that he was one of the good guys now. It worked fairly well for him as the crowd warmed up to him enough to seemingly trust him. It continues to warm my heart that any time the crowd perceives that Daniel Bryan has been wronged they let their disdain (elbow of?) be known. His unceremonious elimination did not sit well with Indianapolis and they voiced their disappointment. I was hoping that the match would come down to The Miz v. Dolph Ziggler in order to be both a good preview for their meeting on Main Event this week as well as to push the fact that Miz has renewed enthusiasm as a good guy. I get that the idea was Ziggler beating Orton, who has a very good history at the Survivor Series (Cole wouldn’t shut up about it) so he can gloat that he became the sole survivor by defeating one of the best sole survivors ever, though, so it’s cool. I wish they would have gotten more time one-on-one, but apparently they’ll be spending 2013 that way so I can wait. ***1/2

WWE Title: CM Punk def. Ryback & John Cena
Who saw this coming? Shit, now some of the stuff that I have written above is going to be out of date. Damn me for actually spending time working on this column! With how early after the 10 o’clock hour this started I was expecting to see a longer Cena v. Punk segment than what we got, but all-in-all I’m more than okay with what happened instead. Ryback was kept strong for the whole match and fit in just fine with the two experienced stars. I m definitely optimistic that with some more time at the top he’ll be able to Batista his way into becoming a generally good wrestler with some moments of greatness. Punk has (thankfully) made it to one full calendar year as the WWE Champion and Cena (thankfully) didn’t get the belt back. Honestly at this point there’s no reason why Cena can’t be the #2 or #3 guy working matches in the middle of the show. Fuck the idea of turning the guy heel, just don’t put as big of a spotlight on him. The kids won’t know the difference and the adults will probably stop hating him so much. ***1/2

Overall Survivor Series Thoughts
This was a pretty good show. Everything was entertaining with the exception of the US Title match (which is a shame) and the angle at the end of the show left me feeling energized and excited to tune in to see what’s going to happen next. I love when that happens, especially when it happens with guys I really like (and Roman Reigns). Nothing to go out of your way to see, but this show will be notable for the debuts of the aforementioned gentlemen as well as what appears to be the beginning of Dolph Ziggler’s true main event push. Stay tuned, folks!

– The previously mentioned Lucas Di Léo, who went by Louis Fontaine in developmental, asked for his release from WWE based on his assertion that he’s just not ready and doesn’t want to waste anybody’s time at this stage in the game. He also needs neck surgery, and since he decided that he was leaving before he even knew the surgery was needed, he doesn’t want to make WWE foot the bill when they’re getting nothing out of it. That’s true class. I wouldn’t be surprised if, due to that, WWE insisted on paying for the surgery.

– Chris Jericho says that he almost quit the WWF back in 2000 just before his Heavyweight Title match against Triple H on RAW. I was a humongous Jericho fan at the time (still am) and when he got the pin off of the Lionsault I went batshit just like the live crowd. I jumped up on my bed and whacked my head on the ceiling; I was so excited that I just didn’t care. Then that darn Triple H bullied Earl Hebner and the win was stricken from the record books. I was pissed, but what a great angle.

– John Morrison and Melina were engaging in some rough coital activity and the cops were called on them. That’s my assertion, at least.

– Matt Hardy was injured during the main event of this past weekend’s Extreme Rising iPPV event. The match was Shane Douglas, because he still believes he’s a star, against Matt Hardy. It ended with a bunch of run-ins and other silliness and ended with Hardy getting shoved off the apron by Luke Hawx, who is best known for his work in the critically acclaimed WSX and XPW promotions.

– I really have to check out one of those Extreme Rising shows. The card for the last one makes it look like the show could be nothing other than laughable.

– There will be an all-WWE version of The Soup tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 10:30pm Eastern. It will be re-aired right after next week’s RAW (11/26). Joel McHale’s appearance on Sons of Anarchy recently was scumbaggishly awesome, by the way.

Up To Date: My Time with TNA Impact Wrestling

I have been spending some of my free time over the past few months trying to catch up on TNA so I can get myself back in the loop. Everyone was raving about how good the show had become, so when I finally was afforded the chance I jumped on it. I started by tracking down some of the matches from this year’s Bound for Glory series, and with a lineup like they put together I couldn’t find a bad match in the lot. I read up a bit on the storylines that had been taking place and readied myself to jump back in, which I did, and I have been enjoying the TNA product every week since late August.

None of the above is to say that I had completely missed out on what TNA was doing while people really began to give the product shining praise. I did my best to keep tabs on Austin Aries’ rise through the X Division and into the main event, Bully Ray’s rebirth into an amazing singles star and the shockingly great angle that saw the Joseph Park character created. Further back, I paid attention to the build up to Bobby Roode’s unsuccessful World Title match against Kurt Angle at Bound for Flory 2011 and the aftermath with Storm’s surprise title win and subsequent loss to Roode after the heel turn. That was all stuff that I watched on TNA’s Youtube channel as soon as they were posted, so I was at least somewhat knowledgeable of the status of the #2 promotion. I also watched the more important PPV matches (Roode and Aries’ title defenses, Kurt Angle and James Storm, Bully Ray and Joseph Park, etc), but I couldn’t find myself willing to invest the time to check out the full episodes each week.

