TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of two-hour show
Nov 8, 2007 - 9:59:51 PM
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By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
TNA Impact on Spike TV
November 8, 2007
Taped October 30 in Orlando, Florida
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
They opened with Scott Hall arriving backstage. He rubbed his hands together with excitement. Cue it up to Tenay and West, who broke down Hall's arrival at the Impact zone. Tenay took us through this sort of vague history between Hall and Nash over the past decade, with them hinting that Hall and Nash will be on opposite sides at the PPV in the title match main event. Tenay then talked about Kaz vs. Christian Cage in the finals of the Fight for Your Right tournament.
1 -- CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. KAZ -- Fight for your Right tournament final
Really could have used a promo from Kaz before the match with him talking about this being a huge match in a quest for the title. West said it for him in the opening minute as Kaz locked up in center ring with Cage. Nice opening exchange on the mat without that feeling of them rushing through a 3-minute match. Kaz side stepped Christian near the ropes and Christian slipped to the outside. Christian took exception and stepped back into the ring to get right in Kaz's face. Christian reminded him he's the champ, then he slapped him, so Kaz jumped him on the mat and started reeling off punches. Christian came right back with an elbow smash and Euro uppercut from the middle rope. He thought he had put Kaz down with a monkey flip out of the corner, but Kaz landed on his feet and nailed a dropkick in the corner. They fought to the apron and exchanged blows before Kaz landed a slingshot leg drop across the apron. Cue to a break. Good opening five minutes.
They returned with Christian in control as they recapped the happenings during the commercial break. Christian kicked Kaz in the gut, then dropped him with a DDT for a nearfall. He went up top, but Kaz met him in mid-air with a double-foot dropkick to the upper body. Both men recovered on the mat, then Kaz made his offensive flurry with running forearm strikes. There's a match going on, with Kaz trying to score a pin, and Tenay is talking about Kurt Angle, Hall, and everything else. Unbelievable. Suddenly, Kaz smashed Christian in the face with a leaping kick and had a close nearfall. He then nailed a slingshot DDT from the apron for another nearfall. Kaz went for the home run with a top rope leg drop, but Christian moved and both men recovered on the mat. They battled up top and Kaz went for the flux capacitor, only to have Christian bite him in the forehead. Kaz fell to the mat and Christian suddenly nailed a frog splash all in one motion. Nice spot and a very close two count for Christian. Christian went to the well for the Unprettier, but Kaz countered and nailed the Wave of the Future for a close nearfall.
Suddenly, A.J. Styles came to ringside and Kaz flew through the ropes with a dive on Styles. Kaz tossed Styles into the ring and knocked him around. Tomko then showed up and Kaz knocked him off the apron. Christian tried to use his ladder, but Kaz kicked Christian. The numbers game caught up to Kaz, who took a blow from Tomko and a ladder shot to the face from Christian with the ref distracted. Christian then made the cover for the win.
Afterward, Matt Morgan showed up in a suit. He clapped it up for Christian, which the fans booed. Morgan said maybe they should call it what it is: another screwjob. Morgan said his first act is throwing the match out and calling it a no contest. Christian was confused. Morgan asked if he stuttered. He said the match with Kaz is just getting started. Morgan booked Kaz vs. Christian in a ladder match at Genesis.
WINNER: Christian in 17:00 to advance to the finals; decision reversed to a No Contest. I can't critique the finish after 15 minutes of outstanding wrestling action. But, fortunately, Morgan reversed the finish and we're back to square one at the PPV. Kaz is a guy who I have seen routinely have great wrestling matches with a variety of opponents, so it was great to see him have an opportunity to work with Christian in an important TV match. This is how TNA needs to distinguish itself in the marketplace. Thumbs way up. (***1/4)
And off to Borash with Kurt, Karen, and Kevin Nash. Kurt asked Nash what he did to piss off Scott Hall. Nash said maybe he wasn't always there for him, like when he got in trouble. Angle said Nash and Karen are like a couple of women. Karen had enough of the screaming and separated them. Karen said they don't even know why Hall is in the building, so she's going to go take care of business and find out.
