TV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 1/17: Styles vs. Joe vs. Christian, ODB vs. Angelina, Stone Cold Shark
Jan 20, 2008 - 11:53:11 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
JANUARY 17, 2008
LIVE ON SPIKE TV
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
-The show opened with clips of Awesome Kong beating Gail Kim, Robert Roode switching women to yell at, Shark Boy's bad fortune storyline and stretcher exit, the Kevin Nash-Samoa Joe relationship, Team 3D challenge of the X Division, and Christian Cage presenting A.J. Styles with "a new dilemma." With everything going on in TNA, this is a good segment to set the stage on the five biggest ongoing issues. It then led to a preview of the show and titled it "A Fish Out of Water." Naming episodes is an interesting approach. The video was produced well with cool P.D. background music.
-Jeremy Borash greeted Kurt Angle, Karen Angle, and A.J. Styles stepping out of a limo. Borash said nobody told him they were wearing tuxes again. Angle said, "What's this 'we' stuff?" Borash asked what the special occasion was. Angle said every week is a celebration for Team Angle. Eric Young walked up and talked about Santa and Shrek. Angle was bored with him, so he lied and said Santa was in the limo. He tricked him inside. Angle plugged the three-way match later and assumed if Styles won, he'd give him a month off from defending the title. Borash brought up that Styles could opt to get a title shot. Karen said he'd already made his decision and flirted with him as she said it. Young said from inside the limo, "I'll wait here for you guys."
-The Impact opening aired, then Mike Tenay introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd and pryo blasted. Don West noted that James Mitchell promises to finally reveal the secret that The Monster Abyss swore he's take to the grave.
-Black Machismo, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin came out to Machismo's intro song. Shelley said at the penthouse last week they overhead Team 3D challenge "The Motor City Machismo Guns." He reiterated the challenge they made. When he brought up the possibility of the X Division disbanding, there were some boos. Shelley said he and Sabin can win the tag tiltes and Machismo has already proven he can beat the World Champion. Shelley said if they win, they get to institute a new weight division. He said they'd make it 275 lbs., which Team 3D couldn't be in it. "There will be a weekly weigh-in to make sure that fat slobs and rotund demons like that do not..." Brother Ray interrupted and said, "Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. You guys are pretty funny. I already weigh 275." West quipped, "Why don't you put the other foot on the scale?" Shelley made a yawning motion as continued. Ray said Devon could be a model on the cover of Jet magazine, he's so good looking. Ray vowed that when they beat them in the Falls Count Anywhere in the Universe match, the X Division is finished. Ray, Devon, and their lackey entered the ring and offered to shake on the deal. The crowd discouraged the handshake. The handshake took place without incident, but when Team 3D turned their backs, the Machismo Guns jumped them from behind and used a kendo stick. Security tried to break them up. Tenay said he wanted to confirm whether that is the deal - that Team 3D have to submit to weekly weigh-ins if they lose.
-Backstage, Crystal interviewed Abyss about Mitchell promising to reveal the secret. Abyss said over his dead body! "The revelation that you speak of will mark the end of Father James Mitchell and Judas Mesias. Eyaaaaahhhhhgghh!"
-A commercial aired for TNA: Global Impact immediately following this show.
-They showed Mike Tenay and Don West at ringside. They reset the show and then introduced a series of clips of Shark Boy getting battered over the weeks and months including his stretcher exit last week.
-Borash was shown on location at the home of Shark Boy. In a scene reminiscent of either a Twilight Zone or "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" crossed with "Electric Company" or "H.R. Puff 'n' Stuff," they were in an aquarium setting with Shark Boy in a bed with family and friends, all in Shark masks, weeping. It has to be seen to be believed. Borash said Shark Boy is in a coma. Dr. Scott Fishman (get it) updated his condition. Borash asked if the final coral has been put in his reef. "Life as Shark Boy has known it has finally floundered. We've scaled back on his medication. Nothing seems to work. I know things smell fishy, but even the smell of sea salt hasn't awakened him. I think Shark Boy may have finally reached low tide." His mask-wearing relatives all cried out in agony at that news. Okay, that was really funny because it was so ridiculous and over the top, but it's also just one of those dangerous trade-offs because you can't take anything else seriously on the show, especially when Tenay and West have to no-sell it to retain any credibility to their tone when trying to hard-sell actual matches and angles. TNA has to pick a tone and stick with it. Are they a TV variety show or trying to build rivalries to sell tickets? There's a way to "be funny" within the confines of the building of matches and feuds without breaking down into GLOW-type slapstick. That said, for what it was, it was unabashedly pun-er-ific.
