TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/25: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Feb 25, 2010 - 10:03:23 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Sorry guys, but I'm a few minutes behind, so this'll have to be brief: Abyss got superpowers from Hulk Hogan's ring in what was actually a much better segment than I just made it sound, Eric Bischoff got into trouble with the Hulkster by bullying Abyss and (to a lesser extent) Jeff Jarrett, and they pulled the trigger on the inevitable and inevitably bad Rob Terry face turn.
The Show: Rage Over the Ring
We recap the Abyss saga and see footage of him showing off the ring to exactly the people who we should see every week, but probably won't see again for a month.
As we open, Tenay announces that we'll be seeing Wolfe vs. Abyss and Rob Terry defending his global championship against Ken Anderson. There are more things wrong with that latter match than I can count (okay, only really five I think).
To make me feel better, here's AJ Styles coming down to the ring, followed by Flair but no women. At least they come out to AJ's music this time. We recap the attack on Pope's ankle last week, and are told he has a torn ligament. AJ says that last week Pope came out to his house, the house that AJ built, and made it is...something? I can't make out what AJ said—if anyone wants to let me know I'd appreciate it. Anyhow, Pope said he would be the champion of the people. AJ gets it. Pope wants to be the golden boy, the chosen one. He wants to step up and claim his title? Well it's not going to happen. Pope is a man, but is AJ is THE man. Like Flair said, to be the man, you have to beat the man, and that's AJ. Pope shouldn't think he can walk out and embarrass AJ, since now he won't be walking again for a while. Flair takes the mic, and he's ticked. Last week Hulk Hogan gave his hall of fame ring to "the Abyss" (I don't know whether the misspeak was intentional)--that's like giving it to one of "these people" (the crowd). Whatever Hall of Fame Hogan's in, it clearly isn't the same one as Flair's. They should never have let Hogan in. Flair wants to talk to The Abyss right now. Abyss comes out to some generic rock crap [CORRECTION: the music apparently came out to some variant of Hulk Hogan's "American Made" theme music from WCW. My bad.]. Flair wants to know what's up with the music also. Abyss having a Hall of Fame ring is a disgrace. He might have superhuman strength, but he's no Hall of Famer. Flair worked his whole life to get into the Hall of Fame—Abyss isn't good enough to shine the World Champion's boots. Abyss is nothing but a clown—Flair repeats this a few times. Abyss agrees that he couldn't shine AJ's shoes, since he's not a shoe shine boy. What he could do is take AJ's boots and shove them up Flair's ass. Actually I doubt his ability to do that either. Flair is irate, but AJ says he'll take it. Abyss should never talk to Flair that way—he (Abyss) is a disgrace. Does he really think anyone came to see him? He doesn't even look like a champ. AJ looks like a champ. AJ says that Abyss needs to take off that ring, and Flair suggests he give it to AJ Styles. AJ says Abyss is going to disgrace the good name of Hulk Hogan. Abyss gives AJ the Hogan "YOU!" finger point of doom, but before he can lay in the punches Hogan comes out. Hogan wants to hear what AJ knows about a good name. Coming out and punking out Abyss just makes AJ seem weak, and when the history books are written AJ might go down as the weakest champion of all time (I didn't think you were ever supposed to say that)(besides, I think Mysterio's first reign has that pretty well locked up). Flair says that he knew this confrontation had to happen eventually. Flair came to TNA because everything Hogan touches turns to gold, but Hogan has no business bossing him around. Hogan tells Flair to back the hell up, and Flair suggests that maybe it's time to go right now. Flair and AJ start taking off their jackets, so Abyss and Hogan follow suit. The crowd goes nuts, but AJ and Flair bail from the ring. On his way up the ramp, Flair says that Abyss and Hogan got some time because he and the champ are in a good mood, but by the end of the night that ring will be around AJ's finger. (That's nice, since it seems like AJ just lost a perfectly good jacket).
Mick Foley arrives in the Impact Zone and is, as Taz says, not in a good mood.
Tenay lists the two matches he already listed a few minutes ago, then shows what we just saw moments ago. That's some good time management there.
Speaking of TNA's time management, here come the Nasty Boys, for a No DQ Tables match with a 20 minute time limit. This is the match they think needs an extra ten minutes.
