TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/6: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Nov 6, 2008 - 10:00:12 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch columnist
TNA Impact on Spike TV
November 6, 2008
Taped Oct. 28 in Orlando, Fla.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
The show started with a recap of Scott Steiner joining the Main Event Mafia on last week's show. Inside the Impact Zone, Mike Tenay and Don West broke down tonight's card. They have Joe vs. Steiner in the main event.
Impact Zone: Main Event Mafia came out to start the show. Kurt Angle led the troops out, along with Kevin Nash, Sting, and Booker T. dressed to wrestle with Sharmell. Angle then formally introduced the newest member of the Main Event Mafia, their hit man Scott Steiner. Out walked Steiner dressed in a suit. All of those guys are just struggling to move around in there. Steiner said he's been at home rehabbing his knee for four months, while also watching these punks disrespect the business they built.
Steiner said this is the greatest assembly of World champions ever. He said they've earned their respect night after night, year after year. Because they love it. And they've earned it. Fans cheered. Steiner said they've wrestled in the Boston Garden on the same floor the Celtics won their championships. They've been in MSG. Tokyo in front of 70,000 people. But, the difference is between them and the punks in the back is they come out here to wrestle, then head back to the video games and comic books. They call each other during the week playing video games and visit "mark wrestling sites" to see if they got a four or five wrestling matches. Well, I'm pretty sure it's impossible to have a four-star match on a TNA TV show when given three minutes in the ring, so they don't have to worry about.
Steiner continued that the young guys say they built TNA brick by brick, but it's because they had nowhere else to go. He called Samoa Joe a half-breed from Samoa. He said wherever the show is, the names on the marquee are the stars. Steiner said the people at home tune in the TV set to the see the stars. Now the curtain-jerkers only become a star when they step into the ring with the stars and sniff their greatness. Steiner said it's a new day in TNA and they're here to kick their asses and look good doing it. Sting was silent here, but I'm sure Borden is watching this profanity-laced promo at home with his family right now.
Samoa Joe's music finally interrupted the same speech we've heard, then Joe walked out on stage with Eric Young, Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin, and Alex Shelley. Joe said those are very strong words from Steiner. He said they're not denying what Steiner has done, but they've also done Ultimate X, Lethal Lockdown, and the style that's defined this company to make it different than any other company they've been involved in, that was them. Joe said they have a nice little war going,
Joe said they've done a little recruiting of their own. He then brought out his new soldier, Christian Cage. Well, at least, Christian's music hit, then he slowly walked out on stage. He scratched his chin a little, but said not so fast. Christian said he doesn't need to pick a side and he's not going to pick a side. He doesn't mind lending a helping hand, though. Christian said he was standing in the back listening to Steiner bad-mouthing the younger generation. He said if he hears Booker bad-mouthing him any, he'll come down there and slap that rug off his head.
Christian said he doesn't understand why they have a problem with the young wrestlers working hard to get to where they are. He said he didn't just walk into the business to become a champion, but he busted his ass for it. Christian said at Turning Point, he's going to win a different title. He's going to beat him. Embarrass him. And at the end of the night, he'll be standing over his prone body with the belt held high in the air. Booker responded that Christian is wrong because after Turning Point, Christian will be right there standing with them as part of MEM. Booker said his ancestors always told him the meaning of master because he's going to own Christian all over the place. Christian smiled, then the camera picked up quick camera shots of the main players reacting.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash found Mick Foley and A.J. Styles arriving in the building. Styles said he was late to the building because Foley had something important to tell him. Borash joked that Foley needed to take a Kurt and wipe his Angle. Foley's smile turned upside down, then he said they were visiting a kid in the hospital. Foley said he has another important announcement to make for everyone in the back. I'm just waiting for the huge critique of the backstage announcers on week 7 of this.
Goodness, that was a long first quarter. Very good opening promo exchange, though, if you can past no fewer than 15 curse words and racial slurs.
Ringside: They positioned Tenay and West standing up at the broadcast position to break down the scheduled happenings tonight. A nice, welcome change from the antiquated TNA camera shot of them sitting down at the desk screaming at us.
Impact Zone: Beer Money came to the ring for the first match of the night. Booker T then came out with Sharmell as their tag partner. Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin came out as two-thirds of the opposition, followed by Christian Cage.
