Badseed's Bottomline #340
Smackdown and TNA
The Little Engines That Could
Hey yo! Forget Raw for a moment. This column is dedicated to the smaller brands and promotions; TNA and Smackdown. Say what you want about them, but both are worth watching and are programs with possibilities for the future.
I will start with TNA. This weekend, TNA celebrates their Wrestlemania with Bound for Glory. Boy did they stack this card and truly push the X-Division. The X-Division is the crown jewel of TNA with matches that steal the show no matter how big the names are involved.
TNA has a great formula; use established starts like Jeff Hardy, Sabu, Raven, Team 3D, Rhino, Billy Gunn, Konnan, Road Dogg, Jeff Jarrett, Kevin Nash and an assortment of other well known talent to get people tuning in and then trap them for life with matches from AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, Elix Skipper, AMW, Abyss, Monty Brown, Lance Hoyt, The Naturals, Sonjay Dutt and just about every athlete on this companyís roster who are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Those talents will be on full display this week on the PPV that is a must-see for anyone who calls themselves a wrestling fan. First, Jeff Jarrett vs. Kevin Nash Ė the match is not really that important, but Tito Ortiz adds a level of excitement to the match and the possibility of new stars being pushed in what should be an overbooked battle to take away from Jarrett and Nashís weaknesses. The wrestlers involved outside of the two stars are the reason to pay attention to this match. I hope Nash does not use his creative control to get a title victory, but if he does, his name recognition may get casual fans to sample the TNA show. Still, I think Jarrett has enough stroke to keep the title for now.
Abyss, Rhino, Jeff Hardy and Sabu will battle it out in a Monsterís Ball Match, whose gimmick of the wrestlers being locked in the dark, without food or water for a length of time before the battle, so stings of the old Memphis shows, but the brutality of the match should appeal to ECW fans. I think Rhino takes this battle. Hardy has sort of faded into the background, because he gets by on his popularity and doesnít need to win big matches. Abyssí mask keeps him from a real title reign. Sabuís injuries and no-shows in the past leave him as a liability in the title picture. Rhino vs. Monty Brown vs. Raven sounds like a promising feud over a shot at the title. All will hold claims to that shot when this PPV is over.
Ultimate X Match with Matt Bentley, Pete Williams and Chris Sabin is an interesting battle, but it is Bentley who shines in this match. Bentley is getting over with the crowd. He is coming into his own without HBK overshadowing him and because of that, Bentley will one day be the poster child for TNA. Sabin and Williams had many moments to shine when TNA first started putting on monthly pay-per-views, so it is Bentley, with the hot chick Tracey Brooks by his side and his strangely appealing Bentley Bounce, who deserves a chance to bask in the sun.
Samoa Joe vs. Jushin Thunder Liger will be an awesome exhibition. Samoa Joe is the type of wrestler who can battle anyone. I donít see this match as a clash of styles at all. I think this will bolster Joeís status in the company. He has to win this battle and hopefully, with the talent exchange between TNA and New Japan, Joe will have other great wrestlers to battle as part of a gimmick to make him the most feared wrestler around the globe. Who knows, if things go the way they have been going, Joe could catch fire and the dream match between Joe and Brock Lesnar could take place in 2010.
One dream match that needs to happen on PPV is Team 3D vs. Americaís Most Wanted; probably the two best pure tag-teams in wrestling today. The fans want this battle, so just do it. Also, I hope to see the reunion of the New Age Outlaws.
Finally, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels will steal the show completely. Their first 30-minute iron man match captivated the crowd and now, with the two going at it again, I almost hope for the a screw job ending just so they announce a 60-minute iron man match for the following show. If anyone could do it, it is these two wrestlers. Not many in the WWE could, but there are quite a few who could make it happen in TNA. That is what truly sets them apart from the competition.
On to Smackdown, I just love what is going on with the show. Juviís win of the cruiserweight title on a PPV excited me, because I think eventually, to compete with the X-Division, they are going to have to use more cruiserweights. In fact, the way Smackdown is headed, the show succeeds, because it is multi-faceted. It has many layers and it can cover them all.
The world title picture is very intriguing. You have Batista in some sort of strange alliance with Eddie Guerrero, which has surprised me as of late, considering that I thought Guerreroís true plans would have rose to the surface by now since Creative canít build up anything right. At the same time, you have Orton in the hunt and that is great when you remember his history with Batista. They are really doing a great job drawing interest to the world title.
The U.S. title is also getting major play with Booker T, Christian, Chris Benoit and Ken Kennedy all making the belt seem important in recent weeks. You canít go wrong by having these types of caliber stars fighting for a secondary title and especially when it seems Booker Tís only goal is to win that belt.
The tag-team division is off the hook on Smackdown. There are credible teams coming out of the woodwork, looking for a shot at the belts. It is amazing to see such attention given to the tag-team titles by the WWE. I am very happy to see a variety of teams making their presence felt. Hopefully, everyone saw Smackdown to see what I mean.
I already mentioned the cruiserweight division, which looks promising when you consider the type of talent being used. The women are also getting some play with Melina and Christy both making major arguments as to why they belong on Raw. Also, now we have the junior division and while they will probably serve as comic relief, they should be fun to watch in the ring, because many of them use the lucha style of wrestling. I donít care how big you are; if you can go, I want to watch.
Now, as of writing this, I havenít watched the Hardcore Holly vs. Sylvan match, but I heard it was reminiscent of the old hardcore battles during the Attitude era. Go for it. Have more of these matches. Give the fans some variety.
Right now, Smackdown is the place to get a little bit of everything. If developed right, Smackdown could be the TNA of the WWE. HAHA. Isnít that a weird way of looking at it. WWE being compared to TNA. That must piss the McMahons off. Ah, what are they going to do Ė Fire Me? Maybe they will kick me in my balls in slow motion and then claim it caused me to need colon cancer. Great way to liven up Raw. Oh well. Sucks to be them.
And thatís my cue to leave. Remember, killers move in silence and I am standing right behind you. Peace.
For feedback, visit our message board or e-mail the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more of Badseed's Bottomline check out our Archive!