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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Wrestling's 4Rs 7.07.14: TNA Impact & Dragon Gate on iPPV Reviewed
Posted by Larry Csonka on 07.07.2014

How the 4Rs of wRestling Work!
Here is a quick explanation of the 4R's. The column will run TWO times a week. We will group our feelings on the shows in various categories: The Right, the wRong and the Ridiculous. The Right is stuff that worked very well: a great promo, a great match and so on. PuRgatoRy is a section between the right and wrong. It shows equal traits from both sides that cannot be ignored and needs discussed. It is not a bad place per say, as things can get remedied or go the wrong way the very next week. The wRong is what it sounds like: bad matches, bad or boring promos and so on. The Ridiculous is stuff that had no right on TV: Stupid angles and so on. And there is always a possibility of a 5th R, which is as bad as they come. This column is supposed to be analytical, and at the right time very critical of the shows, it was the whole reason it was created. This is not a "mark" column, nor a "smark" column, our goal is to analyze the show from many different fronts, reward the good and call out the bad. We will not apologize for our opinions, they are as they are, whether positive or negative.


 photo dragongateblue_zps8c26309d.jpg

Dragon Gate Rainbow Gate iPPV – 7.03.14
By: Larry Csonka

  • Punch Perm contra Punch Perm ~Loser Gets Punch Perm Match: "Mr. High Tension" Kotoka (5:36 Inside Cradle) Chihiro Tominaga (The loser must change their hair to a punch perm hairstyle, and return later in the show to show it to the fans [**¾]
  • Cyber Kong, Kzy{W}, Mondai Ryu (8:53 Impact) Don Fujii, Gamma, "Hollywood" Stalker Ichikawa{L} [***]
  • 3 Way Match: Jimmy Kagetora{W}, Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin (9:26 Gurumakakari) U-T, Yosuke♡Santa Maria{L}; Dragon Kid, K-ness []
  • Masato Yoshino{W}, Ricochet (14:27 Torbellino Crucifix) Jimmy Susumu{L}, Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!! [***]
  • Millenials: T-Hawk, Eita{W}, Flamita (24:17 TKO due to towel thrown during N�mero Uno) MONSTER EXPRESS: Akira Tozawa{L}, Shingo Takagi, Uhaa Nation [***¼]
  • Special Tag Match: YAMATO, Naruki Doi{W} (21:39 V9 Clutch) BxB Hulk{L}, BxB Masa [***]

    The Tirade

    Dragon Gate proper returned to iPPV on July 3rd, and when all was said and done nothing was horrible, but it was their "worst" efforts of the year as an overall production. As I said, the good news was that nothing on the show was horrible, but when you're paying for a product you always want to be entertained and you love when you come away with something that you can remember when all is said and done. I was entertained to a degree, but I will walk away with no substantial memories of the show.

    Some notes and thoughts: I will say that shit like the Punch Perm contra Punch Perm (The loser must change their hair to a punch perm hairstyle, and return later in the show to show it to the fans) makes me love Dragon Gate for its wackiness. Stalker Ichikawa was very entertaining in his tag match, he's so much comedy, but when booked right he also works in the believable near falls, which the fans react to. I was not into the third match at all. Thankfully the fourth match rebounded things for me, and with guys like Ricochet, Susumo and Yoshino involved, it is no surprise. They had the volume turned down, but still delivered an entertaining match. T-Hawk, Eita, and Flamita defeated Akira Tozawa, Shingo Takagi, Uhaa Nation in a match that I likely would have liked more if they had shaved off a few minutes. It overstayed its welcome, but was another good match, the best on the show by a slim margin. The finish was great to set up T-Hawk & Eita challenging Tozwa & Shingo for the Open the Twin Gate titles on the 20th. The main event was the continuation of the BxB Hulk vs. MAD BLANKEY feud/break up. Hulk broke away from the group, and will challenge YAMATO for the Open the Dream Gate Championship on the 20th. Hulk looked to have things in control, but then DR. FUCKIN MUSCLE appeared, costing Hulk the match. Dr. Muscle unmasked as Chihiro Tominaga, who is now part of MAD BLANKEY.

    In closing, this is a show that you can skip without worrying about missing anything. The big news was Chihiro Tominaga turning heel and joining MAD BLANKEY following his loss in the "Punch Perm contra Punch Perm" opener, now going by Punch Tominaga; I am intrigued by this. The show was filled with "good" wrestling, but nothing you have to go out of your way to see. This was one of the set up shows to the big July 20th show, but that doesn't mean that it has to be average or under whelming. But that's exactly what it was. They did some work to set up the big show on the 20th, but this is not essential viewing.