-Sonjay Dutt talked Young out of the limo by throwing rose petals at the window. He ran to the ring for his match.
1 -- ERIC YOUNG vs. TOMKO
Young brought his drinking championship belt to the ring with him - a beer bottle taped to a title belt. The crowd chanted for Young early, who reached out for a handshake, but then pulled back just as Tomko was about to shake. Tomko easily overpowered Young and dominated the match. As Tomko twisted Young's head, West had the line of the week by saying, "Tomko's trying to turn Eric Young into Linda Blair."
WINNER: Tomko after a had clothesline at 2:00.
-After the match, James Storm attacked Young with a belt, then handed Tomko a beer to drink with him. Tomko took a swig, then kicked Young in the gut and tossed him out of the ring. He lifted up the Drinking Championship Title belt and handed it to Young.
-Crystal interviewed Christian Cage backstage. He said Tomko should not be thinking on his own, but he did credit him for "not taking sides" between he and Angle. He said he will prove later he is the best and he is the champ. He said Samoa Joe wants to prove he deserves more money and Styles wants to impress "that trick Karen Angle." He added, "Every time she opens her mouth, you can smell half of Pittsburgh."
-Crystal dragged Dustin Rhodes outside. He fell to the ground and panicked, yelling, "Where is he? Where is he? What's happening?" Not quite sure what just happened there, but Crystal ran off and left poor Dustin in a panic. Tenay reenforced that Dustin is completely oblivious to his actions as Black Reign. He glosses over stuff like that with no inflection, just to get it out, as if he knows nobody's buying into it and he doesn't want to sell out his credibility for something he doesn't believe in. (I kinda like the Dustin/Black Reign gimmick, actually. The split personality idea for a guy we all know playing an extreme and odd character like Black Reign is better than just not explaining it at all.)
2 -- ODB vs. ANGELINA LOVE
No ODB ring entrance, but Love did do her smutty Kotex check over the middle rope as she entered the ring. ODB dominated, but Love side-stepped a second rope splash attempt. OBD grabbed her implants (presumably) in pain. The crowd chanted "ODB, ODB" during her selling. She fired back with a vicious clothesline followed by a running powerslam for the win. Man, if she slipped on that powerslam she'd snap Love's neck on the stumble. You can say that about a lot of moves, I supposed, but that looked more dangerous and risky than most of those types of moves.
WINNER: ODB in 2:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
-After the match, ODB grabbed the mic and told Awesome Kong that she's "beat every broad here in TNA, but she hasn't beat ODB, uhh!" The crowd chanted her "name" again. She proposed, "How about we hook it up at Against All Odds for the TNA Knockout Title, ahhhhhhhhhhhhh! Come on, I love to fight [copyright Finlay]. Sometimes, I even like to be whopped, but not by you. ODB is not just another pretty face. Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" She took a swig from her flask for a good measure.
-Crystal snuck up on the slightly ajar locker room door of Kevin Nash. He was telling someone off camera that everyone knows he's money. He said if he wins tonight, he'll show he's the best and along with that will come the money and the women. They snuck a peak at Joe tapping fists with Nash, who told him to "light the fuse and just do it, man."
-They went back to Shark Boy in a coma. Chris Harris said it was ridiculous, but he's resorted to hanging out with a bunch of sharks to get TV time. He said it's not funny and he told Shark Boy to stop smiling. LAX barged in and said they were there to check on him. Harris told Borash he wants to know when he gets his own dressing room and when he gets special food instead of crappy catering. He also wanted Borash to his limo driver or something. Hernandez stole stuff from the room. Homicide said he thinks Shark Boy is dying. Harris said the only thing dying is his career.
3 -- SENSHI vs. KAZ
Zero backstory provided for this, as Senshi was basically a competitive jobber for Kaz. Kaz brought Black Reign's rat cage to ringside. Kaz finished Senshi with a Wave of the Future for the win.
WINNER: Kaz in 3:00.
STAR RATING: * -- What a waste of what Senshi could have been if both parties were up to making it work.
-After the match, Reign came out to get his rat, but the cage was empty. He broke the cage over Kaz's head.
-Borash asked Mitchell backstage what Abyss's secret is. Mitchell said wrestling fans are used to "bait and switch, but that will not be the case tonight." He said he'll reveal to the world soon a secret that is 20 years old and soon the lies, treachery, and duplicity will be revealed to the world. He said it will change "Chris's" world forever.
