Category Archives: TV

Southern Vampire Mysteries – Fall From Grace

Southern Vampire Mysteries – Fall From Grace

So, with the final Southern Vampire Mysteries (SVM) book out – Dead Ever After – I’ve taken the time to write about the series I had once been so passionate about.

As you may have guessed by the title, my love affair with the series is coming to an end.  The haze is wearing off and I must admit I’m slightly embarrassed to have been such a big fan.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ll admit there has been some good; there were some intriguing ideas, I’m still fond of some of the characters (to a degree), and because I wrote fanfiction for the fandom it has awoken my passion and love for writing/story-telling to the point where I’m pursuing my own original goals.  I’ve also met some great people in the fandom too.

In this piece I want to look back on what started my, dare to say it, obsession for the series, to where I stand now with it.  I feel that my disappointment with the series is reciprocated by other fans and I intend to share my ideas as to why this has come about when it was once so cherished.

Let’s go back to the beginning.  I’m not ashamed to admit I’m a fan of the supernatural, I don’t believe in any of it, but I’ve always found it fascinating and a good form of fiction.  I find the origins and histories of such myths and legends interesting, and learning why we once would have believed such fantastical things as fact.  One of my all time favourites is the vampire, yes, I’m a sucker for the blood sucker.

Dracula, by Bram Stoker, is one of my favourite books, along with the vampire genre its self.  In fact, in recent times, it has seen a huge revival in popularity.  Unfortunately, the vampire genre is also filled with a hell of a lot drivel, which has lead to ridicule of such works, and the fans.

When I first discovered True Blood, it was at a time when I was becoming jaded with vampire stories thanks to the likes of Twilight.  I saw an advert for season one of True Blood and I’ll admit, I wasn’t overly impressed, the main reason being I didn’t like the placement of the fangs on the vampires.  However, my curiosity to see what it would be like got the better of me.  I wasn’t hooked straight away, it took a few episodes for that to happen, but even after seeing the first episode it felt like we had some fresh and interesting ideas in a genre which was becoming stale and predictable.

I became hooked on True Blood and when season one finished I couldn’t wait for season two.  After watching the first season I soon learned it was based on the SVM book series, so to feed my hunger until season two of True Blood I brought the boxset of SVM books 1-8 and started reading.

What I liked about SVM/True Blood is that it wasn’t your typical vampire story.  It wasn’t a groan inducing love story which has been embarrassing the genre.  Even though there was romance in the stories, there was more substance to the plot than just a silly heroine being giddy about her vampire paramour.  For instance:

·        The books had a mystery/who done it element to their plots as you read along to find out who the culprit was.

·        The vampires weren’t your stereotypical vampire.  They actually had some interesting personalities, other than brooding about their eternal predicament.

·        (Though not an original idea) We had vampires publicly acknowledge by human society.  This was interesting as we saw a believable and intriguing way the human race could react if vampires were real.  We had hate groups and crimes against the vampires, saw how vampires functioned in human society, saw the effects of vampire blood as a narcotic, and witnessed human fans of vampires and all their wackiness – I also liked it when this was made fun of in the stories.

·        We had the political schemes of the vampires and werewolves.

·        The possibility of exploring telepathy.

·        And finally, we had a female lead character who was likeable, interesting, and seemed to have at least half of a brain.

This series showed so much potential; there were some good ideas I was eager to explore, the first book and first two seasons of the TV show were good, and had one of the best vampire characters to ever be created – Eric Northman.  Yes, I’m an Eric fan, he’s fucking brilliant (and probably why I held out for so long in the series even when it had became so bad, Eric was that fucking good).

I think this is why I’m so disheartened.  The books and TV shows had great foundations to build some really interesting and good stories, however, it became inundated with so many bad ideas; I like to call it: the Rot.  It’s like Charlaine Harris (Author) and Alan Ball (TV producer) became giddily excited and got carried away with themselves, and had no one to tell them “don’t do that, it’s a really lame idea.”

