TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 1/14: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Jan 14, 2010 - 10:00:10 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
I'm going real time tonight, but might be a bit slower than normal—I still don't quite have typing on a netbook down.
Where We've Been: For all pro wrestling organizations' prediliction for hyperbole, not only was last Monday night the biggest Impact of all time, but it was the biggest Impact of all time by a fairly considerable margin. Hogan was almost the least important player, being overshadowed by Jeff Hardy, Ric Flair (sort of), and even his own man Eric Bischoff. The best part of the night was the heel tease by Hogan; apparently that was actually an accident, as Jarrett was supposed to be clearly heel. I'd run with it though—if I have to choose either Foley or Bischoff, that's a pretty easy choice, and Hogan's face act has been old for almost twenty years. Adaptability has never been TNA's strong suit, however, so I would expect an unambiguous Jarrett heel turn tonight. The TNA website says that we're also scheduled to see Joe vs. Wolfe, which is random, but could be a killer main event. At some point they really should give Wolfe a big win before he loses his main-event luster.
We not surprisingly start off by recapping last Monday. Tenay then reminds us that there's a PPV Sunday, which I'd honestly forgotten.
A new tag team comes out—they remind me of The Naturals when they debuted.
(1)ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN vs. GENERATION ME
Some guy, “Max”, does a bit of decent chain wrestling with Sabin. Shelley tags in just long enough to work a quick double team. “Jeremy” tries to interfere, but gets caught with stereo kicks to the head. Shelley tags in and works a headlock on Max, till he powers out. We go to a split-screen shot of the nWo walking around. Like with the cutaways to Flair last week, I'm not digging the symbolism. Max suddenly elevates Shelley over the ropes with a back body drop, then flips over Sabin for some type of Moonsault-style float over Neck Breaker—who is this guy? Jeremy tags in and keeps Shelley from reentering, catches Sabin with an Inverted Atomic Drop, then slides out the apron and hits a Moonsault on Shelley in one fast motion. He comes in with a Slingshot X Factor onto Sabin for a long two count. I thought they had it. Sabin fights out of the corner with a boot and an Ensuguri, but when he goes for a Bulldog on Jeremy Max Superkicks his head off. Sabin fights his way back with a couple of arm wrenches and tags in Shelley. Shelley enters with a side kick off the top rope, but he misses with a German Suplex attempt and gets whacked by a Spear. Generation Me hit a simultaneous Frog Splash/Standing Moonsault; Sabin breaks up the cover at two, then gets tossed from the ring. Shelley flights out of the corner with a Flat Liner to Max into the middle turnbucke, and Sabin comes in with a Cross Body Block onto Jeremy. The Guns work a double team for a two count, broken up by Jeremy, who again tosses Sabin from the ring. Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2, but Max shoves him into a Superkick from a returning Jeremy. They Oklahoma Roll Shelley into the corner, then hit him with a 450 Splash and a Moonsault off the top rope in rapid succession—and that's all she wrote.
WINNERS: Generation Me. I'm all for upsets, but did it have to be on the back of the Guns?
The Nasty Boys are still trashing Team 3D's locker room, and have apparently been defecating in Devon's bag. Team 3D start pounding on the door, but they're not opening it.
As we come back, Hogan announces that Kurt Angle is going to get one last shot at AJ Styles's title. He also says that there's one major “impact player” set to debut at Genesis. I am once again glad that I don't follow personnel business, since now I can speculate. I wonder what Goldberg's doing lately?
