The Wrestling 5&1 09.21.13: Gail Kim vs. JoJo
Posted by Tony Acero on 09.21.2013
JoJo battles Gail Kim in Vs, Hulk Hogan could be on the way out of TNA, thoughts on the problems within TNA's latest storyline, a look at the importance of managers, Melina Perez is your "& 1" Model of the Week and more!
The Wrestling 5&1! For all your wrestling needs! Except spooning....we don't do that...
This is simply a steaming pile of hot garbage
By Greg DeMarco
After a long day of work, rehearsal for a weekend of working with kids, and some fun time with my own kids, I sat down and watched my DVR'd Impact Wrestling. I saw one of the most uninspired sports entertainment I've seen in a while.
And then I saw this...
That's the only way I can describe the video embedded above. It was terrible. AJ Styles is a phenomenal (pun intended) wrestler. Inside those ropes, he's one of the very best in the world. But give him a microphone, and he couldn't be farther apart from CM Punk. CM Punk is the best talker in pro wrestling today, and AJ Styles has gotten worse since his return.
And compared to Dixie Carter, he's winning an Academy Award.
It's sad, really. Because someone put this promo together and got really excited about it. They thought this was going to go over like gangbusters. They likely spent extra time editing the footage, got everything "just right" and put their best foot forward for Spike TV.
And we got a steaming pile of hot garbage.
Seriously, if I were a member of TNA's production team, I'd be ashamed that my logo ran right after that garbage.
If you go back and read my past three years of work here at 411Mania, you'll see that I've been very fair to TNA. I've praised them when they deserved it, criticized them when they deserved it, and held them to the standard that their talent is capable of achieving.
But this was just bad. Really bad. Company crippling bad.
AJ Styles just won the Bound For Glory Series, right? Who is his opponent at Bound For Glory? Is it Bully Ray? Because I damn sure didn't hear AJ Styles utter the words "Bully Ray" during this episode of Impact Wrestling, and I damn sure didn't hear Bully Ray talk about AJ Styles either! In fact, if you didn't know better, you'd think that Bully Ray was wrestling Knux at Bound For Glory, and AJ Styles was wrestling Dixie Carter!
I felt like someone sat AJ Styles and Dixie Carter down, made them spend 4 hours reading the internet bashing of TNA and Dixie Carter, showed them CM Punk's infamous "pipebomb" promo, some Vince McMahon from the WWE's "Summer of Punk," followed by some Triple H and Stephanie McMahon from the past month in the WWE. Then they said "Okay children, now you go and try to do what the grown-ups did!"
The sad thing is that what AJ Styles said was spot on. Spot on. And Dixie made a good point or two herself. But the delivery was so bad that it was all lost in translation. If you hooked Eric Bischoff up to a lie detector test, he'd be forced to tell you that it sucked. In fact, someday he'll have a field day ripping TNA apart for this on a WWE produced "Rise & Fall of TNA" DVD. Because if tonight proved anything, it's purely a matter of "when," not "if" that will happen.
At this point I may not even watch Bound For Glory. And I attended the event last year! Last year the company was red-hot headed into Bound For Glory. We had World Champion Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy, we had James Storm vs. Bobby Roode in a Street Fight, we had the first revelation of an Aces & Eights member, we had Samoa Joe defending the Television Championship against his former tag team partner Magnus, we had Rob Van Dam taking the X-Division Championship from Zema Ion, and we had an amazing 3-way tag team championship match that stole the show.
And the most over guy in the building? AJ Styles.
Now we're getting a poorly done parody of the WWE by a company that barely draws 1000 paying fans to their live television events and is getting ready to move their weekly production back to a permanent location.
Another failed experiment, which is likely going to be the short version of TNA's history.
You Decide: Terrible. Hot garbage. Think otherwise? Convince me.
Managing the Mic
By Tony Acero
Pictured above is a number of years of experience and expertise behind the microphone. The two couldn't look any more different yet they have a distinct attribute in common. Their abilities have been applauded over and over, and they are - at times - some of the brightest spots on television on any given week. Paul Heyman and Zeb Coulter are known as masters behind the microphone ; this, we know. I suppose what immediately comes to mind when I see the picture above isn't the fact behind it, but the reasonings behind the facts behind it? Simply put, what makes these guys so damned good? Is it charisma? Is it facial hair? Is it a huge mixed bag of things that makes these bigger than the people they represent?
My immediate answer is charisma. Some people just ooze that entertainment-sauce that is so necessary to make fans smile (or boo). Heyman and Ol Zebby here have an overabundance of it. Our preconceived notions are that they are going to say something worthy of hearing, and we hang onto those words like the nipple of a stripper. These guys have dived deeply into their characters to where they seem real. Heyman is the slimiest of slime balls and Zebby is a racist bigot. So what gets them to that place? Is it truly their personalities bumped up to 11? I'm not so sold on that. In fact, I bet Zebby would love how Mexican I am. No, I think they simply get "it."
What is "it?" It is the shit that's needed to make a fickle group of people known as wrestling fans believe what you're saying is something that they should be listening to, and - in the case of Zebby and Heyman - completely hate. Whether it be experience that gets them there in addition to the charisma that they obviously possess, I think there's also the fact that they are given a bit more freedom with the characters that they've worked on. There are times when both of them go a bit too far and it comes off as annoying, but those spots are so rare. While neither are my favorite managers, they are ertainly in the top five of any list that is compiled.
