Nobody Asked Me, But…

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
Nobody Asked Me about TNA, But…

The Kingfish Arnie Katz continues a “Katz Files” tradition with hard-hitting answers to some ticklish questions inspired by watching the 6/13 pay per view, Slammiversary.

Slammiversary VIII delivered some excellent action, spun a few mysteries and inspired some questions that no one actually asked me.

Nobody asked me, about TNA and Slammiversary, but…

… Wasn’t about the first half of B4 the Bell a nice job? It was all pre-recorded video, possibly owing to an audio problem at the venue that prevented remote broadcast until the actual start of Slammiversary VIII

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Slammiversary Analysis

The Katz Files
Slammiversary Results & Analysis

Slammiversary was a very good-to-excellent card from top to bottom, though the booking did undercut a couple of the contests, especially Hernandez versus Morgan.

Let’s examine what happened in the matches. I’m reprinting my predictions, verbatim, so you can see how my prognostications and suggestions stack up against what actually happened.

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Slammiversary VIII Predictions

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
My Slammiversary Predictions

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, takes a look at TNA’s equivalent of Wrestlemania. He uses his handy dandy crystal ball, tea leaves and lucky coin to try and predict the winners, losers and future plans for TNA.

The Big Announcement

Dixie Carter, Sting and Hulk Hogan have all teased a major change in the works. “Deception” was brought up as the key word. I’ve had several people write me as to my thoughts on what this is all about. After running about a dozen scenarios through my weary little brain, I think I may know what they are going. Eric Bischoff has buddied up to Hogan for a long time. Bischoff and Sting worked WCW together for many years. I’m expecting Bischoff to go for a “hostile takeover”, uniting Sting, Flair, Jarrett and a few others from the WCW days to do an Invasion angle.

Now, on to the action…

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Slammiversary Preview & Predictions

The Katz Files
Slammiversary Preview & Predictions

The Kingfish Arnie Katz gets you ready for TNA’s eighth anniversary celebration, TNA’s second-biggest pay per view of the year.

It’s Slammiversary time! No one can accuse TNA of setting up one of its infamous “throwaway” pay per views, though it is unlikely that we’ll see a buy-rate breakthrough, either.

Even though the World Tag Team Championship match got scratched, it’s a strong card. There are a some competitive title contests as well as a few grudge fights. The Band isn’t on the card, which eliminates a good spot for a refrigerator or bathroom run, but the trusty DVR can take care of that.

Let’s look at the matches:
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Rating the TNA Roster 4

The Katz Files
Rating the TNA Roster 4

The Kingfish Arnie Katz concludes a new, monthly series that rates TNA wrestlers’ recent performances, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and even charts future courses for major TNA stars.

Part 4

Slammiversary is always a watershed for TNA. It is one of the year’s two biggest pay per view events. If TNA is ever going to make a breakthrough in its PPV buy-rate, it will most likely come with either Bound for Glory or Slammiversary.

While that breakthrough is unlikely to occur due to Slammiversary VIII, the late-Spring event offers a good opportunity to rate the men and women on the TNA roster.

This is the last of the four columns rating TNA talent. Next week, it’ll be the turn of RAW and then Smackdown

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Rating the TNA Roster 3

The Katz Files
Rating the TNA Roster 3

The Kingfish Arnie Katz continues his monthly series that rates each TNA wrestlers’ recent performances, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and even charts future courses for major TNA stars.

Part 3

Check the first two columns in this series for the long-winded explanation if you haven’t yet read it.

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Rating the TNA Roster 2

The Katz Files
Rating the TNA Roster 2

The Kingfish Arnie Katz continues his monthly series that rates each TNA wrestler’s recent performances, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and even charts future courses for the hole roster.

Part 2

TNA Week continues here at “The Katz Files.” As the promotion barrels towards its next pay per view, here’s how things lo0ok as of mid-June.

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Rating the TNA Roster: 1

The Katz Files
Rating the TNA Roster: June, 2010

The Kingfish Arnie Katz continues his monthly series that rates each wrestler’s recent performances, analyzes strengths and weaknesses, and even charts future courses for major TNA stars.

Part 1

This is definitely going to be “TNA Week” here at “The Katz Files.” I’ll have a column every day, leading up to one of the promotion’s major annual events, Slammiversary It’s starts today, with the first section of my monthly roster review and will finish up on the weekend with my Slammiversary preview and predictions.

