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WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/06: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast

Aug 6, 2009 - 10:00:56 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor

Where We've Been: First, an apology to pwtorch.com readers: where I was when I could have been recapping Impact was stuck in an airport for seven hours trying to get to see my new baby niece. Where I was when I could have been when I could have been doing a retrospective on Impact was stuck in the airport for three hours coming back from seeing her. I hate the airlines. But you all are probably more interested in what Impact was doing last week for their 200th episode. They did one thing incredibly right. For quite possibly the first time in Impact history there was a legitimate, unexpected, clean upset. It didn't hurt that the winner happened to be my current pick for most underutilized individual in professional wrestling, and the loser happened to be the never-cleanly-pinned Samoa Joe (that might be literal—I can't recall him ever getting cleanly pinned, discounting as a part of an Iron Man Match). Technically I'm not sure they did anything else overtly wrong, but the more telling statement is what they didn't do. In a show celebrating 200 episodes of Impact, there was no X Division. Homicide did not defend his title. Jay Lethal wasn't there. Consequences Creed didn't do anything. The only mention of any X Division stars other than the main-eventing AJ Styles and the non-wrestling Eric Young & Bashir came in footage from a different show. It kind of made me wish I'd gone to Comic-Con instead of watching Impact. Moreover, the one time it would have actually made sense to feature Jeff Jarrett prominently, he wasn't there either. Instead, we got the old, veteran, WWE castoffs being finally put in their place by…a young WWE castoff? Yay? On tonight's Impact, Matt Morgan is scheduled to defeat AJ Styles to even their best of 3 series at one apiece.


The Show: Powers Unite

We start with a recap of last week. We don't have to wait long to find out what the title of the show means, since we get footage of a suit-wearing Eric Young leaving Kurt Angle's limousine earlier tonight.


[Opening Credits]

Here are the MEM to start. Tenay says that they "no longer hold three championship belts", and I say a silent thank you for their finally not calling those three "all the titles". Kurt says that a great travesty occurred last week when Foley allegedly won the Legends' Title. He says "allegedly", because two things went wrong last week. First, Sting created a distraction from the outside. Also, Bobby Lashley, who did all the damage on Nash, was not the legal man. He should have been on the apron, awaiting a tag. Oddly enough Kurt doesn't point out that Nash wasn't the legal man either, which seems like a stronger argument. Kurt thinks last week's match was a joke, and TNA Management agrees. However, they've generously decided to let the decision stand, on condition that Kevin Nash get a rematch at Hard Justice. People like Mick Foley, Sting, and Lashley don't follow the rules, so they've forced Kurt to make a move to protect his family in the MEM. He calls the World Elite down to the ring, and handshakes are shared all around. Rob Terry's carrying around Hernandez's briefcase again. That won't end well for him. Kurt says that before they start the celebration of this union, he wants to say how honored he is to fight side by side with Eric Young. A new shaved Young is similarly proud to take over TNA alongside the greatest professional wrestler in the world today. His men are devoted to doing whatever is necessary to get the job done. The real shame is that it didn't have to be this way. If the ignorant jerks of this nation had recognized their talent, they wouldn't have had to resort to this. This is about more than TNA. This is about a disgusting, sick, nation, which should be held "personally responsible" for what World Elite are about to do to our heroes. He tells his boys to "let the cleansing begin". As people celebrate, Booker seems oddly peeved about something. That could just be his general reaction face though.

JB is in Mick Foley's office, asking for his reactions. Mick says that he's hardly shocked, since in wrestling anything can and will happen, particularly when people start thinking they're bigger than the business. JB asks what he's going to do about it, and Mick informs him that he plans to start a war. He expects this to be a night neither of them will forget. Lashley and Sting come in, and suggest it's time to get started.