They went backstage where Christian Cage was interviewed by Crystal. Christian vehemently demanded to know who put Matt Morgan in charge. Furthermore, who has Morgan ever beaten? Christian said he beat Kaz one, two, three and now Morgan wants to re-do the match he already won? He didn't like the sound of that, but he said at least it's his kind of match. He challenged Kaz to climb to the top and there's only one reservation at the top of the ladder: the instant classic.
Tomko then pulled Christian aside and wanted to know who his number one is. Christian got one thing straight: don't touch the champ when he's mad. Christian said Tomko keeps doing the one thing he told him not to do: think. He told Styles that when he's not around, he's in charge. Styles laughed and smiled, then said Christian is like an inspiration to him. He said that since he's team captain, he's talking to Scott Steiner. Styles said he's not impressed by Steiner's amateur credentials. See, he had an amateur scholarship in Gainesville, GA. Styles challenged him to a five-minute amateur wrestling match.
3 -- Women's champion GAIL KIM vs. ALEXA JADE -- non-title match
Alexa had this frightened look on her face before the bell sounded. Gail dominated early on, but Alexa came back with a running knee in the corner. She dragged her to the corner for a nearfall. Gail then made her comeback with a flying hair toss and a turnaround splash from the middle rope for a nearfall. Gail then hit a neck crunch out of the fireman's carry for the win.
After the match, VKM walked out and cut a promo on behalf of Roxxi. B.G. James said Gail wouldn't be leaving the PPV with the Women's Title. Roxxi then snuck in behind Gail and dropped her on the mat. Angel Williams snuck in behind Roxxi and gave her a powerbomb. ODB ran into the ring while randomly grabbing her crotch. She slammed Angel, then Gail had enough and gave ODB a top rope dropkick to finally regain possession of her title belt.
WINNER: Gail in 4:00. Serviceable TV match. Could have used some background on Alexa. (*)
They cut backstage where Borash followed Karen to Scott Hall's locker room. Karen adjusted her dress, then caught Borash staring at her chest. She asked Borash if he's ever seen a pair of breasts before. He whispered something like, "Not like those." She slapped him around, then walked into Hall's locker room. She tried to tempt him with her wares, but Hall told her he's not falling for it. There is no trust in the wrestling business, he said. Not with the wrestlers, the promoters, and definitely not with the rats. Karen took exception to that insider reference aimed at a small percentage of the viewing audience. He told Karen he's here for one thing: big Kevin Nash. He told her to take herself back to her old man, Kurt, and he'd take care of business with Nash. Karen was flabbergasted as Hall walked away.
Back to Borash and Karen, who said they're going back to the original plans. She had an appointment, then slipped into the men's room. Ringside, Tenay said Borash would surely stay on top of Karen Angle...and the story. He plugged a six-man tag main event later on.
Team 3D came to the ring for a match, then they showed footage from earlier in the day at catering when Team 3D ran over the X Division jobbers. Jay Lethal came to the ring for a match, handed off his gear to So Cal Miss Elizabeth Val, then Matt Morgan showed up and handed an announcement to Tenay. Abyss came out as Lethal's partner.
3 -- TEAM 3D (BROTHER DEVON & BROTHER RAY) vs. X Division champion JAY LETHAL & ABYSS
Tenay read the announcement that Lethal is defending the strap against Guru at the PPV. That's completely random. In nay event, Lethal worked on Ray to start the match and Ray backed into a natural corner to collect himself. Lethal came off the ropes with a double splash on the Dudleys, then he hit a springboard dropkick from the apron. Abyss took a tag and went for a double chokeslam, but that didn't work, so he landed a double clothesline. Lethal took a tag and dropped a double axe handle on Devon's arm. He landed right hand jabs, but Ray tripped him and crotched him in the corner. Team 3D then went to work on Lethal. After landing a dropkick on Devon, Lethal slowly made his way to the corner and hot tagged Abyss at 7:00. Ray came in without a tag because that's what a heel is supposed to do and Abyss cleaned house. He nailed a chokeslam on Devon, then Lethal came off the top with an elbow smash. He made the cover for a close nearfall. Suddenly, a crazy man in a black wig named Black Reign showed up ringside and battled with Abyss. They fought into the stands, leaving Lethal by himself in the ring. Ray distracted the ref and Devon landed a low blow, setting up the 3D on Lethal for the win.
