Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Picking Apart Bloody New Year

A1E posted its Bloody New Year PPV over the weekend. This is one of A1E's "Big Three" (along with Vengeance and Golden Dreams), mainly because of the Pier Six Brawl (which I won... no gloating though :p). Roger writes this match every year, and he should be commended for it, because writing an e-fed Royal Rumble just sounds like it'd be a pain in the ass.

This year, as always, the Pier Six was fantastically written, and I really had no problems with it at all. The finish was dramatic and climactic, and it was fitting of the match as it was promoed by all of us.

However, I can't really say that for four of the five non-Brawl matches, all of them eing title matches. The matches themselves were all well-written, they had good spots, sound writing, but I found myself scratching my head at the finishes of all of them except the Triple Star Championship match.

First things first, let's start with the Survivor Championship match. I kinda liked the angle of Chip trying to get Elim disqualified, but there's a gaping logistical hole there. It should be well known that the Survivor Championship can only change hands on tapout or knockout, and that there are no disqualifications. So why would Chip try to play the DQ card if he knew that it wouldn't fly with the front office? It makes Chip look stupid. I don't know what Dan/Bill/the BC was thinking on this one.

Secondly, every one of Elim's finishers were killed in this match. He hit Slambo with everything he had and Slambo still didn't go down. I mean, it's a good way to puut Slambo over, but if he's losing the match, then why put him over at the expense of all of Elim's finishers?

That's a huge beef I have with A1E cardwriting sometimes, the overuse of kicking out of a finisher. It would help if more people did like guys like Jarret, Lindsay and I have done and denote several finishers, including secondary, kick-out-able ones and ones that should end matches most of the time, but I also think that relying on a singular mechanism to make matches dramatic cheapens that mechanism and makes matches predictable.

Next in the queue is the Tag Team Championship Match, which, once again, was a well-written affair until we get to the inexplicable finish. Now, there are plenty of ways to do a draw, but honestly, having Nathan Houston come out and stop the match because he didn't want to see his superstars kill each other was a bit melodramatic and sort of hypocritical of his character. This is the same guy who sanctioned a Muy Thai Warehouse Brawl where both Mikey F'n W and Beast had shards of glass taped to their hands, two Spiked Funeral Pyre matches and a Sanitarium mach among others, yet he's going to stop the match himself because it was too brutal?

There has to be a better way to end that match, at least a wrestling way to end it. Of if you were going to do a stoppage angle, why not have Joe the Trainer, who in the past has been wary of wrestlers like Fly, Big Dog and JA stretching their limits.

But to have the commissioner, who sanctions a shoot-fighting title, come out and say that enough was enough was a little bad for his character, and it totally took away from the match.

Next up, the Cyber Championship Match. We have the dual ref spot repeated here, as one ref counted Eddie Weston the new Cyber Champion, but a second one waved off the decision. Now, instead of the match restarting, Eddie escapes with the title, and Andy still claims he's the Cyber Championship.

I don't know what the deal was here... did Andy win the vote but was this angle in place? Or did Eddie win and this was a way to continue the angle? Or was it a draw? I don't know, but I do know that on a card already with two disputed finishes, putting a third one on there looks extremely chinsy, especially when you have two referees disputing a call and there's no clear winner of the match. The stolen belt angle is an old standby and a solid angle to run, but I think there was a better way of executing it.

The World Championship Match... well, I have to admit, compared to the other whacky finishes, this wasn't as bad, but I still have a problem with the killing of finishers in A1E. It shouldn't take two Absolution 2K4s to beat anyone. One of those moves is death.

The finishes to these four matches brought a potentially landmark pay-per-view down to the average level. I really can't say that a PPV with three ├╝ber-Dusty finishes is a great PPV. Too much silliness, and it's a shame too.


Joshua C. Ray said...

I had been thinking the exact same thing about all of these matches. I thought the Pier 6 was probably the best match out there by far... most of the others just frustrated me to read. The Slambo not going down issue really killed it for me as I thought it didn't lend a lot of credibility to the A1E or the card itself.

Anonymous said...

Well...I have no real problem with Slambo looking good, especially with the way he has sometimes been booked in the past (admittedly sometimes for angle purposes), but mine's not exactly an unbiased opinion.

I thought the RP of the show blew the results away and I'd say it was one of the most disappointing shows I've read in a while. But again, my opinion is probably clouded by the fact that I was obviously in the minority in how I viewed the winners and losers of every single match on the card.


Beast said...

I'll comment on the Tag Title match, since I wrote it, but the idea there was not to end it because it was too brutal, but because fans were getting involved, and staff were fearing for their safety. If it didn't come across that way, then I didn't do my job writing it, and I'll have to learn a lesson for next time I try something like that. Nathan Houston - while allowing brtual matches - has always ensured that these special matches always protect the crowd. For example, the aforementioned Mikey F'n W/Beast match took place in an abandoned warehouse, I believe, so as to protect the fans from the glass and barbed wire. Especially nasty Housefly/Beast matches have taken place outside in parking lots, so the fans would not be in danger. Like I said, I'll have to get the point across better next time.