In the books I first noticed the Rot in book two; yes, that early in the series.  Book one was a good opener for the series, though not great, it was a good read (best book of the whole series in my opinion) and set the foundations for a series that promised to be rather interesting.  When book two starts we learn that Lafayette has been killed, and on a trip to Fangtasia Sookie Stackhouse is attacked by a Maenad who is hinted at as being quite troublesome.  Then what happens after Eric brings in Dr. Ludwig to save Sookie’s life after her attack, Sookie is indebted to Eric and to repay him she must visit Dallas and use her telepathy to help find a missing vampire, completely dropping the main plot of the story – who killed Lafayette & what the hell is this Maenad gonna get up to and how do we stop it.  We have no mention of the Maenad or Lafayette’s murder until the end of the book when Charlaine Harris seems to remember she left two massive ends untied and quickly tied them up in the most ludicrous of ways.

But the sloppy ending is okay because Sookie and Eric went to a sex party and Eric wore pink spandex *gush gush* – No it’s not Ms. Harris, and don’t think I didn’t notice what you did.

I wouldn’t have minded this change in direction to the story if it wasn’t so abysmally bad!  Right from the beginning we knew the Fellowship of the Sun were the culprits who kidnapped the vampire in Dallas.  Then there was the plan to rescue the missing vampire, which was so stupid you were shocked by the fact the main characters even went along with it and were then surprised it went horribly wrong.  Then we have the moving scene where Sookie has great compassion and sympathy for one of the vampires involved in the kidnapping because he wishes to ‘meet the sun’ (kill himself) all because he is a paedophile.  Yes, I shall repeat it: Sookie has compassion for a paedophile vampire because he suffers with his paedophilia.  I hope I don’t have to explain why this was so, so, so infuriatingly bad.  I was actually offended by this.

Then we have book three, where the main plot consisted of Bill being kidnapped; who took Bill?  Why they took Bill?  And how they took Bill?  Unfortunately, these three questions were answered very early on in the book, despite this, we still had a majority of chapters dedicated to investigating Bill’s disappearance even though we knew who, what, why, and where.  The book dragged out to another stupidly concocted plan to rescue Bill which also ends up going horrible wrong…again.

These dodgy plots continue throughout the book series, and even though there are moments of goodness, these are greatly over shadowed by all the badness in the books.  But why is that?  Well, here is what I think.

Charlaine Harris cannot write mystery.  It’s not a good mystery book if I’ve figured out who done it by chapter three, or completely blindsided with a revelation of who done it all because Charlaine Harris had failed to write anything about the supposed mystery for the past 20+ chapters, making the reader completely forget there had ever been a murder to begin with.

Charlaine Harris also loves her bad ideas.  The books are filled with them, that it makes them cringe inducing to read.  Instead of being interested, the reader spends more time thinking what Charlaine must have been smoking to come up with this shit.

Charlaine Harris is also very good at writing uninteresting characters.  I can only think of five, out of all the books, who intrigued me and that I even liked.  Two of which, are dead – and I mean properly dead, as in the kind that stay dead.

Another problem, in virtually all of the books, there are massive continuity errors.  I often found myself backtracking in the books looking for missing paragraphs, or checking something out which didn’t match with what was previously written.  It made you wonder if Charlaine Harris was working with an editor, and if so, what they were doing because they clearly weren’t doing their job to allow such sloppy work going to print.

Charlaine Harris is also guilty of hyping up ideas in her books, only to suddenly drop them.

One example of a hyped up idea is the fairies – even though I hated the idea – it promised some interesting politics and a big bad ass fight.  What we got was an anticlimactic fight, and the door closed on all the fairy politics when Sookie’s super-duper great grandfather, prince of the fairies, closed the portal between the two worlds.  So what was the point of building this fairy plot if you’re not even going to use it?  Personally I was quite glad of this, the fairy plot was corny at best, and none of the fairy characters were likeable.  However, Charlaine does seem to like building an idea, making it look like it is going to be quite big and important, only to suddenly drop it for no good or logical reason as she goes off with some other lame idea.

Another example of this is Quinn and Sookie’s budding romantic relationship.  As it looked like Sookie was going to date a were-tiger, this was quickly put to an end to by a very selfish and out of character Sookie.  During book seven Quinn and Sookie both have the hots for each other like mad and both would like a relationship with each other, even though Quinn has a tragic past with his mentally ill mother and his sister, Sookie is fine with this emotional baggage and looks forward to her potential future with Quinn.  In book eight, Sookie’s home is surrounded by Las Vegas vamps demanding to speak with Sookie, it becomes apparent that Quinn had something to do with this, but he was forced into helping them because they had his mother.  Further proof of Quinn’s reluctance to help the Las Vegas vampires was the fact he sent his sister to try and warn Sookie.  Despite knowing all of this, Sookie breaks up with Quinn as he was never going to choose her first (because we all know Quinn was supposed to let his mother and sister be killed…right?).  Yes, the woman who showed compassion for a paedophile vampire (she’s that nice), and was very understanding to Quinn’s plight in the previous book, does a complete u-turn in her character and dumps the guy because she won’t continuously be centre of attention.

