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  1. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Caught up on the first couple of Impact shows from the new AXS era, and a very nice start, particularly the first episode, culminating in a much deserved title win for Sami Callihan. Until he came to Impact I wasn't particularly a fan, but as a few others have said he's been a real MVP over the last year and a half, being in the most over programs in the company. I thought the cage (Cage) match was a really strong TV bout, with great intensity and fire from both guys and a great utilisation of the cage stip. Cage matches have been fairly blase in the last few years, but this felt like an old school 80s cage match in terms of the hatred between the two guys and the blood but with a new age action. Sami vs Tessa a very good way to go, although wonder where they go with Cage from here who never really got into his stride with the belt with all the injuries. Elsewhere, sleazy Ace Austin continues to progress in terms of both the in ring and character stuff outside it, and Eddie Edwards is super underrated, knocking out minimum 3* matches every time. As El-P says, douchebag veteran heel RVD cutting shoot promos from a hot tub with his porn star looking girl friend is the character I never knew I needed. Impact as a TV show can have some bits that don't click, but I think that's mainly due to them having to work with some guys not at the top tier level in terms of talent thanks to the arms race between WWE/AEW etc, but overall a really solid watch each week where they do a great job of building up anticipation for matches on the bigger shows.
  2. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    To me, a bit like the Impact shows from Mexico, the idea of MLW taping stuff with the Crash has been better in theory than execution. I'm all for wrestling shows being in different buildings and giving shows different looks - part of my disconnect with WWE is that every show, outside of Mania, looks exactly the same - but the pros of having a lively crowd, have been outweighed by the cons of having random matches with talent that has nothing to do with any of the companies story lines. Having some fresh guys involved can be fun, but this close to trying to build to a PPV? Doesn't make sense to me. Plus, and I know some people round here are into Lucha brawls, but some of the matches with The Crash guys, while entertaining, have been a bit of a mess. Again, I think WWE's historic obsession with people having a certain look has been detrimental at points, but that six man a couple of weeks ago was filled with guys that look like they would be more at home wrestling in your backyard rather than on TV. In saying that, the PPV next week to me looks decent on paper, and I'm interested in quite a few of the matches. However, again, as with Impact and Bound For Glory, the PPV seems to look decent in spite of some of the TV building up to it rather than because of it.
  3. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    The less said about the video above the better... In general, the last edition of Impact was another really flat show, where the best parts were the non-wrestling segments. Unfortunately that amounted to about 15 mins of a two hour show. I've got no idea what Moose/Ken Shamrock is going to turn out like, to some extent it feels like the sort of meme/freakshow type match you get lots of over Mania weekend, but there was an excellent video package put together for the match, that despite my fears, was effective in making me excited to want to watch it. There was a decent little Taya promo, who has had a really strong run with the title, it's just unfortunate that Tenille Dashwood has been pretty uninspiring since she's come into Impact and feels colder than you would think when you see that match written down on paper. I still think it will be a decent match though. Finally, I thought the Sami Callihan promo was really strong, and he's definitely been the MVP of Impact the last few years and I would put the belt on him. The rest of the show had nothing noteworthy at all - in particular the battle royal and Sabu matches were both terrible. Having that Battle Royal as the last segment before your big show is poor formatting. I wrote here a couple of weeks ago, that Bound for Glory, looks like it will be a decent show, almost in spite of the booking, and that still feels right going into tonight.
  4. TonyPulis'Cap

    Wrestlers who are a Blessing and a Curse

    Shawn Spears/Tye Dillinger Blessing: um, led to a good moment one year when he came out as No. 10 one year in the Rumble... Curse: ruined matches for a long time, with fans chanting 10 on the referees's count, thus removing all drama from potential count out teases, dramatic moments when wrestlers are trying to make the count, or last man standing matches, and generally paying no attention to what's going on in the ring (that last point, is not just his fault of course, but this was one that was very annoying. See, also: 1-2-Sweet! for nearfalls)
  5. TonyPulis'Cap