    Score: 6.1

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…

    0 - 0.9: Torture
    1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 - 2.9: Very Bad
    3 - 3.9: Bad
    4 - 4.9: Poor
    5 - 5.9: Not So Good
    6 - 6.9: Average
    7 - 7.9: Good
    8 - 8.9:Very Good
    9 - 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect

    As a reminder, this is not a basic "how good was the show" number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.

    UPDATED Kobe Pro Wrestling Festival Card For July 20th
  • 15th Anniversary Special 6 Man Tag Team Match: Masaaki Mochizuki, Don Fujii, Gamma vs. Uhaa Nation, Hollywood Stalker Ichikawa, Jushin Thunder Lyger
  • Jimmy Kanda, Jimmy Kagetora vs. Mondai Ryu, Punch Tominaga
  • Open the Brave Gate Championship Match: Flamita © vs. Dragon Kid
  • Open the Triangle Gate Championship Match: Naruki Doi, Cyber Kong and Kzy © vs. Genki Horiguchi H.A.Gee.Mee!!, Jimmy Susumu, Mr. Quu Quu Tanizaki Naoki Toyonaka Dolphin
  • International Dream Tag Match: Masato Yoshino and Ricochet vs. CIMA and Matt Sydal
  • Open the Twin Gate Championship Match: Akira Tozawa and Shingo Takagi © vs. T-Hawk and Eita
  • Open the Dream Gate Championship Match: YAMATO © vs. BxB Hulk

     photo tna_impact_zps5e9008cd.jpeg
    By: Jericho Ricardi
    IMPACT 7.03.14:

  • The Wolves retained the tag team titles in a triple threat against The BroMans and The Menagerie (Davey Richards pins Jesse Godderz at 4:39)
  • Bobby Roode def. Kenny King via Roode Bomb through a chair at 5:40
  • EC3 def. Bully Ray via chokeslam through a table at 7:07
  • Gail Kim def. Angelina Love via Eat Defeat at 6:57 to win the Knockouts Title
  • Bobby Lashley def. Eric Young via SPEAR at 7:45

    Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle face off: This was a great callback to their battles of olde, and made for a pretty intense moment. Angle and Joe may both fall into the "good" alignment at the moment, but Joe has always been ambiguously intentioned at best and won't let goodness stop him from whooping some ass. "I! AM! PRO WRESTLING!"

    Kurt Angle in general: His agreement with Aries' "common denominator of greatness" self-praise is the kind of stuff Angle should be doing to give the rub to these guys. He set up future matches with both Samoa Joe AND Austin Aries just by conversing with them, thereby making both of them look more important in the process. More stuff like this! Also, great call putting Angle in the GM role so that he can have an active presence on TV even while he's injured.

    Something finally happens with Brittany: They finally followed up on the Brittany/Madison storyline... with a heel turn so obvious even Sting would have seen it coming. I was kinda hoping they'd give us a twist with Brittany being a sympathetic character and Madison (or TBP) being antagonistic and bullying. But hey, Brittany as a Crazy Chick might also work. I'm just glad they finally resumed this storyline. On a side note... maybe it's just the change in hair color, but I felt like Brittany looked older and tired this week. It was odd. Her usual youthful vitality was nowhere to be found, nor was her charisma. Regardless, hopefully she remembers those things and incorporates them into her new heel persona.

    King gets checkmated: Roode Vs. King was a great match with a decisive finish. Both of these guys are highly entertaining and should continue to be major parts of the show. I'm a little worried that King is going to end up being Lashley's comic sidekick... the Chris Tucker to his Jackie Chan. But that's just a worry, and as of right now there's nothing happening in reality to make me think that's the route they're taking. Unlike a lot of writers on the internet, I can separate my worries about what TNA MIGHT do from the reality of what they're actually doing. I guess schools don't teach emphasizing reality in your thought processes anymore. Explains why Fox News has such high ratings. But much like Taz, I digress.

    Gail Kim blitzes Angelina: Another great match with a decisive finish. Glad to see the title on Gail Kim, and this makes her inevitable confrontation with Taryn even better. As things stood, they were arguably both perceived on a higher level than the champion was... so this actually elevates the belt itself.