Kurt Angle hits the ring, mic in hand. He wants to give credit where credit is due. When he won the World Title in September, he proved himself, and when he beat Angle last week, he showed that Sting didn't hand him anything. Last week Angle gave him everything he had, but AJ was the better man—for one night. When two great athletes compete, you win some and you lose some, but what really makes a champion is winning that last big one, and that'll be Kurt Angle does at Genesis. Even if Kurt wins, I'd think AJ would deserve a rematch. Maybe AJ agrees, since he's out to the ring. The way Tenay words it, Sunday will be Kurt's last shot for “AJ's title” in 2010—for a second I was afraid it was his last title shot in 2010 period, which would basically be a guarantee that Angle would win. AJ appreciates that Kurt owned up to losing last week, but if this were a series of matches, AJ would still come out on top. I think the series record is 3-2 AJ, but I could be wrong. AJ says that this'll be Kurt's last shot for “this title”--damnit, what's the stipulation? Kurt doesn't care, since he only needs one shot. They share a handshake and a hug. Kurt leaves. We cut to commentary hyping Genesis, but suddenly AJ is ambushed by the masked man on his way to the back. He beats AJ into the ring, and peels back the mask to reveal...Tomko? I did not foresee that. I feel an Angle heel turn coming on.
I took advantage of the commercial to read up on Generation Me—they seem to be The Hardys 2.0, complete with founding their own backyard wrestling league.
Christy is in the back with “The Band”, who bear a suspicious resemblance to the nWo. Bubba The Love Sponge comes by and says that a man should ask the hard questions. He wants to know where Mick Foley is. They talk about how excited they are to be back together, and how they have all new hits. Sponge admits that he doesn't get much.
The Beautiful People go to ringside to hug...Angelina Love? Does Hogan have the power to grant work visas? It'd make a lot of the past few weeks worthwhile if she turned face by punking out The Beautiful People for betraying the division.
(2)MADISON RAYNE & VELVET SKY vs. HAMADA & AWESOME KONG Non-title match
Hamada locks up with Velvet Sky to start. The ref breaks it up, and Velvet Sky takes advantage, yanking Hamada down by the hair. She stands her up and Bulldogs her back down for two. She tags in Rayne, who connects with some shoulder thrusts in the corner. Sky tags back in. They look for a double team Russian Leg Sweep, but take a second to taunt Kong first. That gives Hamada the chance to slip out and make the tag. This won't go well for the Beautiful People. Kong stacks them up in the corner, splashes them, and then kills Rayne with an Awesome Bomb.
WINNERS: Awesome Kong and Hamada in two minutes. After the match everyone goes to check on Rayne, including Angelina Love.
The crowd's glad to see Love...and maybe I called this one right, cause she just kicked down Von Erich and Speared Sky out of her boots. Love zeroes in on Sky, following her out and whipping her into the guard rail. On her way backstage she comments about what a bad idea it was to try to replace her.
AJ storms into what used to be Foley's office, where he finds Eric Bischoff. He asks where Hogan is, but Bischoff would prefer that AJ refer to him as “Mr. Hogan”. Bischoff says that Mr. Hogan is busy, and that maybe he can help. AJ points out what just happened, and that he promised that the next time “the mystery man” put his hands on AJ it'd be the last thing he ever did. Bischoff tells AJ to think carefully about what he really wants, but AJ is dead set on a match with Tomko. Bischoff says that he'll need something in return—specifically, he needs a main event, and the way to get one is to have AJ make his match tonight a title defense. AJ tells him to book it. After he leaves, Bischoff mumbles about how he loves that kid.
JB goes to the office, which I just noticed has Hogan's name on the door. Bischoff is on the phone, telling someone how welcome he'll be. JB says that he sympathizes with what Eric had to do last week, since he was provoked, but he really wants to know where Mick is now. Bischoff points out that Mick only got in cause JB opened the door, so the beating last week is on him. He also says that if JB really cares about Mick he should look for him, since he (Bischoff) doesn't have any clue where he is. He also warns JB that if he ever screws up like he did last week, he'll be fired. JB leaves, and Beer Money come in. They say they have no problem with Bischoff, but they do have a problem with “his boys” Hall, Nash, and Waltman. Bischoff asks why they think those guys are his boys, but they say that whatever he's calling them they don't like being jumped in the back. Wait, when did they say that the nWo did that? Was that supposed to be obvious? Bischoff helps himself to Storm's beer, then says he'll think about granting them a match at Genesis.
