The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up #10 – TNA & ROH
For Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, the X-Division title was on the line, and with Destination X being an Impact Special, somebody could still trade it in for a title shot! Also, Velvet Sky finally got her title rematch, the Gut Check Challenge was back, and the Bound for Glory Series continued. As for Ring of Honor, they gave us a special about the two men in their Best in the World 2013 main event, the Briscoe Brothers. Hold on to your hats, it’s the first half of the
The Weekly Wrestling Wrap-Up is not a full-on wrestling news article. Instead, there will only be a summary and analysis of the stories that each nationally televised wrestling company in the US presents in their weekly broadcasts. Due to the availability of some broadcasts, the summaries will be of what a company posts on the internet for the fans. Matches will be taken in to account only as much as they further the stories, and therefore will only be analyzed in full detail for pay-per-view events.
X-Division/Bully Ray IS ANGRY: They did a re-play of the Ultimate X match at Slammiversary. They also had his post-match interview. However, Aces and Eights ambushed him backstage. D.O.C. and Anderson held on to him as Bully Ray told him to win his belt, and to do the right thing. The right thing was to not cash in the shot at the World Heavyweight title. Bully Ray demeaned the X-Division, then said he was the World Heavyweight champion, and a bad person. He then told Sabin that he didn’t want any part of that bad person. He also repeatedly threatened Sabin’s knees. The match itself was a rematch of the Slammiversary match, sans the Ultimate X stipulation. The match itself became a lot of miniature one-on-one contests, with one man down and the other two competing. However, there were a few instances where a competitor attacked both opponents. Sabin did that far more often than the challengers for the belt. Sabin almost got the victory, but Suicide interrupted, and then stole the victory by reversing Kenny King’s finisher and holding the ropes in the roll-up. Hulk Hogan then came out, with TJ Perkins looking beat up and hurt. Hogan revealed that TJ was the real Suicide, and that his costume had been stolen. Hogan demanded that he unmask, but the fake Suicide ran away with the belt.
Bully Ray came up to TJ in the locker room, and asked TJ who attacked him. Ray was a little concerned, but forced TJ to wait until he dismissed him before letting him go. Hogan interviewed the referee for the X-Division match, but he said that it seemed like Suicide out there. Hogan told the official to find Suicide and let him know that if he didn’t unmask, he was losing his title. Bully Ray threatened the rest of the X-Division, demanding to know who Suicide is, but nobody there had any clue. At the end of the show, Hulk Hogan demanded that the latest Suicide come out to the ring. Hogan recalled his history. He noted that he had managed to turn opportunities in to gold. He then said that that was the point of the X-Division title. Suicide decided to refuse to remove the mask. That brought out Bully Ray, who said he was on the same page as Hulk Hogan. He demanded that the man in the Suicide outfit take off his mask. Bully Ray claimed that the man in the Suicide outfit only won because he made Chris Sabin afraid. He then used the same speech, but added that Suicide should leave. Hogan demanded that Suicide remove the hood.
The man in the Suicide mask actually gave a Suicide-like speech. He said that he was in darkness, and came from death. He said that in life, there were choices – the easy thing, or the right thing. He said that Bully always asked people if fans knew who Bully was. But Suicide asked if Bully knew who he was. He said he was the man who beat Bully once before. He said he was the man that started Option C. He took off the mask, revealing that the man under the mask was Austin Aries. Aries then said he was going to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
My Thoughts: Well, I’m sure that the Bad Influence and Kiyoshi appreciate having their hard work credited to a man who has been Suicide for all of a month. At least Midway isn’t around anymore to complain about a character they made and modeled after certain wrestlers having an unknown behind the reveal. Bully Ray actually trying to prevent any challengers from stepping up before Bound for Glory is definitely interesting. I doubt that Ray is going to lose the belt at the Destination X event, but with Austin Aries as the man who unseated the longest-reigning TNA champion ever, it definitely adds drama. Also, it totally justifies Bully’s fear of somebody with the X-Division title cashing in on the belt. The one major question I have is that if this was the plan for Aries, why didn’t they have him lose in the Bound for Glory qualifier? I don’t think he’s eligible for the tournament anymore, now that he already has a guaranteed title shot.
