First review of the New Year; hope everyone had a good one!

We start with a hype package for new World Heavyweight Champion Magnus, The first British champ in 108 years apparently! They list his measurements, saying ’17 Stone’ which will probably confuse all the Americans watching.

Kurt Angle heads to the ring and depresses everyone with how bad his last year has been. Bobby Roode interrupts quickly and jumps to the conclusion that Kurt is retiring. Kurt denies this and challenges Roode to ‘one more match’. This just made me think of Christian and how good that gimmick was. Roode says he will accept if Kurt’s career is on the line. Kurt then adds that it will be in a steel cage (time for THAT Moonsault guys). They start to brawl, until Rockstar Spud appears and makes a tag match later on tonight.

Backstage Dixie is handed a note saying ‘see you tonight’ with no name, and goes to investigate it.

Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa are in the ring as we come back from commercial. Tapa is holding the Knockouts belt looking really bored, almost like she’s being forced. I don’t really understand why they’re mates, they never actually explained it.


This was a good match, with Madison picking up the win in her first singles match since her return. She looked really good, no ring rust at all. This win should make her number one contender, because well…there’s no other Knockouts is there?


Madison Rayne celebrating her win – Source: Impact Wrestling


Fucking great match, as you’d expect. Aries stayed in control 90% of the match, hitting every move you’d expect. As he was preparing for his running Dropkick, Sabin pressured Velvet into getting involved. She looked like she was gonna cry, but then climbed onto the ring apron. AA then turned to tell her to get down, but ended up receiving a lowblow and a Small Package AND LOSE THE TITLE.

A Double nailing Sabin with a Missile Dropkick – Source: Impact Wrestling

I hate when titles change hands so quickly. It works for the story-line, but he could’ve just won his defense last week in the same way. Sabin grabbed a mic afterwards and said he had one person to thank…himself.


They aired a vignette for Shaw about a month ago, showing him on a date with Christy Hemme. He came across as a massive weirdo. He now wears a jumper, white jeans and leather gloves. No skin on display at all. After every single move, he stared at Hemme, especially as he locked on a Standing Triangle Choke, which put Norv to sleep. What a creep! Hemme announced him as the winner, but didn’t put any emotion into it, wasted opportunity.

Backstage James Storm reacts to learning Kurt is teaming with Gunner, by asking Roode to be his.


Gunner gets a few cheers as he makes his entrance, looks like they’re doing a double turn. Not sure it’s for the best to turn Storm heel, as much as I dislike him, he’s definitely over with the crowd. Storm really acted like a heel in this, viciously attacking Gunner whenever he could. This lead to a lovely ending, with Gunner holding Roode in a Torture Rack, as Storm slid into the ring and nailed him with a Superkick. Roode then finished him for the 3 count.

I’ve completely changed my mind; I want a heel Beer Money – Source: Impact Wrestling

Ethan Carter III heads to the ring and disses Jeff Hardy. He mocks him by saying ‘my creatures, my creatures’ in an English accent and doing gun fingers. I laughed quite a lot. ECIII asks Christy to announce Jeff to the ring, but he’s not even in the arena. ECIII doesn’t care and goes to count him out: ‘1…2…EC3…4’ AMAZING. Sting steams out, and basically pressures EC3 into a match with him. Ethan agrees, but it’ll be in two weeks.


Bully comes out wearing a hoodie and jeans, and just stands in the corner looking down. Park heads over nervously, but gets kicked in the dick for his troubles. Park wins by DQ.

Bully then pulls out a bottle of lighter fluid and covers Park in it, all over his face. He pulls out a cheap lighter, not a zippo that would actually work if you dropped it, a cheap one. Mr. Kennedy runs out to make the save, but gets fluid in the eyes. He backs into a corner and Bully holds up the lighter. Then he leaves. I don’t get it.


Spud and EC3 are in the ring, surrounded by Union Jack flags and a throne. Spud talks about the Royal Family, and gets a ‘USA’ chant. He responds to it by saying ‘no, no, Dixieland!’ and stops the chant completely. Dixie comes out and talks about Magnus like she fancies him. He finally comes out, looking very smart, like your stereotypical World Champ. I completely love this stable, it’s so over the top. Magnus gets cut off my Gunners music, who heads out with TNA’s Money in the Bank briefcase. Before he can ‘cash in’, Spud and EC3 attack. Magnus prepares to hit him with the belt, but gets surprised by the returning AJ STYLES. They hold up their respective belts, exactly like CM Punk and John Cena did. AJ lays down a ‘Champion vs Champion’ challenge, and Magnus accepts. They stare each other down as the show ends.


The two champions stare each other down – Source: Impact Wrestling

I’ve seen a lot of rumours recently about AJ actually leaving TNA and heading to ROH. I can never tell if they are works or not, if they’re true I’m guessing next week will be his final appearance. That would be a huge shame.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.


TNA: Did Jeff Hardy really retire on Impact?

hardydixieHardy and Dixie have a strained relationship – Source: Impact Wrestling


Tonight’s recap video shows us Magnus’ surprising heel turn and World Title win. I’m all for it, putting the title on someone new and different (and British).

Rockstar Spud heads to the ring getting quite a lot of heat, seemingly a Jeff Hardy loving crowd. He introduces Dixie, who is followed by Hardy. On the way to the ring, he reaches over the barrier to say hello to some kids, one of which is in a wheelchair. Always nice to see stuff like that, but surely he should be furious/focused about getting screwed last week? Jeff begins to air his grievances, until Spud starts screaming at him. After squaring up to Spud, Jeff gets thrown out of the ring by Ethan Carter III, who appeared out of nowhere. Sting walks to the ring, and the two young men sprint away from the t-shirt wearing 54 year old. Sting asks for a tag match against Spud and EC3 tonight, and Dixie confidently accepts.