Lethal Consequences come down for a match, but before they get to ring Lashley ambushes them from behind. You know what's a good way to get released from your contract? Assault and battery—usually they'll let you go if they're sending you to jail. Lashley drives Lethal into the steps, comes into the ring and spine busters Creed. He finishes off Creed with a Dominator, and Kristal joins him in the ring, mic in hand. She asks if they have Eric's attention now. They still haven't had the meeting she requested with Mr. Hogan, and until they do every member of the TNA roster will be destroyed one by one. The Lashleys saunter off, and Lethal Consequence's scheduled opponents Team 3D come down to the ring. On their way, Ray floors Lethal with an ax handle.
(3)TEAM 3D vs. LETHAL CONSEQUENCES
Ray and Devon hit the 3D on Creed, then make the cover.
WINNERS: Team 3D in about five seconds.
After the match, Ray grabs a mic and tells production to cut his music. After they wrestled in front of 50,000 people in the Tokyo Dome they went to talk to the press, and the first thing they were asked was whether they heard what happened in the US. They hadn't, and had to learn from the Japanese media that the Nasty Boys trashed their locker room. Ray is aghast—where have the Nasty Boys even been for the last ten years? Hogan comes to TNA and the Nasty Boys ride his coattails—Ray's amazed that Hogan can even walk with those two “fat asses” attached. They couldn't get into their own locker room, so they had to change in the hall like a couple of kids. That's a good point—when did Team 3D get their own locker room? Anyway, Ray says to say hello to his little friend, brandishing the ax. They head backstage. Ray pauses to get their name plate from the door before busting it in. Ray and Devon are momentarily frozen by the smell, which is enough for The Nasty Boys to attack from behind. A plodding beat down ensues. Ray and Devon are welcomed to Nastyville. I might be willing to pay an extra $5 for this match not to be on the Genesis card.
Tomko talks about he took a punk kid in AJ under his wing and mad him tag team champion—um, he was already a three time World Heavyweight Champion, but okay.
Sean Morley hits the ring to suspiciously porn-sounding music. So the thing about Morley is that he really does seem to have all the tools to be awesome—which makes it completely baffling why he sucks so much. He says that he and TNA were made for each other, since he used to earn his living with a different kind of T & A. He used to need a stage name to perform, but now those days are behind him. He's a fully fledged “artiste”, directing, producing, and distributing some of the most creative films of all time. When Morley came by last week, he realized that TNA was ready to explode into the mainstream, except that they were missing one thing to make it—a film division. His films will be works of art, and they will not be the kind to go direct to video—ha (in case any of you just watch TNA, WWE just released The Marine 2 direct to video)! Daniels apparently wants Morley to end on the best note of the promo, since he comes down to the ring. He loves the idea of TNA Films, and he'd like to pitch a screenplay idea to Morley—it's a little edgy, but he thinks Morley's just the guy to bring it to the screen. You have one great heroic character, who meets a real sleazy character, and after some M Night Shyamaan style twists and turns the sleazy character ends up in the gutter, where he belongs—Daniels STOs Morley out of nowhere. He lifts him up and nails a Ura-Nage, then finishes Morley off with a BME. The crowd is cheering, but Daniels tells them to keep their mouths shut. If Sean wants to bring art to TNA, it'll be over his dead body. He doesn't know who Morley knows that he got into the building, but he makes Daniel sick. He didn't get get fired and fight his way back only to have someone like Morley slither his way in. He picks Morley up for some more punches, but Morley suddenly fights back. Daniels flees. The commentators are selling Morley as the face here, calling Daniels “paranoid”, but isn't the idea of a film division supposed to be silly?
Tara hypes her upcoming 2 out of 3 falls match with ODB for the title at Genesis.
