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WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast

Feb 18, 2010 - 10:00:31 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor

StylesAJ4_130WK_19.jpg
Where We've Been: Sunday's PPV was oddly structured. In the semi-main event, AJ and Joe underwhelmed, as Eric Bischoff shocked the world (or at least me) by not turning heel. AJ retained the title after Flair distracted the ref and AJ connected with the Styles Clash to keep Joe down for approximately 47 minutes. Elsewhere, The Pope won the 8 Card Stud Tournament. That wasn't such a shock, but what was surprising was Ken Anderson's first round elimination of Kurt Angle. This was surprising both because he's Kurt f'ing Angle, and also because it meant putting someone in the tournament final who was one of only two people I was certain couldn't possibly win it (Foley would also have been nuts). He and Pope mostly held up their end of the bargain by putting on a main event that told a decent story (The Band ambushed Pope pre-match), though it lacked the zing of the recent AJ based main-events. Tonight is the first show since TNA announced a move to Monday night, so we'll probably see a host of self-congratulation.

The Show: Lord of the Ring

We recap Hogan telling Bischoff to call the title match down the middle and announcing the move to Monday nights.

[Intro]

Wow--"Lord of the Ring" have been a way better name for the tournament. Yes, of course it's a rip off of King of the Ring, but if WWE doesn't want to take it seriously there's no reason for TNA not to pick it up.

The Pope hits the ring. He thinks there's a party going on in the Impact Zone, presumably cause Pope is pimp'n. He goes over the particulars of his Sunday night pimp'n. Now the only thing standing between Pope and his best bling yet is one Arthur "no class" Jackson and Dick Flair. He plays calling Flair a dick as a Freudian slip. Dick might be a styl'n, profil'n, limousine riding, yada yada, but he will never be the "charismatic pimptacular—hand clapping, foot tapping, pimp slapping, bling attire, always on fire, Pope that is D'Angelo Dinero". Come Lockdown, Pope's going to walk into the cage as challenger, but after all the money has fallen and Arthur is left crawling, Pope will be declared by his congregation to be the new World Heavyweight Champion. AJ Styles, Ric Flair, and their gaggle of women come down to the ring to respond. They come out to Flair's music, which cannot be good for the champ's career. The first thing Flair does is ask the Pope if he can read and write. The crowd boos (I assume) the implicit racism. He tells Pope to read the label of his jacket, which says "Armani". I don't know why he thought that was relevant right now. He says that his name is Ric Flair—it has been and it always will be. When Pope was six years old he was praying to be just like him—he was bling before there was bling. He wants to tell everyone worldwide that he's been with AJ since Sunday, and it's exhausting. AJ is a machine, the best wrestler Flair's ever seen, and custom wearing limousine riding son of a gun. Most importantly, he's the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, and that means that he's the best athlete in the world. Pope says that he hates to repeat himself, but, while Flair's name might be Ric, he's still a dick. If you get a piece of crap, you can get it dressed up and shine it up, but it's still a piece of crap. Flair responds that Pope is hubcap steal'n low rid'n trash, and AJ's suit is worth more than Pope's parents got in green stamps. The crowd doesn't like that none either. Flair wants the women to say something, but Pope says they're too exhausted to talk because they've been riding the "Starlight Express" all night long. AJ thinks he can be as funny as he wants, since AJ's the champion, and Pope is a nobody going nowhere. Pope disagrees, saying that he's everywhere—in fact, he's on AJ right now like white on rice. He pops AJ, but only staves off Flair for a second before the numbers game catches up to him. Flair and AJ lay in with some stomps and low blows. After a few seconds Flair brings in a chair and wraps it around Pope's ankle. Flair stomps it a few times. AJ locks in a Figure Four as Flair pulls up on Pope's arms, putting him in a mini-rack. Where's the help?

This was a really good follow up for the Pope.

[Commercial Break]

We recap moments ago. Usually I don't like this, but I guess selling the chair to the ankle as a big deal makes sense.

Tenay tells us that a former TNA champion will be returning to Impact tonight. I'm again grateful that I don't follow personnel reports, but if they mean world champion then there aren't that many exciting choices. It's probably just Kaz.