The only reason I could think of why Charlaine did this, was at the time the series was only going to consist of ten books, and throughout the series we had the growing romance of Sookie and Eric.  I’m guessing Charlaine realised she got carried away with herself buy starting a new romance with Quinn and she wouldn’t have time to have Sookie and Eric finally get together, so she hastily, and badly, ended it.  Personally, if I had written such as scene, I would of had Sookie end things with Quinn because she realised the complexities Quinn brings is just going to get her in more supernatural trouble than she’s already in, and even though she really likes him, it’s best to end things now before they get too close and wish him well.  At least it would have been in character and made more sense than Sookie acting like a selfish brat throwing a temper tantrum.

Another let down, was Sookie’s telepathic ability.  I was really interested in seeing this grow, and it was even mentioned in earlier books that Sookie’s first vampire boyfriend – Bill – was helping her to achieve this.  Yet all Sookie ever manages to do is conveniently eavesdrop on people’s thoughts when the conditions are right.  Damn, Sookie a crap telepath.  Not only that, we never explore much in the idea of psychology other than, people are fake.  Really, I never would have guessed.  A word of advice Ms. Harris, if a topic is beyond your understanding, don’t write about it.

With all these faults (there are many more which haven’t been mentioned), I wonder how this series has been so successful in gaining a huge following and spawning a TV show.  And then it dawned on me, Sookie and Eric’s relationship.  People wanted to see what would happen with these two, and were hoping to get a happily ever after ending for the pair.  Not all of the fans wanted this, but I would say a majority did, after all, it was the only saving grace of the books.  It did also plummet SVM into the same generic vampire romance which is dogging the vampire genre, but what the hell, Eric is pretty cool.

Sookie and Eric were the golden couple.  People wanted to see this.  Visit the fandom and you will find a majority of fanfictions/fanart dedicated to this pair.  And to be honest with you, even I wanted to see this pair succeed, and I’m downright cynical when I want to be.  The couple were a good pairing, and over the course of the books we had been reading about their relationship steadily growing stronger despite all the odds.  So, in the final book, who does Sookie end up with?  That’s right…Sam Merlotte.  What?!?!?!

Now I understand this wouldn’t have been a popular decision, especially with diehard Sookie & Eric fans, but the problem isn’t the fact Sookie and Eric didn’t make it in the end.  Now I have no problem with characters being killed off, or couples not working out, as long as it makes sense in regards to character and plot development; I may not always like the decision, but as long as it’s logical, fine.  The problem with Sookie and Eric failing at the end is not because our golden couple are no longer together, it’s because characters we have been reading about for 13 books were suddenly acting very out of character and for no reasonable conclusion as to why.  People’s expectations had been gradually built up over a prolonged period of time, and now they were no longer going to get the hoped for pay off in the end, and nor were they getting a damn good reason as to why.

I suppose you could say we’re ‘nit-picking’ and that ‘anything is possible in fiction’.  What I like to say is: ‘anything is possible in bad fiction’.  The problem in writing stories with illogical plot holes in them is we’re going to notice this, and we’re going to scrutinise and comment on it.  Charlaine Harris has ended her series on an anticlimactic bum note, for what seems to be for the sake of ending it, and she has metaphorically slapped her fans in the face and kicked them where it hurt; all for no good reason.  People have paid good money for these books, and spent their time reading them, only to have a dissatisfying ending.

Part of the reason why I think things got so bad at the end, is because Charlaine Harris signed on to do an extra four books to what was originally meant to be ten books – I’m guessing the publishing house, and maybe Charlaine, wanted to milk the series for as much money as possible.  The problem I find when a series goes on for too long, is towards the end ideas begin to get stale, characters get stuck in a rut, and things end on a mediocre note.  People were starting to notice Charlaine had lost some of her enthusiasm for the series, and from book eleven, people were starting to complain about the actions of the characters.