(1)TEAM 3D vs. THE NASTY BOYS (w/JIMMY HART) No DQ Tables Match
The Nasty Boys try to jump the Dudleys on their way into the ring. Ray slams Knobbs's head into the steel steps. In the ring, Sags runs into Devon in the corner. Devon, hoping to make this an athletic contest, explodes out of the corner with a flying clothesline. He and Sags roll out as Knobbs and Ray roll in. Ray charges into a back elbow, but creates some distance and comes off the middle rope with a flying shoulder block. Ray Jukes 'n Jives into a Bionic Elbow on Knobbs, then catches a returning Sags with a Body Slam. Devon comes in and nails the Wuzzup on Sags, then Ray and the audience send him to get the tables. They take a bit too long setting a table up, so the Nasty Boys club them from behind. They toss Ray from the ring, then try to put Devon through the table with a double Arm Drag. Ray, from the outside, is able to pull the table down so Devon can't go through. He goes to the top rope for something, but Jimmy Hart grabs his ankle, which enables Sags to toss him off. Jesse Neal runs down to the ring, grabs Hart's helmet, nails Knobbs in the stomach and tosses it to Devon. Devon in turn nails Sags, and they put him through a table with a 3D.
WINNERS: Team 3D in five minutes. That could have been much, much, worse—though that really doesn't say much.
Mick Foley is in Eric Bischoff's office, where he accuses Bischoff of setting him up last week by making sure Mick was away while he went after Abyss's mask. Bischoff accuses him of being in a state of Machiavellian paranoia. I thought the Medicis really were after Machiavelli? Anyway, Foley thinks that Bischoff's actions make people paranoid. Eric suggests that Mick not think of the process, but think of the result. Look, Abyss is happy now, and literally has Hulk-a-Mania in the palm of his hand. Mick wants to know if Bischoff really means to take credit for what happened to Abyss, but of course he does—if it weren't for him, Hogan would have never come down to the ring and decided to help Abyss out. I'm totally using that in an ethics class to illustrate the difference between causal and ethical responsibility. Anyway, Mick seems to sort of buy it. Bischoff says that since Abyss and JB are fine, he's clearly kept his end of the bargain, whereas Mick is not wearing the suit Bischoff paid for. Mick grants that it's a nice suit, but it's back at the hotel. He leaves, and says he'll think about coming back in suit.
(2)ODB vs. DAFFNEY
ODB tosses Daffney's shoulder into the ring post to start, chops her chest, then takes a swig from the flask. The crowd has forgotten that ODB is a heel, so they cheer as she beats Daffney down in the corner. We go to a split screen of Christy interviewing Tara, who admits that she might have taken Daffney lightly last week. Christy suggests that Daffney wants a title shot, and Tara says that if Daffney wanted her attention, she got it. When the focus returns to the match Daffney has taken control. She slides ODB leg first into the corner, then wraps ODB's leg around the ring post. She whacks it with what look to be the base of the steps, and that draws the DQ.
WINNER: ODB by DQ in 3 minutes. After the match Daffney whacks ODB's knee with a broom till Dr. Stevie comes and wrestles her down.
JB is in the back with Hernandez & Matt Morgan. JB asks about Morgan holding the tights at Against All Odds. Hernandez says that they've talked, they're cool, and JB shouldn't try to stir up trouble. Morgan is going to tell JB the same thing he told Super-Mex right after the match—he saw an opportunity, and he took it. Moreover, he didn't do anything Hernandez wouldn't have done if he saw the same chance. Hernandez nods along to that. Now that's over, and they won't speak of it again. They're focused on defending their titles, come one, come all, come short and come tall, because they want to be known as the most physically dominating tag team of all time. Hernandez says that that's who they are, and that's what they do.
Syxx-Pac and Scott Hall are rummaging around in the trash outside, seemingly looking for weapons.
