TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 12/17: Complete coverage of Jeff Jarrett confronting his past, final PPV build-up
Dec 17, 2009 - 10:00:03 PM
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TNA Impact Report on Spike TV
December 17, 2009
Taped Dec. 8 in Orlando, Fla.
Report by James Caldwell, Torch assistant editor
Daniel Wilkenfeld is off this week boycotting Impact after last week's mud-wrestling farce. Let's see what happens this week with the Final Resolution lead-in show. TNA Impact opened with a video recap of Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley's meeting last week. Also, A.J. Styles being jumped by a mystery assailant the previous few months and Styles vs. Daniels for the PPV. Plus, Kevin Nash "booking" the show last week.
Tonight: Jeff Jarrett returns to TNA. What happened between Mick Foley and Hulk Hogan in os Angeles?
Earlier today: Jeremy Borash caught up with Mick Foley, who was storming around mad about something. Foley pie-faced Borash in the face on the way to the Impact Zone where he walked up to Kevin Nash at the announce table to start beating the crap out of him Cactus Jack-style. Foley stumbled around before knocking Nash into a railing. They cleared a row of seats as Foley tried to maul Nash. Foley created movement clearing chairs before World Elite stormed the area to hold back Foley. Nash told Foley he's done.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay and Taz were shown hyping a "power keg" between Foley and Hogan they'll talk about later. Remember, Jeff Jarrett is back tonight.
Last week: They rolled clips of Jarrett and Foley's "summit" with Foley and Jarrett talking insider non-sense 90 percent of the audience has no idea what they're referring to.
Backstage: Lauren was with Roxxi, who was back on the show after an absence. Roxxi talked about "trying to get her ring skills better" during her time off. She said she's been working on fitness competitions to improve her fitness as well. She's looking to get back in the Knockouts Title hunt after putting in some time in the gym.
[Commercial Break. The January 4 Impact ad that aired during Raw and ECW was shown.]
Later tonight: Tenay threw out a random plug for a 10-man tag match later in the show. I think a match with that much star power deserves more than a two-second plug.
Backstage: Borash was with Kurt Angle, who did not look happy. Angle said he feels great and he wants TNA to throw everything at him so he can get back on top. He said he hasn't lost since September - and that was a four-way match. Angle said his job won't be done until he becomes World champ again. He said Desmond Wolfe might be one of the top two or three wrestlers in TNA, but Wolfe don't blemish his record. Borash then asked Angle for his thoughts on Jeff Jarrett returning to the Impact Zone. Angle just stared at Borash and went to his locker. TNA needs to give some background on this. It's so silly how they're presenting this "insider-based" storyline thus far.
Video package: They focused on the ODB vs. Tara feud leading to their Knockouts Title match at the PPV on Sunday.
Impact Zone: Roxxi came to the ring for her return to TNA. The crowd was receptive and she bowed in the ring to thank them for the support. KO champ ODB then came to the ring to face Roxxi in a non-title match.
1 -- Knockouts champion ODB vs. ROXXI -- non-title match
ODB controlled the match from the start. She then delivered a Bronco Buster in the corner and the announcers offered a sophomoric attempt at a double entendre. ODB tried to follow with a charging splash in the opposite corner, but Roxxi moved and rammed ODB head-first into the corner turnbuckle pad. Roxxi followed with multiple right arm forearm blows before hitting the Voo Doo Drop for a nearfall. ODB then pounded her face to "wake up" and she rolled up Roxxi for a two count. Roxxi then jack-knife pinned ODB, but she only scored a two count. ODB then went looking for her flask to get some liquid courage, but the ref reprimanded ODB and Roxxi rolled up ODB for the pin and the win.
Post-match: ODB took her flask and blasted Roxxi across the back of the head. ODB tried to choke the life out of Roxxi before Tara stormed the ring to chase off ODB. Tara was selling a black eye following their trailer park throw-down last week. ODB mocked Tara to set up their title match on Sunday.
WINNER: Roxxi in 5:00. Solid Knockouts match. Roxxi looked sharp and moved well in the ring. The build-up for the title match at the PPV was well-done as well. (*1/2)
Up next: Mick Foley and Borash in Los Angeles looking for Hulk Hogan. Foley said the flight arrangements sucked, as they were on the back of the plane "by the crapper."
Earlier this week: They showed Foley driving a vehicle with Jeremy Borash to Los Angeles. They arrived at the house where Foley was to meet with Hogan in the gym. They cut to a shot of Foley doing a biceps curl. Out came "The Hulk" Lou Ferrigno. Foley wondered if this was some sort of joke. (So did the audience.) Foley said he went through two days of crappy flights and lay-overs for this. Ferrigno told him not to get angry, but Foley stormed out of the gym.
