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TV REPORTS
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 7/3: Nash & Joe vs. Roode & Storm, Saeed vs. Taylor, Angle's Third Blind Date Has Issues

Jul 10, 2008 - 10:06:09 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
JULY 3, 2008
AIRED ON SPIKE TV


WHAT HAPPENED: 1ST HOUR

-The show opened with a video package centered on the Karen Angle soap opera, then moved to footage of Christian Cage being slammed through a glass table and the finish of Samoa Joe kicking Kevin Nash by mistake last week. It's silly to give Karen top billing again. Almost inexplicable. It makes you wonder what goes into such decisions. But anyway, the show is titled "The Mating Game." You know, the central selling point of a PPV in less than two weeks - Kurt Angle's blind date comedy skits. This assumption and philosophy that wrestling fans will watch no matter what, so they have to draw casual fans with comedy skits and soap operas is what's keeping two-thirds of all wrestling fans who might be hooked on Impact from ever immersing themselves in the product. Trying to be all things to all people is a bankrupt policy that's stagnated ratings that should by now be nearly twice the size of what they are given the talent roster, cable network, and time on the air in a great prime time slot.

-The Impact opening aired, then Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the program. Styles stood mid-ring with Karen. He said she shouldn't have to come to work every week afraid. He said, "Let's get it over with" and called Kurt Angle to the ring. Instead of Angle's music playing, Team 3D walked to the ring. Ray told Styles that Kurt wasn't there because he was out "scoring some really hot chicks." Ray said Styles isn't smart enough to see that Karen is the problem. He said she's nothing more than a soap opera bimbo. Ray accused Styles of sleeping with her. Styles said he hasn't forgotten what Ray and Devon have done to him. He said, "Payback, it's a bitch." Ray said he knows that saying. "That saying has been around for 30 years. Did it just trickle down to the South where you hicks live?" He said Styles has a bright future, but he's not smart enough yet to realize what a bitch and whore Karen is. Styles jumped Ray and took him down with an enzuigiri. He clotheslined Devon in the corner, then knocked Ray down again with a clothesline. Styles got double-teamed eventually, but held his own with comebacks. He was eventually overwhelmed and given a 3D in mid-ring. Ray then called for a table. Devon fetched it. Rhino made the save with a chair in hand before they could put Styles through a table.

Rhino told them that they keep trying to take people out, but it's not working as he's back and Christian will be back at Victory Road. He challenged then to a six-man tag match at Victory Road with TLC rules Rhino said they call it Full Metal Mayhem. He said in TNA, they let the fans decide between tables and Full Metal Mayhem. He said he'll cut Angle, Ray, and Devon in half at Victory Road with the "Gore, Gore, Gore!" Devon accepted the challenge. He said he's sure Kurt feels the same way. He said Rhino's blood will be on the hands of the fans who vote for stipulation.

-They showed West and Tenay at ringside. Tenay plugged the six-man match just agreed to. They also plugged Raisha Saeed vs. Taylor later on the show and round two of the 2008 X Cup. They threw to Kurt's first blind date.

-Kurt looked into a handheld digital camera held by Borash and said he's got three blind dates - one at a gym, another over lunch, and a third over dinner. Angle went looking for Tiffany. It turned out to be a not-so-attractive woman who Borash called "a human medicine ball." She said she had been waiting for Kurt for 30 minutes. He looked at the camera and said, "Very funny, Ray and Devon." Oh, what a knee-slappin' funny skit.

[Q2]

[Commercial Break]

-A video aired of fans sending in clips explaining why they want to be given a chance to whip Beer Money Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) in the Fans' Revenge match.

-Tenay said that is the true definition of fan interaction as they'll be at ringside with a leather strap in hand. West said time is running out to send in a video to qualify to be at ringside. They interviewed LAX and Hector Guerrero via satellite from Houston, Tex. Hector did all of the talking with lots of chatter from Homicide, Hernandez, and Celinas in the background. The entrance music of Storm interrupted the promo. That wasn't heelish. That promo was headache-inducing, so it was a welcome interruption.

Storm, Roode, and Jackie entered the ring. Storm told Hector to shut up because he didn't understand a word he was saying. He introduced himself and Roode as the next tag team champions. He called for their "punk kid" opponents to come to the ring so they can make an example of them.

1 -- JAMES STORM (Miss Jacqueline) & ROBERT ROODE vs. MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin)

Fast paced action early. The initial offense by the Guns was cut off by interference from the ring apron. The heels took control for a few minutes until Jackie sprayed beer in the face of Storm by mistake after Shelley ducked, then Shelley rolled up Storm for the "upset."