You Decide: Who is your favorite manager of all time? Currently?
Gail continues to handle the competition but yet again, just barely. Let's see how she does against the sexy JoJo!
Voting ends Wednesday night and you can vote once every hour!
Hulk Hogan: What's best for business?
By Greg DeMarco
Earlier this week reputable sources (read: Dave MeltzerProWrestling.net) began reporting that Hulk Hogan's TNA contract is set to expire on October 1. Dubious timing with Bound For Glory just a few short weeks after that date, no? Much like they have been with Devon, Mickie James, Mr. Anderson, AJ Styles, So Cal Val and others, TNA is faced with a decision.
Do you offer Hulk Hogan a new deal?
My answer? Do what's best for business, brother!
Hulk Hogan is arguably the most recognizable name in professional wrestling history. He was handpicked by Vince McMahon to transition wrestling from a local to a national scale, eventually creating a global phenomenon. Some people would "credit" them for that, others would "blame" them for that. As an aside, please understand that it's crazy to think the territory system would still be in place had Vince not gone national. We have a territory system—it's called the indies.
Hulk Hogan was Dixie Carter's prized possession. She was all smiles when Hogan was introduced as the new face of TNA, geared towards bringing the company mainstream recognition and growing a fanbase that could compete with the WWE. It was Hogan's prompting that caused TNA to move to Monday nights. It was Hogan's prompting that caused TNA to take Impact Wrestling on the road.
How's that working out? The move to Mondays was an abject failure, and the company is on the brink of moving back to Florida and back to a regular home for Impact tapings.
Hogan brought in amazing talent like Val Venis, Orlando Jordan and Bubba The Love Sponge. He got his own daughter a job as the "Executive in Charge of the Knockouts." I mean, the impact (pun intended) Hulk Hogan has had on TNA's business is just amazing! (Sarcasm, much?)
Take a look at Hulk Hogan's media appearances. For every appearance promoting TNA, there's one where he doesn't even mention the company and another where he either pays them a backhanded compliment or outright knocks the company.
Now, let's take a look at TNA's ratings (courtesy of Gerweck.net). Hulk Hogan made his on-screen debut on January 7, 2010, drawing a 1.45 rating for Impact Wrestling. In March, they moved to Mondays, pulling in a 1.0 on March 11. They never hit 1.0 again on Mondays, dropping to a .5 on April 29. Two weeks later they were back on Thursdays. TNA averaged a 1.06 rating for 2010.
Fast forward one year after Hogan's debut to January 2011. January 6, 2011 TNA pulls in a 1.16 rating. TNA stayed at or above 1.0 all year, only dropping to a 0.99 on Thanksgiving day. TNA averaged a 1.17 rating for 2011.
The January 5, 2012 edition of Impact Wrestling scored a 1.11 rating, down .05 from the year prior. January 26 saw the program top out at a 1.17, and they drew a 2012 low 0.77 on Thanksgiving. Average rating for 2012 dropped, to a 1.01
To start 2013, TNA it a 1.14 on January 3, before hitting a 2013 high on July 18—1.18. The September 5 edition of Impact Wrestling drew a .97. TNA has averaged a 1.01 rating year to date, with their strongest ratings of the year coming from the—gasp—Impact Zone.
In 2009, before Hulk Hogan signed with TNA? The company pulled in a January 2 0.95, and drew some 1.3s throughout February, March and April. They ended the year with a 1.14 average—a yearly average only topped once in the four years that Hulk Hogan has been with the company. In 2008, the company averaged a 1.06, a number they've only matched or beaten for half of Hogan's tenure.
Moving on the road hasn't helped TNA's ratings—even if the show's atmosphere is one-hundred times better. Moving to Mondays? A failure. And compared to the years before signing Hulk Hogan, I see no evidence that he's worth the money he's likely being paid.
So I ask you, brother, what's best for business? I think the answer is obvious, but let me explain it in a way Hulk Hogan would understand:
"Hit the road, Jack! See you later, Daddy-o! You're not the guy, brother!"
You Decide: Should TNA retain Hulk Hogan after October 1?
This week's Greg DeMarco Show features our immediate SummerSlam reaction, plus discussion on Ring of Honor and TNA! Join Greg DeMarco, Patrick O'Dowd, Chad Parry and Tony Acero for nearly three hours of wrestling talk!
Tony Acero is currently a student at Cal State University of Long Beach. He is double-majoring as a Creative Writing and Literature major. His first book, Through The Looking Glass, was published in April, 2012. Looking Through, currently available, is a preview to the release of his second book, due out in Fall 2013.
Tony joined 411Mania in April 2010, and currently contributes in both music and wrestling. Tony is an avid drinker of Mountain Dew and Jack Daniels. He is a writer who hardly takes himself seriously, yet has an innate ability to create moments that are both human yet fearful in his writings.
Greg DeMarco is a graduate of Virginia Tech (Bachelor's in Business Management) and Arizona State (Master's in Higher & Post-Secondary Education). He works in online higher education. Greg started in improv comedy in 2001, making his stand-up debut in 2004.
Greg first appeared as a ring announcer for Rising Phoenix Wrestling in Phoenix Arizona in 2006 and served many promotions in both on-stage and back-stage roles for over six years, most notably Ring of Honor in 2010. He began writing for 411Mania in October 2010, founded The Greg DeMarco Show in May 2011 and opened WrestlingSmash.com (and Wrestling Smash Radio) in January 2013.