As we come back from commercial, Dixie is still in the ring. Again she’s interrupted by Gunner and his Money in the…Feast briefcase. He asks for a match tonight, but Magnus is away, promoting the upcoming TNA tour. I felt this was bad scheduling, this should’ve been the show where Magnus makes a statement. James Storm heads to the ring to shout about his issues, and Dixie decides they will fight next, with the briefcase on the line.


Pretty standard match, which came to an end quickly when both men were counted out. They continued to fight up the ramp, hitting each other with stiff punches whilst referees tried to pull them apart. To be continued.

Backstage Bully Ray is sitting with his sunglasses on in a dark room. Brooke Tessmacher appears and says she is going to air all his dirty secrets in the ring for binning her off. Bully says that isn’t a good idea, and she walks away. No idea where they’re going with this quiet character, I don’t like it. They’re taking away everything that’s good about Bully.

We see a video of Magnus (should be there live, not pre-recorded!) talking about he’s been booked…seriously. This drove me insane, he was going in and out of kayfabe, making no sense at all. What an awful start to this title reign.

Brooke T heads to the ring and asks Bully to join her. He heads out to no music, looking like a moody bouncer on a rainy night. She cusses him out, and goes to leave. Bully stops her and destroys her by subtly insulting her abilities in ‘the bedroom’. He then says he wants her to spread his word, how sadistic he can be. This was actually pretty creepy, but TNA decided to pipe in ominous music over the top and made it cheesy. I wanted to see a powerbomb through a table but you know.


Daniels and Kazarian beat Park with weapons for the first 10 minutes. Kaz teases a chair shot, but Daniels stops him saying ‘we don’t want him to bleed!’ ABOUT TIME. They work the back and stomach instead, lovely bit of logic. Park gets the upper hand for a bit, choosing a Boston Crab instead of using a weapon for a quick 3 count. Daniels takes him out with a crutch and he rolls out of the ring. EY heads down to encourage him, but receives a beating too. Park eventually gets hit with a kendo stick that was meant for Eric, and blades. A LOT. His face, chest and hands are completely covered in blood as he annihilates both opponents and picks up the win.

Never happy to see BI lose, and I’m sure ‘Abyss’ wouldn’t have been able to beat them alone anyway!


This was a decent match, your standard ‘big v not as big’. ODB trying repeatedly to gain control but getting shut down. Lei’D picked up the win after Gail distracted the referee. Gail then grabbed the mic and said it was a message to her former friend, Madison Rayne. I think people are way more interested in the two women that just fought.

Backstage Chris Sabin is talking to Velvet Sky about losing his X-Divison Title. She calmly says it wasn’t her fault, and Sabin responds by saying he needs a woman who will stand by him. Velvet pleads for him to come round, but he walks away. What the hell is going on in this storyline!


Dixie appears on the screen, and finally gets to finish her announcement. She adds the Bro-Mans to the match, making it 4 on 2. Jeff continued to sell his injuries from last weeks match the whole time, which is something I think is important in Wrestling. You need to believe that someone could lose, to make their comeback/hot tag/etc feel so much more rewarding. John Cena’s recent elbow comes to mind, even whilst legitimately injured he doesn’t sell it. The four heels use quick tags to wear Hardy down, but look weak in doing so. When Sting finally gets the tag, the crowd go insane. He takes out everyone, and then again by swinging Spud around. Out of nowhere, EC3 rolls up Sting with a handful of tights and gets the win. Pretty huge deal on paper.

As Dixie’s lads celebrate on the ramp, Jeff grabs a mic. He says he wanted to become a ‘professional wrestling’ (Botchamania) because of his partner, Sting. He says he wants to fight, but he has no fight left, and retires. Sting implores him to reconsider as Jeff dumps his shirt and those arm things in the ring, and leaves.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.


Joseph Holberry

TNA: Jeff Hardy and Magnus go to Dixieland at Final Resolution


Dixie Carter and Jeff Hardy – Source: Impact Wrestling


Tonight’s show starts with Magnus cutting an inspirational and slightly cliché promo about ‘loving the business’. He brings up the footage of Jeff Hardy meeting Dixie Carter after last weeks show, trying to turn the crowd against him. Jeff comes out, and doesn’t really deny it, which leads Magnus to bring up Jeff joining Immortal in 2010. Jeff says that was ‘a different person’ and scarpers off. The crowd don’t really care and cheer Hardy anyway.


This must be their 3rd match this month? I don’t mind seeing the two of them fight, but it just seems too often. The first pinfall comes early, with Roode hitting a TKO type move after a low blow. Angle recovered and fired back with a lot of suplex’s, and nailed an Angle Slam for the second fall. Both men changed their game to submissions after this, trying to wear their opponent down. Roode kicked out of an Angle Slam, even though he didn’t kick out of one earlier in the match, when he was fresh…The Ending came with Roode rolling up Angle whilst grabbing the rope, cheap ending, this storyline isn’t over.

Backstage we see James Storm and Gunner arguing like an old married couple.

Video package for Madison Rayne’s return last week.

Ethan Carter III is with Jeremy Borash, saying that he’s sure his case from last week will be something good. His phone rings, and his ring tone is his theme, excellent. Dixie tells him she has no idea what’s in his case, and is powerless to alter it.

Eric Young is in the ring with some Christmas presents, which he says will remind Joseph Park of his past. He invites JP out, and straight up tells him that he is Abyss. Park is still denying it, so EY tells him to start unwrapping. He reveals a chair, a bag of tacks, barbed wire, and finally the nail board thing Abyss used to have. Park then accepts EY’s idea of a Monsters Ball match against Bad Influence next week. Looks like the end is soon for this one!


Zema Ion starts us off saying ‘I’m almost certain I’m going home tonight…WITH GOLD AROUND MY WAIST’ and then did loads of air horn noises, I absolutely lost it. He then opened his case to find an X Division Title shot, good for him. Still no mention of his medical problems, waste of a good story.