Charlaine spoke in her defence in regards to the complaints people had about the direction beloved characters were now taking.  Charlaine Harris made the point they were her characters, and as she created them she understood them better than anyone, and would write them how she wanted to.  I don’t dispute this Charlaine, you should be able to write the story and characters how you intended them to be, and yes, you do know them better than anyone else, hell, you know things about them we fans can only dream of knowing.  Just next time you write a book series, please make it clear to the reader your characters have a multiple personality disorder, and will suddenly act very differently to how they have been portrayed to over a number of books for no understandable reason why.

In regards to Sookie finally ending up with Sam, Charlaine likes to point out we should have seen the signs.  What signs?  In absolutely no romantic interest in each other what-so-ever, the constant reminder they were friends?  Oh, you mean the one and only kiss they shared in book one, and you stating you regretted writing the blood bond between Eric and Sookie?  Charlaine has also said recently, this was how she originally intended for the books to end.  Okay, so why deviate away from your original plan of Sookie and Sam so far, to the point of no return, by force feeding us the golden couple, Sookie & Eric?

Charlaine has also recently said in an interview she intended to kill off Bill Compton, but under suggestion of the publishing house, because of the recently coming TV adaption, it would be detrimental to the franchise to kill off the character.  Now I don’t know if or how much pressure Charlaine Harris was under from the publishing house,  but she signed on to do an extra four books, and there may have been the possibility the publishing house told Ms. Harris to go with Sookie and Eric because it was selling.  What I do know, is Ms. Harris produced a great, big, steaming pile of shit, and I believe Ms. Harris knows it.  Whether these excuses are just that, excuses to cover up her shitty writing (and let’s be honest, Charlaine is a shit writer), or, her admittance to producing a different story only to completely abandon it at the end like a petulant brat.

Charlaine Harris has shown herself to be A) an incompetent writer, and B) to not care about the quality of her work.  ‘Oh, but it’s her story, she should write it how she wants.’ Yes, yes she should, but, 1) if a book is shoddily written, I shall turn round and say what a pile of shit it is; 2) Charlaine Harris chose to give us Sookie and Eric as the major plot for the series, whether it was her idea or to cash in the popularity of the couple makes no difference, she built up expectations only to trash it at the end for no logical reason why.  People feel cheated, and rightly so.

I feel that book ten was the natural ending to the very poor series.  Yet Charlaine Harris cashed in on her work, which ultimately compromised the quality and left many disappointed fans in its wake.

~ Roux Roux ~

TV Revies #1 – Game of Thrones

Review: Game of Thrones (TV) – Season One

I’ll be honest, I don’t watch a lot of TV.  It’s very rare for me to be enthralled by television.  I hardly ever feel the need to rush home and catch my favourite TV programme.  I catch shows here and there when I occasionally watch television, but it very rarely goes beyond that.  People often ask what do I do if I don’t watch TV?  Well, I read, play video games, listen to music, play guitar, cook, workout, watch films, go out, write, etc… So I’m not exactly at a loss for things to do, and in all honesty the only thing I watch with any regularity is wrestling (yes I watch wrestling).

Yet sometimes, a show will have me completely hooked.  The last time it happened was with True Blood, however after season two the quality dramatically dropped and I haven’t bothered to watch anything after season three, nor have I bothered to finish watching season three.  But I have found a new show worthy of my attention, Game of Thrones.

I initially saw the advertisement for Game of Thrones and my first thought was, ‘looks interesting’.  Unfortunately I did not have access to the cable station it was being broadcasted on to watch the show, but having seen many advertisements for it and hearing lots of good things about it my curiosity grew.  So in the New Year I went on an internet shopping spree and bought myself the dvd boxset of season one, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Right from the beginning I was hooked.  I don’t even think my last love affair with a TV show – True Blood – did that to me, it took a few episodes before I was truly drawn in last time I regularly watched a television show.

Game of Thrones is set in a fantasy world were the houses of the seven kingdoms are all plotting for the Iron Throne which rules over all of them. The political backstabbing and games is mixed with a healthy dose of action and fantasy adventure.

Right from the first episode I needed to know what happened next, and that doesn’t normally happen with me.  Normally it takes a few episodes for me to build any affinity with the characters for me to start caring about them, and to become engaged with the story line and plots.  Yet Game of Thrones has story telling down to a fine art; every single scene was interesting, and I felt none of it was wasted on filler.

