Jeff Hamlin reviews TNA Impact

8.14 TNA Impact
By Jeff Hamlin ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )

The Big News: Steadily, the next version of the New Blood vs. The Millionaire’s Club is taking shape. Still, it’s in the embryonic stages. On this show, we got Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash teasing dissension, another sign that Jeff Jarrett is returning and Kip James debuted a new failed gimmick similar to an old failed gimmick. Incredibly, there were almost no weapons used on the show. Almost.

Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash were backstage when Lauren walked up.  She asked Joe about the guitar he used at the end of the match against Booker T. Joe wouldn’t say where or who it came from and said things are starting to get interesting around TNA. Only if Dusty’s booking. Nash made the cryptic comment that if Joe thinks things are getting interesting around here, he doesn’t know the half of it.

1.    Rhino and Christian Cage defeated The Rock n Rave Infection. Rave got bounced around early. After an overhead belly to belly, Rhino set up for the gore on Lance Rock, but Jimmy Rave crotched Rhino against the post. Rock n Rave still don’t work well as a team, in or out of the ring. Finish came when all four men were in the ring, but Rhino threw Rock out, then gored Rave, followed by a frog splash by Cage for the pin. *1/2

Backstage, Jeremy Borash said Kurt Angle was the only gold medallist in pro wrestling history. I guess Brian cancelled his subscription to the website, because if he had read last week’s Observer he would have found dozens of others.  Angle’s interview was interesting. He talked openly about how his neck is injured, but said this was Olympic week, or Kurt Angle week. He went on and on about his gold medal in Atlanta and how TNA didn’t respect him because they booked him in a Last Man Standing match, which wasn’t a wrestling match. Okay, blame the booker who wrote an interview that shit on plain old wrestling matches last week. He complained that Styles tried to break his neck before Sting showed up. He then challenged Styles to a gold medal challenge, where there are no ropes, three two-minute rounds and the winner is the one with the most points. Points would be two points for a takedown and two points for a near fall. If you score a pin, you win. The winner gets Angle’s gold medal. In other words, Angle was sick of the stip matches, so he challenged Styles to a stip match.

In the next segment, Styles (with Borash) said he was wrong about Sting. He accepted Angle’s gold medal challenge and promised to wear the gold like Michael Phelps.

Matt Morgan did a promo with Lauren and said his goal was to live up to his potential and to become TNA world heavyweight champion.

Matt Morgan defeated Johnny Devine. They started with an eye-to-eye staredown. Well, sorta because Devine came up to Morgan’s clavicle. Devine’s only offense came when he crotched Morgan against the ropes, but Morgan hardly sold it before finishing him off with the Hellevator. That should have been that. Instead, they couldn’t stand prosperity so Team 3-D ran in to attack Morgan afterwards. The lights went out and Abyss lumbered down for another save. How can you book Morgan like Goldberg when he has to sell something without a comeback? That’s two weeks in a row. 3-D just threw Devine at Abyss, who gave him the 3-D. Abyss and Morgan shook hands to a big pop. DUD

They’re billing the No Surrender PPV from Oshawa, Ontario instead of Toronto. That sound you hear is me shaking my head.

The Beautiful People were guests on Karen’s Angle because they “requested it.” Velvet Sky was complaining about how no one wanted to hang with them. She thought it was because of their looks. Karen thought it would be better if they were nice. Love and Sky said they hired someone to primp them, and Kip James came out carrying a comb and talking in the same gay lisp he used in during the Chuck and Billy days. That’s all the Beautiful People need because nothing kills a hot heel act quicker than Kip James.

The “sister” of Gail Kim, Katie Kim, was shown at ringside. The fact they pointed her out this time after she had was shown the past two weeks as just another fan was a dead giveaway she’s about to become a regular character.

Black Machismo was upset backstage. He said So Cal Val hasn’t talked to him since the PPV because of all the damage he did to Sonjay Dutt. Then he talked about how confused he was. Tell me about it. What does she expect in a chain match, coffee and donuts? Whoops, just gave Russo his next PPV idea. Machismo said their relationship wasn’t over until he said it was.

2. Sheik Abdul Bashir defeated Black Machismo. Bashir did a good promo before the match about how he doesn’t love Lady America, he just loves raping her. Machismo did an early tope where he landed on his feet. Bashir responded with several hangman’s neckbreakers. Machismo responded with several clotheslines and a rolling fisherman’s suplex for a two count. Bashir hit Machismo with a spike that he pulled out of his boot, and pinned him with a DDT, called the WMD (get it?). Sonjay Dutt ran out and did a 450 on Machismo afterwards.**1/2

Booker T still has his lavish dressing room. Shouldn’t he have lost that now that he doesn’t have the belt? He was in a trance because of the guitar that struck him on Sunday.

They aired footage from Sunday where Nash confronted Sting following the heel turn. An upset Nash asked him where does he go from here after giving Styles the reverse DDT? Sting said he wasn’t confused, his biological clock was ticking and it was now or never. Nash appeared to contemplate that.

