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  1. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Overall, looking forward to the show tonight. In 2019, Impact was arguably my favourite of the promotions that is a television product, where a lot of the time rivalries and feuds are built on personal issues and where you can identify with the motivations of people involved. For anyone that's looking to jump on board the Impact train, and that wants to pick out some of the best matches from last year to revisit to give you a flavour, this is my top 10 of Impact matches from 2019 based on my match ratings: NB - these are in chronological order rather than ranked 1-10 on which I thought was best. You can see the same names often cropping up. 01/06/2019 Homecoming: LAX vs Lucha Bros 02/08/2019 Impact: LAX vs Lucha Bros 02/15/2019 Impact: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (Street Fight) 04/29/2019 Rebellion: Tessa Blanchard vs Gail Kim 04/29/2019 Rebellion: LAX vs Lucha Bros (Full Metal Mayhem) 07/07/2019 Slammiversary: Brian Cage vs Michael Elgin 07/07/2019 Slammiversary: Sami Callihan vs Tessa Blanchard 08/02/2019 Impact: The North vs The Rascalz 11/19/2019 Impact: Tessa Blanchard vs Brian Cage vs Rich Swann vs Michael Elgin vs DAGA vs Moose (Gauntlet match) 10/20/2019 Bound for Glory: Jake Crist vs Ace Austin vs Tessa Blanchard vs DAGA vs Ace Romero (Ladder match)
  2. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    In total agreement with this. In addition to the Sami/Tessa video, the package building up this match was really good - once again getting across real motivations for the people involved, and showing that it's a match that's been built for months but without the teams just having endless matches against one another. At the moment it feels very similar to the Christian/Jericho vs Booker T/Goldust rivalry, where the heels were hammering Goldust as the weak link and getting him to doubt himself. First off, both these teams are excellent so the match itself should be very good, but there's also great intrigue as there's lots of different ways you can go with the storyline: does the Mack overcome his doubt and The North's manipulation of his emotions for the big triumph against adversity moment? Does the Mack finally listen to all the baiting about Swann's achievements and get jealous of his partner and turn on him? Or does Swann feel like the Mack is holding him back and stuffing up and turn on him? Lots of options.
  3. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    Not really part of wrestling Twitter, so had no idea about the Tessa firestorm that's hit the last 24 hours, I was just logging on here to say that the hype package for the Tessa/Sami match on Impact was excellent... As others have pointed out, it got across both people's motivations, and perfectly framed the context for why this match is taking place. It also showed how this has been a match essentially 7/8 months in the making, that's not had them wrestling each other every week, which is how WWE does long term feuds these days. Thought Sami was great in the video as well, managing to convey real emotion and, what I presume was real backstory about his parents, setting out why that might have set him on the path to the person he is now, but managing to balance something you could sympathise with him about with still making you want to route against him for his actions. Really great work from him.
  4. TonyPulis'Cap

    The length of wrestling shows & overkill

    Would very much agree with this. In general I enjoy a one hour show, although that can sometimes mean things get rushed and too much is squeezed in - a 2 hour show, when you also consider being able to skip any ad breaks, bringing it closer to 1 hour 40 or so, is totally fine, but as gordi says, that relies on it being well-written and well-paced! One of the biggest issues for me is just how bloated the big WWE shows have become, especially Mania. With all the matches and guff on the kick off show and then hours of 'main show' it's just way too long. I know this was a bit of a debate before this years show, with some pushing back against the criticism that the show was too long going in, but crowds are just exhausted by the end meaning that when you want to have a big moment like they did this year with Becky Lynch, it gets nowhere near the reaction it could/should, because everyone is just mentally drained and checked out.
  5. TonyPulis'Cap

    The Wednesday Night War

    Maybe just me, but always wondered if wrestling fans like to argue about ratings, as it's, *in theory* a rare metric for being able to say the company you like is 'better' than another? For example, if you're into sports, then people love arguing about why team A is better than team B, or why say the Premier League is better than La LIga or Serie A, and the way they do that is normally by looking at how many goals a player has scored or how many trophies a team has won compared to another, but in the world of a fake sport you don't have those stats to use. Hell, even in entertainment, you could argue film A is better than film B as it won more Oscars, or artist A is better than artist B because they won more Grammies - but in wrestling, with no industry wide awards (and no, I'm not counting the WON end of year stuff...) or anything independent to allow people to say something is better than another - and that's what fans like to do, debate this kind of stuff - then TV ratings is a very rare, tangible measure that someone could point to if they wanted to say something was better than something else. Now of course it's often films/TV/music that get the most critical acclaim, to be less 'popular' than things that can get criticised for being low brow, but that's another argument...but it may just be part of the reason why wrestling fans get so caught up in talking about ratings and "who's winning the ratings war!". Just a theory.
  6. TonyPulis'Cap

    Is Impact the best promotion in wrestling history?

    A couple of weeks behind, so haven't got to the retro episode from this week that seems to be getting a lot of love...but to take it back two weeks ago, thought the Gauntlet match for the No. 1 contender spot was great. Lots of good interactions between the people involved, and thought Rich Swann came across like a total star - great selling and baby face fire, the only downside being that it was easy to get wrapped up in the storyline of him being the winner! I've always enjoyed Swann's work but he's taken it up a notch since signing with Impact. Both in their segment in this match and the singles matches they've had, him and Elgin have excellent chemistry. As I say, the only slight downside for me was that Swann's performance slightly overshadowed Tessa getting the big win, but I guess the fact that she got to pin as dominant a character as Cage helps to put her over. It's been a goof long term storyline they've been building with Sami and Tessa and I'm really excited for their title match.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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)
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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...
  15. 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)