The Big News: This was a screwed up show that was impossible to make sense out of. A.J. Styles looked as weak as possible as champion in losing a match that shouldn’t have been booked to begin with. A guest GM didn’t know the names of the wrestlers on the show he was hosting. Black Machismo jobbed to a 53-year-old former tag team wrestler who was 20 years past his peak and Dixie Carter’s speech to the wrestlers got as much play as this weekend’s PPV. It was like the creative team knew they were lame duck and wanted to bury people on the way out. Hmmmm…..
They actually started the go-home show not by previewing the three-way for this weekend’s main event, but by recapping the Dixie Carter speech to talent last week. Watching that speech again brought be back to 1999 WCW when Eric Bischoff, on live television, gave an interview where he admitted his company had fallen behind the WWE because they were complacent. Based on what I can see, the only difference between what became of WCW and where TNA is headed is that WCW had three years as the top grossing company in the world. TNA could only wish to be as fortunate.
Mick Foley talked with Super Dave Osborne, a comedian whose gimmick was being a stuntman who always crashed and burned. He had a show on Showtime during his prime, which was around 1986. Well, so was the new booker’s. Osborne was there for product placement since he has a new show on Spike TV, which Foley appeared on. Osborne was there to be a ripoff of the Raw gimmick of a guest GM, but TNA screwed it up in a way only they can. Foley allowed Osborne to book only one match, but Foley said it couldn’t be a title match or a Knockouts match. Where it got screwed up was when Black Machismo walked in wanting to know where Hulk Hogan was. Then he was Osborne and didn’t know who he was at first, which I’m sure just made Spike TV executive happy as all hell. I’m sure they loved it even more when Machismo finally recognized him as Funkhouser from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” which is another character that Bob Einstein (Super Dave) plays. That show also airs on a competing network. Nothing spells out a lame duck creative team than one who endorses a show on another network when they’re supposed to be promoting a show on their own network. Of course, Dave didn’t know who Machismo was either. The ability of this company to make themselves look as bush league as possible is amazing. Then they wonder why they can’t do better than 300 paid at house shows after seven years. Somehow, this ended with Jeremy Borash and Dave arguing about Twitter and Facebook.
Foley came out to join Mike Tenay and Taz on commentary. The gimmick is Foley wasn’t informed by Carter that Hogan was joining the company. Foley didn’t attend Carter’s meeting with the wrestlers, I guess out of self-preservation.
1. Dr. Stevie defeated Abyss in 2:16Abyss hit a big boot early and got a schoolboy cradle for near falls. They had a screwed up looking spot where Dr. Stevie allegedly clipped Abyss, though it looked more like Abyss hit Stevie in the face with his knee. Abyss hit a black hole slam and had him pinned, but just as referee Mark Johnson reached two, the lights went out. Everyone, including Daffney and Foley, looked startled. The lights came on and Abyss was somehow laid out, leading to Stevie getting the pin. ½*
Postmatch, Foley hit the ring to go after Stevie. Foley was about to hit Stevie with a chair, but the lights went out again. This time, Raven was in the ring and threw a fireball at Foley, who didn’t even take a bump for fire in his eyes. Raven laid him out with a Even Flow DDT and posed with Stevie and Daffney. Remember those great fireball angles from the past, like Jim Cornette-Ron Garvin or Eddie Gilbert-Hurricane Castillo? Well, this wasn’t it because they cut right to a commercial.
Raven and Stevie cut a promo in the back, where Richards said he brought the pain to Abyss. Raven brought back the situation from 1995 in the ECW Arena where Terry Funk legitimately caught on fire. That led to a riot in the building and the entire company nearly being shut down.
Sting will do an exclusive interview next week regarding Hogan’s arrival. I’d be more interested to hear Nick Patrick talk about his new book “Fast Counting for Dummies.”
2. Alissa Flash defeated Traci Brooks via submission at 1:41. Weird storyline where Tenay explained that Traci Brooks has been handicapped since birth regarding her right arm. He didn’t explain exactly what was the problem with her arm. Seeing as how she’s wrestled for eight years and her finisher used to be a clothesline using the right arm (called Brooks and Done), you would think we would have been tipped off about that by now. Alissa Flash worked on her arm the entire match and made her tap with a Fujiwara armbar. ¼*
Postmatch, in a lame effort to make it look like what had just happened was a shoot, Brooks jumped Flash and called her a bitch for trying to hurt her “legitimately.” That puts us at two-for-two regarding postmatch angles and matches.
3. Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart defeated Black Machismo in 1:37. There are certain segments that just leave you speechless. That leave you thinking this creative team is trying to screw this company over for taking one member out of a good-paying college teaching job and lead them right to the unemployment line within a span of four months. This was one of them. Jim Neidhart looked like he had gained sixty pounds in the wrong places. It was like he added the weight that the singer from Wilson Phillips had lost. Even worse, he could barely get down the ramp. So he went over. The match was comically awful. The last time Neidhart was on a national stage, he had one of the worst feuds of the 1990s with Steve McMichael in WCW, and his selling hasn’t improved. But the crowd was so happy to see him, they booed Machismo. It was the most screwed up psychology you can imagine. Neidhart pinned him clean as a sheet with a powerslam. If Machismo wasn’t one of the five wrestlers ready to give notice by now, I’m not sure what’s holding him back. Even Tenay sounded befuddled afterwards. -*1/2
Bobby Lashley did a taped interview with Lauren. It was mentioned that Lashley had Krystal Lashley behind and didn’t take her to the Impact Zone. Then a stagehand interrupted and said they had received a tape from Scott Steiner, who was at the hotel where Krystal was. He teased going up to Krystal’s room. If Lashley was so concerned about Krystal’s safety, why the hell didn’t he just leave her in Colorado? Lashley grabbed the car keys of a stagehand and left for the hotel with a camera crew in tow.
Osborne received a phone call from Foley, who was on his way to the hospital. He called Borash “B.J.” instead of “J.B.” On the surface, that seemed minor league but it’s a part of Osborne’s act. He did Nike commercials years ago calling Gerald Wilkins “Harold.” Osborne ordered Borash to make the best match possible. Nothing like a celebrity being brought in to host a wrestling show who doesn’t know any of the wrestlers.
There was a commercial for “Entourage” reruns that are scheduled to start on Spike TV in January. The clip showed Turtle asking Chuck Liddell if he was “a WWE wannabe.”
4. Awesome Kong, Madison Rayne, Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky defeated Taylor Wilde, Sarita, ODB and Tara in 4:03. Tara did a Mutolock on Madison Rayne, and Taylor Wilde gave Sarita a dominator onto Rayne. Then somebody came up with the brilliant idea of putting Lacey Von Erich in there with Sarita. Whoever ordered that loses their agent’s license for good. Watching Von Erich tie up with Sarita was funny as hell. Sarita barely came up to her breasts and Von Erich almost had to kneel to get level with her. ODB gave Velvet Sky a bronco buster, which Tenay called the bronco muncher. Von Erich took a bump from a Tara punch that missed by ten inches. Awesome Kong came in and pinned Wilde with an implant buster. Not much, and by far the best match on the show thus far. *
There was no postmatch angle. Just wanted to note that rarity.
Super Dave gave the X Division wrestlers a pep talk about giving as good as match as possible tonight. There seemed an attempt at comedy here, but I’m not sure what the joke was.
Kurt Angle was interviewed about Hogan’s arrival, saying he knows how to do things the right way. That may go down as Angle’s biggest whopper yet.
Lashley showed up in Krystal’s hotel room, where she was sitting in comfort on her bed. Then Steiner came up from behind and delivered the worst looking lead pipe shots of his career. So bad I can’t believe there wasn’t a second take. I mean, nowhere near his body. Steiner screamed something about Lashley’s baby having Steiner’s eyes and left. At least Krystal’s acting was good.
Angle came out and said the match this weekend against Desmond Wolfe may be the biggest of his life. Okay, so THAT may be his biggest whopper ever. Angle claimed that Wolfe put him in traction for three days. Wolfe turned up on the big screen standing in a bar with a sultry brunette claiming he was going to end Angle’s career. Angle turned around and Wolfe was in the ring. But Angle was ready for him and hit him with a clothesline. They fought to the floor, where Wolfe caught Angle with a DDT on the mat. Announcers played up Angle’s bad neck. What turned this segment into a mess was they left Wolfe’s video playing on a loop on the big screen, so we heard Wolfe’s voice where he was taking Angle out. It made for a sloppy angle. Wolfe delivered a wicked chair shot to Angle face, and Kurt barely got his hands up. Wolfe said the third time was the charm.