[Commercial Break]

Lauren is in the back with Daniels. She says that Eric Young has drawn a line in the sand, and seems to want to start with Daniels tonight. Daniels tells Young to screw himself. He speculates that Young didn't get enough attention as a child. Lauren warns him that Young's out there with Kiyoshi & Bashir. Suddenly The Motor City Machine Guns walk between them and the camera. They start poking the lens, confused about this magical device by which the kids of today get their "MTV machines". They realize it's a TV camera, which confused them for a moment since they haven't been allowed near one in a month. Daniels tells them to stop fooling around, since all of their jobs are at stake. They're aware of this fact, reiterating the point that they haven't been on TV in a month. Daniels says they haven't been on since they haven't done anything to get noticed like the World Elite have, and invites them to come out with him to make an impact. Wasn't he just criticizing EY for doing something to get TV time? The Guns shrug, and say that it's worth a shot. If Alex Shelley is not TNA World Heavyweight Champion by 2011, someone has severely dropped the ball—this was priceless.

(1) DANIELS (w/SABIN & SHELLEY) vs. ERIC YOUNG (w/KIYOSHI & BASHIR)

Daniels watches the Guns as they amble down to the ring, which lets EY get the jump on him. Daniels turns things around with a Leg Lariat, and hits a charging forearm in the corner. Kiyoshi pulls Young out of the ring for a breather, but Daniels follows them out with a Suicide Dive style Double Clothesline. The Guns are conspicuously absent as Bashir ambushes Daniels and rolls him back to the ring. Young gets a two count as The Guns review video game manuals. See, that's just not believable—real players NEVER read the manuals. Anyway, a Back Drop by Young gets two. He chokes Daniels against the corner, but Daniels gets back up firing. EY puts him down with a Neck Breaker, and floats right into a Crossface. I like high-impact-into-submission combos. Young places Daniels with a Body Slam, but whiffs on a Moonsault attempt off the top rope. Daniels comes back with a series of strikes, culminating with a high knee into the corner. He places Young on the top rope and flips him back down to the mat for a long two count. A Sit Out Power Bomb gets two more. Daniels hits his Ura-Nage (it might have been an STO), and the crowd chants for the BME. Young rolls out of the way, but Daniels lands on his feet. Bashir goes to the apron to distract the ref while Kiyoshi rolls in to spray mist into the eyes of Daniels. Young finishes Daniels off with a Pile Driver. I get worried that they're again devaluing the move, but they do continue to stress on commentary the code against using it.

WINNER: Eric Young in six minutes. That match told about as sophisticated a story as you can get into a six-minute match. So far is so good tonight.

After the match, World Elite ambush The Motor City Machine Guns for no obvious reason.

[Commercial Break]

We go over tonight's card. We'll see an 8-Man Tag between The British Invasion & Steiner & Booker T vs. Beer Money & Team 3D, and out main event—Brutus Magnus vs. Sting. Wait, really?

Lauren is in the back with Beer Money & Team 3D. She suggests that the MEM/World Elite alliance will force them to get over their differences. Roode doesn't want to focus on the past though. He wants to talk about Eric Young. No one knows Young better than he does—they were going up and down the road together before there even was a TNA. Young seems to have forgotten about the time they begged Jeff Jarrett for a job in TNA. Regardless of differences Roode might have with Jarrett, there's no reason to act like Young has. Beer Money storm off. Brother Ray claims that whatever reason Roode might have to be mad at the Young, no one has better cause then he and Devon. EY cost them their titles last week; if Roode is pissed, Ray is triple-pissed. Devon's so pissed he might not even say "Testify". As to The British Invasion, Ray wants them to know that Team 3D hasn't forgotten about those tea-drinking fairies. Devon, after a moment's hesitation, does in fact tell Ray to testify.

(2) STEINER & BOOKER T. & DOUG WILLIAMS & ROB TERRY vs. BEER MONEY INC. & TEAM 3D

Oh wait, hold that thought till after this

[Commercial Break]