(1)DAFFNEY vs. TARA
(Non-title Match)

It's good to see that the Random Match Generator 3001 made the move to the renovated Impact Zone. Tara starts things off with some right hands, and tries to finish the match off quickly with a side slam for two. Daffney gets up firing, but Tara brings her back down with a Back Body Drop. When Tara tries to charge Daffney in the corner she runs right into a Spinning Heel Kick. Daffney follows up with a clothesline and a series of Snapmares where Daffney flips Tara to the mat by her hair. She kicks Tara out of the ring, then backs her into the guardrail. Tara shoves Daffney against the apron, where she grabs a toolbox. Daffney slams Tara in the stomach with it, and that draws the bell.

WINNER: Tara by DQ in 3 minutes.

Daffney continues the beating up towards the stage area. She lays a guardrail across Tara and starts whacking it with a steel chair. Dr. Stevie runs out, grabs the chair, and drags Daffney backstage.

In the back, Mick Foley enters "Mr. Bischoff's" office—there seem to be a couple tailors in the background. Bischoff wants to talk about Against All Odds. Mick starts to apologize for not using the steel bat, but Eric says that clearly Mick tried his best and has nothing to apologize for. In fact, as a token of his appreciation he's going to have his tailors make Mick over. Mick says that if there's something wrong with his outfit, he still has a sports coat from his wedding. Bischoff emphasizes that he's covering everything. Mick suddenly warms to the idea of having his own custom-made clothes, and goes off happy. As soon as Mick leaves Bischoff picks up his phone and tells someone to get Abyss in his office right away. Clearly Mick's going to be ticked next week, but I have the distinct impression that we have "attempted Foley heel turn 3.0" coming.

[Commercial Break]

Kevin Nash is striding purposefully backstage.

Orlando Jordan is now preceded to the ring by a male and a female fashionista. Why is he on TV? Joe's music hits, but just when I'm excited to see Orlando Jordan get pounded we cut to Bischoff telling Joe in the back that this match is his last shot to impress him again.

(2)SAMOA JOE vs. ORLANDO JORDAN
Joe starts things off by stomping a mudhole on Jordan in the corner, then letting him get up into a spin kick. Jordan hits Joe in the throat, but Joe takes him back down with a leg lariat. Joe slaps Jordan down to his knees, but then runs right into a Spine Buster. Jordan works Joe against the ropes, then hits a Neck Breaker. He drops an elbow, then a nice knee for one. His move-set is actually decent—it'd be nice if they gave us a reason to care. Jordan cinches in a rear chin lock. Joe powers out and kills Jordan with a trio of brutal clotheslines and a big Back Body Drop. He follows up with a running knee in the corner, then sets Jordan up on the top rope. He hits some jabs and some chops, but then whiffs on a right hand. Jordan connects with a Back Stabber like maneuver off the top rope for...WTF?

WINNER: Orlando Jordan in four minutes. I know this loss serves a purpose in Joe's story, but did it really have to go to Jordan? Were people like Jay Lethal and Alex Shelley all out with the flu or something?

Abyss is heading to Bischoff's office. He bumps into JB, who doesn't have any information, but does get in an offhand plug for the post-show.

[Commercial Break]

Abyss is in Bischoff's office. Bischoff pointed out that he warned Abyss what would happen if he didn't use the bat, or if there was any gamesmanship. Abyss points out that he did use the tacks, but Bischoff replies that that's not what he asked for. So since Bischoff didn't get the bat, he wants the mask, and with Mick and Hogan both not there, he gets what he wants. Abyss begs him, saying that the mask is his identity. Bischoff warns him not to try to leave, since all the doors are guarded. Um, I really don't think you're allowed to lock your employee in the building.

Christy is in the locker room with Eric Young. He's happy to see Nash back, but Nash himself isn't so happy. He's going down to the ring to address Hall and Pac directly, and EY hopes they find a way in to meet him there.

We recap the announcement of the move to Monday nights. Why don't they make the big announcements on Impact anymore?

[Commercial Break]

Jarrett is sitting around...somewhere?...when Eric Bischoff walks in, sporting the barbed wire baseball bat. Jarrett wants to know what he's going to do with it. Bischoff says that the question isn't what he'll do with it, but what Jarrett will. What Jarrett will do is use it tonight in his match against Abyss. Oh, I guess that's Jarrett's new dressing room. After Bischoff leaves, Jarrett just non-chalantly says okay.

