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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Smart Marks 2.21.14: A Great Alternative
Posted by Dino Zee on 02.22.2014

Welcome back to Smart Marks, YOUR weekend stop for talk on all things important and trivial as pertains to our favorite escape, pro wrestling! I'm Dino, and I hate TNA 100% of the time.

Let me explain:

So, last week, in between hating on WWE's treatment of Divas and pointing out how it's okay to like stupid things like a Global Bungee Match, I stopped to praise TNA's use of MVP so far. In there, I added a throwaway joke about Magnus, EC3 and Rock Star Spud being the "weakest stable" or something to that effect.

*Sounds the Horn* DEFENDERS, ATTACK!

First, we have to pretend that I said nothing good about TNA. It helps paint the "woe is us" picture a little easier.

Then, we have to attack the idea that I'd call them a "stable", as that's clearly another insult.

From Wiki (and I only used Wiki because their definition is basically exactly the same one I was using last week in my head, so clearly I'm not the only one here): "Stable: A team of three or more wrestlers, usually heels, who generally share common motives, allies and adversaries within a storyline (or through multiple storylines)."

Just, you know, for those people who thought I used that term "willy nilly" last week. Ethan Carter, Magnus, Rock Star Spud. Three wrestlers. Common motive: Help Dixie obtain the version of TNA that she wants by taking out those who do not. Also, I caught MVP call out "any member of Dixieland" last night on Impact. Surely MVP isn't just giving a name to this NOT a stable willy nillly?

And, fine- we'll count the BroMans as part of the stable. I considered them more allies to Dixie, but they're the ones that answered MVP's challenge last night, so I guess they're in. I can admit that I'm not right all the time. Bobby Roode, though? No way. He was always doing what was best for him, and never for Dixie.

I don't mind when we disagree, but when we have to get into ridiculous semantics ("What is a stable?") just to try and argue a point, then it gets a bit old.

And if you don't like my "Weakest Stable in History" when it comes to hyperbole, perhaps don't play the "411 hates on TNA 100% of the time" or the "For every nice thing, a 411 writer must add 3 negative things about TNA" cards. If you think hyperbole is unnecessary, then you think it's unnecessary. Don't be a hypocrite.

Finally, I have watched TNA since it started on Fox Sports. I watch it every week. I order pay per views. I watch the friggin One Night Only pay per views with roughly 7 other fans. The point? The point is, I've earned the right to voice whatever opinion I want of TNA, and I'm not going to be shamed into not doing so by people who will push the "You don't have to love everything about TNA, just don't say what it is that you don't like, okay??" line of thought.

Odd, because not one fan accused me of hating on WWE, even though I devoted an entire entry to their crappy treatment of Divas. Not one fan accused me of hating on WWE, even though I shredded them for having Batista win the Rumble. It's almost like the fans of one show are willing to admit there's plenty of garbage, and fans of another aren't. I'm a fan of both. Both will get love. Both will get hate. If I'm giving love to TNA, it's impossible that we here at 411 are hating on TNA "100% of the time," so get off your soapbox.

With that out of the way, let's hit this week's Marks.

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A Great Alternative

Watching my weekly dose of CMLL this week, I saw that there was a new tournament getting underway. This one, called El Torneo de la Gran Alternativa, was for tag teams. When the first teams made their way to the ring, it hit me that with each team, I knew one member, but the other member I wasn't quite as familiar with. So, I hit the webs, and looked up what the deal is with this tourney. What I read made me quite happy.

The whole point of this tournament is to set up a veteran with a younger talent, in order to showcase said youngster. So, we had teams like Volador Jr and Soberano Jr, Guerrero Negro Jr and El Terrible, etc. etc. While historically this was a one night tournament, in recent years it has been spread out.

Knowing that my episodes of CMLL are usually 1-2 weeks behind the time of actually happening, I had to be careful not to read any spoilers as to who wins the actual tournament. On night one, however, I did see that Volador Jr. and Soberano Jr. made it to the finals with their win over El Terrible's team.

Can I just say that I love this idea? I think it's something American wrestling needs, and rather quickly. Instead of these insulting storylines like we see with Xavier Woods where a younger wrestler good enough to make it to the big leagues is treated like an idiot who needs a mentor, what if we simply had teamed Woods with R-Truth, where Truth's experience can certainly be of assistance, but Woods is still good enough to wrestle without a map? These tournament matches weren't filled with the veteran wrestlers talking to their younger partners like they were 3- it was more of a "here's the future!" type of teaming, with the veterans obviously approving of who they tagged up with.

Both WWE and TNA could benefit from doing something like this, instead of recycling the same old "I'm a youngster and I'm here to make a name for myself!" generic tripe we usually get. Imagine the rub some of the younger guys could get teaming up with Cena, Orton, Hardy, Roode, Brock, etc. No titles on the line, just bragging rights, and the ability to shine a spotlight on the younger talent as they work hard to get on the same level as the superstars.

