TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 9/10: Coverage of Angle & Joe vs. Styles & Daniels
Sep 10, 2009 - 10:50:08 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Tonight's the same deal as last week—I'm going to disappear for half an hour somewhere around the middle of the show. Sadly, TNA usually has enough filler to enable me to catch up.
Where We've Been: I think TNA is a victim of their own calendar. The company was founded in June, so the June PPV became a big deal. (This was even true when it was just a weekly PPV—the first King of The Mountain Match saw a title change on a $10 event.) They finally got their first full-length PPV in November, which made October's Bound for Glory the de facto year-ender and biggest PPV of the year. The problem is that four months is an extremely awkward time span between major PPVs—it's not quite long enough to slip another big one in, but it's too long to just tread water. Sadly, TNA bookers apparently never got the second half of that memo. Last year saw two months of Samoa Joe doubting that he could ever beat Booker T, which was exactly as interesting as it sounds. This year, we have Morgan and Angle, um, chatting, and Sting being there for no discernible reason. Next month's PPV will feature the same main-event as last months, with the addition of AJ Styles. The problem is that I didn't really care about last months, so unless they sell me on the fact that AJ really has a chance to win it, I'm not going to be particularly excited this month either. Last week also saw the sort of major brawl we saw a few weeks ago, only not as entertaining. At least that was my take—everyone else seemed pleased with the action last week. But I have to call it like I see it, and last week just didn't get it done for me.
(1) BOOKER T & STEINER vs. BEER MONEY vs. TEAM 3D vs. THE BRITISH INVASION Tag Team "Gauntlet" (read: not a gauntlet) Match
We open with Brother Ray hitting Doug Williams in the ring. Brutus Magnus tags in, but Ray floors him with an elbow and makes the tag to Robert Roode. James Storm and Booker T have yet to show up, which I guess means that you can't score an elimination. Shouldn't eliminations be over the top rope till we're down to two anyway? Roode gets Steiner down with an Inverted Atomic Drop, but an entering Booker T Low Bridges him and attacks on the outside. He tags in and continues working over Roode in the ring. The crowd comes alive for Roode as Williams tags in. Storm comes out, but Roode doesn't need him—he takes Williams over with a Back Body Drop and then a Back Drop. Storm tags in, and Beer Money hit the Beer Money Suplex. Storm charges Williams in the corner; Williams Back Body Drops him, but he lands on the apron and kicks the back of Williams's head. Tenay tells us that at this point first pin or submission wins it. They're totally making these rules up as they go along. Storm nails the Eye of the Storm, but before he can make the cover Booker Superkicks him. A cover by Williams gets two. Steiner tags in and goes for a chin lock, but Storm slips out and nails a Back Stabber. He makes the tag to Roode, who immediately has to knock out an interfering British Invasion. He hits a float over Neck Breaker on Steiner, but the Brits make it back in time to break up the cover. Devon blind tags himself in and knocks down both Brits with a Double Clothesline. He goes for a cover after a leaping clothesline, but Booker breaks it up at two. Really—he didn't think Steiner could kick out of a clothesline? Beer Money come in to deal with Booker, the Brits come in to deal with Beer Money, and everything breaks down. Team 3D end up alone in the ring with Steiner, whom they nail with a 3D. Booker breaks up Devon's cover, but Magnus gets the pin on Steiner behind Booker's back. Booker and Steiner aren't happy. Neither is Kurt in the back.
WINNERS: The British Invasion in seven minutes. That was a good, energetic open to Impact.
Kurt Angle, flanked by Steiner and Booker, are punking out The British Invasion in the back. Eric Young is here and isn't happy—he says anything Kurt has to say to his men he has to say to him. Angle says he'll deal with Young later.
Tonight we'll see Daffney & Alissa Flash vs. Sarita & Taylor Wilde. The Beautiful People are still booked to fight Rayne (sans "Madison" in the graphic, but Tenay says it anyway) and a mystery partner. They're actually putting Flash and Saeed in the same tournament? Awesome. I never know when they tape this show, so I have no idea if Love had been fired or Roxxi hired. We'll see soon enough. We'll also see…Styles & Daniels vs. Joe & Angle? Hm—I would have hyped the reunion of Styles & Daniels a bit more, which makes me suspect we're not really going to see it.
