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CheapShots: Impact Quickie #4

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Rosemary Impact Wrestling
Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!

Mad Man currently chillin’ out at home. It’s time for me and my robot friends to hurl darts and insults at Anthem through Orlando and the live claymation circus that is Impact Wrestling. One minute deep, PC Little Dragon quips: “Look, a live action Raid commercial!” Barring random indie bookings, American fans of the art form no longer must put up with The Human Cockroach who impersonates tequila. Because of the termination of a disgrace to Mascaras’ legacy, the Main Event of Redemption needed a quick change. Thankfully, Impact found one at WrestleCon last week. Champion Austin Aries will face Pentagon Junior and Fenix. Both Lucha Underground athletes tore it up in a Triple-Threat with The Golden Vegan. Why not do it again in a pinch? Not bad for short notice.

We begin the main Florida portion of the show with an in-ring promo. If there is a bigger ego than Aries on The Impact Roster, it belongs to Eli Drake. Like the champ, it is completely justified with solid heel work and great mic skills. Although, there is a small hole in his arrogance. How can you show a dude getting crushed at WrestleCon if he is your top heel in possession of two briefcases? Meanwhile. Drake starts rehashing his plot to acquire them. Periodically, he stops to hold a mirror up to sheepish obnoxiousness. AI Hercules says: “I agree, marks can be sheep and at times, much dumber than they think.”

Amid this, we are told by commentators that Drake has found a tag partner, enabling him proper use of one of the cases. No one knows who it is yet. Before Eli spits it out, he is interrupted by the music of Konnan and LAX. The OG Lucha says his boys don’t believe Drake could find a partner, and they demand to know his identity. The Self-Imposed Hyphen had bailed up the ramp upon LAX’s arrival. He was still visible with the mic and told Konnan that he has dealt with this person many times before.

My Electronic Intelligence and I were thinking Hernandez. Sadly, there was no Super Mex, DAMMIT! The boys nearly fried their circuits. “HAM CUBE?” They each appeared mystified. AI Hercules asked: “Over 50 years old, why does Scott Steiner need THIS paycheck right now?” PC Little Dragon chimes in: “He could barely move ten years ago, he damn sure can’t move now!” I was stunned, not only was Scott a member of a GREAT tag team. He was arguably the best in-ring American athlete of his generation. I am legitimately hoping this is not an Owen Hart situation for The Walking Steroid. Sincere apologies for the dark memories. As a parachute, no one in the artform right now; except for John Cena, can match promos with Konnan. If you try, you will lose. Top ten all-time!

Our first contest of the evening finds Sami Callahan accompanied by the rest of the Ohio Funhouse. The Buckeye Boys were taking on Moose. This has gotten personal in a hurry thanks to the former football player’s relationship with Eddie Edwards. Initially, it was a good fight, until we all noticed something. PC Little Dragon verbalized what we were thinking. “Why does it look like they are copying each other’s moves?” This began to feel very odd.

“…They are both decent, and one’s a very good athlete. Why are they doing this?” AI Hercules asked.

 

My only explanation was they were killing time. The contest ended after OVE jumped in the ring and attacked Moose. Of course, Callahan brought out the baseball bat. Even as big as Moose is, he’s not winning that battle 3-on-1. This prompts a still vulnerable Eddie Edwards to run to the ring and start swinging. Eventually, our friends from Ohio immobilize him. Did I say someone was vulnerable? Out comes Eddie’s wife. Please stay in the back or advance the storyline. Thank God they chose the latter because this was getting uncomfortable fast. In unison: “Lights Out? Who??” If they hadn’t done the video package for WrestleCon earlier, I wouldn’t have known Tommy Dreamer was a suit for impact! Lights come back on: “It’s The Innovator of Violence with a kendo stick!” Screams AI Hercules. The Hardcore Legend says he draws the line at attacking a man’s wife. A 6-Man Hardcore Rules Match. Edwards, Moose & Dreamer vs. OVE & Callahan at Redemption. LET’S FINISH IT! “ECW, ECW, ECW!”

