Apparently neither Dixie nor Jeff Hardy have shown up yet. That's good work ethic there. Obviously the purpose of this is to make everyone think Jeff is turning heel, but at this point everyone knows how TNA swerves work and we know that if they do everything in their power to try to convince us of A, then obviously B will happen.
MAGNUS PROMO- he puts over the USA, says that he loves wrestling, and that for him, pride, dignity, and respect are more important than money. Then he puts Jeff over... but then says that maybe Jeff is greedy and likes money. His evidence for this? That Jeff accepted an invitation to have drinks with his boss. What a terrible person Jeff is! he then tells everyone "don't let Jeff Hardy fool you."
Jeff comes out and points out how stupid this is. Magnus points out that Jeff has turned heel and sided with the heel authority before. Jeff says he is a changed man now, but Magnus doesn't believe him.
Magnus asked Jeff what his fans would think of him if he turned heel again. The crowd then broke out into a loud chant "WE DON'T CARE!" That made me laugh.
Jeff tells Magnus to mind his own business and storms off. At this point they might as well just run a black screen with the words "Oh no! It looks like Jeff Hardy is going to turn heel!" in big neon green letters on the screen. The effect would be the same... and as I said before, everyone already knows that doing that is tantamount to saying "okay guys. Magnus is really the one turning heel." If the swerve isn't going to fool anyone and it serves no artistic purpose, why do it?
KURT ANGLE PROMO- Kurt says that tonight he will show the world that he still has it. Was anyone actually questioning this?
JB INTERVIEWS CHAVO- did its job getting across the possibilities tonight for the Feast or Fired briefcase openings.
I really didn’t like the placement of this, though. Why do Kurt’s entrance and a video package for Angle vs. Roode before the commercial then come back from commercial with this segment and cut out Roode’s entrance? Why not do this and the video package before the commercial, then come back and show us both entrances like normal. This is the sort of thing that makes it clear how taped the show is, and if you are pretending to be live, you need to do your best to make it seem live.
2 OUT OF 3 FALLS MATCH: Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode- 6.5/10
I know that it was after a low blow, but I thought it still came too early into the match (less than five minutes!) for a real pin. A roll-up would have been better. Mike Tenay did seem to care at all about this blatant cheating.
The second fall also came WAY too quickly. Two falls in ten minutes? Their previous two matches both lasted longer than this, and they were both one-fall to a finish.
The third fall was pretty good (aside from the finish, which I’ll get to in a minute), but the total match time was still under fifteen minutes. Mike Tenay kept emphasizing to us throughout the night that this was a “pay-per-view quality event,” but nowhere was it more apparent than here that not being a PPV hurt this show. This match should have gotten nothing less than twenty-five minutes, but because they had two hours of TV instead of three hours of PPV, they got less than fifteen.
The finish was one of those dumb finishes where the heel grabs the rope “for extra leverage” but does so in a way that not only does not provide him any extra leverage, but actually makes it easier for the opponent to kick out because he is no longer holding him down with that hand. It’s physics, guys. Not magic. You don’t suddenly get super-pinning powers because you are touching the ring ropes.
Tenay also no-sold this bit of cheating, too. Taz only pointed it out in a later video package, but said that it really wasn’t important because he was trying to put over Angle’s facial reaction to losing.
JB INTERVIEWS STORM AND GUNNER- bad
Gunner says Storm would have done the same thing to him. Storm tells him “we’ll see if your little gamble paid off,” to which Gunner responds “what’s that supposed to mean?”
If Gunner an idiot? Does he just not understand the rules of Feast or Fired? What else could James Storm’s statement possibly mean?
Storm then explains to him that he might be fired, and Gunner responds by saying that he might get a world title match, too. So apparently he does understand how Feast or Fired works, meaning that he is just an idiot.
THE CAMERAMAN INTERVIEWS KURT ANGLE- bad
He asks Kurt “what happened out there?” Did you not watch the match? Bobby Roode cheated!
