26 November 2013

#REWIND365: 17-23 Nov 2013

Welcome to the inaugural #REWIND365 Where the Reaction Never Ends, a selective look at the week's offerings from #IMPACT365.  The #IMPACT365 initiative has so far proven to be a great success, gaining in popularity week on week and giving us the kind of footage that fans are craving without cluttering an already packed Impact schedule.

With so much content being added on a daily basis, it can be hard to keep on top of all of it.  The aim of this feature is to provide my personal pick of the top three videos that you can't afford to miss, and to give TNAMeccanites a place to agree, disagree and discuss their own favourite clips from the week gone by.

For the purposes of this feature I will only be choosing from #IMPACT365 exclusives, or those clips that were shown there first before being recapped on Impact tapings (sorry Sam Shaw... I mean Samuel!).  Given the diverse nature of the output we've seen so far, there is no set criteria for scoring but I will be awarding Bronze, Silver and Gold medals based on facets such as concept, content, creativity and contribution.

And speaking of C-Words, I will also be presenting my pick of my least favourite clip from the past week.  All contributions to #IMPACT365 are deserving of merit, so rather than being the worst clip of the week, I prefer to think of it as the must try harder clip.  As such, these clips will be awarded the Wooden Spoon, a prize for taking part but they will have to up their game if they want some metal around their neck in future weeks.

So enough of the dithering, time to crack on with this week's picks!

Bronze: Bar Roode Brawl

Quite possibly filmed on a Nintendo DS, and by a cameraman that needn't worry about winning an Oscar any time soon, the kayfabe authenticity of my third place pick is part of its charm.  It was only a short clip and on the surface a simple video, but I loved the duality it had of both reminding (or informing newer) fans of the bitter history that exists between Storm and Roode, and further demonstrating the "It pays to be Roode" attitude that Bobby Roode has been building upon since the BFG series.

You only need to look at the Pick 'Em League results to see that the writing was on the wall for James Storm going into the match.  Even though it was a near certainty that Storm wouldn't be the victor, this short clip showing the hostility bubbling beneath the surface between this pair made me excited to watch what could otherwise have been a predictably dull first round match.

42 seconds well spent!

Silver: The Phenomenal Wrestle-1

Going into this AJ Styles international angle, I was worried we wouldn't see very much of his title defenses, only short clips that are shown on Impact.  However, #IMPACT365 have been spoiling us with extended clips of his matches in Japan and Mexico and I am really digging them.

I often read disgruntled commentators saying that AJ was not, is not and never will be a big enough star to carry TNA forward.  Well I say egg on their faces!  It is great to see AJ's popularity is transcending continents and the international fans are enjoying the story as much as we are.  It might not be the biggest venue, but it just goes to show that an audience doesn't have to be huge for fans to get behind what they are watching, which is a lesson TNA hopefully takes on board as they are regrouping in Orlando.

You do not get to see the whole match in this clip unfortunately, but I'll never get bored of watching AJ landing a dropkick!  Bet that moonsault at 2:32 didn't half make AJ's face sore though.  Ouch.

On a side note, I think it is very gentlemanly for TNA to be hosting these videos on their site, showcasing these organisations to potentially new audiences in return for them being so instrumental in the success of this AJ angle.  Got to wonder what else Wrestle-1 will get out of the deal on a longterm basis, as I doubt Rob Terry was a deal-breaker.

Gold:  Ethan Carter III: The Movie

Trouble trouble trouble lions trouble trouble trouble bank-notes trouble trouble trouble Eiffel Tower trouble trouble trouble race-horses trouble trouble trouble guy with nunchuks trouble trouble trouble...

The first ever #REWIND365 Gold medal goes to EC3 for his "Undefeatedable" video!  With production values that would make James Cameron weep enough tears to create a Titanic-busting iceberg, Undefeatedable is a montage of epic images that set the scene for EC3 delivering an even more epic 1% over and over again.

Ever since EC3's debut at BFG, we've not really seen a great deal of promo work from him on Impact.  He has had the same routine for several weeks now of beating jobbers and delivering the same "The World needs us line", so one could easily imagine this character appearing very superficial and the routine becoming boring.  However, with the contributions being made to #IMPACT365 by Dewey/Norv and EC3, the character is going from strength to strength.

Some of the TNA roster have taken the ball and run with it when it comes to utilising #IMPACT365.  Ethan Carter III has taken that ball for a dirty weekend on his own private yacht.

EC3 took to twitter to pledge many more wins.  That's fighting talk:

Wooden Spoon: A Video of Magnus... Watching a Video of Magnus

Charming, gripping, entertaining, must-see.

These are just some of the words I wouldn't use to describe Magnus' pre-Turning Point video.  Perhaps the perfect antithesis to what we saw with the Storm and Roode bar brawl, this clip did absolutely nothing for me in terms of making me want to watch the Magnus versus Samoa Joe match any more than I already did.  It wasn't good, it wasn't bad, it was just there.  As a wrestler, indifference is possibly about the worst kind of reaction you could hope for.

I don't know what it is about Magnus' mic work, but personally it can sometimes come across as a little forced at times.  He seems like a good worker, so it wouldn't surprise me if he spends a lot of time thinking very carefully about what he is going to say.  However, the danger is that if you've been going over a monologue in your head all day, you risk sounding over-rehearsed and stilted when it comes to delivering it.

What makes things more frustrating for me is that having listened to Magnus on radio shows, Xplosion's Spin Cycle and his commentary on UK's Strongest Man, you can tell he is very articulate, naturally charming, has a great sense of humour and is able to think on his feet.  These are the things I would like to see in his promo work going forward.

Gut-feeling is that the Magnus push was initially one of Hogan's brainchilds, and in Hogan's absence he has been left floundering somewhat.  Magnus needs a definite angle, and soon, if he wants to get some kind of reaction from the fans and a character that he can play up to on #IMPACT365.


All in all, a very decent week of content on #IMPACT365.  Plenty of pre-Turning Point promos and teasers, comedy segments from the regulars continuing to build a cult online fanbase, and TNA uploading a wealth of highlights from Thursday's action. 

As a tool to spread the word on TNA via social media, I can think of nothing bad to say about #IMPACT365.  There is still a notable absence of contributions from some of TNA's roster, but hopefully that will change in the future.

A special mention should go to Kazarian and Daniels.  I did enjoy their split screen promo ahead of the JP/Abyss showdown, and they narrowly missed a spot in my top three pick.  Not only was the pay-off at Turning Point less than spectacular, but the main issue I had was Daniels re-using one of the jokes on Impact.  The #IMPACT365 viewership is only a small fraction of the total Impact audience at this stage so I wouldn't expect them to upload exclusive content that was pivotal to the Impact story-telling.  That being said, it is somewhat of a two way street and there are fans that watch both, so they should think twice about using the same gag twice no matter how good it is.

Apologies for the tardiness of this first edition of #REWIND365, there were some scheduling issues that were completely my fault and future editions will be appearing promptly on Sunday each week.  As ever, all of the picks are completely subjective so I would love to hear what you have to say on the choices that I made and your nominations for the best videos of the week 17-23 November.

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