Earlier Today: They replayed the opening segment from "earlier today" when Foley attacked Nash upon "arriving back in Orlando" after the trip to Los Angeles. Tenay said Foley wasn't happy with the "swerve" from Kevin Nash sending him to Los Angeles.
Backstage: Nash stormed out of his office and ripped a mic from Jeremy Borash, who was standing in the hallway. Nash screamed into the camera that Foley made the biggest mistake of his life putting his hands on him and he just signed his death warrant. Nash said he's counting the days until January 4 when Hulk Hogan will be on Impact. "You will be unemployed," Nash said.
[Commercial Break. They cut back mid-commercial. Tenay announced team captains Matt Morgan and Brother Ray will battle in a Final Resolution preview up next.]
Foley's office: Borash talked to Mick Foley, who wanted a clarification that Hulk Hogan will actually be arriving on January 4. Foley said he's circling the wagons as they speak. He said he's had his problems with Jeff Jarrett in the past, but he needs as many allies as possible. Suddenly, Abyss Chris Parks walked in limping around. He asked Foley if he forgot that he's his ally. Abyss asked Foley if he forgot about their match at Final Resolution while he was out in Los Angeles "jack-assing around." Foley said he did not forget and he has not forgiven. He said he will not forget what Dr. Stevie has done to them. Foley vowed to have Abyss's back if Abyss will have his back. Abyss got real close to Foley and said he has Foley's back. Foley then called him a sociopath for getting in the (un-hyped) ten-man tag later tonight despite being burned last week.
Backstage: Lauren was with The Pope, Suicide, Matt Morgan, and Hernandez for an interview. Pope counted money, Suicide looked around, Morgan stared at the ceiling, and Hernandez stared at Lauren before Morgan started a promo. Morgan said some stuff before plugging his match against Brother Ray tonight. Pope wasn't ready to leave for the ring, though. Pope said the future stands before them right here. Suicide did his gun-to-the-head motion for no apparent reason.
Impact Zone: Rhino led out Team 3D and Jesse Neal for a preview for Final Resolution. Matt Morgan then walked out with Hernandez and Pope, but Suicide was nowhere to be found. Suicide then showed up a little late for the party.
2 -- MATT MORGAN (w/Hernandez, The Pope, and Suicide) vs. BROTHER RAY (w/Brother Devon, Jesse Neal, and Rhino)
After a few moments of action, the lumberjacks on the outside teased a fight, but the focus returned to the action where Morgan landed his signature rapid-fire elbow smashes in the corner. Ray then came back with an elbow smash and he dumped Morgan to the floor for Team Ray to land some shots before there was a stand-off. Back in the ring, Ray dropped Morgan with a neckbreaker for a two count. Morgan then made a comeback and landed a scoop slam for a two count. Ray tried to roll to the floor for a time-out, but Morgan's help blasted him with right hands. Back in the ring, Ray was fully recovered to do his Dusty Rhodes routine before Morgan hit a chokeslam. Ref Hebner was then distracted and the action broke down in and out of the ring. Hebner was then distracted by Devon allowing Neal to low-blow Morgan. Ray then hit a DDT on Ray and pinned him for the win. The announcers reminded viewers that Hernandez is alone for the first five minutes on Sunday.
WINNER: Brother Ray in 5:00. The match had the expected outside interference and referee incompetence to complete the standard TNA TV match. The hype was fine, though, for the eight-man tag match at the PPV to see Team Ray get its comeuppance... that is, if anyone is interested in the eclectic babyface mix where TNA has somehow managed to make the sum of the parts less than the parts.
Hogan promo: They aired a video package recapping Hulk Hogan's TNA partnership leading to January 4. The ominous words of Dixie Carter talking about the "coming changes" was included. A calendar was shown flipping at a rapid pace before stopping on January 4.
Announcers: Tenay said they are counting down the days until Impact is live on January 4 for the debut of Hulk Hogan. For some reason, they cut to a ten-second shot of the fans in the arena. Probably not a good choice. Sorry, but the audience in the Impact Zone just doesn't look "major league."
Jarrett video: They went back to seven years ago when Jeff Jarrett founded TNA. More focus on Jarrett's "power control" storylines through the years. They showed Dixie talking in very general terms about Jarrett having a "personal situation" that "affected everyone."
Backstage: They showed a white car pull up with Mick Foley standing there waiting for the arrival of...Jeff Jarrett. Foley patted Jarrett on the back and Jarrett walked into the building. Taz said this is kind of uncomfortable. They showed staff members turning and staring at Jarrett as if he had leprosy.
