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" The Gravel Pit "
From the Outside (8.13.03)
Posted by Bryan "bps 'The Truth' 21" Staebell on Aug 12, 2003, 22:27
I changed the format of this column so that I could write it at any time during the week...and yet here I sit at the same time as every other week anyway. Eventually I’ll figure it out.
This week’s introduction is brought to you by the phrase “Time Management”. Exactly one hour into last week’s show they were introducing the participants in the X division title match...which was to be the last match before the cage match. I turned to my friend and said...”I think they’re exactly on schedule” as I envisioned a chalk board somewhere in the back that had Sabin vs. Kazarian chalked in for 9:00 pm. They still had to do the Christopher Daniels’ sermon...which I figured would go on while they were assembling the cage. They had PLENTY of time to give to the blow off to the Styles/Brown feud. Then a very unfunny thing happened and we saw a terrible finish to the X division match, a whole bunch of filler crap, the Daniels/Jarrett angle, pre-taped interviews with Styles and Brown (as if the title being on the line isn’t enough to understand why the match was important) and then (and ONLY then) an ELEVEN MINUTE Main Event. What the hell happened there? It was all made worse by watching the cage match and realizing that they must have cut 10 minutes off of what probably would have been a terrific match. Watching them move to the finishing sequences with no buildup was one of the most painful TNA experiences this side of the Dupp Cup. Then the finish to that match wasn’t clean for reasons no one can make me understand. In fact...I don’t remember the last time a match finished clean in TNA. Someone should email that question to Mike Tenay and see if he puts that answer in his column.
I understand trying to keep everyone strong...but that finish (Erik Watts rams Russo into the cage, causing D-Lo to fall off and be pinned) helped NO ONE. It didn’t protect D-Lo...it just made it seem that there was another match coming in the feud since D-Lo had AJ beat. Besides, D-Lo was kept strong the LAST TIME everyone thought there was a blow-off to the feud (the ladder match final of the 2/3 falls match). It obviously doesn’t help Styles...and it doesn’t even help Russo...so I’m at a loss. I’m sure the company line would be something along the lines of “heels don’t win clean”...but this is just getting ridiculous. In the last month (maybe longer...I’m blocking things out as I type) even the FACES don’t win clean!
I dare TNA to deliver ONE clean finish tonight. Just one, we can build from there. I don’t even care what match it’s in. Do it in the meaningless 6 man for all I care. Just DO IT already.
Anyway...that’s just the bad stuff from last week. There was some good stuff too (of course it all finished poorly).
You can find the Dames Diatribe on the site under the “TV Show Reports” section...but now...It’s Time. It’s Time. It’s Top 8 Time!!!
8. Three Live Krew. No...I’m not putting over their worst skit to date. They make the bottom of the top 8 because that was the last skit we’ll have to watch. They return to the ppv to compete this week. I never thought I’d see the day where I was overjoyed to see the in ring returns of Konnan and B.G. James...but here we are. Maybe that was the point of the segments.
Killings is only a few weeks away from a push...I can feel it. Now you may be saying, “that’s the stupidest thing you’ve said since the intro”...but I CAN FEEL IT. No matter how stupid those “comedy” pieces got I was comforted by the knowledge that Truth was only 1 promo away from being taken seriously again. He’s such a natural in every way but actually wrestling. All they need is for Jerry Lynn (I use him because he’d make the most sense) to come out one week and tell Killings to his face what a joke he’s become. From NWA Champion to NOTHING. Just have someone say that Konnan and James are both over the hill and that they’re hanging on to Killings to stay in the spotlight. Then let Killings cut a promo the next week where he destroys (verbally of course) Lynn...then goes on to cut off Konnan and James as well. Put him back as a tweener and light the feud with Lynn up. By the end of the month people will be asking for Styles vs. Killings...and they could even put Styles over...wait for it...CLEAN!