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What Happened NXT

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
What Happened NXT

Our resident philosopher wraps up Season One of WWE’s Tuesday night replacement for ECW. The Rookies and Pros for Season Two were announced, and, oh yeah, the winner of Season One was announced.

It looks like NXT has been picked up for a second season. In what should have been my final NXT report, I’ll look back at Season One, give the final results and look forward (sort of) to next season. That second season starts, Tuesday.

The Rookies

Daniel Bryan: He basically eliminated himself by saying he should be sent home first. Most smarks know him as “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson. It looks like he didn’t really need this show to make it big.

Michael Tarver: Another Rookie that eliminated himself. Tarver had a lousy attitude during his entire run. Of course, he whined and complained that he got a bad deal in all this. I seriously doubt that he will be around, at least not in his current packaging.

Skip Sheffield: The Cornfed Meathead should have caught on with the fans, but just didn’t. His goofy catchphrase and faux innocent routine were rejected faster than free tickets to hear Roseanne Barr singing. With the right heel twist, Skip could be a future mid-carder. He needs to drop the Skip first name. Just about any other first name would work.

Darren Young: The Florida Party Boy was just plain boring. The silly haircut wasn’t enough to make him a hit with the fans. Getting stuck with C.M. Punk didn’t help matters. Also, his name is just a little too bland for his image.

Heath Slater: The “One Man Rock Band” hasn’t played his last tune in the WWE. He’s just odd-looking enough to be popular. He definitely needs a little character tweaking and a more advanced move set but he’s got major potential. He’s a future Intercontinental or United States Champion, at least.

That brings us to the finals of Season One and the remaining three:

Justin Gabriel: The South African kid would be a superstar, if WWE still had a Cruiserweight division. He might have a decent run in the mid-card area of WWE. He might even take the I-C or US belts. Sadly, I think he’s going to end up just a footnote in WWE history. I hope I’m wrong.

David Otunga: I admit it…I can’t stand this poser. He’s riding the coattails of his ol’ lady, Jennifer Hudson, for all it’s worth. Honestly, this guy has some basic moves in his bag of tricks but he won’t last more than a year or two. He’ll get bored and bail out to some other little project.

Wade Barrett: He still needs some work but he is going to become the William Regal of this generation. He’s got the strength and viciousness of a JBL with the articulational skills of a Harley Race.

The Final Battle

Wade Barrett d Justin Gabriel and David Otunga

The Finishes

Gabriel caught Otunga with the 450 Splash. Wade prevented the pin, which seemed like a stupid move. Wade then showed his brillance by taking the pin, himself. Wade then hit his Reverse Samoan Drop on Gabriel to seal the deal.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: This was a decent match, but I would have prefered 3 matches: Wade v Gabriel, Wade v Otunga and Gabriel v Otunga. It could have been a better indicator of the abilities of each man. This was an acceptable alternative.

After the match, Gabriel got his walking papers. He did the typical “I’ll be back” promo with promises of a future World title run. It then came down to Otunga and Barrett. After a painfully long wait, Barrett was declared the winner, such as it was.

NXT also introduced the next crop of Rookies and Pros:

Husky Harris: Better known to fans as Duke Rotunda. He is the sone of Mike Rotunda and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan. I’ve had a lot of my regular readers e-mail me about how upset they are at his name change. I’m expecting to see him evolve into “Husky” Harris Mulligan (or Rotunda). His brother didn’t get called up (guess that’s Season Three. It worked for Donny and Marie on Dancing With The Stars).

Cody Rhodes: The second generation star gets to mentor Husky. This is going to be another oil and water combo. This might also help to restart Cody’s sagging career.

Eli Cottonwood: Imagine Vance Archer and Great Khali having a child. That’s Eli. He’s huge and from some research I’ve done on the kid, he can actually move quickly and hit some impressive moves. He’s the one to watch in Season Two.

John Morrison: The Guru of Greatness will be aiding the Treetop Tall Terror. If Eli will listen, he could win this one. You just know that there are going to be problems.

Percy Watson: He’s the “Goofy One” in Season Two. Much like Darren Young, he’s not going to last long, once the cuts start. I take that back, slightly. He won’t be around long, if he keeps the silly gimmick he showed on his intro promo.

MVP: His push is evaporating faster than a rain drop on the Vagas Strip. Like Cody, this might be a good way to get MVP back on track. MVP is either going to push Watson’s silliness or try and break him out of the weird behavior. I’m hoping for the latter.

