Total Nonstop Action Proudly Presents...
Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the reviews that put the T in TNA, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight as we all join together to celebrate the 11th anniversary of the day where a guy named Cheeks had one of the worst wrestling matches of all time, with TNA Slammiversary 2013! Over the past 11 year, TNA has seen more than its fair share of highs and lows, and now the company is having to weather the storm of the Aces and Eights, who are casting a pall over all other events. Tonight the leader of Aces and Eights, Bully Ray, will take on a furious Sting who badly wants to drub the entire group out of existence, and has decided to put his championship future on the line for the opportunity to do so. All of TNA may hang in the balance as the old legend straps on the boots again to do battle with the evil that has invaded his chosen home. And besides that, we have every title being defended, an appearance by Emo Styles, and a show stealing match which might be the last thing that you'd expect. We have all of this, plus our most famous co-reviewer ever, AJ Styles*!
* Not actually AJ Styles.
So without any further ado, let's do a motherfucking review!
Segment 1 - Introduction!
Cewsh: Before we begin, I would like to introduce my cohost for this review. You may know him for being the first person ever to wear a turkey suit on TNA television, or from being the guy who said "ZIP IT" to Ricky Steamboat. Or you might know him for actually being on this show later tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, AJ STYLES!*
Say hello, AJ.
AJ Styles: Hello, AJ.
Cewsh: Are you excited to be making your debut here on Cewsh Reviews?
AJ Styles: Coowish Rewhat? Hey, this aint Dairy Queen. You said you were takin' me to Dairy Queen.
Cewsh: Cewsh. Cewsh Reviews. And we're inside of a house. You never realized that this house wasn't going to contain a Dairy Queen?
AJ Styles: Richie Rich has a McDonalds in his bedroom. And a basketball hoop!
Cewsh: We'll go to Dairy Queen after the show, AJ.
AJ Styles: Are we besties yet?
Cewsh: I've made a huge mistake.
*Of course AJ Styles is not actually here reviewing this show. AJ Styles has much better things to do than free internet blogs, like main eventing TNA shows or preaching to Satan on Ring of Glory. This is just satire.
*Please don't sue us.
Segment 2 - TNA X Division Championship - Ultimate X Match - Kenny King (c) vs. Chris Sabin vs. Suicide
Cewsh: Ultimate X matches have gotten a bad rap over the years for being pretty much identical, with new flippy guys swapped in for each one, and Christopher Daniels finding a new and inventive way to try to make his children orphans every chance he gets. Naturally, that reputation has been extremely harmful to the drawing power of the match concept, and that's because it's all completely true. But that doesn't mean that there isn't some fun to be wrung out of the concept, and this is Chris Sabin's big return to PPV after his two year struggle with ACL injuries.
Now, if you were someone who used to be a fan of TNA, and hasn't watched for a good long time because you felt that Dixie Carter was trying to skullfuck you with a strap on named Hulk Hogan, there are a few items of interest in this match. First is the fact that Suicide was played by the 4th different person in it's very limited history, as TJ Perkins took on the mantle. TNA fans from way back may remember him better as Puma from the World X Cup, and ROH fans may remember him as that awesome guy they used as a jobber for a little while. Also, Kenny King is awesome. Chris Sabin still seems a little tentative so soon after his injuries. Since his entire career is built on running super fast, this is to be expected.
Alright, I think that catches us up. I'm not going to dwell on how batfuck silly the entire Suicide gimmick is here, because I feel like I spent a whole summer doing that back when he first showed up. Let's just do a collective eyeroll that TNA has to dig that deep down into the proverbial well to find X Division guys, and move on.
Now, the Ultimate X gimmick does a great job of making up for the preposterous “all X Division title matches must be triple threat matches” rule, by making this thing a chaotic whirlwind of spots. King and Sabin seem to have great chemistry, and Pumacide flits about having a good time, and it all rolls together into a pleasing, if not engaging package. We're not going to expect the moon of TNA here, we're just going to let the show pleasantly surprise us, if possible. So let's call this a good start.
73 out of 100
AJ Styles: Heck, these boys were jumpin' over the darn place, Ceeuish! Now I'm AJ Styles, and I've done a few of these matches before, and the SUPER important thing to remember is that you've gotta get that fancy belt. They hang it up on them wires and they're real high, but you gotta treat the wires like they're knee high to a pricker bush. Grab that belt and take it back to your moms house, but don't try to hold up your pants with it, because the straps are too big and your pants will fall down.