Gunner says even though they’ve been having problems, he will team with Storm if it’s a tag match. He then opens his case to find a World Heavyweight Title shot, and starts shouting about deserving it. Storm looks on, completely jealous.

Sting enters the room to shout at EC3 a bit, whilst Chavo says that he’s had to fight his way into the business…not like his entire family were Wrestling before he was born or anything. I hate Chavo. So when he opened his case and got FIRED I was very pleased. That leaves EC3 with the Tag Title shot, and he celebrates with Dixie as Sting looks frustrated.


The match was basically a build towards Madison’s hot tag, who looks in insanely good shape considering she’s had a kid recently. Madison gets the win over Gail with a quick roll up. They’re really giving all the matches enough time tonight. Crazy that TNA have a tiny female roster, but have two storylines running simultaneously.


First off, I’ll explain what a Dixieland match is. You have to escape the cage, head up the ramp, climb a ladder and grab the title.

The match started pretty average, Hardy sticking to his high flying style, getting the better of Magnus and his inexperience (in comparison). Interesting spot where Jeff tried to escape via the hole in the cage the camera shoots through, never seen that before. After some back and forth action, Jeff hit a Whisper in the Wind from the top of the cage, insane that he still does stuff like that. Both men climb out the cage, on opposite sides. EC3 stops Magnus from reaching the floor, but ends up on the receiving end of a Twist of Fate.

Jeff then took out Magnus and makes his way up the ramp. He throws his shirt in Dixie’s face, and climbs up the ladder. This causes Rockstar Spud to come out and push the ladder over, which resulted in Hardy taking one of the most disgusting bumps I’ve seen in a long time. Jeff flipped sideways onto the solid ramp (worth checking out). Magnus then climbed the ladder and grabbed the title, and celebrated with Dixie and Spud. EC3 looked a bit miffed, which I honestly cannot tell if it’s part of the angle or not.

I really liked tonight’s show, seemed to fly by, and concluded with something interesting to pull you back in.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.


Joseph Holberry

TNA: Bully Ray blindsides Mr. Anderson before Feast or Fired match

feastorfiredFeast or Fired main event – Source:


Tonight’s recap is solely about AJ Styles and his disappearance with the TNA World Title belt. This then takes us to a shot of Rockstar Spud in his car, telling Dixie that he is in Georgia, looking for AJ.

In the ring, Jeremy Borash is stood with the Feast or Fired briefcases (I’ll explain that later) and the wheel of Dixie. Before he can explain why, Kurt Angle flies to the ring, and throws everything about. He calls out Bobby Roode for screwing him last week, and he comes straight out. Kurt says he could beat Roode twice in one night, and they two men brawl. Roode sucker-punches Kurt when his arms were held, and makes a 2 out of 3 falls match next week.

We see a montage of Bad Influence bullying Joseph Park, but they don’t really dwell on the fact he got found out as a liar last week.


BI use every tag team heel tactic I can think of in this match. They kept Park in their corner for the majority of the match and use double team moves to build towards EY’s hot tag. After throwing both members of BI out of the ring, EY confused the entire crowd by screaming at Park, getting him in a headlock and legitimately punching him in the forehead. He then BLADED ON A STANDARD TV TAPING and turned into Abyss. He annihilated both of their opponents and got the 3 count.

After the bell EY got on the mic and revealed that Park is in fact, Abyss. Park denied it as they crowd shouted their disagreement. Is the end in sight? Also, stop blading every week!


I KNOW I KNOW. Before the bloodbath can commence, Sting heads to the ring. He sarcasms all over the place, and says Ethan doesn’t deserve the spot he has. Sting mentions the FOF match, and then demands a match with EC3. He responds by saying you’re on, but he was actually referring to the FOF! SWERVE!

Rockstar Spud is still looking for AJ, including using a paper map, do people still use them?


This started as a Gail Kim challenge, into ODB challenging Tapa, then broke down into all three women fighting. ODB was then saved by returning knockout Madison Rayne. TNA desperately need more knockouts, so I’m all for it. The faces clothesline Tapa over the top, and hug like they don’t have a huge history.

Spud is in a redneck bar asking for info on AJ. He asks the barmaid for a ‘ladyboy chaser’, and then attempts to sing ‘God Save the Queen’ by the Sex Pistols with the bar band. He ends up tangled in fairy lights and thrown out, which I couldn’t help but laugh at. He then drives to AJ’s house, don’t know how he knows where that is.

Jeff Hardy and Magnus face each other in the ring before their World Title final match next week. Jeff started a ‘HARDY’ chant again, urgh. Magnus plays the heel by default. Dixie basically says she’s open to bribes, and the two chaps look confused.

Spud breaks into AJ’s house, talks to a taxidermy moosehead, but eventually finds the Title Belt. AJ turns the lights on, and scares Spud to death, mentioning calling some friends, ‘pulp fiction style’. Spud runs away, probably because AJ was threatening to rape him.


This match seems to have come out of nowhere, it should have been hyped more considering it’s a title match. With TNA being so shoddy, I have no idea if you can cash in the X title for a World Title shot anymore…hmm. Now I think about it, more people should be trying to win this belt, it’s basically a way of jumping the rankings. Anyway, this match was as great as you’d expect, both men are veterans, and are in their element. Saying that, I wasn’t a fan of the result/shenanigans. AA won clean after a brainbuster, and didn’t seem to have worked hard for the victory. I don’t like the way Sabin loses week after week. AA doesn’t need the win or the title.

Velvet Sky continues to stay face, taking Sabin’s abuse and doing nothing about it, just turn her heel! Edge and Lita style. Male fans will still fancy her, and that’s pretty much her only worry.

Backstage Sabin blames AA for putting his Mrs. in harms way, even though it was all him. They both put themselves forward for FOF tonight.