I like this a lot, and encourage you all the check out the matches, as they're all available on Youtube as well!

Anyone else a fan of this tournament? Any favorite teams from years past? I actually really like the Volador/Soberano team, as they both brought the high flying fun. Share your thoughts down in the comments!

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On Impact, amazing newcomer Sam Shaw continued his starmaking performance as he continued to expertly stalk Christy Hemme. Tricking her last week with his superior wits, he had led her to believe that perhaps they should, indeed, keep it professional. Another great move in a whole line of them for this blue chipper, as he keeps people talking about him.

First, he took out some random guy that happened to be talking to Hemme. In a brilliant move, he choked the man, and dragged him behind some random backstage gear, where he then threw him into a steel door and booted him in the head, leaving him twitching. It was an amazing show of stealth, as there had been about 7 people standing around immediately beforehand, but no one was able to spot Shaw as he worked his magic. The terror this guy causes people to feel is incredible, as not even the cameraman who stood there filming it all would let out a peep, knowing that he would be next.

When we returned, we saw Christy making the rookie mistake of talking to Ken Anderson, admiring pictures of his kids. Shaw spotted them, and you knew something was going to go badly. Like a mix of a panther and a drone, he attacked Anderson, dropping him with a single shot. Taking out a former TNA World Champion with one single shot may have been amongst the most impressive feats ever seen on the show. This is the guy that defeated Bully Ray, for crying out loud, and now here he is, out cold! Collateral damage occured, as Anderson flew into Hemme from the sheer force of the shot from Shaw. Shaw, not one to lose his head, kept it together and calmly kidnapped Hemme. Again, the cameraman was smart enough to know that helping out would be bad. As did everyone else who was possibly standing close by, or watching on a monitor.

Finally, we got to the thrilling conclusion, as Shaw went to kiss an unconscious Hemme, who woke up just in the nick of time from being mildly assaulted. Shaw calmed her down, explaining what had happened, and trying to show her general care. That was when he finally spotted the cameraman, and decided to approach. The camera cut to black. While TNA didn't show us anything further, I can only assume that the guys in the production truck probably sent some security to make sure that Cameraman Biff wasn't assaulted by that criminal mastermind, Sam Shaw.

You have to understand the risk of being involved with professional wrestling, whether man or woman. No one is safe, and no one will help. It's a cutthroat business, and I applaud TNA for showing us this gritty side of the business.

What do you think of Sam Shaw? Can he win the TNA Title in record time? Would he hold it forever? Can he possibly get better than he already is?? Hit me below in the comments!

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Good as Gold

While not nearly as good as the year Sam Shaw has been having, let's look to WWE and Goldust for this final mark. I basically just wanted to give the man props. I've watched Goldust wrestle since he first took on Ted DiBiase all those years ago. I've seen him rise up as the Natural, find himself as Goldust, get lost a bit as Se7en, return to being Dustin Rhodes, return to Goldust, have a huge renaissance as Black Reign, and then finally put it all back together as Goldust one last time.

His current run has been phenomenal. He's in the best shape I've ever seen him, and throwing out moves we never saw him do before. Goldust throwing out ranas like they're bodyslams has become one of my favorite parts of his matches.

That said, I think Goldust deserves the match with Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania that he's been talking about off and on the last year or two. We always talk about how some guys deserve a "sendoff." Sometimes that means going all out for someone like Ric Flair as he prepares to walk that aisle for the final time. So you give him a gigantic matchup, with a huge storyline, and you put all the focus on that. Other times, like for Trish, you give the wrestler a championship as a thankful gesture.

Why can't we get Goldust vs. Cody at WrestleMania? What storylines would suffer from that? What planned angles would we have to kill to make it happen? Wouldn't the two of them losing this Sunday at Elimination Chamber seem to be the perfect time to have one of them snap on the other? That's the beauty of this- either guy can turn, and this still works. If you have Goldust snap because Cody's mistakes are costing him in his last run, then it makes sense. Cody's a sympathetic face now, while Goldust is a heel who believes in what he's saying 100%. If we go the other way, and have Cody drop Goldust for being old, dead weight, then we have a sympathetic old time face going out on his sword in the most heartbreaking of ways- having to fight his own flesh and blood.

I don't think this is a five asterisk match if we get it, but damn it, it's the match I want. Neither are involved in more pressing matters. Let's go ahead and give the Golden One what he wants. I'd say he's earned it.

What do you guys think? On board for the Goldust / Cody battle at Mania? Don't care? Want to keep them together? You know the drill - hit me up in the comments!

And that should bring an end to another wonderful moment together. Lemme know what you thought in the comments, and as always, enjoy your WWE, your TNA, your Lucha, your Puro, and your Indies.

It's All Wrestling. It's All Stupid. We All Love It.


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