Tag Archives: Rob Van Dam

Punch Drunk Love: Raw Regurgitated, 10/8

Uh-oh! Somebody got in the spray tan again! When will she ever learn!

This wasn’t a particularly strong performance by either of the two principals, until, of course, Stephanie LOST IT and SLAPPED THE SHIT out of the Big Show. This is the type of emotion this storyline needs to keep interest up. Stephanie and H are fighting to the WWE built in their image, something that has a legacy within Stephanie’s family and will define not just Triple H’s career but his life in the entertainment industry. Also, watching Steph repeatedly hit someone in the face while they laugh at her because they are a giant is hilarious.

Pro tip: Never fire the guy you’ve been using as your assassin. Especially when you’ve been using “if you want to keep your job do what we tell you”. I’m not a logic doctor, but I’m pretty sure when you fire him, you’re saying “do whatever you want, guy”.

***

For those without their WWE-to-English dictionaries: ” “Blah Blah has been very aggressive as of late” of “we might be pushing this guy, but we also like jobbing him out so let’s see if this gets over.”

Can’t they just give Dolph Ziggler  the superkick instead of trying to make chicken salad out of Billy Gunn’s finisher?

We had a request from one of our readers to talk about this Divas match and how bad it was. Unfortunately, we can’t do that. This match was what it was: an attempt to introduce to the Raw audience to people that have only really been seen in direct connection with “Total Divas”. Getting mad at Eva Marie for not being that great in the ring during (what I am assuming is) her debut match on Raw is like getting mad at a dog for meowing. It’s just going to frustrate you and make you question the meaning of life while blaming something that can’t help itself and clearly isn’t long for this world/is an abomination.

***

The entrance had a little bit less oomph this time because we all knew the smoke was coming out of the nostrils, but getting to see Torito actually do some work was worth sitting through Drew McIntyre “Long Goodbye” tour.

I think at some point in here Bob Backlund spoke. I fast-forwarded, as I can’t watch crazy people talk with a live mic — nothing makes me more uncomfortable than people speaking when it’s clear they haven’t taken their pills — but from what I understand, it was rousing. And insane. Mostly insane.

This better not lead to CM Punk and R Truth taking the tag team titles away from the Shield because Punk wants to relive his glory days when he was best friends with a black guy and had long hair. Haven’t we seen enough of Punk throwing his weight around backstage?

***

Where’s Kofi’s family? This doesn’t work unless you can see the exact moment Orton breaks Mama Kingston’s heart.

Any time that Kofi loses to Randy and Randy doesn’t tell him that no one will ever love him again has to feel good.

Daniel Bryan going H.A.M. on Randy is going to be important in the next two weeks, as having them be separated because DB is just too bloodthirsty and Randy is too crazy is  the only way anyone is going to pay to see them wrestle after the traveling Dusty Circus came to town.

***

If Alberto and Vickie ever do get together, they better call their stable “The Family”.

It’s hard to say which was worse: that John is back already — I love Cena, but they need to give the Main Event some time to breathe — or that the announcement made people only half pay attention to Ricardo Rodriguez getting payback on Del Rio for putting his smoking buddy out of commission.

He’s had his heart broken, his neck broken and now his arm broken? How happy must Ricardo be now that the Affordable Care Act is being implemented?

***

Zach Ryder is so low on the totem pole, they don’t even mention that he used to be US Champion. And I’m pretty they list Chris Benoit as a former US champion.

They need to put a belt on either Santino or Antonio, so that this amazing feud can have some stakes too it. Watching Marella try to hit Cesaro with the Cobra while simultaneously performing evasive maneuvers to avoid hitting Hornswoggle is why we get into the wrestling writing business in the first place. That and the chicks.

Considering that he booked himself as a guest, how did The Miz not see Bray Wyatt showing up on Miz TV? He must not recognize the level to which his career looks like a dead antelope on the Serengeti at this point. Poor guy.

***

Goldust’s inevitable turn against Cody is going to make moments like this match — and Sunday night’s as well — be so much harder to look back on without it getting a little Dusty in JMS HQ.

