TV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/13: Christian meets the Main Event Mafia, Joe & Styles vs. Beer Money, Sting vs. Lethal
Nov 14, 2008 - 9:26:12 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
NOVEMBER 13, 2008
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-They opened with highlights from Turning Point centered around the Main Event Mafia's clean sweep in their four matches. "Tonight, they plan to strengthen their strangehold on TNA," said the voiceover. The title of the show is "Christian Gets Made." How do they know?
-Jeremy Borash interviewed "TNA founder" Jeff Jarrett and "executive investor" Mick Foley. He said the guys in back are hanging their heads about losing on Sunday. The Sage, Jeff Jarrett, said: "We all win and lose our share of matches, but a true professional knows it's not how often you get knocked down, it's how often you get up. So the young guys, all they have to do is get up, shake off, and get back in the game tonight." Foley said he wants to give them a message of hope. Borash asked if he has Obama on speed dial. Foley snapped and said he was embarrassed for the TNA roster. He said sometimes guys don't know when it's right to be serious or when to joke around. He singled out Alex Shelley. He said he's in no mood to joke around.
-The TNA Impact opening aired. Then Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the program.
-Foley walked to the ring to his intro music. Tenay and West commented on the pinfalls the Main Event Mafia scored at Turning Point as clips aired of each of the pinfall. West said, regarding Nash beating Joe, that Joe took everything Nash gave him and Nash finally cheated to win; they showed a low-blow clip. Foley in the ring said it wasn't a stellar night for the "TNA Originals." (That's still a bad name for the group because, for instance, Consequences Creed, is hardly an "original TNA member.") Foley called them out to the ring. Styles walked out first with his head hanging, then Samoa Joe, the Motor City Machine Guns, Eric Young, Petey Wiliams, Jay Lethal, and Creed followed. West said the MEM had a gameplan and the Originals lacked direction. He said Foley may be able to give them the guidance they need.
Everyone entered the ring. Foley said if it was all about talent, heart, and desire, each and everyone of them would be champion. There's that many belts?! Foley said Styles would be TNA World Heavyweight Champion and the Gunns would be tag team champions. He said you don't win a World Series with four strikeouts and you don't win respect with four pinfall losses at Turning Point. Foley turned to Alex Selley and asked, "Are you playing with a booger?" Chris Sabin laughed. Foley asked if they had a problem. Sabin looked up Shelley's nose. Foley asked if the shape and size of his ass is more important than their loss to Beer Money. Foley told Shelley to understand the power of his words. He told him he's valuable, but not invaluable. He said he will deal with him next week, and that's a promise. He told Joe that he wasn't just talking when he said he was the smartest man in wrestling. He said Joe beat Nash from pillar to post, but Nash got the victory. Foley said it's a new day with new opportunities. He said they need to learn from their mistakes or the MEM will strike them out every single time. Foley said Young earned his shot at Sheik Abdul Bashir. He asked him if he wanted to take advantage of that tonight. Young nodded yes. Foley said he wrote in his last book published for another wrestling company that Joe is the most convincing badass in the business. He said he can show him that tonight as he and Styles fill face Beer Money for the tag team titles. Foley asked the crowd if they wanted to see a TNA Hvt. Title match. He offered it to Lethal, who said, "Ohhhhh yeahhh!" He told them to take these opportunities and hit them out of the park.
-Lauren ran up to Christian Cage as he arrived at the arena. She said since he lost at Turning Point, he must join the MEM. Christian said it doesn't matter what he thinks because he doesn't have a choice. The MEM walked up to him. Angle said tonight he becomes one of them. He said they'll show him a great welcome party with women, booze, and music. "The world is yours," he said. "Tonight, you become a made man." Steiner gave him a suit to wear. Nash walked by Lauren and sniffed her seductively. She looked at him like he just dangled a dead rat in her face. Booker told Christian, "Welcome to the family." They walked away. Christian threw the suit in a trash bin.