I also found the characters very well structured.  Each character was an individual in their own right, and thankfully didn’t rely on some generic formula in a half arsed attempt to inject some personality into them.  Character development was spot on too, it felt very natural as well.  One thing was for sure, whether I liked or loathed a character, I always wanted to know about them or know what they did next, and such a feat isn’t easy.  Normally I find there are a few characters who I really dislike, or couldn’t care about, but this wasn’t the case.  Even with characters I disliked, it wasn’t because I couldn’t stand the character, but more because they were a baddie and I wanted to see the good guys win.

The plot also moved at a very good pace too.  With the series only being 10 episodes long, they managed to move the storyline along without rushing it or dragging parts out.  I was hooked by the intrigue of what was happening too and around the characters.  My only complaint, and it really is nothing more than a niggle really, is that sometimes it would jump from one scene to the next rather quickly.  For example: you would watch a scene where someone was explaining something, then the next scene would be the conclusion of the previous scene right afterwards, which seemed a bit jarring as normally you would cut to a completely different scene first before coming to the concluding scene later.  Yet this really didn’t detract too much from the overall show, it rarely happened, and it is really more of a personal preference than a major fault with the show.

I must warn you though, this show doesn’t hold back on the violence, language, or sex.  Now, it’s not like the show is littered with gratuitous scenes, but when there is one it is pretty hard hitting (more so the violence than anything else).  I have to admit, there were times when I winced at what I witnessed on screen.  I’m not a prude, I have no problem with violence, coarse language, controversy, or sex being depicted, provided it’s not being used as a cheap tactic to get people talking about and/or watching your film/TV show.  With Game or Thrones, the so called controversial scenes felt natural in their placement and helped to portray the story they were trying to tell, so I had no problem with them, even if I did wince at times.

Overall, I thought Game of Thrones was excellent!  I really can find little fault with the program, and would gladly recommend it to anyone.

Good Points:

  • Great acting
  • Good pacing
  • Interesting story
  • Great character development
  • Well acted

 

Bad Points:

  • Sometimes it can jump from one scene to the next
  • Some people may find the violence/sex scenes a bit strong.

 

~ Roux Roux ~

P.S.

Two of my Fanfic stories – Not From Here & Drawn to You – have been put up for nomination in this year’s Fangies.  If you have a chance, please check out the voting, and vote for your favourite fics. Vote Here.

TV Review #1 – TNA PPV: Slammiversary X

TV Review #1

 

TNA PPV – Slammiversary X (2012)

Being a native Londoner, I didn’t get to see this wrestling PPV (Pay per View) until 13/06/2012, three days after the event.  So forgive me if this review is a little late.  I’d also like to point out I’m no wrestling expert, I’m just someone who enjoys watching it and I got a thing for writing reviews; so I’m combining the two.

To start with, I wasn’t overly excited for Slammiversary X, despite the fact it was a huge night for TNA, as they have currently been in the business for ten years.  My reasons being – One: Alex Shelley had recently left the company; he was one of my favourites and a talented wrestler, so I was disappointed with such a fact.  Two: There have been issues with TNA/Impact Wrestling recently which haven’t been sitting too well with me.  Three: The last few PPVs had been disappointing, especially Sacrifice(2012) & Lockdown(2012).  However, to my surprise, I actually rather enjoyed Slammiversay X.

I’d like to start with a note that the crowd were really behind this PPV.  This was nice to see, considering it was TNA’s 10-year-celebration in the business.  It certainly beat the dead/lacklustre crowd of this year’s Lockdown which really put a huge dampener on the whole event.

Back to Slammiversary X, we opened the show with a title match for the X Division Championship between Austin Aries, X Division Champ vs. Samoa Joe.

I’m an Austin Aries fan, so to put it simply, he delivers.  Whether he is a heel or face (Heel = bad guy.  Face = good guy.) you can’t help but be engaged by him and want to see more of him.  He has great in-ring ability and his character oozes charisma.  I have to give a nod of recognition to Samoa Joe too; he’s pretty decent as well.