Steiner starts things off with some right hands that take Brother Ray down in the corner. He lays in with some stomps and follows up with a pair of Eye Rakes. He hits a Body Slam, but comes off the ropes and into a Side Slam for two. A Splash gets two more. Devon and Doug Williams tag in. Williams hits a quick European Uppercut, but Devon ducks beneath a right hand and comes back with a Spinning Elbow. Devon pounds Williams for a few seconds before tagging in Storm. Williams quickly takes back control with a poke to the eyes, but Storm comes right back with some weird new bouncing Rock Bottom variation for a long two count. Williams reverses a whip into the corner, but Storm gets a leg up and bounces back with a Running Neck Breaker. He tags in Roode, and they nail the Beer Money Suplex. Rob Terry tags in while they play to the crowd. He Double Clotheslines both members of Beer Money and effortlessly floors Roode with a Body Slam. He goozles Roode for a Short Arm Clothesline. He looks for a Running Power Slam, but Rood slips out and starts kicking his legs. Terry tosses him into the corner, but Roode comes back with a Floating Throwback off the top rope. The heels come in to break up the ensuing cover, and everything breaks down. Ray ends up in the ring with Doug Williams. They hit the Wuzzup, but when Ray sends Devon for the tables all hell breaks loose. Eric Young comes down with Kiyoshi & Bashir, but they're ambushed on the way down by Daniels and The Motor City Machine Guns. Kevin Nash comes out to take out the Guns, but he's attacked from behind by Mick Foley. Kurt Angle comes out to attack Foley, and Sting and Samoa Joe meander down to the ring to get involved. Tenay: "This has turned into a riot". As Lashley and Joe fight into the back, Tracy Brooks at ringside knocks Roode off the top rope and into a Rob Terry Choke Slam for the three.

WINNERS: Steiner, Booker, Williams & Terry in seven minutes. I really like the booking move of having this typically-show-ending brawl at 9:45. It really adds to the feeling that anything can happen at any time.

After the match, everyone who's still around is still brawling.

[Commercial Break]

Everyone's still brawling. This would be an awesome time to debut a new wrestler, or to have Hernandez really make an impact. The Guns and Daniels fight World Elite in the ring as the MEM fights with Foley and Sting in the back. In a nice touch of realism, they go to a security camera for a second while they get a camera into position. Team 3D are brawling with the The British Invasion by the production truck. It spills to the outside. Angle and Sting toss each other into tables. Ray tees off on Booker T with a chair into a table—I don't know how he got there. Sting's whacking everyone in sight with a garbage can. Security is trying to pull apart Lashley and Joe in the locker room. Hey, Cute Kip got on TV! The Guns and Daniels are in complete control in the ring, as people are fighting with chairs in the parking lot. Sirens are heard, and the police have arrived to break things up. Has that ever happened before? I don't remember WWE doing it. Neat.

[Commercial Break]

I'm in a weird spot, since this show is looking at an A so far, and that would be in my second out of the last three shows. Thankfully I have no non-mark cred to begin with, so nothing will be lost. Besides, they still have an hour to screw things up.

We're back, and Tenay explicitly claims that the nWo never ran this plot either. I was just wondering that. As to screwing up the show, it certainly doesn't seem like that's likely to happen in this next match:

(3) "THE FUTURE LEGEND" ALISSA FLASH & TRACI BROOKS vs. TAYLOR WILDE & SARITA

This week Alissa gets a full entrance. Wilde starts things off with an Arm Drag on Traci Brooks. Traci whips her into the corner, but she comes back with a semi-botched Leg Scissors. Alissa Flash and Sarita tag in. Sarita hits a Hurricanrana to start. Flash whips her into the corner, but Sarita flips over her and drags her down by the arm. Alissa rolls out, so Sarita tags in Wilde. That enables Wilde to help Sarita to run to the top rope, from which she hits a huge Cross Body Block to the outside. Alissa and Wilde go back to the ring, but Traci gets Wilde's ankle from the outside. Flash grabs Wilde by the back of the head and slams her into the mat. A spinning Body Slam gets two. Traci tags in and hits a couple of quick chops. She chokes Wilde in the corner and bounces off her back. A running forearm gets two. Traci pops Sarita, which distraction allows Alissa to come in for the illegal double team. She stomps the back of Taylor's head as she and Traci tag in and out. Traci and Wilde both go for Cross Body Blocks, and are both able to make tags. Sarita kicks down Traci, flips over her, gets grabbed by Flash, then rolls into some crazy Rings of Saturn/Crossface/everything else submission. Flash gets up and grabs Sarita, who slips out and gets a quick Small Package for the kill.