WINNERS: Machine Guns at 3:00.

-After the match, the heels cuffed the Guns to corner turnbuckles and whipped their backs. Security tried to intervene, but Storm and Roode went after the. They began whipping West, too. He was bleeped for swearing as he tried to escape their reach. Then they tossed Dave Penzer into the ring and whipped him. Jim Cornette came out and said if they whip him one more time, they're both out of a job. Cornette said as punishment for their actions, he's going to find the two most disgruntled wrestlers on the roster and they're going to have to fight them.

[Q3]

[Commercial Break]

-Kurt and Borash traded mean-spirited comments about the first blind date. Seriously, who do they think that appeals to when they just rip on a woman for being ugly and, as Borash said, "having her own zip code." Kurt said Ray is going to get his. He said if he does it twice, he's really asking for it. Borash said he knows Ray is connected and knows those Maxim girls. A woman walked up who apparently passed his looks test. He said he's nervous. He introduced himself as being an Olympic Gold Medalist and 12-time World Champion. He said he likes to man-handle guys and is a man's man. He said he's going through a divorce and began ripping on his wife. The camera turned to the woman who had a hairy chest. Yes, a hairy chest. Borash whispered to Kurt she had a hairy chest and an Adam's apple. He threw a fit and threw his date aside.

2 -- MOOSE vs. ROXXI

Tenay and West talked about Kurt's second date. West said, "Now we learned why you don't wear dark sunglasses in a dark room. Just a weapons brawl at ringside from the start. Moose tried to roll a shopping cart at Roxxi but the seam of the mats caught the wheel and she jammed against it. Roxxi threw Moose head-first into the card, then kicked it. The chanted "She's Hardcore." It's been so nice not hearing "He's Hardcore" for the last several years. In the ring Roxxi nailed Moose with a shot to the head with a "Dead End" sign. Roxxi threw a chair at Moose. Moose tried to catch it, but missed, messing up the planned spot. They kept rolling with Roxxi tossing Moose toward a chair in the corner. Moose moved, though, when Roxxi charged at her. Roxxi's head hit the chair. Moose then double underhook DDT'd her into the "Dead End" sign for the win. Once again the finish of the match was treated like no big deal. The match ended, winner's music plays, and they're immediately off to a backstage skit. TNA has got to work on making the outcomes of the matches - you know, the reason all the wrestlers are there - seem slightly relevant and consequential.

WINNER: Moose in 5:00.

STAR RATING: * -- Moose seemed a step off in several places, but it pretty much fits fine into a garbage style match.

-Jim Cornette talked to Kevin Nash, but I was distracted by the orange facial glow of the overly tanned and/or make-up covered face of Borash. It's especially stark next to the normal skin tones of Cornette, who didn't look pale so much as he just looked human. Cornette said Roode & Storm are out of control and he thinks Nash would be the man to put them in their place in a tag match later. Cornette said there'd be financial considerations. Nash said he'd owe him big. He asked Cornette who his partner would be. Cornette said Joe. He asked if he knows yet. Cornette said not yet. Nash wished him luck telling him.

[Commercial Break]

[Q4]

-Cornette talked to Joe about slapping around Roode & Storm for him. Joe shook his hand and said he'd do it. He then asked who his partner would be. Cornette asked Joe to sit down. When Cornette hemmed and hawed, Joe yelled and asked if he was trying to team him with Nash. Joe said he's through with him. Cornette said he didn't used to trust him, but he's helped him. Joe yelled at the top of his lungs, totally overspazzing again, telling Cornette that he wants nothing to do with him. Joe said he won the championship, not Nash. Cornette told him he had to do it. Joe told Cornette that whatever happens in the ring, he's responsible for. Borash has really, really improved at holding the mic and not reacting facially to everything said, drawing attention away from the wrestlers. He holds the mic and listens intently without drawing attention away from the goal of the segment.

-A video feature aired recapping the Nash-Joe feud.