-Borash and Styles talked backstage. Styles approached Tomko and asked for advice. Tomko made fun of Styles's crown as being product of a fast food restaurant. Styles asked Tomko what he should do - get the title shot or give Angle two months off if he wins later. Tomko told him he can win titles without Angle, and has in the past. He told him to make the simple choice. A frustrated Styles walked away unsure what to do.
4 -- LANCE HOYT (w/Jimmy Rave) vs. ABYSS
Hoyt pointed the camera down to his crotch and then did a hip thrust. Great. That's what everyone wants to see. A minute into the match, after Abyss clotheslined Hoyt to the floor and then pressed and tossed Rave onto him at ringside, Mitchell stepped out and asked Abyss if he was ready to reveal the secret once and for all. Abyss shook his head. Mitchell said the world would find out momentarily. He asked a cameraman to follow him. Meanwhile, Hoyt recovered and made a comeback against Abyss. Abyss brushed it off and chopped Hoyt's chest, then fought off Rave. Hoyt took advantage of the Rave distraction and went for a moonsault. Abyss moved and immediately finished Hoyt with a Black Hole Slam for the win.
WINNER: Abyss in 3:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4*
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
-Mitchell appeared on the big screen and addressed Abyss. He said Tenay is always asking him why he's so obsessed with Abyss. He said it goes back to when he was a young boy. Abyss tried to wave off Mitchell's comments from behind shown. Mitchell talked about Abyss being abused as a child. He said every time Abyss whines, he thinks back to the night when Abyss watched "that bipolal bitch shoot an innocent, unarmed man in the back three times." He said he feels one, two, three bullets ripping through his flesh because no matter how much he lies and changes his name to his mother's maiden name - Parks - he can't change his past. He said his real last name is Mitchell and he is his father. "I'm as much a part of you as your mother is, and I'm the only good part. The truth is out!" He said when he looks in the mirror, part of him reflects back at him. West said, "Oh my god." Tenay said the pieces of the puzzle have finally come together. Abyss yelled and clutched his skull inside the ring.
-A replay aired of Mitchell's revelation. Tenay and West were shown at ringside reacting to Mitchell's news. Crystal was shown out back following Abyss, who was crying out in despair.
5 -- ROBERT ROODE (w/Peyton Banks) vs. SONJAY DUTT
Roode came out first with his new valet, Banks. Dutt came out next. He approached So Cal Val at ringside and asked for a kiss, then pinched her ass. She made cartoon faces. The bell rang to start the match and Dutt hugged Roode. Roode attacked Dutt. Tenay said Sharmell has left the hospital and is recovering at home with a wired-shut jaw. Dutt came back and flip dove onto Roode at ringside. Banks held onto Dutt's leg a few seconds later, giving Roode a chance to jump him from behind. Ms. Brooks walked out to ringside. They cut to a break as ref Earl Hebner ordered her to the back.
Dutt went on a flurry of offense after the break. When Dutt went for a springboard dive, Roode shook the ropes and Dutt took an awkward fall. Roode then executed the Perfectplex for the win. Brooks stared at Roode from ringside, then charged into the ring and attacked Banks. Roode yanked Brooks off of her. She slapped Roode, then speared Banks. Roode held Brooks's arms and let Banks slap her. She took her boot off, but Morgan charged into the ring to stop her. Roode and Banks bailed out.
WINNER: Roode in 8:00.
-Borash asked Styles what his decision was. Karen, sitting next to Styles, said he's "thought long and hard about it." (Get it?) She kissed his cheek and said the Prince of Phenomenal would do the right thing.
-B.G. James told Kip James to cool his jets about his decision about who his partner will be for the tag title shot. Kip gave him a light slap and said his partner better be good.
-Back to Shark Boy on his death bed. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky walked in to check on him. Angelina gave him mouth-to-mouth. A member of Shark's family laid on Shark Boy to try to impersonate him and get mouth-to-mouth instead.
-Kip confronted B.G. in the ring about who his partner is going to be. Kip said they've been teaming for ten years and he's always been there for him. B.G. said, "At the risk of sounding fruity, I've given you the best ten years of my life. Now give me five minutes." He began explaining the rationale for his decision. He said he dreamed of being a pro wrestler and walking on top of the wrestling world. He said they did that. He said his hero since he was "knee high to a grasshopper," and that's another pro wrestler who worked his ass off to make a living for his family. He said one of his dreams was to stand in the ring with the baddest son of a bitch he's ever known. He said he made him everything he is and gave him everything he's got. Who could it be? X-Pac? Triple H? Badstreet? He revealed it's his father, "Bullet" Bob Armstrong. Out walked the 67 year old Papa Armstrong. He offered Kip a handshake. Kip shook his head no, but then hugged him. Tenay said Bullet Pop was a great choice. That was a really nice payoff to this seemingly long-running angle. Not a main event angle or anything, but it explains everything well with a feel-good payoff.
