TV REPORTS 8/21 TNA Impact recap by Wilkenfeld: All the card of a PPV, none of the time
Aug 22, 2008 - 12:37:02 AM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We Have Been: There are two possible comebacks to look forward to the immidiate future, that of Jeff Jarrett as well as the possessor of what seems to be the only back baseball bat in the world. Out of those two, we are fairly sure we will get one face and one heel, but there is a bit of mystery about which will be which. For myself, I would prefer to see Jarrett at least start off as the good guy. He deserves it. Besides, after a couple years vying with Samoa Joe for the title of biggest sucker of all time, the Stinger could probably do with some time to get his edge back. Scheduled for this show, we have Petey Williams defending his X Division championship against Consequences Creed as well as Booker T vs. Rhino for a shot at Samoa Joe. Also, Kurt Angle kills AJ Styles after his huge coup winning Angle’s medals last week. We saw what it did for Eugene’s career.
The Show: AJ Styles: Olympic Gold Medalist?
Is that the first title this show has had for a while? It was a good title-less time while it lasted.
JB catches up with Kurt as he arrives. Kurt is here for two purposes: to get back his gold medals as well as to take it to the guy who screwed him last week. This is 2008, and it’s Planet Angle now. Was enough of the present fan-base watching in 2006 to even get that reference?
(1) HERNADEZ (w/HECTOR GUERRERO and SALINAS) defeats ROBERT ROODE
Roode ambushes the big brawler on his way to the ring, but Hernandez quickly takes control. He hits an obscenely long Delayed Vertical Suplex inside the ring, at which point Roode decides to take a powder. Hernandez looks to fly, but Roode wisely gets out of the way. Jacqueline distracts the ref, allowing Storm to interfere and give Roode the advantage. Roode whips Hernandez into into the steel steps and rolls him in for a two count. I do not understand the physics behind Salinas’s top. Roode hits his crummy version of the Throwback and a Neck Breaker for two. He goes for a Chin Lock, which allows Hernandez to power him into the corner. Roode Back Body Drops Hernandez, but he lands on the apron and comes back in with a Flying Shoulder Block. He hits a new move—some type of Power Bomb into a Face Plant—for two. Roode gets to the turnbuckles and hits a Neck Breaker from the second rope for two. Hernandez powers up and goes for the Border Toss, but Jacquline gets in the ring and forces Hernandez to put Roode down for fear of violating the no-violence-against-women rule (cause if there is one thing I associate with Hernandez, it is rule following). Salinas deals with that problem, but while the ref is busy with that Storm grabs Hernandez from the apron. Hernandez escapes, shoves Roode into Storm, and hits a Torture Rack into a Slam type manuever for game. That is two new moves, including a new finisher, and individual decimation of both tag team champions. Maybe Super-Mex is finally getting his long overdue singles push?
JB is in the back with AJ, who wants to be called the new Olympic gold-medalist. He says he understands why Angle wants his medal back, so he’ll give him a chance to get it. They’ll just put it fifteen feet above the ring, and whomever gets it down first gets to keep it. That match is tonight? Wow. If that gets more than 15 minutes, this has the potential to be the greatest Impact ever. It won’t though.
Eric Young & BG James come down the ramp. First Eric Young succesfully avoids the pyro blast, and BG takes a fall. Keith, the pyro guy, hates to see a tradition broken, so he sets off the pyro again and knocks them both down.
(2) ERIC YOUNG & BG JAMES defeat THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS
Young and Sabin start things off, with Sabin getting the quick advantage and the backing of the crowd. Young floats over him in the corner and gets a dropkick for two. Sabin comes back with a kick to the midsection and tags in Shelley. Young brings in BG James, who gets caught with a dual Missile Dropkick/Flatliner. The Guns hit some fast double-team action, before BG catches them both with a Double DDT and makes the tag to EY. Young baits Shelley into the corner, sidesteps, then quickly rolls up Sabin for two. Shelley comes back in with a Missile Dropkick to EY, and they hit a Poetry in Motion to BG on the corner for good measure. Shelley goes to follow up on James while Sabin finishes things off in the ring, but EY reverses an attempted Victory Roll into a Wheelbarrow Neck Breaker for the win.
