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Reading some talkback about TNA and how they always mention the WWE, etc. etc. And it got me to thinking...why was it OK for Vintage ECW to make WWF and WCW their heels too (heck, they used the fact that some of their guys were jumping to make them better heels) and to use misused Big Two people. But when TNA does it, they're just big dopes?

 

(I am not necessarily defending TNA, I can see the whole pushing EVERYONE from WWE thing, there needs to be a balance there. On the other hand, there's WWE prejudice against anyone who came from anywhere else)

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Because they do it in a dopey way. They don't do a coherent job of presenting themselves as an alternative. Instead, they come off as wistful for the last boom era of a rival company. And they show over and over that they have no idea how to recreate it. They're just really terrible at branding where as Paul E., for all his flaws, was damn sharp about that aspect of the business.

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Digging into the Segunda Caida archives, one can find TomK talking extensively about the Voodoo Kin Mafia angle, which pretty much summarizes everything TNA does wrong in this regard perfectly.

 

-This Voodoo Kin Mafia thing is bad. I mean Voodoo Kin Mafia segment was so bad that you forget the stupidity of the opening section where Johnny Devine topes a steel chair for no reason. So bad that you forget the ridiculousness of Kip James'' red died hair. So the James Gang quit two weeks ago and they come back with “creative control”…Who gave them “creative control “? And when given “creative control” instead of setting themselves up for title shots, they use it to get on the mic to try to settle personal grudges. And they declare “War” on “dx” and VINCE Mcmahon. The actual story of DX and the James Gang is an amusing story. HHH and Vince when they restarted DX wanted to bring back the New Age Outlaws, but then they found out that the Outlaws had been talking all kinds of shit. No one minded that they were talking about Vince but when Helmsley found out that they were talking about him, his ego was bruised and he nixed bringing them back. Its amusing story that makes Helmsley look pathetic. Some how they totally fail to get that across and instead make themselves look pathetic and silly. Why can Nash call HBK Shawn Michaels but the James Gang can’t? Why did they set up a Voodoo Kin Mafia vs. Serotonin match for the PPV without ever mentioning that Michael Shane was Shawn Michaels’s nephew?

 

I figured that I really covered all the structural background on shoot angles last week. I was kind of hoping that I’d cover it thoroughly one week and just be able to repost it every week that Russo ran another poorly executed shoot angle. But watching this angle it’s clear that I missed a bunch of structural points. The general point from last weeks report still stands. “Speaking truth to power” doesn’t automatically create fan loyalty to wrestler. There needs to a motivation for why the wrestler is “shooting” and why the audience should trust that that “shoot” is the “shoot” truth. This angle failed to do that. But it also failed in lots of other ways.

 

1) Brand loyalty is often won by painting self as put upon underdog. WWF painted itself as underdog being attacked, ECW painted self as underdog. WCW was "trying to put WWE out of buisness" by "stealing all their talent" but "not having the creativity"...WCW and WWF were trying to put ECW out of buissness. We fans must ally ourselves aginst them. Painting yourself as defending your own company hopefully will create a sense of alliance between the wrestler and the audience. Attack on the fed is attack on the fans of the fed. The fed and the fans are defending their way of life-- fighting for same cause thus also giving audience an investment in the fight.

 

2) If you’re going to take shots at opponents company, they need to be tasteless. I mean maybe Gillberg isn’t tasteless but to get the audience to think “Ooh that’s below the belt, the WWE is going to have to respond or they’re pussies” it needs to actually be below the belt shot. Again this is an underdog move. May not be as rich as your opponent may not be able to fight back against their advertising budget but you can hit them where it hurts.

 

The Voodoo Kin Mafia gimmick is not about WWE hating TNA and going after it. It’s about TNA bringing the “WAR TO THEIR FRONTDOOR”. It’s a pathetic attempt to get recognition, instead of an attempt to defend against attack. And really there is nothing the least bit tasteless about the Voodoo Kin Mafia gimmick.

 

I don't particularly care for "shoot angles"where you make fun of the opposition in an effort to create fan loyalty. But if thats the goal this was just poorly written. The James Gang aren't the most talented guys out there but damn this really feels like a waste of their talents.

