Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
Welcome to In Your Head! Wrestling podcast, news and community!
The Flop is back!
My first column on In Your Head was on the run of Vince Russo when he was the head writer for WCW. The column highlighted Vince Russo?s downright embarrassing booking and terrible numbers that helped put the final nail in the WCW coffin. However the person who I called the Man, the Myth, and the Flop is back in professional Wrestling and doing what he does best. Vince Russo was rehired the week before TNA No Surrender to try and save the terrible TNA booking. Was this a smart move on TNA?s part? You be the judge.
Vince Russo was apart of TNA?s writing staff in the early days that was highlighted by a team that look like a giant penis called the Johnsons, a midget jerking off in a trash can, and a midget puppet firing a gun at one point. So to say his booking the first time was below average would be a true understatement. However Russo was rehired and placed into a booking committee of Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantel. So now he?s been in power for two months lets see how it has gone so far.
On Russo?s first day in power TNA did some incredibly stupid crap that was not needed and really hurt the PPV. First Petey Williams almost shit himself in a match after he was given a laxative. To make things better later in the night during the X-Division title match a blow up doll got involved in a match. Where these events Vince Russo?s idea maybe or maybe not but since both are right down the man?s ally I?d say so. Anyway that was his first night and anyone over the age of 8 with a brain ripped apart both events. Also Russo had LAX the TNA Tag Team Champions lose there titles to AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels in a move that pretty much pissed off everyone considering LAX was the most over thing on the show at the time.
Then let?s continue to the first couple of weeks as Russo built to there biggest PPV of the year Bound For Glory which had the arrival of Kurt Angle. Even though Kurt came onto the scene and fans where talking they booked him as a referee in there main event. Why you would do that with the biggest topic in wrestling at that point is a question that never got answered. Then they booked Samoa Joe to carry around a belt he did not own, and it was taken away from him in a segment between him and Angle where Jarrett simply walked down to the ring and grabbed it back after 4 weeks. Also Russo booked a Ladder match between Christian and Joe for a belt neither man owned! To make matters worst Samoa Joe was booked into a Monsters Ball Match that absolutely no one on the planet cared about.
Bound for Glory came and was a pretty well over PPV which I must admit I can?t rip Russo for. However the one big problem I had with the card was the X-Division Battle Royal which featured non X-Division wrestlers and a midget. However the show went off without a hitch. The Tag Titles went to the right team, the stale X-Division title was changed to a new champion, and the World Title was taken off of hated World Champion Jeff Jarrett. However the next couple of weeks would prove the pure stupidity of Vince Russo.
The first night after an acclaimed PPV how does TNA follow it up? They have a reverse 18 man battle royal, followed by a 7 man regular battle royal, and a singles match to figure out who gets a buy in the tournament. Keep in mind Samoa Joe nor Kurt Angle were in this match but Frankie Kazarian, Eric Young, and Jay Lethal were. Then Abyss gets a two round buy in the Fight for the Right Tournament and still couldn?t beat AJ Styles on his own after he wrestled just 40 minutes earlier in a Triple Threat match. The person who interfered was Christian who absolutely no reasons to get involved, oh wait Rhino chased him away which was pretty much the only reason he was out there. To make matters worst the winner of the tournament and number one contender to the TNA Title Abyss tapped out to Kurt Angle just two days before he got his title shot. Doing this made sure absolutely no one cared about the TNA Title just days later at Genesis.
The tournament marked yet another pitiful tournament booked under Vince Russo as he did his usual stupid crap throughout the tournament. One stupid move was to have the X-Division title change hands from Chris Sabin to AJ Styles just 2 weeks after Sabin won the belt from Senshi. Then just 2 weeks later Styles dropped the title to Christopher Daniels in a Triple Threat match with AJ Styles and Sabin. Of course being TNA, AJ Styles didn?t take the fall and Sabin lost. Also TNA Tag Team Champions LAX were placed in a feud with AMW because Gail Kim was beat up by them a week before Bound for Glory. Now keep in mind they had a chance at Bound for Glory to attack LAX and didn?t. However TNA was moving towards something bigger and that was Genesis where Kurt Angle was wrestling Samoa Joe.
Now first off Samoa Joe and Kurt Angle can be argued had terrible build up to this match but this match was a hopeful match of the year candidate. However being TNA they rushed the match and the feud making sure now matter what happen people were going to be pissed off. So Samoa Joe tapped out to Kurt Angle and you either loved it, or you hated it. In my personal opinion I think there was more hate then love for the move. For weeks everyone said that it was way too early for this match and it was proved at Genesis when you had Joe end his winning streak to absolutely zero build about his winning streak. Also the winning streak could have been a valuable tool for a future worker to get over but they gave it to a guy who didn?t need to win as he already was seen as a credible worker. So a feud that could have been very profitable has become just another feud that isn?t drawing.