After the match Shelley is willing to shake hands, but this week it’s Sabin who plays the role of bad sport. He slaps BG in the face, and there’s a pull-apart brawl. The crowd, not surprisingly, sides with Sabin.
Angle is about to enter the locker room of Booker T, but JB warns him that Booker treats his pad pretty seriously. Angle wants to know how Booker got this sort of locker room anyway. They enter, and Booker yells at them for wearing shoes. Angle says there is some sort of sting operation against them. Booker is confused, cause he thought Sting was on their side, but Angle explains that he is worried about someone else. He asks Booker T, as a friend, to be in his corner in case a certain person with a guitar shows up. Booker says that he can help, but he has a problem of his own—a rhinocerous he has to deal with. Booker suggests they drink to his victory, but Angle doesn’t drink.
They recap the Lethal-Dutt feud. Apparently Lethal is now The Black Machismo. SoCal Val is on Karen’s Angle. Val expresses confusion regarding what she should do, but Karen reminds her that Lethal said she has to choose. Sonjay Dutt pops into frame, and says that he would never have put her into a position to choose between them, but that now that she is, he wants her to pick him. He starts to lean in for a kiss, when Lethal flies in out of nowhere and knocks him into the back of the set. Val tries to pull him off Sonjay, but ends up getting knocked down herself. Mike Tenay tells us that she has a concussion, and West points out that if Lethal had no bad luck he would have no luck at all.
Consequences Creed on Rough Cut talks about how watching Kurt Angle wrestle above his weight inspired him as an amateur wrestler. The Creed edition of Rough Cut has been far and away the best so far.
(3) MATT MORGAN defeats FRANKIE CAPONE
Morgan no-sells some forearms, charges Capone in the corner, hits that Choking Leg Drop in the ropes, the Decapitator Leg Drop on the arpon, a Bicycle Kick and a Hellavator for game. The crowd seems to be getting into Morgan, but they were chanting something I could not quite make out.
After the match, Brother Ray comes down with a mic. He says that The Blueprint just beat a blueberry, someone who has no future in this business. Maybe if Morgan would like to fight someone, he can take on Brother Ray. Not surprisingly, Brother Devon attacks from behind, which brings out Abyss to make the save.
Earlier today Mike Tenay had a sit-down interview with Kevin Nash. Nash said he worked to get Joe into TNA, and that he had failed at getting Joe to understand the mental side of the game. He also said that when he started the wrestlers were men, and they understood the pecking order. When Harley Race walked into a room, people gave up their chairs. He claimed that Sting told him that he will be on Impact next week.
Also earlier today, Not-Crystal told Angelina Love and Velvet Sky that Love would be getting the title shot at No Surrender. Okay, if that’s what they were planning, why did they have her job clean at the last two consecutive PPVs? Kip James appears and whispers something to them, and they go to his room, where Taylor Wilde is (trapped?) in a chair. They throw stuff at her.
JB is in the back with Rhino, and he says that therei s a lot of drama going on in TNA, but none of it has to do with wrestling. The smarks are going to have a field day with that line. People are choosing sides, but that is not what Rhino is about. He is here to wrestle, and tonight he gets to wrestle Booker T for a chance at the World Heavyweight Champion. So he will be ripping through Booker with a GORE! GORE! GORE!
It is time for a qualifying match for Four Ways to Glory. It does not bother me, as it does some, when TNA introduces random gimmick matches, but when they are just planning a regular Fatal Four-Way they sound silly calling it something else.
(4) BOOKER T (w/SHARMELL) defeats RHINO
One of these men Samoa Joe barely beat with the help of a mystery guitar last month. The other is Rhino. I wonder who is going to win. The crowd is oddly behind Booker, but then I always get confused by the rapport Booker T has with the crowd. Rhino hits a Short Arm Clothesline for two. A Snapmare and a Leg Drop get two more. Booker takes control with a poke of the eyes, but misses a Spinning Heel Kick and eats a Spine Buster. Sharmell puts his foot on the ropes right before two. Christian Cage comes down the ramp, and while man-on-woman violence is not allowed, apparently man-on-woman carrying is. Cage takes Sharmell to the back.
