It’s Monday, January 4th, 2010. Total Nonstop Action (TNA) wrestling has a special Monday night showing where they premiere their new figurehead boss: Hulk Hogan. They are promising BIG surprises. On the other side (MY side) World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) brings out the legendary Bret “The Hitman” Hart for the first time live on RAW in over 12 years. Here are my thoughts as I watched them (TNA was three hours and RAW was two. as a result I watched the first hour of TNA then watched RAW in its entirety, then went back to TNA. I won’t split the shows up in review).
Raw stars out with a kick-ass video with highlights of Bret’s WWF career followed by the Montreal screwjob and Shawn Michaels urging Vince to allow Bret to host…and HERE COMES BRET!
Hell… he walks out and stops at the top of the stage and I instantly tear up. Amazing. They tinkered with his entrance music. I’m sure Vince called it “updating”. I call it “bullshit”.
Bret: “Well I guess Hell’s frozen over.” His hair’s a bit thinner and grayer and his voice is a bit like gravel but man… it’s him. Bret says that he tried several times over the past twelve years to come back but Vince said that the timing wasn’t right. That’s funny because pretty much everybody knows it was Bret who wasn’t ready to come back.
Nice “Welcome back” chant.
HOLY FUCK. Bret’s callling out Shawn. Small tension but it slowly turns into a lovefest. They shake hands and there’s a great tease for the superkick from Shawn, but they hug. Shawn’s music plays as he leaves? Bret now calls out Vince! Vince is too cowardly to accept however, and we get a plug for Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston and DX vs. Jericho and the Big Show.
After commercial we see Vince about to enter his office. He was “in a meeting” which is why he didn’t answer Bret’s call, but Vince says that HE will call out Bret later on the show (on his terms).
First match of the show is part of a tournament to determine a new women’s champion. It’s one of the Bella Twins vs. Maryse. Maryse wins in a mercifully short match. I’m ready for more Bret, please.
The Miz comes out in street clothes with the United States championship. He’s AWESOME! Miz gives some weird and creepy smack talk to Maryse who…seems to like it? Miz is on commentary for a four-way match to determine the number one contender to his championship. MVP vs. Jack Swagger vs… I’ll find out after the commercial?
OK, there’s also Carlito and Mark Henry. I would really like Carlito to win but we’ll see what happens. Man, these guys are not working well together. Some really bad spots. MVP wins after the Playmaker. I’m ready for more Bret, please.
Jericho and Big Show backstage! If they don’t win the championship Jericho is off RAW “for good”.
Jericho: I’m not leaving Raw.
Big Show: I don’t want you to go!
Jericho is going to meet with Bret! Cut to commercial. Fozzy (featuring Chris Jericho!) have the official song for the Royal Rumble!
Jericho is trying to get Bret to be the special referee for the tag title match. Ha! Jericho says he can put Shawn Michaels in the Walls of Jericho and Bret can “let instinct take over” (and call for the bell ala Montreal). Bret wants nothing to do with it. He calls Chris a hypocrite, makes fun of how he whined and cried while training at the Hart dungeon and sends him off.
Cut to Triple H and Hornswaggle (the DX mascot). Trips is telling Hornswaggle that he can play with all the WWE toys he wants as long as Shawn and Trips beat Jericho and Show tonight. ENTER Santino in a Chris Jericho wig. Santino FUCKING HILARIOUSLY spouts out some incorrect catchphrases of Jericho’s. Trips sicks Hornswaggle on Santino like a dog. Santino: “Good luck at the sucking it”. cut to commercial.
DX enters for the title match. I REALLY want Jericho and Show to win. It’s funny to see Hornswaggle do the X-Pac DX crotch chop when X-Pac himself is on the other show tonight. So, will the Hart Dynasty come in and cost DX the titles? Show reverses a double suplex attempt, nice. Friggin’ commercial again?
Whoa… sure, it’s “The Tooth Fairy”, but The Rock is in a movie with Julie Andrews and Billy Crystal? Good for him! Here’s hoping HE guest hosts sometime soon!
Jericho pulling out the Hogan hand to ear? Hot tag to Shawn who goes to work on Show. Flying forearm doesn’t drop Show! Another with no luck! Dropkick to the knee does the trick. Jeez, huge chokeslam by Show onto Shawn but no pinfall. DARNED near close fall on Trips by Jericho. Codebreaker! But Jericho doesn’t cover right away and Shawn interrupts the pin Jericho boots Hornswaggle! Jericho has Trips in the Walls of Jericho but Shawn superkicks him. Jericho is pinned and is gone from RAW. That sucks.
Here comes Big Show as Jericho is laid out. Trips and Shawn throw in some verbal assaults Chris’s way. Show just walks away from his partner! Jericho is dazed in the ring. Jericho takes the walk of shame up the ramp.
