November 18, 2014 by mrlahhh
This week’s episode of TNA: British Boot Camp 2 was a more sedate affair, but there were several nuggets of intrigue which I’m sure have left us all fantasising about what could be coming next. Read on as I discuss the major talking points.
If there was one theme that came out of last week’s show, it’s that we in the UK are blessed with talent. If there’s one thing we can take away from this week’s, it’s that said talent perhaps wouldn’t feature on most people’s dinner party list. There was very little personality on show this week – in fact, only Grado and Mark Andrews seemed to show anything at all – with even Rockstar Spud, who appeared in a similar role to how we’ve seen him on IMPACT! the past few weeks, appearing this time as DC1’s bitch. This could be attributed to nerves, on the finalists’ part, with even Rampage and The Bastard Mastiff being made to look like shrinking violets in the presence of Good Ol’ Dixie. “Steal the spotlight” was Dixie’s advice, and yet nobody managed to achieve this.
The major lunchtime revelation came when Dixie announced there would be a six-man tag match between the finalists, followed by no fewer than THREE eliminations, with the remaining contestants then facing off against a current TNA star. The three leaving the competition would, however, have a consolation prize – they get to live out the rest of their days, travelling up and down Blighty, knowing the global superstar, even potential former World Champion, whom they DIDN’T get to wrestle.
The prospective matches announced by Miss Dixie were:
Grado v. Ethan Carter III
Kay Lee Ray v. Gail Kim
Dave Mastiff v. Samoa Joe
Rampage Brown v. Bram
Mark Andrews v. DJZ
Noam Dar v. Austin Aries
Now, there’s no doubt each match has incredible potential but there are three that slightly have the edge for me. namely:
Kay Lee Ray v. Gail Kim
I don’t need me to point out that the opportunity for Ray to wrestle one of the most successful female stars of our time is hugely exciting. Kim is a former WWE Women’s Champion and multiple time Knockouts Champion and, as I highlighted last week, for Ray to learn from Kim would help her chances in this competition no end – TNA are giving her every possible chance to realise her potential when it matters most. This could be exactly what Kay Lee needs to get her through that 6 person tag match – she is used to wrestling with men on the UK Indy circuit, as well, so don’t worry too much about her being disadvantaged, I certainly wouldn’t fight her! Neither lady is shy of a high spot either, so this could be a real treat.
Grado v EC3
It would appear you can take the lad oot o’ Stevenston…
Grado is seemingly still polarising opinion more than any of his competitors, and this episode will only heighten it, but this match could produce some absolute gold. Out of all the matches announced this has out-of-the-box, ready to go storyline material. Take a second to close your eyes and come on a journey with me; it’s TNA v Grado, EC3 taking personal what Aunt Dixie said about disrespecting the company, so he takes it upon himself to teach Grado – cast here as the unlovable underdog, trying to make good in the industry – what respect in TNA is all about. EC3 has already shown a ruthless streak and Grado could bring this firmly back to the fore. To add even more credence, TNA could introduce Al Snow in places and use Rockstar Spud in either a heel or face mould to provide a link to the already-established, and that extra intricacy. I can see this story arc making waves, Grado polarises opinion naturally, so why not harness this and it will be best for business. See what I did there?
Noam Dar v Austin Aries
This is a dream match up, for everyone, but especially Noam Dar. If I could compare him stylistically with anyone on the TNA roster, it would probably have been Aries, basically a slightly smaller guy with more than his fair share of self-confidence, who performs with energy and skill. For Dar to face off against someone who dominated the X-Division before moving onto winning the World Heavyweight Championship could prove vital as Aries has lived what Dar will be aiming to replicate. Not only will the in-ring work be excellent but the promos will be outstanding: Noam Dar, the cocky young pretender taking aim at TNA‘s best, will not sit well with A Double, who will see it as a slight and do his best to ensure Noam doesn’t surpass his achievements. Also, matching/feuding Aries with Noam suits both men – Aries is given an important role helping Noam through his first run and gives his character focus, while for Noam, Aries‘ achievements gives him instant credibility. I’m also completely confident he’d hold his own against Aries, winning fans and spurring hype very quickly. This match undoubtedly has the most potential. Personally, I have been a fan of Aries for a long time and made my feelings on Noam Dar clear last week. This match up could have it all.
A special mention must also go to Mark Andrews‘ match with DJZ. We have established Andrews is a talented high flyer and he is being given exactly what he needs to showcase his primary skill-set. I’m confident this match will tick all the right boxes and it also gives Andrews a great chance. I had him as my favourite to win last week and although this has changed slightly, he still has an excellent opportunity. He conducted himself well throughout the episode too, striking a fine balance with his behaviour.
On the other side of the spectrum, the more disappointing aspects of the episode for me were the two men I talked up as being mean, angry bad asses last week: Mastiff and Rampage.
Mastiff should arguably change his nickname to The Bitch, because that’s all he did. He moaned, he whined and his apparent agenda against Grado came across poor and I found myself thinking why did Dixie hire someone who spent 80% of the episode moaning and focusing on other people. I was also reminded of hearing road stories from Flair, DDP, Austin, etc. of travelling round to shows in cars with three other guys and couldn’t help wondering whether Mastiff could’ve have lasted longer than two minutes, based on his behaviour during the episode. The best thing he did was duet with Grado and show a moderate amount of knowledge on US history.
Rampage did nothing wrong per se, it’s just that impressive gorilla press on Spud aside, he didn’t really show his personality much, something which was a regular comment from Joe, Kim and Snow throughout the process. Makes me think if he can’t adapt to this critique, is he worth the investment? Mastiff and Rampage are also slightly older than the others and I can’t help but feel with everything else accounted for, I’d rather see a 21-year-old signed up than a guy who’s nearly 30. I also think this is why they seemed to struggle with the arrangements more, something commented on in the show.
It will be interesting to see how they progress next week, as Rampage and Mastiff are both incredible in the ring and they should get their chance to show what they’re about.
If I had to pick right now, I think the three should be Noam Dar, Grado and Mark Andrews, with special note for Kay Lee Ray for just narrowly missing out. Credit really has to go to TNA as well, they clearly understand the finalists and are giving them every vehicle they need in order to perform when it matters most. I can’t wait for next week!
Catch TNA British Boot Camp 2 on Challenge.
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