That was intense. PC Little Dragon says he needs a nap. I told him not to worry, one was almost imminent. Josh Matthews has been talking trash about Petey Williams all night. An alleged match between the two was scheduled. It wasn’t a match. “I would rather see James Ellsworth in there, and he makes me hurl!” AI Hercules shakes his head. I can’t say that I disagree with him. We know this device is meant to stall and get to Redemption. Doesn’t make it necessary. Why is someone no bigger then me repeatedly allowed to “compete” in the ring while non-fans laugh at us? Send in the carpenters and keep those who have never done anything but talk and read scripts OUT!

Cut backstage and Johnny Impact is doing a promo on Jimmy Jacobs’ lack of professionalism in terms of letting him do this half of his job. PC Little Dragon smirks, “Excuse me Johnny All Names? I like you, but this is Professional Wrestling, correct?”

Dragged Out Disco Inferno and his Giant Stutter continue their pattern of antagonism and interruption. Johnny says he is tired of the disrespect. He will be in the ring next week if Jacobs and Kong are interested in continuing this discussion. Guessing the talk will be over at that point.

After the segment, a 6-Man Tag had been building from weeks of KM and The Cult of Lee bullying Fallah Bahh and Richard Justice at various indie shows. Big Bad Tyrus had been watching this from afar and was in no mood to take it. He joined them to take the heels down a notch. Justice squashed two dudes with a clothesline off the apron. The Philippine Giant went over with his version of a Bonsai Drop. Honestly, I hope the writers at Impact find a good program for Fallah Bahh. I’d like to see something interesting for him.

Recess to close the show when The Demon Assassin had a showdown with The Queen of Valhalla in a glorified TLC Match the leader of The Hivelings calls “The Demon’s Dance.” It was a very physical match because these two know each other’s tendencies so well. I was slightly surprised there was no color involved. Rosemary got the win, giving Taya Valkyrie a piledriver from the second rope. I’m not sure if it was a bad camera angle or a bad idea. Rosemary has a unique in-ring history with injuries. I could tell that she took the bump for Taya. Good thing she’s a pro, because Su Yung is coming.

Overall, my boys and I think it was a solid show. We will see everyone soon.

 

 


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Dear Smarks: WWE Does Listen To Fans

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Stephanie McMahon WWE

Either last week or earlier this week (my days are running together so I don’t remember), Stephanie McMahon was at a summit called ‘Game Changer’ and she made the following comment: ‘We’re successful for one reason only – we listen to our fans.’

The internet smarks ROASTED Stephanie over this comment, mocking her for claiming that WWE listens to their fans when, in their minds, that is clearly not the case. Why? Because Roman Reigns, not Braun Strowman is champion, among other things. Clearly, any company that makes Roman Reigns champion over Braun Strowman isn’t listening to their fans, or at least, their REAL fans. You know, the all-knowing, smark community who know how to run a multi-billion dollar business better than the people who work there do.

I’ve tackled this ‘Real fan’ nonsense in the past and I’m really not in the mood to do it now and the issue of Braun Strowman being champion is an article unto itself. However, let’s be clear here: WWE DOES listen to their fans and the fans they listen to are the fans that buy stuff.

WWE first, last, always, and forever, is a business. They need money to survive and being a publicly traded company, they need money to keep the shareholders happy, that means they have to know who and what makes the money to keep the shareholders happy and keep the company afloat and who is making them the most money is Roman Reigns.

Don’t give me that look. Don’t roll your eyes at me and grumble about him being over pushed and/or shoved down your throat. I can name several people in WWE not named Roman Reigns that are over pushed. The bottom line is that Reigns moves merchandise, his stuff sells and sells really well. Having been to a few WWE TV/PPV tapings, I can tell you that Reigns’ stuff can get a little tough to find and is usually the most requested item.

Now before any of you make snide comments about Reigns having more stuff to sell, I checked WWE’s shop are and compared the number of Roman Reigns shirts to the number of shirts for AJ Styles, in terms of shirts including: T-shirts, tank tops, hoodies and what’s available for both genders, Roman Reigns had thirteen shirts available while Styles had twenty. Thirteen different shirt designs to twenty and that doesn’t include hats, gloves, or the non-wearable stuff available.

