With talk of last Sundays Money in the Bank PPV, TNA and a bit of hurling action, it’s the first Boston Crab Podcast!
Archive for July, 2010
TNA Beats an Extremely Dead Horse
Last week on TNA Impact, the show ended with a big brawl featuring old ECW talent such as RVD, Tommy Dreamer, Mick Foley, Raven, Rhino and Team 3D taking out TNA wrestlers, officials and referees. The angle ended with TNA President Dixie Carter declaring that she invited the ECW guys to the company, to the shock of the TNA staff and, for some reason, the ECW guys that she invited.
The angle has been brewing for weeks, with rumours going left right and centre about TNA hiring ECW guys to create an invasion on the company. While we look back at ECW and still enjoy the product a lot, we cannot help but cannot help but be in disbelief at the whole thing…not because we are shocked at what these guys have done to the TNA roster and want to know what happens next, but because we can’t believe TNA has had to resort to this in order to gain viewers.
The main problem with the whole angle is that it does nothing good for the company in the long run. If TNA runs Hard Justice as an ECW tribute show like they are planning too, then all that will do is get a few extra buys for all the nostalgia, not because it’s TNA. In fact, if it is an all ECW show, then how is it meant to get new fans into the company? Fans of ECW will watch this, then ask if the ECW guys are all regulars in the company, tune into Impact to see AJ Styles, Desmond Wolfe and The Pope and go “who the hell are these guys?” and tune out. The only way such a PPV could benefit TNA is if it features TNA guys taking on the ECW guys, which apparently isn’t the case.
Even if they featured a TNA vs. ECW event, what do the TNA guys benefit from beating the majority of these guys? They managed to beat wrestlers who haven’t been in the ring for years and who peaked in terms of skill over a decade ago? Obviously we are not talking about every ECW guy, since a few can still go, such as TNA World Champion Rob Van Dam. But come on, most of the planned talent get gassed by simply walking down the ramp. And we can guarantee that most of them won’t be even in the company come December.
Now some of you might think that we are being too harsh since the angle has just begun or claim we are just using nay excuse we can to blast TNA. Don’t get us wrong, we want TNA to succeed. They have the best talent roster in the United States easily, and when they do something right, it’s golden! The Beer Money- Motor City Machineguns angle right is brilliant! But it’s for this reason why we get so frustrated with TNA, because they have all the tools to succeed but they keep fucking up.
As for the opening angle? The fact that half the time we couldn’t tell who was beating up who, and that the TNA roster where made to look like idiots, and that Taz (an ECW guy) kept talking about how he was both confused and knew it was going happen at the same time, AND that the ECW guys where confused by Dixie saying she invited them (WTF!?!?!?) just made the whole thing a huge cluster-fuck and a bit boring.
TNA, please, stop trying to recreate the past, and use what you already have, because you do have all the tools you need, it just seems like you are the only ones who don’t know it.
So it has finally happened, Kane has won the world heavyweight championship. After being a loyal member of the WWE roster for over a decade, Kane has become the man to beat. Of course, Kane can say he is a two time champion since he held the title for less than 24 hours back in 1998, but come on, this will be his first real run with the belt instead of using it as a prop.
Many critics and fans are divided on Kane as champion however, and it has been something that many people have spoken about over the past few years. We here at The Boston Crab believe that this run could have more positives than negatives, for both Kane and the fans. In a time where the Smackdown main-event scene is being affected by injuries, the WWE needs someone who won’t wreck their body and cause the belt to be jumped across again. While we would have preferred Jack Swagger to still be holding onto the gold, Kane is a perfect choice in his place.
Kane has always been over with the live crowd, and always receives one of the loudest pops. The main reason for this? Kids LOVE him, and the smart fans won’t crap on him like they do with Cena. Kane has never been presented as a technical wizard or someone who will put on 5-star classics; he is a big, dominant brawler, so it’s hard to fault him.
Yes, Kane hasn’t been the same since he lost his mask and shaved his head, but the character seems to always bring us interesting stories when the writers give him a chance. When he un-masked, it was great television. When the May 19th story began, Kane made interesting television once again. Now he is doing it again with his current ruthless monster role trying to figure out who took out The Undertaker. When he is given the ball, he rolls with it very well.
The only fear we have is that the storyline might make the title win an after-thought, since we are struggling to find a conclusive way of making it a part of the storyline. The only way we can see it happening is if Kane turns heel and announces that he took out ‘Taker, which we wouldn’t be against at all. But we won’t know for sure until this Friday night.
Kane isn’t the best guy in the ring, but since he has never lost the image of being a huge challenge for any man to face, it will make his title reign unpredictable in terms of length, which is something the WWE has been missing for quite some time now. Who can stop a man who has walked all over the Smackdown roster for the past few weeks? God only knows, but what we do know is that we are looking forward to Kane silencing his critics and enjoying his well deserved place at the top of the food chain.
Well, after almost a month, we are about to launch our Podcast! Check out the file to hear all the news!
Also, a quick plug for issue 56 of Fighting Spirit Magazine which hits shelves tomorrow (the 15th) which features a piece by Boston Crab writer Seán Reid.
Oooh it’s an exciting time for us!
TNA is changing forever! Yeah, TNA is changing… again. Every few months a big announcement is coming that going turn the wrestling world on its head, supposedly. Of late, those changes have been things like Hulk Hogan & Eric Biscoff, signing Mr. Anderson or moving to Monday nights (the latter of which was a massive success of course!)
This time around the rumours circling the net are that TNA is contemplating dropping regular monthly pay per views in favour of free live specials on Spike TV. It would come as no surprise that TNA’s pay per views aren’t doing all that well. There are two reasons for this.
