MCNEILL'S TAKE Reborn: McNEILL previews TNA Bound For Glory 2012!
Oct 14, 2012 - 1:35:25 PM
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By Pat McNeill, PWTorch columnist
Wake the pets and call the neighbors. It's time for our monthly TNA Wrestling pay-per-view preview column!
DISCLAIMER: Projections are made by myself and for myself with absolutely no assistance from Eric Bischoff, Brother Love, Dave "I Want Wrestling" Lagana or anybody else in Carter Country. Projections are not predictions, because this is the column where everything's made up and the points don't matter. No TNA employees have been harmed in the writing of this column. This preview has been sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk & Wagnall's porch since noon today. A member of our studio audience will receive Hancock custom crafted redwood furniture. The Madeira collection is detailed with opulent sculptured lines and plump vinyl cushions for year-round outdoor enjoyment, from Hancock. And remember, if you come within $100 of the actual retail price of your showcase, you win both showcases. This is only an exhibition. This is not a competition. Please, please, no wagering. This lineup is based on the best available information as of this writing. Also remember that my projections are based on what I would do if I had control over Total Nonstop Action, unless it's not funny enough.
We all watched Impact on Thursday night (and if you didn't, just play along for a second.) You know what was wrong with that show? It wasn't the fact that they put three pay-per-view caliber matches on free television, and all three of those matches ended with screwy finishes. That's a topic for another day. What was wrong with Impact was the final segment, where TNA Champion Austin Aries turned heel on Jeff Hardy after pretending to go "off-script" and criticizing the promotion. I've been a Torch columnist for eleven years. I can't believe I still have to do this rant every few months, but I'll keep doing it until it sinks in with the creative geniuses who book televised pro wrestling. Ready?
1) Professional Wrestling is a work
2) Wrestling fans know it's a work.
3) Wrestling fans are okay with pro wrestling being a work. Just like people who watch "Grey's Anatomy" know that Meredith and McDreamy aren't actually operating on people. Just like people who watch "The Big Bang Theory" know that Sheldon and Amy are characters, and aren't a real-life couple. Just like viewers of "NCIS" know that Mark Harmon isn't really in the Navy.
4) All pro wrestling fans want is to turn on their television and enjoy a show that features exciting action and some decent storytelling. Something that will help them suspend their disbelief for an hour (or three) and become part of the WWE Universe, TNA Nation or the Ring of Honor, um, Bus Depot.
5) When you write a wrestling storyline that tells fans "Everything you've been watching is fake, but THIS is real," and it's not real, it won't work. After fifteen years of garbage pseudo-shoot storyline, fans know the difference. You're insulting their intelligence, and you're making them question their decision to watch your program.
6) If you work in the wrestling business, and you don't understand Parts 1-5, you're part of the reason the wrestling business is in the dumps. Consider talking to a career counselor.
We'll get back to that later. Let's go on to this week's Wrestling History Lesson. Twenty years ago, on October 25, 1992, World Championship Wrestling presented its "Halloween Havoc" at the Philadelphia Civic Center. One of the big matches on this show saw Ricky Steamboat battle the late "Flyin'" Brian Pillman. For the call of the action, let's go to Jim Ross & Jesse "The Body" Ventura.
Here's the main event of last week's episode of TNA Xplosion, and it's champion vs. champion! TNA World Tag Team Champion of the World Frankie Kazarian takes on...TNA Knockout Tag Team Champion Eric Young. Who will survive? Jeremy Borash and "Irish" Pat Kenney are on commentary.
Five years ago, at TNA's Bound For Glory 2007, our opening match saw Homicide & Hernandez face Senshi & Elix Skipper in an Ultimate X Tag Team Match. Footage provided by TNAWrestling's YouTube page.
On with the projections!
Al Snow vs. Joey Ryan: Joey Ryan needs to win this match to earn a TNA contract. Frankly, given some of the deadwood that's shown up looking for TNA contracts in the past few months, I'm surprised this is even an issue. Projection? Snow goes a few licks in before Ryan hits the Mustache Ride (don't worry, it's a wrestling move) and scores the pin.
Zema Ion vs. Rob Van Dam (TNA X Division Title): Last week, someone in TNA remembered that Rob Van Dam wasn't booked for the biggest show of the year. Problem solved.Projection? Zema spritzes the hairspray at Rob, but Rob's years of, um, inhaling make him impervious to the hairspray. Van Dam hits the five star frog splash and wins the X Division title.
