Wednesday, January 6, 2010

RAW vs. Impact: The Show Down

So this could be the biggest night of the year from a free wrestling standpoint. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff are taking over TNA and Bret Hart is coming to RAW for the first time in 12 years. And they're all going head to head.

First lets look at RAW

RAW, THE GOOD:

Bret Hart book ending the show:
Opening with Bret and Shawn, which is one of the most surreal things I've seen since Bischoff, Heyman, and Vince were in the ring at the same time. It's bigger than that. The Montreal Screwjob is a huge milestone in my wrestling life. Bret was my hands down favorite wrestler in the world in 1997 and the Montreal Incident happened on my birthday. I never believed I'd see him inside the ring owned by Vince, let alone confronting Shawn on live TV. Him reconciling with Shawn was nice and they said some great things about each other. I don't know if this meant that much to the current WWE audience, but I don't really care. It meant something to me. The Vince stuff was pretty nice as they really are introducing Bret to a whole new audience as a very big deal. I don't know how good a program this can be if Bret is so limited in what he can do, but it's still pretty engaging TV.

Wrestling:
They actually had more wrestling than I expected. RAW usually isn't the home of long matches but we got a pretty good DX/Jerishow match, and a very strong Kofi/Orton match. Two good matches plus some un-offensive matches, sounds like a good free TV show to me.

RAW,THE BAD:

Funny People:
I don't like it when they try to be funny. Because they aren't.

Bret and what else:
I want to see how Bret retaliates to the nut-shot heard 'round the world. But what else is there to see? The Women's tournament isn't intriguing because I don't know or care about any of those women. Orton is officially done with Kofi, but I'm not really interested in his relationship with Rhodes and Dibiase. Legacy just hasn't struck me as a solid group or stable. Sheamus is kind of growing on me, but as a mid-card attraction who is running over people, not a World Champion. So what else is there to care about. Not much.

Now onto TNA

TNA, THE GOOD

The Main Event:
AJ Styles over Kurt Angle on the most viewed Impact ever, is absolutely the right decision and they worked well together. The match felt like it repeated itself a little too much near the end, but other than that, they provided something that were not going to see on RAW.

Bobby Lashley's Wife:
I love this gimmick. Bobby can be really unlikeable if he's played as a Bob Sapp Beast that is a special attraction that only wrestles on the big shows in between fights. Sometimes killing a guy, sometimes jobbing to a big name. And god his wife is a better talker than just about any one else on the show.

Women's Tag Match:

TNA should really debate scrapping the men all together.

TNA, THE BAD

Clutter:
It was cluttered before and now there's even more people, and not just wrestlers like Orlando Jordan, Jeff Hardy, and Shannon Moore, but non-wrestling characters. When Hogan came in, he should have cut the roster, and I'm hoping that he does make some cuts soon.

The Audience:
I hate the Impact Zone. Those crowds aren't "marks" or "smarks" they're "johns". And they don't care what you do as long as you fellate them through out the show. These people chanted an Anti-hogan chant a couple of PPVs ago. Hogan shows up and says "You so good, me love you long time," and they cheer and applaud. They interview these people about what they want, and they all say, I don't want to be treated like a kid, which is a dig at Vince and his PG-Product. But this program is for adults who never grew up. There's strip-poker in the back! OHHH boobies! I love not being treated like a kid. Grow the hell up.

Too Much to List:
I could go on and on about the production values and the weird Live gaffes vs. the pre-tapes stuff, but you've heard it all before. But really, this is the same show as the week before but with some bigger names and that's the problem. They had two good matches and a couple of clunkers. Which makes it pretty good from an average Impact wrestling view. Usually it's all clunkers and one god women's match. But even then, the wrestling felt rushed and some of it you couldn't follow what was going on because of the jumping around. The Wolfe vs. Pope match is a great example of how many ridiculous cuts they throw into a match. I had to turn away because it was hurting my eyes.

RAW vs. TNA: A Winner?
No there's no winner. RAW is still RAW, but with one interesting storyline, despite having several interesting wrestlers. TNA is still fooling themselves and running programs about old wrestlers vs. young wrestlers and people "earning their spot" Next weeks episode will be interesting to see if any of the people they got to tune in will tune in on Thursdays. Despite them not once mentioning that their regular time is Thursdays. 1/4/2010 in American Wrestling was pretty much a let down.

Hopefully it was better in Japan, which I'll be looking at next.

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