Kurt said that Roode didn’t out-wrestle him, but he did out-smart him. So why is he so upset? He knows Roode didn’t beat him fair and square, so this doesn’t prove anything! Kurt should be pissed off that Roode cheated! Instead he justifies it by being disappointed that Roode “outsmarted” him. He also claims to have never been outsmarted before, which is a blatant lie. Heel goofball Kurt Angle has been outsmarted plenty of times in TNA. Kurt says he doesn’t know what is next for him, and he is going to go home and think it over, essentially teasing a retirement.
This was SO F*CKING STUPID! If you want to do this angle, Roode needs to win CLEANLY so that Kurt has a legitimate reason to think that he can’t beat Roode. If Roode cheats, Kurt should be PISSED and should want revenge. Instead they are having Kurt JUSTIFY ROODE’S CHEATING!
JB INTERVIEWS EC III- he implies that if he should be fired, it won’t matter because Dixie will just rehire him. The cameraman then spies on him calling Dixie, worried about the fact that he might be fired. She says there isn’t anything she can do. What was the point of this? We already know how Feast or Fired works. All this did was waste time.
ERIC YOUNG TELLS US THAT HE HAS SOME GIFTS FOR JOSEPH PARK- hang me now.
Taz puts over the chance of EC III being fired. Then Tenay makes the worst segue ever, saying “you know, Taz? I wish you were more like Eric Young. He’s in the Christmas spirit! Do you remember what happened last week?”
Then they showed a video package of the recent events of the EY & Jospeh vs. Bad Influence feud, none of which had anything to do with Christmas. And you have to love how Tenay criticizes Taz for worrying that someone might lose their job. Yeah. What a scrooge Taz is, showing compassion for his fellow man.
EY & JOSEPH SEGMENT- bad.
EY says that Joseph is Abyss. Joseph insists that he isn’t. EY then says that he is because every time he bleeds, Abyss comes out. EY, being Joseph’s friend, has gotten Joseph booked in a handicap Monster’s Ball match. Some friend he is.
EY has gotten Joseph come Christmas presents: A steel chair, a bag of thumbtacks, and some barbed wire. Joseph doesn’t want the presents. EY says he has one more for him: It’s Janice (that 2x4 with the nails hammered through it that Abyss carried back in the second half of 2010. Joseph sees Janice, and for some reason this changes his mind and decides to accept the fact that he is Abyss (or something)
Seeing Janice again got me thinking, and this whole angle actually raises some major moral questions here:
If we are assuming that Abyss and Joseph are the same person (and that is almost certainly where the angle is going), then we must ask “is it right for EY to try to bring the Abyss personality back out as the dominant one again?”
Is the Abyss personality was the original one? It is certainly the one we are most familiar with, but the previous existence of the law offices of Park Park and Park seems to indicate that this might not actually be true. And if it is, does the “original” personality automatically before the default "right" one for this man to be?
EY’s goal in this seems to be to help his friend Joseph become a good professional wrestler and to help him stand up to bullies like Bad Influence. Noble goals, but considering the particular case in point, is it morally right for EY to be doing this.
The personality that EY wants to bring out has been responsible for, among other things, kidnapping fans, torturing people, and basically skinning Rob Van Dam alive. He done horrible extreme things to people, even outside of the confines of wrestling matches, and he was the one to strike first and do terrible things in most of his feuds.
Throughout the years, various therapies have been tried in order to make the Abyss personality less violent, but none of them have worked. This Joseph Park personality shows the potential to be a good enough wrestler, but a much less violent and dangerous one. In essence, what EY is trying to do is turn a mostly regular guy into a full-time deranged, psychotic danger to society. Is this really morally right?
And, of course, Joseph doesn’t seem to want to become Abyss (as indicated by his FANTASTIC performance here). At least until the end of this segment.
JEFF HARDY & SAMOA JOE BACKSTAGE- bad
Joe shows up and says that he understands that it is appealing to take a shortcut to the title, but he never thought that Jeff Hardy would be someone who would do that. I guess Joe hasn’t been watching the show or he would have heard Magnus and Tenay both bring up Jeff Hardy’s heel turn at Bound For Glory 2010 where he did just that.