WINNERS: Sarita and Taylor Wilde in five minutes. Every Sarita match takes twice as long to recap as to watch, since every move happens lightning fast.

TNA wants to know if we're ready for the revolution.

Lauren is backstage with The Beautiful People. She informs Angelina Love that she has a match next week against against Tara, Awesome Kong, and the woman who pinned her last week, ODB. Love rejects the characterization of her loss last week, since ODB only pinned her after her redneck boyfriend molested her (Love). She's been chugging mouthwash all week, and isn't sure who's grosser—Deaner & ODB, or Tara's spider. Anyway, Velvet Sky says that since Old Dirty Butch has been complaining about not getting a title shot, Love's happy to face her at Hard Justice. But to make sure the odds are fair, she should bring Deaner, while Love will bring her bff Velvet. It will be The Beautiful People vs. The Ugly, Homeless Hillbillies.

Hernandez arrives, as an annoyed Cute Kip is cleaning up the wreckage from the brawl earlier.

[Commercial Break]

Lauren is talking to AJ Styles. He acknowledges that they're in an insane asylum right now, but a meteor could land in the arena and it wouldn't take his focus off Matt Morgan. Now it's one and done.

We run down the card for Hard Justice. Recently added matches include The British Invasion defending against Beer Money, Booker & Steiner defending against Team 3D, and Homicide defending against Samoa Joe. At least we'll finally have a bloody X Division match on PPV again.

We recap Hernandez's history in TNA. His path to success was paved with potholes. Nobody will deny him, since it's his turn. Su numbre es Hernandez.

Earlier this week Mike Tenay had a sit down interview with Hernandez. He asks first about the injury sustained at the hands of The British Invasion. Hernandez says that he doesn't know much about them, which is a nice touch, since they were debuting at the time. His father was a green beret who served three tours in Vietnam. Holy shit—as if I needed more reason to root for him. Tenay mentions an attempted LAX flag burning a few years back. Hernandez says that his father not only stopped watching the show, but stopped talking to him for a bit. It strained his relationship with Conan and Homicide, but they'll always be his some-Spanish-word-I-don't-know-but-sounds-postive. As to their current relationship, he says he'll always be rooting for Homicide, whatever he thinks, and trusts that Homicide's doing the same for him. They will one day be tag team champions again, but for now they're on different paths. He says something in Spanish about La Raza, then says that he will be the World Heavyweight Champion whether I like it or not. Rachael points out that Conan returning might be the one legitimate reason to break up LAX.

Speaking of Homicide, Lauren's interviewing him about what his partner said. Homicide says that no one's talking about his partner—they're talking about the X Division Championship, which he happens to have. Now he wants to talk about Samoa Joe and his "Nation of Violence" (you can hear the quotation marks), which is no match for the Latino Nation. As to Taz coming to TNA, he respects his Brooklyn roots, but 187 is a lot more powerful than 13. Homicide's partner might have beat Joe, but he's going to hurt Joe. He recommends Joe polish his booth for the future ass killing.

[Commercial Break]

(4) MATT MORGAN vs. AJ STYLES

Why even bother to have a second match in a best of three series? Morgan tosses AJ across the ring to start. Oddly, 30-40% of the crowd seem to be behind Morgan. AJ dodges out of the ring and yanks Morgan's legs out from under him. AJ starts working the left leg, but Morgan kicks him off and floors him with a Decapitator Clothesline. He hits his back elbows in the corner, then a big running Splash. He lifts AJ up for a Side Slam, looks at his non-existent watch, then just tosses AJ onto the mat. AJ gets back up firing, but walks right into a Fall Away Slam. Morgan hits his leap-over-choke thing that desperately needs a name, then an Undertaker-like Leg Drop on the apron for two. Morgan looks for a Choke Slam. AJ fights out, but gets caught again. This time he flips out and hits a jump kick to Morgan's head. He goes to the top rope for a Tornado DDT attempt. Morgan tosses him off and tries to nail a clothesline, but AJ ducks underneath and nails the Pele for two. AJ goes to the top rope. He sees Morgan coming for him, jumps out the apron, and kicks Morgan's legs out from under him. He goes for the 450-Splash; Morgan rolls out of the way, but AJ rolls onto his feet. AJ looks for a Wheelbarrow Faceplant, but gets tossed onto the ropes. Morgan puts him away with a Hellevator as he bounces back.

