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Posts Tagged ‘Sting’

End of the TNA Victory Road for Jeff Hardy, loses to Sting in under 2 minutes; drug use suspected

March 13th, 2011 8 comments

Get serious: Joker, smoker, alleged midnight toker. Worlds away from his WWE heyday, Hardy is no longer #winning much nowadays.

Heading into Sunday’s TNA Victory Road PPV, there was concern that Dixie Carter’s latest hotshot angle–re-signing aging star Sting after a strong rumor went viral (thanks to some overzealous bloggers) that Steve Borden was heading home to Atlanta for a WrestleMania dream match with the Undertaker–would backfire.

After all, Dixie not only re-upped the contract on the broken-down, 52-year-old Stinger but also made him TNA champion in his first appearance back on iMPACT! as a desperate attempt to spike a TV (lame pun intended) rating and mimic WWE TV once again, copying their 2-21-11 vignette designed for the return of the Undertaker.

With Sting reportedly not even a shell of his former self in recent months due to nagging career injuries, it was expected that he would be forced to rely on the recently married Jeff Hardy, who clearly has his priorities in line after committing to a life of matrimony, to have a PPV-worthy title bout at TNA’s Victory Road.

Yes, some were speculating that Sting’s career had come full circle and would need Hardy to carry him to greatness much like Ric Flair did during the infamous NWA World title title bout (a 45-Broadway) at Clash of the Champions that made Borden a star in the late ’80s. At the very least,  Hardy would have to excel in the recent role of the Miz, making it appear that 61-year-old challenger Jerry Lawler still had the ability to beat the top titleholder in the company.

And when the finish went down Sunday night, with Sting beating Hardy in a little over a minute with the scorpion death drop, even the most astute wrestling observers initially figured they were protecting Sting. Turns out they were–but were for completely different reasons. Alas, it appears that Hardy was allegedly heavily under the influence, in no shape to perform Sunday, so they jobbed him out quickly before he could injure himself or Sting. (Hardy’s makeup, however, looked outstanding.)

They say in today’s wrestling, the personal feelings that made us all willingly to suspend disbelief back in the kayfabe era is lacking because everything is so scripted to fault. One has to look no further than the disgusted look on Sting’s face in the aftermath to see his disdain with Hardy–a guy who will probably be given another yet another chance–that is, if he’s cleared of his current legal woes.

While he’s certainly made more money than his ’80s/’90s heartthrob counterparts, Hardy would be wise to look at the cautionary tales of former stars Buddy Landel, Eddie Gilbert, Brian Lawler and Tommy Rich. He’s teetering on that same dangerous edge now.

Monday morning update: Some are speculating this might all be a work to create a “Charlie Sheen-type controversy” (#winning) to garner some attention for Hardy and the company. If there’s any shred of truth to that, years from now, people will point to this moment as the death-knell for the promotion much like WCW’s finger-point title changes with Hulk Hogan vs. Kevin Nash and, again, with Jeff Jarrett. Surely, they aren’t that desperate…are they? Either way, the main event last night was a debacle and has to a morale killer for the remaining professionals in the promotion who worked have worked damn hard in the past to build the company.

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A main event to Crow about?: Sting vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania rumors light up Internet

February 1st, 2011 6 comments

It all started with last night’s eerie RAW video promoting a returning/debuting superstar to World Wrestling Entertainment on February 21. The well-produced video–almost like a teaser trailer for an upcoming horror film–shows a man in a trenchcoat and boots walking toward a creepy house in the woods during a horrible thunderstorm before fading into “2-21-11.” Of course, the Internet fan boys have analyzed this video like the Zapruder film for the last 24 hours, with some swearing that the numerals 2-21-11 spell out/morph into STING. (I finally saw the same thing after approximately two hits of acid.)

