Category Archives: Previews

Say It Like You Mean It: The Impact Wrestling Preview, 12/12

Like every other wrestling company, TNA creates a weekly preview of its flagship show, Impact Wrestling. And, like every other wrestling company, they don’t always tell the truth when hyping their product. Thankfully, Dave is here to try to figure what TNA is trying to say, and tell you what he thinks, so you don’t have to do either.

TNA Says:

The annual “Feast Or Fired” match returns to IMPACT on Thursday night – featuring Samoa Joe, James Storm, Mr. Anderson, Gunner, Chavo Guerrero, Zema Ion and more superstars! Four briefcases will hang in the ring – three will contain shots at TNA World Titles, while the fourth will cost one unlucky superstar their spot on the TNA roster! Who will earn title shots – and who will be FIRED?! Don’t miss the Feast Or Fired match this Thursday on SpikeTV!

What This Probably Should Mean: Samoa Joe wins the World Title shot, reasserting himself as a true main event player. Zema Ion gets the X Division Title shot, receiving an opportunity to put his new DJ character in the ring. Either Gunner or Storm wins the Tag Team Title shot, adding additional drama to what feels like a slow burn breakup, and Chavo Guerrero gets fired.

What This Probably Shouldn’t Mean: Chavo Guerrero gets anything good.

Dave Thinks: This match is interesting (and sad) in that it features six wrestlers that have been utterly misused and incorrectly pushed over the last year. Mr. Anderson seems like the hottest character by far going into this match, given the success of the Aces & Eights funeral segment he led, but he doesn’t feel like a good choice to be TNA’s version of “Mr. Money in the Bank” (remember how that worked out in the WWE?).

***

TNA Says:

Who will be the next TNA World Heavyweight Champion? The Finals of the World Title Tournament is set for December 19 during “Final Resolution” on SpikeTV as Jeff Hardy will battle Magnus to crown the new titleholder! Tune into Thursday’s IMPACT for the latest on Hardy and Magnus as they prepare for their showdown for the gold!

What This Should Mean: Individual promos from both men throughout the show followed by a man-to-man, show-closing faceoff between the two. Magnus asserts himself as a clear heel to oppose the super-over Hardy, but does so verbally without the two men touching.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: TNA doesn’t use a healthy chunk of their valuable TV time (at least thirty minutes combined) to hype the match that will effectively redefine TNA’s identity heading into 2014.

Dave Thinks: It’s a great move by TNA to take a week off from the title tournament to hype the final. With that said, if they don’t make good use of this show promotionally to build that match as something really special, well then they might as well have not produced a show for this week at all.

***

TNA Says:

Speaking of the World Title, this past week AJ Styles told TNA President Dixie Carter that if she wanted the belt, she would have to come to his home in Georgia to get it! How far will Carter go to get back her intellectual property? Tune in and find out on Thursday night!

What This Should Mean: A blend of actually-funny comedy from Rockstar Spud and dead-serious intensity from A.J. Styles. Styles refuses to give Dixie the belt back, but instead offers to defend it against the winner of the ongoing TNA title tournament.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: Four segments worth of Dixie Carter’s terrible, self-congratulatory acting.

Dave Thinks: TNA deserves a lot of credit for building up a huge title match (Hardy vs. Magnus) while also hinting at the next huge title match (New Champ vs. A.J. Styles) and the huge title match after that (New Champ vs. Feast or Fired Winner). Unfortunately, all this strong long-term booking will still result in me being a sad panda if A.J. is one and done with TNA in 2014.

***

TNA Says:

Also on Thursday: The X Division Championship will be on the line as Chris Sabin will defend against Austin Aries, plus who will step up to battle TNA Knockouts Champion Gail Kim in her ongoing open challenge?

What This Should Mean: Aries and Sabin have a long, strong match that reestablishes the prestige of the X Division Title. Sabin goes over with a pull of the trunks or his feet on the ropes to continue his development as a heel. Gail Kim’s next opponent continues the upward trend in quality.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: A short match that ends with Velvet Sky distracting Aries while Sabin gets a quick, cheap win. Gail Kim’s next opponent does not continue the upward trend in quality.

Dave Thinks: TNA is at its worst promotionally when they’re lumping the X Division and the Knockouts together like this. It’s basically an indicator that the creative team is only interested in the top one or two storylines and everything else is a desperate attempt to fill out a card.

