TNA Impact TV report

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

The Big News: Show was built around Sting and Kurt Angle continuing their program with Angle ordering Sting to lay down by the end of the show so Angle could win the TNA Heavyweight title for himself. Steve Richards made his on air debuted, though he wasn’t immediately identified.

1. Team 3-D defeated Kurt Angle and Sting in 11:08. They jerked the curtain with the Pay Per View main event from last Sunday, which had to make their most dedicated fans happy considering they paid $29.95 for something they could have watched for free tonight, even if the TNA Heavyweight belt wasn’t on the line. And you know about the meaning of championships in this company anyway. Mike Tenay put over the bookers for setting up the match. The storyline of the match was Angle started the match and refused to tag Sting in. Wasn’t that the exact same thing we saw last week? Angle and Brother Ray did spots straight from the George St. Pierre-B.J. Penn fight. Well, in this case, if St. Pierre was an out of shape tag team wrestler wearing overalls. But Ray had much less grease. After Angle took the wazzup, he grudgingly tagged Sting, who wound up arguing with Angle on the floor. The two got into a shoving match, which brought out Booker T, Scott Steiner and Kevin Nash to break it up. After a commercial, Sting built the heat on Ray and kept trying to tag Angle, who refused to enter the match. Dvon got the hot tag, but Angle kept refusing to tag in. Finally, after Angle short armed Sting again, Sting slapped Angle for a tag, slingshot him into the ring. As Angle turned his back to argue with Sting, Dvon rolled him up into a schoolboy cradle for the pin. *

Sting and Angle immediately started brawling before the rest of the mafia separated them. Angle grabbed the mic and called Sting a hypocrite and a fake. He went on some tangent about how last weekend’s match at Against All Odds was meant for him to win the championship. Exactly how he arrived at that was never explained. So he ordered Sting to lay down for him later tonight so he could win the championship. You know, the finish that Russo booked Sting in at Halloween Havoc 1999 with Hulk Hogan, left thousands of paying customers confused and angry because they got jilted out of a match they wanted to see, and then they never followed up on it. So let’s book it again! Then Jeff Jarrett came out. The point of Jarrett’s first appearance in six weeks was….to tell Angle that Sting was the TNA heavyweight champion. And that was pretty much it. Jarrett botched some line about how if he and Angle have another match like the one they had at Genesis, they make take the entire company down with them in a blaze of glory. No, if you put on another show like the one from two weeks ago, you may simply take the company down in a blaze. Sting ended the segment by saying he would see Angle tonight. You would think that since he’s the one with the final word, Jarrett would save his big return for something important. Instead, this came off as a wasted cameo.

Booker T and Sharmell did an interview outside his private dressing room with Jeremy Borash saying that Sting had no choice but to lay down for Angle later tonight. Then he claimed A.J. Styles would be prosecuted to the fullest extinct of the law for jumping him at Against All Odds. He said he was calling the FBI to send Styles to jail. Maybe he’ll share a cell with Miguel Tejada. When Booker went into his dressing room, Styles was waiting for him and jumped him. Well, there’s a breaking and entering right there. Styles laid him out, grabbed the Legends title and said “I am Legend.” Between that movie and Gladiator, at least Russo’s movie references are coming from films from the past decade.

Scott Steiner did a promo about how he was the Main Event Mafia’s hit man. Then he ran down Samoa Joe, featuring the famed half-breed line. R.D. Reynolds, that’s your cue.

2. Scott Steiner defeated Petey Williams in 6:14 in a headdress on a pole match. Another one of those stipulation matches that had nothing leading up to it. Don West, in his weekly comment that kills his credibility, claimed that Williams kept showing up in his old “Little Pappa Pump” gear because it kept bothering Steiner. Yeah, so much that Booker was laughing about it during commentary two weeks ago. Steiner did a cool high angle downward spiral. He also brought back the frankensteiner off the top rope, which brought easily the biggest reaction of the match. Steiner seemed to enjoy playing off to the crowd on that one. As Steiner reached to get the headdress, Williams power bombed him off the second rope. It led to Williams and Steiner both on the second rope going for the headdress. Williams was waiting for Steiner to get in position for the Samoan drop off the second rope, but reach for the headdress at the same time. Williams short armed so blatantly, it looked bad. Finally, Steiner did the Samoan drop and grabbed the dress for the win. **

Postmatch, Samoa Joe came on the big screen and said his nation of violence is coming after Steiner. While the new Joe gimmick spawns Umaga comparisons for obvious reasons, it seems that the basis for the repackaging is Taz from 1996 ECW.