Chris won and that's cool because he's my friend, but that Suicide guy is confusin' me. He looks all different from before and when I sent him a text message, my friend Christopher Daniels kept answering. Imma keep investigatin' this mystery you guys!
Chris Sabin Over Kenny King Following His Retrieval Of The Item.
Segment 3 - Aint No Party Like A Hulk Hogan Party 'Cause A Hulk Hogan Party Is Mandatory.
Cewsh: As Sabin makes his way back to the locker room with new fancy new title, Hulk Hogan makes his way out on to the stage to join him.
"I Didn't Know I Was Scheduled For A Burial Today."
Hogan is here to out over Chris Sabin for some reason. He compliments Sabin for awhile, and then reveals that the Destination X stipulation, (that the X Division champion can cash in his title for a shot at the Heavyweight Championship on one particular night of the year,) is still in effect. Sabin looks pretty excited about this new and exciting way to get buried by his own company, and Hogan congratulates him on being the guy who will get that shot, even though the night to use it is still weeks away. If you think I'm being mean to this whole thing thus far, you're probably right, but this is seriously about 1 minute into Hogan's promo and he's already gotten sarcastic claps, revealed the booking plans for the next month, and treated his top junior heavyweight wrestler like a loyal dog who is lucky to get a treat today. But we're not done.
Hogan says that there's more to talk about, but before we find out what that is, Aces and Eights come strutting out to get in Hogan's face. I don't feel like I've fully unleashed my thoughts on this stable yet, but don't worry, I'm saving that for later in the show. The important thing here is that Ken Anderson insults Hogan and Hogan responds by saying "bitch" like 37 times and booking Anderson, Garrett Bischoff and Wes Brisco in a 6 man match because they are, and I quote, "foaming at the crotch." Which, in fairness, does sound like something that needs to be remedied as quickly as possible.
Segment 4 - Aces and Eights vs. Samoa Joe, Magnus and Jeff Hardy
Cewsh: There are two things going on simultaneously in TNA that make me happy and suspicious at the same time. All of a sudden, Jeff Hardy has been removed from his spot as top babyface and is wrestling undercard matches, and at the same time Samoa Joe is getting a renewed push as an extremely dangerous man. I have been badly burned by TNA the last few times I have put my faith in either of these trends continuing, but if nothing else it gives us this match, where Samoa Joe is made to look like a Professor of Ass Sciences at Beatings University.
PHD In Assology.
And that's all this match really is. The whole thing is basically a prolonged squash of Aces and Eights by guys who are way out of their league. Anderson especially has to be wondering who he pissed off to be stuck in here as the 4th most important member of a stable of former WWE guys. He'll have to go on wondering, because there aren't any answers for him here. Just many exciting educational opportunities from everyone's favorite professor.
65 out of 100
Team Babyface Over Team Hell Following A Swanton Bomb From Jeff Hardy To Wes Brisco.
Segment 5 - The Peculiar Story of the Lawyer Who Learned How To Lose.
Cewsh: Once upon a time there was an attorney named Joseph Park. He was a good attorney, and well respected, and while he was a bit of a clutz and was bigger than just about anyone he knew, he always had a smile on his face and a song in his heart. Joseph also had a brother named Chris, who was a professional wrestler, and a bit of a black sheep in the family, seeing as how everyone thought he had killed their father. But as far as Joseph was concerned, family was family, and he always lent Chris all the support he could. One day, his brother seemingly disappeared. From his job, from his life, from everywhere. Joseph started getting threatening phone calls from his brother's wrestling rivals, demanding that he tell them where his brother was, even though Joseph had no idea. After all, they hadn't seen each other for years.
But Joseph, always the loyal brother, went to Chris' workplace and answered the questions of his rival, Bully Ray. He told him that there was no sign of Chris, and Bully Ray didn't like that one bit. He started shoving Joseph around, and while Joseph always believed in being kind to everyone he met, he found himself lashing out and defending himself, catching Bully Ray off guard. In the weeks to come, Bully Ray bullied the attorney into getting into the ring for a match, despite having no wrestling experience. And lo and behold, Joseph took a hellacious beating at the hands of the veteran, right up until he started to bleed. And then Joseph seemed to go crazy, and used his brother's finishing move in a manner that shocked everyone, including himself.