(4)MATT MORGAN & HERNANDEZ vs. BEER MONEY INC.
Storm sidesteps a charging Hernandez to start. Hernandez lifts Storm out to the apron, but Storm kicks him and comes back with a Neck Breaker from the top rope. Roode tags in and they hit the Beer Money Suplex, but don't notice that Hernandez has made the tag to Morgan. Morgan squishes Roode in the corner and hits a side slam for two. Roode gets up firing and tags in Storm. They try for a double clothesline; Hernnadez blind tags himself in, but Morgan stops himself and goes for a double Choke Slam anyway. It's reversed by kicks to the gut, but Hernadnez comes in with a slingshot shoulder block. They roll out of the ring, and Super Mex flies out after them. While Hernandez is out there, Rob Terry attacks, and the ref throws the match out.
Morgan beats Terry backstage, when “The Band” come down to the ring, and Beer Money can't keep up with the three-on-two assault. TNA security comes to break things up, but Scott Hall does not seem to respect their official status. Bischoff hits the stage, mic in hand.
During the break Bischoff apparently told Beer Money that they should have been careful what they wished for. He is now in the ring with The Band. He just doesn't know what he's going to do with them. Hall thinks he should give them a raise. Last week it was Foley, and this week it's Beer Money. Waltman says that's what they thought he wanted, but he says it isn't. At Genesis it will be Hall & Nash vs. Beer Money. Sting is watching from the rafters again—I guess it's not Hogan who interests him.
We cut to another video of Tomko, who talks about how AJ seems to have risen through the ranks while Tomko was out “with a shoulder injury” for over a year. Is that what they're calling WWE tryouts these days? Anyway, at first he was happy for AJ, but when AJ wouldn't return his calls he realized what the deal was.
Wait a minute, when did they film these interviews? Shouldn't someone have let AJ know before he got ambushed again?
The Pope is on commentary for the next match. I guess they're meeting again on Sunday.
(5)DESMOND WOLFE vs. SAMOA JOE
Joe powers Wolfe into the corner and unloads with a messing load of jabs. Joe whips him into the opposite corner and follows him with a running elbow and a jumpkick. Wolfe gets out swinging, but gets caught with a snap power slam. Joe looks for the Kokido Clutch, but Wolfe backs him into the corner. Wolfe goes for his running back elbow, but Joe catches him with a Ura-Nage. Wolfe charges into another one, but this time he reverses it into an arm drag and follows up with his hammerlock takedown. The running elbow connects on try number two. Joe shoves Wolfe away from the corner and climbs to the top rope. Wolfe knocks his legs out from under him and looks for the Tower of London, but Joe locks in the Kokido Clutch from the top rope. While in the hold, Wolfe is still able to connect with the Tower of London, which is enough for the kill.
WINNER: Desmonde Wolfe in 3 minutes. I think the right man won, but they totally failed to make this seem like a big deal, both because of how the match was presented and how much time it got.
On his way out, Wolfe says that if he can beat Joe, Pope should think about what Wolfe can do to him. Pope starts trash talking back, but he's too bleeped for me to tell what he says. Wolfe just looks at the camera and says that we all saw what Wolfe did to Joe, and that Pope is a dead man.
Ric Flair shows up in a limo.
Tomko says that his plan paid off, since he gets AJ for the World Heavyweight Championship. I guess they're filming these now—how then do they have background music?
Jarrett storms into Hogan's office. Hogan wants him to keep it quick. He says that Hogan gave Dixie credit for pushing the young guys, but the truth is that those young guys aren't worth anything. There isn't any talent in this company but him—it's always been him. He brought a lawyer, since last week Hogan came very close to defamation of character. Hogan wants to know what character there is to defame. Jarrett says that he must have character to found TNA, but Bischoff cuts him off. He's sick of hearing about how Jarrett founding this company, since TNA would have been a blip if it hadn't been for Dixie bailing it out. Jarrett turns to Hogan and asks if he's planning to hide behind his desk all night. Hogan isn't. He gets up, saying that there's nothing in his contract that says that he can't kick Jarrett's ass. Um, I don't think you need a contract to tell you you're not supposed to do that. Jarrett backs away, hiding behind his lawyer. After he leaves, Bischoff comments that he needs an attitude adjustment, and Hogan says that he's going to get it.