Titus O’Neal: If it were just up to the Pros, this kid would have it locked up. Titus is incredible. His physique is Adonis-like. His moves, from the videos I’ve watched, are sharp and quick.I realize that WWE might adjust him, to make him look more rookie-ish than he really is. I expect him to have an awesome win-loss record in NXT.

Zack Ryder: Really? Dozens of “Pros” to chose from and they pick this guy? I guess they really didn’t have much else that he could do, so pitch him in as a Pro. This is going to be your Miz v Daniel Bryan pairing. Titus will do well, despite having such a sad excuse for a Pro.

Kaval: If they based this on who was actually the best wrestler, Kaval would win this, hands down. He is no where near a Rookie. As Low-Ki and Senshi, Kaval tore up Ring of Honor and TNA, as well as most of the indy organizations around the US and Canada. I don’t think Michael Cole will be dumb enough to bad-mouth this martial arts master. Cole could find his head lying in his lap.

Michelle McCool and Layla aka LayCool They are the WWE’s Beautiful People. Just about as annoying and almost as talented. Well, McCool is a decent wrestler but Layla was better as a Case Girl on Deal or No Deal. Kaval should make it to the finals, despite being weighed down by these two albatrosses. NXT is just trying to up the ratings with the girls.

Lucky Cannon: I’m keeping an open mind on this kid. The intro video didn’t impress me much. His story should get him a few fans. I want to see him in action, before I make my final decision on him.

Mark Henry: Mark knows how to rally a crowd. I’ve had a lot of negative e-mails about putting Mark in the mix. My response has been the same. Mark’s been around for more than a decade. He was the ECW champ and he’s helped push so many stars to the next level. This will be a most interesting pairing.

Mike McGillicutty: If Husky Harris got the fans to grumbling, Mike brought them to out-and-out screaming. Joe Hennig is a fantastic third generation star. He dad was Mr. Perfect. His grandfather is AWA Legend, Larry “The Ax” Hennig. Why in the world would WWE be so stupid as to change this legacy’s name? I’ve had several days to try and figure out the logic and I’m still bumfoozled. He’s going to be another finalist.

Kofi Kingston: The United States Champion is an excellent choice for one of the Pros. He’s young enough to relate to his mentee, Mike/Joe, but seasoned enough to offer advice. I kind of doubt that Mike/Joe is going to listen but the advice is there. Should be interesting to see if Mike/Joe will be pushed as a face or a heel. His dad played both roles but did so much better as a heel. Kofi could definitely help turn Mike/Joe either direction.

Alex Riley: This kid was supposed to be a partner to C.M. Punk, years ago. He is basically re-hashing the gimmick created by Chris Nowinski (and later revamped by Jack Swagger). Riley has worked the ring wars for many years. He will definitely impress, and irritate, the fans.

The Miz: The only person who might have made a better Pro for Riley would have been Jack Swagger. Miz is going to help turn Riley into a Super-Heel. Miz is going to crow about how much better Riley is, compared to Daniel Bryan. Miz just might take Riley to the top. Scratch that. Miz just might help Riley to take himself to the top.

Final Grade: C

Final Thoughts: The crowning of the first NXT winner almost came across as an afterthought in this week’s show. WWE and NXT were much more interested in pushing the Season Two kids and Pros. This was a perfect example as to why the ratings for NXT have been so lousy: Flawed Concept. Even more Flawed Presentation. I’ll stick with it to bring all the results for the next (make that NXT) season. I kinda doubt there will be a Season Three. (Of course, I said that halfway through Season One about a Season Two).


– Jay Shannon

The Impact Insight

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The New and Improved Impact Insight

Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, rolls out a all-new format for his weekly look at the happenings on Thursday nights.

I decided to restructure my weekly column to something similar to what I was doing when both Raw and Impact were on Mondays. This week’s TNA set more pieces into place for June’s Slammiversary show.

This Week’s Episode: The Enigma and the A-H***

The Opening Segment:

Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson worked the first segment. Anderson is well on his way to a face turn, maybe. Anderson absolutely drove the censors bananas with using the “A” word about a dozen times in a row. Anderson said he liked Hardy because both of them were “A**H****”. He started picking out people in the crowd and calling them the same name and even did a hilarious take-off on the old Dr. Pepper tune, singing “Wouldn’t you like to be an A-H (spoken out) too”.

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