After that, Park became enamored with wrestling, and went into training so that he could help to fight against the Aces and Eights. TNA's fanbase rallied behind him in a huge way, as the big lovable lug always gave 110%, even if he was often sorely outmatched by his more experienced foes. And while Park did begin a winning streak due to happy circumstances and luck, everyone knew that he was easy pickings, so long as you made sure that you didn't let him see the sight of his own blood, which continued to do strange things to him. And now Joseph Park has earned his very first title shot, exactly one year after his debut match with Bully Ray. He's not in it to help his brother anymore, he's in it to be the best that he can be. But Aces and Eights is only interested in splattering his kindly brains all over the pavement. Which brings me to the reason that I have laid out this entire story for you today.
Joseph Park is backstage, gushing to Jeremy Borash about how much he loves Boston, (they're in Boston,) and about how he's going to try his best to bring the Television title home once and for all. Devon, being Devon, takes exception to this, and he and Knux take 5 minutes out of their busy schedules to beat 10 kinds of hell out of Joseph Park, leaving him in a heap on the ground.
And this is where your reading comprehension skills come into play. With all of that backstory in mind, what would you say it means that this is the last thing we see before the screen fades out?
Segment 6 - Bound For Glory Series Qualifier - Jay Bradley vs. Sam Shaw
Cewsh: Look, TNA does stupid shit. You know this. This is one of those times. See, the Bound For Glory Series is TNA's yearly contest between all the top TNA wrestlers to see who will face the World Champion at Bound For Glory. It's basically the same prize as the Royal Rumble, except that you have to win a 3 month long Round Robin tournament in order to get it. That's not the stupid thing. The BFG Series is actually a great idea that makes for fun and structured summer booking. No, the stupid thing is that these two guys are competing for a spot in it, when neither one of them was actually employed by the company prior to their entrance into the mini tournament to get a spot in the Series. So basically you take two fuckasses that nobody knows anything about, and one of them will be stinking up heatless matches all the way through the rest of the tournament. All so that TNA can validate their Gutcheck series, which has not actually produced the stars they expected it to.
As a result, we get to watch a pay per view match between two people who have no business sweeping the floors in a national company. Sam Shaw is so green that he could be mistaken for the lovechild of Kermit the Frog and the Incredible Hulk.
Without The Charm Or The Ability To Punch Planets Out Of Orbit.
And Jay Bradley gets my vote for the least interesting professional wrestler in the world. And this isn't even me being mean to them. These are just qualities that they have that may as well be printed on their resumes. In this match, their chance to show the world what they can do, they deliver 15 minutes worth of awkward unpleasantness compressed into a 5 minute period, before Jay Bradley wins and receives the unenviable honor of being the guy who has to try to convince fans that he's on AJ Styles' level in less than one month.
Best of luck, amigo.
45 out of 100
AJ Styles: Aww, it's all right, Jay. I used to be new here too. All you have to do is remember not to go into the girl's locker room while they're changing, (because they're ladies,) not to drink Bully Ray's protein shakes, (they're milkshakes,) and to make sure you try to win the fanciest belt. I was here for like 5 years before I figured out that we were supposed to try to win the one with all the fancy stuff on it, because my friend Jeff Jarrett told me that it was his. Jeff is such a kidder! Where was I sayin'? Oh yeah! And if Shane Douglas calls, we turn all the lights out and pretend like we're not home.
Jay Bradley Over Sam Shaw Following The Boomstick Lariat.
Segment 7 - Jay Bradley Is Talking.
*Cewsh whispers something in AJ's ear*
AJ Styles: But it's mean to interrupt people when they're talkin', Queish.
*Cewsh whispers more urgently in AJ's ear*
AJ Styles: You'll give me a fancy belt? Just for saying it? Well alright, if that's what you want.
Cewsh: This is going to be such a mark out moment for me. Ahem, alright, so after the match we throw to Christy Hemme who asks how Jay Bradley feels now that he has won the match and a place in the Bound For Glory Series. So Jay begins talking and...
AJ Styles: ZAP IT!
Cewsh: YES! Wait, did you just say "Zap It"?
AJ Styles: That's my catchphrase! "Zap it! Pew pew!"
Cewsh: NO, NOT ZAP IT. YOUR CATCHPHRASE IS "ZIP IT!" ZIP IT! As in the thing you do with a zipper, you slap flapping fuckpotato!