Team 3-D defeated Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash by DQ. Most of the match consisted of 3-D working over Nash’s knee. Joe got the hot tag and used sentons, kneedrops and high kicks on the comeback. 3-D hit a reverse 3-D on Joe, then set up for the 3-D until Nash pulled Ray out of the ring. Joe then clamped the Kokina Clutch (which Mike Tenay called the rear naked clutch) on Dvon for the tapout and apparently give the win to the faces. But in the postmatch, Joe grabbed a chair and pounded Dvon’s knee until Nash pulled the chair away from him. They played it up like Joe couldn’t control his temper. I want to know why he lost it to begin with since his team won. Earl Hebner reversed the decision to give the match to Team 3-D.  Nash was pissed at Joe, so they’re apparently fighting again. *1/2

Traci Brooks is now in charge of the TNA Knockouts since she lobbied Jim Cornette. So she’s now the referee of all women’s matches.

Taylor Wilde defeated Christy Hemme in a non-title match. They mistimed some early stuff, which garnered some boos. Hemme’s offense consisted of plenty of hair pulling and soft forearms. Wilde’s clotheslines weren’t much better. Hemme pulled out the Trish Stratus matrix to dodge a clothesline. Hemme hit a standing FFG (Flying Firecrotch Guillotine legdrop), then missed the FFG off the second rope and Wilde got the pin with a german suplex. Postmatch, Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed (now with a painted part of her face) came out. Brooks grabbed Kong by the hair, but Kong gave her the huracan and a choke slam. Wilde grabbed Kong, but Saaed slammed her down. They teased an Awesome Bomb on the chair, but Gail Kim ran out to make the save with a code breaker on Kong. Kim laid out Saeed, but Kong threw down Kim. Katie Kim looked worried at ringside, but Gail made her own comeback, dodging a chair shot and giving Kong a dropkick. She delivered a chair shot over Kong’s head and dropkicked her out of the ring to a big pop. Gail and Kong work so well together, it makes Wilde-Kong look second rate. Real good postmatch that followed a real bad match. -*

Rough Cut was with Consequences Creed. He said he wanted to be a pro wrestling from the time he was young. They interviewed a friend of his who called him by his real name of Austin Watson. He learned stage presence from working with a stage choir. This piece did a lot to put over Creed’s personality, which he badly needs.

LAX was arguing backstage sans Homicide, who was selling his eye injury. Hernandez did a good babyface promo on Beer Money, and you could see that the company has a lot of hope for him as a singles star for good reason. It’s also likely a one-way ticket back to ROH for Homicide.

Beer Money did their first promo as TNA Tag Team Champions laughing about Hernandez being pissed. Storm claimed Hernandez worked at a Taco Bell. I doubt it. Now if he had said Braden Walker….

Hernandez defeated James Storm. Hernandez ran through the crowd to jump Storm before the bell, and did the 300-pound tope on Robert Roode and Storm, finishing by landing on his feet again. As Jacqueline distracted Mark Johnson, Roode grabbed Hernandez’s leg that allowed Storm to do a neck snap off the ropes. Hernandez made the comeback with the electric chair. Hernandez is agile, but his punches need work. He hit a sloppy dragon suplex for a near fall. Storm was placed on the top rope, but Jacqueline held Hernandez leg and Storm hit a reverse tornado DDT for a near fall. Storm teased a power bomb, but Hernandez backdropped him over and went for the border toss. Roode pulled Storm down, but Hernandez knocked him off the apron. Storm dove off the second rope, but Hernandez caught him, and pinned him after a Liger Bomb (sit out power bomb). **1/2

Jim Cornette came out and said that Robert Roode would face Hernandez next week, and Gail Kim would take on Awesome Kong in a street fight match. He said Samoa Joe would defend the TNA World Heavyweight Title in a Four Ways To Glory match. In other words, a four-way match. The challengers would be determined through a series of qualifying matches, starting next week with Booker T vs. Rhino.

A.J. Styles defeated Kurt Angle in an Olympic Gold Medal Challenge. It was essentially a worked amateur match divided into three periods. Angle got an early takedown for a 2-0 lead, then followed with a trip takedown for a 4-0 lead. Announcers played it up like Styles didn’t have a chance. Angle got the armdrag and go behind for another two points and Styles looked frustrated. Angle led 6-0 after the first period. Tenay said “I’ve got it 6-0 Angle!” like he just scored Jackson-Griffin or something. Second period started with Styles getting a victory roll for a near fall, and they scored it as a takedown and near fall so it was 6-4 Angle. After a scramble, Angle got a double leg for a near fall. Styles shot the half with a roll through cradle for another near fall, so it was tied at 8-8 going into the third period. They had a scramble to start the third period before Angle hit an illegal elbow (which the referee somehow missed), which allowed Angle to get a takedown to go ahead 10-8. Angle tried to run out the clock Brock Lesnar style, but Styles hit a northern lights suplex. But there was a ref bump (yes, in an amateur match), and Angle hit a clothesline. It should be mentioned there was 20 seconds left at this point, and there’s no way in hell they got what followed in on time. First, the lights went out, Sting’s music played, the lights came on and Angle was about to hit Styles with a baseball bat. Then the lights went out again, Jeff Jarrett’s music played. Then the lights came on and Styles hit Jarrett with a guitar for the pin. Announcers left the air screaming about the mystery of the black guitar, but again didn’t mention who “he” was. I don’t rate amateur matches, even worked ones.

SUMMARY: An average show. The idea to put Kip James with the Beautiful People is a bad one. There’s nothing he can bring to that team that they don’t already have. The potential old vs. new dynamic will be interesting in terms of who goes over, what the programs will be and who the crowd will favor, which at least adds some spice and makes for an interesting atmosphere.


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