Here's Kurt Angle. He wants to talk to Matt Morgan before their showdown at No Surrender. Angle says that the last few weeks haven't gone as planned, due to Morgan's continual misunderstandings of Angle's good intentions. Kurt will always have Morgan's interests at heart, though Morgan might be too immature to understand that yet. He wants Morgan to know that he's spoken to Booker, Steiner, and Nash, and Morgan is right on the cusp of becoming the next member of the Main Event Mafia. Morgan has a guess—he just has to do Kurt one more favor. Kurt says that he read his mind, when AJ and Sting decide to come down to the ring to intervene. Sting says that they were watching in the back, and they just couldn't understand why Morgan was seeming to entertain the notion that Angle has his back. If Sting were him, he'd get right in Angle's face, say that he's Matt Morgan, he's the DNA of TNA, and whatever his other catchphrase in. Morgan, seeming sheepish, says that he's the most genetically stacked, something racked giant in the world. Sting says that he might finish off by telling Angle that he'll own him at No Surrender. Kurt is amazed at Sting's audacity—he's going to "mentor" Morgan like he does AJ? AJ's a fool to think Sting's here to pass him the torch—he's going to burn him with it. Sting's lost a step. He's like any old wrestler—he wants his one last shot. The only difference between he and Kurt is that Kurt admits that he plans to win the title for himself. AJ asks if Kurt really just admitted that. Good contribution there, AJ. Morgan thanks Angle for finally saying what they've all known, that he's just using Morgan. What if he does keep the title at No Surrender? What need will he have for Morgan then? He's just planning to use him at No Surrender, so why not start tonight? He offers his services to be in Kurt's corner during his tag match tonight. Taz, continuing his moron-free trend, says that Kurt probably shouldn't take him up on that offer.
That was interesting. It was a bit different—solid, but it fizzled a bit by the end.
Lauren is in the back with Earl Hebner. She wants to know why he disqualified Hernandez when Eric Young was clearly only in business for himself. Hebner asks who the hell she is to question him. He's been in this business for 20 some years. Nothing's ever "clear" in that ring. He always tells the wrestlers to trust no one.
JB is in Mick Foley's office. Foley is watching his kids wrestle on the couch. JB wants to know if he's really ready to fight Nash in a week. Foley seems psyched. Dr. Stevie walks in. Mick says that as much as he's liked Dr. Stevie's analyses the last few weeks, he also remembers walking out of ECW with a hell of a wrestler named Stevie Richards. Richards is mad that he would dare to use that name. He's Dr. Stevie now. Mick says that's nice, but there's a saying—every once in a while, wrestlers have to wrestle. He gives Dr. Stevie the opportunity to collect his own bounty (huh?) by wrestling Abyss tonight. Dr. Stevie says that he's no longer a wrestler, but Mick's not budging. After he leaves, Mick lets JB know that we'll see some more of the old Mick Foley next week.
(2) SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE vs. ALISSA FLASH & DAFFNEY
Flash shoves Taylor to start. Taylor tries to roll her into an arm bar, but Flash lifts her up and slams her down. Taylor jumps to her feet, tags in Sarita, then runs the up ropes and flips over Flash by the arm. Sarita comes in with an Arm Drag off the top rope, which doesn't really make a lot of sense. Wilde lifts her up for a Splash on Flash, which gets two. Sarita whips Flash into the ropes, but she's able to stop herself before walking into a dropkick. She floors Sarita with a clothesline, then tags in Daffney. Sarita hits another variant of a roll over Arm Drag, then a standing 270-degree Leg Drop for two. She tags in Wilde, who comes in with a Sunset Flip off the top rope. Daffney is able to roll through, but Sarita uses Wilde as a springboard to leap into a cover. Slick Johnson points out that she's not the legal woman, and while they discuss that Flash gets in a cheap shot from the apron. She tags in and floors Wilde with a Body Slam. She stomps on her, then chokes her out with her boot. She kicks her around the ring a bit before tagging back in Daffney. Daffney continues the kicks, culminating in the Daffknees—a modified Shining Wizard where she hits with her knees. She locks Taylor Wilde in a sitting Abdominal Stretch, complete with an abdominal claw. Wilde powers out, and both women make tags. Sarita takes it to Flash with some chops, and floors Daffney with a clothesline. Daffney still helps Flash catch Sarita on an attempted Cross Body Block, but Sarita slips away from Flash and gets Daffney with a Tornado DDT. Wilde comes back to floor Flash with some stiff kicks. Sarita helps her onto the top rope for a Springboard Splash, then jumps on for a cover. Daffney breaks it up at two, so Wilde takes her out of the ring. Sarita wins with some type of Gut-Wrench Slam—she finally has a finisher!