AJ Styles: But that sounds super mean. I mean, he's not a zipper or anything. There aint no such thing as people zippers. "Zap it" is better. He can be a laser fighter! Pew pew!
Cewsh: But I...but you...but we...
AJ Styles: Nap time!
Segment 8 - TNA Television Championship - Devon (c) vs.
Cewsh: Devon and Knux come out and after Joseph Park's music plays for awhile, they hop on the mic to tempt fate by mocking the fans, Parks and puppies and kittens the world over. He demands the referee to award him the match if Parks could respond to a 10 count. The referee counts to 10 and awards Devon the match. But the universe, responding to narrative imperative, throws Devon a curve ball. A 6'8, 300lbs one.
"Wait, People Actually Come Out When You Insult Them?"
Abyss barrels down to the ring and the referee starts an impromptu replacement match. Abyss punches them, they punch Abyss, Abyss hits a Black Hole Slam, pins Devon, and wins the Television Championship.
This is the place where I put my thoughts on the match, but there really wasn't a match. This was slow motion squash that accomplished very little. The entire Joseph Parks storyline has been building to the day when Abyss would finally come back, wreck havoc on TNA, and whatever, whatever, whatever. A spanner was thrown into the plan when Joseph Parks got more over than Abyss ever really had been, but here we seem to have the official return of Abyss, and the monster comes back to...beat Devon for the Television title? Which has since been retired by the company? It's obviously a bit of a waste of both Abyss and Joseph Parks, and I'm not sure where either really goes from here. Obviously I was more than a little invested in the direction of the storyline by the 30 pages I just spent describing it, but now, after this match, that interest has evaporated. Abyss squashed his midcard antagonist in 3 minutes for a belt he didn't want, in a feud he didn't need, and everyone had already forgotten about it by the time we moved on to the next segment.
That Guy Is Summing Up My Point Quite Nicely.
It's a disappointment for sure, and one that is more than a little deflating. And seeing as Abyss has been the worst booked character throughout TNA history, it's hard to not worry about where this is headed.
60 out of 100
Abyss Over Devon Following The Black Hole Slam.
Segment 9 - The 2013 TNA Hall of Fame Induction
Cewsh: After the match, we go to the announcers, who declare that it is now time to reveal the second ever inductee into the TNA Hall of Fame. The first induction was Sting, as you may recall, which was announced long beforehand. But this year TNA decided to make it a genuine surprise, not only to the fans, but to the person who would be getting inducted and everyone else as well. So theoretically, there were former TNA guys watching at home who had no idea if they were about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame or not. Dixie comes to the ring and requests the entire locker room to come out onto the stage, so that they can all be there to congratulate the winner, whoever that may be. Luckily, this year's selection was right there on the stage.
Now, to TNA's credit and beyond any debating about whether he should have made it in or not before guys like Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles, the look on Kurt Angle's face when he hears that they've chosen him is nothing short of heart warming. He's so clearly overjoyed and taken by surprised as everyone applauds him that it makes for a special moment.
And that moment only gets better as the we see him watching the video that TNA made for him, openly in tears.
There are very few genuine moments of emotion in wrestling. As a product, professional wrestling is designed to manipulate emotion and drive it in a very specific direction along pre-established lines. Fans rebel against that plenty, to varying degrees of success, but somewhere in between lies moments like this one that transcend the industry to a degree, and allow us all to just be human beings together for a second. For TNA to do something like this for Kurt Angle, and for it to clearly mean so much to him and to the fans who go nuts throughout the entire segment, speaks more volumes about his contribution to this company than any amount of debating could.
Kurt Angle was the glue that has held TNA's main event together and made it watchable for half of it's existence, and he is at the center of many of the company's finest moments. But more importantly, he is someone who truly and thoroughly chose to support TNA when he didn't necessarily have to. And, as with Sting, it was that support that meant more to TNA's survival and (relative) success than any individual match or feud. And as a statement even beyond that, he puts the importance of the Hall of Fame over further simply by including his name; honoring it, even as it honors him.
Congrats, Kurt. It couldn't have happened to a balder guy.
Segment 10 - TNA Tag Team Championships - Los Reyes de Fracaso (Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. Dirty Heels (Bobby Roode and Austin Aries) vs. The Vice Squad (James Storm and Gunner)
Cewsh: Alright, enough of that mushy stuff. We have a wrestling show to review here dammit.