Brooke Tessmacher vs. Tara Varon (TNA Knockouts Title): The big tease going into this match is that Tara has a secret Hollywood boyfriend. And, as you know, there's only one TNA performer who qualifies as a legitimate player in Hollywood these days. No, not Eric Bischoff. Projection? Tara wins the match thanks to interference from her new Hollywood boyfriend...Animal Planet host Eric Young. Yes, this is why it's been so difficult for O.D.B. to get some alone time with her hubby. This also sets up the Tara vs. O.D.B. feud you'll be seeing on Spike TV for the next couple of months.
Samoa Joe vs. Nick Magnus (TNA Television Title): The two former tag team partners are now clashing over an actual singles championship. This is a step in the right direction. Really. Projection? Joe takes the worst Magnus has to offer and scores the victory with the muscle buster.
James Storm vs. Robert Roode (Street Fight - King Mo is Special Enforcer): For those of you who aren't following TNA, King Mo is a mixed martial artist and former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion. He is NOT the guy who teamed with King Mabel as "Men On A Mission" in the mid-1990s for WWF. Thought I'd clear that up. Projection? Storm and Roode run wild across the Grand Canyon University Arena until Storm hits a superkick and pins Roode while King Mo makes the count. Roode is offended and gets in Mo's face, setting up the huge King Mo vs. Bobby Roode feud.
Christopher Daniels & Frankie Kazarian vs. Kurt Angle & A.J. Styles vs. Chavo Guerrero & Shawn Hernandez (TNA World Tag Team Titles): Not only does this drag out the extended feud between Styles and Daniels, it also enables TNA to work the new and improved Mexican Americans into the mix. Projection? Somewhere in this mess, Styles pins Chavo with the Styles Clash and Styles and Angle recpature the TNA Tag Team Titles. Yes, this means we'll still have Kazarian and Daniels feuding with Styles and Angle, but that's okay for now.
Sting & Bully Ray vs. Mr. Ace & Mr. Eight: Well, here we are. Most fans think Bully Ray is setting up Sting for a fall, and that Bully is going to be part of Aces & Eights. If you look at the track record of Bully (and Sting, for that matter) that's the option that makes sense. Heck, it'll be a surprise if Lex Luger doesn't turn on Sting during his Hall of Fame induction. But the idea of obnoxious Bully Ray as a badass antihero is more intriguing than watching Sting have a tag team partner turn on him for the 19th or 20th time. Projection? Sting and Bully have a match against the bikers. Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Luke Gallows and Mike Knox are playing the bikers again. Matt Morgan runs in and pastes Sting with the Carbon Footprint, giving Aces and Eights the run of Total Nonstop Action.
As for the Aces & Eights crew, if Garett Bischoff really is the leader of Aces & Eights, the fans will poop on that. If Eric Bischoff is really the leader of Aces & Eights, the fans will still poop on, but Eric's a professional and can take it. And Eric makes more sense as the big bad than his son does. Jeff Jarrett, Matt Morgan and Brother Devon should be part of Eric's crew, with the idea that Eric's aligned himself with all the folks who think Hogan and Sting have screwed them over. After that, you can throw in a Matt Hardy, Shannon Moore or even Scott Steiner. If you can't afford to buy someone a big gift, shower them with little gifts.
Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy (TNA World Heavyweight Title): This is the first major bout between A Double and the Charismatic Enigma. And to be honest, it's not like TNA had a bigger main event waiting in the wings. Hardy's the most popular guy in TNA, and Aries is the champ. That part makes sense. Projection? Hardy has Aries in trouble when former tag team champions Kazarian and Daniels distract the official. Aries knocks Hardy out with the dreaded international object to retain the title. Aries aligned with Daniels and Kazarian? Works for me.
Aftermath: Next month is Turning Point. Let's go with Aries-Hardy II, Bully Ray vs. Devon, and Bobby Roode vs. King Mo.
*** Pat McNeill of Richmond, Va. has been a Torch columnist since February 2001. He predicts the Houston Texans will dedicate their Sunday Night Football game to Torch Assistant Editor James Caldwell, and then go on to defeat the injury-riddled Green Bay Packers. Contact him at email@example.com
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