Ring the bell ladies and gentlemen as we kick off another edition of From The Other Side of the "Squared Circle" I am your host for the evening. I hope everyone enjoyed the debut edition last week and we all had pleasant evenings enjoying Impact and Ring of Honor. I am pleased to say that this edition of Impact did not have the same off feeling that plagued last week's. That isn't to say that it did not have it's faults. Every show does but that is a different list for later on in the column.
Last week I mentioned that the entire show had an off kilter vibe that seemed to infect the matches. This week that vibe is gone and EC3 takes center stage, which probably explains the reason why the show felt so good. I could go on and on about EC3 but alas, this is only the first act of the column and I will move on to the 1-count which is far shorter then I would have liked it to be.
1-count: Things I loved.
- EC3 collides with Planet Jarrett: One of the things I wondered about was how EC3's natural heel charisma would mesh with the vibe that Jeff Jarrett is putting out. I don't know if I was the only one but EC3 seemed to be putting off a baby face or at least an anti-hero vibe over the course of the night. I was digging how well EC3 and the Jarretts played off of one another.
- Eli Drake goes through an Uncharted table: I loved the No DQ match between Drew Galloway and Eli Drake because you could really feel the animosity between the competitors which sold the physicality of the match. I may not have liked how the Rising broke down, and I still wonder what black hole Micah fell into and this might be blasphemy to some people but I just don't see the appeal of Eli Drake. but now that this appears to be the last chapter in the feud I can't wait to see where Galloway goes from here.
- One Percenter+Darewolf=Awesome: This was the main event of the evening, and right of the bat TNA and GFW seemed to want to make PJ Black an important member of the roster not only giving him more, if nauseating, character development in 5 minutes last week then he got in 5 years in WWE, but this week he and TNA's golden child, EC3 got to tear the house down. plus he showed off that pristine 450 splash the way that I am used to seeing him hit it, even if it was the first time I've seen him bust out the springboard variety.
Now, everything can not always be as positive as the 1 count. but as Rabindranath Tagore wrote "If you shut out all errors, you also shut out the truth." This might be a poor understanding of that quote but I believe it to mean that our best lessons come out of our mistakes. I think the 2 count might be the most important part of this column because I know what the men and women on the roster are capable of if management and creative take the handcuffs off.
2-Count: C'mon you can do better.
- The Doll Street Posse vs Gail Kim: I loathe to say this but I had absolutely zero suspension of belief in the outcome of this match. It kills me to say that because Mia Yim or Jade whichever you would prefer to call her is one of the most talented female wrestlers on the planet and to see her reduced to a joke of the likes of which wrestling has not seen since the Mean Street Posse is beyond my understanding. Marti Belle also has no place on the top rope. She damn near destroyed her knee on a missile dropkick and she just looks uncomfortable up there.
- Bram Wyatt loses another feud he started: I am a fan of Bram. I was a fan of his back when he was half of the Ascension before he...you know got drunk and punched a cop. I've been a fan of his gimmick since he came to TNA. he gave me this giddy feeling that I haven't had since the olden Attitude Era days of watching Cactus Jack. Sadly, his booking as of late has resembled Cactus Jack... at the end of his run in WCW. or to point to a more recent wrestler, Bray Wyatt. I understand that TNA is hurting for faces right now so they need to push who they can to try and balance out the heel heavy scene but, Hardcore wrestlers can be faces too. Mick Foley made a career out of putting people through barbed wire and thumbtacks and being the babyface while doing so. Let Bram channel his delightful inner Foley that we all know he can bring out, and entertain us with his beautifully cringe worthy offense.
- What about me, What about Roode?: I...I really hated this segment. I don't like backstage segment heavy shows in general but this...I believe we only saw Roode one time the entire night, and this was after last week he returned to his true heel nature that made him such a great champion. I understand Spud selling the beating and needing to be off TV temporarily, but they could have had Roode attack someone else out of aggravation of being left off the show. in my ideal world Roode would be a heel, but he wouldn't automatically align with other heels. He would be more like Austin from the 90s, who wasn't hesitant to lay out faces or other heels, if they were an obstacle in his path. This kind of Anti-hero mentality would quickly catch on and turn Roode into one of the more popular people in the company that has too many villains and the few faces that TNA does have are either past their prime or so cookie cutter generic that it's laughable.
Now then since the criticisms of what TNA could have done better, I guess now it's time for what one could argue is the worst place to end up on the entire Countdown. This segment is strictly for those portions of the show that I feel left me feeling "meh". No reaction is the worst reaction you can get, aside from the fans going absolutely incendiary with heat, like what they did to Eva Marie on NXT. I don't like feeling this way because the athletes in TNA are going balls to the wall to entertain me and I feel as if I am doing a disservice by not feeling moved. Granted I do have a long standing 1-week history of journalistic integrity to hold up to, so I must be completely honest.
3-count: That's it?
- Everybody Dance now?: Last Week Shera broke free of James Storm's control and free from the Revolution. It was a chance to build up a promising young babyface star and this week we were treated to...the Shera dancing hour which to be honest looked a lot like what some of my friends do after a couple of Sake Bombs.....urgh sorry birthday bash flashback there. Anyway I was conflicted about this entire segment for on one hand you furthered the storyline of what I assume will lead to Manik and Shera feuding with Abyss and Storm, before splitting off into two separate tag teams, but on the other they took what was a fresh and promising young star and immediately turned him into a goofball.
- Gail and Velvet alliance huh?: I should really start these things with "Previously on TNA Impact", but sarcasm aside, 2 weeks ago we saw Gail Kim face off with all 3 members of the Dollhouse. and this past Impact we saw her take on Marti Belle and Jade inside the 6 sides of steel. Later on after Gail won, issues aside of 1 person beating 2 opponents inside a cage match which basically meant Tornado rules, we see Taryn who is apparently having a breakdown on the level of Jack Nicholson from The Shining the way she is flipping out, and now Velvet is aligned with Kim because.....why? This kind of confusing booking has hurt the Knockouts in the past and is doing them a even greater disservice now that they do not have the established super face like a Mickie James to fall back on for fan recognition.
- Jeff Jarrett *sigh* again: I know Jarrett can be entertaining but Come on...if this was any more obvious, Jarrett would be shown on black and white film carrying a tied up Dixie Carter to a set of train tracks while a steam locomotive with GFW written on the side was speeding towards her. I want to get into this GFW storyline but this intelligence insulting obvious way they are going about it is killing my interest.
That's almost it for this week's From the Other Side of the Squared Circle. Now for the segment where I give you my unbridled opinion about things in TNA as they stand right now. this week's topic for After The Bell.
Will The Real Tag Teams please stand up...please?: Here is the TNA tag division as it stands right now. The American Wolves and...that's really it I believe. GFW is bringing new things to TNA and hopefully one of those things will be a competitive tag division, or any tag division at all. Ring of Honor has the best tag division of any promotion on the planet. Just this past week featured a match between Roppongi Vice and The Young Bucks, and ended with The Addiction, formerly known as Bad Influence plus Chris Sabin laying both teams out and standing tall as the Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions of the world proved that no one can touch them. add in Mark and Jay Briscoe, the Kingdom, The Decade and other tag teams they can bring in from New Japan and they have not only the best but also the deepest division in the world of pro wrestling. I can't expect TNA to compete with a company boasting dual rosters but is it too much to ask for a division with more than 1 established tag team? I know TNA can do better and this is why it frustrates the hell out of me that the tag division is so barren. I hope things improve because it pains me to see one of the best tag teams in the past 25 if not more years be stuck with no one to compete and shine against.