Of note, we're 55 minutes into the show without a single look at or mention of the TNA World champion.
Backstage: Lauren was with Beer Money to talk about being in the Feast or Fired match. Roode said if they grab the wrong case, it could be the end of Beer Money. Storm screamed that they're putting on the line what they've worked so hard at. He said no one will get in their way. Samoa Joe barged in and said they need to open their eyes. He said he's putting his entire career on the line for his shot. Joe said no one wants to give him another shot, but unlike them, he deserves his shot. Storm said they deserve their shot. In walked Eric Young with Homicide and Bashir. Young said he knows Beer Money wants their shot at the TNA tag titles, but they're looking past Kiyoshi, Bashir, Homicide, Rob Terry, and himself with Kevin Nash. Young said they're in this match to make sure Beer Money never gets another title shot again.
Impact Zone: Beautiful People came out for a six-Knockouts tag match. Unfortunately, they cut to a highlight package on last week's mud-wrestling disgrace. Awesome Kong and Hamada then came out, followed by KO tag champs Taylor Wilde and Sarita.
[Q5 -- second hour]
3 -- BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (VELVET SKY & LACEY VON ERICH & MADISON RAYNE) vs. HAMADA & AWESOME KONG vs. Knockouts tag champions SARITA & SARITA -- non-title match
The bell sounded and Tenay said there is no Impact next week on Christmas Eve. New Year's Eve will have a one-night Knockout tournament and the Best PPV matches of 2009. The action spilled out everywhere in and out of the ring at a fast pace since they were only going a few minutes. After Hamada got in some highspots, they went to the finish where Kong sat on Rayne's chest to score a pin for the win. Post-match: Lauren brought in the Beautiful People on the entrance ramp and Lacey yelled at Lauren to find a backseat to crawl into. We're back to the name-calling of Lauren? Lauren slapped Velvet, then stormed off to the back, leaving the BPs to fume on the ramp.
WINNERS: Kong & Hamada in 2:00. Quick, short match to get in as many spots as possible. Not much here. (n/a)
Backstage: Jarrett shouted at Foley that this is all wrong. "This is a waste of my time!" Jarrett screamed before starting to pace around again. Jarrett said he wants to give "her" a piece of her mind. "I founded this place! No, no, no, I sat at home for five months, for what?!" Jarrett shouted. Foley said he thinks what Jarrett did was wrong and he deserved to go home. Now, he thinks Jarrett needs to be here. Foley told Jarrett to walk into Dixie's office and be proud. He said people here depend on him to put food on the table. Foley said he needs Jarrett to keep his finger on the pulse of TNA and they respect him even if they might be angry with him. Foley told Jarrett to talk with Dixie, but not go in there and blow steam off and be left without a job. Jarrett thought things over, calmed down, and solemnly nodded to go along with the plan.
We're now at 65 minutes without the TNA champ.
Impact Zone: Tenay and Taz randomly talked about which legend will accept Jay Lethal's invitational tonight. Not a clean lead-in.
Backstage: Christy Hemme, with a new hair-do, brought in Jay Lethal for a promo. Lethal had a broom to sweep up the competition for the night. Lethal said The Anvil pulled a fast one on him previously. He said you can bring The Rooster (TNA VP of talent Terry Taylor) or One Man Gang because he's feeling it tonight.
Impact Zone: Jay Lethal came to the ring as the announcers talked about Lethal's "monthly" invitational. They cut to a shot of Jim Niedhart and his gut defeating Lethal. Cue up a generic version of Tatanka's ring entrance. Sounded like a mix between Tatanka, Van Hammer, and Kamala. Weak. Lethal sold shock and awe seeing Tatanka in the ring.
4 -- JAY LETHAL vs. TATANKA
The bell sounded and they locked up with Lethal doing his Randy Savage-style right hand jabs. Tatanka then hit a clothesline as the announcers tried to talk up the veterans have an "experience edge" over Lethal to cover for the ridiculousness of the gimmick. Tatanka delivered a hard chop in the corner, followed by another. Lethal then came off the top with a double axehandle smash for a two count. Tatanka suddenly Hulked Up and started doing a war dance around the ring before landing a series of chops. Tatanka followed with a back body drop and he landed another series of chops. He followed with a Tomahawk chop before going up top for a flying T-Hawk chop for a close two count. Tatanka wanted to finish him off with a Samoan Drop, but Lethal blocked and went up top. Tatanka blocked, though, and landed a Samoan Drop for the pin and the win.