Final Thoughts

This show will be a good indicator as to whether the new, post-Hogan/Bischoff braintrust in TNA has any idea how to tell compelling stories. Feast or Fired should provide some insight into who will be pushed in the early months of 2014, while the Hardy/Magnus build will demonstrate whether TNA has learned how to make their televised “super Impacts” seem any more like pay per views than they did in 2013.

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Watch, Skip or Skim: Spoiler Alert with “Angry” Andy (12/11-12/13)

Over the course of seven days, there’s a lot of wrestling on TV. But only some of it is actually worth watching. That’s where Spoiler Alert comes in: we break down the spoilers of all of WWE’s pre-taped shows to let you know what you should watch, and which segments and full shows you should skim or skip. This week, Andy sits back and enjoys the build to Tables, Ladders & Chairs.

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(spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Curtis Axel d Dolph Ziggler in what is probably a pretty good match.  As long as they keep Curtis away from the mic, this should be really excellent.  Axel is solid in the ring, but needs someone to make him look like he’s the second generation stud he’s supposed to be.  Dolph Ziggler is definitely the guy for the job.

Natalya d Alicia Fox.  They’ve been building Nattie up for a credible run with the Divas title, so this is probably little more than a quick squash.  It doesn’t hurt that Alicia has improved over the years.

Xavier Woods & R-Truth d Tons of Funk when Brodus Clay starts arguing with Tensai.  Woods continues to get face time with the fans, Brodus continues his heel turn, and the match ends in a logical, inoffensive way.

WATCH this show. Everything is story-and-character based.  All of it matters.  And it looks like the action should be pretty good, too.

wwe superstars show logo

(spoilers via ProWrestling.com)

Kaitlyn d Aksana.  Man, they sure made a point to kill Kaitlyn, didn’t they?  If you find either of these women attractive, then enjoy the show.  The wrestling itself won’t be so pretty.

Los Matadores d 3MB. Yes, again.  This time, 3MB was represented by Jinder and Drew.  We’re sure El Torito did something the kids will enjoy.  That’s the last of the nice things I have to say for this show.

SKIP THIS SHOW. Just do it.  You’ll thank me.

WWE-Smackdown

(spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Daniel Bryan d Luke Harper & Erick Rowan by disqualification, in a 2-on-1 handicapped match. Bray attacks, but Bryan fights him off with a running knee.  Bryan stands tall… which means he doesn’t have a chance at TLC.

The Real Americans d Goldust & Cody Rhodes in a non-title match.  I’d be totally ok with Cesaro and Swagger playing the role of the Quebecers in 2K14 version of the Bret/Own split.  They’re two very talented, very HUGE men, who are both fantastically underrated in the ring.  They’re also joined by one of the best managers in wrestling today… so why not strike while the iron’s hot?

Bad News Barrett talks about the Slammy Awards.  I’m ok with this.  People are complaining, but they’re establishing a new character.  Let them establish him before you demand he wrestle the same match, against the same midcarders, that made you sick of him the first time around.

Mark Henry d Damien Sandow by countout, with Intercontinental Champion Big E. Langston on commentary.  I’d guess he didn’t get to see too much in this scouting mission.

John Cena makes an appearance, to talk about his TLC match with Randy Orton.

Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins d The Usos. Punk appears on the titantron after the match, guaranteeing victory at TLC.  Maybe he hired a sniper.

Big Show d Ryback again.  This time, they continued brawling, along with Curtis Axel and Rey Mysterio.  I smell a filler tag match for TLC…  oh, and a tag team nobody asked for: Mysterio and Big Show.

Kofi Kingston v Alberto Del Rio never happened, because Del Rio has a concussion.  That, and Miz came out to give Kofi the Skull Crushing Finale.  I guess that’s better than watching Del Rio beat Kofi for the hundredth time.

Randy Orton and Triple H  kiss and make up after what happened in Raw’s awesome closing segment.

WATCH THIS SHOW.  WWE is clicking on all cylinders heading into TLC.  They’re putting on quality matches, and booking to logical storylines.  Watch and enjoy it while it lasts.

Say It Like You Mean It: The Impact Preview, 12/5

Like every other wrestling company, TNA creates a weekly preview of its flagship show, Impact Wrestling. And, like every other wrestling company, they don’t always tell the truth when hyping their product. Thankfully, Dave is here to try to figure what TNA is trying to say, and tell you what he thinks, so you don’t have to do either.

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TNA Says:

Next Thursday, it will be the Semi-Finals of the ongoing World Heavyweight Championship tournament, with the two winners advancing to the FINALS to crown a new titleholder! The Final Four are set, and one of these four superstars will become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle or Magnus!