The two men really opened the show with an electrifying match, and the crowd were behind both of them with loud chants for Aries and Joe.  Both men showcased their in-ring-ability really well; unfortunately, Joe didn’t win the match and Aries held onto his title and is still the X Division champ – after all, he is The Greatest Man to Ever Live.  My only criticism is the story behind this match was poorly developed on previous shows of Impact Wrestling.  Things were set up for Joe and Aries to accidentally/unknowingly disrespect each other until things finally came to a head and they slogged it out in the ring, but in two weeks this story was not fully developed.  It’s a shame, because it really would have added something more to their match at Slammiversary which was a very good match.

If you look at Aries’s previous feud with Bully Ray, where Bully Ray was constantly picking on Aries about his size, it really drew you in and you wanted to see their final confrontation – which was at Sacrifice (2012) and was the best match of the whole PPV.  The Bully Ray/Aries feud was very well done and developed over a decent period of time – not too quick, but then not un-necessarily drawn out either – and the Joe/Aries feud could have been the same.  Had TNA devoted more time to the Joe/Aries feud it really would have made their Slammiversary X match stand out more than it did.  Regardless, it was still a good match and a great way to open the show.

Next, we had Kid Cash vs. Hernandez.  This was a surprise for me, as I hadn’t seen either of them on TV for a while.  It was refreshing to see some of the other wrestlers on the roster instead of seeing the same ones over and over that we’ve been getting recently.  Again, this was a good match that followed Aries and Joe, with both Kid Cash and Hernandez doing really well.  Hernandez was the victor in this match.

The third match was a tag team match for the Television Championship.  The challengers were Robbie E & Robbie T vs. Devon (Television Champ) & Garrett Bischoff.  I wasn’t overly keen on this match, and I some what switched off, the crowd also wasn’t that keen.  Devon doesn’t really appeal to me much, he’s okay, but most of the time he’s off my radar.  Robbie E & Robbie T are okay, they make my chuckle now and then, but I’m getting fed up of Robbie E constantly trying to win the Television Championship belt back.  Then we have Garrett Bischoff, who people seem to hate at the moment.  Reasons being – One: He’s Eric Bischoff’s son.  Two: He has poor wrestling skills.  Three: Because he’s Eric Bischoff’s son, he seems to be getting an unfair push in the wrestling business.

Now I don’t really hate Garrett Bischoff, I’m all for giving him a chance, but, I don’t want him forced down my throat as the best thing since sliced bread when he clearly is not.  Garrett Bischoff has been in some major story lines and even been the main event on Impact Wrestling, as opposed to other, more talented wrestlers who get little, or no TV time.  Garrett Bischoff has been put into a top position over night – apparently because of who his daddy is – which most other wrestlers have to work hard for.  I would prefer to have Garrett working his way up and improving his wrestling skills than what I’m being given now.  If Garrett earns his position, fair enough; if not, time to consider a new career.

Back on subject, the third match at Slammiversary X was boring, it consisted of nothing more than Garrett having the crap beaten out of him by the two Robbies (some people may have enjoyed that) and occasionally him pulling off a poorly executed wrestling move – due to his lack of experience.  The crowd were chanting for Devon to get in the ring, and when he did there was some relief, but then again, I’m not a huge Devon fan so this was still boring for me to watch.  Devon & Garrett won and Devon got to keep his title.

We also had Madison Rayne show up, watching the match in her red cocktail dress, gushing at whoever her supposed crush is.  I don’t like Madison Rayne, she has a voice – or should that be screech? – which puts a banshee to shame, and whenever she is on TV the television set in my household goes on mute.  Thankfully, she was quiet, and the match was over with relatively quickly.

I’m little sketchy about the order of matches from now on, so forgive me if I get it wrong a bit.  My views are still the same though.

I believe next we had Crimson.  A wrestler who likes to go on about how he has been undefeated for 400-and-something days; I wasn’t paying too much attention, I can’t stand Crimson, he grates on my nerves.  Crimson gets in the ring issuing an open challenge for someone to step up and break his undefeated streak, piled with a load of arrogance on the side.  Believing that no one will step up, Crimson gets the referee to start a count out.  Then, someone does step up…none other than the ‘Cowboy’ James Storm.  YAY!

It was great to see Storm return.  He is a TNA original, used to be one half of a superb tag team, Beer Money, and currently one of TNA’s best main event stars.  Storm had recently been on hiatus doing some soul searching after his unfortunate loss at this year’s Lockdown.  But now he’s back and he’s all fired up.