[Commercial Break]

-They went to Kurt Angle's third blind date. He was telling his date about his background. She excused herself for a minute. He told Borash, still holding the camera, that it was going great. He continued to talk about himself later in the date, saying how great he was at age five. He said he was an ass kicker and meant to be an Olympic medalist. His date excused herself again. Twenty minutes later she excused herself again as he talked about speaking up to a priest. With his mouth full of food another half hour later, he talked grotesquely about his high school days. She excused herself again. Angle said she must be going to the bathroom to throw up her food. He told Borash he was going to confront her. About 40 minutes later he asked her if she likes her food. She said yes. He asked if she was going to throw up. She said no. He accused her of being bulimic. She said she has a serious medical condition - a spastic colon. Angle laughed at her for crapping her pants. She got up and left. "Don't forget to flush," said Angle. "You're life depends on it." Borash told Angle that Ray got him three times in one day. Angle realized it was a prank date and he said he was going to kill him. Oh boy. Just a juvenile, overly long segment with a lame scatological payoff.

3 -- RAY BUCANERO vs. ALEX KOZLOV

Tenay talked about the "experience edge" for Bucanero, a 17 year veteran, compared to Kozlov's experience of just a year. Bucanero dropped Kozlov on the back of his neck and then hit a flip senton splash for the win.

WINNER: Bucanero in 3:00. Still not a fan of this entire World X Cup concept. It just seems so out of place and it's hard to imagine anyone being invested in the wrestlers or the teams given the total lack of sense of TNA history or TNA future in the wrestlers involved. Team Mexico has three points, Team TNA has one, the others zero.

-Borash caught up to Angle backstage. He said Brother Ray accepted Rhino's challenge for the six-man tag a Victory Road. Angle was mad at Ray and went looking for him.

WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR

[Q5]

[Commercial Break]

-Angle marched to the ring and went on a rant against Ray setting him up with three bad blind dates. He said he's not laughing and he called him to the ring. Ray and Devon walked out. Ray said they're all friends, so they should go to the back and talk things out. Then he immediately began talking about Devon accepting a six-man challenge on their behalf and complained that fans ("these morons") get to decide the stipulation. He suggested they head to the back to chat about other stuff. Angle said they made a horse's ass out of him. "Am I joke?" Angle asked. Ray said he's the most legitimate pro wrestler in the world. He said in his eyes, Kurt is "the man." Ray told Kurt he lost his black book with all of the hot celebrities, so he did what he thought was best and used Devon's black book. Ray said Devon is into sick sh--. Ray said he picked up a girl last night "so hot you wouldn't believe." He added, "I was going to use her myself, but I brought her here for you tonight." He called for Sandy and "her hot little body" to come out there.

A woman who was supposed to be super-hot walked out in a short-short dress ad super high heels. Ray called her Ivory Snow. Ray said she's the hottest rat on the block and she's all his. Angle made a lap around her and smiled. "So you want to go for a ride on the Olympic gold medal freight train, huh? Woo who!" He asked her what she offers a champion like him. She said she likes to have fun and is loyal. Angle said, "Let me tell you something, sweet pea, none of you are loyal. You're all liars. You're all cheaters. And you're all full of sh--." This show needs therapy. The woman hating theme is so heavy-handed and permeates so many layers of this show, there are serious issues with the people coming up with this stuff. They are certainly blind to it or they'd never let it on the air but it's not even close to subtle at this point.

Angle insulted her. She said, "Screw you." He said not to worry because he'd never touch a woman (violently, I assume). He said he knows two people who would. Out came Angelina Love and Velvet Sky They grabbed her and put a paper bag over her head. Karen Angle ran to the ring and threw Love to the mat and shoved Sky, then slapped Kurt. ODB, Gail Kim, and Rhino charged to the ring and a big brawl broke out with everyone. The faces cleared the ring. That was an awfully uncomfortable, largely pointless, overly long, quite telling segment.

[Commercial Break]

[Q6]

-A commercial aired for the ticket sales launch for the Hard Justice PPV in August in Trenton, N.J.

-Borash walked into Booker T's newly upgraded locker room. Booker made Borash wear a red robe like Booker was. Borash asked Booker about the Nash-Joe situation. Booker said Nash has Joe wrapped around his little finger, totally forgetting about the task at hand. He asked Borash to look around at his sweet locker room. He said he has it all in the palms of his hands except for one thing - the World Heavyweight Championship. He said when the PPV is over, he'll have that, too.