This segment was bullshit—I don't care how much of a hero Hogan wants to be, this sudden changing of Jarrett's tune and his anomalous cowardice just don't make sense after his comments last week.
Ric Flair comes out to the commentary booth, with a new cover on the one entrance music even Vince McMahon can't copyright.
(6)AJ STYLES vs. TOMKO World Heavyweight Championship Match
We start to get the full main-event intro, but Styles jumps the bell and attacks Tomko. Tomko tries to fire back, but AJ ducks and takes out his leg. Tomko rolls out of the ring, but AJ stays on him. He starts whacking Tomko's left arm into the steps, the ring post, and the barricade. He rolls Tomko into the ring as Angle appears in the entrance-way AJ kicks Tomko in the face, but is distracted a bit by Kurt and gets flung from the ring. Kurt goes up to shake Flair's hand as Tomko brings AJ back into the ring for a running power slam for two. Tomko hits some punches and chops on AJ in the corner. AJ starts firing back, but runs right into a big boot for two.
We come back just in time for a snap power slam from Tomko for a surprisingly long two count. Tomko chokes AJ twice, breaking at four both times. He then uses a leg choke, again working the full five count. Tomko appears to be bleeding from his mouth. AJ fights from his knees, but Tomko hoists him up for a slam. AJ slips out, hits a standing Ensuguri, then connects with the Pele for the win. That was a bit anti-climactic.
WINNER: AJ Styles in eight minutes.
After the match Tomko goes on the attack, but Kurt Angle runs down to make the save. He tosses Tomko from the ring, then extends his hand to AJ. AJ mysteriously walks away. Flair watches on with a slight smile.
We end on a video package of Kurt and AJ hyping their upcoming match. When did they film that? I guess they're not pretending to be live.
Where We're Going: We're apparently going back with Plan A, which had Jarrett being an obnoxious heel, Hogan being an unambiguous face, and pretty much anyone who wants TNA to be TNA-y acting heelish.
Star of the Night: Angelina Love. I was hoping for the face turn, but I didn't really expect it that way (I though The Beautiful People would strike the first blow if anyone did). She looked good.
Overall: This show started really well. After that, it sucked. I mean it was actively counterproductive. It seems like the people who want to make TNA into WWE are getting pushed as faces, and everyone else is a heel. Jarrett inexplicably hates the young talent after saying THE EXACT OPPOSITE THING LAST F'ING WEEK. AJ Styles, the epitome of all things TNA, is inexplicably grumpy. And I really think I could ignore all of that happily if it weren't for the fact that we're seemingly expected to cheer the man who wants to start TNA films. No way, I'm done. In addition, having Joe lose in three minutes is quite possibly the most baffling booking decision since Jesse Neal pinned Hernandez—they really couldn't find another five minutes somewhere in the show? I have a long list of places they could have looked. Really the only things this show did right were the Bischoff/Band ambiguity, Angelina Love returning, the first AJ-Angle segment, and the debut of Generation Me (though even then I would have had another team do the job—Team 3D, I'm looking in your direction here). I'd say this was the sharpest drop off in quality this show has ever had, but then I remember the Nash hosted Impact a few weeks back. Maybe they have some sort of rotating writing gig, and now we got stuck with whoever penned that piece of garbage? I hope so, cause that means we have to deal with this at most once a month or so. Elevated almost entirely by the first three segments (and, in all fairness, Joe-Wolfe, which was good, if a waste) this gets up to a C-.
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