Suit and Tie is a pretty good song. If you haven’t heard it, it’s one of Justin Timberlake’s new singles off of his upcoming new album and it features Jay-Z. When I say it’s pretty good, that means I enjoy it and think many people will, Kanye West not included. The backdrop is lively and exciting; JT’s voice and lyrics, save for one or two select lines, offer his traditional level of swag that only he seems to exude, and Jay-Z’s verse doesn’t take away from the song.
Therein lies my critiquing, however. Suit and Tie is pretty good, but it’s not great. A few lines are too grandiose for someone, even of Timberlake’s stature, to take seriously, and Jay-Z’s verse, while taking nothing away from the song, is unmemorable and unnecessary. The true star of the track is Timbaland (Virginia knows music ^_^) and his key role in the production. The blaring trumpets add that terrific little bit of “extra” that pushes the song forward.
But I have to come back to the Jay-Z verse because it follows what feels like a trend of uninspired verses (“Get up out ya seat, Hov” is SO hilarious in that regard) with his guest appearances. Perhaps I wouldn’t harp on it so much if he didn’t sound like he was trying to imitate a certain “good” rapper’s flow; metaphors aside, he sounds like he’s trying to – and not successfully – channel Kanye West’s style, down to the lyrics, and I can only imagine he’s still feeling the sting from Renegade 2.0, or Run This Town if you want to use the official terminology.
The track didn’t need a guest verse, period, may have even been just as good without it (translation: remix) but if it was
doomed destined to have one then I could have just as easily seen longtime Jay-Z rival and current musical winner Nas taking that spot, if we’re set on using legends. His recent experiences and album, all storied for better or worse, put him in a position where he could offer a grandiose and club-ready verse that didn’t just sound inspired, but fitting. A guest verse is a deadly trap on many songs because it could easily result in the guest rapper overshadowing the main star, but it has to add to the song and NOT take away from the main performer either. To Jay-Z’s credit, he doesn’t take away from the song, but that’s about all. Otherwise he comes across as bored and underpaid. Kind of brings Kanye’s rant about not liking Suit and Tie into perspective, doesn’t it?
See what I just did there? That was analysis. That’s what we do here at L.E.W.D., all of us, and we do it with pride, dignity and a little thing called class. Therefore, when we craft some gold (which is normal: it would be better to use the metaphor of platinum or diamond) we like it when people listen, view and respond. Yes, we like it. We like it more than Grand Puba and his track “I Like It” and how he liked the track “I Like It” from DeBarge, who collectively liked Janet Jackson. Just shy of love, but rather high on like.
Some of you may agree with us. Some of you may not. Some of you may like how we talk about possibly bookings. Some of you may not like how we seem to systematically dismantle Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Well again, we appreciate all of these opinions, but at the end of the day it comes down to one simple mentality, as vocalized by this large, scary gentleman here:
That being said, there’s a stereotype that we here at L.E.W.D. headquarters that we HATE Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. This is untrue. It can be said that I, Da Infamous One, hate TNA. That wouldn’t be an untruth. No one here, except for maybe a couple, has shed more tears over the company and it’s tremendous wasted potential than I have, but to their credit they may have shed tears of sorrow. Not
I know what you’re thinking. “So DiZ, you amorous avatar of acceptable avarice, if you hate – and reasonably so – TNA so much, why are you talking about it?” Well to answer you question, loyal serf or dishonorable Smith, I am giving the ill-fated company my attention because there is a PPV tonight. Yes, tonight is the ninth annual Lockdown, live from San Antonio’s scenic Alamodome. After months of build up, we get to see a number of matches that feature… wait, let me give it the proper definition: it will feature professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers will portray villains, heroes or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminated in a wrestling match or a series of matches.
And no one cares.
Understand, I was going to put that line in later but here is just as good as there. No one cares. That’s not to say that TNA doesn’t have fans that care (we know my point of view on TNA “fans”), but frankly very little makes sense. TNA comes across as a place where wrestling matters, and nothing else does, not even wrestling. Yes, it’s a contradiction of itself and that’s how it goes at an R. Kelly party.