***WARNING: YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE KEEP EYES AND EARS INSIDE KAYFABE*** Mixing the Rhodes family struggles with Daniel Bryan’s, all while allowing for the Big Show to come back and get the most over out of anyone is the kind of layered booking/writing that separates good wrestling periods from great wrestling eras. Although it may not seem like it when you see Big Show knock out everyone involved in a match you may have paid to see a definitive ending to, wrestling exists in an entirely different narrative world than anything else. This doesn’t just extend to the WWE app, but exclusives on WWE.com — like Michael Cole’s weekly interviews with Triple H — and Twitter, where entire feuds can be build out for anyone that cares to watch. The WWE functions less like a scripted TV show and more like an augmented reality that the performers place on top of their normal lives to give some sort of meaning to the lives of people with nothing better to do. This may not feel like it, but this stuff is the beginning of a revolution, and while the results may not always be pretty, they will likely continue to be what’s “Best for Business”. ***YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE***ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***

Did Show just kill Triple H?

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What’s the Worst That Could Happen?: WWE Battleground Edition

Battleground

It’s a PPV week! (We know, we were surprised, too) We have all your Battleground needs covered here at Juice Make Sugar. We started off with a Headlock’d PPV Prediction Special and now we ask What’s the Worst That Could Happen? Then, we’ll be giving you our world famous Bang for Your Buck PPV review 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 in Buffalo tonight:

2. Dolph Sandow

Dolph Ziggler vs. “Mr. Money in the Bank” Damien Sandow  (Kickoff Match)

Best Case Scenario: The match gets so over that they claim that it’s “reached a time limit draw”, but the crowd threatens to riot, leading the match to be rescheduled for the main PPV, and the cancellation of Total Divas Divas match.

Worst Case Scenario: They both lose, Damien Sandow misplaces briefcase on the way to ring, can’t cash in on RVD later in the night.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A simple match where both guys look good and nobody gets made a fool of.

What Will Happen: Dolph loses because of interference from Dean Ambrose, continuing their feud onto the actual PPV.

8. Bray and Kofi

Kofi Kingston vs. Bray Wyatt

Best Case Scenario: Bo Dallas comes down, talks Bray Wyatt out of the ring by explaining that they are really brothers, Bo Dallas turns Wyatt family into Bo-lievers.

Worst Case Scenario: Kofi goes over Bray Wyatt. For any reason, or in any way.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Bray Wyatt manages to look as interesting in the ring as his gimmick has looked out of it. Kofi gets set on fire (but in a way that he doesn’t get hurt). Becomes Kofi Wyatt.

What Will Happen: Bray Wyatt has difficulty against Kofi because Kingston is the first guy you face in WWE 2k14 career mode after your debut storyline, but ultimately beats him after Kofi isn’t valiant enough to overcome interference from the rest of the Family,

Khali Santino Swagger Cesaro

Santino Marella and The Great Khali vs.

The Real Americans

Best Case Scenario: Antonio Cesaro finally makes up for the last few weeks of losses and embarrassment by giving Khali the Giant Swing, uses him to propel Santino up for Swiss Death, finishes match by Neutralizing both at the same time. Is immediately awarded WWE Championship.

Worst Case Scenario: Santino uses Cobra to send The Real Americans to TNA, where they become the biggest face tag team in the history of the company.

What Nick Wants to Happen: The Real Americans get a much needed win, Santino manages to get the Cobra off, or at least has a comedy spot involving it. Because wrestling should be fun, and Santino is the most fun wrestler in the world.

What Will Happen: A mixture of Worst Case Scenario and What Nick Wants to Happen.

12. Curtis Axel R Truth

Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. R. Truth

Best Case Scenario: R. Truth loses his voice and is forced to hum lyrics to “What’s Up”, Curtis Axel quickly beats him, gives open challenge. Sami Zyan as El Local/Generico comes down and beats him in 20-minute Match of the Year candidate.

Worst Case Scenario: R. Truth wins, holds 20 minute long concert where he just raps the lyrics to “What’s Up” and the clean version of “Kim” from the Marshall Mathers LP.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match where R. Truth’s offense looks believable, Paul Heyman praises Curtis after he wins handily.

