Check This Out...


Shades Of Gray #21

In this week’s column I discuss how WWE and TNA are utilizing their young talent, TNA’s live episode of “iMPACT!”, Kevin Nash, and much more.

The “Links of the Week” will catch you up on the highlights from this past week’s pro wrestling television, and “Extras” delivers you a random dish of entertainment, from Razor Ramon’s debut vignette to clips from The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect.

Wrestling's Young Guns

I like seeing guys such as Ted Dibiase, Cody Rhodes, Manu, John Morrison, The Miz, Cryme Tyme, Evan Bourne, Santino, and Kofi Kingston receive a decent amount of TV time on "Raw." That’s a nice young base in the mid-card to build upon. But none of these guys are ready to be main event players - which is unfortunate, because the main event scene on "Raw" is becoming stale. A guy can only take so much of Batista, JBL, and Chris Jericho (note: I'll never get bored of Shawn Michaels).

Dibiase will be the most successful of the bunch. Having his father as his manager, along with the Million Dollar belt, would have been a better way to introduce him to the WWE audience (er, Universe) than teaming him with Cody Rhodes.

Unfortunately, CM Punk belongs in this mid-card list (even though he picked up a win over Jericho with a lot of help from Batista). I just don't get why - after creating a new main event star - they would team him up with Kofi Kingston? According to online reports, Punk is scheduled to work Randy Orton on the next overseas tour, so perhaps a return to the main event scene is in the works for the former World Heavyweight Champion. More realistically, Punk will be used to put over Randy Orton's return.

With that being said, TNA has an even more impressive young core than WWE. Robert Roode, James Storm, Matt Morgan, Jay Lethal, Eric Young, LAX, and Kaz are just some of the guys who deserve a larger role on "iMPACT!" and in the company. When you add those guys to the young veterans like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, you've got an impressive roster. Guys like Sting, Foley, Jarrett, Nash, and Angle need to take a big step out of the spotlight.

It's easy to see how Johnny Devine got so frustrated in that company.

Quick Hits

I know it wasn’t the hardest of predictions to make, but 3 weeks ago, I called Kevin Nash getting involved in the Joe-Sting match at Bound For Glory: "My guess is that he’ll cost Joe his match with Sting at Bound For Glory and join the ‘veteran’ side in the feud."

Speaking of Nash, it’s time for him to dye his hair. The grey hair just looks bad, and dying his hair would go well with his new heel persona. Pretending he is younger than he is would generate some heat.

What’s the over-under on how long it’ll take TNA to sign Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch? One month? Two months?

Vladimir Kozlov just doesn't do it for me - and he never will. He reminds me too much of Ludvig Borga, and that's not a good thing.

Does anyone else get a Twin Peaks vibe from the Kizarny promos? And that is a good thing.

If you watched UFC:89 last night, then you know that Saw V is coming out on October 24th. What you wouldn't know (if you're not a wrestling fan), is that "iMPACT!" will be live next Thursday from Las Vegas. If you blinked, you would have missed the 5 second promo that appeared in a small box on the bottom right corner of the screen. So as much as I criticize TNA for not properly utilizing their young talent, Spike deserves criticism for not properly promoting TNA too.

I’m looking forward to “iMPACT!” this week, though. I've said on a number of occasions that in order to take the next step, “iMPACT!” needs to be live, or at least do the bi-weekly thing that “Raw” did back in the day. The show seems so pre-packaged and it’s just too tempting to read the spoilers every week before they broadcast on Thursday night.

TNA has announced a pretty sold line-up for the show too – there’s definitely a pay per view feel. Announced thus far: Sting and Kevin Nash vs. A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe; Mick Foley’s and Jeff Jarrett’s major announcement; Sheik Abdul Bashir vs. Jay Lethal for the X-Division Championship; Taylor Wilde vs. Awesome Kong for the Knockout Women’s Championship; Beer Money, Team 3D, Matt Morgan and Abyss, and LAX in a “Hard Rock Hardcore Tag Team Text-off Gauntlet” (whoever came up with that name should be fired); and Booker T reveals what’s in his briefcase (rumoured to be a Legends Championship). Sure, there's something to be said about giving too much away on free TV, but when was the last time you ordered at TNA PPV anyways?

Links of the Week

1. Hogan wasn’t only on CMT this week. He also wrestled JBL on “Raw.”

2. One of the weirdest segments in the history of “Raw.”

3. CM Punk vs. Chris Jericho with (shock!) Batista as guest referee.

4. Evan Bourne and Chavo Guerrero go at it in a Cyber Sunday qualifying match.

5. Another Cyber Sunday Qualifying Match: John Morrison vs. Finlay (Part One; Part Two). Can you believe Finlay won? Yes, he’s a (much) better worker than Morrison but, I mean, come on (say it in the Jimmy voice). Even the young marks would rather see the heel Morrison wrestle Hardy than the babyface Finlay.
* The match starts about 6:40 into Part One

6. Mick Foley’s “retirement” speech. I really thought he’d be gone this time.

7. The beginning of an A.J. Styles-Sting feud for the TNA Heavyweight Championship (hopefully).

8. Kevin Nash has a message for the “New Generation” of TNA Superstars and the fans.

9. R-Truth continues his hot streak, while MVP continues his cold (oh so very cold) streak.

10. Vladimir Kozlov and Jeff Hardy fight for your vote.


1. In honour of Scott Hall’s drunken party of a weekend, here’s a vignette introducing Razor Ramon to the WWF audience. It’s worth a look if only for the shirt he’s wearing.

2. This one’s for Owen Hart.

3. Vladimir Kozlov’s doppelganger vs. a jobber

4. Kizarny’s debut promos (Part One; Part Two).

5. If you’re a cheap asshole like me and you love Mr. Perfect, this one’s for you: The Life and Times of Mr. Perfect (Part One; Part Two; Part Three; Part Four; Part Five).

0 comments: on "Shades Of Gray #21"