TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S IMPACT REPORT 6/21: Ongoing coverage of post-Slammiversary show
Jun 21, 2007 - 9:01:00 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
TNA Impact on Spike TV
June 21, 2007
Taped June 19 in Orlando, Florida
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
We open with a low angle shot of Abyss walking backstage. Don West posed the question of what he's up to.
They aired a video package recapping the top moments from Slammiversary, including Jay Lethal winning the X Division Title, Lance Hoyt turning on VKM, Road Warrior Animal teaming with Rick Steiner, Abyss and Tomko taking bumps (they didn't air the soft landing into the giant bean bags), and Kurt Angle hanging the TNA Title belt on a hook above the ring.
The usual TNA intro aired, then Mike Tenay talked about Slammiversary. Jim Cornette was already center ring to announce the main event. He then called out all of the TNA champions. X Division champion Jay Lethal came out first, followed by TNA tag champions Team 3D, who came out dressed for a night at Universal Studios. New TNA World Hvt. champion Kurt Angle then did his big entrance to round out the field of four. Cornette then announced the "Match of Champions" (as opposed to the Night of Champions) where the Hvt. champion and X Division champion will team up against the tag champions. Cornette said that whomever a wrestler pins, that person would win that person's belt. Cornette then said if one of the singles wrestlers pins one of the Dudleys, that person wins both belts and gets to pick his champion partner. Cornette then said all of the TNA titles will be defended on the next three weeks of TV. If you win your TV match, you get the opportunity to compete at the Match of Champions. Angle raised his hand with a question with an authority figure speaking. Hm... sound familiar? Angle, who criticized UFC for using profanity on their show in an interview this week, asked Cornette to get his head out of his (bleep).
Angle then asked Cornette where the giant celebration is for him. Where's his Triple H segment or fireworks or champagne? He said if Sting won the TNA Title, there would be a huge celebration. Angle told everyone to buzz off, then he pulled out a piece of paper to thank some people. The fans chanted, "You suck" at Angle. Wait, I thought Angle was a babyface. God, this is confusing. Angle then thanked himself for making this night possible. He thanked himself for doing everything he said he was going to do. "You suck, clap clap, you suck" from the crowd. Angle thanked himself for putting TNA on the map. Loud boos from the crowd. He then thanked himself for being the greatest wrestler in the company, if not the whole entire world. Angle told the audience to keep their support because they blow like the wind. He told the crowd to hate him, because that's how he feels about all of them. Angle said that when he needed their support, all he heard was "Joe's gonna kill you." He said the fans are a bunch of morons, just like Samoa Joe, who believes his own hype. Angle then thanked the good Lord for giving the fans a role model (himself) to look up to.
Cornette finally approached Angle and took the mic from Angle. Cornette said what's real is one simple fact that Angle's a professional athlete, he gets paid to compete, and win or lose. "This ain't charity," he said. Cornette said Angle is paid good to compete, not complain. He said it's time for new blood that's hungry for a title shot to get in the mix. He said that if Angle's as good as he says he is, then he shouldn't have a problem competing in TNA. Cornette said Angle's facing two former champions on next week's show to qualify for the Night of Champions. He said Angle's going to find out that it's not as difficult to win the belt as much as it is to keep it. Cornette then addressed Lethal and said he's going to be facing Chris Sabin and Samoa Joe in a three-way match with his title on the line tonight. Sabin strolled out, then Samoa Joe walked out with his music. He glared into the ring as Angle paced nervously in the ring. Hot opening segment, complete with Angle lying through his teeth like a respectable heel.
Jeremy Borash was backstage with hot news on a major main eventer looking to jump to TNA. A phone rang in the background, then Borash brought in Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt, who was on the ground in a meditation pose. Lethal did his Machoisms and said he's walking in and out of the Impact Zone as X Division champion tonight. Dutt rocked back and forth on his red prayer mat.
1 -- ROBERT ROODE (w/Ms. Brooks) & JAMES STORM (w/Ms. Jackie Moore) vs. ERIC YOUNG & RHINO
West plugged the Slammiversary PPV, and said the main event King of the Mountain match "just clicked". Young jumped Roode after the opening bell, but Roode used a sneak attack from Storm to take control. Roode executed a side slam, then made a cover for a nearfall. Young made a hot tag at 2:00 to Rhino, who cleaned house before dropping Storm with a powerslam. The action broke down, then Jackie jumped on Roode's back to distract him. Storm took advantage with the superkick on Rhino for the win. After the match, Storm dumped the contents of his beer bottle into Rhino's mouth. Apparently upset with the taste of beer or maybe Storm put urine in his beer bottle, Rhino snapped and chucked the beer bottle to the top of the stage, nailing Roode, Brooks, Jackie, and Storm. Rhino then snapped on everyone and everything. He tore down the announce table before chucking chairs around ringside. They cut to break with security trying to hold him back.
WINNERS: Storm & Roode in 3:00. Very short match, with the meat of the tag match gutted and left on the cutting room floor. As usual, the post-match activity took precedence. Looks like a classic babyface storyline where a wrestler gets tired of losing, so he snaps, and tries to make a resurgent comeback. (1/2*)
Mike Tenay welcomed us back to a trashed Impact Zone. They recapped Rhino snapping on everyone, then they cut to footage from during the break of Rhino screaming and shouting at Jim Cornette near the curtain. Rhino told the cameraman to get out of here.