Then came Internet images, likely fan art, promoting a Sting vs. Undertaker dream match at WrestleMania in Atlanta. As most of you know by now, TNA’s “They” was originally supposed to be the reuniting  Main Event Mafia–Kevin Nash, Booker T, Sting, Kurt Angle and Scott Steiner–as babyfaces. Instead, Booker and Nash signed deals with WWE and appeared in Sunday’s Royal Rumble, with Diesel’s return apparently sponsored by Just For Men. Thankfully, TNA will have to go another direction–y’know, like maybe elevate some young talent and create new headlining stars. (A novel concept, I realize.) So, where does that leave Sting? The last official word I heard was that he had not re-signed with TNA, but that he was expected to if the money were right.

In the cards? Sting vs. 'Taker...the dream match to die for.

I will say that the timing is certainly right–it’s now or never for Sting, who has never worked for WWE, unless you count the Nitro farewell bout with Ric Flair. While it’s been rumored that Wade Barrett was slotted to be ‘Taker’s opponent for WM, that would have to be considered a letdown considering two straight years of HBK/Dead Man classics. And it’s like they’ve built up Barrett has a world beater. Then there’s the issue of ‘Taker’s injuries and if he’d even be ready to go by ‘Mania. While it was not looking good a few months ago, the latest word is that he indeed will be risking his streak once again on the big stage. (He’s set to appear on…the 2-21-11 RAW (coincidence?). And with Atlanta being the WrestleMania site this year, what better place for Sting to make his long-awaited Stinger splash into the world of sports entertainment? If he’s signed a one-year deal as some are speculating, Sting would have to be considered a favorite for the Hall of Fame as well, especially given his history in Atlanta as WCW’s biggest star for years. The buildup for ‘Taker vs. Sting would be memorable and give the event a special once-in-a-lifetime feel a la Hulk Hogan vs. Rock years ago. A dream match-up to die for.

Supposedly, Steve Borden’s religious beliefs prevented the Sting character from appearing in WWE shortly after McMahon purchased WWE. But with Vince’s new PG mandate and the comparatively raunchy TNA product, Borden wouldn’t have to sacrifice his beliefs for one last run. Besides, Sting’s got to be insanely curious as to what Vince and his production team could do for his character. (Granted, that hasn’t worked out too well for some former WCW stars, but I expect they’d pull out all the stops to get Sting over as a god, especially with the company’s lack of huge stars right now.)

I guess we’ll all know soon enough.

Bloody hell! TNA’s brings the Monday Night War to WWE with bloated yet entertaining effort

March 8th, 2010 No comments

Monday Night Mayhem: The stars of TNA draw first blood.

TNA pulled out all the stops Monday night, cramming a month’s worth of angles into one show, highlighted by a Sting heel turn, two Flair vs. Hogan bouts, Abyss pinning the World champion clean in the middle, a impassioned, teary-eyed plea from Brooke Hogan to her dad and the Hulkster’s resulting apparent “retirement,” the transformation of Kurt Angle into Capt. America, the debut of RVD–and in a bout against Sting no less–and the reappearance of Jeff Hardy.

Some of the highlights:

In a promising start, Hogan kicked off the show not hyping “change” or Monday Night War II but rather staying within the storyline of kicking Flair’s ass. They gave us the main event early,with Hogan and Abyss vs. Flair and A.J. Styles. The match didn’t go long before the heels gained the advantage and the lights went out, which brought Sting into the fray, armed with a baseball bat. Similar to Hogan’s infamous heel turn at Bash at the Beach so many years ago–a spot that Sting was standing by to fill in case Hulk got cold feet–the Stinger attacked Hogan and Abyss, who both juiced following two chairshots to the head during the onslaught. Instead of building up a rematch for the upcoming PPV or at the very least to spike next week’s rating, the bout was rescheduled for later that night. Sting shoved Dixie Carter backstage, so apparently they’re going all the way in with Sting’s heel turn this time around. A shaken Carter vowed later that Sting would be forced to wrestle that night against a mystery opponent of her choosing.

As Kazarian, Daniels and Doug Williams argued about their pecking order, Eric Bischoff gave a strong promo putting over the X Division as not only TNA’s heart but also its adrenaline, which got a big pop. He then made an impromptu title match with the three, which saw the champion retain after a dizzying series of spectacular highspots. Afterward, Bischoff revealed Shannon Moore as Williams’s opponent at the Division X PPV. (Wow–actually building toward a PPV title bout…what the hell’s gotten into Bischoff?) Good segment that showed that maybe Bischoff finally understands the delicate balance of making changes to improve the product while preserving what made TNA unique in the first place. This really felt like a commitment by Bischoff to continue the history of strong X Division title matches.