WINNER: Tatanka in 4:00. Tatanka looked sharp compared to when we last saw him on Smackdown a few years ago. Lethal losing these matches doesn't do much for him, though. As a standalone match, this was good for four minutes. (*)
Backstage: Hemme brought in Motor City Machineguns for an interview. Chris Sabin said they're tired of being over-looked by TNA. They don't promote alcoholism and greed like other tag teams, maybe that's why. Or maybe the right people don't get their attitude. He said this is who they are and they aren't changing for anyone. Sabin said they're the best tag team in the world and they'll prove it on Sunday. Alex Shelley said they haven't been handed anything in TNA. Meanwhile, Hemme kept looking into the camera to get the focus on her while Shelley suggested they will out-gun the British Invasion on Sunday in their tag title match. This has been probably the least-hyped title match I've ever seen. Oh wait...
We're now at 79 minutes without a look at the TNA World champ.
Backstage: Foley and Jarrett talked some more. Didn't they already decide to approach Dixie already? Jarrett said he's tired of listening to Foley and he's going to do this one-on-one: Jeff to Dixie. Foley told Jarrett to do it for all of them.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz were shown on-camera. Taz said this is "arguably the most important meeting of Jeff Jarrett's career." Tenay said it's so vital to the future of TNA. They proceeded to break down the Final Resolution PPV line-up. Lethal and Creed are also in the Feast or Fired match. 83 minutes into the show, they focused on the TNA World Title match between Styles and Daniels, but only with a graphic.
Backstage: Jarrett walked down the hallway to approach Dixie Carter's office. Jarrett banged on the door and walked in where Dixie was sitting at her desk trying to act serious. Jarrett paused and stammered before saying he wants to chat. Dixie: "Chat about what, Jeff?" Jarrett quietly said he wants to come back to the company he founded. Carter wants to be crystal clear on the past. She said Jeff put the company in a very difficult position when he lied to him. Carter said when they got on the plane together and went to Pittsburgh to meet with Kurt Angle years ago, Jeff ending up with Kurt's ex-wife was not one of the options they presented to Kurt. Carter said she did him a favor by putting him on the sidelines hoping time would heal this mess. Jarrett rubbed his beard and apologized "if" he disrespected her. That's not much of an apology. Carter said it's not about her and if he thinks the time is right, he needs to face Kurt and take responsibility. She told him to "see what he can do." Jarrett rubbed his beard again and thanked Carter. JC: At least they tried to explain this, but it's just so far "inside" that it completely distracts from the purpose of the show, which is to win matches and compete in the ring in an entertaining way that involves and excites the live and TV audience. The "tone" of Impact is so off-the-wall from segment-to-segment that there isn't any flow or a consistent feel to the show. The writers are just writing to entertain themselves at this point and distracting from the main purpose of a wrestling show.
Video package: They focused on Desmond Wolfe and his program with Kurt Angle. They included Dixie Carter's voice from The Speech several weeks ago on wrestlers stepping up. The video transitioned to a focus on Daniels and A.J. Styles 91 minutes into the show. Tonight, it's Daniels vs. Wolfe with zero pre-match hype.
Impact Zone: Daniels came to the ring as they recapped last week when Daniels got in Wolfe's business and cost Wolfe his title match against Styles. Wolfe then came out to the ring to face Daniels.
5 -- DANIELS vs. DESMOND WOLFE
Wolfe worked over Daniels's neck with a cravate hold early on to control Daniels. Wolfe continued to go back to the hold, then Daniels went to a side headlock to control Wolfe's movements. Nice little technical exchange that will cause people to tune out because TNA has trained the audience to skip the wrestling and wait for the comedy and storylines because TNA's TV focus isn't on wrestling. Daniels eventually broke the headlock and shoved Wolfe to the mat. Wolfe stared a hole into the ringside camera and locked up with Daniels again. Right on cue, the announcers hyped Jeff Jarrett meeting with Kurt Angle up next. My point exactly. Wolfe then hit a European uppercut at 5:00, but Daniels popped up to his feet and knocked down Wolfe with a forearm. Wolfe then went nose-to-nose and slapped Daniels. Daniels responded in-kind. This was followed by a forearm exchange leading to a leg whip from Daniels. Daniels followed with an STO takedown for a two count, then a split-legged moonsault for another two count. Wolfe then followed with his running European uppercut after toe-tapping the opposite corner and charging Daniels. He scored a two count, then went to work on Daniels, who came back with a step-up enziguiri after being shot off to the ropes. Wolfe then blocked Angel's Wings and trapped Daniels in a submission hold focusing on the left shoulder and neck area. Wolfe cranked back on the crossface, but Daniels bit his way out. Daniels followed with a face-jam into the Koji Clutch, but Wolfe broke free. Wolfe wanted to follow with the Tower of London, but Daniels countered into a pin attempt for a two count. Wolfe and Daniels then entered in a nice pin exchange before testing their strength with backslide counters. They started rolling around the ring with multiple pin attempts before the bell sounded. The announcement was a ten-minute time limit expiration. The announcers didn't draw attention to there being a time limit at any point in the match, rendering this an out-of-nowhere finish. The crowd chanted, "Let them fight," as TNA went to a commercial with Daniels and Wolfe having a mid-ring stand-off.