But the wrestling fan/analyst/bon vivant/world class connoisseur of the booty that is me (Da Infamous One) knows that TNA still has a chance to be something, and that is why I continue to watch the car crash that is Dixie Carter’s establishment. Hopefully it’ll get better in time. I just doubt it’ll be tonight. So while I prepare to shed more tears, I briefly look at the current card and offer a few words of commentary, giving you all a semblance of solace at how my hatred for TNA is nothing compared to the melancholy (total lack of care) that comes from the media:
So onward to the matches!
Robbie E vs. Robbie T
For a long time I had a long time telling who was who, and even now I have a hard time telling. I like the big one; he’s awkward and less annoying. Watching the disruptive destruction of the Jersey Shore knockoffs even new sexy bodied Snookie would find to be annoying is fun, I’ll admit that, but it’s hard to take it anymore than just that: fun. Not even high fun, just regular fun. I find it disproportionate because while big Robbie is enjoyable, little Robbie is like an over groomed poodle: he’s there and he’s little else. Is he good in the ring? Sure. Are they both good in the ring? No doubt. But let’s be honest: TNA excels in putting on good physical action. You will be hard pressed to find anyone on this site who thinks otherwise. But professional wrestling without good storytelling is not a good product. It’s kind of like God of War: Ascension. Sure, it’s a good game, but one bit of blatant misogyny can ruin the experience something fierce, and that’s saying something when bare breasts, horny harems and my absolute favorite (don’t judge me) media representation of the goddess Aphrodite (Venus if you’re part of the Roman crowd) are the norm.
At the end of the day, I expect the big Robbie to win, start “dancing” to dubstep, and continue being as awkward as only he knows how to be. That’s about it.
Joseph Park vs. Joey Ryan
I thought Joey Ryan was fired.
*eleven minutes later*
Seriously, I thought that *edited for the L.E.W.D. audience* was fired a long time ago. As valid as the porn star gimmick is (flies for a male but never for a female; I call that sexism!) it just seemed about as valid as Brad Maddox’s annoying douchebag character did to me. To Maddox’s credit, much like Sandow’s, I enjoy him. Joey Ryan, not so much. This isn’t even talking about Joseph Parks though.
And if you’ve seen some of my older posts, you’ll see that I like Joseph Parks. Hell, I think Parks is better off as Joseph than Abyss. Much like the bigger Robbie, he’s big, awkward and, most importantly, entertaining. Sure, the story of the character is odd. Why someone would willingly give up a job as a lawyer, in this economy, to be a wrestler in the number two company? Again, not logical, but Joseph Parks is still a very enjoyable figure to see go around the ring. You actually see this story of him improving, and frankly it displays a degree of brilliance I’m surprised the writers still have. He’s cool. And he’s likely going to win. Because he’s big. And in this company, big people eat the little people.
Kenny King (c) vs. Christian York vs. Zema Ion for the X Division Championship
Is this an Ultimate X match? If not, was there build up for this? If not… what?!
Don’t get me wrong: I like matches like these. These were, at one point of time, a shining star in the potential that was TNA’s primordial ooze. X Division matches and X Division wrestlers were quick, athletic, spunky and specialized in spots, and you know what? That was a-ok in my book. It made TNA worth watching because it was a part of their identity, along with a respectable women’s division and a six-sided ring, but now I wonder: what exactly IS the X Division? I remember there were weight requirements at one point a la light heavyweight/cruiserweight status, but now I don’t know.
I’m sure it’ll be a good match, but honestly: King JUST won the title from RVD. Where the hell is RVD in this championship match equation? If John Cena had the WWE title and lost in on RAW, I would fully expect him to be in a rematch at the next PPV. If Gillberg won a… heh, sorry, let me try that again. If Gillberg won… HA!
Okay, okay, one more time, I’ll get it this time around. Ahem! If Gillber…
I pick the champ to retain.
The Canadians (Austin Aries and Bobby Roode) (c) vs. Bad Influence (Christopher Daniels and Kazarian) vs. The Mexicans (Chavo Guerrero and Hernandez) for the TNA World Tag Team Championship
I know, I know, Austin Aries isn’t REALLY from Canada, but he’s from Wisconsin and dammit, that’s close enough!
