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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The High Spot: Fair Game
December 16, 2004 by Joseph Bachman


Consider this if you will...It's WWE Armageddon, now it's not specifically THIS one but a December Pay-Per-View where history is made. One of the best wrestling moves ever to be seen, a move that rivals Snuka's steel cage frog splash to Foleys drop off the cell, this move is done at WWE Armageddon and the world is watching. The match? We'll say Eddie Guerrero and JBL. Actually, hell you can throw the Undertaker and Booker T in it as well as long as a 15-20 foot steel cage around them. Now JBL is sitting on the VERY top of the cage and Guerrero is watching from a distance yet Guerrero is ALSO on top of this cage...Suddenly Guerrero tight ropes it! He tip toes the TOP of the cage and then hits a huracanrana on JBL flipping himself and Layfield 15 plus feet to the mat...The crowd would lose it. People at home would lose it...Well in case you haven't heard this happened on Sunday night at NWA-TNA's Turning Point, only instead it was Elix Skipper hitting the move on Chris Harris. What is the point of the above setup? The setup is a question. Will this go down as a great moment in wrestling history much like Foleys drop and Snuka's splash and even the great TLC moments the WWE had? Sadly it may not. Few WWE fans may even know about this at all. In fact I even pulled out a WWE fan from its own chatroom on its own website and through a webcam showed him some TNA footage to which he was amazed by. All in all though the debate still wages and sides are taken. It's all fair game, right?

Consider more if you will...The WWE only has ONE hour a week to display its talent. Really think about it. Make sure that it's on a network only watched when a game is on and little attention is payed to its other shows. One hour. Seems insignificant doesn't it? Raw had to switch to 2 hours to make it big, and during the Monday night wars we had 4 hours of wrestling to sort through. One hour? Can we really do this? Let's dissect this for a second, because this could prove a point. TNA matches are often referred to by WWE fans as "2 minute spot-fests". Now push aside the fact that a "spot" is the climax of the match, the chase scene in a movie, it's what the people essentially paid to see so lets drop the argument that TNA's small hourly show is nothing but spot-fests, they are actually just exciting moves not seen by others. Well use RAW for the experiment...

rAw Is wAr

The show opens, pyros fly everywhere, the fans are static for their one small hour of "sports entertainment". This is where the opening 10-20 minute promo will take place usually. We'll take Triple H. Hunter needs face time so he steps into the ring, grabs a mic and runs his mouth for 10 minutes on how he lost his title. He wants revenge on Vince and wants Edge's and Benoit's asses. Bischoff comes out and basically tells him to shut up. To make up for it Bischoff announces that there will be a round robin tournament between the three to decide who will get a shot at the vacated title at the Royal Rumble. (In case you don't know a round robin is where all competitors wrestle each other and whoever has the best record out of the wrestlers wins) To make it interesting Bischoff decides that instead of only 3 competitors there will be in fact "seven". Added to the mix will be Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Dave Batista, and Christian. The winner of this will be guaranteed a shot at the world title at the Royal Rumble. THEN, on the night of the Rumble, the last RAW survivor whether he is the winner or not of the Rumble will then get the other half the title shot to be fought on the same night following the Royal Rumble match...Seem complicated? No, actually it's genius. Anyways though, this takes up a good 15 minutes, 20 with commercials...

40 minutes left...

A quick vignette of Simon Dean as Rosey's personal trainer is shown and Rosey is losing it...Simon calls him a fatass and you know the rest...After that Eugene and William Regal vs. La Resistance takes place. Since there isn't much of a tag division we are left with those 2 teams. They can't afford a long match so a quick 5 minute match is drawn out with Eugene getting the pin on Conway. A quick interview is seen with Randy Orton on what he has just heard. He is told the first round will be tonight and he faces Batista. Before he can say a word Orton is attacked by Batista himself and bloodied...fade to commercial...

30 minutes left...

Chris Jericho vs. Edge is next and what would usually be a good match turns into not much because of time restraints, suddenly the match is dulled to 5 minutes and Jericho picks up the win over Edge. Frustrated Edge makes an attack on Jericho with a chair which is assisted with Christian at ringside. Christian and Edge shake hands as good ol' J.R. loses it. J.R. announces that due to Orton's injury Triple H and Chris Benoit will be next in the tournament...fade to commercial...

20 minutes left...

Triple H vs. Chris Benoit is next and these two superstars do not have much time...they do a quick 5 minute match where Batista assists in a HHH win. It's not a pretty match. HHH is celebrating and it seems that alliances have been made within the heels as Batista and Triple H shake hands and Batista gets on the mic and declares himself the winner by forfeit. J.R. states that if Orton doesn't show up Batista is right...tension builds and by now we need another commercial...

10 minutes left...

We fade in as Batista awaits Orton, but not really...Just as the referee is making the final count...Orton's music hits and Orton comes out with bandages and faces off with Batista. In a huge comeback Orton defeats Batista after some Triple H interference countered with Chris Benoit interference and an RKO! BY GAWD an RKO! Just as Raw fades Orton celebrates with Benoit, end of show... Left out was Shelton Benjamin, Rhyno, Tajiri, and any hot diva action including Lita and Trish's feud. So we can come to the conclusion that it's hard to pull off a ONE HOUR show to display all of your talent and feuds...Oh yeah, THAT WAS JUST RAW...Technically We would also have to figure out how to mix Smackdown with Raw. TNA does not have two brands. So is there a way this is possible? Is it easy for people to accuse TNA of 2 minute spot fests and bad wrestling merely because there is not enough time?