-Lauren walked up to ODB backstage. She was building a set for her new talk show which debuts next week. She was constructing the set from junk. She said she doesn't need Hawaiian dancers look to have her own show. She said Oprah's as big as a trailer and not easy on the eyes, but she has her own show. She said Barbara Walters is, like, 90 and she has her own show. So therefore she can have her own show, too. She rebutting a premise that nobody asserts. Who said you have to be a Hawaiian dancer to have a talk show on a wrestling program? Has a woman ever hosted a wrestling talk show before, period?
1 -- AWESOME KONG (w/Raesha Saeed) & RHAKA KHAN vs. ROXXI & TAYLOR WILDE
Awesome Kong's ring intro took place first. Then the four-mouthed Roxxi walked to the ring smiling and shaking hands with young children in the crowd. Then Taylor Wilde, introduced as being from Toronto, Ontario, walked out with a red, white, and blue outfit and stars and bars flashing on the big screen behind her. See any problems here? Kong met Taylor on the rampway and knocked her over. A big brawl broke out at ringside. Tenay said, "We're going to try and keep our eyes on what's going on here." He meant, "We're going to try to keep our eyes on what's going on here." As Kong beat on Taylor, Tenay and West began pushing replays of Turning Point PPV, touting the Angle-Abyss match especially. "It's just off the charts," he said. Taylor hot-tagged Roxxi at 2:00. Khan interfered when Roxxi applied a sleeper on Kong, kicking her on the back of her neck. Taylor and Roxxi gave Khan a double clothesline, then double dropkicked Kong. Taylor and Khan brawled at ringside as Kong recovered and knocked Roxxi to the mat. She finished her quickly with the Implant Buster.
WINNERS: Kong & Khan in 4:00.
-Lauren interviewed the Guns backstage. Shelley said there are wins and losses, that's inevitable. He said their group is like a snake. He said Styles and Joe are the head and the rest are the title. He said he doesn't know how that happened. Shelley said they can read and write their own battles. Shelley said he thinks they should be at the front of the line. Sabin told Styles and Joe to get things done by following their lead and doing things like they do them in Detroit - by any means necessary.
-Tenay and West plugged the X Title, Tag Team Title, and TNA World Hvt. Title matches.
-Tenay threw to Lauren interviewed Traci Brooks who was backstage with Kong, Khan, and Saeed. Saeed was demanding of Traci that she wants stronger opponents because she needs to be fed to survive. She said if Traci doesn't fine more opponents, Kong will beat on innocent victims, "even if that means vacation people that glorify that stupid mouse." Lauren asked Khan why she turned on Taylor last week. Khan said, "Who wouldn't want to be on the side of the beast?" Traci told Lauren they're a bunch of freaks.
-A "TNA Cross the Line" video aired about taking risks and flying higher.
2 -- SHEIK ABDUL BASHIR vs. ERIC YOUNG -- X Division Title match
Bashir took early control as the crowd chanted, "Let's go Eric." Tenay plugged a new match added to this show - Scott Steiner vs. Rhino. This should needs to be four hours to fit all of these matches in without short-changing them. West said the referee in this match, Shane Sewell, just drives Bashir crazy. Bashir gave Young a kick between the legs. The ref didn't se it. However, he the ref refused to count to three. He saw Young grabbing his crotch and asked the crowd what happened. The crowd said it was a low blow. Bashir shoved the ref. Sewell made cartoon faces and ripped of his ref shirt in anger and began beating up Bashir with a bodyslam, dropkick, and punches. Tenay said he's never seen a referee act this way before. Young then nailed Bashir with his Death Valley Driver finisher for the win. Lethal, Creed, ODB, and Petey joined Young in celebrating. Sewell continued to shake like he was being tasered as another ref talked to him about his actions.
WINNER: Young in 4:00 to capture the X Division Title.
-Lauren went backstage to a locker room celebration. It's great that they're making such a big deal out of a title change. Young dedicated the title win to Foley. Young said Foley opened their eyes and from now on it's their time to shine. Styles and Joe seemed less enthusiastic than the rest of the younger guys. Joe especially was just sitting on the sidelines.
