The 1/8th Nelson remembers the fallen

As we move on into 2011, we here at the 1/8th Nelson would like to take a moment to remember all those involved with wrestling who have passed away in 2010.  Though not all the names might ring familiar, they all had their involvement with the world of professional wrestling during their lives, and we mourn their passing.  May they all rest in peace.

Katsuji Adachi
Skandor Akbar
“Nightmare” Ted Allen
Charles Baillargeon
Ludvig Borga
“Tough” Tony Borne
Jack Brisco
Lance Cade
Edouard Carpentier
Ed Chuman
Corsica Joe
George “Red” Eakin
El Gigante/Giant Gonzales
Tony Halme
Mr. Hito
King Curtis Iaukea
Chris Kanyon
Masao “Rusher” Kimura
Gene Kiniski
Herb Larson
Jack Laskin
Beverly Lehmer
Donn Lewin
Little Brutus/Tiny Tim
Georgiann Markropolous
Ida Mae Martinez
Ron Martinez
Hans Mortier
Angelo Poffo
Michael Porter
Mad Dog Rex
Baron Mikel Scicluna
Sandy Scott
Bob Shamrock
Mike Shaw (Bastion Booger)
Robert “Kinji” Shibuya
Grizzly Smith
Steve “Mr. America” Stanlee
Luna Vachon
Jerry Valiant
Skip Young/Sweet Brown Sugar

If you would like more information on any of the names listed here, go to Slam! Sports’ Wrestling Obituaries section.

SpikeTV cancels TNA Reaction

Over in the “Yeah, I Totally Saw That Coming” department, SpikeTV has officially canceled TNA’s Reaction.  The show, which aired at the 11pm hour directly following Impact has been routinely mocked by your Masked Marvel for its habit of containing the main event of Impact and absolutely nothing else of consequence.  Dixie Carter has downplayed it by saying it was never picked up by Spike for a full run, and thus it had run its course.  Something tells me that wouldn’t have been the tune had it been picked up through 2011.

Reaction’s ultimate fate was predictable in that it regularly failed to hold onto Impact’s numbers, usually cruising around .5-something ratings.  And even those numbers were inflated since Impact almost always ran 10-15 minutes into the show.

Reaction’s cancellation is an example that the reality TV direction that has been the sign of TNA’s times in the Hogan/Bischoff era simply isn’t working.  Popular reality TV shows are known for their format of something happening, and then an interview clip is shown in which someone talks about what just happened.  Reaction was the means to add that formula into Impact.  But even in the nonsensical TNA, the actions hardly need to be explained.  Why do I need an interview with Samoa Joe telling me why he’s fighting Jeff Jarrett?  I watched it all go down.  I know why he’s fighting Jeff Jarrett.

But beyond the reality TV bit, Reaction was also an effort to play into another aspect of the wrestling world.  Fans are interested in what goes on behind the curtain.  They like seeing the wrestlers talking with one another and seeing who does what in the production area.  It’s why dirt sheet sites do well.  It’s why documentaries like Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows and Beyond the Mat are so intriguing.  So in theory, Reaction tried to play to that crowd.  Unfortunately, by having everyone stay in character and talk about the show that just went down, the fans looking for that kind of reality are turned away.  And really, why would anyone want to relive aspects of an episode of Impact?  Do you really want to hear Kazarian talk more?

Reaction’s final episode airs tonight.  It’ll probably include Impact’s main event.

Punked: Raw 12/27/10

Last night’s Raw seemed a bit off.  I’m not exactly certain why, though it may have just had to do with the booking of one match.  Tonight was the first time in a while that I have really questioned the booking of a segment.  Sure, there have been questions here and there, like why is Ted DiBiase losing all the time, but something tonight really had me scratching my head.  Other than that, it was an alright show, with a mildly surprising twist at the end.  Match results are below, and details about the show are after the break.

Match Results
Santino Marella def. Ted DiBiase by pinfall.
John Morrison def. Alex Riley by pinfall.
Mark Henry def. Tyson Kidd by pinfall.
Jerry Lawler def. The Miz by count-out.
Melina & Alicia Fox def. Gail Kim & Eve by pinfall.
Daniel Bryan def. Zack Ryder by submission.
Randy Orton def. Sheamus by pinfall.  Read more of this post

Diva success and the guys they leave behind

It was the Cobra heard ’round the world as Tamina used her boyfriend Santino Marella’s signature move to drop an attacking Maryse.  Well, maybe it wasn’t that big of a deal but to me, it signified the official tie between Tamina and Santino as well as the end of her association with the lackluster tag team the Usos.

Tamina moving past Jey and Jimmy Uso is not a new pattern for valets in the WWE.  Often used to add a bit of shine to an otherwise dull unit, valets are often yanked from their “clients” and moved onto other storylines while they fade lower into the pool of obscurity.  Let’s take a trip back and look at some of the more high profile WWE Divas and the superstars they moved beyond.

Sable w/Marc Mero
It’s hard to believe that Sable debuted as a valet for the then-snobby blueblood Hunter Hearst Helmsley for his WrestleMania XII squash loss to the Ultimate Warrior.  But unlike the Warrior’s return, Sable stuck around for a while, eventually rescued from the abusive Helmsley by the newly arrived Wildman Marc Mero.  The couple remained happy for a while until Mero’s high-flying ring style put him on the shelf with a knee injury.

