TV REPORTS KELLER’S TNA IMPACT REPORT 12/27: Styles’s big decision teased, Booker’s mystery partner
Dec 28, 2007 - 12:44:36 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
TNA IMPACT REPORT
AIRED DECEMBER 27, 2007
ORLANDO, FLA. AT UNIVERSAL STUDIOS
WHAT HAPPENED: 1ST HOUR
-The opening video package included the narrator asking if A.J. Styles would choose to remain loyal to Christian Cage or if he’d severe his ties and unite with Kurt Angle “once and for all.” The show was titled, “A.J.’s Dilemma.”
-Crystal interviewed Styles and Tomko backstage. Styles said Karen Angle told him he could play on both sides. Tomko told Styles that Karen lied to him. He said he can’t play on both teams because Christian and Kurt both hate him. He told him to make his decision. Styles reminded Tomko they’re tag champs. Tomko said he’s made his decision and walked away. Styles shouted that they’re in it together.
-The TNA Impact opening aired. Then Mike Tenay and Don West introduced and previewed the show including a sit-down interview with Abyss.
1 -- SENSHI vs. JUDAS MESIAS
Tenay noted it’s been a tough month for Triple X with Christopher Daniels getting a pink slip. West said Mesias is the type of person who is so sinister and wicked, he is perfect for Father James Mitchell.
WINNER: Mesias with the Straight to Hell finisher in 2:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Decent spotlight squash win for Mesias, but he still doesn’t come across as anything overly special as a monster heel.
-Backstage, Karen Angle walked in on Jeremy Borash standing face-to-crotch with Kurt Angle, who was standing on furniture. Karen said she knew he was “sweet on him, but I didn’t know you were that sweet.” Borash said if she did her job as a wife, he wouldn’t have to do this. “The man’s clothes are wrinkled. Look at ‘em. It’s a mess,” said Borash. Angle displayed two shirts he was trying to choose between. Still not sure why Borash was standing with his face in Angle’s crotch. Angle was wearing blue briefs and a white bathrobe. Borash talked to Angle about whether Styles or Tomko are going to side with him or Christian. He said it could be a wildcard for him depending on which side they choose. Angle said they have to grow from boys to men and make tough decisions. He immediately turned to Karen and asked her which shirt and shoes he should wear. Karen then complained about Sharmell trying to steal her spotlight. He called her a “freakin’ mountain goat.” She said Sharmell will find out how serious she is at Final Resolution, then stormed out. Kurt asked Borash which shoes he should wear.
-Christian Cage came out to his full ring intro. He said he hates indecision. His blue spotlights kept flashing everywhere as he spoke. He said some create greatness for themselves, some have it thrust upon them, and some are born great. He said he is one of the select few. He said he’s made a decision to embrace his greatness and revel in it. He said he is TNA’s greatest star. He said the time has come for Styles and Tomko to take a decision because TNA isn’t big enough for both Angle and himself. He demanded they come to the ring and declare where their loyalties lie. Styles walked out first. He said he didn’t know where Tomko was. Styled called Christian “boss.” He said a boss is someone he respects and looks up to and would take a bullet for. Styles declared he’d take a bullet for him. He said everything Styles has is because of him. He said the TV time and PPV matches and paychecks he receives are all because of him. Christian even took credit for his three World Championship reigns even though it was a few years before he came to TNA. He said he’d explain how that’s possible later. Christian told Styles that Angle is using him as his punching bag. Angle walked out immediately with his wife and entered the ring.
Angle asked Christian if he was kidding when he said he was “using A.J.” He said he won a Gold Medal on his own and he is the smartest guy in TNA, so he has no need for Styles’s help. He said the only one who has been using him is Christian. He tried to drag A.J. with him. Christian tugged on Styles’s other arm. He said A.J. is staying with him. They began punching each other. Styles intervened. Christian swung the title belt at Angle, but Angle ducked and the belt KO’d Styles. Angle jumped Christian and tey brawled on the mat. Tomko ran out and separated them both. Christian thanked Tomko for showing up “just on time.” He told Tomko he wants to know their decision by the end of the night.
-They showed Booker T and Sharmell backstage. Crystal then interviewed Robert Roode backstage about facing Booker next. Roode said the era of washed up has-beens ends tonight. Ms. Brooks interrupted and complained about Roode insulting Sharmell and calling her a beast. Roode said he didn’t give her permission to speak. He said his word is the law and she won’t speak without his permission. He said the only reason she exists here is to take orders from him. He told her not to disrespect him again.
-Roode came to the ring with Brooks for his match against Booker. Then Booker and Sharmell came out. During Booker’s ring intro, Karen came to ringside and yanked Sharmell to the ground. Sharmell’s facial reaction was great as Karen grabbed her from behind. It was a slow motion panic. Booker tried to separate them. Angle attacked Booker and threw him into the ring. Angle and Roode stomped on Booker. Booker escaped and challenged them to a tag match later with a partner of his choosing.