WORLD TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL

Tables Match

Jeff Hardy vs. Bobby Roode

WORLD TITLE TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL

Last Man Standing Match

Kurt Angle vs. Magnus

What This Probably Should Mean: Three of the most talented, over wrestlers in the TNA and the company’s rising star put together two strong wrestling matches. Hardy and Roode bump all over the place for each other, with Hardy eventually getting the win on one of his signature big spots to cement his return to the main event. Magnus and Angle work a long, physical match that puts over the toughness and desire of both men. Magnus gets the win, dropping Kurt Angle with his Michinoku Driver for the clean pin.

What This Probably Shouldn’t Mean: These matches are rushed at ten minutes each so the crowd can be treated to more time with Joseph Park and Dixie Carter. Both matches have B.S. injury finishes, with Hardy crashing and burning when he flies too close to the sun setting up the crowd-thrillingest spot of all time and Angle slipping on a banana peel and “injuring his neck” again.

Dave Thinks: While there’s always the loud (and often correct) contingent of TNA fans who ask “Where the hell is Samoa Joe?” TNA has brought this title tournament down to as good a final four as they can muster. Angle is a massive star who, in spite of his recent troubles, is still over like crazy and would make a credible champion at any time. Roode is the most underrated main eventer currently on TV, and would also make a great champion, as he seems at the height of his powers in the ring. Jeff Hardy is one of the most over babyfaces of the last fifteen years and, when he feels like it, can have a great match with a sack of potatoes. Magnus is a terrific wild card, as he is young and fresh, albeit unproven. TNA has made more booking mistakes than you can shake a stick at, but they’ve done well with this tournament.

***

TNA Says:

Christopher Daniels and Kazarian have informed TNA officials that they plan to EXPOSE Joseph Park once and for all on Thursday night! According to Daniels and Kazarian, they took a road trip this week to find out the truth about Park – and came back with evidence that could destroy him! What will Daniels and Kazarian reveal about Park this Thursday? Tune in and find out!

What This Should Mean: This should mean that Joseph Park is successfully “EXPOSE[d],” turns back into Abyss permanently, and returns to kicking ass unapologetically. Daniels and Kaz bump like wild men, displaying for everyone that Abyss is back and ready to become a tank.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: Take 27 of the following sequence:

“I’m not Abyss!”

“Yes, you are!”

“No, I’m not!”

**Sloppy brawl in which Park gets busted open**

“Rawr!”

**Park Black Hole Slams Kaz and Daniels, then just stands there looking at himself, befuddled**

Dave Thinks: You know when the police put down those spike strips that pop the getaway car’s tires, but the crooks keep trying to drive away on the rims in a shower of sparks until the wheels are so hopelessly bent that they can’t move anymore? Joseph Park is that car.

***

TNA Says:

In addition on IMPACT, World Tag Team Champions The Bro Mans will battle the former titleholders James Storm and Gunner

What This Should Mean: Gunner and Storm both take turns looking strong against The Bro Mans, who stall and beg off like cowardly heels. Ultimately, DJ Zema Ion creates some kind of distraction that leads to Robbie rolling up Gunner for the win. Storm looks frustrated, but ultimately consoles Gunner after the match.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: An unbelievably lightning quick victory for the heels that makes Storm and Gunner both look like (1) weaklings and (2) idiots. Gunner and Storm immediately start doing the back-and-forth-shoving tag team breakup thing, culminating in Storm knocking Gunner to the ground and storming (Ha! Get it?) out of the ring.

Dave Thinks: This feud would actually make sense: The Bro Mans are goofy 2013 Honky Tonk Men and GunStorm are no-nonsense, ass-kicking babyfaces. The only problem? It’s hard to see this match being much more than a chapter in the GunStorm breakup angle. If this was happening before Gunner threw in the towel for Storm, I’d be excited about the prospect of these two teams mixing it up, but as it stands, I’m already cringing, waiting for the miscommunication spot that leads to Storm jobbing and glaring at Gunner.

***

TNA Says:

Plus, TNA Knockout Champion Gail Kim’s Open Challenge continues – is there anyone that can step up to beat the Women’s World Champion?

What This Should Mean: Kim faces a challenger from the indy circuit who can have a smoother match than her previous opponents have given her. Kim actually shines the babyface and looks to be in danger for a minute before cutting her opponent off, hitting her finisher, and retaining.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: Kim squashes her opponent in 30 seconds, then Lei’D Tapa comes into the ring and beats the girl down more. They pose. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Dave Thinks: Gail Kim’s open challenge gimmick has officially run up against the rule of threes with this match. Kim’s a great worker and a tremendous champion, but by the end of January, 2014, there needs to be an actual Knockouts Division for her to defend against. Fresh faces are great, but if you don’t have an established base of talent, “fresh face” just starts to look like “next warm body through the revolving door.”