Afterward, Abyss continued to battle with Reign toward the backstage area. Back in the ring, Team 3D prepared a table for Lethal, then whipped off their belts and started pounding on Lethal's stomach. They continued to lay into Lethal before Sabin and Shelley finally made the save.
WINNERS: Team 3D in 9:00. It took a while, but they finally got the point of this: setting up Team 3D vs. Sabin & Shelley at the PPV. Now if they can only find Guru Dutt to set up his title match against Lethal. Match was fine, but it didn't play to Lethal's strengths of wrestling athletic opponents. (*1/2)
Backstage, Karen explained what happened to Kurt. She said things didn't go well with Scott, but she has another plan. Borash whispered to Angle that she was in the men's room. Karen snapped back at Borash that he's some kind of stooge. Karen wanted answers right now on why she was in the men's room and what her plan is. Kurt left to confront Hall, then Karen screamed at Borash to get out. He slowly shuffled his feet out of the locker room like a good boy.
Kurt Angle walked out to the ring and said it's shake or break time for Scott Hall. He gave him ten seconds to show up or he's coming out after him. Angle counted to ten, then left the ring and Tenay screamed about some deadline expiring. Angle walked backstage and went looking for Hall. Tenay said they were caught off guard by Angle's deal. The announcers mimed something being told to them in their earpieces, then they cut backstage where Angle stormed a locker room to find Eric Young. Hall snuck up behind Angle and asked him what he wants. Angle warned Hall to stay out of his business, and Hall said he would keep that in mind. Angle tried to strike Hall, but Hall shoved him against the wall and told him to stay out of his business with Kevin. Back ringside, Tenay and West recapped what we just saw, as if TNA aired a commercial while the announcers were watching the segment. Just odd editing and splicing of the announcers' comments before and after each segment.
Crystal interviewed Scott Steiner while Rick Steiner stood by. Scott said that while Styles was at some school in piss-ant, Georgia, he was an all-collegiate wrestler at Michigan. Steiner said that when Styles's girlfriend tucks Styles in with his blanket, she comes to him for some satisfaction. Crystal's mouth dropped a few inches. Steiner said Styles's girlfriend is sleeping with him at night and he's going to kick Styles's ass.
Styles came out in headgear and a singlet with "Gainesville Vocational" written across the front. Steiner came out dressed for a regular wrestling match.
4 -- SCOTT STEINER vs. A.J. STYLES -- amateur wrestling match
With the ring ropes taken down, they had a handshake before the initial lock up. Styles danced around Steiner, who could barely crouch down into a mat position. Styles went for a take down, but Steiner shoved him away repeatedly. Styles had enough and took off his headgear. He then took out some powder and threw it in Steiner's eyes to score a take down. He then landed another take down with a headlock. Styles quickly nailed a fireman's carry into another take down. Steiner slipped to the outside to try to get the powder out of his eyes, then he returned to the ring and dropped Styles with a gut wrench suplex for a take down. He then nailed a spear for a second. Steiner with a quick overhead suplex for the third. He then nailed a belly-to-belly suplex for the fourth. Suddenly, Tomko entered the ring and jumped Steiner. The ref blew his whistle to throw the "match" out. Rick Steiner then made the save and cleared the heels to the outside.
WINNER: Steiner via DQ 4 falls to 3. Only in pro wrestling can seven falls occur within a three minute span. Pointless segment in an attempt to set up the tag title match at the PPV. (n/a)
Backstage, Kurt asked Kevin Nash what he's going to do about Scott. Nash said it's in Scott's hands, but he's going to find out what's up. Kurt was confused. Cue up commercials that make even less sense.
They cut to Crystal, who was outside of Sting's locker room. Hall came out and called her babydoll. She lost her journalistic integrity and got giddy at the sight of Hall. He walked past her and Tenay recapped Sting and Hall being former NWO Wolfpac mates. Well, it's been close to ten years since the previous Thursday night debacle known as Thunder debuted, so why not.
James Storm came to the ring for the main event six-man tag match. Roode and Brooks came out, and Brooks had a long stare down with the Roode fanclub plant. Creepy. Kurt Angle then came out by himself to round out the heel field. Eric Young led the babyface team out, followed by Samoa Joe, then Sting. Young greeted Sting when he entered the ring and Sting gave Eugene a high-five.