Randy Orton is at Vince’s door. He offers a deal: Randy kicks Bret in the head and puts him out of action. As a reward Vince puts him in the Royal Rumble at number 30. Vince won’t forget about when Orton attacked him and his family. He denies the request and firmly warns Randy to never confront him again. Pretty good – nice and intense…and realistic. Orton is pissed off. He walks down the hallway and is confronted by his stablemates. They give him the same ultimatum he gave them last week: If you can’t beat your opponent tonight we’re kicking you out of Legacy and also kicking the hell out of you. Nice! Good to see them standing up to him. After commercial and -
Here comes Sheamus! He’s the champ, dontcha’ know? Evan Bourne comes out to challenge for the title. Sheamus says that if Evan beats him tonight he’ll give him a title shot at the Rumble. And damn – it really looked like Evan had him after one minute… but he DIDN’T! Crowd chants for Cena because they are fools. Aww, Sheamus pins Bourne.
Very nice little tribute to Dr. Death Steve Williams who passed away in the last week. Bret confronts Vince (or is it the other way around?) NEXT! Aaaand the video package again, this time with extended Montreal footage and discussion. Damn, I screwed up. It wasn’t NEXT. Kofi vs. Orton is next. Of course Vince and Bret will finish the show (duh!).
Rhodes and Dibiase watching from ringside. Orton is thrown to the outside but they don’t offer any help and ANOTHER DAMNED COMMERCIAL!
What is it about Cody Rhodes that looks so weird? Is it his hair? Kofi and Randy work really well together! RKO finishes Kofi off. Cody and Ted look disappointed. Awesome.
After commercial we learn that Mike Tyson will be hosting RAW next week from Minneapolis, Minnesota! And Vince comes to the ring. He wishes us a Happy New Year and says that there is no reason to call Bret out. Bret and Shawn put the Montreal incident in the past so that means that he is finished with it as well. Vince tries to change the subject to discuss Mike Tyson hosting next week but Bret comes out WITHOUT his crappy music. Bret takes his jacket off… TINY gut.
Vince starts kissing Bret’s ass but also wants to get some things off his chest, like the idea that “You screwed You”. Vince would like an apology. The fans don’t seems to think that is appropriate. Bret mentions that the two words Vince wants to hear are much different from the two words Bret wants to say. Vince starts buttering Bret up which can only mean that the big hurt is going to finish it… Vince wants to induct Bret’s dad, the legendary Stu Hart into the WWE Hall of Fame. Vince thanks him for all Bret’s contributions and all the thrilling moments he’s given the WWE Universe. Vince shakes Bret’s hand.Vince raises Bret’s hand. They pose to each side of the ring. Vince is totally going to clothesline Bret…. but he doesn’t. Instead he kicks him in the gut! Or was it the nards? Couldn’t tell from this angle. Vince leaves Bret recovering in the ring and the show ends with Bret looking at Vince in the aisle and he’s pretty disgusted.
NOW TO TNA IMPACT (this review will be shorter)
Nice video over the history of the company. The new backstage announcer Bubba the Love Sponge interviews idiot fans outside the building. They are knobs.
The first match is a steel asylum match with six X-Division (high flying) wrestlers. It’s in a cage and the winner is who can escape through the hole in the top (which would seem rather difficult even with NO competitors trying to stop you). So get this, the guys are working hard and hitting all their spots. The crowd is very vocal in its support for Alex Shelly (let’s go Shelly!) and for the company in general (TNA! TNA!) and for this style of wrestling (X-DIVISION!). So Homicide get’s a baton and nails everybody in the ring causing…a no-contest? In a cage match?!? The crowd VOCALLY – in UNISON – chants “THIS IS BULLSHIT”.
NICE JOB, TNA. Your first match in your special with Hulk Hogan? The episode of Impact you are desperately trying to get everybody to watch and it has your fans chanting “this is bullshit”. Yeah, you’ve really got the pulse of your fans.
OK, so Homicide has knocked everybody out and he is CLEARLY supposed to go through the top of the cage, but he CAN’T DO IT! I’m telling you – it looks really difficult. The guys in the ring improvise and start beating on him, then cue the music. Out comes Jeff Hardy to brawl with Homicide.
Fuck Jeff Hardy. What an ungrateful prick. I can’t say it enough. FUCK JEFF HARDY.
Back from commercial and Kevin Nash is sleeping through an interview. Nash says that Hogan was his first mentor? Don’t tell that to Shawn Michaels you lying sack of crap!