    AEW Dark Megathread

    Only watched week 1 at this point, but enjoyed this as a show, especially the Darby Allin/CIMA match which had a great intensity to it, which made it feel more meaningful than just a spotfest. As I said, it was only the first week, but the presentation of the matches made it seem more important than something like a Main Event, or Velocity/Jakked back in the day, where it feels like the people that appear on those shows are very much 'C Level' talent that will never appear on the main show.
  6. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Yeah, not much to get excited about in ring this week on Impact, but the show long angle of the wedding was pretty well done to me - just a classic piece of wrestling TV. When it needed to be cheesy and campy, it was, and I like the use of the Afterbuzz TV host to give it that modern, this could be a feature on E! News vibe, and then the final angle was dramatic to add heat to the main event at BFG. While Sami hitting Melissa with a bottle might have been a bit over the top, the reactions of the people felt quite real and it was a decent piece of storytelling. As anyone will tell you from her time on Lucha Underground, Melissa was an integral part of some really good storylines, and getting angles over.
  7. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    I've been an MLW defender in general, but on last week I absolutely have to agree - the tag match was a massive disappointment. I've really enjoyed the feud going in - the video package that showed all the different interactions showcased something I really enjoy in wrestling when you get stables feuding, with lots of different combinations of guys in matches, and as EL-P says, the ladder match these teams had a few months back was really fun, with some great involvement from Aria Blake, but this match was just... odd... there was no flow to it at all. I get the stalling at the beginning as in character for the Dynasty, but there wasn't that big cathartic moment when the Hart Foundation got their hands on them, they just sort of ambled into lifeless brawling. After that, nothing happened...at all. I enjoyed DBS Jnr's shoot style match with Tim Thatcher from a few months ago, but him trying to do that with Richard Holliday, who I think has been a great character in MLW, was awkward as anything. It was late and I'm a new Dad, but I must've fallen asleep at least three times trying to watch this. They also made no use of the 2/3 fall stip, which can create a great structure for some really interesting story telling, but when the first fall was DBS just seemingly falling over, and then the final fall being an ambiguous count out, you got the final reaction where the crowd didn't even boo, they just seemed confused. The thing I like most about MLW is the aesthetic of the promotion. I know some of it is a bit hokey at times, but the old school territory in the 21st century homage they are seemingly going for absolutely appeals to my tastes. However, I can't deny, as people like EL-P and Migs have said, they do seem - for whatever reason - to quite often screw up the big match. I'm still a fan of the promotion, and enjoyed the War Chamber match more than most (while acknowledging that there were some big flaws in it's execution) but after a positive couple of episodes a few weeks back, the standard seems to be slipping again.
  8. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    This seems to be the way things are going, so allowing myself the slightest "I thought that would be a good idea!" pat on the back as I'm not sure anything I've ever predicted/fantasy booked as ever actually come true! Still plenty of time for them to put the title on Cody Deaner of course...
  9. This was the main event for TNA's first 3 hour Sunday PPV, so of course it has Jarrett in it, and while it made sense to have Hardy in terms of his profile, this was during his initial post WWE run where he was pretty dreadful in the ring, probably not helped of course by what he might be doing outside of it. Hardy as a singles guy can be really hit and miss, but when he came back to WWE in 2006 through to the end of the Punk run I thought he was really good. Again, back in TNA you get the infamous Sting match where he's in no position to perform, but overall there was a lot of good stuff, particularly his matches with Austin Aries. Anyway, that's a lot of digressing - bottom line, is that Hardy is all over the place in this match. The storyline going in is that the ladder match stipulation favours Hardy, and that's shown by him dominating the early stages, which makes good sense. Hardy shows good fire. and you can't fault the effort of both guys, it's just they are on different pages. Hardy is trying to run through a greatest hits package of some of the moves he would do in the big tag ladder matches in the WWE while you get all the Jarrett NWA Title match tropes of refs being knocked out and outside interference. Hardy's had some great singles ladder matches, but just like someone like Sabu, that relies on him being on his game and hitting his spots. Here, there are not massive botches, although they mess up a sunset flip powerbomb twice in quick succession, but everything looks a bit odd. Jarrett for the most part's role in the match is just to stagger around and try to be vaguely in the right place while Hardy is throwing himself around. Most of the damage Hardy sustains is by missing big moves rather than anything Jarrett does, although that does play into a narrative of Hardy being a risk taker and Jarrett being a smart veteran. The other storyline going into the match was The Outsiders were in different corners; Hall with Jarrett and Nash with Hardy, although the pre-match video package makes it absolutely certain that Nash is going to turn on Hardy. Hall is fairly heavily involved throughout the match, at various times preventing Hardy from climbing and he actually takes some of the worst punishment in this. The match sort of meanders to the point where Nash comes out with two guitars, telegraphing what the finish from a million miles away. Hardy gets taken out by all three hitting him with guitars and Jarrett retains in the standard TNA way at this point. Post match we see what would soon to be named as the nWo Kings of Wrestling taking out a load of babyfaces, incl. AJ Styles until you get the bizarre and probably forgotten arrival of Randy Savage into TNA, for what would ultimately be one match where he would barely take part. Overall then, this is pretty poor - for a ladder match there are no memorable moments, and it suffers from one having one guy (Jarrett) who isn't natural in this type of match, one guy (Hardy) who is all over the place, and a heavily telegraphed and cliched turn that everyone would've seen coming. Not good (** 1/4)
  10. TonyPulis'Cap

    WWE TV 09/16 - 09/22 Stop pushing Seth down our throats!