-"Mcmahon, you can't solve a problem by ignoring it" "stop ignoring us, we are not to be ignored" Please please pay attention" This is pathetic. Damnit. This Voodoo Kin Mafia thing is awful .I’m not a fan of comedy angles built around making fun of opponent’s company, but I understand their motivations and what audience response they should provoke. I understand them on a functional level. These comedy bits are meant to be preaching to the choir pieces, that reinforce fans own beliefs, and also make opponents company seem so unhip/uncool that people would be embarrassed to be fans. I wish wrestling companies would spend more time improving their own product and waste less time taking shots at enemies. But that isn’t as easy. And well this type of comedy skit should be easy. DX is an easy target. Mocking them should be easy. You do three sketches.

 

1st sketch: James Gang hanging out playing cards backstage, interrupted by the DouXes (Nacho Man and Huckster version of DX). I’d cast the DouXes to be played by Adrian Street dressed as HBK and a shirtless Brunno Sassi with drawn on muttonchops. Sassi would essentially be doing the old Blue Meanie gimmick of parody fat guy with drawn on beard and short shorts. I think you’d want to not cast Meanie in the role since, I thnk he’s too established in it and Sassi like Street are Fl workers. Alternatively you could go to any Orlando drag scene and find some chubby queen performer who likes to wear short shorts and has a really mincing voice. Also there is the possibility of Using Miss Linda as your fake HHH as that would add an extra layer of creepyness to the Douxe relationship your mocking. Douxes interrupt card game,tell the James Gang that the DouXes have invfaded TNa bacuase they need to bring back the James Gang “We need you guys as everyone sees right through our attempts to pretend to be cool without you, lets get our old circle jerk back together”. James Gang refuse, say not interested. BG James “Aren’t you guys clearly too old to be pretending to be teen agers. We’ re adults right now. You should start acting like adults. Stop living in the past. We’ve moved on and moved with the future to TNA stop living in the past, you patrhetic has beens” yadda yadda, yadda.. Adrain Streete “Come on please we’re lost without you”. Kip : “Hey where’s Hunter disappeared to. Streete “Not again”. Camera pans to behind some furniture where they all find Sassi jacking off to a current pic of China Doll as James Gang simulate gagging.

 

2ns sketch: DouXes talk about all the young tail they get. “cmon these girls come back to our hotels and they show us their breasts and they have beautiful breasts like bags of sand”. Straight rip off 40 Year old Virgin as James Gang imply that DouXes never touched actual woman. Fake HBK begs, fake HHH disappears only to be caught wacking to a photo of a bathing suit model with Lemmy’s face pasted over her head. Everyone reacts disgusted.

 

3rd sketch: DouXes try to prove their coolness by telling really tired corny jokes. “But teacher I’can’t go any Deeper I’m stuck”. “ What do you say when a lumberjack farts. He cut the trees” “ HAHAHA” “See we’re still hip, you want to hang out and tell jokes with us”. Work same scenario where James Gang want no part in their tired corny jokes. Fake HBK again begs. Fake HHH disappears only to be caught wacking off to picture of Steph. James Gang pretend to gag. BG “Damn Hunter what’s with you and the trannies?”.

 

Simple formula. Three sketches. None of them the least bit funny. One tasteless un-funny punchline. Preachees to the choir about what’s wrong with DX. You follow this up next week with enraged DouXes demanding that James Gang come back with them. Fake HHH gets so mad he attempts to Pedigree Kip. Kip counters by lifting head and hitting fake HHH in nuts. Kip “I’ve always wondered why no one did that”, BG “Maybe cause we all figured he had no balls”. Enraged fake HBK starts stomping his foot. Fake HHH in high pitched voice “now look you’ve made him angry, He’s starting up the band”, Fake HBK steps some more “ Ooh he’s warming up the woodwinds” A little soft shoe“ No not the brass section”, etc. until you show bored James Gang fallen asleep, fake HBK struggles grabbing hip to lift leg, fake HHH helps support him as kick brushes James Gang face slightly waking them as they brush it off. This builds to DouXes interrupting PPV say they’re not leaving to Conneticut without James Gang. James Gang come in to beat them up as TNA crowd chants DX sucks. Simple formula, you make fun of wrestlers characters one week, you make fun of their moves the next week, and then as pay off you beat them up. It’s tired shitty material and it would end up on the ”What Didn’t Work” side of my reviews. But it would be functional.