1 -- MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN) & CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. Legends champion BOOKER T (w/Sharmell) & TNA tag team champions BEER MONEY, INC. (ROBERT ROODE & JAMES STORM w/Miss Jacqueline)
We have previews of two Turning Point PPVs matches on Sunday with the Guns challenging Beer Money for the tag titles on Sunday. Christian took a hot tag at 3:00 and landed double reverse DDTs on Beer Money. Booker was then knocked off the apron before Christian went up top, only to have Roode knock him off the top. Booker then accepted a hot tag, but he missed with an axe kick and Christian yanked him down to the mat. Christian then went up top and nailed the frog splash, only to have it broken up by Beer Money. Guns then entered the fray and the deal broke down, of course. Shelley and Sabin with some high-risk double-teaming, then Jackie ran ref distraction in the ring while Christian had Booker pinned. Sharmell then tossed Booker the belt and he kinda um...brushed him with the belt. Christian played dead, then Booker made the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Team Booker in 5:00. Five-star match! Geez, what a ridiculously over-booked deal that's so over-played and completely eye-rolling, not heat-inducing to make you want to order a PPV on Sunday to see the "heels" get their comeuppance. Lazy booking. (*)
Backstage: Borash grabbed Jeff Jarrett in his office to discuss Kurt Angle wanting a piece of him in the ring. Jarrett said he doesn't care what Angle wants, because he'll decide when he steps back into the ring. Jarrett yelled at Borash to leave if he's not asking anything else.
Backstage: Back from break, Kurt Angle barged into Jarrett's office to ask him how long he's going to hide behind that desk. Mick Foley stood by and Borash held the mic as Angle said he's taking out Jarrett, then Foley is next on his hit list. Jarrett said it's over - one and done. Angle played the "little girls" card and suggested he pays them a little visit. Jarrett wanted to jump out behind the desk, but Foley restrained him and Borash got out of the way.
Announcers: Back to Pumpkin Pie Don West and Mike Tenay to break down the PPV line-up on Sunday. Joe vs. Nash and Sting vs. Styles in the double main event.
Somewhere: A camera was in place as Raisha Saeed and Awesome Kong were beating up Roxxi. Security intervened, then Taylor Wilde found Roxxi and checked on her. Jeremy Borash was suddenly Johnny on the spot to check on Roxxi and he demanded they cut to break. Is this the smallest backstage area in the history of backstage areas?
Back to Somewhere: Lauren narrated the scene as paramedics checked on Roxxi and out her on a backboard. ODB was kind of rummaging through some boxes, apparently looking for booze. This whole thing was over-sold as Lauren frantically told us she would provide an update on Roxxi when she gets one.
Impact Zone: Volador and Tanahashi came out for a four-team ladder match deal. Apparently it's a no. 1 contender match. Tanahashi trying to do this blue blood Hunter Hearst Helmsley gimmick just looks so unnatural. He was so awesome two years ago in TNA not doing this gimmick. Matt Morgan, then Abyss came out as another team. Abyss looks pretty well recovered from Angle's attack last week. Team 3D came out third, followed by LAX. Before the bell sounded, they focused on the contract hanging above the ring.
2 -- TANAHASHI & VOLADOR vs. ABYSS & MATT MORGAN vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) vs. LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ) -- #1 Contender ladder match
3D nailed the diving headbutt to Hernandez's crotch early on, then Morgan entered the scene and dropped Devon with a sidewalk slam. Okay, it's been two minutes. That's enough action for now, so let's get a break.
Back from break, Hernandez shoved Morgan off a ladder in center ring to the floor. Hernandez then wanted a big dive on the floor, but he only caught a ladder that was on the floor. The big white janitor Abyss then stepped inside the ring and gave Homicide the Shock Treatment. Ray had enough and gave Abyss a side slam before splashing the ref to KO him. Tanahashi then took down Ray before landing forearm smashes on Devon into a spinning neck slam. He took too long on a frogsplash, though, and 3D no-sold into nailing a 3D in center ring. Suddenly, Beer Money stormed the ring and low-blowed Team 3D to take them out. Abyss then started climbing the ladder , and he reached out to grab the contract. The bell sounded although the ref was still out cold. Dave Penzer announced the victory anyways, then Morgan and Abyss had an awkward celebration.
WINNERS: Morgan & Abyss in 9:00. Just what you would expect with a ref bump, outside interference, and the ring announcer counting the decision. (*)
Backstage: Mick Foley was shown walking around. He's got A.J. on the brain next.
Who is Suicide? Right now, a goofy guy in a jumpsuit.
Impact Zone: Mick Foley came out to the Impact Zone nearly at the top of the second hour. He said it gives him great honor to welcome out a man challenging for the TNA World Title on Sunday, A.J. Styles. We really could use a Styles Rough Cut-type video tonight to focus on why we should care about Styles challenging for the gold on Sunday.
[Q5 -- second hour]
Foley said that six years ago, Jeff Jarrett made a gutsy move bringing TNA to wrestling fans, but it was also gutsy to build on the back of a relatively unknown wrestler named A.J. Styles. Foley said he went to Raven to find out more about this guy, Styles. He said Raven told him Styles is phenomenal. Foley mentioned Styles's X Division, tag title, and TNA Hvt. championships. Actually, NWA Champion, but who's counting. Foley said Styles has to do three things on Sunday: hold his cool, represent the X Division guys who put this company on the map, and defeat one of the greatest champions in pro wrestling, Sting.