What Will Happen: R. Truth wins, Paul Heyman calls Curtis fat and tells him no one will ever love him. Heyman tells him he watched his girlfriend die and could have saved her, but instead did nothing.

20. AJ Brie

Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella

Best Case Scenario: AJ uses Brie Bella as a thing to do flippy/spinnies on, Brie doesn’t botch anything or hurt herself/AJ.

Worst Case Scenario: Brie winning, AJ immediately starts feud with Tamina. Is broken in half.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A match that lasts long enough for me to have a good pee break.

What Will Happen: Tamina helps AJ win, Stephanie comes out and restarts the match. Brie wins.

25. Rhodes Shield

Rhodes Family vs. The Shield

Best Case Scenario: Goldust turns on Cody, gets full-time job with company, starting feud between the two which culminates in WrestleMania match between the two.

Worst Case Scenario: The Shield wins, Stephanie comes out and actually fires all three Rhodes in real life. Says “that was for complaining about the polka dots”.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Goldust carries the match, Cody comes in for the hottest tag ever, goes Super Mario on entire Better for Business Bureau.

What Will Happen: Cody wins, Dusty gets “hurt” by The Shield, Dustin takes a spear so big that it knocks the paint off his face.

32. ADR vs. RVD

World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. RVD

Best Case Scenario: Del Rio beats up RVD earlier in the night, Dolph Ziggler is moved into match, and wins. Damien Sandow cashes in on exhausted Ziggler.

Worst Case Scenario: RVD wins, signs contract extension using fallen Del Rio as table.

What Nick Wants to Happen: A crowd that actually gives a shit about ADR, RVD continues his hot streak of “looking like he gives a shit during matches”, Damien Sandow or Del Rio leaves arena with title.

What Will Happen: Alberto Del Rio loses in a hard-fought match because of (warranted) interference from Rodriguez and destroys RVD in the aftermath. Damien Sandow comes back and cashes in MitB.

38. Ryback v. CM Punk

CM Punk vs. Ryback

Best Case Scenario: CM Punk makes Ryback look as good as he deserves to. Disney sends cease-and-desist letter to crowd, forcing them to move past insane “Goldberg” chants because of concerns over copyright infringement.

Worst Case Scenario: CM Punk wins, gets his hands on Heyman, faces Randy Orton for title at next month’s PPV.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Ryback goes over mostly clean, is shown partying with Curtis Axel after as Heyman looks on like proud father.

What Will Happen: Ryback wins with heavy interference from Axel and Paul E., CM Punk almost gets his hand on Heyman. Cuts promo tomorrow about how he wants to get his hand on Heyman.

44. Randy Bryan

 Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for WWE Title

Best Case Scenario: Randy Orton wins, screws over both Triple H and Bryan in the process, leading to blow off match at Hell in a Cell which FINALLY ends feud.

Worst Case Scenario: Randy Orton wins clean in the ring, turns crowd for him with 15 minute speech on the pitfalls of rooting for underdogs.

What Nick Wants to Happen: Daniel Bryan does Daniel Bryan things, Randy Orton does Patrick Bateman things, finish does Dusty things.

What Will Happen: Interference costs Daniel Bryan match, Randy Orton crawls out as champion while JBL/Cole/Lawler argue about merits of victory.

Headlock’d: WWE Battleground Predictions

It’s time again … wait.. it’s already the next?…sorry. It’s time again for Noah to make predictions about this week’s (?… is it really month’s?.. that doesn’t seem right, wasn’t Night of..).. sorry.  It’s time again for Noah to make predictions about this month’s WWE PPV, Battleground.

Let’s Lock Up!

Pretty in Pink (and Black & Blue): Raw Regurgitated, 9/30

He’s among the best in the business on the mic, but man does CM Punk forget his lines a lot.

It’s easy to forget that part of paying for a ticket to Monday Night Raw is paying to see certain people wrestle. Then, they have Big E. Langston come out and wrestle CM Punk for no real reason and you remember: Oh, right, people are really just here to see him and (maybe) Daniel Bryan.