Oh, Reigns’ stuff is bought by women and kids, so it shouldn’t count? Here’s my question: So what? It’s still money that SOMEONE is spending on merchandise. If WWE didn’t want women and kids to buy their stuff, they wouldn’t be marketing stuff for women and kids. Why? Because women and kids are FANS!

For those of you still grumbling, here’s some food for your thoughts: Why should WWE listen to their ‘real’ fans? No, I’m serious. Why should they listen to fans who cheer something one week, boo it the next, demand that indy darlings get pushed despite getting mediocre pops from Main Roster audiences, and pay more attention to beach balls and time clocks than the matches? Why should they listen to people who BRAG about spending a lot of money on tickets just to boo one person they don’t like?

WWE is like any company, they listen with their bottom line, and what they’re hearing from fans is that the fans like Reign because that’s the stuff that sells the best. And before you say one thing about about Reigns’ stuff being more available at TV tapings and Live Events, I’ve been to a RAW taping, a RAW PPV, and a SmackDown/205 taping and while Reigns stuff was at SmackDown, there was also a lot of Styles and Cena stuff available at RAW events and I’m not hearing any complaining about that.

Maybe the problem isn’t that WWE isn’t listening, it’s just that your views aren’t the what the majority paying fans think or want. WWE is catering to what most of their fans want, not just the small minority that can’t seem to make up their minds about what they want.


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Cheap Shots: Should Finn Balor Quit WWE?

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Why Finn Balor should “Quit” The WWE

After seeing KO burst into tears on Monday night RAW two weeks ago and “quit” there were a slew of videos about why KO “quit”. The biggest one was to revitalize his character. So in playing the devils advocate why not have the first Universal Champion quit? Here’s why!

After Balor won and “lost” the title after 2016 SummerSlam he’s had and up and down career in the main roster. The once longest reigning NXT champion was a phenomenon when he joined the NXT, but once he hit the main roster, while fan support is still there it is fleeting. He had a brief reunion with Gallows and Anderson which might’ve singled a heel turn to fans, a feud with Rollins for the IC title and has had back to back to back matches against Baron Corbin. None of which have done anything for the superstars character. A heel turn might have helped a few months ago, but the repetitive booking has kind of killed that momentum. 

With Finn away from the scene for a while it might help the WWE reevaluate the talent that is Finn Balor, it might also give Finn time to figure himself out too. With a WIN to his name against Elias, it seems like the co-founder of the Bullet Club may either turn to his alter ego The Demon, or perhaps a superstar shakeup is in order and he should be in place to get Balor back in the limelight. Right now, Raw seems packed full of main card talent that is either starting a faction of sorts I.E. Braun, Drew and Dolph or is turning on The Shield. 

Listen, while SmackDown Live is producing the better show, it is not like the talent on there is being utilized any better. Nakamura is in limbo with the U.S. title, Aj and Joe are having a great feud in terms of promos, but not in the squared circle. The only thing that brings SmackDown Live as the A show is really their tag division and the Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch feud. 

So maybe a frustrated Finn goes away, and comes back as The Demon on SmackDown Live and interjects himself in the feud between AJ and Joe, maybe he causes friction between The Club and AJ and they “screw over” AJ during a title match, the possibilities are endless moving Balor to team blue, but what this boils down to is WWE needs to make this move while Balor is still a fan favourite and what I mean by that is that he will always have the crowd behind him, but even the loyalist fans can get bored. 


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Cheap Shots: Mad Man’s Testing Cheese in The Mouse’s House

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Gliding over The World’s Largest Golf Ball for SmackDown Live this week. I believe Orlando was nothing more than a spot show for Graham. In his infinite wisdom, Eric Bischoff used Universal Studios for WCW TV Tapings. What’s he getting paid for now? Doing a podcast? Big deal, a ton of my colleagues have podcasts, and they’re smarter than him. Dixie Carter’s TNA Wrestling reminds us that a talented roster cannot overcome a lack of inside knowledge. Impact Wrestling currently resides in the mouse’s zip code today. The latest effort from The New York Big Top wasn’t on a cheap PPV level. I have praised SmackDown Live as the better show for months. Others have done so for much longer. Instead, WWE hands us something between a glorified house show and a week early go home show for SummerSlam?