Bobby Roode, James Storm & The World Title
Long-winded backstory behind us, my point is that I’m really enjoying TNA at the moment. Bobby Roode had a great run as World Champ and I absolutely LOVED that they didn’t go the obvious route to end his reign. Yeah, the match at LockDown would have perfectly wrapped up the feud, but I thought the time off for Storm and his big return to just barely miss out on winning the BFG series due to Roode pulling the same shenanigans he did to win the World Title months and months earlier was just spectacular stuff. Their feud is continuing as we speak with Roode having just taken away Storm’s shot at the title AGAIN; this is the way you book a long-term feud! Instead of 3-4 months of rematch after rematch after rematch until nobody gives a fuck, have the tensions building up to a full boil while both men work through other members of the roster toward a singular goal that leads them back to each other. I am thoroughly impressed with how well this feud has gone on and even though the fantastic bloody brawl at BFG appeared to be the big finale, they’re continuing forward with it and it doesn’t feel stale!

Joseph Park and Bully Ray
The creation of Joseph Park has been nothing short of miraculous. Bully Ray got rid of Abyss, who for months upon months was really just becoming a weak character and almost a parody of his former monster glory. Abyss’ disappearance led to the debut of a gigantic dude named Joseph Park, who, full of flop sweat and anxiety, introduced himself to everybody on the Impact roster while trying to locate his missing brother Chris “Abyss” Park. I think at first a lot of people thought this was going to be some shitty “that’s TNA for ya” angle and my mind went toward the level of the Lost in Cleveland stuff with Cactus Jack. Abyss, however, was able to play the role amazingly well and with the clean shave, haircut and halfway decent suit it was like looking at a completely different person. It worked out so well, in fact, that I would be willing to bet that the original idea was for the character to be short-lived and pretty quickly revealed to just be Abyss either playing everybody as rubes or some kind of amnesia deal. Instead we got to see incredible interactions between him and the awe-inspiring Bully Ray which resulted in a match that was leagues better than it probably had any right to be. And NOW, thanks to the appearance of the band of nomads known as Aces & Eights, Bully and Joseph are actually beginning to form a bond of respect. It’s fucking character development! And it’s fucking good!

Aces & Eights
Piggybacking off of the success of the critically acclaimed Sons of Anarchy, TNA was rocked by the run-ins of a mysterious band of masked, leather-clad bikers known as the Aces & Eights. It started off as a full-out everybody in TNA versus the outsider group trying to tear them down with countless show-ending multiperson brawls with neither side taking any kind of clear advantage. They gained leverage when they were able to get themselves a match that would grant them full access to the Impact Zone with a victory; when victory was secured the angle finally started taking shape. Devon was revealed as the first member and although it was a bit underwhelming (or according to the AZ crowd, “awkward”) to start, this new persona has made Devon interesting for the first time since he and Bully were still Team 3D and were feuding with the Motor City Machine Guns. Now, instead of just being a gang of guys mindlessly running around and beating people up, they have started to plan attacks and the hierarchy is finally beginning to be revealed. Some people are still very iffy on the angle but based on how well TNA has been handling most of the rest of the show, especially in the main event, I have a strong sense of optimism about it. As long as Jeff Jarrett, Eric Bischoff, Hulk Hogan or Bully Ray have nothing to do with the forming of the A&8s group I don’t see how it can go too terribly awry.

Everything Else
Up and down the card, TNA Impact Wrestling has been generally very entertaining to watch. Open Fight Night is a very good concept and Championship Thursday is a bit contrived but at least it puts real emphasis on the importance of titles. Plus it’s much better than former TNA staples like the Feast or Famine reverse battle royal bullshit. Gut Check has been pretty decent and it’s well served as a break in the overall action going on within the rest of the show’s context. The tag title scene isn’t very strong, but Chris Daniels & Kazarian are damned entertaining (mostly Daniels) even though their original reason to band together and all of the buildup to it was a pile of shit. They did have the AJ banging Dixie (termed as such by Styles himself) garbage and the ridiculous Clair Lynch waste of airtime, but very little about the promotion as a while has been unwatchable. In recent years the exact opposite was true. The bottom line here is that I’m really enjoying TNA right now and I’m going to make a concerted effort to bring some TNA discussion to the Communique every week. I hope you will join in.

New Japan Pro Wrestling

Prince Devitt & Ryusuke Taguchi v. Brian Kendrick & Jado || NJPW House Show – October 30, 2012

From TJ Hawke: “Spanky looks like he is in great shape. Spanky used some rudo tactics at the start, but Devitt managed to pants him and slap his ass. NJPW! This was the typically solid/fun house show effort. We’ve posted a few of these matches, and my reaction is pretty much always the same: if you watch this match, you will be entertained, but the match is nothing that you need to go out of your way to see. Kendrick was pretty amusing during this match. His shtick was getting over, which is a testament to his willingness to be himself instead of conforming to some “expected standard.”

For more, please visit FreeProWrestling.com

WWF Title: Chris Jericho v. Triple H || RAW – April 17, 2000

– Nicholas A. Marsico

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