Beer Money Inc. are in the ring. Roode says that it was almost 2 years ago that he and James Storm made the decision to form Beer Money. Back then they made a promise that they would give it their all every single night. They're about one thing—pride. They wanted to be the best, and look at where they are today—not only the best tag team in TNA, but the best in all of wrestling. James Storm says that they're not here to have a war of words with Bischoff and Hogan—they're here to list facts. They've been here since back when the so-called veterans didn't want anything to do with this company. They had to step up, and they've made TNA a lot of money. The numbers don't lie—their merchandise outsells everyone else's (I believe that—it's usually pretty nice). For some reason though the new management has decided to sideline them. That's no good, cause Roode needs to make his money, and Storm needs Roode to make his money so he can buy Storm's beer. They've been with TNA since it was down low, to all the way where it is now at its highest point, but if wants to go even higher it needs Beer Money. They're about to leave the ring when Hernandez starts down the ramp. He says that they don't have to prove anything to anyone here. Everyone knows their reputation, and just how good they really are. Just like Beer Money, Hernandez & Morgan want to be the best. So here's what Hernandez is going to do—he's walking right back to Hulk Hogan's office, where he'll be requesting a title shot for Beer Money. Roode says that they (will) accept.
JB is in the former MEM locker room with Nash and Eric Young. He knows that they want Hall & Pac, but those guys don't have TNA contracts. Nash says that's fine, since TNA personnel would just get in the way. They don't want some jackass in a striped shirt, they just want a fight. That's why all they've asked for is TV time, and EY says it'll be the highest rated segment ever, since everyone wants to see Hall and Pac get bludgeoned. Nash says that when Pac and Hall jumped him it hurt, but after a million surgeries he can deal with the physical pain. The mental pain is another story entirely.
Jeff Jarrett storms into Eric Bischoff's office. He wants to know if Bischoff really expects to scare him off by having six goons jump him. He's had to fight for everything in his life, and he's not just talking about in the ring. It'll take a lot more to get rid of him. Bischoff admits that he might have underestimated Jarrett, and that it took a real set of stones for Jarrett to refuse to use the bat on Abyss last week. It was, however, the right thing to do. Bischoff says that Jeff deserves a better opportunity, and suggests they meet in the ring so that he can get it in front of all his fans. He suggests that Jeff trust him, since for this relationship to work they'll need trust on both sides. Jarrett seems amused by the idea of him trusting Bischoff, but does say that he'll meet him in the ring.
We recap Jarrett-Bischoff, thankfully just skipping the bit where Jarrett inexplicably became a heel for a few minutes.
Bischoff hits the ring first. He takes a minute to absorb the crowd's boos, thanking them very much. One of the things he prides himself on is that he's man enough to admit his mistake, and he's made quite a few. One of the great things about getting older is that you realize that you have to be able to look back at the stuff you've done wrong and, rather than feel bad about them, you have to learn from them. Jeff Jarrett is a great example of that, so he wants to bring him out right now, music and all. Jeff comes down to the ring, seeming pretty pleased with the return of his music and pyro. The announcers play Bischoff's apology as completely sincere. Eric says that he knows it's tough, forgetting what they've been through the last couple weeks, but Bischoff is willing to put it all behind him. In fact, he wants to get something from his office. He has someone bring down the barbed wire bat. Bischoff admits that maybe he asked Jarrett to do something that wasn't exactly right in hitting another human being with a barbed wire bat. Refusing was the right thing to do—the problem is that it wasn't the right thing by Eric. The reason they're in this situation is cause Jarrett just doesn't seem able to do what Bischoff asks him to do. So since he wouldn't use a bat, Bischoff has something else for him—he hands Jarrett a spatula, and tells him to go flip burgers in catering. And, to comply with Florida health codes, he puts a hair net on Jarrett's head. Then again, Jarrett could always just quit. Bischoff walks away laughing as an angry Jarrett takes off the hair net.
Morgan catches up with Hernandez in the back, and wants to know what the hell he's thinking challenging Beer Money. Hernandez points out that Morgan said they were ready for all challengers. Morgan starts to say that he thought they could start with Generation Me or The Guns, and he only said what he did cause he thought it would sound cool. He then concedes that it is what he said, but that Hernandez should still run title shots by him. Just like they're in sync in the ring, they need to be in sync in the back if they want to keep their titles. Hernandez agrees that that makes sense.