WINNER: Draw at 10:00. Great technical exhibition in the ring from two excellent wrestlers. I wouldn't be surprised if the quarter-hour rating drops, though, based on zero pre-match hype and TNA's history of training their audience to pay attention to the storyline-driven segments and ignoring the wrestling. Just look at how much emphasis has been on Jarrett in a non-wrestling role and how little focus has been on wrestling during this show. (***1/2)
[Commercial Break. Backstage during the break: They showed A.J. Styles leading Lashley and Tomko down the hallway for the ten-man tag match that TNA barely focused on leading to the match. Abyss limped along in the background.]
Backstage: Mick Foley approached Jeff Jarrett to tell him that it's not Dixie in there, referring to Kurt Angle, even if he handled Dixie well. Foley said he trusts Jarrett, but he doesn't trust Angle. Jarrett then walked in with Foley. Angle didn't turn to look. "I heard you were coming," Angle said, as if he were in a movie. Jarrett said "if" he disrespected or offended Angle, he's sorry. Again, a non-apology. Jarrett asked Kurt if he heard him. "I'm sorry," he said. Angle solemnly said he heard what Jeff said. Angle turned around and quietly said he has a match. Angle then walked past Jarrett out of the locker room.
Impact Zone: Cue up Scott Steiner's music for the Impact featured match. Out came Steiner, Raven, Dr. Stevie, and British Invasion. Steiner was sporting a t-shirt featuring Krystal Marshall. A.J. Styles's music hit, then he came out with his five-man team. Raven and Dr. Stevie jumped Abyss before the bell and Raven tried to bite into Abyss's burned leg. Abyss and Raven brawled to the back while Steiner and Lashley picked up their feud ringside. Their brawl moved to the stage area as they went to commercial. Match up next.
6 -- TNA World Hvt. champion A.J. STYLES & BOBBY LASHLEY & ABYSS & KURT ANGLE & TOMKO vs. SCOTT STEINER & RAVEN & DR. STEVIE & TNA tag champs BRITISH INVASION (DOUG WILLIAMS & BRUTUS MAGNUS w/Rob Terry)
Abyss, Raven, Stevie, Lashley, and Steiner were removed from the situation before the commercial break. The bell sounded with four minutes left to go in the show with Kurt Angle facing Magnus. Tomko then tagged in and Brutus raked his eyes. Tomko then smashed Williams with a big boot and he delivered a powerslam. Angle tagged back in and Styles complained about not getting a chance to play. Williams took down Angle with a European Uppercut, then BI hit their weak double-team finisher for a one count on Angle. The announcers briefly talked up Styles having Daniels on Sunday, Bobby Lashley still with a title shot in his back-pocket, and Angle gunning for the title. They suddenly cut backstage where Lashley and Steiner were brawling in the parking lot. Meanwhile, Stevie and Raven were slamming Abyss with trashcan lids. And back to Lashley and Steiner. Oh yeah, and there's a match in the ring. Whoops, rest hold. Cut back to the brawls in the back. There's Angle making a comeback as Taz apologized for giving the audience a headache. Meanwhile, Terry yanked down Tomko and Styles tagged in for his first real focus 119 minutes into the show. Styles teased the Clash on Magnus, but Williams cut him off. Tomko then broke up a BI double-team move and Styles rolled up Magnus for the win.
WINNERS: Team Styles in 4:00. Just a match to get some folks on TV and try to hype as many PPV matches as possible from three different locations while dizzying the audience. Too much in too little amount of time. (n/a)
Post-match: Angle and Styles were left in the ring for a stare down. Angle held the TNA Title belt and Styles yanked it away from him. Angle had some words for Styles before shoving him across the head. They teased an amateur brawl, then Wolfe and Daniels stormed the ring to attack their PPV match opponents. Daniels KO'ed Styles, Wolfe KO'ed Angle, and Daniels grabbed the TNA World Title belt before shouting down at Styles that it's his turn. Daniels flashed the title belt as Wolfe put Angle in a submission hold to close the show and complete the final hype for the PPV. Daniels and Wolfe shook hands to end the show.
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