WINNERS: Taylor Wilde & Sarita in six minutes. When they announced this tournament, this match was just about the best case scenario. I can honestly say I'm looking forward to Kong & Saeed vs. Taylor & Sarita in the next round. **
JB is in the locker room with the World Elite, and thinks that they might deserve the visit they're about to get from Angle. EY says that maybe Angle will get what he deserves—EY told him that they'd do whatever it takes. JB says that Brutus pinning Steiner couldn't have been part of the plan, but Young says that they don't have a plan—they just always do whatever's right. He looks into the camera and invites Kurt to come speak to him, one leader to another.
Lauren is in the back with Suicide, and she wants to know why Dinero is targeting him. Suicide says it's because Suicide lived and died on the same streets that Dinero preaches on, and Dinero considers him a threat. They'll face off next week.
The Motor City Machine Guns come down to a mysteriously covered block next to the commentary booth. It turns out to be a rival commentary booth, only with fancier monitors.
Here's Jay Lethal. Apparently he's still alive. Good for him.
(3) JAY LETHAL vs. D'ANGELO DINERO
Lethal backs Dinero into a corner. Dinero turns it around, hits a chop, and then stares stupidly. That gives Lethal time to hit an uppercut and a series of jabs. He follows up with a trio of hip tosses, then dropkicks Dinero out of the ring. He follows him out with a Suicide Dive. He rolls Dinero into the ring, but when he goes for some sort of Slingshot Hurricanrana Dinero catches him and plants him crotch first on the top rope. Dinero clotheslines him to the outside, and a replay shows Lethal's head snapping against the apron. Dinero rolls him back in for two. He hits some strikes and his leap-through-the-ropes chokes, but the cover only gets two. The Pope comes off the top rope with a move that couldn't possibly connect as anything, but Lethal gets a leg up anyway. Lethal gets up firing with clotheslines and a Springboard Elbow for two. He hip tosses Dinero down to his knees and dropkicks him for two. A Sunset Flip gets two, as does a school boy and a side roll up. Dinero dodges a charge in the corner, and while Lethal's hung up on the middle turnbuckle The Pope brings him down with a Neck Breaker. He follows up with the DDE—D'Angelo Dinero Express—for the win.
WINNER: D'Angelo Dinero in five minutes. Yeah, these guys totally only deserved five minutes. I guess it is a pretty stacked show.
The MEM are in The World Elite's locker room. Kurt says that Brutus was out of line tonight, and EY knows it. They made a pact—together these two families can rule TNA for years—divided, one of them will consume the other. It's time for Young to make a choice. Young says he already has. Magnus won the match. He pinned Steiner, which was regrettable, but they do what they have to and he does not apologize for it. Kurt knows his role in their alliance, and so does EY. They need to stay together, or they'll be picked apart. He extends his hands to Angle, who takes it. Did Eric Young just become the first person to successfully stand up to Kurt Angle in like two years? That was unforeseen. Steiner gets in the foreigners' faces on his way out.
The Beautiful People, including Angelina Love, are on their way to the ring.
Madison Rayne comes out first for her team, oddly looking hotter now that she's out of the Beautiful People. For a second I think she's Torrie Wilson. Her partner is Roxxi, whom the Beautiful People do not seem happy to see.
(4) ROXXI & RAYNE vs. ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY
Rayne starts off in the ring, but Roxxi blind tags herself in. Rayne doesn't seem to mind. Roxxi hits a quick Samoan Drop and a Senton Splash for two. Love takes her down by the hair, then tags in Sky for the Holla Double Elbow Drop. She chokes out Roxxi, then covers her for two. Roxxi gets up fighting, and makes the tag to Rayne. They drop a Double Team Elbow for two. Love gets in a cheap shot from the apron for her team to take control. They gratuitously fake a tag, Edge & Christian style. Love hits some strikes before tagging back in Sky, who hits a series of Snapmares for two. She thrusts some shoulders in the corner, but Rayne rolls under her arm and gets the tag to Roxxi. Roxxi has kicks for everyone and a Fall Away Slam for Sky. She hits what Tenay says is the Voodoo Drop, but doesn't quite look right to me. Love kicks out at two. Rayne tags in to finish the job, but Velvet Sky pulls Roxxi out of the ring and Love rolls up Rayne by the tights for the win.
WINNERS: Angelina Love & Velvet Sky in four minutes. That was a bit disappointing actually—I don't know why you'd let someone kick out of Roxxi's finisher in her return match.