***

TNA Says:

Ethan Carter III (aka EC3) is going to challenge a Legend!

What This Should Mean: EC3 calls out a returning TNA star — let’s say Jimmy Yang (one of the interesting/funny things about Impact being back in Florida is it’s actually feasible that random wrestler could show up at a moment’s notice). Yang, or whoever, gets in a crowd-pleasing spot or two against Carter, but ultimate takes EC3’s headlock driver and the clean pin in the middle of the ring.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: Wow, I could rattle off a pretty damning roll call of D-list wrestling “legends” if I wanted to… but I’ll go with Koko B. Ware on this one. EC3 should not wrestle Koko B. Ware

Dave Thinks: It was a good (albeit belated) move last week for EC3 to go over a real jobber in Shark Boy and not a comedically jobbery jobber. It feels like whoever is behind this angle feels like they’re being “old school” in the way they build up EC3, but the fact that he hasn’t even glared at a serious babyface is officially starting to catch up with him. He officially needs a breakthrough, over match against an established TNA babyface — Eric Young sounds like the perfect opponent.

Final Thoughts

This show looks frustrating on paper because what TNA’s presenting is utterly schizophrenic. On one hand, we have two serious match-ups between some of the company’s top stars, but on the other, we’re presented with Joseph Park and The Bro Mans. As long as they try to play the WWE’s comedy sketch game, TNA will continue to struggle. If they don’t embrace the fact that the million or so people who actually tune in every week are hardcore wrestling fans (as in serious, not trash can lids and barbed wire) who want to see in-ring action, they’ll never rise above the level of second-rate ripoff artists.

Watch, Skip or Skim: Spoiler Alert with “Angry” Andy (12/4-12/6)

Over the course of seven days, there’s a lot of wrestling on TV. But only some of it is actually worth watching. That’s where Spoiler Alert comes in: we break down the spoilers of all of WWE’s pre-taped shows to let you know what you should watch, and which segments and full shows you should skim or skip. This week, Andy starts planning what he’ll do with the time he would have spent watching Main Event and Smackdown.

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(spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Goldust d. Ryback

This was the advertised main event for this one, and I have a strange feeling it’s not going to deliver.  Goldy wins by DQ when Curtis Axel interferes.  Cody gets involved too.  I’m sure this is building to a tag title match for the least-over team in the company, but let’s face it.  WWE is desperate for this Ryback-Axel pairing to work.  Axel needs heat, and Ryback needs to work with more talented guys.  Unfortunately, the only time anyone cares about these two is when Ryback lifts a giant, or when the crowd decides to chant for a guy who hasn’t been relevant in a decade.

The Usos d 3MB

Jinder and Drew are representing 3MB here.  No idea what gimmick they’ll be representing, but I’m sure it’ll be fun.  The Usos are almost always fantastic, and this should essentially be a showcase for them.  The best current team never to hold the tag titles keeps on impressing.

Damien Sandow d R-Truth

In a logically-booked world, this match becomes an overbooked cluster-f featuring run-ins from Dolph Ziggler, Brodus Clay, Tensai, and Xavier Woods.  You know, because all those guys are currently intertwined in the storylines.  Maybe it happens, or maybe it’s just a simple match that Sandow wins.  I don’t know, because nobody seems to have any detailed spoilers.  Way to go, Tulsa.  This is why we can’t have nice things.

SKIP this show.  Yeah, sure, there is some decent talent on the card… but no one is doing anything interesting.  The only match on the show that matters is building toward a title match no one wants to see.  Spend this hour watching South Park re-runs and preparing for the latest new episode.

WWE-Smackdown

(spoilers via PWinsider.com)

Tyson Kidd d Justin Gabriel

…in the dark match, that is.  Tyson, your 2-week push is officially over.  If you want more TV time, I suggest cheating on Natalya during a Total Divas taping.

Randy Orton says he’s going to beat John Cena at TLC, and apologizes to The Authority for being a big jerk on Monday.  Daniel Bryan says he should be apologizing for being a bogus champion.  Under wrestling law, they must fight tonight.

Big E Langston d Fandango in a nontitle match.

Bad News Barrett says some things.  No idea what kind of things, but I’m sure they’re delightful.  No, seriously.