    Bully Ray gets a table, courtesy of EC3: EC3 could potentially be the company's uberheel next year. I'm glad he's still undefeated, but at some point, he's going to need to start winning matches on his own. He's getting the Bo Dallas undefeated push rather than the Rusev monster-undefeated push, but at least Bo wins matches straight-up sometimes. EC3 gets higher-value wins (against main eventers) but he always cheats to get there. We saw what that did for Magnus. Protip: Very little. It isn't the anti-push that an Intercontinental Title "reign" is these days, but it's no way to build a strong character. Still, this was a good match... and an eventful one designed to set up further developments.

    The matches in general: We had more matches than usual and a decent amount of time on this show was spent on the wrestling. While I'm a promo guy more than a match guy myself, the company needs to be mindful that the majority of the audience needs a fair amount of action to keep from getting bored. I'm not, nor have I ever, advocated abolishing promos from the show altogether and turning it into an indy-style vanilla wrestlefest; that said, they were overdoing it quite a bit for a while there, resulting in some lopsided shows. Tonight was a better balance, with lots of story but also a fair amount of action. Also, we got a bunch of clean finishes, which is pretty awesome and something TNA has historically struggled with. The only exception is EC3's win, and it makes him stand out more as the smarmy heel that he is. A couple big steps in the right direction here in terms of show format, and they should be the standard for the company going forward.

    Lashley Vs. EY: I have my apprehension about EY losing four times now to Lashley, but it's better than having the new champion lose. EY doesn't really fall in level by losing to Lashley again, and it's definitely cementing Lashley as a force to be reckoned with. Still, I think it's time to move on from this feud. Let EY do something else where he can win and we can cheer.

    The Wolves defend their titles: I'd like to see these guys winning matches decisively every week, and the match gets a big plus for that. It gets a minus for the match being short and chaotic. The Wolves can put on wrestling clinics... so let them do that.

    The Return of Rhyno: This was a legit surprise and he got a hilarious face reaction from the crowd (that quickly morphed into a bitter heel reaction as he helped the vile and nefarious EC3). It's in Purgatory because we'll see what they do with him. EC3 doesn't particularly need a lackey (and if he does, he has Spud). Especially a lackey who is debatably bigger and badder than he is. It isn't the way I'd have brought Rhyno back, but maybe we'll get something good out of this. ...How would I have brought Rhyno back? At the Manhattan Center, with an immediate world title contender push. He shows up and challenges Lashley (perhaps via a Gore). Says that he, Rhyno, was the last real ECW champion, won it in this very building, and never got to defend it. Therefore he wants the TNA world title so that he can pick up where he left off. Simple, to the point, instant feud with Lashley. Spear Vs. Gore. ...or he can return as EC3's lackey. Jury is out on this. Just because they didn't do what I want doesn't mean that what they did was bad (again, something a lot of writers on the internet don't seem to know how to differentiate). We'll see how this goes.

    Sam Shaw: Creepy Bastard in Remission, and Reformed Raper Guy: Huuuuge "jury's out" for this one. Gunner bringing in The New Sam Shaw and introducing him to Anderson and Christy was interesting, at least, with Gunner vouching for his new friend and keeping Anderson from bullying him. We'll see where this goes; the whole storyline was certainly an unexpected turn for both Gunner and Shaw's characters.

    THE wRong:
    Rebel wears a red white and blue bikini top... and the cameras barely spend any time on her: Big missed opportunity, TNA! The people demand more Rebel!

    "Over My Dead Body": Much like a lethargic baby, this catchphrase has been tired since the moment it was conceived. The best catchphrases are the ones the audience naturally takes to rather than having it dictated to them via repeating it over and over, and I haven't seen the audience ever chant this except when Bully Ray is annoyingly repeating it. This may be more of a personal complaint than anything else.


    The 411:

    While it didn't really stand out as amazing, I can't say there was anything bad about this show at all. Very excited for NYC in two weeks, and the Bethlehem shows have been very good in their own right. It's like watching a different company compared to what it looked like a month ago. Looking forward to a Roode/Lashley collision over the title and the continued ascendance of EC3. Things are looking up, and the lively crowds have made the show far more exciting to watch than the relatively-lifeless Impacts of this past spring.

    Cheap plug time, check out my musings on video games and media at Coronajumper.com.

    Show Rating: 8.0

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…

    0 - 0.9: Torture
    1 - 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 - 2.9: Very Bad
    3 - 3.9: Bad
    4 - 4.9: Poor
    5 - 5.9: Not So Good
    6 - 6.9: Average
    7 - 7.9: Good
    8 - 8.9:Very Good
    9 - 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect

    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven't, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you'll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 500 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

    Listen to internet radio with Larry Csonka on BlogTalkRadio

    The 902nd edition is over…

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