We have 4 briefcases on poles, in each corner of the ring. 3 of the briefcases contain a shot at each of TNA’s titles; World Title, X Division and Tag Team. The forth, however, contains a pink slip, meaning the winner will be fired.

As Mr. Anderson makes his entrance, he gets blind-sided by Bully Ray, who piledrives him on the stage and then recites a poem. Lose the poem, it doesn’t suit you. The majority of the competitors take turns diving to the outside, ending with Samoa Joe hitting a Suicide Dive that destroyed everyone, must’ve been like a bus flying through the air. As everyone is recovering, EC3 grabs case 3.

The commentators make no reference to this being Zema Ions first match since his return, which pissed me off, especially when he grabs case number 2! AA shows absolutely no fatige in his second match of the night, as he nails 5 running dropkicks, and hits two men with a 450 splash. Hernandez assists his partner Chavo Guerrero in grabbing case 4, even though they have no idea what’s inside. After a Tower of Doom spot, Gunner crotched his own partner (James Storm) to take down case 1.

We see Jeff Hardy meeting Dixie Carter at a resturant as we go off air, and that’s it for tonight!

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.


Joseph Holberry

TNA: Aces & Eights are given an official funeral on Impact

acesandeightsYou won’t be seeing this anymore – Source:


IT’S OVER, ACES & 8’S ARE DONE. That’s my main positive thought going into tonight’s show, the ending of a storyline that got stale months ago.

Dixie comes to the ring to start the show, HHH style. She gets booed to death as usual, but quickly gets to the point. She’s hired a chief-of-staff, and it’s tiny British wrestler Rockstar Spud. She mentions how the British treat royalty, which I thought was incredibly ironic for a Thanksgiving special show. Spud cuts a heel promo about being Dixie’s eyes/ears, and then calls her his Queen to loud boos and USA chants. Dixie swoons to that and quickly invites her nephew Ethan Carter III out.


Well known secret, Curry Man is actually Christopher Daniels under a mask, complete with a tiny hat. He starts off by doing a kind of racist Japanese accent, saying hello to the crowd, and then going full blown into the language. All I heard was ‘KENTA’ before Carter attacked and didn’t let up. The crowd chanted you can’t wrestle at one point, no idea why. EC3 obviously got the win, and actually looked dominating for once.

Backstage – The Bro-Mans are backstage with Zema Ion, who hasn’t been on tv for quite some time since having time off with injury issues (started as a muscular thing, but then got very complicated with tumours/medical bills/etc, Google it). Eric Young and ODB appear and tell them they are wrestling Dewey and Fernum tonight, with the losers having to wear turkey suits.


This match was nowhere near as bad as I was expecting, Sky basically trying to bring Tapa down with low kicks and submissions. Tapa eventually kicked her face off and hit her TKO-esque finisher for the win. Not bad.



Turns out Zema is now the BM’s DJ, and he introduces them with new, super obnoxious house music. Robbie and Jesse run down their opposition, whilst Zema hits the air-horn button over and over again, I laughed out loud. The BM’s hit their finisher on one of the jobbers after about ten seconds, and won. The losers put on the turkey suits, and played to the crowd like they didn’t care.

An AJ Styles tour video is shown again, immediately followed by a tantrum from Dixie.

Backstage – Rockstar Spud shouts at a helper backstage about ”toad in the ‘ole” and other British foods. I can see this actually getting entertaining, he came across like a complete bastard.


This reminded me of a segment TNA ran years ago, where Jeff Jarrett and his mates had a funeral for Team 3D. That was brilliant, and so was this. The theme of the funeral was bringing things to put in the coffin that signified the Aces. Highlights went like this; Eric Young crying and not knowing why, Kurt Angle bringing a D-Lo Brown bobblehead, Samoa Joe passing out beers, Mikey Tenay going to put Taz’s vest in the coffin, but saying he strangely found Brooke Tessmacher’s booty shorts under the commentary table (and then pocketing them), EY putting a turkey suit in and screaming ‘I LOVE YOU TURKEYYYY’ whilst being dragged away. Anderson teased putting the signature hammer in, but then decided to keep it as it’s ‘a perfectly good hammer’. Bully Ray interrupted at this point, and threatened Anderson and his family. Looks like this feud isn’t over! Really funny segment, I recommend checking it out.


Backstage – Rockstar Spud shouts at Angela for bringing him ‘revolting’ mash, into it.


This is your standard heel-face team match, loads of cheating, keeping faces away from their teams etc. Sabin rolled up Storm to eliminate him, whilst Gunner was literally within arms reach, he could’ve broken it up before the referee had counted one. Kazarian eliminated Gunner, after a double team move with Daniels. Magnus tried to capitalise with a clothesline off the apron to Daniels, but tweaked his knee doing so. He got taken to the back, leaving Kurt on his own. Kurt was in his element for the next few minutes, suplexing everyone in sight. Roode tried to counterbalance that by bringing in a chair, only for Kurt to take it from him and use it, and getting disqualified…I don’t get it? Sure he hates Roode, but he was completely in control of the match.

Backstage – Storm and Gunner argue, mentioning what I saw earlier. Is Storm gonna turn heel? Gunner is too obvious.


Everyone who won their match tonight, is invited to this dinner. Sabin comes out with his girlfriend Velvet, until Bobby Roode asks him why she’s here. Sabin agrees with him, and asks her to leave to the crowds anger. After each wrestler around the table tells us what they’re thankful for, I realise every winner tonight has been a heel! Kurt comes out with all the faces/losers, and they all brawl/food fight. The show ends with the fans celebrating with faces, as Taz shouts about needing to ID the jobbers.

Notes: Genuinely really fun show tonight, even though a lot of it was on the comedy side, none of it went on too long.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.