Now, if you haven't seen or read anything TNA related since our last review, you might be wondering what TNA's tag team division is like these days. Luckily for you, this match seeks to very earnestly answer that question by including every single team in TNA at the moment, as well as James Storm and the random partner he pulled out of OVW. Yep, that's right. Three tag teams, who have all held the titles since January, and one slapped together team that have never competed together before. And since this is TNA, you know full well which team wins this match.
Two of the teams here are fantastic, one of the teams, (Storm and Gunner,) is tolerable, and the other team is a somewhere between getting your tongue stuck to a flagpole and having your balls invaded by an army of fire ants on the tolerability scale. So you can probably guess that the match ranged from very good to distressingly dull depending on who was in it at any given time. Ultimately though, our winners are the team that just formed the week before, marking the second time on this show that a title was won by people who hadn't done anything to earn it. I would complain more, but honestly, Storm and Gunner worked well as a team, and the division did need new blood badly. So let us embrace our new redneck overlords, and salute their fancy hats. So long as I get to keep watching Christopher Daniels dance, nothing else in the division even needs to be seen.
68 out of 100
James Storm and Gunner Over Everyone Following A Gun Rack From Gunner To Aries.
Segment 11 - Last Knockout Standing Match - Gail Kim vs. Taryn Terrell
Cewsh: This feud originally began when Taryn Terrell was brought in to be the official referee of the Knockouts. You see, TNA had tried a number of options for Knockouts referees, but the all seemed to be actively nailing members of the division, (Earl Hebner,) to be breaking more rules than they were enforcing, (ODB,) or to be a walking sexual harassment lawsuit, (Joey Ryan.) Finally, they settled they settled the issue in the most TNA way possible: they hired a former WWE talent. Terrell came in and was a massive improvement over her predecessors, but that wasn't saying much, and she quickly earned the ire of Gail Kim by blowing important calls, and by being a human being who isn't Gail Kim.
The feud escalated, until Taryn couldn't take any more abuse and fought back. Knockout Commissioner Brooke Hogan, (Yep,) couldn't let her be a referee any longer, and so she was made into a full time wrestler, and was given this chance to get back at Kim for all the bullying that she had had to suffer through.
The first thing you need to know about this match is that people online have been LOSING THEIR FUCKING MINDS over it. I'm talking phrases like "Best mainstream women's match of the decade" kinds of comments, coming from reputable places all over the blogosphere. Obviously, the idea of Taryn Terrell turning out a match of this caliber is a tough one to swallow, so are the rumors actually true, or is this match the same garbage that we've come to expect?
Well, somewhere in between, I reckon. What this match did extremely well was take Taryn Terell and change her from a WWE release with no credibility and Barbie doll looks and make her a credible performer overnight. For one match to accomplish that is a staggering accomplishment, and due credit goes to both Terrell and Kim for turning in fantastic performances here.
And To Terrell's Knees, For Dying For Our Entertainment.
As for what this match did poorly, that kind of depends on the criteria we want to use. It would be condescending in the extreme to suggest that women should be held to a lesser standard than men just BECAUSE. And yet, while this isn't the best women's match of the year, much less beyond, I can understand the impulse to give it more credit than it is necessarily due. When you're expecting liver and onions and you get a Choco Taco instead, you don't want to slow down to consider whether or not you wanted desert to begin with.
This match is such a breath of fresh air in the world of mainstream women's wrestling that I want to send it flowers and ask it to prom. And because of that it's going to get away with being a spotty match with pacing problems and an out of nowhere finish. But reading that may belay my genuine enthusiasm for the match. Taryn Terrell arrived in a big way in this match, and TNA may finally have found the babyface it's been looking for since Gail Kim left the first time.
Oh, and if you were wondering how TNA could mess up something so cool and interesting, just sit back and let the cool, refreshing waters of misogyny wash over you.
80 out of 100
Cewsh's Seal of Approval
Taryn Terrell Over Gail Kim Following A Bulldog Off The Ramp.
Segment 12 - AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle
Cewsh: Hey, AJ. Wake up. This is your match. This match physically has you in it. You have a new gimmick and are getting a big push. This is the entire reason you're doing this review. Do you have anything to say about it?