Foley said he knows Styles can do it. He said the thing between him and Sting has become ugly. Foley said Styles is the president-elect of the new generation of TNA wrestlers. And this Sunday, Styles need to take his oath of office. Styles nodded along, then Foley said hopefully one day that Sting will come to his senses when the ugliness is over.
Sting's music interrupted, then Borden came out on stage dressed as Sting with the TNA Title belt over his shoulder. "Come to my senses? I never lost my senses!" Sting said to Foley. Sting said he's spoken nothing but the truth since day one. He said the problem is that Foley has to tell these guys what they want to hear. He respects Foley as a person, for what he's done for pro wrestling, for what he's trying to do here in TNA, but it's to no avail. Sting said he's never steered Foley wrong, and they're going to disrespect him here.
Styles interrupted and asked Sting about this silver spoon in his mouth. He said he needs to look in the mirror. Everything Sting wanted in his contract he got. Limos. Jets. Whooo. Styles said he's still not sure how they got this point in their careers. Sting said they got here the very moment Styles opened his mouth. Sting stormed the ringside area and said they got here the moment Styles questioned his character.
Styles said he stands by his word because that's all he has, not a big ole contract. Sting sarcastically said that's right. Oh yeah, Styles is always right. Sting said Styles's dad had every right to kick him out of the house when he was 15 years old. Sting asked Styles what he's going to do when his little son sees him throwing a tantrum on TV. Foley held Styles back as Sting walked back up the entrance ramp. Tension mounting. They post-produced Sting well here. Nicely done.
Announcers: Tenay and West sent it to the back to hear from Taylor about her partner, Roxxi. Lauren said she's done, then asked Taylor what she can do. Taylor said she can only go out there and fight. This one's for you, Roxxi! Taylor then bumped into Rhaka Khan, who said she needs a weapon of mass destruction out there tonight. As Kong and Raisha came to the ring, Tenay and West narrated clips of Roxxi taking a beating earlier to get what was coming to her from last week. Taylor came out, then Rhaka for tag team action.
3 -- Knockouts champion AWESOME KONG & RAISHA SAEED vs. RHAKA KHAN & TAYLOR WILDE
Kong worked over Roxxi a minute into the match, then she had a good stare down with Khan. They kept that moment for a while, and Rhaka is so much more in control of character. It's refreshing, as there was just too much happening to be memorable. Khan then took a hot tag and she had a big stare down with Kong in center ring. They shared a moment, then Khan suddenly grabbed Taylor and slammed her. Kong and Khan shared a smile, then Kong finished off Taylor with the implant buster for the easy pin and the win. Khan and Kong then stood tall together in the ring with Raisha. Oh, the Twin Towers.
WINNERS: Kong & Raisha in 3:00. I like where this is going. It sets up a Knockouts version of the heels aligning against the smaller-in-stature babyfaces, who will hopefully rally with Taylor and someone else. ODB lacks credibility, Roxxi isn't a threat, and Gail Kim is gone. (1/2*)
Backstage: Kevin Nash was chilling on the couch when Borash joined him to ask about facing Samoa Joe on Sunday. Nash said he's definitely ready, then referenced Joe running down Scott Hall last year. He said he went about eight weeks training as hard as ever to get ready for the Joe match. (Where's this training video to sell the match? Missing the boat.) Nash said the question is whether Joe is ready. He asked when was the last time Joe fought a 6'10" 350 lb. man who's focused, trained, and pissed off. Never. Nash said he hopes Joe is ready on Sunday. Snap, that was a promo. But, we're missing that training video.
[Commercial Break. WrestleMania 25 promo aired.]
Tenay interview: Mike Tenay sat down with Sheik Abdul Bashir to "exchange thoughts." Bashir said he felt normal growing up in America, but after 9/11, things changed in how people viewed him. Tenay said that ever since Bashir showed up in TNA, he's had a very anti-American tone to his interviews. Bashir said the American people and American wrestling fans make it difficult for him to wrestle when he's not respected. Tenay said he went to bat for Bashir to get him his break in TNA because he respected his in-ring ability, but not his political views. Bashir said he doesn't need Tenay's help and Tenay is fortunate to have his cushy little job while he's had to deal with discrimination from other promoters because of how he looks.
Bashir stood up and pointed his finger in Tenay's chest before security intervened. ... Announcers: Back to the Impact Zone, Tenay said that was his first time ever to have an interview end with security needing to take a guest off the set. Really nice promo exchange between Bashir and Tenay there. The ending was unnecessary in typical TNA fashion of being too over-the-top, but it didn't hurt the overall quality of the exchange.