7. I think they’re turning Michael Shane heel. Everyone knows that Shane’s greatest strength is that he can play a heel well...and I think TNA knows it too. Not only is he taking on a face this week...but I think the constant “HBK’s cousin” thing is going to make everyone boo him. Then they have the options of going with the age old “I’m my own man, I live in nobody’s shadow” or “I’m better than you BECAUSE I’m HBK’s cousin” or whatever. Either way he’s not going to be cheered.
6. Mad Mikey is getting over. When Mad Mikey returns to the Asylum (whenever that will be) he’s going to be over HUGE. I’ve mentioned this before...but I mean HUGE. I was laughing through his last video...and I didn’t even think it was funny. Is the character lame? Sure. But it just fits him so well. If this keeps up no one who watches him will care that he was the lesser Holly...if such a thing is actually possible.
5. Save Our Souls. Dames seemed to like this segment more than I did...but I thought Daniels was gold on the mic. The problem was that Nashville crowd was so distracting. Daniels should have done that segment from the (former?) Heel Section. There was a group of people that were REALLY behind Daniels’ message...but the people he was interacting with didn’t even seem to know he was a wrestler. I still can’t figure out why anyone would cheer Jarrett in this feud.
4. Abyss is getting a push without actually wrestling. Kid Kash may be feuding with the old timers...but Abyss is the one getting the push. Both matches Kash has had (Ricky Morton and Larry Zbyzsko) he’s pretty much been dominated. Before he can lose Abyss comes out...hit’s ONE move and the legends are out. Of course...they aren’t really playing that up...but they should. ONE MOVE.
3. America’s Most Wanted vs. Diamond and Swinger. They brought it again last week...and I bet they’ll do it again this week. Even with all the dead weight added. Rhodes and Gilberti won’t be in the ring for long for various reasons...and the only reason I’m not totally against brining Rhodes in for this match is that it will put some spotlight on what has been a fantastic series of matches between the teams.
2. The Raven/Douglas segment. I’m not sure if threatening to set the flock...er...”Gathering” on fire was a knock on the JR /Kane segment or not...and I don’t really like that Raven has to care about people’s well being now that he’s a face...but it was a very well booked moment in the Raven/Douglas feud. Douglas once again escaped Raven’s clutches and put off the inevitable beating that everyone wants to see. I know the match this week won’t be very good...but dammit...it’s very well booked.
1. How good was the Raven/Douglas segment? It also gets to be #1 this week. Why? Here’s why:
Ron Killings, Konnan and B.G. James vs. Devon Storm, Vampire Warrior and Sinn
I don’t know who Sinn is. He’s new. Three Live Krew will win a short match that may even end...CLEAN! They’ll also be really over...for reasons I can’t even begin to guess. Oh...and the match will of course...ROCK! Wait...no.
Jerry Lynn vs. Elix Skipper
I told you we hadn’t seen the last of this one. Lynn seems to be running two storylines right now (this one and the one with Don Callis suspending him every other week for being too violent). You know what it means when someone is running two storylines don’t you? Expect Callis or someone representing him to run in and cost Lynn this match. Skipper is the one getting pushed...and although he’s not “technically” sound they are few people as flashy when he’s ON. Last week he destroyed all the jobbers in the X division 4 way to put himself over. You have to admire that. This match could be good if the XXX version of Elix shows up.
Michael Shane vs. Frankie Kazarian
So...here’s the deal. Kazarian is not X champion and the belt remains with Chris Sabin. Now...I don’t have a clue why they couldn’t just let Sabin win the match...but I guess they like to make all their champions tie their opponents when the belts are on the line. This will be the dreaded ladder match. What will they be reaching for? I have no idea. Probably the old “contract on a clipboard” since this match will name the #1 contender. I know they aren’t dumb enough to do the same dumb ladder match finish as they did with AJ and D-Lo...so someone has to win here. Either Shane is winning to give Sabin/Kazarian a break...or Kazarian wins and Shane beats him down afterwards to turn heel. Those are the options I see anyway. Ladder matches are hit and miss. Kazarian is no Paul London...so don’t expect anything like Shane’s few good Ring of Honor matches here. I can’t imagine it being un-entertaining though.