There’s been serious rumors of a Big E. face turn. Taking the audible N-word out of his entrance music would probably be a good start in that direction.

***

I say this as someone whose grandmother died of breast cancer: everybody does (and should) hate breast cancer and want it to end, but, if its means we get these beautiful shirts every October, then that might just be something we have to deal with.

In case you were wondering, getting your name mentioned during last week’s first segment was them telling you who is going to get fed to stars they actually for the next couple of weeks.

Speaking of which, is it just me or does Bray Wyatt feel like he’s starting off in WWE 2K14 story mode and Kofi Kingston is the first guy he has to beat in order to move on to a meaningless  IC title feud.

***

This is something that’ll get the Cageside Seats treatment from me, but that Los Matadores managed to be pretty much everything I love about wrestling with a lovely red bow on top. From the call-and-response entrance music, to the INSANE El Torito introduction (replete with smoke coming out of the nostrils of a seemingly magical bull) these two are going to be HUGE stars. You know, if the adults in the audience can understand that not only are they for kids, but Spanish/Mexican kids.

For all I know, they could have been using that finisher for years, but if that doesn’t make them the biggest stars in the tag team division for the next year, I’m quitting the writing about wrestling racket. I am all in with Los Matadores.

***

Based on how many times she insists on bringing it up, the smart money is on Stephanie having written that “give Cody a Bed, Bath and Beyond gift certificate” joke.

Eternal questions: Did they have Dustin wear to a tan suit so that he would look different from Dusty and Cody  or because they wanted to match his Goldust make up.

Good to see the Shield (and the WWE finally figured out that people were finding it more and more implausible that wrestlers would actually wait to get their asses kicked by the Shield as they made their way through the crowd after their music hit and just had them appear out of thin air.

***

If R Truth ever run out of breath while trying to rap to the beat for his song, you have to wonder if he’d still just hum along to keep it going. .

HASN’T CURTIS AXEL EVER SEEN WRESTLING? HOW DOES HE NOT KNOW TO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO ENTRANCE MUSIC? WHY IS THERE SO MUCH ENTRANCE MUSIC RELATED TRIVIA TONIGHT? IS IT JIM JOHNSON’S LAST DAY?

Truth dancing in the middle of the ring after beating Axel is great, but in the way that celebrating after tackling someone for a short gain early in the game is: it’s relatively meaningless and will more than likely come to bite Truth in the ass at some point.

***

And Brie Bella, with the Michelle McCool “I’m in a relationship with a top guy” Memorial title shot. Does , explaining that they’ve been together for almost two year negate any chance at a “he was mine first” angle to this Brie-AJ match? I sure hope it does, because that would be just awful.

There’s a lot to be said about Zach Ryder getting this much offense against Alberto Del Rio on the go-home show for a PPV. Most of it involves me cursing and saying Long Island sucks.

Thank God for the Cross-armbreaker. ADR has turned that into the submission version of Sweet Chin Music and I couldn’t be prouder.

***

This managed to be both beautifully done and mildly repulsive (well, mostly Jerry Lawler’s reactions were repulsive). One on hand, it’s a lot of “look at how creepy Ryback and Heyman are with each other, because GAY LOLZ”, but on the other hand, it’s Paul Heyman saying “HEY, EVERYONE, I’M IN LOVE WITH RYBACK AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS,” which is good for everyone involved. Including the fans.

***WARNING YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE*** This was not good. At no point did Heyman really seem like he thought Punk was injured, and him moving towards Punk seemed more to do with being aware the spot wasn’t working the way it should have than a narrative reason. The idea that they know each other so well that they can get each other to fall into ridiculous traps only really  works in retrospect — like Punk saying “I knew it was a trap but I didn’t care”. When you do it in real time, and without a believable injury (everyone knew Punk was faking), you are is basing the entire segment on the reaction of the crowd and how badly they want CM Punk to get Paul Heyman. It should be the other way around. This was a very bad night for Punk and a very good night for Paul Heyman and definitely not for the reasons it was supposed to. ***WARNING YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON THE WAY OUT***

For a dude that can’t take a bump with a roadmap and a spotter, thanks for taking that Kendo stick like a champ, Paul.