Three-way tag team matches always confused me. Unless they were tornado tag matches, and even that has the potential to get really sloppy really quickly. The good news is that this match of six features six technicians, and every one of them knows how to put on a great match.
Before I talk about how I like a handful of these guys, let me say that this match DOES have some solid backstory. The Canadians are jerks who took the titles off of the Mexicans, and Bad Influence is a pair of overly entertaining jerks (I die every time Daniels calls Jeff Hardy “Jefferson” or Bully Ray “Raymond”) who wants gold. You don’t need a lot for a good story, people, and this is proof. All you need is good entertaining people to tell a passable story and let them do the rest with their ring work. And frankly, Christopher Daniels could do it solo: he has at least three people helping him with it though, so it’s even better.
As happy as I’d be to see Bad Influence win, I see… I see them winning, what a coincidence! While Austin and Roode are a great team, I see Bad Influence getting even “badder” and carrying the gold.
Velvet Sky (c) vs. Gail Kim for the TNA Women’s Knockout Championship
Isn’t it a bit contradictory – or at the very least unnecessary – to say “women’s” and “knockout”? Whatever. Do you know how much I love Gail Kim? Probably not. I don’t know what she does to stay looking so young, what she does to stay so fit (what with a celebrity chef for a husband), or what she does to stay so fresh and fluid in the ring, but she does it and she does it oh so well. God bless you, Gail Kim. Why, I remember going to Bound for Glory one year, my first wrestling PPV, and Gail Kim was in a match with… I don’t remember who and I don’t care. But I stood and cheered, screamed her name and celebrated throughout. While jumbo behind me didn’t find my standing and applauding to be amusing (wouldn’t have hurt for him to stand up himself, but I digress) I swear I saw Gail look my way and give me a wink. Oh, such wonderful memories. My heart went aflutter, my voice went up a notch, my pants felt a bit tighter and…
Er… uh… Gail Kim vs. Velvet Sky. I see Gail winning this one; a dirty win, mind you, with some grade A quality heel tactics, but it’s a good thing! Gail’s a heel right now, she needs to be doing that! At the risk of revealing more of my
lust love for Gail Kim I’m going to just move on now…
Kurt Angle vs. Wes Brisco
Story: Wes Brisco betrayed Kurt Angle and joined the Wild Bill Hickok English Speaking Vernacular. Period. Angle wants revenge. Brisco… I don’t know, he didn’t make the Lethal Lockdown team? Frankly they had to do SOMETHING with this talentless (yeah, I’m underwhelmed) kid.
This is the non-title, non-team cage match, and because cage matches work so well for Angle when the Two Pair Persecution Affinity is involved. Do I expect a good match? Frankly, no. I fully expect Angle to run circle around Brisco until the… bike-less gang interferes, with all their faceless recruits and, of course, D’Lo Brown. Because when you think old west themed biker gangs without bikes, you think a black man like D’Lo Brown!
You know what, I was gonna bring this up at the end but I’ll do it now: what asshole thought making D’Lo Brown part of this was a good idea?!! I think D’Lo was surprised when this was announced! Someone literally sat down and said, “I have an idea! Let’s make D’Lo a part of this!” And D’Lo probably went, “Wha? People don’t even know who the hell I am! Hell, I hardly know who I am! Let me check my underwear…” But it was too late! Not only does the outlaw biker gang sans bikes have yet ANOTHER black guy in it (cultural aspect) but it has someone in it that NOBODY knows! What do you think was the bigger Google search at the time?
Was it A:“Who is D’Lo Brown?”,
B: “Who the hell is D’Lo Brown?” or, my favorite
C: “Who the hell is D’Lo Brown?!!?!!?”
And Vice President?! A while back a conversation on Twitter regarding… a certain member of G.O.O.D. Music that was not Diminutive Anderson drove me away for the rest of the day. D’Lo Brown’s “reveal” as the vice president of this rather local, small-time, should-be-eaten-up-by-the-Black-Tuna-Gang piss pot of a biker gang (Ron Pearlman would NOT be amused) did the exact same thing, except it drove me away from TV, and video games, and made me curl up with my Kindle and read a book. Because I was sad, and nearly cried because TNA achieved the impossible. THAT I will reserve until a later paragraph though.