They cut to Tenay and West standing up at the broadcast position for a serious discussion of Jeff Jarrett's personal problems. West said they've been vague on the details about Jeff Jarrett out of respect for Jarrett. Plausible explanation. They cut to the Jarrett promo from Slammiversary where he talked about the start of the company and Jill's death. Back live after the video aired, Tenay called it the most heart-wrenching moment he's experienced as a broadcaster. The fans politely applauded, and the camera focused on a few people crying.
They plugged this weekend's TNA house show schedule.
Backstage, Leticia asked Samoa Joe about earning a spot in the Night of Champions match. Joe screamed at Leticia, took the mic, and screamed at the camera. He said he's tired of Kurt Angle pissing him off. He said the first thing he's doing is taking back the X Division title. He said Angle loses if he wins next week because they'll be partners at the July PPV. Joe said he'll make Angle feel pain and he'll make sure Angle has no more interviews.
Ringside, Tenay and West put over Jarrett as a great "champion" and they put over their friendships with Jarrett.
2 -- CHRIS HARRIS vs. RAVEN (w/Serotonin)
Harris came out to a re-mix of his entrance music. Raven, sporting a t-shirt this week, jumped him right off the bat. He took him to the outside and landed a Russian legsweep into the guardrail. Back in the ring, Harris fought back, but ran into a clothesline for a nearfall. Martyr then hopped on the apron to distract the ref, allowing Havoc to cane Harris in the back. Kaz then hit the ring and nailed Raven with a springboard clothesline. Harris picked up the scraps and hit the Catatonic for the win.
WINNER: Harris in 2:00. Another very short match, with the meat of the match gutted. (Looking ahead to the Christian promo next,) how is that Harris is a rising star in the storyline if he can't get matches against quality opponents who are actually booked on the PPV? (1/2*)
Suddenly, they went backstage where Christian, A.J. Styles, and Tomko were doing a movie set promo. Christian sent them away, then addressed Chris Harris on the Impacttron. Christian, conveniently wearing a lavaliere mic on his t-shirt, said he is a star and wrestlers want to be in the ring with him just so they can tell their grandkids they were in the ring him. Christian said Harris got his attention by costing him the World Title, and they're eventually going to put on a nice show - a masterpiece - but Harris won't like how the story ends. Christian called for a cut, then a random boom mic entered the shot and Christian ran away from some unknown person.
They cut back to Tenay and West, who didn't know what was going on. Abyss then flung Christian down the entrance ramp to the ringside area. Abyss brought a barbed wire baseball bat into the ring, then he aimed for Christian, but Christian stopped, dropped, and rolled to the corner. Abyss took too long, so Tomko and Styles jumped him from behind. Abyss fought them off, though, and dropped Tomko with a big boot to the face. Christian bailed up the entrance ramp.
They cut to a James Mitchell promo. He said he sought the deep underbelly of the world to find his next prize. He said he was ready to abandon his quest until he found a man in a lightning flash. Mitchell said the man suddenly appeared. A creature devoid of compassion. A force unlike anything the world has seen. "He is coming," Mitchell said. "My son." Enter cackling laughter. They closed with an E.T. moment with Mitchell touching index fingertips with "his son". Back in the arena, Tenay said it sounds like trouble is coming to TNA.
3 -- JAY LETHAL vs. CHRIS SABIN vs. SAMOA JOE -- X Division Title match
Tenay called this one of the highest-stake matches in Impact history. Savage tried to land right hand jabs early on, but Joe lifted him high in the air for a slam. He then caught Sabin in the corner with a side kick. He tried to wash Sabin's face with his boot, but Lethal cut him off. Lethal and Sabin then hit dual dropkicks on Joe, clearing him to the outside. Sabin slammed Lethal onto the ring apron, then Joe recovered in the ring before warming up for a suicide dive elbow smash on both men on the floor. Cut.
Back from break, Joe caught Lethal off the ropes with a hard snap powerslam. Sabin then launched off the top rope with a missile dropkick on Joe. Sabin followed with a charging boot to the face on Lethal in the corner. He landed the basement dropkick with Lethal in the Tree of Woe, then Joe grabbed Sabin and chopped him hard in the chest. Joe tried a powerbomb on Sabin, but Sabin countered into a sunset flip pin attempt for a nearfall. Joe quickly recovered with a big boot and flying sentaun splash on Sabin. Lethal accepted a hard chop, then Joe put him up top for the Muscle Buster, but Lethal fought back. Lethal eventually knocked Joe off the top rope, but Sabin threw him off the top turnbuckle. Joe then caught Sabin with an enziguiri kick before dropping him with the Muscle Buster for the win.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 7:00 to capture the X Division Title. Good action for seven minutes of real-time wrestling, but with only four minutes airing with a mid-match commercial. If they were intent on getting the belt off Lethal here, then I like the move to have Sabin pinned, as Lethal now has a built-in feud against whoever is X Division champion after the July PPV. (*3/4)
After the match, Cornette came to ringside and said Joe has earned a spot in the Match of Champions match at the PPV. Cornette then announced Angle vs. Christian Cage vs. Rhino in a three-way title match on next week's Impact. See, the squeaky Rhino wheel gets the grease. The show closed with Joe kissing the X Title belt in center ring.
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