-Borash sat backstage with Styles, who was holding an ice pack to his face. Borash told him he had to make a decision. Styles didn’t remember Christian setting a deadline. Styles asked Borash what he’d do. Borash said he go with the Angles. He called Christian the leader of the B-team. He called Karen Angle “the hottest chick in TNA.” Styles declared there is only one team in TNA: “Me, Tomko, Christian, and Kurt.” Borash said he’s dreaming. Borash had weird stuff going on with his hair.
2 -- A.J. STYLES & TOMKO vs. ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN
Tenay plugged that TNA would be in Canada this weekend, then rather than give dates and locations on the air, he sent viewers to the website or plugged the TNA Mobile service for details. Seems like an odd way to promote a house show - by making viewers work to get details. At 2:00 they cut to a break. Good action so far.
After the break, Eric Young came to ringside and talked to Styles. Sabin hit a cool corkscrew powerbomb on Styles mid-ring at 6:00. Sabin nailed Styles with a discus forearm and a fling DDT followed by a Sabin frog splash for a believable near fall. Shelley dove at Tomko at ringside as Styles nailed Sabin in the ring with a Pele kick. Styles then set up a Styles Clash. Young stood on the ring apron tot alk to Styles, which distracted Styles leading to Shelley and Sabin double-teaming Styles for a leverage three count. The let both Sabin and Shelley double-team Styles on the pin, which makes no sense in a regular tag match. Tenay looked bad by going along with it and not questioning the ref. Tomko yelled at Styles afterward for his lack of focus.
WINNERS: Shelley & Sabin in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Good action. Cool finish, but it made no sense that it was legal.
-Backstage, Team 3D complained to Jim Cornette about having to wrestle in an Ultimate X match. Jim Cornette said they’ve been beating on the X Division so much lately, as far as he’s concerned, the Ultimate X is booked. Why did it take a declaration from Cornette to book it? Wasn’t it already official based on the results of last week’s match. Matt Morgan kept Team 3D off of Cornette. Team 3D said they were going to a crab buffet. Morgan sarcastically said “You’re welcome, by the way” to Cornette for saving him from Team 3D. He told Morgan to stay away from him for 30 minutes or he’ll say something he regrets.
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
3 -- MISS JACKIE & ROXX LAVEAUX & ODB vs. VELVET SKY & ANGELINA LOVE & GAIL KIM
They replayed Kim’s chairshots against Awesome Kong from last week, glorifying the concussion causing unnecessarily shots to the head. At 3:00 Love dove from the ring to the floor onto several women on the floor as Kim battled Roxxi in the ring and soon pinned her.
WINNERS: Kim & Love & Sky in 4:00.
STAR RATING: *
-Backstage, Cornette chewed out Morgan for last week’s show. He said he got a call from Corporate complaining. Cornette ran down the list of stips and complained also about Samoa Joe walking out without permission last week. He said Morgan is going to cost them both their jobs. Morgan told him to relax. He said he got a letter from Corporate, also, which was a bonus check for “exceptional” match-making last week. He read the letter which congratulated them for the ratings, also, and said to keep the innovative ideas coming. Cornette said he kept some of his original concepts in place. Samoa Joe barged in, sat down, and put his feet on Cornette’s desk. Joe told Cornette he wasn’t going to wrestle tonight because he feels it’s best for him. Cornette said he’s tired of people going into business for themselves, so he’s either going to wrestle or be fired, “the choice is yours.” Joe stood and said he’s right, the choice is his. He walked out.
-They went to the sitdown interview Tenay had with Abyss. Tenay asked if he’d confirm that his real name is Chris. Abyss said, “Abyss’s real name is Chris Parks.” Tenay asked about what Mitchell has said about his past, such as whether his relationship with Mitchell began when he got out of prison. He asked how long he’s known Mitchell. Abyss said, “Too long.” Tenay asked if his father raised him. Abyss said angrily, “My mother raised me.” Tenay said that’s not what Mitchell said. Tenay asked about the strange relationship he has with Mitchell. He asked about the secret “only the two of you know.” Abyss said the secret lives with him and it dies with him. Tenay said this was his opportunity to tell him about the secret. Abyss said he’d never tell.
-Back at ringside, Tenay said we may never find out what the secret is between Abyss and Mitchell. West said that becomes more intriguing to him every day.
