Jamie Lithgow, Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
In the latest ‘This Week in Wrestling’ Jamie shares what wrestling taught him this week, Brian talks about the passing of his friend Tim Arson, Craig discusses this week’s episode of TNA and much more.
All that and more in this edition of ‘This Week in Wrestling‘.
“Let Me Tell You Something Mean Gene…”
- Chances of Seth Rollins being the fall guy at The Royal Rumble?
- When WWE run an angle with the entire roster filling the ring do they purposely place lesser used talent in prominent positions to remind viewers that they still exist?
- January 19th – the new date on which the WWE Network will not be launched in the UK?
- Why do The New Day dress like a track and field team?
- Have we already seen the worst Raw of 2015? Let’s hope so…
- Is it just me or was the relatively low-key angle involving Tyson Kidd and Cesaro the best thing to happen in WWE this week?
- Roman Reigns’ feelings towards The Big Show? “I don’t know”… nice one Roman…
There was so much wrong with everything around The Ascension’s appearance on Raw this week that I don’t know where to start. Firstly, it was slightly ill-advised to mock the catchphrase of the late Michael ‘Hawk’ Hegstrand. To mention the Road Warriors and Demolition was a wise move, but to mock a dead man was a little disrespectful. However, the main issue I have relates to the commentary team. Why did they completely bury the newcomers for their promo and their chosen opponents? If all three commentators are telling us that The Ascension are not in Demolition or LOD’s league then what are fans going to think? Their complaints about the tandem facing jobbers was also farcical. The Road Warriors and Demolition built their reputations on smashing no-name teams. Moreover, King, JBL and Cole were complaining about the calibre of The Ascension’s opponents yet forgot to remind viewers that they easily and cleanly defeated the former Tag Team Champions the previous week.
Michael Cole, JBL and Jerry Lawler have one job to do when it comes to The Ascension – make them sound like absolute killers. Where is the benefit in telling us that they’re shit and aren’t proving anything by defeating local talent? I don’t recall Ryback being subjected to such negative commentary…
Tim Arson obituary
Earlier this week, the wrestling world sadly lost another colleague as ‘The Arsonist’ Tim Arson aka ‘The ECW Zombie’ passed away at age 38. To some he may be just another tragic wrestling statistic…but I know better. The Tim I knew loved life….he had a young son who he absolutely adored….he found true love…a soulmate with his girlfriend Coryanne. Tim was working hard working bouncing gigs in Manhattan clubs, while still wrestling on weekends. He had dreams…big dreams to one day become a radio host. He was starting up a podcast, to talk about all of his good and bad experiences in the industry.
Despite all the dreams he had….his one true wish was to have his son Kevin join him here in the States. He is currently living with his birth Mom in Puerto Rico. Tim was a New York Yankee fan….outspoken on many civil rights issues and yes…a die hard wrestling fan. We would often talk about what was wrong or right with Raw or Smackdown. He watched countless shows from Ring of Honor to New Japan Wrestling. When he finally “made it” in ECW portraying a Zombie…I asked him…Did you have any regrets playing such a gimmicky character? He laughed and said, “No way! My wallet doesn’t regret it.”
Tim loved the radio business and was practicing to one day make it on the air like his radio idols such as Opie and Anthony…Ron and Fez and Eastside Dave. If anyone could do it…it was Tim. While some may say…ah another young wrestler gone too soon…me and many others say our final goodbyes to a young man gone way too soon. A friend…a colleague…a father and to me a kid brother that I make sure to look out for. Suddenly, I no longer have that kid brother….I just have an empty space in my heart that can never be replaced. Tim…I love you and miss you brother…May God Keep and Protect you up there in Heaven.
I had high hopes going into this episode of Impact. After all, you could think of it as Ground Zero and forget (forgive?) all the bad stuff from the last few years and hope that TNA can do things differently.
It certainly got off to a good start. The opening segment was good with good production values. I like that it led to the good guys and bad guys arriving at the arena at the same time and brawling their way in. It was different, if nothing else.
The Angle and MVP match was as plodding as you’d expect but served a purpose and was relatively short but the crowd was in to it. The tag title match, between James Storm & Abyss v The Wolves was good and has succeeded in setting up a programme between the Wolves and the Hardy Boys. X Division Champ Low Ki versus Austin Aries was good in terms of in-ring action but it had no story to it other than they are both x division wrestlers – if it had that bit more attached to it it would have been even better.
The Knockouts battle Royale served no purpose other than filling TV time with a gimmick match. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the division. It was, however, cool to see Awesome Kong back and, if her problems are behind her, a feud with Havok would be very interesting and very different from the sort of thing you tend to see on TNA & WWE from female wrestlers.
As for the main event, swerve tastic. It screamed “TNA up to their old tricks again”. It’s such a shame. They had done well building the match between Bobby Roode and Bobby Lashley. They made me interested in it which is surprising considering that I, like many I assume, don’t really care too much about Lashley. To start with things looked good. Two big guys fighting in a hard hitting brawl. The sort you’d expect JR to say something like “don’t expect many drop toe holds here”.
The problems started when we saw MVP, Kenny King and two masked men set to appear at ringside. It was so obvious that something was going to happen and lo behold it was Eric Young who, after appearing to make the save, turned on Roode costing him the title.
But there were some positives to take. I liked the production values which had a different vibe to those of the WWE. The arena was largely blacked out in the way that Stone Cold Steve Austin has been calling for for ages on his podcast to move beyond the slick presentation of the WWE and Josh Matthews was good on commentary.
That said, I want more of a backstory on matches, I would have expected a better reaction when Young turned on Roode and can we please stop mentioning what’s trending on social media? Who actually cares?
Overall, I’d give the first Impact a 6 out of 10. I didn’t like the finish but instead of shitting on it I’m going to wait and see where they go with it.
I’ll have a chance in a few weeks, when Impact Wrestling arrives in Glasgow, to see it first hand so I’m reserving much of my judgement until then.
Raw was pretty bad…
So bad, in fact, that this guy cancelled his network subscription due to how bad a show it was.
Ah yes….the late 1990’s…where the squeaky clean Donny and Marie could sit and chat with Konnan and Raven…
El Patron aka the former Alberto Del Rio debuted for Ring of Honor this past Saturday and one thing I found very interesting was the fact he didn’t seem to take the time to get new ring tights for himself….
We can say whatever we want about Dixie Carter the promoter…but hot damn!
Always remember and never forget…Lex Luger’s first gig in the WWF was being a spokesman for Vince’s failed side project…The World Bodybuilding Federation. They even had a TV show called Bodystars (Instead of Superstars)
I know Michael Cole takes a lot of heat for his broadcasting skills or lack thereof from die hard fans. He’s usually criticized for repeatedly shilling the WWE app or the WWE network. This video might shed some light on what Cole goes through on any given Raw or Smackdown from Vince McMahon….
Next Week in Wrestling
In tomorrow’s Sunday Sermon we look at what the wrestling world would look like if the WWE went out of business, Craig looks at Shane Douglas, we get another installment of ‘Wrestling with Sin’ and more.
‘This Week in Wrestling’ columns can be read here.