Kofi Kingston vs Alberto Del Rio never happens, because Del Rio murders Kofi before the match.  I suppose the Miz was busy making straight-to-DVD movies.

The Shield talked about murdering CM Punk, and teased some dissension.

Ryback & Curtis Axel d Cody Rhodes & Goldust in a nontitle match.  They’re seriously building to a title match here.  Ryback and Axel have done NOTHING to earn a title match, mind you, but they’re getting one.  Not the unstoppable Usos.  Not the popular Prime Time Players.  Not the heat-magnet Real Americans.  The so-called team who have maybe wrestled a half-dozen matches together.

CM Punk d Dean Ambrose in a nontitle match.  Reports are this was a good match.  Punk tweeted that he shit himself during the match.  Just like that, you have two reasons to watch.

Natalya d Tamina Snuka, which probably qualifies her for a Divas title match at TLC.

Big Show & Rey Mysterio d The Real Americans I’ll allow it, but only if Rey Mysterio takes a giant swing from Cesaro.

Randy Orton d Daniel Bryan with the RKO.  Bray Wyatt appears on the screen, inviting Bryan to join the family.

SKIM this show.  It definitely doesn’t seem like it’s worth 2 hours of your time (welcome back, Michael Hayes!)  That said, I would not miss Punk-Ambrose or Orton-Bryan.  Everything else?  Grab the remote.

@AndyMillerJMS

Say It Like You Mean It: The Impact Wrestling Preview, 11/28

Thanksgiving

Like every other wrestling company, TNA creates a weekly preview of its flagship show, Impact Wrestling. And, like every other wrestling company, they don’t always tell the truth when hyping their product. Thankfully, Dave is here to try to figure what TNA is trying to say, and tell you what he thinks, so you don’t have to do either. 

TNA Says:

IMPACT continues the longtime tradition of pro wrestling on Thanksgiving! After the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, join the rest of your family for a night of IMPACT WRESTLING! TNA President Dixie Carter will host the Thanksgiving special, and she promises a night to remember!

What This Probably Should Mean: Lots of wrestling. Minimal Dixie. (This is more like “Pie in the Sky Scenario.”)

What This Probably Shouldn’t Mean: Dixie kicks off the show with a ten minute promo which generates more “get off TV” heat than Dads on Fox. She does her usual tired rundown of A.J. Styles (seriously, if she wants to pretend he doesn’t exist, why does she talk about him so damn much?) and uses the term “Dixieland” no fewer than four times. Dixie appears throughout the show as festive holiday filler, ultimately leading to at least 45 minutes of Dixie Carter in a two hour wrestling show.

Dave Thinks: It’s smash-your-face-against-a-doorframe frustrating how Dixie doesn’t hold her writing staff accountable. That she actually claims to take pride in the product — even if it’s because her face is plastered all over it each week — might be the most frustrating part. Every time since the one week Dixie generated actual wrestling heat, the boos have just been directed at how abysmally bad the product she allows on TV is.

***

TNA Says:

Speaking of Thanksgiving tradition, the infamous TNA Turkey Costume returns on Thursday night! Who will be humiliated and forced to wear the Turkey Suit on the broadcast? Tune in and find out!

What This Should Mean: Through some “We hired back Vince Russo for one night” machinations, Ethan Carter III is supposed to wear the suit, but because of the language of his “Ironclad TNA Contract” (insert laugh track here), the suit actually ends up on Dixie.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: Having contacted the Nielsen folks, TNA already mailed out turkey suits to every fan who actually watches Impact weekly. They will arrive promptly on our doorsteps at 8:55pm EST, so that we can put them on just before Impact so our loved ones who happen to be in the room will get the full effect of how willfully and persistently dumb we all are.

Dave Thinks: Without the Turkey Bowl — a surprisingly good thing that TNA actually did each year —  to give the the turkey costume meaning, the entire concept becomes as stupid as it sounds.

***

TNA Says:

The Main Event of the Thanksgiving broadcast will feature Team Angle vs. Team Roode in an 8 Man Elimination Match! As the war between Kurt Angle and Bobby Roode continues, who will they pick to join them in battle in the huge tag team match on Thursday night?