 

The thing that makes the Vooddoo Kin Mafia skits so bad isn’t that they are unfunny. It’s that they fail from a structural perspective. How does standing around in Mickey Mouse boxers make your opponent look unhip/uncool? Being confused by Target not being an actual target? Most of the criticism of DX hasn’t really been broad criticism, it’s been really precise stuff about particular sketches. I don’t watch RAW, I don’t know what they’re talking about. TNA fans shouldn’t have to watch RAW to know what VKM are referring to. Criticisms need to be broad and general. Nacho Man and Huckster were broad caricatures. In early VKM appearances most of criticism seemed to be less about DX and more about Vince Russo’s jealousy of Christopher DeJoseph. “Damnit I’m a much better backstage writer, Why Vinny Mac why? My unibrow is so much more telegenic than his belly…you never let me do that many on camera appearances.”. I imagine no one really cares about which show writer feels slighted by the amount of TV time given to the other TV writer. It doesn’t preach to the TNA choir. They could care less. This doesn’t preach to the TNA choir. None of this makes WWE look bad uncool or unhip. All of this builds up to VKM making a million dollar challenge at PPV then complaining the next week than WWE hasn’t taken them up on the challenge. It isn’t hard to make fun of DX. It is ridiculous that these guys have completely failed. Instead of making skits where WWE is portrayed as bumbling incompetents trying to mess with TNA, they did skits where TNA was represented by bumbling incompetents. WWE weren’t portrayed as bumbling heels Colonel Klink and Schultz. TNA was portrayed as bumbling faces, Peter Sellers in the Mouse that Roared. Who wants to identify with bumbling incompetents? TNA made a ton of skits about how insignificant VKM/TNA is in the face of WWE. The PPV payoff was a meaningless challenge that will never be answered which only reinforces VKM/TNA’s insignificance. When heard that Russo was coming to TNA again, I expected stupid shots at WWE. I didn't expect them to be this structurally failed.

-The Vooddoo Kin Mafia are advertising WWE house shows. "Hey we're going to be at WWE houseshows trying to incite HHH and HBK to come out and fight us. WWE house shows coming to your area."

-and then there was the Voodoo Kin Mafia. Remember when the Voodoo Kin Mafia came out weeks ago, "shot"on "DX"and the crowd started a "DX Sucks chant"? Tonight the crowd is indifferent and the promotion had to edit in crowd noise. The crowd wants to chant hatefull shit about the WWE but this angle is about portraying TNA as fools and the crowd meets it with nothing.

 

Mike Tenay “What more do they[Voodoo Kin Mafia] need to do? [to get Mcmahon’s attention]”. Couple weeks back BG James talked about the Millionaire Ted skits and the shots at Jane Fonda “as tasteless” but “you don’t like it [Vince]when the shoe is on the other foot” Have the James Gang taken any shots that felt below the belt? Things that you go “ooh that’s got to smart”? Anything? The Billionaire Ted skits to whatever degree they worked, worked because they were preaching to the choir (WWE fans who felt like their favorite brand was in jeopardy) and because they were tasteless (the WWE choir went ooh that’s gotta hurt Ted to hear that). The kind of tasteless booking used to be Russo’s bread and butter. It’s not like it’s hard to book tasteless angle that takes shots at McMahon family.

 

Have Dutch Mantell lead a stable of brawling cowboy bounty hunters. I think Randy Culley has passed and don’t know if Black Bart still works but still plenty of veterans and youngsters who can work southern brawling rudo( Bunkhouse Buck, Todd Morton, Scotty Blaze, Mike Booth, Frank Parker, Otto Schwantz, Rob Mcbride, Doug Gilbert, Mack Truck Gary Stevens,Ryan Boz maybe Brad Attitude,etc.).

 

Dutch and 2 members of his gang attack the James Gang. Dutch gets on the mic and announces that “We are Stephanie’s Filthy Dirty Rotten Posse and Stephanie has sent us to invade TNA to find the real father of her child. We all know that Paul is too filled with roids to be the father and so we’re here to get some of your blood BG..and she thinks she may need some of your blood too Kip, she's got a whole list of possible fathers but we've come to get blood out of both of you”. This allows Kip and BG to make a lot of cracks about how it could be just about anyone. Allows Kip to lead crowd in "Stephanie's Posse Stinks" chants. Run lots of tag brawls and just when the James Gang have defeated two member of Mantell’s group they get blind sided by another three…leading Don West to exclaim “Damnit there’s another member in Steph’s Filthy Posse? Just how damn big is her Posse?” Tenay:” Damn her foul Posse.”