(3)DOUG WILLIAMS, BRIAN KENDRICK, & THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS vs. AMAZING RED, GENERATION ME, & KAZARIAN

Are they not going to bother writing off Suicide? I agree that it's time for him to go, but how often do you get to do a planned write-off. Kaz starts things down with a quick take down on Williams, who tags in Kendrick. Kaz takes him over with a Back Body Drop, then tags in Max of Generation Me. Jeremy comes in to help with the quick double-team dropkick for two. Shelley tags in and hits some type of cradle for a non-count. Shelley works a wrist lock, and tags in Sabin. Sabin hits a slingshot Senton Splash for two. Max gets some distance in the corner and floats over Sabin to Red. Red Matrix-es below a punch, kips back up, then gets a Tilt-a-Whirl DDT for two. Williams tags in and hits some strikes, then a running knee in the corner. He connects with a suplex, but takes too long getting to the top rope, were Red meets him with a spinning jump kick. Kaz tags in, hits a spin kick, a drop kick, and a Neck Breaker that Kendrick has to break up at two. Generation Me come in, take Kendrick over the top rope, then fly out after him. Shelley trips Kazarian from the outside, then comes in for the double team. Kazarian ducks below it and Red takes down both Guns with a dropkick off the top rope. They roll to the outside, but Red follows them out with a somersault off the top rope. Meanwhile, Kazarian hits a slingshot DDT on Williams for the three count in the ring.

WINNERS: Amazing Red, Kazarian, and Generation Me in five minutes. The crowd believes that everyone involved in this match is awesome, and they are correct.

Bischoff is trying to run away, but Slick Johnson corrals him towards the ring for his match with Jarrett.

[Commercial Break]

We recap the press conference again. I'm all for the Monday night move, but with a roster this stacked I'd think getting a second show would be more important than where (within reason) you put the first one.

(4)JEFF JARRETT vs. ABYSS

Jarrett comes down with the barbed wire bat in hand. He shoots Abyss off into the ropes, but gets taken down by a shoulder block. They lock up again. Jarrett kicks Abyss in the face, but Abyss clotheslines him in response. Abyss shoots Jarrett off into the corner; Jarrett tries to float over, but Abyss stops himself and looks for a Shock Treatment. Jarrett slips out and nails an Ensuguri, then chokes Abyss against the rope and struts a bit. Jarrett goes for mounted punches in the corner, but Abyss shoves him off. Jarrett takes him to the outside, where he beats him into the barricade. He sets up a chair and tries to plant Abyss's head into it, but Abyss blocks it and shoves Jarrett's face into the steel in his stead. Abyss rolls back into the ring with the chair, which he sticks between the turnbuckles. He goes back and rolls Jarrett back into the ring. Abyss lets Jarrett get to his feet, then punches him. Jarrett fires back and tries to ram Abyss's head into the chair, but again Abyss blocks it. Both men go for clotheslines, and both go down.

Eric Bischoff appears in the entrance-way.

[Commercial Break]

Abyss nails a side slam as we get back. Abyss stacks Jarrett in the corner, but Jarrett gets his legs up. Double J goes to the top rope for a double sledge, but gets caught on his way down in a Choke Slam for a long two count. Abyss tries to drop an elbow, but Jarrett gets out of the way and gets up firing. He ducks a clothesline attempt and connects with The Stroke. Rather than go for the cover, Jarrett lifts Abyss up and hits a Stroke into the chair in the corner. Jarrett looks up at Bichoff, who tells him to do it now. Jarrett grabs the bat, but when Abyss begs him not to do it he relents and tosses it out of the ring. Since when does Abyss beg not to be hurt? Bischoff grabs a mic, and says that he knew he couldn't trust Jarrett with this kind of job. He calls down a posse of random heels (Raven, Tomko, Rhino, Wolfe, and Homicide), who attack both Abyss and Jarrett.

WINNER: No Contest in 13 minutes. This was a bit slow, but it's nice to see a longer match (and Raven) every now and then. An ending would have been even nicer.

After the match the heels hold Abyss up on his knees as Bischoff goes for the mask. Hogan's music hits, and he strides down to the ring. He grabs a mic and tells Abyss to get his ass back to Hogan's office. Hogan glares at Bischoff, then walks away.

[Commercial Break]

We recap what happened moments ago as security guards escort Abyss to Hogan's office.