What This Should Mean: Team Angle consists of Kurt himself, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and Eric Young, who always weasels his way onto these cards somehow. Team Roode consists of Bobby, Bad Influence (Kaz and Daniels), and Magnus. Young gets double-teamed early by Bad Influence, leading to a quick elimination. Magnus gets a big rub with a win over Hardy, but is eliminated by Joe to even up their emerging feud. Bobby Roode gets the better of Joe to make the match three-on-one: Bad Influence and Roode against Angle. Suddenly, Abyss’ music plays and he runs off Bad Influence, leading to a man-to-man confrontation for Angle and Roode. Angle finally gets the clean victory over Roode (albeit in a convoluted-as-heck elimination tag) that he’s been denied since they started the injury angle.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: Any combination of events that ends with Kurt Angle “injuring his neck” or “getting a concussion” to avoid a finish. TNA thinks they’re doing the whole “delayed gratification” thing setting up Angle’s eventual clean win over Roode, but all TNA has to do to realize what a bad idea that is is to look at the WWE. They kept delaying gratification for Daniel Bryan until people stopped buying pay per views.

Dave Thinks: Obviously there will be more matches throughout the night, but, to unapologetically use a cliche, “the word on the marquee is wrestling.” Build your show, even your throwaway holiday show, around the promise of cute costumes and silly skits, around wrestling. I can’t even begin to explain how fundamentally abhorrent it is to me when a two hour wrestling show is advertised with only one match on the card.

***

Turning Point Coverage: Mr. Anderson vs. Bully Ray, Two Title Tournament Matches, Joseph Park's Challenge

TNA Says:

After beating Bully Ray this past week and forcing the Aces and Eights to disband, Mr. Anderson is holding a public funeral for the end of the Aces and Eights on Thursday’s broadcast!

What This Should Mean: Anderson leads the crowd in a legitimate celebration of the fact that we will never hear from Aces & Eights again. Bully Ray stays well enough away from the whole thing. The segment acts as a launching pad for fans to start caring about Ken Anderson again.

What This Shouldn’t Mean: This whole segment is a long block of overly-clever filler to flesh out a holiday episode on which TNA doesn’t want to give away any storyline development because nobody’s watching (but, like, even worse than usual). Bully Ray is eventually so incensed by Anderson’s zingers that he comes to the ring and challenges Anderson to yet another match on next week’s Impact.

Dave Thinks: Outside of “This is Your Life, Rock,” I don’t think these long, planned talk-with-video-clips segments have ever been successful or good. With that said, the success of this segment depends on two things: how much time it’s been given (less is more — anything more than seven minutes is way too long for this) and which Ken Anderson we get: the funny, spontaneous one or the “here’s my routine of Attitude Era material” .

Final Thoughts

Wrestling on Thanksgiving is a decades-long tradition, somewhat proudly maintained by TNA each year. This week’s show is built around a mock Survivor Series match which will continue TNA’s top-shelf Angle vs. Roode feud, as well as a tryptophan coma-inducing amount of Dixie Carter.

Watch, Skip or Skim: Spoiler Alert with “Angry” Andy (11/27-11/29)

spoiler_t

Over the course of seven days, there’s a lot of wrestling on TV. But only some of it is actually worth watching. That’s where Spoiler Alert comes in: we break down the spoilers of all of WWE’s pre-taped shows to let you know what you should watch, and which segments and full shows you should skim or skip. This week, WWE lays the groundwork for some questionable storylines, and hopes you can stomach a holiday-themed Smackdown!

Main Event

wwe_main_event_button_1360784176

 (spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Alberto Del Rio d Dolph Ziggler

I’d be willing to bet this is a pay-per-view quality match.  These are two of the most talented guys on the roster, even if they’re not in the roles they should be.  Del Rio needs someone who can make him look like a vicious killer, and Ziggler sells like a madman… this is good booking.

Damien Sandow d Santino

Reports say this one is a simple squash, which is unfortunate for Santino.  That said, Sandow really needs some wins, and a loss will never hurt Santino.  That said, I’d rather see this match get 10 minutes on Raw, with the same outcome.

TRIPLE FREAKING H makes a rare Main Event appearance.  The King of Kings cuts a promo backstage, saying he wants one WWE Champion, and to unify the belts.  I like this, because it’s something important happening on an “unimportant” show, completely separate from the immediate legitimacy Triple H’s presence already adds to the show.

Kofi Kingston d Fandango

This match can only serve one purpose- to further the feud between Kofi and The Miz.  Hopefully The Miz is on commentary (said no one, ever) so he can help push the feud on the mic.