West: “Just when you think we’ve seen the last member to infest her disease ridden Posse, another three show up.”

 

It’s a one joke gimmick but I have confidence that Mantell, West, BG and Kip can stretch the joke out for at least five months. I mean there are a ton of things you can do with it.

 

Bring in Robert Fuller for a one shot appearance as “biggest member in Steph’s Posse”.

 

Dutch Mantell compliments Jay Lethals wrestling says "You're real good, we'd love to have you help us...you understand of course you'd only be helping. You can't be in Steph's Rotten Posse. Her husband won't let black members in her Posse."

Lethal: "What?

Dutch: “I’m sorry boy, she says that she won’t have a colored man in her posse"

Lethal attacks

Don West: "Stephany wouldn't have a black man in her Posse. And now he's tearing right through it;

He's just nailing her Posse with stiff rapid fire chops.

Man look at the welts Lethal has left on Steph's Posse".

Next week Mantell introduces Necro Butcher to deal with Lethal:

Dutch: “This is Dylan; the most dangerous, filthy, diseased, deformed member to ever be in Steph’s Dirty Posse”.

Put Lethal and Necro in a PPV singles match set up that way and you would make Lethal.

 

Kip James: Stephanie's Rotten Posse makes me sick.

Kurt Angle: Yeah that happened to me too. A little penicilin clears it right up.

By the end of six months you probably have completely run through the Angle v. Joe stuff and still need a couple more months to work out Karelin's visa issues, its fine place to side drain Angle. As six man’s with James Gang against quality brawlers would be a good way to keep from exposing Angle.

Dutch: We need blood samples from you too. Always figured there was a reason you wouldn't submit to the tests. I mean you don't do drugs there must have been something else you were hiding.

Angle : I have plenty of experiece making Steph's Posse submit.

West: Angle has beaten her Posse into submission.

Tenay:Angle and the James Gang have left Stephanie's Rotten Posse a bloody mess.

 

Pretty much with the right group of Southern rudos you can mix anyone in.

Shark Boy: “Well see I was working a dark match up north and…it happened. Leaving the arena this sea hag snatched me by my fin...and well the smell of chum was too much to resist. But still not my baby. I used protection. I wouldn't let my shark babies swim in anything that poluted”.

Mike Tenay:I want to talk about a true hero. Whatever you think of Shark Boys adolescent behavior in the past. I think we can say today that he is no SharkBoy but instead a real Sharkman".

Backstage Kip James: Wow knew she was a slut. But she went after the lil shark?

Angle: She loves animals

Christian: Jericho always worried about her puppy.

 

I mean you probably want to be careful with the bestiality jokes, as think the secret is to keep it simple. No Russo “swerve”, Hemme does not announce that she’s a hermaphrodite and might be the father or anything like that. Need to tell Russo no transexuals and no incest...yeah you probably don't do the bestiality joke either. Key is to hammer home the slut/whore premise and not get distracted with other fetishes.

 

By years end you have Mantell’s stable reach full on N.W. O. size (Bart, Frank Parker, Jimmy Golden, Tracy Smothers, Eddie Golden, Todd Morton, Mike Barton, Mike Booth, Scotty Blaze, Beau James, Rob Mcbride,Frank Murdoch, Ryan Boz, Otto Schwantz, Jack Victory, Scotty McKeever, George Hines, Mitch Ryder, Jerry Stubbs, Gary Stevens, Scott Powers, Chris Steele, KC Thunder, Briscoes, Dennis Stamp, etc.)

Don West: “That’s a whole lot of talent in Steph’s filthy Posse”

Tenay “Her Posse must be stretched to capacity”.

West “Biggest Posse in all of wrestling”.

 

I'm not a fan of this type of one joke angle, I got tired of the puns while writting this and at the point you bring in "Tulsa Tornado" Dennis Stamp the joke really has more than run its course. But you can mix anyone into it, it can go anywhere on the card and the angle gives you a ton of good matches that allow you to stretch the one joke out for a long time.