See that? In any case, I have Brisco winning due to leather vested interference.
Team TNA (The Joker, Richmond’s Favorite Foreigner, Wasted Talent Numero Uno, James Storm and Not-So-Super Eric) vs. Fifth Card Unknown (Pastor D-Von, Mr. Kennedy, Rey Mysterio’s Pimp, Imposter Kane and Diet Bischoff Lite)
I… no, to hell with it. I’m gonna go eat some ribs and cry in the sink. Team TNA is gonna win, happy?! Dammit!
*some time later*
There’s a reason everyone has their nickname, sans James Storm. Sting comes across as more and more psychotic as the weeks go by (not a good trait for a man running a show), Magnus is billed from Richmond, Virginia (which I hold to be a grimy location), Samoa Joe is completely and utterly underutilized, Eric Young was known as Super Eric as one point, Devon played a pastor character in the WWE, Anderson is… the same as when he was in the WWE, Mike Knox pretty much had Rey Mysterio singing Daddy’s Home every time Mike Knox was around way back when, Gallows was once the fake Kane and, finally, there’s Garett Bischoff… and we don’t care.
You may be wondering why James Storm was spared this treatment. Well, he was once allied with Gail Kim, and that means he gets even more respect from me. Now, since I’ve cried and had a few ribs, let’s talk about this match, shall we?
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Bully Ray for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship
No, there’s really nothing to talk about for the previous match outside of the fact that it takes place in a cage… thing. It’ll be violent and, at the end of the day, pointless. It’s bad when an entire group is referred to as the world gimmick of 2012 (puts a damper on that whole “2013 is the year of Aces and Eights” thing, doesn’t it, Devon?). That thing I was referring to earlier, that I said I would revisit in a later paragraph? TNA has officially become the first company I know of that has systematically jumped the shark THRICE. That means three times. This James Butler Condemnation Affiliate is abysmal in every way, and the only thing that could redeem it now is a nude scene. Yes, a Brooke Hogan nude scene. Tasteless? Very, but you’ve given up on quality, you can at LEAST go for flat out smut.
But whatever. Jeff Hardy vs. Bully Ray for the championship, in a steel cage. What we have is everyone’s favorite redemption story (*holding my tongue*) versus everyone’s favorite friendly bully. It comes across as a bad episode of Recess, combined with an afterschool special with music done by Seth Macfarlane.
Yeah, that bad. But that’s a very basic view: the build-up was okay, at best, and the actual match has potential to be a good one. Bully Ray is a terrific wrestler and Jeff Hardy is a terrific stuntman. That means there will be a lot of jumping and a lot of mat work. It’ll be good, so long as Hardy isn’t drunk; NO! BAD DIZ, TAKE THAT BACK! What I meant to say was that it’ll be a good match so long as both parties are at their peak. That being said, I don’t know who is winning this one.
I have no idea: it’ll be the main reason I watch the PPV. If Hardy wins, then… nothing. That’s the end all be all. His story is one of getting beat up by the Hoyle Deck Society. Should Bully Ray win, nepotism is proven to be alive and well, and Triple H will be a 14-time world champion. Yeah, it was a lame joke, but that’s all Bully Ray’s storyline is right now. He falls in love with girl Hogan, marries girl Hogan, becomes the “future” of the company… it’s Triple H’s story, minus the fun, and the sexy brunette with an ass that just won’t quit. It’s still just a creepy relationship though; on-screen, in the mind, its like something out of a Tecmo game, and if you saw how the first draft of this piece went you’d know EXACTLY why that’s a problem!
But Hardy vs. Ray, or Jefferson vs. Raymond as Christopher Daniels might call it, is an unknown for me. I’ve no idea.
And that concludes my preview of 2013 Lockdown. Do I expect to be amused? Meh. Give me a good match with Gail Kim and a swift end to Wes Brisco’s TNA career, and MAYBE I’ll graduate from “meh” to “okay”. Blee.