Sure, why not? Lockdown was fun on Sunday and it’d be nice to cover a show that isn’t wrought with movie promos, as well as poor build for the biggest show of the year. And since Raw’s ratings have been up ever since WrestleCrap covered the show weekly (we ARE taking credit), let’s help the #2 promotion out a bit.
8:00: Hardy/Bully highlights from Sunday, including the obvious-yet-welcome turn of Bully into revealing himself as leader of the Aces. I’m enjoying myself so much right now, I can’t for TNA to do something colossally stupid to kill the buzz.
8:02: Brooke’s gonna talk tonight. Yeah, that should do it.
8:03: The Suddenly Richer Robert Roode (he DID do a millionaire gimmick) and Austin Aries defend the Tag Team gold against Hernandez and Chavo to start. Is it too much for TNA to bring Chavo Classic in to manage his son again? He can recreate his WWE run by winning the X Division title too.
8:04: Ahh, but here come the Aces and Eights to attack the Latin contingent. Vince should bring in the Aces. They could end matches before they begin, so there’s more time to promote Dead Man Down.
8:06: Bully Ray makes his way out to the menacing folk rock song, thus robbing the world of his China White knockoff theme. I’m sure I’ll get over it. Just not this week.
8:07: Bully gets his own Aces leather vest, and asks the crowd if they know who he is. He runs down his recent history of lies and malfeasance, and explains that Hogan ended up screwing Jeff Hardy over: by telling Bully to do something memorable, he discouraged Bully’s original plan: merely escape the cage when Garett and Wes interfered.
8:12: There’s the nWo diss. Requisite ‘oooohs’ for that one. “When you walk with the Aces, you’ll NEVER walk alone!” Bully’s taking over the Labor Day telethon for Jerry Lewis?
8:13: Sting isn’t happy with Bully’s guerrilla takeover of TNA, and plans to do something about it.
8:19: Gail Kim and Tara take on Velvet Sky and Mickie James, and TNA now has insert promos, as Gail rants against Taryn Terrell. All TNA needs now is the Event Center and the Brother Love Show, and my 1989 memories of WWF Superstars come washing back.
8:20: My sound kicked out when Mickie’s “Hardcore Country” blared, muting the “ry” part. Thought Stephanie was here.
8:22: Velvet tried to drag Gail to the home corner, but instead dragged her to Tara’s corner. Ooops.
8:24: A commercial during a knockouts match? Wow. Last time WWE had a commercial break during a Diva match: never. Commercial breaks that last longer than Diva matches. All of em.
8:28: Whoever thought to station the camera on the bottom turnbuckle when Mickie is cornered should have been anointed to Papacy over that Francis dude. Nice to see Tara resurrect Tajiri’s tarantula move.
8:30: Velvet cleans house on a hot tag, but Gail comes in illegally and draws Taryn’s wrath. Gail shoves Taryn down, but Taryn’s on probation. Doesn’t matter to her though, she strikes Gail. Mickie takes a Widow’s peak, and Velvet gets Gail with In Yo Face to win. Fun match, though I’m not interested in seeing Taryn wrestle when she’s inevitably ‘fired’.
8:33: Bully thanks his comrades for their help and support, and proposes a toast to them, in case Hogan punishes them. Bully calls Brooke on a lark and they laugh it up. I’m supposed to HATE the Aces?
8:39: Hogan’s not answering any questions. Crowd’s going crazy every time they see him, so hopefully he does cut a promo, just to see em lose their mind. Have I mentioned I love Chicago crowds?
8:40: Robbie E takes on Rob Terry in a rematch from Sunday. But I paid $45 to see it! Terry and his Batista boots kick E’s ass and pin him within two minutes. The crowd chanted “FEED ME MORE”, which means he’s impersonator of an impersonator of Goldberg.
8:43: Then Terry breakdances to my horror. Yep. Sting teases a confrontation with Hogan as we head to commercial.
8:47: Bully Ray bitches about the merchandise, and more toasting is done. Meanwhile, Hogan blows up at Sting for leading him to believe that Bully was a changed man. Sting trusted somebody he shouldn’t have? That’s a new one.
8:50: The descent of AJ Styles is chronicled, including testimonials from his wife and his buddy Jay. When Styles walked in and saw the two of them, he shoulda said, “You f–ked my wife” in DeNiro’s voice.
8:57: Roode and Aries make fun of Sting for trusting Bully. I need one of those cheap looking “DIRTY HEEL” tank tops they have. Roode ditches Aries in the end, leaving A-Double to square off with Sting.