 

Most importantly the premise of the tasteless joke accomplishes several things: (1) The premise that TNA is being attacked by bounty hunters sent by WWE establishes that TNA is on the established fed (WWE)'s radar ; (2) The premise that Stephany is a slut/whore preaches to the choir of TNA fans ( as well if there is one thing I've learned in the years I've been following the sheets and the internet is that you can't do wrong appealing to wrestling fans misogyny), it even gives the TNA fans a hatefull thing about WWE to chant "Stephany's Pussy stinks!"; and (3) the premise of the joke is that Mcmahon's grandchild is a bastard of questionable parentage, that Helmsley is cuckolded, and that Stephany has a stinky snatch--it is a premise that feels tasteless enough that the audience will think “ooh that’s below the belt” (I doubt McMahon would be offended, but Helmsley is known to be overly sensitive, and Stephany is infamous for deciding to get breast enhancement after seing a audience poster that said she had "saggy" breasts).

 

Instead TNA has run an angle where (1) they’ve portrayed themselves as being so insignificant that they are beneath the established fed (WWE)’s radar. (2) Instead of preaching to the choir they have portrayed themselves as such buffoons that in tonight’s segment they had to pump in crowd noise. They had to pump in crowd noise in iMPACT zONE. The people in the iMPACT zONE will chant and cheer for anything and they were clearly forced to edit in crowd chants. And (3) not done anything tasteless enough for crowd to believe that WWE would be offended.

 

Mike Tenay “What more do they need to do? [to get Mcmahon’s attention]”. BG James “it’s been four weeks and no response. Vince you cannot solve a problem by simply ignoring it”. Stop ignoring us. We are not to be ignored. God these guys come across as sad and ineffectual. Tenay asks “what more do they need to do?”, I ask “what have they actually done?”. What exactly have BG James and Kip James done that would constitute a “problem”? Vincent McMahon is working a feud with Donald Trump, why should he care about these two goofs. Forget “why should the real Vincent McMahon care about these two goofs?” question and think “Why should storyline Vincent McMahon care about these two storyline goofs?”. What have they done that would bother him storyline wise? They’ve advertised WWE house shows, and egged a Target. They’re surprised that there has been “no response” ? By the iMPACT zONE’s silence it’s clear that the fans aren’t surprised at the lack of response. The crowd is as indiffferent as Vince McMahon. Shitty booking.

 

I don't particularly care for "shoot angles” where you make fun of the opposition in an effort to create fan loyalty. But that's the goal of this angle, and it fails horribly. The James Gang aren't the most talented guys out there but damn this really feels like a waste of their talents. They deserve better.

-So the payoff to last two months of Voodoo Kin Mafia declaring war on Vincent Kennedy McMahon is that they just declare victory? Announcing mission accomplished is meaningless. Two months ago Voodoo Kin Mafia announced that “They were bringing war to your front door”. There has been no war. There have been no battles. Nothing. Two months of grandstanding, with no payoff. Grandstanding. Not even any attacks. They promised “WAR on the front door”. I keep on harping on this but TNA has done nothing tasteless, nothing that feels like an actual “attack” on the enemy. A shoot angle where the shoot has been “Hey you know that fat guy on the writing staff? He isn’t entertaining to watch…and that’s a shoot”. That’s a ridiculously feeble attack.

 

So the blow off to “Bringing war to your front door” and a “million dollar challenge” is Christy Hemme coming out and complaining about how history has overlooked the importance of women in wrestling? Kip James treats her rudely and BG tells him to lay off? The pay off to the Voodoo Kin Mafia angle is Christy Hemme as shrill feminist who Kip James throws Chinese food at? That’s the pay off? That’s retarded.

 

I mean I guess they could get Reggie Bennett to dye her hair blond, put a roll of dimes in her draws and attack Kip James from behind with a sledgehammer. A Christie Hemme managed Hermaphrodite Hearst Helmsley might be a really great payoff.

 

Hemme: I told you women were good for putting men back in line where they belong.

 

BG: Now I remember why Kip hates women in wrestling. Damn Hermaphrodite Hurst Helmsley!!

 

I am the crying game, you don't wanna play me. I am control; no way can you change me.