During his hiatus, Sable was seen around the WWE as a model of merchandise and became one of the more risquee female figures (especially for the time).  When Mero returned sporting a bitter former-boxer persona, he became an oppressive boyfriend figure, much like the one he himself had rescued Sable from.  Eventually Sable would break off from Mero, even teaming with a then-rookie Edge to defeat Mero and his new valet Jacqueline at SummerSlam 1998.

From that point, Sable and Mero’s careers took polar opposite paths.  Sable became the premier Diva of the WWE, holding onto the revived Womens title for months, even going heel in the process.  She returned for another run years later and kept her high profile status, even posing in Playboy a few times.  Mero, on the other hand, floundered on the midcard for a few months before suffering a loss to perrenial jobber Duane Gill in November and was never seen again.

Read more of this post

Bah humbug: TNA Impact 12/23/10

There are certain times of the year that I simply will not allow TNA to come in to sully my mood.  One of those times is Christmas.  With all the celebrations going on during the weekend, I felt like spending Thursday evening choking through an episode of Impact would leave a certain bitterness with me, so I held off until today to watch it.  And I’m very thankful that I did.

With their blatant case of fraud in taking over TNA blowing up in their faces, Immortune has a new goal in mind.  They’re out to collect every championship belt in TNA with the thought being that whomever holds the titles has the leverage in the company once Dixie Carter inevitable regains control.  But before the title matches got underway, Immortune came out to the ring for an official weigh-in for the #1 contender match at Genesis between the may-still-be-injured Mr. Anderson and Matt Morgan.  As Eric Bischoff and Ric Flair talked and talked, Matt Morgan came out to again preach about concussion safety.  His efforts were again rebuffed, which brought out…Mick Foley?  Foley too took some time to preach about the dangers of concussions until eventually Eric Bischoff said enough and everyone left.  No weigh-in took place, which was fortunate since Mr. Anderson wasn’t even in the building.

Beyond that, the episode was all over the place.  The main event was an eight-man tag match that somehow had the tag team titles on the line.  If the Motor City Machine Guns’ team, which included Matt Morgan and Rob Van Dam, won the match, the Guns retained.  If the Immortune team of Beer Money, Abyss and Jeff Hardy won, Beer Money would be the new champions.  The central theme of this match was Jeff Hardy avoiding confrontation with Rob Van Dam, whom he betrayed months ago to win the TNA Championship.  We won’t blame you if you forgot.  Long story short, Hardy ran from RVD and the Guns retained their titles with a pinfall on Robert Roode.  Merry Christmas.

Rest of the show after the jump.

Read more of this post

It’s time to let go of the nWo

When one looks back at the long and storied history of professional wrestling, numerous iconic moments stand out.  There was Hogan slamming Andre.  There was the Ultimate Warrior taking down Hulkamania.  There was the wedding of Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth.  There was the ’96 King of the Ring coronation and the birth of Austin 3:16.  And there was one in particular that really stands out…mainly because it is so often imitated in hopes of reliving its success.  That would be WCW’s New World Order.

Seen here being just too sweeeeeeet.

As told by its members, if one was nWo, then they were nWo 4 Life…unless they were kicked out by the other members like Konnan, Curt Hennig, and the Giant (twice).  That statement has certainly held on with some of its members as wherever they’ve gone since the falling days of WCW they’ve been identified with the three-year run of the baddest stable of them all.

But it’s been a decade since the oddly capitalized letters were last donned in WCW and nearly that since the stable was last used by the company who holds the legal rights to the property.  Yet still we see groups trying to do what the nWo did so well to take command of the ratings wars between WCW and the WWF.  But those days are done, and the same thing will not work a second time.  The New World Order and its big events were good when originally done, but their success simply isn’t able to be repeated, and especially not in TNA today.

The “mega stable” of Immortal is not the nWo.  It will never be able to achieve any kind of success like the nWo did, and TNA will not be able to ride it to success like WCW did in 1996.  But this isn’t a new lesson for TNA.  The Band wasn’t the nWo (despite having three of its key members).  The Main Event Mafia wasn’t the nWo.  The old group of SEX wasn’t the nWo. 

But especially now, Immortal is not the nWo, even though they’ve tried to follow its example as best as they probably remember it.  But I will tell you why Immortal lacks key pieces of the nWo game plan and why TNA will not be able to run a similar program as it currently is, though no doubt they’ll try.

Read more of this post

Lacey Von Erich’s new deal

Lacey Von Erich has left the shores of TNA and has a new product to sell to you!

You know what?  I think I’m going to label this one NSFW.

That’s right, kids.  You can spend your hard-earned dollars on a video simulation of a wrestling match against Lacey Von Erich.  This is creepy on several different levels.  From the video preview it looks like Lacey has filmed a wrestling match with a camera man going through the motions.  From the preview we see selectively placed “blows”, grips, and questionable pauses.  If you pay, you can get the whole deal, but let’s be serious.  You’re not going to buy it for the in-ring techniques of the Von Erich family.  What Lacey is offering is a far cry from the legacy of her family.

CLAW!

 

They actually have a term for this kind of video.  SOFT-CORE PORN!   LaceyVon Erich is trying to corner a specific fetish market by using her “wrestling skills” and her other assets in a…well, I’m not really sure what she’s going for here.  The video comes off as uncomfortable to watch and is likely to be ridiculed as an alternative for the squeamish who couldn’t handle 1 Night in China.