Friday, July 21, 2006

This Is Your Last Chance, Fatty.

Nothing, my darlings, raises my ire like dashed expectations. When I first arrived in the sprawling Worker's Paradise that is Portland, Oregon, my very first act was to acquire one of the Twenty-First Century's greatest technological fruits: On Demand Cable. It was there, hidden deep in the bowels of the "Other Sports" menu, that I first encountered Samoa Joe.

It was a match against the redoubtable A.J. Styles at some goddamn Pay-Per-View or other, and it was magnificent. The peak moment was when Joe had Styles outside the ring, set up for a powerbomb. Too grand a competitor for such a cliched move, Joe opted instead to swing Styles around, slamming A.J.'s head at full force into the fucking crowd barrier. I felt a moment of vertigo, a chill shooting through me. "Christ," I thought, "I just watched a Samoan murder someone on national television." It felt good.

The match eventually ended with Joe victorious, and I immediately downed my vodka and cued up the next one. It was that match where Joe knees Christopher Daniels in the head about forty-five times, causing Daniels's head to split open like a grape. I started calling everyone I knew, singing the praises of this tubby monstrosity. I had a new favorite wrestler.

And then the bloat set in. I watched, dismayed, as Joe waddled through a series of lackluster matches, steadfastly refusing to sell to any of the fine competitors assembled to test him. Alright, to be fair, the only decent booking he got was a match against my beloved Sabu, but that should have been a classic. Instead, we got a contractually obligated snorefest in which Sabu was struggling manfully to avoid any serious injuries before he could start blowing his WWE checks on weed and pills.

From there, Joe took a sharp left into Tag Team Hell, backing up Sting, of all people, in a soul-deadening feud against Jeff Jarrett and Wrestling's Answer To Gary Busey, Scott Steiner. My favorite wrestler was now being squandered against washed up TNA pillbags of the lowest order. I transferred my affections to the more deserving Sanjay Dutt.

Now, however, I receive word that Samoa Joe is booked against The War Machine Rhino on next week's Impact. I will watch with bated breath. And if that fat fucking tub doesn't put on a decent match against Rhino, it's all over.

You're on notice, you underacheiving hamhock.

1 comment:

Malibu Sands said...

Watching Joe commit felonious acts against the craniums of Styles and Daniels makes me feel both giddy with excitement and naughty all at once, sort of like trying to watch scrambled porn as a youth. In fact, I love any and all combinations of Joe-Styles-Daniels . . . they can do no wrong.

I also agree that Joe vs. Rhino has the potential to be awesome . . . although I would bet that Alpha Male Monty Brown runs in for the screw-job DQ or No Contest next week on Impact, setting up a triple-threat-match for Hard Justice. I really hope that they eventually book Joe vs. Rhino one-on-one on PPV . . . Brown strikes me as inferior worker of the three.

And while I agree that no good can come from Sting and Jarrett competing for the NWA World Title or headlining PPVs, I will mildly disagree with your take on Scott Steiner. I thought the Joe-Steiner feud was well booked, although not maybe not convincingly blown off. The fans were into it, and I thought they actually produced some physically intense, crowd heat inducing matches. Equally noteworthy/surprising, Scott Steiner actually seems motivated since coming over to TNA . . . certainly in comparison to when we saw him in the WWF blowing up 10 minutes into his world title match against HHH or lethargically battling the likes of Booker T for the WCW Title in the promotions dying days.

Now where TNA really blew it was not giving Joe a run with the NWA Title. Joe is the hottest commodity in TNA. Why not see if putting the title on Joe could accomplish what Christian Cage couldn't . . . increasing TV ratings, PPV buy rates, and fan loyalty/interest. Joe on top would also freshen up the title picture: not only does Joe as champion bring his longtime nemesis A.J. Styles back into the fold, but it creates fresh matchups and possibilities with Rhino, Christian Cage,(especially if they turn him into his WWE styled Tully Blanchard chickenshit heel), and Abyss, not to mention some quality Impact competitive squash main events against the likes of Dutt, Sabin, and Lethal.

Of course, if Joe-Rhino-Brown fails to deliver, I think its safe to proclaim that TNA dropped the ball with Samoa Joe and the buzz he created over the past 9-12 months. And (I think) like you, I would point to his (in hindsight) unnecessary inclusion in the world title picture as the most glaring example of their incompetent booking. My question is why would they book Joe into the world title picture if they weren't going to have him go over?