-Tenay and West were shown on camera, standing again this week at ringside which is nice change of setting, and they plugged the rest of Impact's big matches.
-They went to a Rough Cut segment featuring LAX. Hernandez talked about how his parents never let him play football even though he was a big kid. He said the football coaches finally came to his house and promised his parents he wouldn't get hurt. His parents gave in. He laughed and said the coaches were lying about that "not getting hurt part." He said he gave up football because of economic reasons. He said his natural transition was to move to pro wrestling. He felt athletically well-rounded enough to pull it off. They interviewed friends of his. This was produced like the John Cena videos. Hernandez talked about wrestling in Mexico before TNA, then joining Homicide at LAX. He said Homicide is the general who puts things together and makes things make sense. He said he's one of his mentors.
-Borash interviewed MEM. Angle downplayed Young's win, saying he beat someone who wasn't in MEM. He said tonight the party continues. Petey walked in. Booker told him to get his punk ass out of there. He approached Scott. Scott told him "wrong place, wrong time." He said he'd talk to him after his match. Petey looked like a jilted lover just wanting an explanation for Steiner's choosing to side with MEM. It's good to see TNA address that relationship.
-Lauren interviewed Lethal backstage. She said if he walked out as TNA Champion, it'd be a shift of power. Lethal, in full Macho mode, said tonight Men on a Mission is going down. Lauren corrected him and said it's Main Event Mafia. Petey called Jay over and wished him luck. He said, "It's our time." Lauren told Petey to be careful later when he talks with Scott. Petey said, "Be careful? Me and Scotty are boys. Big Poppa Bump is the hook-up. He's got my hook-up. Don't worry about it."
3 -- SCOTT STEINER (w/Kurt Angle) vs. RHINO
Angle joined Tenay and West at the announce table. Tenay said Angle is always welcome to join them. Isn't this the heel who has threatened Jeff Jarrett's little girls as recent as earlier in the month? Scott yapped at fans in the front row, something he's been doing for years better than anyone else. Tenay said the replay of Angle vs. Abyss is worth the price of the replay of Turning Point alone. Angle said Abyss is a monster, but he's not smart enough to beat him. Angle said, "A lot of people in this business things are work, shoot, whatever you want to call it. Jeff and I have our differences, and it's the real deal. I don't like Jeff. I don't like working for him. But I love this company and I love the Main Event Mafia." This match deserved more build-up than just being announced ten minutes earlier and thrown out there. They could have built this show around this one match and one other with a few squashes thrown in and everything would have meant more, felt more important, had more time develop and tell a story, and afterward have more impact. Steiner went for an early cover after an elbow drop, but rolled off on his own at the one count and did push-ups. At 3:00 Rhino went on offense and hit a belly-to-belly. As Rhino set up a Gore, Angle didn't like what he saw and stopped mid sentence and ran to ringside to grab Rhino's ankle. Steiner suplexed the distracted Rhino onto the back of his head and scored a pin.
WINNER: Steiner in 4:00.
-Borash interviewed Sting backstage. Sting said what Lethal and his cohorts don't understand is that they are their own worst enemies. He said the fingers will star to point as the losses add up. He said not only do they not respect the MEM, they don't respect each other. He said, "That's the difference between men and boys, us and them."
-They were mid-commercial as the second hour started. Guess what happened? The rating for the start of the second hour dropped from 1.15 to 1.11 even though it featured a World Title defense by Sting. They need to make it a 100 percent requirement to not be at a commercial at the start of the second hour. That's when every other channel on cable is beginning new shows and hooking viewers. Apparently some got hooked elsewhere, and then the other shopping around at the top of the hour for a show may stopped by Spike, saw a commercial, and moved on to something else, never to return.