Brutus Magnus comes down with his new partner—TNA Global Champion Rob Terry. For those who were wondering if it was possible for that title to be more meaningless, you have your answer.

(5)BRUTUS MAGNUS & ROB TERRY vs. BEER MONEY INCORPORATED

Magnus tries to keep away from Storm to start, but runs into a straight right hand. Terry cheap shots him from the outside, then tags in to hit a Running Power Slam. Magnus makes Terry tag him in, then makes the cover for two. He tags Terry back in. Terry charges Storm in the corner, then Magnus blind tags himself back in. Storm kicks him and makes the tag. Roode comes in with a series of clotheslines and a big Spine Buster. Terry runs in to help, but Storm does likewise and they connect with the Beer Money Suplex. Roode takes Terry over the top rope, and then elevates Storm out and onto him. Storm makes it back in for a quick DWI for the win.

WINNER: Beer Money Inc. in two minutes. I don't want to see Rob Terry turn face. Come to think of it, I don't really want to see Rob Terry. He keeps reminding me that TNA needs a wellness program.

After the match, Rob Terry gets the mic for Brutus Magnus. Brutus says that Rob can't do anything right, and that obviously that belt has cut off circulation to his brain. He is a disgrace to the team and the whole British nation. He slaps Terry in the face and takes his belt, saying that he's Terry's superior and it's obvious that that belt should belong to him. Terry clotheslines him down to the mat, and leaves with his belt held high.

Nash is pacing in the old Main Event Mafia locker room.

[Commercial Break]

Abyss is doing his pacing in Hogan's office, not understanding what he did wrong to make Hogan mad. Hogan storms in, saying that he's sick of this crap. Bischoff tries to come in too, but Hogan tells him to stay out. Hogan is sick and tired of Abyss shaking all the time and being afraid of his own shadow. Superman has a cape as a symbol of his power, and if Abyss wants to be the monster he should be the monster. Hulk knows something about monsters, since there's none bigger than Hulk-a-Mania. He shows Abyss his Hall of Fame ring, saying that it's everything he ever worked for, and the only thing that never left him. It represents 30 years of this business, and now it belongs to Abyss. It will make him a god of wrestling and a god of men, ten times bigger then Hulk ever was and able to accomplish what Hulk could never do (Abyss is jobbing to HBK?). Abyss starts freaking out. He puts on the ring, and says that he feels its power. It represents every single Hulkamaniac, and he is the monster. Abyss lets out an old school scream. Hogan's talk was very effective, and I too was sick of the cowering, whiny, Abyss—great segment.

(6)DANIELS vs. KURT ANGLE

Not only is the Random Match Generator 3001 back, but it's working overtime. Daniels jumps the bell with some quick strikes and stomps in the corner. The ref tries to pull him off, but Daniels keeps at him. Eventually the ref gets Daniels far enough away that Angle can shoot out of the ring firing, but goes right into an open hand palm thrust for one. Angle looks for a clothesline—Angle ducks and goes for a German Suplex, but Daniels blocks it. Daniels tries for a Sunset Flip, but Kurt blocks it and picks the ankle. He grapevines the legs right away, and that's it.

WINNER: Kurt Angle in about a minute. Remember when Daniels was main eventing PPVs, way back in, um, December? Poor Daniels?

After the match Kurt grabs the mic, as he has a few things to say to Mr. Anderson. Kurt's man enough to admit when he gets beat, and at Against All Odds Anderson beat him. Kurt doesn't like how he did it, but that's beside the point. What really pisses him off though is what Anderson did after with his tag. In the military, soldiers wear dog tags so that if they're killed their COs can ID them. Now he wants to tell us why that medal means so much to him. He's had a rough year. He divorced his wife, shamed his children, and got arrested. People told a lot of lies about stuff he didn't do, but he still got arrested. The crowd seems to believe his innocence, cause they come alive for him. While he was in jail he prayed, trying to figure out what was going on. Then he had an appearance at Ft. Hood, which changed his life. He met the soldiers and their families. Then one soldier came up to him and said that he'd read about Kurt and what people were saying, but that he believed in him. He gave him that tag to remind him who he is. It has a poem called "Warrior"--out of every ten men, nine shouldn't be there, eight are just targets, but they're all important. The tenth though is a warrior, and he's there to bring the others back (I'm paraphrasing). When Mr. Anderson cut him with that medal Sunday night he didn't make Kurt bleed, he made their soldiers, their family, and the citizens of this country bleed. But then, after the match, Anderson spit on it. He spit on those soldiers, and he spit on the United States of America. For that, Kurt will make him suffer. He's going to make him bleed till every last drop of blood his out of his body. He'll see him in hell. That draws out Anderson.