Joseph Holberry

The Wrestling Review Corner – The Rise and Fall of WCW [DOC]

stingjrOne of the bizarre moments in WCW history – Source: World Wrestling Entertainment

Thanks for checking out another review here on The Real Mid Card, and it’s back to the documentaries this week. The Rise and Fall of WCW is a true classic. If you’re a wrestling fan and you haven’t watched this, you’re missing out. Let’s wet your appetite for it here, and then you can go out and get a copy. You won’t regret it.

The Wrestling Review Corner
The Rise and Fall of WCW

I’ve watched this film so many times, but I enjoyed it again once more recently, so I decided to write about it here. I never watched a whole lot of WCW growing up during the famous Attitude Era, because I was just so into WWF and Raw. I’ve learned a lot more about the company since it’s demise, than I knew back in those pre-teen days. A lot of what I learned came from this film, and from Eric Bischoff’s book Controversy Creates Cash which I picked up at my university library and loved. It’s still one of my favourite books. Maybe I will read it again and review it on here someday. I’m not as fond of the guy himself anymore though. Watch this movie and you will feel the same way.

You do get to see how great WCW was, and all of the things they did right. You also get the sobering reality of it’s ultimate doom. The first half is like a lesson in how to get hot, compete with the best, and dominate. The second is a guideline in what not to do when running a wrestling company. It’s a lovely blend. The tale is told mostly through great interviews with the people that worked there. It’s a roll call of the biggest names in the business, an array of credible on and off screen talent. This adds a real legitimacy to the content. Their brutal honesty gives it a good edge.

Considering it was made by WWE many years after the company was bought by Vince, it’s extremely unbiased and mostly complimentary. You can’t hide the reality of what happened towards the end, but the vast majority of the film applauds and reminds. I think that’s a nice touch. If it were me, I would release a DVD completely ripping them to shreds in revenge for everything Bischoff and co ever did to try and get one over on me, and my staff. That’s why I’m not the businessman that McMahon is. He deserves respect for that.

If you are a young wrestling fan who didn’t grow up during this period, you should definitely check this out, for educational purposes if nothing else. If you are a seasoned veteran who wants to relive the glory days, you will be satisfied. I would recommend this film to any true wrestling fan, especially all of you TNA fans. It’s a stark reminder of what Bischoff, Hogan, Russo, Nash and the like will do when they have power. For all the good that was done, and for all the good intentions of the WWE to focus much more on the “rise”, it’s the demise that you take away from this. It’s hard not to.

Thanks for reading. Leave a comment, and check out the film!

Craig [Editor]

TNA: Would Turning Point 2013 be the end for Aces & Eights?

clubcareerClub versus career – Source:


Today’s show is one of TNA’s ‘PPVS’. As their monthly shows didn’t make enough money, they cut down to 4 a year, One Night Only specials, and straight to TV shows like this one.

The show starts with Mike Tenay welcoming us to the show (they’ve gone back to Orlando, boooo) and showing us footage of Bobby Roode attacking James Storm in a nearby bar from the night before. I love it when rivalries end but there’s always tension between the men involved.

Backstage – Dixie Carter runs into Samoa Joe and basically tells him off for standing up to her last week.

Dixie heads to the ring and we get our first view of the new home of Impact Wrestling. Looks at least double the size of the last place, and obviously a much higher attendance. Dixie rips into AJ Styles and his world tour defending the TNA Heavyweight belt elsewhere. James Storm interrupts her, and says he wants to upgrade tonight’s Bull-rope match, to a ‘Florida Deathmatch’ that the crowd erupt for. I actually liked Storms promo tonight, he put in a lot of energy and used logic when he politely asked Dixie to change the stipulation.


Magnus comes out to the ring, but we then see Joe on the big screen, challenging Maggo to join him backstage. With probably the worst timing I’ve ever seen, we then cut to commercial. When we come back, we see tables and the like scattered around and then two men wandering back towards the ring…great. They show us replays but it’s just not the same. The ending came when Joe ran into a chair that was lodged between the ropes in the corner. The commentators said that Joe pretty much beat himself, not putting over Magnus at all.

Bad Influence are dancing at ringside as we come back from the ad break. Turns out they’re just here to see what happens in the next match…


Christy Hemme announces Abyss two times, but obviously he doesn’t come out. After waiting a few minutes, Bad Influence enter the ring and tell Joseph he is a ‘water-bed’ and ‘a sack of mayonnaise with a law degree’. They then say he’s letting down his grandfather ‘Jurassic…Park’. These two are so weird, it’s great. Daniels say he would hit Park, but he knows that blood would set him off. This then cues Kazarian to throw a bucket of blood over Joseph, Carrie/The Brood style. They throw mean jokes at Park until he leaves, I genuinely felt bad for him!


No idea who this lass is, she looked very bland. Gail squashed her easily, Lei’D didn’t do ANYTHING! Why is she employed?! Have Gail nearly lose, then cheat with Tapa every week to get heat and actually use your roster.

We see footage of AJ Styles defending his Title in Japan, really cool to see stuff like that.

Backstage – Mr. Anderson says he’s taking out Bully Ray tonight.

Really nice video package of Storm vs Roode from the past few years, awesome stuff, but all I could do was laugh at Roodes old hair.


Standard Street Fight style stuff, loads of weapons. Storm ended up bleeding first even though he was controlling the match. I miss blood in Wrestling. After some cool back and forth, Roode pulled a barbed wire board from under the ring. He pulled Storm onto his shoulders for a Death Valley Driver, which caused Storms teammate Gunner to head to the ring and throw in the towel. Roode wins, but everyone wanted to see that last move! Obviously Storm wasn’t happy and shoved Gunner around.

We go to a video of Christy Hemme at small time wrestler Sam Shaws house, but he wants her to call him ‘Samuel’. He shows Christy some artwork he’s made, and then she calls cut. The cameras stop filming the bit, but catch Shaw asking Hemme to go out for dinner with him. She says yes and writes down her number. As she leaves, Shaws face completely dropped and he straightened out everything on the table, OCD style…I’m intrigued.

