A word on Jeff Hardy and Victory Road

The general thought amongst the 1/8th Nelson is that we, the very non-Catholic writers, have decided to give up TNA for Lent, with the hopes that come Easter, the company will have either gotten better or I will have gotten my hate-filled spite out of my system enough to resume my weekly heckling.  I have not watched last week’s Impact or, for the most part, Sunday’s Victory Road.  Hell, I wasn’t even aware that the PPV was on Sunday.  It’s been a good week for me.

But upon hearing about what happened in the main event title match between newly crowned champion Sting and his predecessor Jeff Hardy, I feel like even religious fasting can’t really justify not touching upon this one.  Four Hail Marys for me, I suppose.

For those of you who haven’t heard it yet, the title match between Sting and Hardy wasn’t exactly one for the ages.  In fact, it’s actually really hard to classify it as a match.  The match barely went a minute and a half before Sting landed the match’s only wrestling move, the Scorpion Death Drop, and pinned Hardy in front of a shocked crowd.  Actually, shocked wasn’t really the word I’d use here.  Pissed off is more like it.  But at least since it was at the Impact Zone they didn’t get charged admission to get in.  Not like those saps that shilled out $35 to see the thing on PPV.

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A colossal letdown (or epic damage control): TNA Impact 2/3/11

The February 3rd edition of Impact was supposed to be a huge deal with four advertised happenings: 1) Hulk Hogan was supposed to return for the first time since Thanksgiving; 2) Dixie Carter was supposed to have her court verdict on Immortal’s takeover of her company; 3) the TNA Championship rematch between Mr. Anderson and Jeff Hardy; 4) the THEY advertised by Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner and Crimson would be revealed.  The build to this episode had been running for weeks and was the most interesting that TNA has been in some time.  If you tuned in for the episode for those three reasons, you were probably very disappointed.

Right off the bat in the obligatory “Immortal stands around while Eric Bischoff talks” segment, Bischoff knocked out the first two points by saying that Dixie Carter had been granted a continuance and thus Hulk Hogan still couldn’t be in the building.  No verdict, no Hogan.  But he switched gears immediately and tried to get Scott Steiner to abandon Kurt Angle and join Immortal.  Big Poppa Pump answered Bischoff like only he can (with several words beeped out) and refused, with Angle and Crimson arriving to remind everyone about THEY’s arrival.

Throughout the show we were given numerous reminders about THEY’s arrival.  Kurt Angle took a call from THEY and told Steiner and Crimson to go over their plan.  Bischoff began panicking over it (which is a sharp turn from last week) and lamented the disappearance of Ric Flair who was also MIA, while Immortal tried to keep him relaxed about it.  Even Eric Young kept his role of dropping into whatever storyline he pleases for unneeded comedy relief going by telling Taz and Mike Tenay that he had seen THEY but couldn’t say who THEY were.

But Mr. Anderson had bigger fish to fry as he called Jeff Hardy out to the ring for a pre-match talkin’ to.  Anderson cut a promo basically saying that WWE management (without saying the name) had tried to control them, and the two were in TNA because they were their own people.  Then the insults flew and Anderson challenged Hardy to fight their match with no interference from Immortal.  Hardy agreed and even demanded to Bischoff that he keep Immortal away from the ringside area.

But when it came time for the match, Hardy was not a man of his word (he is the Antichrist, after all).  He started the brawl match by attacking Anderson while the champ was announcing himself during his intro, and then the two brawled until Al Snow came down to break them up.  One commercial break later, the match was underway.  The turning point came when Hardy went for the Twist of Hate, which Anderson shoved off, pushing him directly into Rookie Referee Extraordinaire Jackson James who sold it like he had just been hit by a ton of bricks.

Hardy hit another Twist of Hate, then called out Immortal.  The non-Fortune troops came out first and began beating on Anderson.  The Fortune arrived and joined in on the celebrating.  But as Hardy pulled Anderson up to be hit by Styles, A.J. stopped, threw up the Fortune sign, and then Fortune attacked Immortal, knocking them out of the ring.  Hardy stared in disbelief, only to be leveled by Robert Roode, then dropped with a Styles Clash.  The ref was revived and Anderson retained his title, which was handed to him by A.J.

Eric Bischoff came out to throw a bunch of childish insults at A.J., as Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner and Crimson arrived to stand with the newly turned good guys.  Styles explained that Bischoff had run a million-dollar company out of business (WCW, duh) and they would not let that happen to TNA.  Since his and Hogan’s arrival, they tried to change TNA and bring in a bunch of people who didn’t belong in wrestling.  Bischoff responded by setting a new “must watch” date for March 3rd in which Hogan would return (we promise this time, really) and they would officially take control of TNA.  Again.  I guess.

Plenty of comments this one after the jump and the rest of the show’s results.

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Hall of Fame Wishlist

With the announcement of Shawn Michaels on Raw last night kicking off the WWE Hall of Fame Induction season, I’m taking a moment to look at 10 names whom I feel are quite deserving to be in the Hall of Fame themselves.