Jeff says that no one is getting an explanation of his actions. Once again they are pushing this so hard that everyone knows it is going to be swerve.
FEAST OR FIRED BRIEFCASE OPENINGS- decent at first, then Sting showed up and it fell off a cliff.
Zema Ion is getting an X-Division Title match
Just to stir the pot, JB asks Gunner if he will pick Storm to be his partner if he gets a tag title shot. Gunner says that he would. Gunner gets a TNA World Heavyweight Title match. He is happy. Storm looks angry.
Chavo says that whatever is in this briefcase, it won’t change the fact that he is still a Guerrero. In other words “It really doesn’t matter if I get fired because I will be able to get work somewhere else because people I’m related to were talented.”
EC III guarantees that he will never be fired because he is a Carter. Sting shows up to put over the fact that EC III might get fired because of him. He says “the word ‘legacy' in the same sentence with EC III makes me nauseous. What makes me nauseous is what you’re doing to this place!”
Sting was so over the top here it just killed everything.
Then he turned to Chavo of all people and asked “did anyone ever hand you anything in this business?” Chavo responds “No way! No way! In fact, Guerreros, we have had to work twice as hard!” Yeah. He can’t even resist reminding everyone that he is related to Eddie and Gory IN THE SAME SENTENCE THAT HE CLAIMS NO ONE HAS EVER HANDED HIM ANYTHING IN THE WRESTLING BUSINESS!
Sting then started to overact again. “You want to talk about legacy?” he asks Dixie. (She didn’t. Sting was the one who brought the word up). He says that it makes him sick to think that someone with the Guerrero legacy might get fired. Well why does that make you sick, Stinger? What if said Guerrero happens to not be good enough to justify employing? Should that person still be entitled to a job just because of who they are related to?
He then says that he likes the fact that EC III might get fired… but, for some reason, he offers EC III a way out. He offers to take the fate of whatever is in EC III’s briefcase. WHY?! If he wants EC III to get fired, let him keep the case. If he doesn’t want EC III to get a tag team title shot, just INTERFERE IN HIS MATCH. Or maybe EC III will win his tag title shot fairly and be proven deserving, which is what Sting wants, isn’t it?
Oh. Here’s why. Sting will only take EC III’s briefcase if EC III agrees to fight him. If Sting wants to fight EC III so bad, just attack him or something! You are face to face right now! Just start throwing punches!
EC III then stands up and says “this is The Icon, Sting, challenging me to do something great again.” “GREAT?!” You call THIS “great?!” That explains so much! Every time Dixie Carter has talked about how “great” TNA is, she has just been applying her family’s pathetically low standards.
So they opened the briefcases… EC III got the tag title shot and Chavo got fired. Sting goes over to Chavo and says “You are a Guerrero. This isn’t the end.” In other words “don’t worry. You name will open tons of doors for you.”
Then he goes over to EC III and Dixie and shouts “BUT IT IS THE BEGINNING OF THE END FOR BOTH OF YOU!” Why? Because Chavo got fired fair and square? Then, for the coup de grace, he tells Dixie “you disgust me.” Then he turns to EC III and says “and I don’t have any words for you.”
Really, Sting? No words at all? Yeah. I guess that’s what tends to happen when you want to complain about someone who WON SOMETHING FAIR AND SQUARE!”
Between the overacting, Sting’s terrible, hypocritical, idiotic dialogue, and the goofy, dramatic music that is somehow on a live show, this segment just sucked. Who the hell thought this was a good idea?
MAGNUS BACKSTAGE- he says that Jeff doesn’t want to answer any questions, but says that his focus is on the title. He finishes the segment off by saying “I am going to win the world heavyweight title, and when I do, all questions will be answered.”
You know what? Why not just have Magnus walk out to the ring and announce “Attention everyone! I am turning heel in tonight’s main event. Thank you?”
ODB & MADISON RAYNE vs. GAIL KIM & LEI’D TAPA- 3/10
Madison as a redhead will take some time to get used to. I thought Tapa was attacking Christy Hemme at the beginning of this match.