Next up is the TNA Knockouts match where ODB defeats Tara for the championship. This is very nice, as ODB is the sister of a friend. Congrats, Travis! ODB gets the pin when she pulls Tara’s tights for leverage. Enough of Tara’s buttcrack shows that TNA cuts away to … a still frame from when the cage was still up? … for just a second. Tara interrupts ODB’s celebration and knocks her out…followed by setting a tarantula on ODB’s stomach (which I don’t think I could ever do).
We see a limo pull up – and out comes Ric Flair. Dammit, Flair. I’d be mad at you but it’s so sad to see you do this.
Mick Foley (who is now a bad guy) is denied entrance to the building and is extremely hilarious in his efforts to get in (Love, Mick!). Bobby Lashley (who I hate) comes out with his wife Kristal (who I’ve never seen before). Kristal gets on the mic and I am immediately impressed. She cuts a promo turning Bobby heel. She’s great. I still hate her husband but she can sure talk.
Dumb chicks playing strip poker for ratings. Great.
SCOTT HALL and SEAN WALTMAN (the former X-Pac) try to get in the building with no luck. Hall is pudgy but I’ve seen him worse. Hopefully the guy takes care of himself. Shot of the limo approaching. One guy gets out of one limo and gets into what we assume to be Hogan’s (they couldn’t ride together?).
Back from commercial and Hall and Waltman have got seats now? They are very excited for Hogan. How f’n sad: Hogan’s music is a rip-off of the NWO theme. Oh, and Hogan’s doing the whole “wearing black and growing a beard” thing. Luckily no shoe polish…yet. Hogan is checking out the crowd. Not quite the 68,000 at Wrestlemania 18, eh Hulkster?
Hogan: “I’ve been in the back all day long”. Er…Hulkster…didn’t we just watch you arrive in the limo? I’m beginning to think he’s dishonest.
Hall: “Hey, yo” (I’d actually forgotten about that)
Hall and X-Pac want to party, but Hogan’s all grown up now.
Hey – after I wrote that Hogan said “It’s time that we all grow up”! I’m PSYCHIC!!!
Here comes Kevin Nash. He’s got to side with Hall and X-Pac, right? Yes, he does. Eric Bischoff comes out… and the crowd erupts?
X-Pac says his line. Eric starts to talk. X-Pac slyly (as slyly as you can ON TELEVISION) hands the microphone to Kevin Nash (because it’s Nash’s lines are next after Bischoff’s). Silly.
Bischoff tears up the show format given to him from the producer and produces a new one. And STING IS IN THE RAFTERS!!!
Woman’s tag title match. I’m fast forwarding. Sad, because it’s probably a good match but I’m really getting burned out here. While randomly checking in with the match, the crowd is chanting “This is awesome!”. Hamada and Kong for the win – new champs! It probably was pretty good.
Val Venis shows up at the chick strip poker game. Good lord.
Mick wants in! The security guards won’t let him in but he’s got another plan. The Nasty Boys are here! Raven and Stevie Richards do the job to Matt Morgan and Hernandez. Daffney looks nice and zombie hot! The Pope (the former Elijah Burke) is greeted by Orlando Jordan (now with hair!). Desmond Wolfe beats The Pope. Aw, man! I wrote that before the match actually started and was WRONG! Pope over Desmond with a small package.
Here comes Jeff Jarrett. I like him. He walks around the back. Finally meet up with the champ, A.J. Styles! He’s facing Kurt Angle at the next PPV. Is that it for him tonight? Bischoff (sarcastically) applauds him. AHH… Styles vs. Angle is TONIGHT! Smart move.
Jarrett hits the ring for an interview. Jarrett sings the praises of the company and the hard work of many of the wrestlers. Hogan interrupts and tells him that nobody cares. Is Hogan turning heel? The crowd is chanting bullshit. Hogan is a damned fool!
Christy Hemme is a terrible actress. Mick has forced his way in!
Abyss vs. Samoa Joe. Samoa Joe friggin’ rules, why isn’t he in the title picture? He shouldn’t need a chair to beat Abyss, but he did.
The Nasty Boys can’t get in? Bubba lets them in.
KURT ANGLE. He wants the championship back.
The Nasty Boys have found Team 3Ds locker room. That should be one helluva brawl when it happens! the Nastys are cussing aplenty… and SPRAY-PAINTING! “Now that’s Nasty!”
Plenthy of time for the main event. Very smart to do so with Kurt vs. AJ. AJ wins after a springboard 450 splash. Some masked guy interferes but is eliminated. “People LOVE masked people who interfere in matches, Brother!”
Hogan’s got something to say after the match, but a PA runs up to him and Hulkster’s gotta’ RUN, Brother!
Mick is looking for Hogan backstage but finds Bischoff. After threatening Bischoff the oWo (old World order) start beating him up. Hogan runs backstage and looks at everybody.
Seriously, thats how the show ended.
Sorry Heath. RAW takes the night.