10. Yokozuna
Some might argue that Yokozuna did not do enough or was not as skilled in the ring to warrant entry into WWE’s Hall of Fame.  I would point to the likes of Koko B. Ware and Rocky Johnson as signs that it’s not just the ring techniques that make a Hall of Famer, but the contributions to the sport and the memorableness of the character.  Few fans at the time could probably ever forget the massive 600+ pound Yokozuna, for not only his size, but for his accomplishments.  He won the Royal Rumble in 1993, becoming the first to earn a WrestleMania title shot from the match, then defeated Bret Hart for the championship.  Though he lost the belt quickly to Hulk Hogan, he regained it in their rematch at King of the Ring, effectively ending Hulkamania in the WWE for 9 years.  He went on to hold the title for nearly a year, running through all the company’s good guys until finally falling to Bret Hart at WrestleMania X.  Though Yoko’s tenure in the WWE was short, he made a large enough impact to be posthumously awarded for his accomplishments.

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Crazy Raw GM Speculation

Loving a good mystery, and crazy speculation, the anonymous Raw GM seemed like the perfect chance to combine the two.  So here are some theories, ranging from quite possible to no way in hell.

Michael Cole. To me, this seems like the most likely choice.  He isn’t receiving e-mails, but instead e-mailing himself.  Cole is choosing to remain anonymous because he doesn’t want to be confronted by the Superstars or the fans about his decisions.  He’s orchestrating the NXT attacks because he’s had enough of the outrage for simply not being Jim Ross.  So, Cole got the idea that he’d give the fans a reason to despise him.  Cole initially contacted Barrett to set up the first attack, and Barrett relayed the message to everyone else.  After that attack, Daniel Bryan finds out that the person pulling the strings is Cole, and refuses to have anything to do with The NXT.  Cole convinces “outside sources” (Justin Roberts) to complain about what Bryan did and gets him released.

Jim Ross. Ross has had enough of Vince’s ways and snapped.  Pissed off about being moved to Smackdown and then replaced, pissed off about not being invited to announce Wrestlemania, good ‘ole J. R. is going to get his revenge on Vince, collateral damage be damned.  Ross saw in the NXT guys group of young men who would quickly follow the advice of a well-respected person in the business.  In the early stages, Ross used his backstage connections and likability to initially get the entire NXT group into the arenas even after NXT had ended.   After getting Hart fired, Ross approached Vince about the GM position, and Vince hires him, thinking that he can control Ross easily enough.  But Ross is smart enough to get a guaranteed contract that will protect him from being fired by Vince, allowing Ross to carry out his plan.

Mick Foley. Having just seen what happens when the old guys overshadow the young guys, Foley decides to return to the company where he truly rose to fame, and make it so that the young guys are noticed.  Foley was able to be signed as GM by using a proxy in his place, playing on Vince’s arrogance, and getting him to sign a guaranteed contract with Foley’s name on it, even though he wasn’t there.

Sting. At long last, we finally get the reason Sting turned heel.  All along we thought that it was scripted by TNA that Sting would turn on Hogan and Abyss, but it wasn’t.  Sting came out on his own and attacked them, then when to the backstage area and threatened Dixie Carter, thinking all of this would get him fired, so he could then go to the WWE.  But little did he know that TNA would actually use the segment to turn him heel.  Sting has since tried assaulting the founder, Jeff Jarrett, but that also got turned into a work.  So, until Sting figures out how to get fired from TNA, he has to be the Raw GM anonymously.

Paul Heyman. This one includes a lot of the same revenge against Vince scenarios as previous theories, but I imagine his hiring to WWE would be done behind Vince’s back by Stephanie.  When presented with an opportunity to embarrass Vince by having young guys take control of the show, Heyman jumps at the opportunity.  This is the chance to do what he was unable to do with ECW.

These were a few of my crazy ideas about how things could play out.  Feel free to add your own in the comments.  Nothing is too crazy for this entry.  Have some fun with it.

Nothing special: TNA Slammiversary VIII

TNA’s “eighth” edition of Slammiversary wasn’t anything to write home about.  It had a fairly generic buildup and nothing too shocking happened.  Dixie Carter tweeted that something exciting would be happening on the show, as well as something that would “change TNA forever” but quickly mentioned that the two were not the same.  I’m guessing her exciting moment was the debut of Tommy Dreamer, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

The big story of the night was whether Sting could take the TNA title from Rob Van Dam.  The short answer?  No.  The long answer?  Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.  Despite cryptic messages, the threatening of a bat, a warning from Hulk Hogan, and RVD probably being higher than firefighters working on Jeff Hardy’s house, RVD kept Sting down for the one-two-three.  I still don’t care about whatever’s up with Sting.