On commentary, Tenay bitched and whined that Taz wouldn’t invite him over to watch kickboxing with him. Meanwhile, there is a wrestling match going on in the ring.
A short but effective match. Madison pins Gail via backslide. The spot with ODB doing stuff that would knock a normal person off of the apron but it wasn’t enough to knock Tapa off was good.
JEFF HARDY & STING BACKSTAGE- bad!
Sting tells Jeff that he doesn’t owe Magnus or Joe and explanation, but he does owe an explanation to his family and his fans. If you’ll remember back to the opening segment, the fans clearly expressed that they won’t care if Jeff turns heel. They will still like him. So this segment amounted to Sting tell Jeff to call his wife and call Matt (two people who aren’t characters on the show and thus don’t serve any purpose here) why he had some drinks with his boss last week.
DIXIE AND ROCKSTAR SPUD AT DIXIE’S HOUSE FROM 24/7- yeah. Apparently Dixie booked this tournament… and a match whose rules require you to hang a title belt on something… without having a physical title belt. She then commissions Rockstar Spud to find someone to make them one. Was this really something we needed to see on TV? Isn’t the point of this whole 24/7 thing so that they can do story-enhancing but ultimately unimportant things like this WITHOUT wasting TV time on them?
VIDEO PACKAGE FOR THE WORLD TITLE TOURNAMENT- of course the real focus of this video package is on the fact that Jeff accepted Dixie’s offer for drinks last week.
JEFF HARDY PROMO- mostly good. He vows not to repeat the mistakes of his past. He says that the last time he took a shortcut to being world champion it ended badly at Victory Road 2011 (right. Because siding with Immortal was the beginning of Jeff’s drug problems). Aside from that bit, though, this was an awesome promo about how he is being independent.
He then says that he turned down an offer from Dixie last week. Well why the hell didn’t you just say so at the beginning of the f*cking show?!
Jeff vows to be like AJ Styles and represent TNA the way it should be represented.
Dixie Carter comes out and says that Jeff and his family owe everything to her. Dixie says that she was there for Jeff when the fans abandoned him. She then tells Jeff to do what is best for the company, and if he doesn’t she will fire him?
DIXIELAND MATCH FOR THE VACANT TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Magnus vs. Jeff Hardy- 7/10
To win this match you first had to escape a cage, then climb a ladder on the stage and retrieve the title belt. They did some stuff in the cage, then both climbed out at the same time. EC III tried to stop Magnus from climbing down and fought with Magnus. Jeff saw this and went after EC III.
When Jeff got to the top of the ramp, Dixie tried to block his way to the ladder, telling him that he would win the match “over my dead body.” Jeff yelled at her and she ran off.
Jeff then started to climb the ladder… and half way up, he decided to stop and take his shirt off, because showing off his pecs is more important to him than becoming the TNA World Heavyweight Champion.
Rockstar Spud then showed up and pushed the ladder down, sending Jeff crashing down onto the steel ramp. Magnus then wins the match and Dixie & friends just assume she is on his side, even though he has given no indication of this. They all then celebrate together, and we get to behold the new top heel stable in TNA: Dixie Carter, EC III, Rockstar Spud, and Magnus. It’s like TNA management said “if we all put our heads together, I’m sure we can come up with an even more pathetic stable than Aces & Eights.”
Anyway, if there was some evil plan for Magnus to join them, what was the purpose of the whole thing with EC III attacking Magnus earlier? It was just the same swerve from Lockdown with Garrett and Wes, and it was just as lame then, too. And what about Dixie trying to recruit Jeff? Why would she do that if she already had Magnus in her pocket?
Anyway, a good show wrestling-wise, but everything else about it completely sucked.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES:
1. Mike Tenay says that the issue between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode has become “very personal.”
Personal? Roode wants to prove that he is a better wrestler than Angle and Angle wants to beat Roode to prove that he can still perform at a main event level. That’s about as professional as issues get!