[Commercial Break]

Anderson is mocking Angle's tear-laden performance. Fake sobbing, he says into his mic that he's very touched and very moved. Anderson gets more serious. He's mostly very amazed by Kurt's abilities—not just his wrestling abilities, but his ability to suck up to these people. Kurt just wants a pat on the back, and for all of us to note how sensitive he is. Anderson sees that hunk of medal as nothing more than a utensil with which to cut Kurt up. Sometimes he likes to make people bleed. He suggests that if Kurt has a problem with that he come up the ramp to get him some. Anderson eggs him on, then attacks when he gets close. Angle blocks and connects with some rights of his own, but gets stopped by a shot to his injured head. Anderson drives the mic into Kurt's cut, then uses it to welcome Kurt to total, non-stop Anderson...Anderson.

[Commercial Break]

JB catches up to Samoa Joe leaving The Impact Zone, but Joe's not answering questions. Suddenly a white van pulls up and almost hits Joe. Some masked people come out and shove Joe into the back of a van. There's no way this plot can end well, is there?

Kevin Nash and Eric Young come down to the ring at 10:56 EST. Nash doesn't know where, or when—it was about 18 years ago—that he decided to make Waltman and Hall his friends. He also bought a black suit about ten years ago, cause he thought he'd be burying one of them real soon. He's not sure which is worse—the physical harm this business does or the mental anguish it causes, the bodies it wrecks or the relationships it destroys. He's done everything in his power to keep Hall and Pac employed, but he's not carrying them on his backs anymore. For the last few weeks they've been making their way into the arena, and now Nash suggests they make their way to him—he's the big gray-haired son of a bitch in the middle of the ring. Hall and Pac come through the crowd. As soon as Pac makes it over the barricade Eric Young jumps him. Hall makes it into the ring, where he flicks his tooth pick into Nash's face. Nash explodes with a right hand, but security immediately swarms the ring to break things up. Hulk Hogan appears on the entrance, and stands there. Nash yells at someone that next week it's on. That's it.

Seriously, who's been booking these show ending segments?

Where We're Going: Based on the past few weeks, I think we have a pretty clear road map for the immediate future. For example, next week Bischoff will do something jerky, Hogan will temper it a bit, Hall and Nash will attack someone for no clear reason, and Hogan will respond with some world class glaring to end the show. That'll probably be the plot in two weeks too, since it's pretty much been the line since January 4th. Meanwhile, AJ and The Pope will be stealing the show, and TNA booking will find something really, really stupid to do with Samoa Joe.

Star of the Night: Mr. Anderson. He managed to respond to a promo oozing with patriotism in such a way that he didn't come off as implausibly anti-American, but still managed to be the jerk. That's good work.

Overall: This show would have been a really killer hour and a half, but it just collapsed completely at the end. I don't know what to make of Kurt's segment—whether it's sincere or posturing affects how I would view it but is not something I'll ever know—but it was certainly very heavy. Following that up with the not quite as heavy Nash promo was a screw up, as it created half an hour in a row of negative vibes. Unless it's a Spielberg epic, that's really just bad writing (in screenwriting they tell you to work happy things in among the sad—too many down things in a row wraps around and just become absurd). More problematically, for the second week in a row we ended with Hall & Pac not really doing anything, and Hogan just being sort of around. I'm all for slow-burns, but this is more like a no-burn—nothing is happening, and it's doing it in the main event. It's a shame, cause there was some pretty good stuff in the first three quarters, highlighted perhaps by The Pope's following up on his star-making Against All Odds by more than keeping up with Flair in a mic battle, but the end was just a downer and an anticlimactic thud. C

Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. The winner of last week's shout out is Lucas Breckinridge, who pointed to Bret Hart's turning heel by having water thrown in the general direction of his eye. For this week's shout out, send along how the show can end anti-climactically next week. Submissions can be sent to dawilk316@gmail.com.


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