4 -- STING vs. "BLACK MACHISMO" JAY LETHAL -- TNA World Hvt. Title match
Borash did mid-ring introductions to give it a "big match feel." Borash touted this as Lethal's first opportunity at the TNA World Hvt. Title. Lethal had a nervous look on his face, as if he understood the magnitude of this opportunity. Lethal opened with a flurry of punches and then a flying clothesline for a two count at 1:00. He followed with a top rope double axe handle for another two count. He dove through the ropes onto Sting on the floor a minute later. Sting limped his way back inside the ring. Lethal continued the beating as they cut to a break. West noted that Sting may have been weakened by the grueling World Title match on Sunday. It's always good when they point that out as that should be more of an issue in matches - the schedule of the wrestler in recent days before the big match. It's a tool in the toolbox they don't use as often enough to explain the way matches go.
Sting was in control after the break. At 8:00 the Guns walked to ringside. Sting kept an eye on them as he beat on Lethal at ringside. Back in the ring, Lethal made a comeback at 9:00 leading to a soft two count.
As Shelley distracted the ref, Sabin entered the ring and held Sting. He told Lethal to take a free shot. Lethal wouldn't, and instead he threw Sabin out of the ring. Sting then turned and surprised Lethal with a Scorpion Death Drop for the win.
WINNER: Sting in 11:00 to retain the TNA World Title.
STAR RATING: ** -- The finish served a larger purpose, so it worked fine given the relative magnitude of this match.
-Joe, Styles, ODB, Creed, and Young came out to confront Shelley and Sabin. They got in a big argument as they cut to another break.
-Backstage they showed a clip of Steiner and other MEM members beating up Petey backstage, leaving him bloodied and battered. West said it was the darkest side we've seen yet of the MEM.
-Live backstage they showed medics, Lauren, and Petey's friends checking on him. They had a big pool of blood and Lauren, overacting by 25 percent with blood-covered hands, crying at his side.
-Borash interviewed Money Inc. backstage. Roode complained about Foley ordering them into a tag team match. He said they're the greatest tag team in wrestling today and Foley can't just go around telling people what to do. He said he will buy and sell him ten times over, "even with my most recent losses on Wall Street." He said, "Why don't you take that Jon Bon Jovi hairstyle and your two dollar thrift store look and hit the road." A drunk Storm told Styles & Joe to concentrate on them, not the soap opera they're involved in.
-West plugged upcoming dates for TNA.
-A "Cross the Line" vignette aired on Jarrett. He said he has persevered through tough times and he has learned that adversity introduces a man to himself. He truly is a sage now.
5 -- BEER MONEY INC. (Robert Roode & James Storm w/Miss Jacqueline) SAMOA JOE & A.J. STYLES -- TNA World Tag Team Title match
Styles opened against Storm. This felt like a big match for Beer Money as they're mixing with two TNA singles heavyweight main eventers. They didn't play up enough, though, how Styles and Joe felt about the tag titles. Are they okay with winning a tag title when Styles both have their sights set on the TNA World Hvt. Title? Are they okay teaming together? West played up how frustrated Styles and especially Joe are with how things went at Turning Point. It'd have been nice to actually hear from Joe on that matter. Styles slidekicked Storm off of the ring apron to the floor at 2:00. Joe and Styles stood their ground in the ring. Team 3D walked out as they cut to a break.
Back live Styles was beating Roode, although Roode immediately turned the tables. Devon and Ray joined in on color commentary. When Devon did the talking, Brother Ray said, "First Obama gets into office, now Devon does all the talking, what's next?" Styles springboarded at Roode, but Roode caught him with a knee to the gut. Beer Money controlled the match for a while. Ray said, "If I was a young tag team like these guys, I'd be showing Team 3D the respect we deserve. Hell, if the Road Warriors were out here, we'd be bowing down to them. But these guys are punks and they've got no respect." Styles made a comeback with a Pele and hot-tagged Joe. Joe threw jabs at both Storm and Roode, then Roode a salto flapjack type move. Styles slingshot himself onto Storm at ringside as Joe snap powerslammed Roode in the ring for a near fall at 12:00. Storm raked Styles's eyes and whipped him into the railing at ringside. Joe then set up a Muscle Buster on Roode. Storm broke that up. Brother Ray ran to ringside and sprayed beer in Storm's eyes. So after spending ten minutes endorsing the top heel group, the Main Event Mafia, they interfere on behalf of babyfaces and beat up the heels in the match. This is just lousy booking because it leaves the fans totally pulled in various directions at once. Every once in a while that can be intriguing, but when it's the rule, it's undisciplined, ineffective booking. Roode walked away with a bloodied nose and a really gross string of snot hanging from it. The director was nice enough to give us a close-up for a couple seconds.