Mick Foley did an interview with Borash to mention Sting was the real TNA Heavyweight champion. He also mentioned his new segment on the show where he’ll look back at various moments from his career, and mentioned his indy days, WCW and the time from the Genesis PPV when he nearly suffered a broken leg when Styles crashed through a table while he was still under it. Then Foley suddenly brought up the movie “The Wrestler” and said it makes you think, and walked off.

3. Sojourner Bolt won the monthly Royal Rumble match. Fans were totally dead for this, and it’s not hard to understand why. The depth in the knockouts division has never been much, even when Gail Kim was still here. So that was only so much to expect in terms of workrate. There’s not an over babyface in the women’s division because ODB’s shelf life is near an end and Wilde doesn’t have the charisma. So there wasn’t anyone to rally behind. Angelina Love and Taylor Wilde opened by brawling. Wilde hit a leg lariat. Velvet Sky came next, as fate would have it. Then Sojourner Bolt was next. Even though she’s a heel, she immediately went after Love and Sky. Roxxi came out and nearly threw out Sky, who was taken over the top rope and bumped off the apron. But Cute Kip caught her and threw her back in the ring. Love hit the bareback on Roxxi. Then it was Madison Reign. No heat for any of this. Raisha Saeed came in next. Roxxi backdropped Love over the top rope, but again Kip caught her and threw her back in. Crowd popped for Kip being a lucky guy, which was the only reaction to the match so far. Rhaka Khan came in. ODB was the final entrant, and she immediately threw out Saeed and Khan. ODB tossed out Love, but Kip again caught her and threw her back in. Love and Wilde fought each other over the top rope. So it came down to ODB, Roxxi, Sky, Bolt and Reign. Roxxi backdropped Sky over the tope and bumped her to the floor. Shortly afterwards, Bolt backdropped Roxxi over. ODB was eliminated when Bolt dropkicked her to the floor. So it became a regular match with Reign and Bolt. Reign got a near fall with a victory roll and backslide. Bolt then got the pin with a gory bomb. Tenay was teasing dissension with a member of the Kongtourage challenging Awesome Kong for the Knockouts title. Of course, the Kongtourage hasn’t been together a month so fans haven’t had enough time to get familiar with them. But you can never have enough Royal Rumbles or factions fighting from within when Russo’s booking. At least Bolt is improving. ½*

Angle was shown backstage warming up. I not sure why you warm up for a match where all you have to do is pin a man who will lay down for you. Anyway, he saw a picture of Sting and destroyed it.

The latest round of Rough Cut wasn’t on a wrestler, but on the concept of the Ultimate X match. Talk about horrid timing. They showed clips from past Ultimate X matches from 2005 and early 2006 when the company had the best pay per view shows in the business. It featured one guy after another who killed themselves trying to put the X Division title over and create a spot on the map for this company. It was sad, because every one of those wrestlers is either out of the company or had their legs cut off within the past month. Not to mention that in early 2006, the X Division made TNA actually seem like something cool. Now, it’s the exact opposite.

4. Lethal Consequences defeated The Motor City Machine Guns in 4:30. It was a collection of spots we almost no transitions in between. Not much heat because it was so rushed, the crowd didn’t have time to react to anything. The guns did the Made in Detroit (combination sliced bread #2 and dominator) on Consequences Creed, but Black Machismo pushed Chris Sabin onto Shelley to break up the pin. Creed did the Creed DT on Shelly, and Machismo did the lethal combination on Sabin. Finish was Shelley going for the sliced bread #2, but Machismo reversed it into a dragon suplex into a face first suplex for the pin. After the match, the guns shook hands with Creed and Machsimo. Of course, we couldn’t go a week without another group of stupid babyfaces, so Sabin and Shelley kicked them below the belt and flipped them off. Despite that, some fans openly cheered the guns because Lethal Consequences isn’t over yet. **1/4

Borash promoted a new international tag team that’s coming to TNA in his text message tease. He was about to go up to the rafters in the building to talk to Sting. Since when is Sting back hanging in the rafters? Wasn’t he sharing a dressing room with the rest of the mafia? Then again, he hasn’t been wearing a suit lately either.  Jarrett came down from the rafters and said he had been talking with Sting, but wouldn’t say about what.

ODB’s Angle returned. Joy. She announced a contest where you get a “One night with ODB” contest. Videos could be uploaded to the TNA website, and the winner would be announced at Destination X. That’s either going to be ill-fated or make for tremendous comedy. Probably both. Brutus Magnus came out as the guest, though she called him Brutus Maximus, which was the last name of the “Gladiator” character this gimmick was copied from. Magnus announced he had made an open challenge to anyone in TNA. ODB came on to him and he walked off. Another lousy segment.

