It didn’t matter which day it was, it was just another day making up a small, insignificant part of the endless Summer Australians are now used to. For official records, it was Saturday.
The predicted extreme temperature by mid-afternoon brings the city to a sweltering halt. Traffic slows as the gridlock thickens, the pace begins to stall to almost a crawl almost as quickly as the mercury ascends, really, past an unacceptable level.
As the city braces itself for another sleepless night, the only relief for many comes from the lingering clouds above. Yet, it doesn’t rain. It never does.
Be the following a metaphor for TNA or not. The clouds gather, the storm builds, yet rarely it rains to satisfy the dry Earth below.
10:30 on a Saturday night, usually means one thing for those remaining wrestling fans already tortured by the heat and those still sober enough to sit up. That’s, endure more. TNA Impact. 10:30 p.m. Saturdays on FOX8.
As a wrestling fan, and usually when you’re trying to prove to a non-believer that “wrestling is good“ something silly happens, so silly in fact it supports every argument your friend just made prior, on how and why he/she doesn’t need to watch this program.
A hand is born, someone makes love to a doll while hearing a mask, Kane or Goldust cut a promo or Rey Mysterio is booked as a credible threat to the World Champion. All silly things.
And all several years apart, sadly that’s usually how long it takes to convince someone to sit back down and give it another chance. If it's not that, it’s a segment or match, usually some inane booking that leaves you scrambling for words to $support your cause.
The list could go on, months in fact could be filled by constructing a list and ranking each item on its stupidity until we have an ultimate winner.
The one single moment in wrestling history, that just doesn’t make sense as to why it got the OK to go to air. This probably isn’t one of those.
It’s the Motor City Machine Guns v Ink. Inc.
On one hand you’ve got the most credible, talented, deserving and charismatic tag team working today. Both former X-Division champions. Chris Sabin a talented cruiserweight, in every sense the definition of the North American light-heavyweight worker, multi-time champion and forerunner in the wake of AJ Styles outgrowing the confines of what can become a some what restrictive division.
Partnered by Alex Shelley...The Next [ insert name here ], with more wrestling ability in his left hand, and more charisma in his right than most ever possess. Combined potential for marketability and success is sky high. The credentials, the looks, the image, a brand is all there…
A temporary or expedient substitute for something else.
“Ink Inc.” The latest team to enter the fold, who by TNA’s Sacrifice pay-per-view on May 16th when they challenge for the TNA World Tag Team Championships will have less than a handful of matches together.
Shannon Moore, is a consistent hanger-on. What Sean Waltman is to The Outsiders, Shannon Moore is to The Hardys. Like the Kid, young Shannon has more than enough talent to warrant a low-end contract with the WWE.
Like Pac, young Shannon has friends, while not all as powerful or influential, yet maybe just as successful. Regardless, friends are friends. And Jeff Hardy is a valuable friend, the hottest talent in the wrestling world come 2009, capturing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in late 2008 for the first time.
Then on the road to Wrestlemania, the brothers Hardy went to war. By Extreme Rules, Raleigh, North Carolina’s favourite nut-case saw a second brief title reign with CM Punk cashing in his Money in the Bank in the following moments.
As Night of Champions came, so came Heavyweight gold. Hardy would lose it at Summerslam, continuing a program that helped launch Punk’s Straight Edge Society. A lose to the Straight Edge Messiah on Smackdown meant Hardy was to leave WWE.
A cult hero found his groove, became the hottest ticket in town, score several No. 1 hits and like every great, brief rock star left for some reason or another at potentially the height of his fame.
Hardy would return however, for TNA’s “ invasion “ of Monday Nights, as did Shannon Moore. A man who while working for TNA previously without a contract, yet negotiating one, decided WWE was the better alternative. It probably was considering the potential for it’s newly reborn ECW brand.
Four years later, The Reject was back swinging his bat and running the bases for Team TNA along side it’s newly signed MVP in Jeff Hardy.
In the coming months, Moore became No. 1 contender for the TNA X Division Championship, starring in several high profile matches and moments and even finding time to write a book governing his character's approach to life.
Eventually being slapped around by reigning TNA Tag Team Champion, Matt Morgan meant a week or so later, he would come to the aid of another young athlete who was about to be eaten by The Blueprint.
Forming a tag team on the basis, that both were nearly dinner for the big man and both indeed, have tattoos.
Jesse Neal a former member of the U.S. Military would be that young man. And like Shannon Moore, Neal has friends: Team 3D, 23-time World Tag Team Champions in fact. ECW originals in the mid-1990s. By the turn of the millennium had set the standard for Tag Team wrestling along side Edge & Christian and The Hardy Boys with the aid of several house hold items, and a set of titles hung from the roof.
Post WWE, Brother Ray and Brother D-Von saw continued success with TNA and Japan, cementing themselves as tag team royalty and becoming a staple of TNA programming.
With 2 years of training under his belt, Neal found himself not only signed to TNA, but in a program with Rhino. The War Machine would ‘ train ’ Neal, mentor him and help him fulfil his dream of being a professional wrestler.
After limited success, Neal felt the wrath of the former NWA World champ. Heads would butt and the student would know what it means to piss off anyone named after a large, violent animal. Let alone one with horns.
By the time Hogan had arrived in TNA, Neal’s program with Team 3D, Rhino and the unit’s heel turn would be over. The former Dudleys would feud with other consistent hanger-ons, the Nasty Boys, while Neal was removed from TV.
Fast forward and skip some nonsense, both Neal and Moore had become victims of Matt Morgan’s ‘use and abuse’ mentality in finding a credible tag team partner. Resulting in a union of sort, again on the basis both were nearly eaten and both indeed, have tattoos.
Meanwhile in the same few months, The Machine Guns were on and off again bit players in every thing that either needed a dose of quick wit and pop culture commentary, to jobbing to the stars, to being the third wheel adding some speed and pace between two heavy and slow tag teams.
So why, the question must be asked. Why, with potentially one of the greatest tag teams working today, as voted in 2007, are Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley, collectively The Motor City Machine Guns not in the positions they should be?
Wrestling credentials, the image, the gimmick, chemistry, charisma and crisp, smooth execution, mixed with a devil may care, throwing caution to the wind style of attack that a division and company were founded on in 2002. This is wrestling. Right?
Complete packages in every sense of the word. Friends in high places. No. It may seem small, insignificant even. Yet considering a year ago, Sabin and practically Shelley were in a program with Mick Foley.
The Machine Guns were red herrings floating in the ranks of The TNA Frontline, and Shelley even won the X-Division championship in early 2009. Fast forward to 2010, it sums up TNA and the Hogan administration perfectly.
Superstars looking after their undeserving pals, in fact receiving title shots and PPV time, talent booking for talent, management making sure those with influence stay happy. Ah, nostalgia. It’s been a while, old friend.