Backstage – Bully Ray and the remaining Aces & 8’s look hard backstage, and say they will retire Anderson tonight. Ethan Carter III tells the jobbers he’s been fighting recently that he’s fighting someone above their league tonight.


He actually pulled off a proper squash this time! Sharkboy might have gotten a couple of punches in, but EC3 was all over him. This means that the lads he’s been facing recently are actually better than Sharkboy. Ouch!

Backstage – Dixie tells Kurt Angle and Roode that she has booked a 5 on 5 tag match for next weeks Impact, with either man as captain. Same week as Survivor Series though?


As was decided last week, if Bully loses, Aces split up. If Anderson loses, he must retire. Anderson has new attire, he’s in full length tights and a sleeveless shirt, must be feeling a bit insecure. Some of the roster walk out to watch the match from the ramp, not all of them, just a few. Decent match so far, but seemed a little tame after the ‘deathmatch’ earlier. Most of the match comprised of Anderson trying to get the upper hand but coming short through numbers/underhand tactics. Anderson hit his Rolling Samoan Drop(?) onto Bullys chain, Tenay didn’t notice. Bully pretty much no sold that and hit one of the slowest spears through a table I’ve ever seen. Brooke then tried to throw a hammer to Bully, only for Anderson to catch it and connect with a big swing and the 3 count.

So that’s Aces & 8’s finished! TNA followed the broadcast with a package hyping up next weeks show, including Anderson’s plans for an Aces Funeral, Bully only lost a few seconds ago!

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Joseph Holberry

TNA: Aries and Angle go head-to-head on an eventful Impact!

angleariesBig submission match main event – Source:


Thanks for checking out The Real Mid Card, and we hope you enjoy this look at the latest episode of TNA Impact Wrestling.

Tonight’s show starts by recapping last weeks underwhelming Full Metal Mayhem match between Jeff Hardy and Chris Sabin, and showing us Sabin’s brutal welts on his legs. They also hype up Kurt Angle vs Austin Aries in a submission match in the World Title Tournament.

Aces & 8’s head to the ring, which feels pretty meaningless now Bully Ray isn’t World Champion, they don’t have anything going for them anymore. Best part of this segment was Bully calling Mikey Tenay an ‘oooold bahstard’ and doing a huge fake laugh. Bully speaks about fooling Mr. Anderson last week with their fake Aces breakup, until he is interrupted by Anderson himself. The two men plan out their match next week, if Bully loses, Aces disband, if Anderson loses, he retires. Anderson used the imminent birth of twin children as his reason to quit, saying he can go be a proper dad. Bully retorted with ‘I’d love to pile-drive your pregnant wife’ which is so ridiculous I burst out laughing. Anderson attacked upon hearing that, eventually getting the upper hand, chasing them off and challenging one of the members to a match.


This was a decent pretty quick match, with Anderson fighting in his street clothes. Always annoys me in WWE when people come to the ring in their gear but don’t expect to fight…you’re in your underpants mate. Anderson won with a Mic Check, then announced his own victory. He sold the beating by sounding like his batteries were running out.

Backstage – Joseph Park challenges Christopher Daniels to a match, and Daniels agrees in his own segment. They mention Abyss being the TV Champ, which I thought TNA were ignoring as it hasn’t been mentioned since it last changed hands.


Park uses his size advantage at first, but Daniels experience takes over. Daniels eventually won with a low blow, in a surprisingly long match. Storyline is completely stagnant by this point.


I initially laughed when the two jobbers came out, but after a few minutes I realised the two of them have had more TV time than the likes of Sonjay Dutt, Petey Williams, etc. I understand they’re building EC3, but the matches aren’t even quick/dominating. Taz spent most of this match laughing, insulting the jobbers and wondering what’s on their attire. EC3 wins after hitting the Headlock Driver (that’s its name apparently) on both men and pinning both.

AJ Styles mates get him a video package again, showing his TNA title defence in AAA Mexico. Good package actually, I’m impressed that TNA have taken it so far, it’ll make AJ’s return a huge deal. This is followed by Dixie Carter kicking off backstage about it, completely logical, I’m impressed.

Backstage – Jeff Hardy shows the cameraman his facial injuries from a chair assisted dropkick to the face last week. He talks about doing it for the fans, which I thought was cool, because he definitely takes a lot of risks.

Dixie heads to the ring and runs down AJ to loud boos. She goes on to say Spike TV will be showing Turning Point live and for free, which the fans still boo. She then invites Bobby Roode, James Storm, Samoa Joe and Magnus to the ring, as they will be fighting on said event. Storm-Roode will be a bull-rope match, Joe-Magnus a falls count anywhere. Storm screamed about beer, Joe called out Dixie for not handling AJ correctly, and Magnus looked directly at the camera and said he’ll win. He never actually looks at his opponent, kind of lacks emotion.

Backstage – Anderson beats up poor old Garett and handcuffs him to a metal frame thing.


I should have really seen this coming, she’s been in OVW since competing in TNA’s show British Boot Camp. She got signed along with her twin sister, and now would be the perfect time to bring them onto the main roster. Hannah basically gets jobbed out, but does her part perfectly well. Gail looked absolutely ruthless, and honestly more dominating than EC3.

Joseph Park comes to the ring, and challenges…his brother, Abyss. Well that’s not happening!

Backstage – Mr. Anderson uncuffs Garett and carries him away, bit sinister.


This match started with your standard technical moves, Angle attempting his Greco-Roman stuff, whereas Aries sticks to strikes. Logically either man attacks the area that their respective submission targets. Continuing the theme of his last two matches, Kurt couldn’t quite get to grips with Aries, especially when Roode came out to watch from the stage. After being held in the Ankle Lock a few times, Aries attempted a 450 Splash from the top. After his beautiful selling of the leg made him miss, Kurt jumped on him and got a Crossface victory to send a message to Roode.