Kevin Nash did an interview where he compared being in the mafia to movies like Goodfellas, Casino, and the Godfather. Like Booker, Nash seemed to side with Angle. Then he left to go see someone names Johnny Sax, and Lauren wondered who he was talking about.

Next, we got a look at one of Abyss’ therapy sessions. Suddenly, the previous ODB’s Angle turned into the 1985 Piper’s Pit with Jimmy Snuka. Abyss was talking to “Doctor Stevie,” who had his back to the camera. This is how Stevie Richards was introduced because he had the trademark Richards’ ponytail, and he spoke before the end of the segment even though his face was never shown. Abyss just laughed about recent episodes of “Family Guy” and “Lost” and wondered if Barack Obama let his children watch them. All I could think of was how much better wrestling was when the people creating the shows remembered they were competing against other wrestling companies instead of modern TV shows. By the way, for anyone who thinks wrestling is an action-adventure show and is competing against those programs, how many PPV buys did “Lost” and “CSI: Miami” do last year?

5. Beer Money defeated Rhino and Abyss. Rhino and Abyss are now the obligatory tag team that every company puts together when they find two singles faces they can’t do anything with. James Storm came to the ring riding a beer cooler with wheels on it. It was called a “Boozer Cruiser” by Tenay. Rhino got the heat when Storm pushed him off the second rope while Roode took the ref. Abyss got the hot tag and gave Storm the shock treatment. Rhino and Roode started brawling, and referee Mark Johnson wound up in the middle of it. Storm spit the beer in Abyss’ eyes and hit a bulldog. Storm grabbed the beer bottle, but Abyss gave him a choke slam. The bottle wound up under Storm and he partially landed on it accidentally. Abyss grabbed the bottle, but Matt Morgan ran in and gave Abyss a chair shot. Storm got the pin. Postmatch, Morgan gave Abyss another chair shot right over the head. Rhino just watched all this from ringside while Beer Money held him at bay, which really made him look soft. *

Mick Foley’s Hardcore History 101 featured him talking about his first no rope barbed wire singles match in 1995 against Terry Funk in Japan. It took place in front of 150 fans in a small town in Japan. I’m guessing this was before his more famous barbed wire match with Funk at the “King of the Death Matches” show at Kawasaki Stadium run by the old IWA promotion in Japan, which attracted about 26,000 fans. That was during Foley’s pre-Mankind days where he was still the hottest free agent around after leaving WCW. He has some really funny stories about that show in “Have a Nice Day.” Anyway, Foley talked about how this was the first barbed wire match, and that he was apprehensive at first. But he learned the way to approach a barbed wire match was to attack the wire instead of being scared of it. At one point, his fingertips got caught in the wire and stuck there as he fell to the floor. The meat in both fingertips came out of his fingers. Since the arena had no showers, Foley took a bottle of Nu Skin to pack the meat in. When he got on the bus, he and Funk hugged each other like men even though they nearly killed each other. Good segment for reminiscing about when wrestling was more fun. I assume the reason why “The Wrestler” was mentioned was because Foley wrestled in barbed wire, which Randy “The Ram” did as well.

Kurt Angle and Sting came out for the final angle. Earl Hebner was the referee, and of course Mike Tenay brought up how he had been the center of controversy before with the twin referees in the 1989 Andre the Giant-Hulk Hogan match. And the Montreal screwjob. Christ, can’t Russo get over that already? At first, Sting agreed to lay down for the good of the family. But then Sting did a comeback interview that was the best thing on the show. He started by asking him what about his integrity and why he couldn’t lose with integrity? He said if Angle had lost in the Olympic trials in 1996, would he have asked his opponent for a do over? Sting then said he’s lost everything since he came to TNA, his wife, his family and the respect that everyone in the back had for him. Sting brought up how Angle created the Main Event Mafia solely for him, because it’s all about him and only him. Sting again laid down, but Angle looked hesitant to pin him. Finally, Angle told him to get up and they started brawling. Nash and Steiner immediately came out to break it up. I guess Booker was still selling his beating from earlier, which was at least good attention to detail. Angle then challenged Sting to a match next week, but instead of a regular match, it would be an empty arena match where the mafia couldn’t break it up. So what was Jarrett talking to Sting about anyway?

SUMMARY: Pretty flat show, though the final angle was fine. It doesn’t make sense to have Angle and Sting do an empty arena match when they could simply have a match where interference was barred. For now, it looks like they’ve given up on the Front Line faction because they were barely mentioned during the show. It’s not like they had much credibility to begin with. All they can hope for is Styles and Joe can be rehabbed as quickly as possible, because they have no faces for the future to build around. The more time goes on, the more this company resembles WCW every day.

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