SKIM this show.  Del Rio-Ziggler should be great.  The Sandow match is totally inconsequential.  Triple H will be a special “A-Show” treat on the C-program, and Kingston-Miz is a solid mid-card feud in the making,

SUPERSTARS

wwe superstars show logo 

(spoilers via Wrestlezone.com)

Hey, remember Superstars?  Apparently, it airs Fridays on Hulu Plus.  This week’s show  was taped before Raw on Long Island, which means the crowd had to be REALLY hot for…

Zack Ryder d Fandango

Long Island loves Zack Ryder.  If he’s not on the show, the crowd chants “We Want Ryder!” all friggin’ night – so WWE got his appearance out of the way early.  If these guys are smart, they went Memphis for this bad boy.  The crowd is going to be hot either way, and it’s early in the show – take it easy and use the crowd to tell your story.

The Usos d The Real Americans

A friend at the show said this match was really good.  Considering who’s involved, I have no problem believing it.  Hopefully the crowd is just as good.

SKIM this show.  Watch or skip the opener, depending on your feelings on the guys involved.  But there’s no excuse to miss The Usos vs Cesaro & Swagger, on a show where they probably spent 15 minutes having an awesome match.

SMACKDOWN

WWE-Smackdown

(Spoilers via LordsofPain.net)

Randy Orton & Renee Young are in the ring, forcing Nick to watch the opening segment. (Editor’s Note: He’s right.) Orton brags about Survivor Series but walks out when asked about TLC.  Apparently, we won’t be talking about that OTHER World Champion.

Vickie Guerrero is hosting a Thanksgiving-themed eating competition backstage.  If this doesn’t end with her wearing a face-full of mashed potatoes, then I just don’t know wrestling anymore.

Mark Henry d Curtis Axel.  Quick match, with Big E Langston and Ryback ringside.  I hope this is leading somewhere.  4-way for the title at TLC?

Titus O’Neil wins the eating competition.  Millions of drumsticks, millions of drumsticks.  For some reason, victory here earns him a match against Antonio Cesaro, later in the broadcast.

Los Matadores & El Torito d The Plymouth Rockers

Get it?  Because it’s Thanksgiving.  Prepare to watch a midget bull take out three dudes dressed as pilgrims.

Tons of Funk d R-Truth & Xavier Woods

Apparently, Brodus Clay was upset that Woods stole his theme song, back-up dancers, and spot on TV.  The only way I’m ok with putting the floundering joke of a babyface tag team over the fresh talent from NXT will be if Clay and Sweet-T are turning heel.  But even then, there’s nowhere for them to go.  They’re not surpassing The Shield, The Wyatt Family, or The Real Americans.  They need to legitimize Woods – not have him squashed by the fat jobber tag team.

Bray Wyatt says Daniel Bryan is safe with him.  He says Bryan entered a man, but will leave a monster.  I’m ok with this.

CM Punk and Renee Young are in the ring.  Nick turns up his TV.  The Punker says he hasn’t heard from Daniel Bryan since he was kidnapped by the Wyatts.  He says he doesn’t know why The Shield attacked him on Raw… but thinks maybe they’re following orders from The Authority.

Antonio Cesaro d Titus O’Neil by DQ, when Darren Young interferes.  Yes, the heel won by DQ when the face tag partner interfered.  After the match, Titus pukes in JBL’s cowboy hat (HE ATE TOO MUCH.  GET IT?), and puts the hat on Michael Cole’s head.  Then he pukes on Zeb.  Little kids go nuts.  Everyone else reaches for the remote.

Goldust & Cody Rhodes d Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns in a tag title match.  The Rhodes boys win by DQ when Dean Ambrose interferes.  Punk comes out to clear house with a chair.  Then Vickie Guerrero comes out, and channels the spirit of Teddy Long.

Goldust, Cody Rhodes & CM Punk vs The Shield ends in a no contest when the lights go out.  The Wyatts are in the ring when they come back on.  The Usos and Rey Mysterio come out to even the odds.  Vickie comes back out once again, Playa, leading to….

Goldust, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, Rey Mysterio & The Usos d The Shield & The Wyatt Family.

This cluster-f ends when Mysterio hits the 619 on Erick Rowan, who then eats a GTS from CM Punk.  Crowd goes home happy.

SKIM this show.  The tag team gauntlet of exponential growth sounds fun.  The Tons of Funk-Truth/Woods angle could turn into something.  Same with the IC title picture.  Everything else sounds like painful holiday show filler.  DVR is your friend.

@AndyMillerJMS

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: Survivor Series 2013

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It’s Survivor Series Sunday, which means it’s time for us to ask: “What’s the Worst That Could Happen?”.  And, because we love you, you’ll also be getting a PPV Predictions episode of Headlock’d fresh from the oven this afternoon. All of this (for free!) before we drop our world famous Bang for Your Buck PPV review in your lap on Monday morning.