5. The Motor City Machine Guns and Amazing Red defeated Sheik Abdul Bashir, Kiyoshi and Homicide in 4:11. Osborne was doing commentary. At one point, he asked if Sheik Abdul Bashir was any relation to the Iron Sheik. Then Osborne mentioned he had a conversation if the Iron Sheik one time, but didn’t know what the hell he was talking about. Shoot. Homicide pulled out a barbed wire baseball bat and tried to go in the ring, but security held him back. Osborne treated that like a comedy spot. Security carried Homicide to the back, leaving the faces with a 3-on-2 advantage. Alex Shelley gave Bashir a downward spiral into the second turnbuckle to make the hot tag to Amazing Red, who delivered a dropkick to both Bashir and Kiyoshi. Red gave Kiyoshi a float over DDT and followed with a corkscrew tope on Bashir. At this point, Osborne was screaming “What a maneuver” left and right. I thought he was trying out to replace Michael Cole. Chris Sabin then put Kiyoshi in a reverse DDT position, and Shelley came off the top with a frog splash for the pin. Good stuff. **1/2
Wolfe did an interview saying he had Angle’s number more than anyone who has ever faced him in TNA. Wolfe said that Angle and everyone else would “bow to his howl.” Maybe the whole Duran Durham thing wasn’t so bad after all.
Once again, they showed Carter’s speech to the wrestlers during a package. Taz tried to put it over saying the entire roster felt inspired. His nose probably stretched out to Tallahassee after that one.
Team 3-D came out with Rhino. Brother Ray did an interview where he turned the team heel. He apologized to Rhino saying he had been right all along is saying the younger talent was trying to leave the established stars out of a job. Ray said, at first, he felt bad about hitting Matt Morgan with a chair last week, but now that he’s had time to think about it, he doesn’t regret doing it. Morgan and Hernandez came out. Ray said Hernandez was an uneducated Mexican with no green card. Ray challenged Hernandez and Morgan to a six-man street fight at Turning Point. 3-D wondered who else would team with Hernandez and Morgan, and Pope D’Angelo Dinero came out and volunteered. Pope did a babyface turn without turning, but his interview was great.
The British Invasion had their suspension lifted for a match tonight, and if they lose to Beer Money tonight, that means Beer Money will be added to their match on Sunday against the Machine Guns. What was the point of even doing the suspension if they were going to appear on every show during the suspension? Brutus Magnus was upset about the suspension being lifted, and Doug Williams said they would compete anyway. Then Eric Young cut a promo on Hogan, saying he was three when Hogan was a star.
Twenty minutes left in the show, and they just now started playing up the main event for Sunday’s show. What a concept, during an interview to promote the main event of a PPV. A.J. Styles apologized to Daniels for thinking he had jumped him.
6. Beer Money defeated the British Invasion in 5:12 to join the Motor City Machine Guns in a three-way match against the Invasion for the tag team belts this Sunday. There was actually a spot in the match that made sense. Williams teased a walkout countout, but Magnus stopped him because if they lost, Beer Money would automatically be in the tag title match this Sunday. Rob Terry came out with a chair, but Magnus ordered him to the back for fear of getting disqualified. Up to this point, Dixie Carter’s Twitter page had a better buildup than the PPV. Robert Roode did a cool blockbuster on both Magnus and Williams, leading to the hot tag to James Storm, who gave Magnus a draping DDT. Roode gave Magnus a clothesline into a Storm back stabber for a good near fall. Then Magnus picked up a chair, but Williams grabbed it so the Invasion wouldn’t be DQ’d. Then Storm rammed Magnus into Williams. Storm then pinned Magnus after a DWI. **1/4
Morgan and Hernandez weren’t sure if they could trust Dinero in the street fight this weekend. Dinero showed more charisma on his response saying they needed to get ready to ride this weekend because the Popemobile would be ready to take off.
Dnaiels did an interview saying that he and Styles would remain friends regardless of what happened this weekend. But the wrestling business is a cold mistress, so he would get the title this weekend.
7. Samoa Joe defeated A.J. Styles in a nontitle match. If you’re wondering why this match took place three days before the PPV, you’re not alone. Styles did his dropkick to Samoa Joe, but Joe responded with a clothesline and a facewash. Joe did his power bomb into the STF, which he held for a lengthy amount of time before Styles made the ropes. Joe hit a stiff clothesline for a near fall. Then Daniels came out, and before you knew it Styles and Daniels were fighting. This allowed Joe to put Styles in the Kokina Clutch to choke him out. That’s two jobs for Styles in three shows as champion. A fitting end to a befuddling show. *1/2
SUMMARY: Just an awful show, particularly in the first hour. The handling of Styles made no sense. What the point of including Osborne being on the show seemed like a good idea at first, but without Foley to play off of, his role was wasted. What’s scary is things could easily get worse with Hogan in control.