    This is such a great point. If you go back and watch WWE TV from the mid 2000s it's striking the lack of diversity. Yes there used to be a token Japanese stereotype like a Kenzo Suzuki, but look at how few European wrestlers there were for example. There was maybe Regal and Finlay - who had been in the US so long at that point they were practically native - but nobody else. When Paul Burchill got signed for example in 2004/05, it was a massive deal for the UK indie scene here as NOBODY got that opportunity - they just weren't interested. Now you have English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Austrian, German, Swiss, Italian... And as you say, to see women from different ethnic backgrounds, and from Japan and China when previously the most 'exotic' you could be in WWE as a woman was to be Canadian then it makes for a refreshing change.
  11. Very much on board with this. The rational part of my brain rolls my eyes a little when people knock each other in interviews and social media, mainly as it often comes across as incredibly forced and cringey, and as a lot of people have pointed out we now live in a world where we can watch everything....but the other part of my brain, where you want to get lost in what you are watching and get wrapped up in people firing shots at one another says bring it on - as Log says, let them talk shit and then sit back and enjoy. I haven't really enjoyed WWE for a couple of years now, and willing AEW to succeed, not because I'm a Young Buck stan, but because I see it as beneficial for the industry as a whole to have some genuine competition to give WWE a kick up the backside and out of their comfort zone. I would just hope though that if the wrestlers on both 'sides' are going to be firing shots at each other they bring some decent material to the table!
  12. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    Yeah, it turned out being a better show than I thought it would going in when you heard it would include matches from different tapings and a match from NOAH. Hammerstone looked decent in the match, with good presence, although as a few people have pointed out, seeing less people there than you get for a regular MLW show was a bit jarring. Also, of you were taking a drink for everytime the commentators talked about the lack of noise that Japanese fans make then you'd have a sore head the next morning. This isn't an MLW specific point, but I've always wondered if a weekly wrestling TV show with matches from different events and arenas in the mold of a sports highlight show like a Match of the Day here in the UK, would work rather than the more traditional model of a wrestling show that we typically get from most companies.
  13. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    My thought on Impact the last few weeks can probably be best summed up by the phrase "I like where they are going, I'm just not quite enjoying how they are getting there". fully agree that the Bound for Glory card is looking like a good one, but the last few weeks of TV from Mexico have been pretty uninspiring. I'm hoping that the Vegas tapings step things up and have more energy to give us a hot lead into the PPV. I agree that the wedding party being crashed angle should be something to look out for. On top of what you've outlined already, I think (hope) we will get The North vs. Rich Swann & Wille Mack for the tag titles, which should be very good. In terms of Tessa's match, I've been saying for a while that I could see her winning the X Title from Jake Crist (he's an offshoot of the Sami storyline and cost her the No. 1 contenders match so it makes sense) as a trial run for putting her in a world title feud with Callihan if he beats Cage for the title.
  14. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    So, while it was a good match between The North and LAX last week, I was a little disappointed given that going in I thought this could be excellent. With everything LAX have achieved in Impact and their careers being on the line, you wanted to feel more desperation and intensity in the match, but in the end, it was just 'a good match'. Obviously a massive blow to lose them from the company, but I have been impressed with The North since they won the titles and there's a fun couple of match ups on the table for them against the Rascalz and Rich Swann/Willie Mack. To me though, the rest of the show continued the rather uninspiring streak Impact has been on the last few weeks. I thought the Mexico shows with a more lively crowd would pick things up, however their roster is feeling very thin now and the shows seem really haphazard with some of the matches they've been putting on. If Bound fir Glory heads in the direction I think it will, then I think the card will be strong, but it's so far been a grind getting there. Cage vs Callihan looks like what they are going for with the title match but with the added twist of Cage proposing to Melissa Santos. Melissa was brilliant as a character in Lucha Underground, and I wonder if we are going to get a bit of reprise of her big story line there, with Callihan taking on the role of Marty the Moth. Hoping the shows can pick up again as we get closer to BFG.
  15. TonyPulis'Cap

    MLW Fusion, anyone watching it?

    Feel like I'm the lone person round here who still enjoys MLW! I can absolutely see the criticisms people have... but I enjoyed last week's show, and thought it was a good episode, in fact one of the stronger ones for a while. Just having the two matches meant both got some time - often MLW have really short changed their main events. The opener was indyriffic, both in terms of the action and also the look of the guys in the match, but the action was fun. And I liked the main event. The criticisms about Lawlor's strikes, I can very much see, as is often the way when you get legit MMA guys/boxers they end up over compensating and pulling things, and the match did get a bit repetitive, which can perhaps be chalked up to Fatu's inexperience or being asked to 'do more' than just his spots, but overall I liked it much better than others seemed to, with Lawlor's fire at the beginning making it more compelling than their first match. The closing angle was very much booking 101 when it comes to setting up a 4 on 4 match, but the reveal of Low Ki as the final member of Lawlor's team got a strong reaction and made sense in storyline as Contra targeted him a few months back. I'm looking forward to the cage match, although not them trying to squeeze another week out of the New York shows as Migs says. I wonder if Ki is being set up to be Fatu's challenger for the PPV.