 

Helmsley is down with an injury and I don’t know if a trannie Shawna Michaels works. Bambi is too athletic looking to pull off Michaels. Cassandro and Pimpi also look too tough to make it work. Zach Gowen with a pony tale, bra and cut off chaps might actually make a great Lingerie Muto version of Michaels. Can you gimmick a prosthetic leg? Prosthesis flying off every time Shawna Michaels goes for a superkick followed by him bouncing around trying to retrieve it---is a great comedy spot. You’d want to run Reggie Bennet attacks Kip James from behind first. Reggie then falls leading to Zach running in. Keep Reggie (with muttonchops and sock in panties) around on crutches with Zach constantly massaging her leg, kissing her and begging her to "get well soon". Ehh… Reggie and Zach seems like overdoing it, just do Reggie. Who cares that HHH is currently out?

 

But anyway this is all meaningless digression, cause point is they won’t be doing that. Russo has seen the light and thus his shoots won’t be tasteless, instead they will just be dumb. While his Christianity may get in the way of him running the kind of tasteless shoot angles that used to be his bread and butter, it doesn’t stop him from his women hating. There is no room for hatefull crass sexual humor in the Evangelical movement, but there is plenty of room for mysogyny. Christianity seems to see nothing wrong with that old Russo cliché. Didn’t he already run the female announcer becomes shrill feminist heel with Goldilocks? It’s sad and pathetic when Russo tried to repackage Booker T or Sonny Siaki as fake Rocky Maivias. But Maivia was huge success. It’s one thing to try to recreate successes. Trying to recycle things that were failures makes you look like an idiot. “You know that money angle we ran with Madussa v Mike Tenay? That was huge. Why don’t we redo it with Christie Hemme and Kip James? ”

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Those Voodoo Kin Mafia summaries are excellent.

 

As far as what is happening now, I haven't seen the shows, but what TNA seems to be trying to do with, for example, Scott Steiner, is to build off of the days when he was in WCW venting his frustrations in promos, such as the one where he took shots at several people in WCW he wasn't feuding with and mentioned Ric Flair in particular.

 

TNA seems to think it makes Scott Steiner look like a jerk by burying TNA, but the rule of wrestling is you don't bury your opponent. What they really need to do is make Steiner a bully... the guy that talks about how much the Mafia has done in wrestling and they demand respect, and if they don't get it, he'll beat people up until they do.

 

As far as mentioning WWE goes, it can work, but only if done in the proper context, and specifically to make WWE look like the enemy.

 

For example... when addressing the Mafia, you say to Booker T about how you left WWE out of frustration with the things they were doing to you, and yet here you are doing those same things to the young guys in TNA. Makes WWE the enemy, makes Booker heelish and puts sympathy on the younger guys.

 

Or with Sting: Say he wouldn't go to WWE because WWE wants to build every wrestler in WWE's image, even if the wrestler has been successful with an image WWE didn't create. In other words, Sting didn't go to WWE because he didn't want to change for them. Yet here he is, in TNA, and it's not the same Sting we've all loved... you have changed, Sting, and not for the better.

 

And when Angle talks about WWE, he can talk all he wants about his WWE accomplishments because that's how he builds himself as a wrestling legend. But don't have him started doing "worked shoots" with The Sun and other publications about how much he wants to go back to WWE. Stick with an in-ring promo in which you remind Angle how much he hated the way Vince McMahon treated him, and here you are in TNA, treating the young guys the same way Vince McMahon treated you.

 

Again, the purpose of mentioning the other guy is to (a) make them truly look like the bad guy without demanding a response, (B) make the guy coming from WWE look like the bad guy because he's acting the same way he accused WWE of treating him and © make the TNA fans sympathize with TNA and their young talent because of the treatment the WWE guys coming here are giving them.

 

Instead, all Russo and company are doing is trying to recreate circumstances that allowed for certain moments to happen when you can't recreate those circumstances, and hence it just makes it look like a cheap way to get attention and buries TNA in the process.

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Instead, all Russo and company are doing is trying to recreate circumstances that allowed for certain moments to happen when you can't recreate those circumstances, and hence it just makes it look like a cheap way to get attention and buries TNA in the process.

Digging around more in the SC archives, something I wrote in a review of the Angle/Joe Iron Man match:

 

One of the hallmarks of Russo booking - specifically Russo booking anywhere but Attitude-Era WWF - is his constant need to remind viewers about how much less awesome what you're watching is than Attitude-Era WWF. Post-WWF Russo booking is all about taking existing promotions with existing characters and storylines and resetting them to late-90's WWF, otherwise he can't be "creative". Post-WWF Russo booking is all about telling viewers that the promotion stinks, but the good news is that it's becoming more like Attitude-Era WWF, so it will become good.

