September 20, 2011

Spare Change Newsletter, volume 2 issue 2

Greetings all pro wrestling fanatics,

It’s our pleasure to bring you another heaping scoop of pro wrestling editorials. Not covered this week are NXT and Superstars, since very little happened worth mentioning (not that it ever stopped me before), so I’ve filed away the notes I took on them to be bundled into future commentaries. Also, I went to another ECCW show, and wanted to share some of that with you, but they’ve been real tardy about posting pics from the show, and I’ve been holding out for them. You know I like my illustrative props. Take this little number from Night of Champions, for instance:


The only thing that stood out to me on this week’s episode of Smackdown was the altercation between Daniel Bryan, Muy Cara, and the returning Sin Cara. DBD was looking badass as hell in that match against Muy Cara, and I was very glad that he didn’t lose that match, and I was also very glad (or maybe smug is the right word) that I was right in suspecting that Sin Cara would return to challenge Muy Cara for the undisputed merchandising kickback rights.

I don’t see how Bryan could fit into their program, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he’ll be moving on to.


Impact this week of course featured the continuation of the great Bobby Roode storyline that came to fruition at No Surrender. As per Immortal’s nefarious plan, Roode must face each of the other guys in Fourtune in singles matches over the next several weeks. If the other guys are too easy on Roode, they’ll be dropped down to the very bottom of the standings. If they can beat him, they’ll get top contenders spots for the title after BFG. It’s kind of shocking how well this storyline has been handled, being that it is TNA and all. I’ve been let down by them so many times before, which makes it’s hard for me to open my heart to anything they put on tv, but this one is just too much fun and I’m into it. Excited, even!

The main event of the program was Ric Flair vs. Sting. It was pretty sad. Flair’s still awesome on promos and backstage segments, but he clearly shouldn’t be competing physically anymore. It’s uncomfortable to watch, like a snuff movie of an old guy getting beat up.

In other sadness news, Jeff Hardy went around backstage for two segments that showcased how disappointed he is in himself, and how pissed the other guys are at him. AJ Styles cut one of the most brutal promos on him that I’ve ever heard, and D-Von laid it into him a bit too, though in the end he was forgiving. AJ laid it into him so hard, I can’t say (as I did before) that Hardy is being brought back a babyface. He’s really not face or heel, or a character at all. Everything they’re talking about as it relates to him isn’t related to his ring persona or any gimmicks or anything, it’s all pretty straight-forward “you are a fuck-up and you probably shouldn’t even be here.” I feel kind of guilty for having looked forward to it so much.

But Impact wasn’t all about relationships and old man beating and harsh promos. There was also reason to celebrate, because Madison Rayne is back on tv! The full story involves Karen Jarrett, whose new role on Impact is basically being the GM of the Knockouts division. She reset whatever standings there were, and there’ll be a tourney for the #1 contender’s spot, which will be decided in the coming month, culminating with a match against Winter at Bound For Glory. Madison Rayne’s new hobby is kissing Karen Jarrett’s ass, and she’s super entertaining, as usual. Great to have her back.


I watched 3 weeks of FCW this week, skipping through a lot of it, but paying attention to the rotating cast of characters, looking for favorites and other standouts. After wrestling to a 15 minute draw last month, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins wrestled to a 20 minute draw this month. They even set it up with an in-ring contract signing, which is rare for FCW. Another standout in developmental is Richie Steamboat, the son of Ricky ”the Dragon”. He’s incredibly polished for someone his age (24) and has great presence. He could definitely be a big shot someday. FCW has a lot of horrible wrestlers, but the ones who shine through make me excited for the future. Also, one of my old WCW favorites is a suit on FCW. If you’re not familiar, let me introduce you to the incomparable Norman Smiley.


Sunday saw 5 title retentions (if you include HHH’s job title), but the two big ones changed hands, giving us a new WHW Champion, and an old WWE Champion.