AJ Styles: Sorry Cewewoosh. I kinda wandered off while this match was goin' on. My boy Ajay was all flippin' around the room and I was like "Hey Ajay, this is AJ." And he was all, "Hi AJ, I'm Ajay." And he was like "Hey AJ, that's AJ on tv!" And I was like "That's AJ, Ajay. And I'm AJ too!" And that went on for a couple minutes before we went and got some ice cream sandwiches, and then the match was all done.
Loyal Cewshketeers will remember that I recently did a few special features where I fantasy booked AJ Styles' road to Bound For Glory, where he would ultimately defeat Bully Ray for the title. You may also recall that I never finished that project, and surprisingly, it wasn't just because I saw something shiny outside and had to chase it. It's because this whole push for him is baffling to me.
Let me explain. Over the past 10+ years, AJ Styles has been the true born heart of TNA. He wrestled on the very first TNA show, and throughout their entire history he has held every title, wrestled every opponent, and stolen every show. He's been TNA's single most identifiable face, and their most beloved babyface star. But despite this, for years and years he has been depushed, buried, repackaged and forgotten about by management more time than I could count. So finally, after humiliation after humiliation, AJ declared that he had had enough of being TNA's whipping boy. No more would he wait next to the table for scraps like a good dog. No more would he let the company define who he was when it wouldn't let him define what it was. AJ buried the company and walked out on everything he had helped to build.
Fast forward a few months, and TNA made a concerted effort to bring AJ back into the fold, as Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan mocked him for leaving and demanded that he come back. And he did come back, but he was no longer The Phenomenal One that we knew and loved. No, the new AJ Styles was born when a freak tornado blew him through a leather factory. Because this is what edgy tweeners look like in the mind of TNA.
"I Don't Even Want The Fancy Belt Anymore Cause I'm All Sad Now. Do You Want To Read Some Of My Poetry?"
Regardless, in his weeks back after returning, he stymied everyone by attacking friend and foe alike, including shunning his former best friends AND an offer to join Aces and Eights. AJ positioned himself firmly as a lone wolf, who didn't care about anyone, and was just here to show TNA exactly what it could have had if they hadn't taken him for granted.
That sounds great, right? Yeah, well, it's TNA. Story old as time, song as old as rhyme. AJ has just been wrestling normal matches against guys who only have a vague reason to give a shit about him or his motives. And here he wrestles a match against Kurt Angle, which may as well have the subtitle "For All The People Who Don't Care Enough About Our Storylines To Buy This Show". The match is, of course, excellent, as AJ and Kurt have long ago left the restrictions of mere mortality behind in their quest for wrestling godhood. But AJ's whole gimmick just puts the whole thing in such a dour light, from his crowd killing entrance music, to his awkward selling of the character, to his goofy haircut, to his new "methodical" moveset, which is the same as the older one, just with more headlocks in between. There's a very real sense that you COULD be watching a masterpiece, and instead are watching Angle and Styles try to fit a square peg through a round hole as hard as they can. It's a pretty major bummer.
But, with that said, you're still going to want to see this match. As I said, AJ Styles and Kurt Angle don't really know what bad matches are, and must view them as something that happens to other people. There's some fun flying, some great suplexes, reversals, counters, chain wrestling, AJ's haircut. Really, this is worth your time. And while you're spending time watching it, take a moment to reflect on the idea that, since this angle is blatantly TNA's version of Sting's Crow storyline, AJ Styles loses this match clean. How would you have felt if Sting had lost to Randy Savage randomly in the middle of 1997? Unhappy?
82 out of 100
Cewsh's Seal of Approval
Kurt Angle Over AJ Styles Following A Roll Up.
Segment 13 - TNA World Heavyweight Championship - No Holds Barred - Bully Ray (c) vs. Sting
Cewsh: The entire Bully Ray saga has been going on for YEARS at this point, and I recapped most of it in our Lockdown review. So I wont retread that ground here. Bully Ray fooled Hulk Hogan into thinking he was on TNA's side, only to reveal that he was the head of Aces and Eights all along. This sent shockwaves all through TNA, and one of the effects that it had was to drive a wedge between the suddenly paranoid Hogan, and Sting, who vouched for Bully Ray in the first place. This match represents Sting's attempt to win that trust back, and to get the TNA World Heavyweight Championship back for Team TNA. But getting this match didn't come without a price. If Sting loses then he will never be allowed to have a TNA Championship match for the rest of his career. Fully fixed on his road to redemption, Sting agreed to the stipulation, and now it is up to him to make it through the the demented biker funhouse that is the Aces and Eights.