-Back to bedside with Shark Boy. Dr. Fishman and Nurse Bass tended to him. Borash said things don't look good. Eric Young ran in and apologized for taking so long. He told him to fight. All the great fish fought, such as Nemo, Charlie, the Big Tuna, and Spongebob. He said Spongebob isn't a fish, but he lives under the sea. He said maybe he needs water. His eyes opened. The doc asked if he has something to say, Shark Boy rose up and said in Steve Austin's voice: "Hell yeah, the next time you stick that thermometer up my ass, there will be hell to pay, you son of a bitch. And that's the bottom line because Shark Boy said so." He headbutted the doc. Borash said it's a miracle. Young said, "Holy Mackerel." The puns continue to the end.
-Tenay plugged that next week would feature exclusive footage of Brock Lesnar as he trained for his first UFC fight.
-Kurt Angle walked to the ring. The crowd chanted "You suck." He smiled and said he was in too good of a mood to let them get to him. He said later Styles will win later and give him a two month pass until Lockdown. He said also after TNA Impact, they're going to air Global Impact where everyone will get the opportunity to see him defend his "other world title" against Yuji Nagata in one of his greatest matches ever. It takes a little away from the prestige of the TNA World Title if he's defending a "different world title" in Japan. If TNA's belt is a World Title, shouldn't that be defended overseas.
-Jim Cornette gave Petey William and Scott Steiner pep talks as they each clutched their briefcases. Cornette tried to talk Steiner into being happy to be in the X Division. He demeaned the division by saying he thought it was all about being four feet tall and 125 pounds. Cornette said it was an opportunity to go out and show the world he's the best at what he does. Steiner grabbed the X Division case from Petey and ran off. Petey smiled as he grabbed the World Title shot briefcase again.
6 -- A.J. STYLES vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. SAMOA JOE
Christian went after Styles at the bell as Joe watched. Joe then took his turn against Styles. They whipped him into the ropes and backdropped him. Styles rolled out of the ring. Joe and Christian then squared off. Joe hit Christian with a flying knee clothesline. Styles yanked Christian to ringside and punched him. Joe dove at Styles, but Styles moved. Styles dove through the ropes at Joe, but Joe met him with a knee. Cool sequence. Christian then dove onto Styles from the ropes to the floor. Joe followed up with a flying suicide dive through the ropes with elbows to both Christian and Styles. They replayed it twice, then cut to a break.
Joe lifted and dropped Christian onto Styles, then roundkicked them both. Styles came back and set up a Styles Clash, but Christian escaped and applied an Indian Deathlock. Styles was tempted to tap. Joe stepped onto the ring apron. Christian released Styles (odd decision considering Joe hadn't even entered the ring yet) and went after Joe. Joe went for a Musclebuster. Christian slipped out, but Joe applied a rear naked choke. When he lifted Christian, Christian's legs hit the ref. Christian went for an Unprettier out of nowhere. Joe blocked it and applied a full rear naked choke with body scissors. Styles slid into the ring with a chair. He swung it, but both Joe and Styles moved out of the way. Styles swung again and hit Christian on the skull with it (Christian brought his hands up to soften the blow and save his future as a functional human being). Joe kicked the chair into Styles's face. Joe picked up the chair. The ref turned and saw Joe with the chair and disqualified him. Joe protested. Morgan walked out to protect the ref. Kevin Nash walked out and tried to keep Morgan and Joe separated as they cut to a break.
With six minutes left in the show, it was down to Styles vs. Christian. Several minutes of good back-and-forth action took place. Christian bled from his lower lip. He set up an unprettier at 18. Styles flipped out and hit the Pele kick. Styles leaped of the top rope, but Christian speared him and scored a near fall. Styles came back and went for a Spinal Tap, but Christian moved. Christian went for a frog splash, but Styles lifted his knees. Styles went for an Unprettier, but Christian blocked it and executed the Unprettier himself for the win.
WINNER: Christian in 20:00.
STAR RATING: ***3/4 -- Really good TV main event. That's the type of action that separates TNA from WWE because the athleticism is just a notch or two higher with people like Joe and Styles featured, doing unconventional highspots, but with enough experience to place them within a match as part of a meaningful internal story.
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