Cody Deaner is in Mick Foley's office. He says that he has a lot of experience fighting off women, but not a lot of fighting against women. So he requests a tune-up match. They've already acknowledged that they can't hit women on Spike TV, so I'm not sure of the poin. Deaner says that it'll put the ratings through the roof when he demonstrates his Walker Texas Ranger Kick and his Donkey Punch. He suggests they have an MMA—Mamma Jamma match tonight. Why are they making fun of MMA when they're trying to hype it for Lashley? After Deaner leaves, JB asks Mick if they're thinking of the same opponent. Mick says that they are. Oh—I guess that's why he's not worried about Deaner getting in any offense.
(5) DR. STEVIE vs. ABYSS
Mick Foley has joined Tenay and Taz on commentary. Stevie jumps Abyss from behind, runs him into the barricade, then tries to get Dr. Stevie counted out. Abyss makes it back to the ring, so Dr. Stevie stomps on him a bit. Abyss gets to his knees. Dr. Stevie punches him in the face, but Abyss no-sells it. He continues to no-sell as he gets up. Dr. Stevie comes off the ropes to make an impact, but right into a right hand from Abyss. He tries to escape into the corner, where Abyss charges him. A Black Hole Slam finishes him off.
WINNER: Abyss in one minute (two from the initial ambush).
After the match Kevin Nash sneaks up behind Abyss. Abyss turns around into a clothesline, and Nash works him with some high knees. Dr. Stevie joins in. Mick's stood all he can and he can't stand no more (his words), so he makes the save. Nash and Dr. Stevie scatter.
World Elite are in the ring. Young says that there seems to be a lot of controversy around the World Elite, and he wouldn't have it any other way. That hasn't deterred them from their main goal of recruiting Hernandez. They want him to become one of their brothers and to be treated as an equal. If he isn't treated as an equal, someone will have to suffer. Alex Shelley is playing the Impact video game. Young says that he expected some resistance, but never in his wildest dreams did he expect Hernandez to be so brain-washed as to think the fans consider him an equal. So he wants Hernadnez come down again. Some music starts, which I assume is just another crummy Hernandez remix, but is actually Hector Guerrero. He says that Hernadnez isn't coming out. Last week EY cost him the biggest match of his career, and Hector doesn't want him doing something he'll regret. Maybe Young hasn't heard, but Hernandez has a bit of a temper. But what Hernandez really cares about is giving back to these people. Are they American? No. But these are their people, and this is their country. So EY should stop this before things get out of hand. Young says that he didn't start this, we did when we treated him and his beliefs as second-rate. The only reason Hector's still standing is because Young respects him and what the Guerreros have meant to this business. So he wants Hector to go to the back and tell Hernandez to watch carefully, because tonight they'll be giving him a reason to come talk to them.
I like the not-attacking of Hector Guerrero—consistent villains are a plus.
Tara is walking around backstage.
Tara hits the ring. Oh—I assumed we were talking about Awesome Kong earlier.
(6) TARA vs. CODY DEANER
Deaner comes out in sparring pads. We go to the Guns for commentary on the joke match. Sabin says that Deaner has the type of mustache that commands authority. Shelley says that it's also the type of mustache that commands a white van for child-molesting. Deaner stomps around a bit before letting Tara get in the first shot. She knocks him back, the beats him into the corner. He tries to leap at her, but she steps aside and takes him down. He goes for the Crane Kick, but she just steps back and beats him down again. She locks in an Arm Bar, but he gets a hand on the rope. She dodges another charge, and Deaner connects with the ref. Shelley says that that should constitute a win for him by itself. While the ref is out, Kong sneaks behind Tara, squishes her against the corner, and nails her with an Implant Buster. The ref wakes up, sees the fallen Tara, and proclaims Deaner the winner by knockout.
WINNER: Cody Deaner in three minutes. Remember how I admitted it made sense to only give Dinero vs. Lethal five minutes cause this was a stacked show? Yeah.
We see the end of the last match again, in yet another example of great time management.
Lauren catches up with Cody Deaner on his way out. She tries to question how he can beat ODB when he barely squeaked out a win tonight. He disagrees with her analysis. He's added Tara to the list of people he's knocked out, along with Mike Tyson, Chuck Norris, and Carrot Top, who's seriously jacked. He says something about making history at No Surrender.
Tenay and Taz announce Lethal Lockdown match between the eight people involved in tonight's first match.
Tenay throws it to security footage from Lashley's gym. Rhino walks up and starts talking, then knees Lashley in the groin. He pounds him against the ground, screaming obscenities and a welcome to TNA. I don't think he's really acting very welcoming.
(7) AJ STYLES & DANIELS (w/STING) vs. SAMOA JOE & KURT ANGLE (w/MATT MORGAN?)