The BFG Series: The first BFG match put Bobby Roode against Magnus. The announcers noted that Roode needed the win in order to get on the board, as well as the fact that Magnus was on top of the boards at the start of the match. As for the competition itself, both men had an even amount of offense, but Roode wrestled a much dirtier match. That included a sling shot throat-first up in to the middle rope and a triceps shot to Magnus’ head with Magnus lying on the apron. The two eventually got to clobbering (as Dusty Rhodes would put it), which allowed Magnus to make a big comeback. Magnus fought out of Roode’s finisher to get the win. Samoa Joe took on Mister Anderson, and Anderson was, as expected, heavily underhanded due to being a member of Aces and Eights. He actually seemed to be trying for a submission. Just as Samoa Joe began to look ready to take control, the Dead Man’s Hand (just D.O.C. and Knus) came to try and distract Joe. Anderson almost stole the win, but Sting and Angle ambushed Aces and Eights, chasing them off. Joe eventually locked in the rear naked choke, forcing the submission.
QUICK SCORING BREAKDOWN FOR THE BFG SERIES
Submission – 10 Points
Pinfall – 7 Points
Count Out – 5 points
Disqualification Win – 2 Points
Draw (Time Limit or otherwise) – 2 Points
Disqualification Loss – negative 10 Points
BFG Series Standings after Week 2
1. Magnus – 17
2. Samoa Joe – 12
5. (TIE) Jeff Hardy – 7
5. (TIE) Christopher Daniels – 7
5. (TIE) Mr. Anderson – 7
5. (TIE) Austin Aries – 7
7. AJ Styles – 2
12. (TIE) Bobby Roode – 0
12. (TIE) Joseph Park – 0
12. (TIE) Jay Bradley – 0
12. (TIE) Hernandez – 0
12. (TIE) Frankie Kazarian – 0
My Thoughts: I’m going to assume that house shows are also going to have tournament matches. Otherwise, this tournament is going to be fairly lop-sided, especially if we’re only going to have two matches a week on television. However, Magnus maintaining his lead is an interesting development. If he winds up being the winner (doubtful, given that all signs from the past year point to AJ getting the victory eventually), it will definitely be one of the better outcomes, since he’s actually got a decent reason for wanting to unseat Aces and Eights. As for Joe, his recent rehabilitation continues.
The Main Event Mafia Grows: Sting opened the show, coming out to the MEM theme music. He basically told Bully, “I told you so.” He then brought out Kurt Angle. Kurt said that the fans were looking at two originals from the Main Event Mafia, noting their notorious past. He said that Aces and Eights were a lot like Main Event Mafia, except that they were far more violent and vicious. He notes that the Dead Man’s Hand cost both men something. He then said that real family sticks together. He then espoused that their only goals were to eliminate Aces and Eights, and to make sure that Bully Ray loses the World championship. He then said that they would reveal the newest member. Sting and Angle were shown later, walking backstage, as Sting said they were going to do better this time. They actually walked past Bobby Roode, who had a smug grin on his face. Later on, Sting and Angle noted that besides them, Suicide was the biggest story of the show, and discussed whether to find Suicide. Following the way that they saved Joe, Samoa Joe displayed his membership in the Main Event Mafia.
My Thoughts: One should note that both men were wearing black suits, and almost looked like a comic book version of the Cosa Nostra. Being a couple of guys walking backstage was definitely a weird schtick for the two to do, but once they saved Joe in his match, it became clear that they were just killing time. In retrospect, their comment about Suicide was a little tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of who was really under the mask. The fact that they only recruit former World Heavyweight champions left the field a little limited, but Joe is the right call here, given their stated mission.
The Knockouts: Velvet Sky finally got her rematch against Mickie James for the Knockouts championship. Mickie was on the microphone. She tried to say that Velvet had changed since Mickie won the belt, instead of the other way around. She even gave Velvet a last chance to back out, because apparently she didn’t want to see Velvet get hurt. She called Velvet a three-dollar pack mule, and told her to walk away, which led to Velvet bum rushing her. Velvet then began beating Mickie pillar to post. Mickie eventually powdered out, and when she came back in, Mickie targeted Velvet’s bad leg. However, it didn’t seem to be as much of a detriment as it previously was. Mickie went out again, and even though Velvet dominated outside of the ring, Mickie almost stole the match. Eventually, after multiple times where Velvet could have won, Mickie locked in a death lock STF for the submission victory. Velvet gave a tearful post-match interview, stating that she was heartbroken over her loss.
My Thoughts: How many times can we really have women crying over title losses? It’s just becoming old. I want a woman who is angry about losing a belt, and a rematch, and goes to destroy her opponent no matter what. Now I can’t help but wonder who’s going to go after Mickie.