Wow – that’s a whole lot less than I usually have before breaking for the bullet points.  I suppose I can mention the Knockouts title match.  For whatever reason, Madison Rayne vs. Roxxi became a match for Roxxi’s career.  And she lost, so I guess she’s out of TNA again, less than a month after her return.  She bled pretty badly too, so not a good night for Roxxi.  If TNA really is out to completely decimate their Knockouts division, they really only have about three more people to go through, then mission accomplished.

The rest of the show after the jump.

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Preview: TNA Slammiversary VIII

Every year, TNA decides to celebrate its existence with a PPV with quite possibly the most ridiculous name I can recall: Slammiversary.  Okay, WCW’s Slamboree was pretty bad, but that was named in 1993.  As this is the eighth year of TNA, the event has been named Slammiversary VIII…even though this is the sixth edition.  As a compromise, we here at the 1/8th Nelson officially refer to it as Slammiversary VI: VIII.  See?  Everyone wins.

Traditionally, Slammiversary has been highlighted with the King of the Mountain match, a match concept so ridiculous that it could only be held on a show named Slammiversary.  The match, a “reverse ladder match” involving pinfalls, submissions, in-match qualifications and penalty boxes, was the pinnacle of TNA’s habit of making up gimmick matches, no matter how ludicrous they come off.  This year TNA has decided against it, and that’s good news.  The 2007 edition (Slammiversary III: V) was so bad that I swore off paying for TNA PPVs.

In fact, there is only one gimmick match on this card, which has to be some kind of a record for TNA.  But that doesn’t mean this show is going to be good.  This is TNA after all.  Let’s run down the card:

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
Rob Van Dam(c) vs. Sting
TNA has been touting its rating system for a while, and finally we see it in action as of this match.  Amongst all of TNA’s roster, Sting somehow managed to take the top spot and get the title shot, despite having a somewhat shoddy win/loss record as of late and not being high in fan voting.  TNA must be glad it turned out this way, though, since they had already released the Slammiversary VI: VIII poster with Sting’s image on it before the ratings had been finalized.  How lucky is that?

There’s really nothing to say here – Sting is getting the title shot specifically because the booking requires him to.  There is no setup here.  Sting is coming off of a cheap win over Jeff Jarrett at last month’s sacrifice in which he bludgeoned Jarrett with his bat backstage then rolled him into the ring to start the match and pinned him.  Sting’s main storyline is that he’s been acting like a royal asshole lately, though he claims not all is as it seems.  Translation: Sting doesn’t want to be a heel but TNA does.  Hulk Hogan is determined to get answers, but since he’s been more low-key lately, Sting basically shows up, spouts some nonsense, hits someone with his bat, then leaves.

Rob Van Dam, on the other hand, has been all over the place as of late.  Despite having a definitive challenger, he’s been involved with pretty much anyone that will fight him.  On the last edition of Impact, Sting stole his belt and beat him up, and that’s pretty much all the interaction we’ve had.  I’m expecting RVD to retain here, which is likely why Sting has been beating him so badly as of late.  Of course, I recall that on RVD’s TNA debut, he beat Sting in less than a minute using only one move.  Just saying.

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Crime wave hits TNA: Impact 6/10/10

Here we are – another go-home show leading into a PPV.  As of late, TNA has used these shows to not promote their PPVs and instead delivering ridiculousness and hijinks throughout.  Of course, in almost every match for Slammiversary VI: VIII, the build up has been bad to non-existant, so they really can’t make it much worse.

The show opened with A.J. Styles leading Beer Money, Kazarian and Desmond Wolfe to the ring and telling everyone that they’ve been booked in a 8-man tag match, but since there are five of them, he kicks out Kazarian since Ric Flair is not around.  Flair’s music hit and Jay Lethal rehashed his dead-on Flair impression and introduced his team to Styles (even though you’d think that since the match has already been booked that Styles would know his opponents).  Lethal brought out Abyss and Mr. Anderson and with the explanation that Abyss is worth two men, the three attacked.  But as 5-on-3 fights go, the 3 side got beaten down until Jeff Hardy attacked through the crowd.

The eight man tag match, pitting A.J. Styles, Beer Money and Desmond Wolfe against Jay Lethal, Mr. Anderson, Abyss and Jeff Hardy was actually quite good.  There was a segment where each man hit their finishers one after the other until Desmond Wolfe laid out Abyss with a lariat, then demanded Chelsea hand him a chair.  Chelsea was reluctant to do so but finally did, only to have Abyss punch the chair into Wolfe’s face.  The match ended with Lethal getting caught in a move, leading to the Styles Clash and team A.J. picking up the win and the momentum going into the PPV.  Good match.

The other big deal going throughout the show was the nonsensical ramblings by Sting.  He attacked Rob Van Dam and stole his championship belt, writing ‘DECEPTION’ on it…for some reason or another.  This led to more nonsensical ramblings from Sting until the end of the show when RVD attacked, only to get beaten pretty badly by Sting, who kindly returned the belt to him.  The segment went on far too long and should have happened before the main event rather than closing the show.

As for the rest…

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