Joe comes out to Angle's music, which has to be a bit humbling. Morgan comes out after the MEM. Angle is not happy to see him. Morgan sets up a chair at ringside. Kurt Angle takes Daniels down with a headlock to start, but Daniels comes back with a Leg Lariat. He makes the tag. AJ hits a Body Slam and a Knee Drop, so Angle rakes his eyes makes the tag. When Joe comes in, AJ Hurricanranas him from the mat—that always amazes me. He tags in Daniels, who Joe immediately squishes. Daniels creates some distance though and hits a Code Breaker. AJ tags in, and they (almost) hit a Hi/Low—AJ whiffed a bit on the low part. Joe connects with a huge Knife-Edged Chop as he gets up and slams AJ into corner. AJ rolls away, but then charges right into Joe's Ura-Nage. Angle tags in and covers for two. He works a standing waist lock—AJ powers out, but again walks back into a high impact move in the form of an Overhead Release Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Angle tags out, but helps with a Double Suplex during the five count. AJ fights out, but Joe catches him with a Snap Slam. AJ kicks out at two; Joe tries to transition into an Arm Bar, but AJ blocks it. Joe looks for a Samoa Drop, but AJ slips out and hits the Pele. Both men tag out. Daniels hits a couple quick clotheslines and an STO for two. He misses with a high knee in the corner, but when Angle tries to tag advantage with the Olympic Slam Daniels reverses it into an Arm Drag, then hits a quick Flatliner that transitions into a Koji Clutch. Joe tries to break up with a Knee Drop at two, but Daniels rolls out of the way. Kurt gets up into another Ura-Nage. Daniels tags in AJ, then hits the BME. AJ follows up with a Frog Splash from halfway across the ring. Joe breaks it up with a Senton Splash at two. He tosses Daniels to the outside, but when he goes for a chair Sting gets in his way. I'm not sure why he didn't just whack Sting. Morgan holds a chair up for Angle while the ref is dealing with Joe. Angle tries to ram AJ into it, but AJ reverses it at the last second and Angle eats the steel. AJ connects with a School Boy and Sting rolls in the ref for the 1-2-3.
WINNERS: AJ & Daniels in seven minutes. That was about as good as a seven-minute main event could reasonably be. **1/2
After the match, Angle has words with Morgan in the ring. Morgan says that it was his bad. Kurt slaps him, and Morgan snaps. Angle goes for a ride on the Hellevator.
In the back, World Elite have Homicide down. They carry him towards the ring.
We're back from the break at 10:59. Young is choking out Homicide with what appears to be a Mexican flag. He knows Hernandez is watching, since he told "old man Riviera" to tell him to. Hernandez runs down. He comes into the ring with a Double Clothesline that takes out both Brits, then tosses Kiyoshi and Bashir from the ring. Eric Young comes at him with a chair, but Hernandez catches it. Young flees. Hernandez hands Homicide the chair while he goes to scare off the rest of World Elite. Homicide whacks him in the back with the chair. Taz says that he never saw this coming—dude, I just vouched for your non-moronness. In rapid succession, the Brits hit Hernadnez with their double team drop, Bashir hits the WMD, and Kiyoshi hits a Kamikazee Headbutt. Homicide and Young shake hands, then Homicide drapes the flag over Hernandez, yelling something about gringos. The rest of World Elite hold him on their shoulders to close out the show.
Where We're Going: Ugh—the dreaded LAX breakup finally occurred. With Young the clear leader of the World Elite, which is only a moderately prominent faction to begin with, I think this has to be a demotion from where Homicide should be on the card. Conversely, it's probably a step up from where he actually was featured, which was nowhere. Still, it would have been nice to have one tag team member finally get a singles push without the gratuitous break up. Such is life. It was really very telegraphed, though I have to admit that I didn't figure out they were pulling the trigger tonight till after the commercial break, so they should get credit for that much suspense.
Star of the Night: Daniels. He put in the strongest performance in a match that also featured Angle, AJ, and Joe. That's pretty damned impressive.
Overall: This is the first show in weeks I've really enjoyed. It suffered from some extremely serious time-management issues—Cody Deaner should not be getting three segments when you only have five minutes for Jay Lethal—but even the worst bits moved forward some legitimate project (e.g. Tara-Kong). The Homicide heel turn was too foreshadowed, but I guess that's better than it being too under-motivated. Moreover, I was very pleased to see it get the main event slot, once again treating Hernandez like a big deal. Both the main event and first women's tag matches were very enjoyable television as well. B+
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. People who want to complain about the mysterious mid-show disappearance can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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