5 -- KURT ANGLE & ROBERT ROODE (w/Ms. Brooks) & JAMES STORM (w/Ms. Jackie Moore) vs. ERIC YOUNG & SAMOA JOE & STING
The bell sounded and Tenay said they had exclusive info on Sting's mystery partner on TNA Mobile. Joe, sporting a big bandage on his head for reasons they didn't show video of to explain, tried to go after Roode, but Roode bailed to the outside. Nice separation of the feuding opponents. Roode then walked into a hip toss from Sting, followed by a dropkick. Sting tried to set up Joe to work on Roode, but Roode bailed again. Storm came in and got all excited about a top rope splash, but Joe casually walked away and Storm ate the mat. Classic Joe. Eric Young then stepped in and clotheslined Angle to the floor. On the outside, Young picked up the phone book from last week - randomly placed under the ring - and smashed Angle in the face with it. They cut to backstage where Borash waited with Nash for a talk with Hall. Suddenly, Karen Angle walked to ringside with a huge smile on her face. Too much happening. Let's go to a break.
They returned with Roode picking up a chop on Young in the corner. Joe tried to get a piece of Roode, but the ref stayed in between Roode and Joe this time. Tenay said Kurt looks like a mental wreck, while Karen is calm and collective. Maybe Karen should be the world champion. Joe took a hot tag from Young and started cleaning house, including a snap powerslam on Kurt. Storm then took a corner E. Honda slam and Joe nailed a leaping kick to the head on Kurt. Roode, in classic heel form, tripped up Joe from the floor for his first contact with Joe, allowing the heels to go to work on Joe. Roode finally came in and Joe answered with slaps to the chest, but Roode nailed a hard clothesline. Joe came back with a boot to the face, followed by a leaping knee strike from the middle rope.
Brooks smiled after Roode took the blow, then Joe made a tag to Sting, who cleaned house. Sting nailed a Stinger Splash on Storm, then Roode, then dropped Storm with a reverse DDT for a nearfall. Joe had enough of Roode and tackled him to the floor. Back in the ring, Kurt nailed the Olympic Slam on Sting and dropped the straps, but Young clotheslined Angle to the floor. Storm then measured Sting for a superkick, but Sting dropped him on the mat and slapped on a Scorpion deathlock. Storm tapped out after a few moments and the crowd popped.
WINNERS: Sting & Joe & Young in 16:00. Nice action to cap off the match with a rapid-fire finish. Match effectively set up Sting vs. Angle and Joe vs. Roode, but Young vs. Storm is too weird right now for there to be an issue between them. Good book-end matches to the wrestling tonight. (**1/2)
They went back to Borash, who interviewed Nash about his conversation with Scott Hall. Tenay said Nash vs. Hall in a war of words is next.
A graphic for Kevin Nash greeted us, as Tenay talked about WCW, the NWO, and being running mates on the road. Anything to make TNA seem relevant here. Tenay said maybe Hall feels that Nash turned his back on him when he got into trouble. Nash took a mic and said he wants to find out why Hall is here tonight. He called out Hall, who sauntered out for the high school reunion. Hall mocked Nash's choice in attire: a full-length suit, then Hall greeted him with, "Hey yo." Funny how there has been zero acknowledgement of Hall and Nash being in TNA during the FSN days. Hall mocked Nash for the dress code and not dying his hair anymore. Nash was quiet while Hall talked about the clique running wrestling, but Nash isn't easy to find anymore, especially when he's slipping up. Nash said he was the guy staggering next to him for a lot of years, but he had to pull himself out to save his family. He said he wasn't the friend he should have been, but he had to move. Hall said they could put everyone to sleep talking about old times, but the bottom line is that he's not Sting's partner and never will be. They hugged. Aw. Tenay with the obvious that they just wasted two hours of time leading to Hall not the partner. West: "What the hell is going on here?" Who knows.
Angle then showed up with a look of confusion. And West with the obvious that they have to start all over leading to Genesis. Yup, four weeks down the drain. Angle recapped that Nash is his partner at Genesis, and Hall wanted to kill him backstage, but he's not Sting's partner. Angle wanted to know why Hall is here, and who Sting's partner is. Sting then showed up on the entrance ramp and didn't talk. West said it's mind games. Sting just stood there while Angle called out for answers. Tenay said tune in to the PPV...to see who shows up. Oh help us all.
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