8:58: AJ Styles makes his return, except he DOESN’T. After no entrance, Bad Influence make their way out dressed as the Legion of Doom. I’d laugh if Christy Hemme said to Animal Kaz and Hawk Daniels, “I managed you on Smackdown, remember?!”
9:01: Calling LOD the “second best tag team in history” in Chicago draws instant boos. “You have permission to worship usssssss……NOW!” James Storm hits the ring, which is good, because we haven’t had a real match in a while.
9:04: Storm opts to fight old nemesis Daniels one on one. Kaz should have put his manager’s license to good use and dressed as Ellering. He could have come out with a dog sled. Also, Terry should’ve pulled double duty as Heidenreich, and Taz could double as Rocco the Dummy.
9:07: Storm mounts the comeback, but Daniels escapes the Eye of the Storm, and Cowboy avoids the BME, hitting Daniels with Closing Time after. Kaz distracts momentarily, but Storm bounces back with a backstabber to win. The duo jumps Storm afterward, and AJ Styles makes the save. Daniels bails before the inevitable confrontation.
9:09: An erratic Styles attacks Storm as well. Gotta say, the hair and beard make AJ Styles look like Chael Sonnen with disassociative identity disorder.
9:10: Wes Brisco leads Kurt Angle into a backstage ambush from the Aces.
9:16: Joseph Park and his 1980’s NBC dramedy theme music hit, and he’s here to reflect on his life and his accomplishments. A little schmoozing to the Chicago fans ensues.
9:19: Megabeard Morgan hits the ring, and is ashamed of Hogan signing Park to a wrestling contract. Nobody in WWE minded when they allowed Ashley Massaro to work there for 3 years, and she’s as useful as a space heater in the Sahara.
9:22: Morgan demands that Park leave, and Park stands his ground. He wants to fight Morgan now, but Morgan confidently backs down. Then Park takes his eye off the ball, and eats a boot to the face. Morgan tells Park they’ll fight next week. If they book a second match, that’ll be as many matches as are planned for WrestleMania 29 currently, I think.
9:28: Bully and the gang celebrate hurting Chavo, Hernandez, and Angle, and try to tip Hogan’s hand. They decide to go wreck the show further, which in some circles is known as an “Intentional Russo”
9:30: Brooke cries. It’s not like Bully took her to a Vegas chapel while she was passed out or anything.
9:31: Austin Aries and Sting is up next. Amazingly, this is the same venue where Sting beat Samoa Joe in 2008 to become TNA Champion. And to think, Sting was considered old then.
9:35: Massive dueling chant (has Sting EVER been in one of those?) as Sting slugs Aries during a showboat display. Stinger Splash doesn’t hit as Roode pulls Aries to the floor. Roode drags Sting outside, but ends up getting Splashed against the rail. Sting gets violent with both men to vent his frustrations.
9:41: We come back from commercial to Sting in control, but a Roode distraction leads to Aries striking from the back. Sting responds by clotheslining Aries out. The ref ejects Roode for his constant interference, but while Roode protests, Aries crotches Sting on the middle rope. Obligatory ‘yambag’ joke by Taz.
9:44: Aries lands a swank dropkick to a seated Sting for 2. Have I mentioned how happy I am that Sting dropped his split personality Joker character? Now I feel like I’m watching Sting ’99, just…..older.
9:46: Aries teases a Scorpion Death Lock, but Sting kicks him off. Aries flips on a clothesline. Sting tries his own Scorpion, but Aries escapes. Aries lands a missile dropkick, but Sting gets up during Aries’ gloats.
9:48: Sting busts out a press slam(!), but misses the Stinger Splash. Corner dropkick by Aries responds. Aries lands his own Stinger Splash and tries the Brainbuster, but Sting drops into the Scorpion Death Drop…..for 2! Sting applies the Scorpion, but the Aces hit the ring for a beatdown and DQ.
9:50: Bully calls out Hogan as we go into the final commercial.
9:53: Bully continues to egg Hogan on, and finally his music hits. The Hulkster ambles out on his crutches. Hogan sends the entire roster to the ring to attack the Aces, most notably Hardy, Angle, Joe, Magnus, Chavo, and Hernandez. The Aces get the upper hand and dominate after a long scuffle.
9:59: Bully taunts Hogan and leads to the metaphorical pissing on the bodies, before he stalks Hogan up the ramp as the show closes.
OVERALL: What it lacked in great wrestling (the women’s tag and Aries/Sting matches were good, Daniels/Storm was good but short), it made up for with a focus on angles and characters. I’ll take that over the drek from Monday, believe me.