Gut Check Challenge: Adam Ohriner (THE BIG O) was preparing to wrestle in his challenge. He gave an interview about his challenge. He noted that he got a tryout in February, so he felt gratified that he got the chance. He noted that The Big O and Adam overlap a little bit, but the major difference was that in the ring, he was going to clear house and get the win. Ryan Howe talked about being a musician. He said he played twenty-seven instruments. He said music was how he got into wrestling, as he played a show, and people asked him what he thought of wrestling. He said that he had an addiction to entertainment. He talked about what he would need to do to win Gut Check. To start the Gut Check challenge, Borash introduced Ryan Howe, who came out to do a guitar solo. Ohriner just had a regular entrance. The two had a match where Howe really out-maneuvered Ohriner. However, Ohriner managed to win off a power slam out of nowhere.
My Thoughts: I watched every episode of Z! True Long Island Story up until it came out that the WWE had nixed a great episode that Ryder had made. As such, I am already aware of who The Big O is, including his catch phrases and his in-ring style. I’m glad he’s getting a shot, although I doubt he would have gotten one if he wasn’t a friend of Zack Ryder. It’s a little weird to know his real name. As for Ryan Howe, Tazz put it best – Van Hammer 2.0. It wasn’t incredible by any means, and the guitar playing was a little too gimmicky. A friend pointed out to me that the guy is “Skidmarks” from the most recent Tough Enough competition. The match itself didn’t make me excited to see either man win Gut Check. Honestly, it’s not like any of the other competitors have made much of a difference to the show either way. Jay Bradley has a chance because of the Bound for Glory Series, but that’s about it.
Tag Teams: James Storm and Gunner were out, and Storm gave a somewhat generic speech. That brought out Robbie E and Jesse Godderz, accompanied by Tara. Robbie said that if they think that the champions are tough, he’s looking at the toughest guys in the locker room. Robbie used a mixed metaphor to try and chastise Storm for not choosing him as his partner. Robbie said that he and Jesse were the Bro Mans. Everybody else heard Bromance. James Storm even heard it twice. Godderz clarified again, and used Tara as an object lesson. Storm called Tara butter face, leading Jesse to try and sucker punch Storm. Gunner stopped that with a KO punch, causing Robbie and Tara to bail, pulling Godderz with them.
My Thoughts: Can you say filler? This is what happens when you put members of the best tag teams in the company in to a tournament revolving around another belt. Nobody in the ring is likable, meaning that this is a story that was the restroom break instead of the ladies. James Storm is not a good person, and the Bro Mans (something something Homestar Runner) are just plain annoying. Part of me wants Chavo to team up with somebody to win the belts back.
NOTE: This episode technically aired before Best in the World. It was a special edition episode specifically focused on a single subject. Well, technically, it was about two brothers. Still, you kind of get the gist. It promoted this year’s Best in the World Pay-Per-View, Ring of Honor’s history (the Briscoes are the only remaining ROH originals in the company), the company’s DVD backlog, and the compilation DVD Raised in Sandy Fork: The Life and Times of The Briscoes, of which this episode was basically an airing.
The Briscoes: The show started with a promo video of the two brothers in and out of the ring. Many of the shots were of mark with his toothless smile. After the opening video, they had film on their chicken farm. There were some odd family dynamics, with their dad not understanding anything about their wrestling careers. They talked about being on a chicken farm. Mark actually planned to drive from the ranch to the Pay-Per-View in a busted-out Dodge Ram, but wound up using the RV. After the opener, and some promotion for the pay-per-view, the two talked about the location of their farm. They even got in to what they did when they were home.
They eventually got in to talking about their fandom, specifically for WWF and ECW. The two boys wound up using a trampoline to start, and eventually they built a ring and did back yard wrestling. A lot of times, they did some really crazy stuff. They did decide to actually train professionally in Wilmington, Delaware. Mark’s first match was against Jay, in Ring of Honor. Both men considered it as historic. They actually showed some footage of the end of that match, showing both men wearing customized high-school style singlets. Mark was the one to win, extending Jay’s losing streak at the time. Jay said he couldn’t remember things.
Mark shared the story of losing his teeth. Jay said the craziest story between the two was that the two were in a street fight. They were in an independent show, and Jay got fired up. Jay raised the chair behind him, clocking Mark in the mouth. Mark didn’t even quite realize that he’d lost his teeth, and Jay just clocked the guy he really meant to hit. Mark wound up winning them the match, and subsequently scared the crap out of Jay. Jay was shocked when Mark showed he lost his teeth. Mark, however, knew that at some point, he was going to lose some teeth, akin to Mick Foley or Chris Benoit, so it wasn’t that big of a shock.