***

Someone wrote in the comments of the Best and Worst of Smackdown that despite watching nearly every single one of their matches, he is still surprised by the ways in which the Shield manages to win nearly every single one of their matches. If you don’t think that’s the best part of this run by the Shield, you are watching wrong.

The crowd’s reaction to Big Show finally losing their shit is why you spend a month having him punk old people and douche bags that they tell people they should kind of like.

Wow, Stephanie continues her MVP season with an ED joke about Big Show to knock it out of the park. You can have Cabrera,Trout, Kershaw and McCutchen. I’m taking the classy broad from Stamford, CT.

***

WOW, those We, The People shirts are sharp. Would recommend. Relevant to my interests.

***

Either Daniel Bryan’s notes for his promo in his beard or he thinks that stroking his beard is somehow more interest than him saying something of value. I never thought Danielson would make me miss John Cena, but if you insist on doing a screamy-face promo for screamy-face promo sake, then we are going to have to re-evaluate this entire thing, Mr. Bryan.

Hey, Randy! That’s not right! Mentioning that Brie and Bryan share a bed is absolutely NOT PG. They aren’t even married!

Headlock’d: Keeping Up with the Rhodeses

Cody comes back from his honeymoon, Goldust comes back for honor and Justin Gabriel comes back into the frame on your television (we promise, he’s there).

Let’s Lock Up!

The Shield Rides (Under) The Bus: Raw Regurgitated, 9/23

The WWE uses WWE.com better than any single other entity uses their website to tell you exactly what they want you to feel. Although it was definitely mentioned in the show at some point by someone, not having to explain “Triple H knows what to do when the card fillers get uppity” because you put up an article about the last time wrestlers “protested” on one of the most trafficked websites makes everything so much easier. It’s how ESPN made you think Tim Tebow was important.

The Shield manage to feel like active, powerful champions while rarely defending the titles and never making you feel like they are in jeopardy. It definitely helps that they most often work in 6-man tags which they usually win, but even with favorable booking, they don’t back down from fights as much as rig them in their favor with The Damned Numbers Game™.

Who feels worst about themselves after that segment: Zach Ryder, R Truth or the guy who was supposed to make sure Justin Gabriel got in the frame?

***

Everyone is aware of my love Alberto Del Rio, but nobody quite makes him as lovable as Kofi Kingston. Kingston is is to Del Rio what Charlie is to the rest of The Gang from It’s Always Sunny: manages to make them more despicable because it’s clear they are taking advantage of someone who doesn’t know any better or at the very least, can’t help themselves.

It’s been covered, but we really need to get to the bottom of why Kofi continues to “boom!/boom!” when it’s clearly hurting him. Is he addicted to boom/boom? Is that why he missed so much time? The WWE UNIVERSE NEEDS TO KNOW!

The Wyatts have been on the show in the role of “card filler fun ruiner” enough that while they haven’t even hinted that they might be involved with the Better for Business Bureau, they are leaving just enough breadcrumbs for us to think about it.

***

It’s been said here before, but when the Miz is just being the Miz and not, as Stroud puts it, “playing a guy playing a wrestler”, he’s one of the better workers and mic guys on the roster. When he’s doing that other thing, he’s basically Dolph Ziggler without the bumps. Ask the rest of the Spirit Squad how that turns out.

Stephanie’s epic heel run continues its body count as she manages to bury The Miz just deep enough for the Big Show to still be able to punch his head off. If she manages to get one more mid-carder or above knocked out, she gets a free sandwich.

The Big Show has officially accepted his fate in life. Whatever they have to bring in to neutralize him when this story gets its payoff is going to be awesome.

***

If there is a betting line somewhere on “amount of punts and kicks to the head from Randy Orton during this run”, punt the over. Hard.