WINNERS: Beer Money via DQ in 13:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4
-They showed Christian Cage heading to the entrance tunnel.
-A vignette aired for Suicide. They had words on the screen, but Spike covered them up with a promotional graphic for Jackass. It something about something driving him to madness and revenge being his.
-The Beautiful People dressed up as Sarah Palin. Angelina Love endorsed her as being a great diva like them who spent $150,000 "of your own campaign money on a new wardrobe. Anyone who spends 150 thousand dollars on a new wardrobe deserves a position with the Beautiful People." Velvet Sky said if she accepts her offer, they'll contribute $50,000 to her favorite charity. The whole time Cute Kip turned his back to the camera and hummed. It was supposed to be irreverent and funny, but it wasn't. It was just annoying. Sky said if she hangs out with them, she can tan with them worry-free and guilt-free. She said she, too, can see Russia from her backyard. Love said if she joins them, she will know it feels like to be part of a winning team. Oh, snap! Kip turned and said, "I'm Cute Kip and I approve this message."
-The Main Event Mafia walked to the ring. They have their own logo now that appears on the big screen behind them. Not sure if it's going to catch on like the NWO, but that's certainly the goal they're aiming for. The new look of the Impact Zone continues to be noticeably better than the previous. It feels bigger and has more energy. Angle asked Christian to walk out for his "welcoming into the Main Event Mafia." Christian headed onto the ramp. The view from behind of the wrestler walking out through the tunnel is a nice production touch, too. It puts the viewer in the place of the wrestler for just a moment, seeing what they see (mostly fog).
When Christian entered the ring, Angle said, "Rule number one: When we give you a suit to wear, you wear it." He said they were there to welcome him into their family. He said family is helping their brothers or sisters in the family whether they are right or wrong. Angle said the bond with them should be tighter than what he has with his wife. Angle talked about the various attributes of the wrestlers in the Mafia. "Commitment is Booker T and Kevin Nash getting lucrative offers from all over the world, from different wrestling organizations, and refusing them to fight the good fight to make TNA the best company in the world." He added, "And they're getting paid pretty well to do it." Angle said he's concerned because he heard he and his attorney refused negotiations with TNA and that in a few weeks when his contract expires, he is going to jump ship to WWE. "And you quoted that you were tired of being the big fish in the company," he added. Angle asked Nash, Scott, and Booker what he thought of that. Angle said they had that big offer, but they stuck with TNA. Angle said they've all that offer, but when it comes down to it, he's in the ring for a certain reason. He said it came to him. It's not a welcoming party, it's a going away party. He said if he thinks those young punks in the back are going to help him, they're not, because he's abandoning them, too. "So you're tired of being the big fish. Tonight, you sleep with the fishes, Main Event Mafia style." Christian took a swing at Angle. The MEM soon overtook him and beat him into the mat. Angle gave Christian an Olympic slam off of the top rope. Nash rolled up his sleeves as Booker gave him an axe kick to the back of the head. Nash gave Christian a Jackknife powerbomb. Angle finished with an Angle Slam. Tenay said, "It's pretty obvious this is their world and, obviously, we're playing under their rules." The show ended with the MEM standing over Christian. It's a good way to either send Christian out of TNA or give him a reason after deciding to stick with TNA to either (a) seek revenge against MEM or (b) make the totally shocking and completely unexpected move of coming out to apparently save someone from an MEM attack only to side with them, take off his shirt, and reveal an MEM shirt underneath. One of these years it'll be long enough since the NWO did all of this on Nitro each week that a whole new generation may fall for it.
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