Yes.

Sunday night at Turning Point one of the best, if not THE best PPV of the year took place. Instead of one hour, they had three and there have been rave reviews all over the place from the top wrestling sites on the internet. It's not just Elix Skippers ridiculous move from atop of the cage, throw in a great X-Division match between Chris Sabin and Petey Williams, Raven and Diamond Dallas Page, a decent match between the Kings of Wrestling and Styles/Hardy/Savage, and oh yeah, that six sides of steel match was one of the best of year too. In my opinion the footage of 3 Live Kru and Traci just eating the WWE's food and talking to Rey Mysterio was overshadowed by it's great wrestling. Which brings me to the point of this column...Fair game. Can Vince ever play fair?

Tanks, Results, and Mahi Mahi

In the midst of the Monday Night Wars we witnessed D-X driving to wCw headquarters in a tank, Eric Bischoff giving away WWF results on a wCw show, and cheap shot after cheap shot after cheap shot...All TNA did was eat some Mahi Mahi and talk to Rey Mysterio. Why would Vince want to sue over this? Is he just a plain old asshole now? Did he forget the meaning of competition? Of course NWA-TNA is going to mention the WWE and try to demean it's product. It happened with ECW when they were on the rise and they sold "Fuck Vince" t-shirts. Hell even XPW launched an anti-ECW campaign at the height of ECW's success. The WWF did the same when wCw was in total control of the wrestling world. What is the difference here? Vince is a business man, maybe he should encourage this. People need a reason to watch wrestling, if they hear that a war is going on between products, it gives non-wrestling fans a reason to tune in much like they did 6-7 years ago. Hell maybe Vince could even slide some money under the table to help out TNA. Give them a major network primetime spot and a 2 hour show. A new war between promotions would be good for business.

Sports Entertainment vs. Wrestling

We've seen the concept thrown around before. Why not? Vince doesn't seem to be afraid to admit his product isn't wrestling. I almost get the sense of childish antics when it comes to WWE fans defending their favorite wrestlers abilities. "Sure, I could do a shooting star press off of somebody's back...if I wanted to!" I would really like Vince McMahon to define his product for us. There is a huge 20x22 foot wrestling ring in the middle of his arena, yet it's not wrestling, it's "sports entertainment". I want Vince to tell Chris Benoit face to face that he doesn't "wrestle" he "entertains. I want Vince to tell Lou Thesz, or Stu Hart that what they were doing wasn't wrestling but it was entertainment. (rhetorical comment, I know they're dead) Wrestling is supposed to BE the entertainment, and some people have lost sight of that greatly, including Vince McMahon. This is why I defend TNA so much through it's hardships and successes. I know Savage shouldn't be there, Nash and Hall are questionable, I know they can't do much with one hour a week, and I know the money troubles they are in as well. Why discredit it though? I can't sit by quietly and watch some of the best wrestling in the world go unnoticed and forgotten. I can't sit by and watch A.J. Styles watch a fed he has been apart of building fall apart only to probably fall victim to a huge paycheck by Vince McMahon and then after a year barely make Velocity or Heat. Define yourself as a fan. Are you a wrestling purist? What impresses you more? Overproduced, yet very pretty marketing promos for a guy who likely has little talent or wrestling ability? Or actual wrestling ability? Maybe we as whole need to define what exactly we want in wrestling. All I want is good storylines and good wrestling. It's not hard. The entertainment aspect of wrestling is great, but the actual wrestling is more important. So in conclusion define yourself, are you that die-hard WWE fan who will accept nothing less than the WWE? Are you a die-hard TNA mark who wants to see Vince's federation foiled to nothing? Or are you just a wrestling fan sick of all of this nonsense and just want to see some good wrestling? Or do you hate wrestling and maybe could be reading this column by mistake?

Video clips

With Windows XP comes "movie maker". Now I have no hook-up to my VCR but I DO have a webcam! When I pulled out people from the WWE.COM chatroom I showed them some footage of highlights from Turning Point and TNA in general. Very poorly made and looking very cheap it still shows some pretty good stuff and I invite anyone to download it. You'd have to have Kaaza to download it though but simply type in either "TNA" or under an artist search type "The High Spot" The background music is Amon Amarth, a very very good death metal band. If not that just download any TNA match if you can. Next week I will continue the storyline I started on Raw as apart of the ultimate storyline I keep talking about that would heighten WWE ratings a little. Feedback will be answered as well and more is encouraged this week. Thank you for reading, I'm out.

by Joseph Bachman (http://ecefed.2ya.com)..


mary scott wrote:
having read about turning point online i looked for it on a download and was happy when i found it and for once it was the right thing. having been a tna fan for sometime it was a shame that the wednesday nite ppv stoped as it ment no more coverage in the uk on the wrestling channel. and we have yet to get impact . so needing my fix of styles daniels and the rest i was plesently surprised to find turning point and victory road on line.

having grown dishearted with vinces direction i petty much stopped watch raw or smackdown. so my weekly fix came from jarrets outfit and at times the meanies and jasmins 3pw.

after veiwing the show i had to spread the word like yourself i have only crude editing materials and a cdr so had to cut and paste it onto a couple of cds for my friends tosee the whole show and it went down a storm. now the 8 of u that usally get together for the ppvs are all filling our hard drives and cdrs with tna. we all call but hope it surives
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