AMW and Dusty Rhodes vs. Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger and Glen Gilberti
As I stated earlier...I don’t really expect Rhodes and Gilberti to be a factor here. Gilberti’s back is messed up and Rhodes never works long. That means the bulk of the work will be carried by AMW and Diamond and Swinger...and that’s good news. These four guys really click out there.
Raven vs. Shane Douglas
The feud has been well booked, interesting and even led to TWO fun 6 person matches in a row. The problem with this feud was always that this moment would come sooner or later. Douglas...isn’t very good. Raven I think is good...but more good at telling a story than good at carrying someone. Expect it to be overbooked...and don’t be surprised if Raven loses again with someone joining Douglas and the New Church in the process. There’s still the big guy who keeps taking out Raven running around after all.
AJ Styles vs. Low Ki
This was a late addition to the card (and further proof that they really don’t have faith in Douglas). This will be an NWA title match...and it should rock the house if given time. Once again there is no reason the finish shouldn’t be clean here...but you know it won’t be. I get the feeling that this is a placeholder one shot match while they set up the next contender to Styles. Even if that’s the case...I’m not complaining about it.
Also on the show: Jarrett and Daniels will do something (Why does feuding with Jarrett always take the talent OUT of the ring?), Kash will call out another legend, and we’ll see what happened when TNA went off the air last week. Russo was going on about how there are no contenders left for the title (and technically he’s right, everyone else is tied up with something) and the show ended. I didn’t read that anything important happened after that...so I don’t know. I still say it’s a good idea to use Sting’s appearances to put over Styles...but again...I’m on the Outside.
I would normally do the feud watch section now...but all the feuds that are currently running are represented in the preview in some form...so we’ll move on.
Notes from the INSIDE
*All quotes taken from Jeremy Borash’s From the Inside column found weekly at nwatna.com
”There was several minutes of footage shot after the show went off the air last Wednesday night that will air this Wednesday. “
I just said that.
”The one cent show TNA will be offering to all iN DEMAND customers will be much more than a best of. We are going to make this show a definite must see. In addition to bringing everyone up to date on the latest TNA storylines, two matches I would consider the best in the company's history will air on this event. If you missed Jarrett/Raven for the NWA Title, or the infamous AMW vs. XXX cage match, you will get to see them for just a penny. Not a bad deal in my book.”
No...it’s not a bad deal at all. Putting the cage match on there is great...but I have to question the choice of Raven/Jarrett. The match was really all about the buildup...not the match itself. Why? Because they blew the finish to the match as bad as you can. Not in the “Blown spot” way. But in the “Blown Booking” way. I know it’s Jarrett’s company...but who really wants to see him overcome the entire TNA roster and still beat the more popular Raven again? Anyone?
”I found the 3 Like Krew vignette this week to be very Conan O'Brien-esque. Nothing says comedy gold like a shirtless middle age man caressing himself in a trailer park.”
I got nothing...I just wanted to make sure you knew he said it.
“The plan is to bring Sting in for the second of his four contracted TNA dates sometime later in August or September, although nothing has been specifically booked yet.
credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter”
Well...I know how I would use him. I can’t figure out how they will though. They have 3 dates left...and as near as I can figure there are 3 “money” matches for Sting in TNA. AJ Styles, Raven and Jeff Jarrett. For some reason I really want to see Raven vs. Sting...but they’re both faces. Jarrett’s a face too so strike that. It makes what he should be doing obvious.
That pretty much wraps up everything I have for this week. I’ve never met Gary Coleman...although the whole Borash/Coleman thing DID go down right here in Buffalo. I do have this though:
Until next week...find me at [email protected]