And boy was he fired up; Storm beat Crimson about the ring like he was nothing.  It was great to see the crowd’s reaction to Storm coming back.  Especially when he set up the Last Call Super Kick to knock Crimson out and break the undefeated streak.  Storm coming back was a real highlight of the night for me.

Next we had Dixie Carter (president of TNA) come out and request that the entire roster – well, all of the roster that were present – to come out.  As she addressed the roster, she thanked them for their work and announced the first inductee to the TNA Hall of Fame.  This was none other than the Icon, Sting.

Do I believe Sting deserves this accolade?  Of course he bloody well does!   He’s a legend; he’s an extremely talented wrestler, works really hard, and is great with his fans.  He’s been wrestling for over 25 years, and despite his age and all what he has put his body through, he still doing remarkably well.  He’s generally well liked and respected in this business, and deserves this honour.

My only problem with the TNA Hall of Fame is that I question the sincerity of it.  Do I think TNA is a company with enough prestige to run a Hall of Fame?  I’m not so sure; perhaps in a few more years…maybe.  The only impression I really get with this new Hall of Fame, is TNA are trying to outdo WWE with their childish mannerisms of ‘look, our Hall of Fame is better than yours’.  Such an ideal leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.  Regardless, congratulations to Sting, you deserve this honour; I just wish it could have been under better circumstances for you and I hope my initial impression of the TNA Hall of Fame is wrong.

Next was a three way match between Mr. Anderson, Jeff Hardy, and Rob Van Dam (AKA: RVD).  This was a No.1 Contenders match to see who would be next to get a shot at the World Heavy Weight Championship.  All three wrestlers have big followings and get good reactions from the crowd – perhaps Hardy has the biggest – and all three men put on a good match.  Anderson won the match and is next in line to challenge the World Heavy Weight Champ on the following Impact Wrestling; the most deserving in my opinion.  The match was quite good actually, not the best of the night, but still entertaining.  My only problem is, a month and a half ago we had the exact same match on Impact Wrestling.  The only difference then as to now, was that RVD won.  At least this time on Slammiversary it was a better match, and at least Anderson won this time.

Next we had a guest appearance from Christian Cage, a famed wrestler no longer affiliated with TNA.  He was there to present the No.1 moment out of the Top Ten Moments in TNA.  Throughout the build-up and Slammiversay, they had been showing the Top Ten Moments in TNA, No.1 was Sting helping Christian Cage out.  I don’t know what the entire list composed of the best moments was, I didn’t pay that much attention.  I also wasn’t overly fussed by this segment either.  I had no connection to Christian Cage, because I wasn’t watching TNA when he was in it, so this meant little to me.  However, the crowd seemed to like it, so good for them.

Next was a title match for the Knockouts Championship.  Gail Kim, Knockout Champ vs. Miss Tessmacher.  I wasn’t overly fussed by this match, TNA’s women’s division does nothing to inspire me.  Though I give a nod of recognition to Gail Kim, she’s a good wrestler, even though I can’t stand her – she must be doing a good job as a heel.  Gail lost this match to Tessmacher, and a new Knockout champ was crowned.

Now, I haven’t enjoyed Gail Kim’s run as Knockout Champ, but I’m not happy to see her lose her title to someone like Tessmacher.  Tessmacher is not a bad wrestler, but she is not in the same league as Gail and in my opinion needs to make great improvements on her abilities.  It just seems cheap for Gail lost her title to someone who was so inferior.  So I wasn’t happy with this match.

Next was Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park (Abyss’s brother).  For those who don’t know, Abyss has been missing since his last encounter with Bully Ray, and his brother Joseph Park has been looking for him.  Eventually, Joseph learned that Bully Ray was responsible for this with things culminating in an Anything Goes match.

For those who haven’t figured things out with this story line, the guy who plays the missing Abyss, is also playing Abyss’s brother, Joseph Park.  Yes, the fact stands out like a sore thumb; you would have to be blind to miss it.  Now, I actually think Abyss is playing his own brother rather well, I even like his catch phrase: ‘I’m looking for my brother Chris, you know…Abyss’.  But, it’s very hard to emerge myself into this story line when I know who is actually playing Joseph Park.  It’s even more laughable when we see Joseph trying to get in and out of the ring, as he fumbles you can’t help but become frustrated with the fact the man actually knows how to get in out of the ring thus making it impossible to buy the story line.