As Kurt celebrates, we see Mr. Anderson drag out Garett, and pile-drive him, Terry Funk style on the stage. We see Roode and Angle just looking confused, surely they should either look happy since they’ve both dealt with Aces? Pretty good show tonight, with Anderson and Bully’s storyline running nicely through the whole thing

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.

Thanks for reading,

Joseph Holberry

TNA: Some Full Metal Mayhem to top off Impact!

hardymetalHardy and Sabin meet in Full Metal Mayhem – Source: Impact Wrestling


This week I’ve read a lot of interesting stuff about TNA. Rumours of the Carter family wanting to sell the company, AJ styles defending the World Title in other companies, and more recently Bully Ray invading Tommy Dreamers promotion (House of Hardcore) to challenge him to a match on the next One Night Only.

Dixie Carter tweeted this week that tonight’s Impact would see an appearance of a former world champion. What she didn’t tell us however, is that he’d be from a different sport. Turns out that she was talking about an American Football player called Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones. As I’m not a follower of the sport, I’m not sure if this is a big deal or not.

The show starts with Dixie walking, arm in arm with said athlete, until they run into Mr. Anderson. He asks to face Bully in a match, and she considers it.

The Main Event Mafia come to the ring to a loud reaction, but I can’t help but wonder why they’re still around. They haven’t been a proper unit for a month or so now, so it doesn’t surprise me when Sting announces that they’re putting the stable on the shelf for the time being. Sting tells Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe that he loves them, but not Magnus, and leaves. The now former team-mates talk about the World Title Tournament, and then leave the ring, leaving Kurt to speak on his recent losses. Roode comes to the ring and tells Angle he will beat him for the third time soon enough. They brawl as we go to commercial, as referees and security enter the ring. As we come back, Angle challenges Roode to come back out, which he does and they get split up again two more times, fighting to the point Magnus, Joe and Bad Influence have to come out to pull them apart.

As Mike Tenay and Taz run us through the card for tonight, we see Bad Influence getting in the face of Pacman and his mate, shoving them hard into their seats. The footballers then jump the rail, chase the wrestlers into the ring, and scoop slam them both as the crowd go mental. Even though I love BI, this had definitely been practiced beforehand and went perfectly.

Backstage – Anderson tells Knux and Garett to leave Aces & 8’s. I want the storyline to end, but neither man gets enough of a reaction to carry on without it.


Velvet and Brooke have an arse competition for the crowd, until ODB attacks them with her boobs, and follows it up with a double Bronco-Buster. Great start. I actually enjoyed this match, it didn’t feel as rushed as usual. Interesting spot with ODB and Velvet both getting a Single Leg Crab on Brooke, which caused Taz to say ‘well, ODB knows about crabs’. Knockouts Champion Gail Kim and Lei’D Tapa come to the ring, watch for a bit, and then get involved when Velvet went for her finisher. They take out all three women, and Gail lays down a challenge to any female wrestler OUTSIDE of TNA to try and beat her, and if they do they’ll get a title shot. If this leads to bringing indie wrestlers in, I’m completely into it.

We see a promo package of AJ Styles Title defence in Mexico’s AAA promotion. We’re told it’s brought to us by ‘friends of AJ’. I thought that was a nice touch, as WWE have fired, and then banned Big Show, but he still gets entrance music, his titan-tron video and even new merch when he turns up.

Backstage – Knux and Garett are backstage discussing Anderson’s suggestion, until Bully joins them. He basically tries to stop them leaving, until Knux says they’re going to vote on it, right now.

Backstage – Dixie is on the phone, saying she’s being humiliated by AJ. Ethan Carter III appears to cheer her up, and says he’s chosen his opponent for tonight.

The Aces are in the ring, including Taz. Garett was decent on the mic, I was getting ready to cringe, but he did his part perfectly well. Garett and Knux vote on ending the group, and take off their kuttes. Knux says he doesn’t need the colours anymore, probably forgetting he’s wearing an Aces t-shirt that he didn’t take off. Taz decides to leave too, showing us how much weight he’s put on in the last few years, the guy is massive now. Bully says ‘for a guy who respects Stone Cold Steve Austin so much, you didn’t think about something’ which calls for Knux and Garett to return and attack Anderson. Bully whips him with his chain whilst shouting ‘DON’T…TRUST…ANYONE’. Kind of cool, but at the same time I don’t think they should be referencing stuff like that.

Bobby Roode interrupts Taz and Tenay at the commentary desk, screaming for Angle to fight him, and then runs to the back.


Dewey gets a chant in the opening seconds, but it doesn’t help him getting mostly squashed. EC3 is still giving away too much offence.

Backstage – Bad Influence run into Joseph Park, and bully him as he eats left over Halloween candy. Eric Young makes the save, and suggests they have a match tonight.


Standard face-heel tag team match, with each man showing their specific niche. EY continues to be one of the most underrated wrestlers in the world, completely solid every single time, totally reliable. The pinfall came when Daniels threw his appletini into the eyes of Park, who got rolled up by Kaz. Hopefully this means BI have realised not to make Park bleed, as everyone on the roster should have by now.

Kurt walks out, demanding to fight Roode (he was looking for you earlier mate, must’ve missed him backstage). Austin Aries heads out, because the two of them will be fighting next week in the first round of the tournament. Dixie appears on the big screen, with her stipulation wheel. It lands on Submission, which sounds really good to me. Roode runs past AA and knocks him over, and attacks Angle. AA then attacks Roode, but gets pushed out of the way by Kurt. THEN AA attacks Kurt, and security swarm on the three of them. Three way feud would be brilliant.


No Sabin-Velvet tonight, wonder if they’re dropping that. This is basically TNA’s version of a TLC match, but they don’t realise tables are made of wood. No bother. Sabin has started wearing tatty knee length shorts, that make him look like a 13-year old mosher, not a fan. Not saying everyone should be in speedos, but he looks really unprofessional. As Hardy was trying to get a ladder into the ring, he ripped one of the legs clean off, and looked absolutely furious.