Impact Zone: Angle, Nash, and Sting came to the ring for the semi-main event six-man tag match. Eric Young came out first representing the young guys. Again, they missed the boat on a pre-match promo for the young guys to convey the importance of this match. Consequences Creed came out second, followed by Jay Lethal.
4 -- MAIN EVENT MAFIA (World Hvt. champion STING & KURT ANGLE & KEVIN NASH) vs. JAY LETHAL & CONSEQUENCES CREED & ERIC YOUNG
Angle, then Nash, then Sting toyed around with Jay Lethal to start things off. Lethal finally escaped against Sting to tag in Young, who cleared Nash off the apron into a powerslam on Sting. Young dropkicked Nash through the ropes before Angle made a blind tag to allow him to attack Young from behind and slap on the anklelock. Young fought for the ropes, then flipped Angle onto his belly to escape. Creed slipped in at 3:00 and cleaned house. Creed wanted a superkick on Angle, but Angle countered into an easy Olympic Slam for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Team Angle in 4:00. Just a chance to show the Mafia at the top of its game heading into Sunday and the Young Lions not even being close to being in the same category. DX gave Miz & Morrison more on Monday night than how this one went. (*)
Backstage: Lauren brought in Rhino, who was dressed for the club rather than being in his Rhino gear. He asked "toots" how many times they're going to open their arms to people of foreign descent and let them abuse the privileges afforded by the country. Um, Bashir was born here. He told Bashir to love it or get the hell out. Lauren questioned Rhino's use of the phrase, then Rhino talked down to her like she's a piece of meat before sending her off. Rhino took the mic and said he will deport Bashir on Sunday via the Gore. Okay, I liked the different wardrobe look from Rhino, but we have no reason to cheer for Rhino. Xenophobic. Sexist. Misogynistic. And that's your babyface, apparently. Bashir came across much more likeable tonight.
Video package: They focused on Samoa Joe wanting to punish the man he once called his friend, Kevin Nash, at the PPV.
5 -- SAMOA JOE vs. SCOTT STEINER
Joe came out second and immediately charged Steiner in the ring. Joe knocked Steiner off his feet, then smashed him in the corner with a stun kick. Steiner slumped down, then Joe bent him over and landed a roundhouse kick before the big running knee drop for a two count. Joe landed a slap to the back before applying a rear choke. Steiner then pulled ref Hebner into the hold so he could land a mule kick with Hebner not in position to see it. It was pretty entertaining listening to Hulk Hogan's in-ring commentary from Week 3 of CCW talking through the heel-cheating portion of a wrestling match. Steiner went on the offensive and nailed the Steinerline before doing some push-ups. Let's grab a break.
They returned with Steiner lighting up Joe's chest with chops. Of note, Steiner is retaining his tank top to cover his chest. Joe came back with a big boot to the mush before landing the running sentaun splash for a two count. Joe then blocked a Steinerline and landed a nice t-bone suplex before pausing to get the crowd involved. Kevin Nash then tried to sneak down to ringside for a closer look at the action. He hopped up on the apron to distract Joe, allowing Steiner to attack him from behind. Suddenly, Joe flew through the ropes with a suicide dive on Nash. He pummeled Nash while Steinr wrapped brass knucks around his fists back in the ring. Joe then casually rolled back into the ring and Steiner KO'ed him with the knucks. Steiner tucked the knucks back inside his trunks before making the cover on Joe for the win with Joe looking up at the lights.
WINNER: Steiner in 8:00. Young Lions lose yet another match, but it's obvious where this is going. In the context of the storyline, they're going to keep losing until they figure out how to keep their cool, avoid the easy distractions that Nash was trying to teach Joe for ten months when they were together, and get that killer instinct to aim for wins, not big highspots. Steiner was a step slow in his first match back, but it was still a good main event cap to sell the PPV. (*3/4)
Post-match: Nash pummeled Joe with right hands before A.J. Styles stormed the ring with chair in hand to clear Nash from the ring. Main Event Mafia then walked out on stage with Angle clapping it up for Nash and Steiner. Styles and Joe tried to regroup in the ring while Sting pointed his baseball bat at Styles.
Video Package: They closed with a video promoting the main storylines leading to the PPV on Sunday.
Quick Thought: Nice lead-in show to the PPV. One of their better efforts recently. The MEM vs. Young Lions storyline is starting to take form a little bit more each week, although it's not quite to the point of having money draw value to it because the Young Lions have little credibility as money acts. Styles can sell a PPV based on his in-ring abilities because he's so awesome to watch in the ring, but they didn't focus on Styles in the ring tonight. They also missed the boat on a training video for Nash and promos from Young & Creed & Lethal prior to the six-man tag match.
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