To make sure you don’t miss anything, follow us (or me) on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Now that we’ve gotten the shameless plugs out of the way, let’s figure out What’s the Worst That Could Happen tonight in Boston:

The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston (Kickoff Match)

Best Case Scenario: The inevitable “You Wanna Know Why?” promo is short, the match is long enough to make both guys not look like, well, themselves. Miz  fakes an injury, then leaves  for six months to go shoot the direct-to-video sequel to the ABC Family Original movie The Christmas Bounty.

Worst Case Scenario: The E uses the Miz’s heel turn as an excuse to show literally dozens of clips from the ABC Family Original movie The Christmas Bounty during Miz TV, with a victory in this match as the starting off point of the “push”.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Not to be impossibly bored/angry I spent time watching something I didn’t pay  for that’s supposed  to be an advertisement for the something I did pay  for.

What Will Happen: Impossible boredom and anger.

Big E. Langston (C) vs. Curtis Axel for the Intercontinental Championship

Best Case Scenario: Curtis Axel actually looks like he deserved to be Intercontinental Champion for the past few months, but the rising star of Big  E. burns just a little too brightly for Curtis to overcome. Also, Big E. makes the ref count to five. That would be awesome.

Worst Case Scenario: Big E. or Curtis Axel get hurt. Any other scenario is fundamentally okay. Even Curtis getting the belt back.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Less Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man, more Ultimate Warrior vs. Randy Savage.

What Will Happen: Ultimate Warrior vs. Rick Rude

Total Divas vs. The Non-Total Divas in a “Traditional” 7-on-7 Survivor Series Match

Best Case Scenario: The heels sweep, Kaitlyn stabs AJ. All of this happens in under five minutes. 

Worst Case Scenario: The faces win decisively in a half-hour match consisting entirely of butts-to-the-face and poorly executed snapmares.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Anything interesting at all the entire match.

What Will Happen: Nothing interesting. At all. The entire match.

Rhodes Brothers, Usos and Rey vs. The Real Shield Americans in a Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Match

Best Case Scenario: All the members of both teams each get a spotlight in the match, which eats up the middle hour of the show, Usos turn heel on Rhodes Brothers, starting the second best feud ever. The Real Americans  turn on the Shield, starting the best feud ever.

Worst Case Scenario: Rey Mysterio wrestles the entire match, not tagging anyone in the entire time, 619’s the entire heel team at once before pinning them all simultaneously.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match half as good as the main event from this week’s Raw.

What Will Happen: The heels win, because of dissension from the face team. Rey Mysterio gets speared in half.

 John Cena (C) vs. Alberto del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship

Best Case Scenario: The crowd  in Boston actually gets into a match with their “hometown” hero, John Cena. Alberto del Rio cleanly beats Cena, but after knocking out the referee as part of getting Cena in the position to lose, is then given an AA so powerful it A) looks like it might actually hurt instead of feeling like your being thrown around in a pool and B) allows Ricardo to come out and “take advantage” of del Rio, setting up an AWESOME match next month at TLC.

Worst Case Scenario: Del Rio is given an AA so powerful it A) looks like it might actually hurt and B) finishes the match in five minutes, followed by John Cena giving a 20-minute speech to the crowd where he changes his voice to sound like he’s from Southie.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A main event quality match, even if it’s going to be a Raw-quality finish.

What Will Happen: Cena will overcome impossible odds and beat Alberto del Rio with one arm. The injured one.

CM Punk & Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper & Erick Rowan

Best Case Scenario: Mega Power seeds are planted between Bryan and Punk, who narrowly defeat the Dueling Banjos Band after a miscommunication nearly costs them the match.

Worst Case Scenario: This match gets shortened because the Diva’s Match ran long.

What Nick Wants to Happen: The Beard and the Best to take an epic shitkicking, but like Bret Hart and Timex before them, manage to take a licking and keep on ticking.

What Will Happen: Probably something close to what I want to happen. I’m special and Vince McMahon loves me.

Randy Orton (C) vs. Big Show for the WWE Title

Best Case Scenario: Randy Orton pulls out all the sto(m)ps as he reverts completely back into his serial killer/Legacy period. Triple H doesn’t come down to ringside, and nobody cheats.

Worst Case Scenario: Everyone cheats.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match with a clean finish where Randy Orton wins, since the storyline implications in this match otherwise are either silly or super depressing, depending on how you look at it.

What Will Happen: Orton retains. Probably with help from Kane and Brad Maddox.