Tazz, who had an off night, initially claimed not to know whom Sting’s opponent might be and then minutes later made a cute inside remark to Mike Tenay, asking, “What were you doing at 4:20 this afternoon?” (Tenay, by the way, was his usual excellent self.)

Sting came out to a mostly silent crowd, who clearly weren’t sold on booing a legend. As Sting was in the ring, RVD’s initials hit the screen to loud music. The iMPACT Zone went crazy as RVD ambushed Sting from behind with a spinning kick to the jaw to get a fluke win in mere seconds. Afterward, Sting got his heat back by destroying RVD with his bat and taking out a few referees. The segment was effective but went too long–I mean how much punishment can a man take with a bat? Hogan stormed the ring as security held him back, which only enabled Sting to continue the beating on RVD’s ribs and ankle. (A few guards really should have stormed the ring to attempt to cover the fallen star only to be dispatched by Sting as it really didn’t make much sense for them to block Hogan like that while ignoring the prone RVD.) As security held Hogan at bay, Sting jammed a couple bat shots into Hulk’s ribs, doubling him over. By this point, the crowd was pretty hot at Sting, chanting “You suck!” Much like the angle to kick off the show, this was strong enough to close the program, but we still had plenty of show–and one more surprise–left. (It was almost like Bischoff and Hogan couldn’t decide on what would be the best ending for the show out of all their options on the drawing board, so they used all of ’em.)

Kevin Nash, Eric Young had a painful segment with Hall and Waltman, which appeared to set the stage for the Band’s exit as the next PPV. That is, barring another swerve with Nash realigning with his former NWO brothers.

In tears, Brooke Hogan pleaded with her bloodied, battered dad not to go back out there. Hogan, who referenced the family’s personal problems, placated by her vowing this was his last match. (Hey, he lies to everyone else, so why not?) I have a sneaking suspicion this could lead to a Brooke heel turn down the road.

Kurt Angle came to the ring with several members of the U.S. Army and pledged his allegiance to America. As Mr. Anderson interrupted him, calling the servicemen “high-school dropouts” (a great heel line), Angle charged the backstage area and beat the shit out of him in an impromptu lumberjack match with the Army guys getting into the act with punches and tossing Anderson back into the ring. (It appeared as if they accidentally hurt him a few times as they hurled into the apron rather than into the ring.) After Angle stood over his beaten adversary and ripped Mr. Anderson’s Capt. America T-shit, servicemen lifted Angle on their shoulders as he waved Old Glory. This was pretty damn entertaining stuff. I’m digging Angle as a totally serious babyface.

The main event was a bloodbath, as Flair practically cut his head off with a bladejob that would make Tommy Rich wince. (Or as Tazz said, “Bleeding like a stuffed pig. No offense to stuffed pigs.”  Stuffed? Really? Yikes.) Pretty surreal seeing Flair and Hogan in such a gore-fest at their age. Abyss pinned Styles with the blackhole slam, which I guess was the right finish since the two are facing each other in a title bout at the March 21 PPV. Desmond Wolfe, who had earlier laid out the Pope in a backstage attack, stormed the ring to help the heels beat down Hogan and Abyss yet again. Pope was cut off trying to make the save, which then brought out Jeff Hardy, who was cleaning house as the show closed. Whew. The chaotic final scene was very reminiscent of the NWO vs. WCW brawls that closed many Nitros.

Overall, it was an entertaining but horribly paced effort that gave away far too much on the first night of the new head-to-head battle. Clearly, TNA is going to push the envelope with a product that is grittier, raunchier and more violent than WWE, with plenty of juice and hotshot angles. At this rate, the company will burn itself out if it continues to rush storylines like this, but it sure made for a damn interesting night.

More Monday night notes tomorrow.