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I don't usually care for fantasy booking, but that would've been the best thing they could've done with the whole retarded "VKM" angle. So many good points in there.

 

I also don't like fantasy booking or comedy shoot angles.

 

That said I think I understand how they work and fuck at least on paper they are easy to do.

 

On some level they should rally up your fans and bring your opponent down to your level.

 

Oh and SLL missed this one:

 

BG James “Have you seen these stupid skits. They need to stop”.

Yes BG, yes they do.

This Voodoo Kin Mafia thing is bad. The actual story of DX and the James Gang is an amusing story. HHH and Vince when they restarted DX wanted to bring back the New Age Outlaws, but then they found out that the Outlaws had been talking all kinds of shit. No one minded that they were talking about Vince but when Helmsley found out that they were talking about him, his ego was bruised and he nixed bringing them back. Its amusing story that makes Helmsley look pathetic. Some how they totally fail to get that across and instead make themselves look pathetic and silly. These skits make Voodoo Kin Mafia (and in turn TNA) look like ineffective pests that aren't even on WWE's radar.

 

IF WWE actually cared about TNA, they wouldn’t do lots of sketches where Edge went to a Church’s Fried Chicken cause he was told the best place to find Christians was in Church.

 

No. The WWE would hire Ed Ferrera and Scott D’Amore to work as comedy tag team “The Nerd Army”. They’d build matches around making fun of their height, their bodies, them chanting at each other from the apron and have them do a heel miscommunication spot where Damore accidentally Canadian Destroyers Ferrera in every match.

 

The purpose of this type of “shoot” angle is to make your opponent’s company look like pathetic losers not to make yourself look like pathetic losers. The Voodoo Kin Mafia skits have it backwards.

Of all the goofy fantasy booking: Ferara and Damore as a tag team who constantly do dueling chants from the apron to the ring is my favorite.

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Speaking of the most recent worked shoot angle, you suspect former WWE star Christian is returning to the opposition soon and you want to work this into your storylines, so what do you do with him in his last few appearances with the promotion? Do you turn him heel for contemplating a return to the Evil Empire and have him put over one of your young babyface stars on the way out? Why, of course not, you have him put over former WWE star Booker T on the PPV, have him beaten down by your former WCW and WWE stars heel group, one of whom, Kurt Angle, recently did a worked shoot angle where he put over Vince McMahon, and use that beat down to set up a feud between former WWE star Rhino and the aforementioned Angle.

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Something that I think is getting lost in the talk about how TNA is pushing toward former WWE star against former WWE star is that TNA's ultimate problem is not in who they push, but how they do it.

 

I don't care to hear about Christian Cage's contract situation on Impact shows... it may get discussion on wrestling forums, but when it comes to the TV shows, I want to be able to suspend my disbelief and get lost in the moment. It's like a movie being produced and you hear stories about two actors on the set who don't like each other... it may be juicy gossip to discuss on forums, but if the director suddenly decides to take this actor feud and turn it into the movie's plotline, it's going to be a flop. People are well aware that movies are acting, scripted material, etc., but a truly good movie is one that makes you forget about all that and truly enjoy what you are watching.

 

I agree that turning Cage heel and feuding with the Originals is a better idea, but don't bring up his contract situation at any time, or you will immediately lose me because I'm not interested in his contract situation becoming storyline material. It should be about Cage's character versus the character of A.J. Styles or whoever you match him up with.

 

As I've said previously, the concept of the Main Event Mafia versus the TNA Originals is fine. But the way it's being executed leaves a lot to be desired. I'm not talking about a MEM member cheating to win against an Original, I'm talking about things like when Kevin Nash throws every move he can at Samoa Joe and still can't pin him, and thus ultimately cheats to win, we just toss it in the same pile with the other MEM wins without doing what should be done... Nash coming out to brag about his tainted win, Joe coming out wanting the rematch and Nash doing whatever he can to avoid facing Joe, making it clear there is this little uncertainty Nash has that he could beat Joe in a rematch.

 

The latter means fans anticipate the rematch and want to rally behind Joe. The former makes Joe vs. Nash "just another match" and means people don't care about the rematch, to the point people don't care about the result, even if Joe convincingly goes over.

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