[Commercial Break]

-The next installment of the "Rough Cut" series with Matt Morgan aired. Morgan said being a pro wrestler really was his life-long dream. He said all of his basketball accolades meant nothing compared to getting paid to train to wrestle. He said he meant his mentor, Cornette, at that point. Cornette talked about how Morgan was green and was like a puppy with big paws - he was going to get bigger and better. He talked about being called up to Smackdown too early. He said his first match was a tag match featuring Morgan & Nathan Jones & Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena & Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit. He said when he got tagged in, Kurt got tagged in. Kurt said he's a good athlete with a beast within. He said they tried to cast him as an idiot, with a "stuttering gimmick." He said it didn't work out well. Cornette said those who didn't see Morgan's talents were blind. Morgan said you need experiences like that to keep growing. It's just amazing how much more appealing Cornette, Angle, and Morgan are when they're being themselves and not amping themselves up into cartoon yelling mode. It's just such a relief to feel that they're being real and not acting, and it makes them more interesting and believable as people. It would also make moments of elevated emotions so much more effective if they weren't always amped up to cartoon level all the time otherwise. Good segment overall.

4 -- MILANO COLLECTION AT vs. CURRY MAN

MC came out with one of those gimmicky invisible dog leashes. Out of context - and maybe in context - it's a pretty ridiculous thing to make your gimmick. Then came Curry Man. Tenay told us MC fancies himself an Italian fashion model, thus his designer trunks and ring outfits. There are times thing just get surreal in an all-new way on TNA Impact, and Tenay trying to introduce these characters is one of those times. MC won after a blow blow from behind and a moonsault.

WINNER: Milano Collection in 4:00.

STAR RATING: 3/4* -- A bunch moves that looked cool but added up to nothing much.

-Lauren interviewed Roode, Storm, and Jackie backstage. Storm talked about how when he was young he'd break into his mother's liquor cabinet. He said his mom would whip him as a result. He closed with his catchphrase, "Sorry about your damn luck." Storm also showed off his new "Beer Money" shirt.

[Q7]

[Commercial Break]

5 -- RAISHA SAEED (w/Awesome Kong) vs. TAYLOR

Kong clotheslined Taylor at ringside. Saeed missed with a moonsault a minute later. Taylor went on a flurry, but when she went for a pin, Kong yanked the ref out of the ring before he could count to three. Taylor kicked Kong in the chest, then bridge suplexed Saeed for the win.

WINNER: Taylor in 4:00.

STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Okay match. Things are feeling a bit rushed and frenetic again. Some of Kong's intimidation reputation is softening with her showing fear of having to face Taylor by having her interfere on behalf of Saeed. The Kong character isn't being protected as well as it probably should to maximize her drawing power.

[Commercial Break]

[Q8]

-A video feature aired on Gail Kim talking about winning the TNA Knockouts Title. Love said she threw up a little into her mouth when that happened. She said she'll make the title look prettier than Kim every did. Pat Kenney, TNA agent (a/k/a Simon Diamond), talked about Kim having an experience advantage. Love was asked if she's jealous of Kim. She said no, then asked, "Does this look like a jealous face." D'Amore said there can only be one no. 1 and there will always be competition. Profound! Love is one of the better characters on the show right now as she's able to be outlandish and totally believable at once, a more rare combination than most in the industry think.

6 -- KEVIN NASH & SAMOA JOE vs. BEER MONEY (James Storm & Robert Roode)

The match began with 11 minutes left in the show. Nash told Joe to watch how it's done as the match began. Nash did his usual routine in the corner. They showed an inset image of Booker watching on his monitor backstage. Joe tagged himself in and then somewhat mockingly did the corner routine. With Joe on offense, they cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

During the break, Roode tripped Joe coming off the ropes, leading to the heels taking control. At 7:00 Joe kicked out of a pin attempt as Booker nodded and smiled at what he was seeing on the monitor in his locker room. Joe made a comeback, but refused to tag in Nash. Instead, he gave him the up-yours gesture, then took a clothesline from Storm. Storm hit Nash on the apron, drawing Nash into the ring. Nash clotheslined both Roode and Storm. Jackie handed Roode a pair of handcuffs. As Nash beat on Storm at ringside, Roode swung the cuffs at Joe. The director oddly cut away from the swing, then cut back quickly with Joe applying a rear naked choke. Roode escaped with a mule kick, then went for the Payoff fisherman's suplex. Joe escaped and set up Roode for a Muscle Buster. Roode raked his eyes. Joe went for a high kick, but barely grazed Roode. Then he followed up with a Muscle Buster for the pin.

WINNERS: Joe & Nash in 8:00.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Fine for what it was. It told the story it needed to tell in terms of furthering the tension between Joe and Nash.

-Joe and Nash argued after the match. Then Sting's video played. Sting was up in the rafters looking down. Tenay and West wondered why he chose that moment to return to TNA.


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