***WARNING YOU ARE NOW ENTERING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE KEEP YOUR EYES AND EARS INSIDE OF KAYFABE*** Right now, Randy Orton is in a “LeBron James, Game 6 in Boston” zone from a performance standpoint. It’s not just that he’s the best. He knows he’s the best and is dealing with several years of legit pent up professional frustration. He very notoriously hates working as a face and hasn’t been pushed as hard as he should in what should be his prime because of a pile of Wellness Violations. When given the opportunity to really work with the people he wants — alongside up-and-coming superstars with even more potential than Teddy and Cody did at the time, as well as old friends like H and the McMahons and against super faces like Daniel Bryan and his motley crew — he’s shown why they made him a World’s Champion before he was old enough to rent his own car. Many (our own Noah Waterman included) may want to see him turn quasi-face at some point, but everyone should probably realize that Henchmen 21 works way better with the Monarch than he does on his own. ***WARNING YOU ARE NOW EXITING A WRESTLING NERD DISCUSSION ZONE*** PLEASE ENJOY YOUR COMPLIMENTARY SONIC MILKSHAKE ON YOUR WAY OUT***

Why the WWE hasn’t turned Fandango face is anyone’s guess, but the wrestling nerd in me hopes its to keep Summer Rae’s place as the Queen Bee on NXT whenever she comes back.

***

There may be people who are more beloved in a hometown, but there is no one that understands theirs better than CM Punk. He’s so over here that they kept him off the show once because he was in the middle of a heel turn and they were afraid Chicago might turn the whole thing face. They also allow him to be incredibly, endearingly corny. What we be saying if the Miz cut this same promo about champions persevering in Cleve… oh wait.

It better not be too late for Paul Heyman to win a Best Short Film Oscar for “Man Rides Scooter Down Ramp” at next year’s show.

Speaking of being robbed of Academy Awards, has CM Punk never seen Jurassic Park?

Clever Girl

***

24 people are appearing in the next two matches, 10 of whom will be women.  A decent portion of these 24 people will get over on way or the other, none of whom will be women.

Guys! Lay off Michael Cole! It’s entirely possible he thought that the other guy with Golddust was Dusty with his hair dyed black.

The Shield may only have three members, but when you mix these backstage promos about how awesome they are with them actually living up to their own hype in the ring are why the Shield is the best stable since the Four Horsemen. They managed to stand at the exact intersection of wrestling and comic books, giving the characters something mythological — in the sense that their creation was less than organic — to react while also developing as real characters for the fans to root for or against themselves. Also, the entrances are pretty cool.

With a unifying force on both sides of the “bad guy-good guy” divide — Daniel Bryan as the leader of the “emphasis on wrestling” revolution (the name is a work-in-progress) and Triple H as the leader of Best for Business — we have the first logical explanation for heels and faces since Hulk Hogan. Stone Cold wasn’t a leader, he was a lone wolf who deliberately aligned himself with no one. People Power was a blatant power grab by a corrupt leader. And Foley may have been over, but he was never the leader that Daniel Bryan was in one night for the entirety of the short-lived “The Union” storyline. All this lets bad guy be bad guys, good guy be good guys and the matches speak for themselves. Which is nice.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen? – Impact Wrestling, 9/19

Dixie AJ

This week’s edition of Impact Wrestling is built around an awe-inspiring wrestling match-up featuring Jeff Hardy in X Division competition and a cringe-inspiring promo showdown between new top contender A.J. Styles and his doe-eyed boss who knows nothing about wrestling. Below is a rundown of all advertised segments:

TNA Says:

This past week, AJ Styles beat Magnus and won the “Bound For Glory Series” to earn a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship! AJ is set to face Bully Ray in the main event at October’s “Bound For Glory” – but what about AJ’s comments directed towards TNA President Dixie Carter after the match? What does AJ have planned? How will the TNA President react?

Dave Says: A.J. Styles is the number one contender for the World Heavyweight Championship headed into Bound For Glory. Impact Wrestling fans should be able to get excited about that. The only problem is that rather than telling the simple, time-tested “good vs. evil” or “road to redemption” stories, TNA has chosen build A.J.’s run at the title around the worked-shoot idea that he is getting back at owner Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan for pushing him out of the main event and turning their backs on him. Wait, isn’t he wrestling Bully Ray..?