Let’s find out if Vince left Mickey ANYTHING interesting. Randy Orton has been on The Main Roster for a generation now. He does psychopath extremely well. Not all psychopaths talk though. Creative should be more careful with Randy. He needs a very focused promo, and reason to talk. They should’ve kept him on a singular path here, Jeff Hardy. A tunnel-visioned Viper is a more dangerous Viper. Randall Keith Orton is neither one of The Authors of Pain. Don’t give him a generic heel promo. We know he’s capable. Let Jeff Hardy continue to twist in agony. If you must give Orton a verbal point, do a better job writing it, and save it for after SummerSlam.

Recess started with a backstage promo which would be unnecessary if Vince didn’t book Triple Threats. The fracturing friendship angle is fine, if not required in the art form. However, can anyone pull it off without it feeling forced? Stamford sure can’t. Why were Charlotte and Becky apologizing like it was Middle School? Vinnie put both of you in the match. Break the fourth wall and get mad at him. The Lass Kicker struggled to hide building frustration. Anybody surprised with this? She’s Irish. They teased a possible tag match with The Dragon Huggers at Evolution? I EFFING HOPE NOT! Vince, get your head out of your ass. Unless it results in Sasha Banks being traded, put this mirrored storyline possibility on ice, since you can’t get it right on Monday! Sorry for the tangent. The Tuesday Besties went over The IIconics, who have hit a wall recently.

Here’s a crazy thought, WWE has approximately 14 ladies on The SmackDown Roster. What’s wrong with holding a storyline off TV for a week instead of repeating it? Give us the illusion that friends took a week to work things out without telling Aiden English he’ll be Ron Killings in a month or two. Lana is getting better in the ring, Let’s find another way to stunt her. Put Almas’ Mini Me over again and break up one of our most popular factions. My apologies, I must have hacked into Vince’s email.

Creative got too many compliments on proms last week. Dammit boys and girls, y’all can only rope the moon once every six months. They tried again anyway, bad move! Outside of The New Day; who can read Facebook and make it good. everything else was yawn inducing. Later, WWEs modern answer to The Free Birds went on to beat The Bar in another great TV Main Event.

Random Observation: if smart marks need proof promoters and bookers view Championship Gold as nothing more than a prop, look at R-Truth. Never mind New York’s original name for him. He was respected during his previous run in Orlando for Dixie Carter and TNA. He held Top Gold and was prominent there for a while. Why not? Dude is a fantastic athlete with good mic skills. Back in WWE, he is a glorified carpenter who cuts nonsense promos. I hope the paycheck is worth it, Sir? After setting up a match no one wanted, Truth lost to Shinsuke Nakamura in under ten minutes.

Sometimes, WWE looks dumber than usual in the age of social media. Can anyone tell me why they broke Mike’s match signing with Daniel Brian on Twitter? Did they have a reason? Does anybody really think Mike was on set? Vinnie, suspension of disbelief? Where is it? They could’ve rebooted Cena/Taker from Mania. They reboot storylines far less personal and more pointless. Yes, Daniel got to wail on Mike for a minute. Can’t we do better than to jump the gun so poorly on both fronts?

If Vince wants us to take one thing away from the Styles/Samoa Joe Angle, it is that Joe clearly has both the physical and psychological advantage heading into SummerSlam. Why does everything appear so lopsided though? Not saying The WWE Gold doesn’t fit Joe. If he can stay healthy, it most certainly does. Yes, Joe is a badass, but AJ Styles is capable of rock-solid heel work too. Ask The Con Artist and Big Match John. Hell, Samoa Joe himself knows Styles’ heel talent from elsewhere. It is disappointing the WWE might make fans wait months to see these two work up to their ability, if the trigger ever gets pulled correctly. Maybe by Hell in A Cell or Survivor Series? Given New York’s reputation among smart marks, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Speaking of which, if anyone did so on Tuesday waiting for a typical good show, I apologize. They got a glorified house show. Mickey Mouse deserves better cheese.


Always Use Your Head and visit the official Pro Wrestling Tees store for The Chairshot All t-shirt proceeds help support the advancement of your favorite hard-hitting wrestling website, The Chairshot!


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