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Posts Tagged ‘TNA’

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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TNA paid $15,000 for this

October 15th, 2010 6 comments

In my opinion, wrestling works best when it blurs the lines of fantasy and reality–but not necessarily fantasy and reality TV. I suppose the appearance of JWoww on last night’s iMPACT is at the very least getting TNA some mainstream publicity, something the company desperately needs, especially coming off the heels of its big angle at Sunday’s PPV. Then again, World heavyweight champion David Arquette got WCW on the front page of USA Today and we all know how that turned out. Will it matter much in the long run? Of course not. TNA’s problems go far beyond merely getting noticed by the mainstream public.

While I believe time and money could be better spent on establishing a solid foundation of new, young talent and captivating storylines, TNA has instead over the years been focused on the quick fix, the hotshot angle to turn heads and get on Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, CNN or Sports Center, hence the signings of Johnny Fairplay and Jenna Morasca, the crowning of Pacman Jones as World tag champion, and the public offer to Rod Blagojevich to appear with the Main Event Mafia. I think that Dixie Carter & Co. believe they have a superior product to WWE but can’t compete because no one knows about them. All they need, they theorize, is the next Mike Tyson/DX/Stone Cold angle to make people aware there’s another major wrestling company out there that isn’t owned by Vince McMahon.

Supposedly, one of the reasons why Paul Heyman isn’t coming in was because he made it very clear that he would have to virtually start from scratch and slowly rebuild the TNA product over  a year to 18 months. I’ll bet Dixie didn’t like hearing that.

Becky Bayless is pretty good in the Cookie role, so the segment wasn’t as bad as I feared, but I felt a little bad for Mike Tenay having to react as if this was one of greatest moments in TNA history.

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Scott Hall is doing great

May 24th, 2010 1 comment

Hey, yo: Survey sez "One more for the good guys!"

If I were one half of TNA’s World tag-team champions, I’d probably drink, too. Scott Hall was partying like it was 1995 recently, which for Da Bad Guy only means trouble.

Reports the Orlando Sentinel:

Professional wrestler Scott Oliver Hall was arrested earlier this month on charges of disorderly intoxication and resisting an officer following an incident at a Seminole County bar, sheriff’s records show. Hall, 51, was at the Hitching Post Bar in Chuluota on May 14, when the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office was called in for a disturbance complaint about 1:43 a.m., an offense report shows. The deputy found a bartender standing in the door telling Hall to leave, but Hall was yelling and cursing at the bartender and other patrons there, according to the deputy’s account. The deputy also said Hall appeared intoxicated with slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. When the deputy advised Hall he was being placed in custody for disorderly intoxication, he tried to prepare him for the handcuffs, but Hall refused, the documentation states.
  
“Scott refused this directive, and instead, thrust out his chest, walking closer to me, stating, ‘I ain’t going down for this [expletive deleted],’ ” the report states. “This is [expletive deleted]. You know it’s [expletive deleted].” The report goes on to say that Hall continued to refuse, but the deputy managed to secure his left wrist with a handcuff and then pulled his right arm behind him. “Due to Scott’s inordinate size, 6’05″, 295 pounds, I utilized two sets of handcuffs in tandem,” the deputy noted in the report.
  
Let’s see: unruly pro wrestler, police, handcuffs, resisting arrest…almost sounds like a Vince Russo angle. The only thing missing is a black limo and/or Hummer.
 
Climbing the ladder: Years before their famous WrestleMania match, a young Hall and Michaels helped steal the show on this January night in Memphis in 1988.

Two of the people I respect most in wrestling, Jerry Jarrett and Dutch Mantell, have both told me that Hall’s story is one of the greatest wastes of talent in the history of the business. And frankly, given the numerous drug addicts and hopeless causes in wrestling, that’s saying a lot. Physically, the guy for years had the tools to have good bouts with most wrestlers and stellar matches working with the likes of Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels–in fact, the Ladder Match between the former Razor Ramon and the Heartbreak Kid at WrestleMania X is usually on the short list of the greatest bouts ever held on WWE’s biggest stage.

Personally, I have some fond memories of Razor and Michaels working together in Memphis, producing some of the best bouts in the territory in 1988 in a series of bouts at the Mid-South Coliseum with Hall and “Nightmare” Ken Wayne challenging the Midnight Rockers for the AWA World tag titles. In those ’80s bouts, Michaels was showcasing some of the heel persona and timing that would help establish him as a singles star in the early ’90s.

Others have said at one time Hall had a good mind for the business and could be pretty creative when asked for input. In fact, he’s widely credited with suggesting that Sting adopt the Crow-like persona that made him the most intriguing character in wrestling in late 1996 and throughout 1997.

Although a key factor in WCW’s resurgence in the mid-’90s when he and Kevin Nash jumped McMahon’s ship for greener pastures in Turnerland, Hall also represented everything that eventually doomed the company. Against better judgment, he was thrust into TNA’s spotlight in January as part of the not-NWO reunion, despite the fact that he looked haggard, incoherent and bloated. In the ring, he’s been sad to watch, a shell of his former self.

Instead of being fired, earlier this month Hall was awarded one half of TNA’s World tag straps, along with Nash, via a fluke win eerily reminiscent of the Big Sexy/Hogan WCW title finger-poke switch in Atlanta that is generally regarded as the beginning of the end for WCW. Ironically enough, when asked about his profession by police after the incident, Hall replied, “I’m unemployed.” (Shades of the Big Lebowski.)