4 -- “PRIME TIME” ELIX SKIPPER vs. SAMOA JOE
After Skipper’s ring intro, Joe walked out in jeans and a t-shirt. Joe powerslammed Skipper early. When Skipper walked the top rope, Joe knocked him off balance and gave him a Muscle Buster. When he made the cover, he lifted Skipper before three and hung him upside down in the corner. The ref DQ’d Joe for battering Skipper in the corner. He put him in the Kokina Clutch after the bell rang.
WINNER: Skipper in 2:00 via DQ.
STAR RATING: 1/2* -- Not much to it, but it got the message across that Joe is pissed off and very anti-authority right now.
-He said after the match to Cornette that this was just a sample of what he’s going to keep doing until he gets what he wants. Tenay said he wants a new contract and a shot at the World Champion. He said he had grievances to air with others. As he began to talk, they cut off his mic. He smiled and threw the mic down.
-Backstage, Styles, Borash, and Young sat at a table drinking beer. Young said every morning he chooses between Count Chocula and Frankenberry. He said Chocula is full of sugar while Frankenberry is full of fruit. He then talked about eating lunch at McDonalds and choosing off of the menu. He then talked about ice cream for desert and choosing between 32 flavors. He the talked about all of the cell phone choices. Styles walked away as Borash laughed. TNA management sure loves Young’s persona.
-Scott Steiner told Petey Williams that he wants his briefcase back. He told Petey to stick to the X Division. Petey said he’s the definition of definition when it comes to muscle. He said he’ll wrestle anyone in every division, except maybe Awesome Kong. Steiner said he’ll get his World Title shot back whether Petey likes it or not.
-Dustin Rhodes walked to the ring with TNA security. He was out of the Black Reign character. Tenay said he has a split personality and is oblivious to his actions as Black Reign. He complained about Kaz attacking him from behind last week. Kaz entered the ring and said he hates rats. Dustin said he jumped him last week for no reason when all he was doing was trying to get a job. He said he’d give him one chance to apologize to him. Kaz said he’d give him an opportunity, “an opportunity to kiss my...” Dustin slapped Kaz. Kaz jumped Dustin. Security pulled Kaz off of Dustin. Kaz leaped at Dustin with a kick and Dustin bailed out. Kaz followed and tossed Dustin into the crowd. He brawled in the crowd with him. Kaz leaped off the bleachers onto Dustin below as Dustin tried to leave.
-Backstage, Borash held the mic as Styles, lying on a couch, chatted with Kevin Nash. Styles said he needs advice. Nash said he’s in a good place because both Angle and Christian need him. He talked about how he was in the middle of an NWO split “early in my career.” He talked about the red & black and the black & white. Styles reminded him of the green & black. Nash said, “That was the Latino World Order, and that’s when we hit the iceberg.” He said he stayed with red & black because it was the stronger faction and that’s when he made his best money. He said there was no one he could trust but himself in this business. He told Styles to ask himself who was less likely to stab him in the back, Angle or Christian.
-A Best of 2007 video aired. It touted TNA’s home-grown wrestlers, calling them “the next generation.” They also showed comedy clips of James Storm, Eric Young, and Kurt Angle (“Hey, are you looking at my package”). It talked about the unpredictable in 2007, including Jeff Jarrett’s brief return, Road Warrior Animal, and Pacman Jones (“I want to prove I’m the best team player that’s ever lived.” Classic.). Clips aired of various title changes; nice to see title changes get spotlighted in a highlight video, something WWE didn’t bother to mention when celebrating 15 years on the air.
-Ring intros took place for Roode, Angle, and Booker.
6 -- BOOKER T (w/Sharmell) & CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. KURT ANGLE (w/Karen Angle) & ROBERT ROODE (w/Ms. Brooks)
Booker said his partner is someone with whom he shares hatred for Kurt Angle in common. Christian’s music played. They cleared the ring of Angle and Roode right away. Two minutes in, Styles walked to ringside. Angle looked at him. Tenay wondered if he’d reveal his decision.
West noted that Tomko hadn’t walked out, but Christian wants his decision, too. Styles got overwhelmed with his decision, so he threw a chair to the ground and returned to the back. Roode gave Christian a low-blow. Booker intervened, giving Roode an Axe Kick followed by an Unprettier by Christian for the pin.
WINNERS: Booker & Christian in 9:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Some decent action, but it didn’t add up to an epic TV match or anything even close. Serviceable way to feature these names on the show.
-Christian demanded after the match for Styles and Tomko to come out and reveal their decision. Angle laughed and said Styles doesn’t listen to him. Angle called for him to come out. Styles did, walking like a toddler having to say thanks to his grandma for a Christmas gift sweater after throwing a fit about not liking it. Christian and Angle each demanded he choose him. The show went off the air with both yelling in his ear.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Not a must-see show, but not anything close to the mood-ruined, tawdry, smutty, self-destructive, idiotic Christmas special they presented last week.
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