Booker is still in control when we come back, nailing a kick for two. Booker locks in a Chin Lock so they can cut to a clip of him dodging an attempted GORE during the break. Rhino powers out, but is kicked back down. Booker gets Rhino up and goes for the Scissors Kick, but Rhino was playing possum. He dodges and takes Booker down with a clothesline. Rhino does some brawling, goes for a Belly-to-Belly Suplex and then goes to the top rope. Booker dodges a Flying Head Butt, and nails Rhino with a Scissors Kick as he tries to get back up. That gets a three count.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Gail Kim, and she wants to know if, given the beatings Kim has taken, she thinks it is really a good idea to get into a Street Fight with Kong. Kim says that this is her own fault, for giving everyone the impression she is a sweet innocent girl, when the truth is that she would do anything for the Knockouts’ Championship.
(5) PETEY WILLIAMS (w/RHAKA KHAN) defeats CONSEQUENCES CREED
Creed tries some mat wrestling early, so Petey answers with some chain wrestling and a clothesline. Creed brings him back to the mat though, and they trade some holds till Creed nails the Rolling Clothesline. Petey tosses Creed from the ring, but he is able to avoid Khan when she tries to get involved. Creed comes into the ring with a Slingshot Roll-Up for two. Petey tosses him into the ropes and hits a Hesitation Drop Kick as Sheik Abdul Bashir appears in the entrance-way. He goes for a cover, but Creed slips out and hits an Elbow Drop. Petey gets back up with a Jaw Breaker, but when he tries to follow up with an Elbow Drop Creed keeps rolling out of the way. Creed gets up and nails a Cross Body Block, a Body Slam, and a Leg Drop off the top rope for two. Petey gets up and nails the Wraparound Russian Leg Sweep, but Creed fights off the Canadian Destroyer attempt. Petey changes it into a Neck Breaker for two. Creed gets up brawling, slides to the apron and comes back in with a Slingshot Bulldog. He does a Dragon-Whip style spinning kick, then nails a Press Slam into a Gut Buster. Bashir gets up on the apron, but Creed knocks him down. He tosses Petey next to Bashir, and comes out over the ropes with a Somersault Plancha that gets both of them. He rolls Petey back in and goes for a move off the top rope, but Petey stuns him with a kick and attempts a Candian Destroyer. Creed fights it off and they trade reversals till Creed lands a Superkick. He takes Petey up onto his shoulders, and Bashir has seen enough. He attacks Creed right in front of the referee, drawing the DQ. Remember when the title could change hands by disqualification? That was awesome. Petey does not seem thrilled by the help.
In the back, The Prince Justice Brotherhood serve the Rock & Rave Infection summons for crimes against rock music. Curry Man says that they are a disgrace to Miley Cyrus, then tries to sleep with Christy Hemme. Super Eric walks off for no clear reason. Rock & Rave claim they will keep the noise down, then attack Shark Boy and Curry Man from as soon as they turn to leave.
(6) AWESOME KONG (w/RAESHA SAEED) defeats GAIL KIM
Katie Kim is at ringside again? Score. I hope that Gail Kim is not really leaving TNA, but I also hope that if she does then she leaves Katie behind. Kong charges Gail on her way into the ring, but Kim low-bridges her. Kong overpowers her on the outside, and drops her face into the barricade. Kim fights back, but Kong whips her head-first into the ring post. She tosses Kim into the crowd, but misses a charge and rams into the wall supporting the second deck. Kim climbs up Kong (that is not a typo), gets to the balcony, and jumps back down onto her. It only helps so much though, as Kong just gets up and yanks Kim down by the hair. She attacks with an umbrella from a fan, but Kim creates enough distance to run back towards the ring. Kong gets a kendo stick at ringside and chokes Kim, but when she goes to follow up with a whack Kim kicks it back into her face. Kim has the stick, and she pastes Kong with it. Saeed takes it away, so Kim slugs her. Kong charges, but Kim dodges and Kong eats ringpost. Meanwhile, Kim takes Saeed into the ring and nails her with the kendo stick. Kong comes back in, so Kim tosses her a chair and kicks it back into her face for two. Kim sets up a chair in the corner, and after Kong wards off some strikes she charges. Kim dodges, and Kong eats chair for two. Kim goes for a Cross Body Block off the top rope, but Kong catches her and nails the Implant Buster for the win.