Okay, now that the backstory is out of the way, allow me to level with you. This match is a fucking nightmare.
I don't mean that Sting comes out dressed up with a scary clown again while Bully Ray gets eaten by a giant cheeseburger that is COMING FOR YOU NEXT! No, I mean that this match is one that I will refer to for years to come as an example of disastrous overbooking completely ruining a match. Over the course of this match, Sting survives the following things, completely alone and without help of any kind:
Only to finally be brought down by a hammer blow to the face. Now, I'm a wrestling fan, so I know more than I could ever teach about suspending my disbelief. But when a man well over the age of 50 survives NUMEROUS moves that have won major matches before, including a new super move devised to end careers, and hops up fighting right afterwards, that is some shit that a doped up 5 year old couldn't hold on to. Sting almost defeated the entire Aces and Eights stable by himself, after taking 3 different MEGA FINISHERS. Fuck, Bully Ray invented the wood piledriver, (minds out of the gutter,) just for this match, and that might be the most interesting new kill move devised in years. It takes a move that has been banned throughout most of the wrestling world for years due to it's inherent danger, and has become one of the great taboos in wrestling, and Bully Ray performs it on unprotected wooden slats. I'm at a loss as to what move you could perform that would be more devastating without getting dynamite involved somehow.
Maybe If There Were Sharks Under There?
But now it may as well be a fucking wristlock, because the first person ever to take it kicked out like it was nothing and went right back to fighting. But that's okay, because at least smashing someone's face into bits with a hammer still works. I half expected Sting to jump up and start dancing a jig until the entire Avengers assembled to stop him.
It was excessive, is what I'm getting at here.
But more than that, it was a severe let down. For one of the first times, Sting looked truly out of place in a match like this, and the parts of the match which weren't bordering on flat out satire still came off flat and sloppy. I don't have anything but praise for Bully Ray for doing the best with the weird hand he was dealt, and I believe that Sting was busting his ass to make this special, but it just didn't work, and everything jumbled up into a big fucking mess.
TNA has a reputation for having great undercards and dreadfully disappointing main events. They earned it honestly, and continue to here.
71 out of 100
Bully Ray Over Sting Following Shenanigans.
Cewsh: Well this certainly was a show for...
AJ Styles: Hey Woosh. Woosh!
Cewsh: Sigh. What do you want, AJ?
AJ Styles: Can we go get that ice cream now?
Cewsh: I'm doing the Conclusion, AJ. It's a very important part of the review. Just hold on one second. Alright, where was I? Right. I would definitely compare this show to...
AJ Styles: Ice cream.
Cewsh: Ice cream.
AJ Styles: IIIIIIIICCCCCCEEEEEEE CCCCRRRRRREEEEEEAAAAAMMMMMM
Cewsh: You guys, the show was fine. It...it was fine. It didn't make me actively hate on life on this planet, but it did put me in the mood to kick a cactus until it feels very sorry for what it did. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go find out if they sell alcohol at Baskin Robbins.
Cewsh's Final Score: 68 out of 100
Well that'll do it for us this time boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed our special guest this week, and that you don't mind too much that he will NEVER BE BACK EVER. Next week we'll be reviewing what is arguably the newest member of WWE's big 4 PPVs, WWE Money in the Bank 2013. Who will hold the briefcases and the destiny within? Will Mark Henry finally win his first WWE Championship? Will his loyal Dolphins propel Dolph Ziggler to victory? Only one way to find out. So until then, remember to keep reading and be good to one another.
Look, we both know you're a busy person. Always on the go, always in demand, and you just don't have time to go hunting around for that delightful Cewsh Reviews content that you love so much. Luckily, there's a cure for this horrible malady, and it is a magical place where the combined works of the entire Cewsh Reviews team come together to form the Voltron of Awesomeness known as the Cewsh Reviews Universe. Within you'll find expanded versions of the weekly Rajah mailbag, a full archive of over 270 reviews and features stretching across 4 years, and you'll even find blog only exclusives that you'll never find anywhere else.
Cewsh Reviews and you. A formidable force in the field of time wasting.
Also catch us over on Twitter and Tumblr. Our selection of cat gifs is impressive.