TNA British Bootcamp Episode 6 review: The first season winner selected by Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter
By Jason Powell
The following is a review of the sixth episode of TNA British Bootcamp, which aired Tuesday on Challenge TV in the UK.
Hulk Hogan opened the show and said British Bootcamp is as big as it gets. He said he's sold out buildings around the world and won title after title. "This is more important," Hogan said. "This is your future." Hogan said this is as real as it gets. "Whatcha gonna do when TNA Impact Wrestling picks you," he concluded.
Jeremy Borash and Magnus sat at the announcers' desk and said their contestants would compete in matches inside the Impact Zone. They previewed Marty Scurll vs. Rockstar Spud, and The Blossom Twins vs. Madison Rayne and Gail Kim.
Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter were shown watching the show on a backstage monitor. Several TNA wrestlers were shown backstage...
Rockstar Spud made his entrance. Magnus said the image shouldn't fool people, Spud is very talented inside the ring. Marty made his entrance.
Powell's POV: Magnus was good on commentary during the introductions. He's seems comfortable in the color role and speaks in a normal voice rather than the over the top voice that many wrestlers do in that position. He did a good job of putting over both wrestlers in a believable manner.
1. Marty Scurll vs. Rockstar Spud. Hogan and Dixie were shown watching and commentating on the match at times. "They're really good," Hogan told Dixie. "I don't mean to be smiling like an idiot, but these kids are really good." Marty performed a suicide dive through the ropes near the post. Hogan said no one does it near the post "over here." Dixie noted that they didn't look nervous. Hogan said the TNA guys could take tips from Marty and Spud.
Hogan praised the characters of the wrestlers and noted that they looked good even when they made a mistake and bumped into one another. Marty won the match. Hogan clapped for the match and said, "How do you choose between those two?" Borash said the real decision comes from Hogan and Dixie.
Hogan said he didn't expect them to be so good. He said they could have reversed the roles and Spud would have been just as good as a babyface. Marty came backstage and shook hands with both of them. Hogan praised him. Spud was shown saying he made it and that it was where he's wanted to be. He said he is staying in the Impact Zone and winning British Bootcamp...
The narrator hyped The Blossom Twins, then Carter and Hogan were shown saying they'd made their decision as a teaser for the announcement of the winner...
Powell's POV: Spud is very good at working the crowd and trying to keep them engaged throughout his matches. He has his character down and he doesn't lose it once the bell rings. They had a hiccup when they bumped into one another, but neither wrestler seemed to panic. It was a bit odd with Borash and Magnus calling a match with Hogan and Dixie chiming in with the shoot perspective, but it worked for me considering the concept.
2. Hannah and Holly Blossom vs. Gail Kim and Madison Rayne. Gail took the mic and said, "Look, Madison, it's twins." She said they came all the way from Manchester, England. Madison took the mic and said they should know how to treat royalty. She said the bell would ring and they could kiss her feet or do whatever htey were supposed to do. She was rolled up for a quick two count.
The twins hit a lousy looking double dropkick. Hogan said "most girls wrestle like girls" but the twins do not. Hogan praised the Blossom's ability to sell and noted that the crowd was ready for their comeback. Kim eventually held the tights of one of the twins to get the win.
Hogan said no one is gun shy. He said the twins look like they've had ring time and did good. He said Kim and Ryane didn't have to carry the twins. He said all four wrestlers would make a good addition to the company. The twins came back and shook hands with Hogan and Carter. "I don't know, you're the boss," Hogan told Carter after the twins left. "Don't put this on me"...
A teaser showed TNA personalities commenting on which wrestlers should win...
Powell's POV: Most of these were pretty generic, but Al Snow said the reaction of the losers would be almost as interesting as the winner because he wanted to see how they handled it.
Backstage, Hogan said he was pre-judging the talent because of their sizes. He said that went away instantly. "I think our TNA talent should be watching this," Hogan said. He thought they all had good ring presence. He praised the twins for knowing placement and having good timing. Hogan said he didn't want to get rid of anyone and the decision is tough. "I think we know what we need to do," Dixie said. "Let's bring them in."
Powell's POV: This version of Hogan worked so much better in the reality show setting than the over the top promo Hogan.
The four contestants entered the trailer where Hogan and Dixie were set up. Hogan praised them all and said all four people deserved it, but they only have one need in TNA. Dixie said the winner of the competition is Rockstar Spud. He dropped to his knees and teared up before hugging Carter.
A teared up Spud was shown saying he wasn't born ready. He said he worked hard and now he feels ready. Marty was shown saying he's disappointed, but you get knocked back and keep fighting. Spud was shown saying that he's had disagreements with Marty, but he knows how hard he's worked and that he's the best wrestler in all of Europe.
The twins remained positive while saying they were disappointed. Spud said the twins are the most genuine, beautiful, and humble girls he's ever met in his life. Inside the trailer, Marty put his arm around Spud and appeared to be tearing up.
Dixie announced that they were bringing all four on the Road to Lockdown tour. "We want you to get there and again show us what you can do and we're going to give you another shot to earn a spot on the TNA roster," Carter said. She said she thinks this was a win for all four contestants and it's a win for TNA.
Spud was shown getting emotional and saying that he might be able to look at his parents and say he's not a failure anymore. "I'm so happy," he concluded tearfully.
Highlights of Spud in the ring were shown. He was then shown saying that he's made it this far and people didn't believe him. He looked into the camera and said, "Believe me when I say I'm going to be a champion in pro wrestling."
Powell's POV: Wow, a very satisfying finale. Spud, who was the bad boy of the show, was so overcome with genuine emotion that you couldn't help but be caught up in the moment. I was worried that his size would be held against him because he is small and thin even by X Division standards. I'm happy TNA looked past that because he has so much charisma. For viewers who didn't see the show, he looks like an edgier version of actor Dominic Monaghan. They picked the right guy. The twins have a lot of potential, and Marty was solid, yet was just missing that "it" factor that Spud possesses.
Overall, the payoff of Spud winning and his reaction really made the entire series feel worthwhile. Reality television isn't for everyone and the 30-minute count for each episode certainly limited the in-ring action that was shown and made it hard to get a feel for who was winning the competition. Nevertheless, there was some cool behind the scenes footage, plenty of TNA star power, and likable contestants to keep things interesting. The production was slick and I can't stress enough that TNA came off major league. I would watch a second season, though I am hopeful that they get a full hour so that they can add more in-ring footage of the trainees. And forget about the Tough Enough comparisons, put Al Snow in the featured trainer's role.
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