After missing a splash through a table on the outside, Sabin had the upper hand. This led to a very strange spot where Sabin attempted to splash Hardy through a table, but Hardy got his knees up…who was it supposed to hurt more then? Hardy still went through?

The ending came with Hardy winning after a swanton from the top of a ladder, which looked painful for both men. I thought Sabin should have won this after doing something super scumbag-y, he needed the win more than Hardy. Genuinely thought there would be more of a story told in this match, seemed a bit meaningless.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.

Thanks for reading.

Joseph Holberry

TNA: Kurt Angle takes another knock on this week’s Impact


Angle and Roode at Bound for Glory – Source: Impact Wrestling


Dixie Carter walks out to the ring as the show starts. For the third week running, the crowd are all over her, none stop booing. She gets right to business and strips AJ Styles of the World Title. Since last weeks Impact, I’ve read a lot of rumours about AJ defending the title at other companies, such as AAA and Wrestle-1. I think that was the thing WWE missed out on doing when CM Punk left as champ in 2011.

Dixie goes on to announce an 8 man tournament to crown a new champ. These men are; James Storm, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy (biggest face reaction), Austin Aries (biggest MALE reaction), Bobby Roode (biggest heel reaction) and Chris Sabin. Surely Sabin now has two chances, as he could cash in his newly won X-Division title. She says we will have a gauntlet match later on to fill the 8th spot. Bully Ray demanding to be the 8th, but Dixie shoots him down. Mr Anderson runs to the ring and they brawl as we go to commercial. When we come back, we see that they were brawling the whole time, until Anderson was taken away by security. Bully attacks him backstage and whips him with a chain whilst handcuffed.

Backstage – Garret Bischoff gets really mad at the cameraman, doing his best mean face.


The Bro-Mans come out to new, boring music, immediately ruining the match for me. In this match, Taz secured his place as my favourite commentator by saying Storm irritates him, love you mate. Pretty solid match, with Jesse and Robbie winning cheaply with the Rick Rude-Ultimate Warrior suplex spot (Google it).

Backstage – Dixie tries to talk Sting into being her stooge, as he currently cannot challenge for the title. She also has a ‘Wheel of Dixie’ for the stipulations in the tournament.

Backstage – Bad Influence are dressed like Sherlock Holmes, looking for clues on Abyss’s whereabouts.


I thought this was gonna be your usual squash match, but it went on way too long, and Norv actually got some offence in. Best bit of this is when Taz and Mike Tenay excitedly touted this as a Bound For Glory rematch. Obviously EC3 won, but he still doesn’t look strong enough.

Backstage – Bobby Roode tries convincing the TNA doctor to not clear Kurt Angle for action tonight.

Backstage – ODB hypes her title match tonight until interupted by BI. Daniels says ‘I think I know what ODB stands for, overly developed bosoms’ which is my line of the night. Eric Young chases them off teasing Abyss appearing later on.


Every single week I’m impressed with the reception Sting gets. I think because I didn’t see WCW much as a kid in Britain he doesn’t seem like such a big deal to me. He starts the match with Kazarian, until they are joined by Knux, EY, Daniels (who got ‘fallen angel’ chants and has to try make the crowd boo him), Manik, and Magnus. The ending came with Magnus eliminating Daniels, and then both Sting and Kaz as the former was throwing out the latter. Sting looked dejected as Magnus celebrated, I predict a heel turn.

Backstage – Kurt tells us he’s cleared tonight, and is gonna get to Roode.


Even though I like both women, I’m really feeling how shallow the Knockouts Division is. The ladies has a good competitive match, pretty technical but included a nice Fallaway Slam on the outside. After a distraction by Lei’D, Gail got a Schoolboy for the win. I think Lei’D should be getting involved physically, she’s enormous.

Backstage – Bad Influence change back into their ‘official detective clothing’ whilst Kaz does the worst English accent ever.

Bi are in the ring as we come back from commercial. They tell us they have solved the case, and that Abyss is currently living under the ring. Daniels goes under the ring and finds a huge pumpkin, which he says ‘is a talentless vegetable, just like Abyss’. They laugh until EY comes out dressed like Joseph Park. He talks about being a scientist until BI attack him, drawing Abyss out to make the save. This storyline has been going on for way too long, it got boring ages ago.

Backstage – Dixie spins the wheel for Hardy and Sabin’s match match next week. It lands on ‘full metal madness’ (TLC) and Sabin looks worried.


I saw an article yesterday about Kurt wrestling with an injury, which seems to be happening more often than not nowadays. I think Kurt is one of the best ever, I really hope he doesn’t run himself into the ground. This was your basic heel-attacking-injury match, Roode only allowing Kurt bits of offence before shutting him down again and again. This match went on longer than I thought it would, and that is in no way a bad thing. It had that Main Event feeling, like it really mattered to both men, which I think is lacking in WWE. The main event always involves players within a storyline, but they save the ‘important’ matches for PPV. After Kurt nailed a Top Rope Belly-To-Belly, Kurt collapsed and basically looked like he was having a seizure. Even though I knew it was storyline, it wasn’t nice to watch at all, he looked genuinely messed up. Taz sold it for me perfectly, breaking character to show his concern. Referee Brian Hebner called an end to the match and awarded the win to Roode, who was walking up the ramp, looking a bit confused.

Really liked this episode, wasn’t any time wasting, and the matches got at least enough time. The least Bully Ray I’ve seen for about a year, and Hulk is completely gone now. People insult TNA a lot, but they’re doing a lot of good stuff at the moment, and with Jeff Jarrett apparently being involved with creative, it should get even better.

As always you can contact me with any thoughts, or even if you just want to chat about wrestling at @jrholberry on twitter.


Joseph Holberry