After the match Saeed sets up the chair in the middle of the ring as Kong tosses the referee out of the ring. Another referee comes in, but Kong knocks him out of the ring too. Katie comes into the ring to shield her sister, and Kong glares at her menacingly. Kong gets a sick leer on her face, then picks up Katie for an Awesome Bomb. ODB and Roxxi Leveaux run down with chairs to make the save.
Kurt Angle comes to the ring with Booker T, and signals to Booker to guard the ring as he sets up the ladder. AJ runs down the ramp, but Booker catches him. Samoa Joe decides to come down to lend a hand, so he takes out Booker. AJ makes it into the ring just in time to pull Angle down.
(7) KURT ANGLE defeats AJ STYLES
Kurt charges with the ladder, but AJ ducks and the ladder goes flying out of the ring. He tries for an Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex; AJ lands on his feet, so Kurt just nails another one. He rolls out to get the ladder, but AJ follows him and grabs it. Angle uses the ladder to ram AJ into the barricade, but when he tries to bring it into the ring AJ keeps it out. Tenay says that it is smart of AJ to keep this a wrestling match, but that does not really make any sense. I think that the story is supposed to be that Kurt is desperate to get his medals back quickly and AJ is trying to frustrate him, but somehow the commentary team did not get that script. AJ rolls in and nails a dropkick. Angle rolls out of the ring, but AJ follows him with a Vaulting Body Press as Sharmell makes her way down to the ring.
Angle is in control when we get back, choking AJ out with a t-shirt I did not even notice he had been wearing. AJ is fighting back, but eats a Drop Toe Hold into a ladder in the middle of the ring. Angle Suplexes AJ and sets up the ladder, but that gives AJ enough time to recover. He attacks with a series of forearms, but Angle nails a German Suplex and locks in a Chin Lock. Samoa Joe tries to shout advice as AJ powers out. Kurt goes for an Olympic Slam, but AJ reverses it into a DDT as the ladder gets knocked down. AJ gets to his feet first and hits a series of clotheslines and a DVD Back Breaker. AJ sets up the ladder and begins to climb. Angle tries to knock down the ladder, but AJ sees him coming and lands on his feet. He drives Angle’s head into the leg of the ladder, then sets it up and starts climbing again. Angle gets up just in time to grab AJ and nail him with an Olympic Slam. Kurt climbs, and gets his hand on the medal before AJ shoves the ladder over. Kurt hits the ringpost, but still gets up in time to meet a clothesline from AJ with one of his own. He tosses AJ outside, but he lands on the apron. Sharmell tries to grab a leg, but AJ kicks her off and comes into the ring with a Flying Forearm. Joe comes over to deal with Booker and Sharmell, but Booker knocks Joe out with a black baseball bat. In the ring, AJ is climbing, with Kurt right behind him on the other side. The lights go out, we hear the music of Jeff Jarrett, and when they come back on AJ is holding a guitar. How did they get that to him on the ladder in the dark? He whacks Kurt and grabs the medal.
Where We Are Going So last week I said that the teasing was fun. That is over. Having these fake Jarrett intros might seem to add excitement to the moment he actually shows up, but the opposite is true. Even when he really does arrive, we will all start off thinking it is another fake out. The result will be that what should be one insanely exciting moment—the return of Jeff Jarrett—will have its effect divided between two lesser moments—the playing of his music and the moment we see that he is really there. Wrestling is about creating that great psychological moment, the moment where something unbelievable happens. Conditioning people not to be excited by the tones that indicate the coming of Jeff Jarrett is just bad psychology.
Star of the Night: Hernandez. I think I might just name this award after him.
Overall: This was a fun show, but a little crowded. While I usually do not complain about the fast pace and short matches of Impact—if you want longer matches, there is always the PPV—a show with an X Division Title Match and two PPV quality main-event matches could probably have given at least one of them a bit of time. A-
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