WINNER: Matt Morgan in six minutes. This show continues to surprise me, as AJ and Morgan do what any participant in a multi-match series should do by building on their past moves and finishes.

[Commercial Break]

"The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero is coming August August 16th. I really hope that gimmick isn't what it sounds like.

JB catches up with Kurt Angle on his way out of the building, and wants to know if the MEM members are retreating. Kurt says that it's not a retreat, but that with the police involved things are just too crazy and they need to go sleep it off. JB sees Abyss in hiding in the corner. Abyss is terrified of the bounty Dr. Stevie offered last week, and doesn't know who other than Lauren he can trust. He starts to wonder about JB, who is in fact conspicuously holding a hammer behind his back. Consequences Creed walks up, wanting an apology for Abyss whacking him a few weeks back. Abyss starts to explain, when Jay Lethal, calling him Andre, jumps him from the back. Abyss squishes them both. At least they got on TV this week.

[Commercial Break]

(5) BRUTUS MAGNUS (w/ROB TERRY & DOUG WILLIAMS) vs. STING

Slick Johnson bans Rob Terry and Doug Williams from ringside. Sting beats the living daylights out of Magnus in the corner, hip tosses him, and hits a high dropkick. This is the fastest I've seen Sting in months—I guess he just really needed a couple weeks off. Magnus runs around, then tries to beg off. He offers a handshake, but Sting isn't having it. Magnus hits a knee lift, a quick uppercut, a reverse elbow, and is suddenly working over Sting's left leg against the canvas.

[Commercial Break]

Magnus is still in control, but gets caught by an Ensuguri. Sting Stingers up and starts pounding on Magnus. Magnus blocks the attempted Stinger Splash, but when he tries to come off the top rope with a Double Sledge he's caught in a Scorpion Death Lock. That's all she wrote.

WINNER: Sting in seven minutes. I think the entire match took place during commercials.

After the match Magnus tries to ambush Sting from behind, but Sting hears him coming and fights him to the corner. World Elite run down and try to attack evil-ninja style. It doesn't go well. They suddenly realize the error of their ways and attack all at once. Lashley and Foley come down to make the save. Here are the Main Even Mafia, who did not leave the building after all. Foley, Lashley, and Sting get beat down. West comments that there's no one left to save Foley, Sting, and Lashley, when suddenly Hernandez runs down to the ring swinging a chain. I totally called that earlier. Are they booking this show as they read the column? Awesome. The heels scatter as Foley, Lashley, Sting, and Hernandez celebrate in the ring.

Where We're Going: So I'm finding it a little hard to process that Hernandez is finally getting a main-event push. This must be what it'll be like when a Cleveland sports team finally wins, well, anything. I don't understand what's going down backstage, but if involves replacing Foley, Jarrett and Lashley as the saviors of TNA with Hernandez, Daniels, and The Motor City Machine Guns, then they should really do management shakeups more often.

Star of the Night: Hernandez. My guess is he'll be winning a lot of these in the near future.

Overall: I really liked this show again. The spontaneous brawl midway through the first hour was an excellent booking move, and obviously I'm going to like any program that features Hernandez as its signature star. I am also all in favor of the catapulting of Eric Young into the main event spotlight, and any and all things involving AJ Styles. Oddly enough, given that it was Hernandez-centric, the one thing that really held this show back was that the ending felt a bit anti-climactic. I can't quite put my finger on why, but I think it might be something as simple as the fact that Hernandez didn't get entrance music. That stretched out the moment of excitement just a hair to long, but at the climax of a show (whose main event would have otherwise been Sting vs. Brutus Magnus) even the slightest misstep can affect the aftertaste it leaves. A-

Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. complaints about last week can be sent to dawilk316@gmail.com


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