I'm not going to say anything about the Survivor Title match, cause if I do, I'll just piss a bunch of people off. However, I will say that I agree that the kicking out of Elim's finishers was overdone and didn't do much to protect him. That we have to work on.

I think that if these matches took place individually over multiple cards, it would have been ok, but in hindsight, having all these real screwed up finishes all at once did take away from what should have been a card of the year contender. I'll even forget the two Absolutions, which really didn't bug me that much, since it was a World Title match, and you can suspend that disbelief to thinking that the Champion would be uber-hard to defeat. That, I don't mind.

I didn't mind the Cyber Title match, either. I think we're being a little too hard on it. Yes, the finish was contrived, but it's serving a longer-term purpose, and I think when we look at results, we have to keep that in mind, rather than saying that one particular instant made the match suck. If we didn't follow up on it, then yeah, it would blow chunks faster than Kate Moss after a piece of parsley, but there's reasoning behind, and as such, I can live with it.

The Brawl, as always, was wonderful. The ending was fantastic, and Tom, I can't believe that you have yet to say ANYTHING about Beast nailing JA with the title yet. :)

The Triple Star title match was ok. What killed it was that it was too short. I felt like I was just getting into the match, and then it ended.

I've seen the card given 3 stars over at Efed News, and I think I'd have to agree with that. It's said, cause this was EASILY a 4 star card.

Tom Holzerman said...

I really thougth the JA/Beast thing worked cuz it's the best way possible to start building heat for the match without going too far into the past. Right now, the JA/Beast matchup only makes sense because all the "Internet smarks" (ie, everyone who knows about the OOC heat we used to have) wanted to see this match. Doing other things like that make the heat for this match a lot more tangible.

FWIW, I rated BNY three stars at ENN.

Phil said...

The Cyber title did indeed end in a draw. Andy actually came up with the idea to do the double pin and have Eddie take off with the belt anyway to help build heat to their feud. Eddie getting the title shot was essentially a surprise since he's been hot lately, and there was really nothing behind the two of them besides a quick sneak attack by Eddie the week before.

I wrote the match as something that would be the start of a feud. It's totally intended to just be the precedent of a program between those two guys over the coming month.

I think it served that purpose.

As to the other criticisms, as Beast mentioned, perhaps the finish of the Tag Title match could have been explained better. I don't know. I knew how he was ending it, so maybe I read more into what he was saying than somebody in the general public. But I do think it's an important distinction that the crowd was in danger versus just the wrestlers.

- Phil

Joshua C. Ray said...

I was pleased with the way that they handled Sarge in the Pier 6... thought I might break into the top four but that wasn't in the cards.

Should be interesting to see what they do that Sarge and Spoiler next week.

AndyGilkie said...

First off, Tom, I always appreciate your feedback and your opinion on the stuff we write, no matter how positive or negative it is. Just want you to know that. Anyway, allow me to defend the Survivor Championship match for a bit (because I did write it).

Dan was the one that came up with the idea for Chip calling for a DQ. He had two versions of it for two different winners. Now, I, like the rest of the BC, scratched my head over this, but I guess he has a plan in mind for Chip and Slambo, and what Chip did will play a part in that. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Personally, in an ideal world, I would’ve loved for that match to end cleanly, but if handlers got a story to tell and they want you to help them tell it, we should allow them the opportunity to do that.

As for Slambo getting up after Elim’s finishers, well... for starters I read Elim’s profile and it seems to me that every move in it can be used as a finisher. If no one was allowed to kick out a finisher in A1E, Elim would either (1. Not get any offense in at all when he loses the voting, or (2. He would get all of his victories after only one move. Also, watch any Last Man Standing Match and tell me how many of those end after one guy hits his finisher only once? Or even twice? I was just being true to what I’ve seen in wrestling when I did that write up. Nothing more. Nothing less. I was also being true to Slambo’s character, in that this week he was REALLY motivated to win the Survivor Title back (which he established in the promos/RPs, whatever you want to call them) and in general, he can just take a shit load of punishment (which Bill pointed out in his “Slambo The Clown strengths and weaknesses” write up he did). Given that, one finish really wouldn’t be enough to do him in.

I also wrote the World Title match, so I will take complete responsibility for what you don’t like about it. I was partly inspired by Rock/Angle from No Way Out 2001 when I did the ending.

Overall, I am as disappointed as everyone else that we had so many non-decisions in one card. Attribute that to the fact that we had two matches end in draws, and one handler sent in a screw job ending for a match that he was involved in. Not putting the blame on anyone, but that is just how it ended up. Three stars sounds about right. I feel that this show doesn’t stand alone all that well, but it will turn out to be a great way to kick off future angles and feuds heading into the next PPV, and the one after that too.