Russo?s booking team didn?t just mess that feud up at Genesis as AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels got into an argument only to have Rhino come down and try and break them apart. Now Rhino who just got off a feud with Christian had absolutely no reason to get involved yet he is supposed to be the baby face when he?s sticking his nose in other people?s business? Then you have LAX stripped of there TNA Tag Team Titles because Jim Cornette didn?t like what they had to say. Now forget the fact that LAX defended the titles against a Tag Team who hasn?t won a match in months but they get stripped because of someone didn?t like what LAX had to say. Even the loyalist TNA fan called bullshit on this move; in fact the Impact Zone could be heard chanting bullshit at Jim Cornette during the segment.
However that wasn?t even the worst part of TNA Genesis, which was the way they handled there own TNA title. Sting wrestled Abyss just two days after Abyss tapped out to Kurt Angle in a match and lost his newly won TNA title. However not by pin, because that makes way to much sense for Vince Russo booking but he won the title by Disqualification. Why was Sting disqualified you ask? You see Sting pushed Abyss through a table and threw down the referee even though throughout the match weapons were used and no one called for the bell. So pretty much the guy who has been made to look like a completely idiot for the past 2 years is holding the world title because of luck. To say fans were upset by this would be a complete understatement again.
So two months have past now and what has Russo done? Let?s see he has booked the most ridiculous amount of gimmick matches in professional wrestling history. Perfect example is he booked a 4 corners match between Rhino and Christian where they climbed to get weapons to use in there next gimmick match of a Barbwire Cage Match. Keep in mind they were coming off a Street Fight from Bound for Glory. The 4 Corners match is officially the first match in wrestling history to have absolutely no way of winning it. However that isn?t the only feud as it seems TNA has become obsessed with the gimmick match which is a Vince Russo booking trait.
Russo has booked stupid gimmicks such as the Voodoo Kin Mafia which is the New Age Outlaws starting a war with the WWE?s Vince McMahon, Triple H, and Shawn Michaels. However they use there real names so anyone who doesn?t read the internet doesn?t have a clue who the hell they are whining about. Now the dumbest part of the storyline is just two weeks prior to there debut the Voodoo Kin Mafia came out on TV and trashed TNA and Spike TV so now there on Spike TV trashing TNA?s competition. Yeah this angle as always smells of logic especially when you have a tag team who hasn?t been a big deal in years claiming to be bigger then DX. Now it?s a common knowledge on the In Your head Board I?m not a fan of DX and a fan of the James Gang but even I call bullshit on that one. However it gets worst as Russo has booked a man wrestling in a turkey suit, Robert Roode has been made to look like a loser, Petey Williams as a American Patriot even though he has been anti USA since he debuted, and many other stupid and dumb angles.
Now from a business standpoint it?s still too early to know how much of an affect he has on the shows. However the Bound for Glory early buyrate is around 50,000 which would make it the 2nd biggest buyrate in TNA history. Bound for Glory?s buyrate might go up but when it comes down to it that?s there biggest show of the year and I personally don?t think it?s a good buyrate. Then you move to the attendance for the show which was 3,475 according to gerweck.net but that arena had around 4,000 seats and the tickets were on sale for months and this was still after Kurt Angle was announced to have join TNA. So to say that isn?t a disappointment would be just blindness from any fan. Then the TV Ratings since Russo?s debut, that at one point after dropped below a .8 to around .78 which is not good. The run as a whole has averaged a .82 but this is including the 2 hour prime time show. That show drew a 1.04 which even TNA officials thought they get at least a 1.2 or 1.3 in the ratings.
So two months in office and I must again say, Vince Russo is once again hammering a nail into another wrestling company?s coffin. Now to say this is all his fault would be wrong since both Mantel and Jarrett are apart of the committee but Russo is the head. All 3 men have put together terrible shows and booked crap. Also TNA is starting a disturbing trend of pushing ex WWE stars and holding back there own produced talent. So will TNA realize these 3 men are booking TNA into the ground? Or will they be like WCW was and allow them to put the nail into there own coffin? Only time will tell but if TNA knows what?s good for them they will bring in fresh new blood to book for the company. Wrestling in general needs fresh new blood but more importantly TNA does.
That?s all for this time keep reading and give me some feedback.
Jason ?Xtremefalls? Simmons
Other columns by Jason "Xtremefalls" Simmons can also be read at http://www.obsessedwithwrestling.com . You can also interact with Xtremefalls and the rest of the IYH fans and hosts at IYH message board.
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