After that, they talked about how they won the Ring of Honor tag team titles. Jim Cornette was their manager at the time, and Jay and Mark were still wearing the singlets, but they matched in this match. Both men said that they breezed through their match against Special K. Dixie and Izzy are guys that modern fans would not recognize, but they apparently were part of a fairly big faction. Both men were shown to be extremely agile, matching up against their opponents fairly well. There were a lot of high spots during the match. The Briscoes pulled out numerous classic tag team moves, including the Doomsday Device. Jay noted that eight title reigns later, the Briscoes are synonymous with the ROH Tag Team titles.
They recapped their gigantic rivalry against El Generico and Kevin Steen. They noted how extreme their feud was, especially the final match. The Ladder War match was a ladder match, but with far more ladders available, and only one ladder big enough to reach the belts. Mark Briscoe ate a package piledriver through a ladder, but it also took out Steen. Generico looked like he was going to win, but Jay set up a ladder and planted Generico through it with the Jay Driller. Jay and Steen wound up pummeling one another on top of the ladder, and Steen eventually fell off. Jay struggled to get the titles off the hook, almost allowing Steen to come back, but Jay claimed the titles.
The next segment had the Briscoes at Ring of Honor Final Battle 2011, without any preamble. They had the announcer talking about the Briscoes as they made their entrance, and then cut to their opponents, Wrestling’s Greatest Tag Team (yes, Shelton Benjamin and Charlie Haas were in Ring of Honor) about to give Jay a Doomsday Device. Mark saved Jay by smacking one of their opponents with a broken table piece. That allowed the men to hit the Doomsday Device themselves, winning the titles yet again.
They talked about how the Briscoes’ father got himself involved in the company. He was actually in decent shape at the time, and explained why he did things. Jay and Mark helped him train, to the point that he was a focal point of their rivalry with Shane Hagadorn and the Kings of Wrestling. They even showed the match where Papa Mike stole a kiss from Sara Del Rey because Sara interfered. Mike actually showed quite a bit of skill for being inexperienced, even hitting the clothesline part of the Doomsday Device for the win.
Jay talked about how family is important. Jay and Mark apologized to their mother about driving her crazy. They had some home video showing Jay’s son in the ring, even having fun with Papa Mike and Jay. Mark was shown in the chicken house. He noted that if you ever had the opportunity to work a job with a lot of animal crap, you should take it, because it’s humbling. That’s a good thing, because pride goes before a fall. As an interesting segue, they went to Jay’s match against Kevin Steen, with Veda Scott (at that time just an interviewer) getting involved. This led to the Ring of Honor locker room emptying out around the ring. They eventually chased off SCUM, except for Matt Hardy, who came to help Steen. But Steen attacked Hardy, which cost him the title. Steen shook hands with Jay to end the match.
After that, we saw the build in to Best in the World, which, if you’ve been reading the column, doesn’t need recapping.
My Thoughts: Hearing the commentary on the videos in the matches really emphasized that Kevin Kelly is a huge upgrade. There were errors in the announcing that Kelly rarely makes – if ever. The technical difficulty at the end of the ladder war match really makes me realize just how much Ring of Honor has improved in production quality. It also makes me wonder whether or not the WWE is ever going to grab the Briscoes, given that both men are clearly talented, but may be outside of the age requirements that the WWE is apparently using. Speaking of the WWE, the Briscoes really just went after some taboo bits that probably didn’t endear themselves to Vince and Co. Dropping the Rabid Wolverine’s name in the same breath with Mick Foley, and using the phrases “WWF” and “World Wrestling Federation”, are fairly big no-no’s in Stamford. Other than that, though, this was a well-produced video that really made both competitors in the ROH World Championship match likable.
I had to constantly reload the page in order to watch this week’s video, which is relatively new for me. It was probably due to people trying to watch Best in the World because they couldn’t get it live. Well, either that, or Best in the World broke their streaming video servers, and they still haven’t figured out how to fix them. This is one of the times where not putting an episode online until the Thursday after it airs is definitely to the promotion’s detriment. Sure, it may get people to pay that extra $5 a month to watch it as it airs, and to be able to access the entire ROH TV archive, but at the same time, when you do a show specifically to promote a pay-per-view, it doesn’t work too well to those that are only inclined to pay for things they can only watch if they pay for them.
Well, that’s it for this half of the Wrap-Up. Have anything you’d like to add? Feel free to comment below! Also, check out the WWE portion of the Wrap-Up HERE →.