Best Case Scenario: A.J. cuts right to the chase, and rather than reading off the litany of bad angles he’s been part of since Hulk Hogan’s arrival, jumps directly into explaining to Dixie why he’s going to be the best thing to happen to the TNA World Heavyweight Title and the worst thing to happen to Bully Ray. He states that his mission is to regain the title and become the greatest wrestler in TNA history.

Worst Case Scenario: A.J. makes a series of supposedly-cutting worked-shoot comments directed at Dixie and Hulk Hogan which make a small, stupid portion of fans ooh and ahh but do nothing for TNA, their title, or the idea that wrestling is anything more than a soap opera written by petty, jealous middle-aged men. Dixie gets all “a very special episode of Blossom” with her acting and cries tears that would make Big Show blush.

***

TNA Says:

Speaking of Bully Ray, he retained his World Title against Mr. Anderson this past week at “No Surrender”, even annihilating Anderson after the match to prove his point! What is the status of Mr. Anderson after the attack? Are the Aces stronger than ever now that Bully Ray has solidified his control over the group?

Dave Says: “Speaking of Bully Ray, he was in a terrible match last week against an opponent nobody cares about! Is that guy gone? Maybe if we’re lucky!”

Best Case Scenario: Bully Ray rants to his remaining flunkies about how great he is and brags about destroying squeaky wheel Anderson. Cracks in the foundation of Aces & Eights become even more apparent, as the remaining members of the gang seem increasingly skeptical of Bully Ray as a leader. Nobody says anything this week, but seeds are sown for the beginning of the end for everybody’s least favorite biker gang. Ken Anderson goes on to have bit parts in D-level action movies.

Worst Case Scenario:  Bully Ray cuts a promo in which he asks, “Do you know who I am?” no fewer than four times. He strongly implies that he has killed Anderson off camera, leading to looks of concern from Garrett Bischoff, who still isn’t sure which aspects of his life are real and which are a work. Ken Anderson goes on to have starring roles in D-level action movies.

***

TNA Says: 

Also on Thursday, X Division Champion Manik requested a chance to take his career to the next level in match against “The Charismatic Enigma” Jeff Hardy – and Hulk Hogan agreed! It’s a huge opportunity for the masked superstar to battle Hardy – and no doubt a match you don’t want to miss as two of wrestling’s premiere high-flyers collide for the first time on IMPACT!

Dave Says: If a show ever needed to be saved on paper, this is it… This is a non-title exhibition, the goal of which is to get over Manik, but consider this: what if Jeff Hardy won the X Division Title? Hardy would bring huge name recognition, star power, and prestige to the X Title while also being able to put on worthy X Division matches. It’s exactly what TNA thought they were getting with Rob Van Dam!

Best Case Scenario: (Above scenario aside…) Hardy and Manik work a long, athletic match that emphasizes what makes both of them special. Manik shows off some signature offense, even adding one or two new wrinkles to his repertoire to try and knock off the well-established Hardy. Hardy sells his butt off, but ultimately gets his comeback, hits the Twist and the Swanton, and pins Manik to a big pop.

Worst Case Scenario: Manik turns on Hardy, hits him in the back of the head with a hammer, and joins Aces & Eights. If you think this is the worst idea possible, you’re right. If you think it’s impossible, you haven’t been watching the last year of Impact.

***

TNA Says:

In addition, the Knockouts Championship will be on the line as Mickie James defends against ODB! Will Mickie continue her domination of the Knockouts Division – or will ODB walk out the new champion?

Dave Says: Mickie is still playing one of the best characters going in wrestling today, but her “here she is, here she isn’t” infrequent appearances on Impact over the last month or so have hurt her and the Knockouts Title a great deal. When she won the title, it felt like there would be great heat on her reign, but TNA has booked themselves out of a good thing.

Best Case Scenario: Mickie and ODB’s match tells a story about a hard-working, determined babyface taking on a big-game talking, cheap shot artist heel. ODB comes within a hair’s width of winning the Knockouts Title, but is cut off and rolled up by James.

Worst Case Scenario: ODB wins the Knockouts Title just as the last bit of excitement fades from her push. She goes on to defend the title against… uhh… whoever’s left at Bound For Glory.