Number one is obvious – the product. Some PPVs have a few very enticing matches billed for the card but as a whole TNA doesn’t give enough incentive for fans to buy their show. Secondly – the price. Their pay per views aren’t really giving value for money when they really could be by lowering the price, even just marginally. But that’s easier said than done, this writer knows nothing of costs with PPV providers and contracts TNA may have with them, blah, blah, blah, you get the gist.
The opposite is true for WWE though. Right now they have a better product and even in their PG universe they’re building up each monthly PPV and really giving fans, for the most part, a solid reason for opening their wallets. Even despite some bad sales or a bad show on the day the `E can still make a reasonable profit. The same can’t be said for TNA.
What TNA still lack is the high level of familiarity that they need to compete – sure, pretty much every wrestling knows TNA now but on a national and worldwide stage they’re not bringing in new wrestling fans. Those new wrestling fans will obviously find their entry to wrestling with WWE, like nearly all of us. To the newcomer they’ll only know WWE as the big dog and won’t fork out any of that precious moolah on the strange product that is TNA despite having Sting, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam.
Two, maybe even three, hour free live specials will give TNA a better chance to showcase their potential and genuinely offer an alternative from McMahon’s world. Furthermore, if it’s a success TNA’s relationship with Spike TV should flourish and who knows maybe a return to Monday nights would be on the cards. Only this time it would actually be a war, not WWE merely brushing away a fly buzzing at their ear on a Monday evening.
However dropping PPVs altogether would be more than a stupid mistake. But cutting back will them lend much more credence and give it a feel of an `event’ that’s not to be missed, especially Slammiversary and Bound For Glory. A long, fully utilised time to build the latter will give it that Wrestlemania-like feel that the company have yearned to attain since its inception.
Due to the Alphabet soup of Professional boxing titles, a trend emerged post the sports 1970’s hay day.
That trend was the ‘linear’ champion, best defined as the guy who beat the guy. This system, though it solves many issues, still presents its own problems in the sport and MMA is no exception.
When Pride FC was sold/dissolved and Zuffa took control of their titles it left Fedor, the worlds number 1 heavyweight as a king without a crown.
Arguably the belt doesn’t make the champion but it does disallow the option of a 5 round fight under the unified rules. For some reason there was a notion that holding a title somehow made you worthy of an additional 10 minutes of cardio exhaustion.
However while fights like Alvez vs. Fitch, a fight between the 2nd and 3rd ranked welterweights and two of the worlds top 10 pound for pound fighters will only be scheduled for fifteen minutes; two tubby skinheads fighting in a barn can go to 25 due to the presence of a gaudy gator skin belt.
Enter WAMMA, an ugly looking belt sanctioned by an independent organization with Pat Miltech as their figure head, it meant nothing and was recognised by absolutely nobody. It was however, the first attempt to free the titles from promotions and allow them to represent what they should, namely: the best fighter of the division.
WAMMA recognised it, analysts recognised it, even Dana White knew Fedor was the worlds best Heavyweight and linear champion. The big question now is, who is the best in the division?
Since toppling the Russian Kingpin, FAbricio Werdum has become the linear Heavyweight champion, however, if that fight was replayed 10 times it would be hard not to back Fedor in all 10. With this win being the only relevant win in Werdums recent history it’s hard to accept him as the divions best offering.
Fedor is arguably still the best in the division but it’s impossible to hold the number one spot on a loss. Couple this with the revisionism of his recent fights. He mauled Sylvia and Arlovski when we still thought those two men were relevant top ten fighters (both men would go on to embarrassing knockout losses and their careers have not yet recovered) and he struggled with a large inexperienced man in Brett Rogers (he’s like Lesnar or Carwin divided by a double digit). Add to this his meaningless scraps with Hong Man Choi and middle weight Matt Lindland and one starts to wonder how long ago it was that Fedor fought a real test. In truth however, He has always suffered from being in the sports worst division and Arlovski, despite his glass jaw, has proven consistently to be one of the best strikers to grace the 205-265lb bracket.
Personally, The Boston Crab wouldn’t pick the Russian in a fight with any of the top 4 current UFC heavyweights; this new breed of big men are a lot faster and far more athletic than the fat guys of old. Still Fedor remains the man with the most impressive CV in the division.
In respects of the UFC heavyweights: The winner of Lesnar vs. Carwin should probably be considered the divisional favourite. But neither fighter makes a really compelling case for the crown either.
Lesnar took the belt from an ageing Couture who was giving 70lbs of muscle handicap to Minnesotan. He also rode Heath Herring around like a pony, mauled Frank Mir who has never figured out the defence from the back part of the game and pissed off Budweiser (Coors light forever baby!)
Lesnar once blocked a leg kick with his arm, looked rockable when Mir connected with his face and showed poor aptitude to score strikes while wrestling for position. Carwin, though having several more fights, has clocked up less cage time than Lesnar and has never left the first round. He was dropped by Gonzaga and though he recovered from adversity he proved to be quite human. Very little else can be said about the man; he’s big, we haven’t seen him wrestle despite his solid pedigree and if he touches your face with his fist you will be unconscious, he has only beaten two relevant opponents.
Short records without a lot of top quality wins making either man a poor candidate for top dog. Another problem is that regardless of Saturday nights outcome, The Boston Crab picks neither man to get past both Dos Santos and the probable future ruler of the sport Cain Velasquez.
So Lesnar is the UFC champion, Carwin may soon take that, Werdum is the Linear champion and Fedor still carries the best record. What is most interesting is whether or not Fedor would be considered number one if he bounced back impressively in his rematch.
Despite the confusion this recent loss has stirred, it has also created my favourite part of this whole rankings business: debate.