Getting back to the match at hand, for those who don’t know, an Anything Goes match is normally quite a brutal and bloody affair.  Especially for the likes of Abyss/Joseph Park who is famed for them.  This however, was a watered down, tame version of an Anything Goes match.  It was also very short.  At one point Joseph Park scurried under the curtain of the ring, and after a few minutes of wondering where Joseph was, Abyss appears from the other side, climbs into the ring behind Bully Ray, and choke slams him through a table; before going back under the ring and Joseph miraculously appearing and getting the win.  The crowd went wild at this, but in all honesty, it sucked, because it was so obvious what was happening.  It was obvious that Joseph Park changed under the security of the ring, come out as Abyss, then went back under the ring to change back into Joseph Park.  Not very entertaining.

Next, we had the excellent tag team match for the Tag Team Title of: AJ Style & Kurt Angle vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian, the Tag Team champs.  This was a really good match.  Both teams were fantastic and it was another highlight of the night.  AJ Styles & Kurt Angle won, and became the new Tag Team Champions.

My only quibbles with this match are two things.  One: Considering TNA has no Tag Team Division right now, and are only throwing random people together briefly to make teams, the title seems to have little meaning.  Two: the story line surrounding this match, with Christopher Daniels & Kazarian revealing the supposed affair between AJ and Dixie Carter (president of TNA) is utterly ridiculous and tarnishes this superb match.

Lastly, there was the main event, for the World Heavy Weight Championship: Sting vs. Bobby Roode, World Heavy Weight champ.  I like both wrestlers a lot, but I wasn’t really feeling this match much.  TNA seems to at times have problems developing their story lines; it’s like they don’t understand how to construct them.  They’re either rushed, excruciatingly drawn out, illogically plucked out of thin air, filled with plot holes, or just plain stupid.  Unfortunately with this match, it was rushed.

Like James Storm, Sting had been on hiatus.  After Sting’s last confrontation with Roode, Sting was forced to give up his position as GM (General Manager) to concentrate on his wrestling and recover from his concussion.  When he returned to Impact Wrestling, he was declared the No.1 Contender for the World Heavy Weight Championship and thus given the opportunity to get revenge on Roode.  Sting spent a couple of weeks showing Bobby that he was coming for him, but this really wasn’t enough to build the importance of the match.

During the match both Roode and Sting put on a good show, but I feel both of them are capable of better.  Also, for a main event, it was rather short.

Roode once again retained his title with a cheap shot at Sting, smashing beer bottle over his head.  So yet again, Bobby Roode cheats to win, and I can’t help feeling sick and tired of such an outcome.  As much as I like Roode as a wrestler, and think he’s been a fantastic heel, I can’t help feeling his time as champ has run it’s course, and nor do I want to see another controversial victory.  I really felt at this year’s Lockdown, Storm should have reclaimed his title; it felt right and a lot of people wanted it, but that didn’t happen.  Now, whenever I see a title match against Roode, I can’t help but look at it with apathy, knowing I can predict how Roode is going to win.

I heard the phrase, ‘controversy sells’, but sometimes we like to get a victory for the good guys as well!

So after another disappointing and predictable win for Roode, we finally reach the end of Slammiversary…not quite, Sting seems to have lost it over the fact Bobby Roode has once again gotten away with cheating.  So Sting decides to beat the living hell out of Roode, delivering some devastating blows to Roode outside of the ring, then we reach the end of Slammiversay X.  All in all, I didn’t really care.  I was sick of another controversial win, the match wasn’t Roode or Sting’s finest, and there had been little hype behind it for me to get excited by.

Yet despite the disappointing main event, Slammaversay X on the whole was very good.  It had a few bad points, it had a few okay points, but there were some great highlights, and compared to rest of this year’s PPVs, Slammiversary X has been the best so far.

Good Points:

  • Brilliant first match: Aries vs. Joe
  • Kid Cash vs. Hernandez
  • Madison Rayne keeping her mouth shut.
  • Three way match
  • Kurt Angle & AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian
  • James Storm returning.
  • James Storm beating Crimson
  • Sting inducted into the Hall of Fame

Bad Points:

  • Gail Kim loses to Miss Tessmacher
  • Devon & Garrett Bischof vs. Robbie E & Robbie T
  • Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park
  • Mediocre main event
  • TNA Hall of Fame trying to outdo WWE