There weren’t any standout wrestling matches on this PPV. None were bad, but there weren’t any memorable ones either. Match of the night would have to go to Punk-HHH, on account of how beat to shit they got during that thing. It was kind of chaotic toward the end there, but they were having a pretty darn good wrestling match before all that started. I should rewatch it. I’m really glad you made that point about how you thought that Punk could stay unburied. If you hadn’t said that, I probably would have gone into this match feeling like it would be a crime if Mr. H’s beat him, but you were totally right, it didn’t even touch him. He was still the man on Raw, he’s got TWO cool new t-shirts, and of course he kicked out after a pedigree and took Nash’s power bomb plus another pedigree before getting pinned. HHH sold the match like Punk took him to the limit, and that’s priceless. So now I’m actually glad that Punk lost, because HHH is still COO, and their story is at this interesting point where you can smell trouble brewing, but you don’t know who or what or how it will come about.

Maybe there’s something wrong with me, but I don’t care about a 3-way Hell in a Cell match between John Cena, CM Punk, and Alberto Del Rio. Why not just make it a 4-way, and throw Kevin Nash in there, too? I’m pretty bitter about Del Rio tapping out. Where’s a conspiracy against John Cena when you need it?


I was really happy that Mark Henry won the World title, and that he took it away from that darn Randy Orton. That was probably the best moment of the night for this household; Alice and I said “Yeah!” and high-fived. Great promo afterward, also. Really really hope he retains at Hell in a Cell. Maybe he can injure Orton on tv, so that Orton goes into the PPV with a disadvantage. Whatever it takes.

Speaking of Alice, she and I made predictions for the PPV, and only agreed on one thing- that Beth Phoenix would beat Kelly Kelly to win the Diva’s title. Didn’t happen. This match was actually kind of interesting, with the crowd being so solidly behind Beth Phoenix, the would-be heel. A lot of that was because she’s from upstate New York, but I’ll bet there are tons of people who’d love to see a more athletic looking woman take it to the cheerleaders. However, I can understand why K2 would hold on to the title at least a little longer. Since she seems to be the queen of the skinny Divas, if she was made to look like she couldn’t beat Beth Phoenix, then the rest of the skinny Divas would lose as much face by default. A couple of high profile wins for Kelly Kelly makes the entire female roster look more competitive. Looking at it from one perspective, anyway.

I did like the commentary throughout the PPV. Michael Cole wasn't obnoxious, he was making relevant calls throughout, and Booker T was great on color. On Monday, Josh Matthews replaced Jerry Lawler for the second half of the show, which I wouldn't mind being a more regular gig for him. It was kind of strange having three play-by-play guys at the same time (if Cole still counts as that), but I don't think I'd have noticed if I wasn't looking for things like that all the time.


It seemed like there was a lot of Smackdown action on Raw this week. What makes it really stand out is that the Smackdown guys tend to keep to themselves. Instead of mixing up the matches, almost all are between wrestlers from the same brand. It makes the Smackdown portions of the show seem like a commercial for Friday nights on the SciFi Channel, which I guess it probably is, anyway. It’s a bit much for me, being that I tune into Smackdown come rain or shine. I like Cody Rhodes and Sheamus plenty, but seeing watered-down versions of their characters on Mondays is less than ideal as far as I’m concerned. Though, I guess it would be hard for just Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to carry the middle hour of Raw, seeing as how Miz and RTruth have been FIRED! Well now, I don’t believe for a second that they won’t be back real soon. If they aren’t on the show next week, I’d be surprised and also would miss them because they’re a riot.

One of the ways which pro wrestling is unique is that there is no other kind of event where people will come in droves to have two guys strut out and sing a rap song about how everyone in the audience sucks. Thinking about that cracks me up every time the Awesome Truth make their new entrance, and I hope they retain their gimmick when they return.

Signing off this week with a question posed by William Regal on NXT:

Something to mull over til next week.

yours truly,

Quarter Marshall

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