(3)KAZARIAN vs. BRIAN KENDRICK X Division #1 Contender's Match
The crowd is mostly, but not entirely, behind Kaz. They trade wrist locks and hammerlocks to start. Kaz flips out of a wrist lock, hits an Arm Drag, a Body Slam, a Slingshot Leg Drop, and a Jeff Hardy style delayed dropkick in the corner. Kendrick dodges a corner charge and connects with a quick School Boy for two. He nails a jumping Ensuguri as he gets up, then puts Kaz down with a Neck Breaker to the knee for two. Kendrick goes to the top rope as we go to a split screen of Joe getting abducted last week. Kazarian meets him with a couple jump kicks, then finishes him off with the Flux Capacitor. I missed that move while he was gone.
WINNER: Kazarian in three minutes. Do I even have to go over the time management issues that result in this getting three minutes? Also, the split screens are starting tick me off.
EY and Nash are taping up for their fight.
Abyss is in the back with JB. He invites Ric Flair, AJ Styles or anyone else who wants to get his ring to come try. They can bring a chain saw, a see-saw, or whatever they want, but they're not getting it. When Hogan gave Abyss his ring, he gave him great power, but with great power comes great responsibility. Anyone can come after him, but they should remember that he might just come back after them. He might not be the lord, but he is the Monster of the Rings.
We recap the history of the Global Title, omitting any reference to the fact that both Mr. Anderson and the Impact Zone are not supposed to see title shots.
Christy is in the back with Mr. Anderson, who calls down his own mic and just tells Christy to look p'rdy. Who's the guy who's been cutting a path ever since he got there, who's left the self-proclaimed best athlete in the world lying in a pool of his own blood multiple times, and who everyone is coming to refer to as "the one"? He suggests that if we're impatient and watching this on DVR we should fast forward to the end of the segment to get the answer, then rewind to watch it all, then maybe watch it all a couple more times. Tonight he gets his first taste of TNA gold, the first step towards capturing the World Heavyweight Championship. It won't be easy—Rob Terry is strong—as strong as six guerrillas in fact. But Mr. Anderson has been in the ring with bigger men, and he's been in the ring with six guerrillas, and he's beaten them all. He tells people who were fast forwarding to stop, because the answer to all his questions, and the next Global Champion, is Mr Anderson...Anderson (he rushes the second one to startle Christy).
Brutus Magnus finds Rob Terry, and Brutus isn't happy. He and Doug Williams carried Rob for almost a year, and Rob's about to learn that you don't bite the hand that feeds you, and why he was much better with them as allies than enemies. He pokes Terry in the chest as he says this, but Terry grabs the finger and twists it. He thanks Magnus for the advice, then tells him to piss off.
Terry hits the ring first. That way Anderson can cut his promo. He introduces himself as the next Global Champion, but has something else to discuss. He's supposed to feel sorry cause he spit on a medal given to Kurt by the mother of a soldier. Is that why he's supposed to feel sorry? Kurt Angle slithers up behind him with a chair. The crowd goes nuts. Anderson says that the medal around his neck was also given to him by a veteran's widow, only that veteran happened to be Vietnamese. The crowd boos, and Angle whacks him with the chair. Anderson drops down, seemingly unconscious. The crowd suggests he break Anderson's ankle, but instead he motions for Rob Terry to handle the rest.
(4)ROB TERRY vs. MR. ANDERSON Global Championship Match
Terry lugs Anderson to the ring, hits him with a Running Power Slam, and makes the cover.
WINNER: Rob Terry in about ten seconds.
Remember how awesome I said it was last week that Anderson was able to get heel heat without being faux-unpatriotic? I honestly don't know if this was the end of that. Weren't some of the Vietnamese on our side? And presumably a lot of immigrants have fought for us in wars since. If he meant them, I don't know why we booed. If (as I assume we're supposed to think) he didn't, then they lasted exactly one week before going for the super cheap heat.
We recap the history of The Band.
Nash and Young head outside, where Syxx-Pac is inexplicably wearing what I'm pretty sure were the pajamas in Star Trek. Hall nails Nash from behind with a lead pipe, then chokes out EY and tells him to mind his own business. Pac floors him with a Spinning Heel Kick, and they spray paint "4 Life" on his back. They do the same to Nash. That was totally worth a month of main-event build-up.
Jarrett is still making burgers in the back. He's having trouble cutting the onions.
Bischoff is on the phone, where he rejects the idea of weekly celebrity guest hosts, saying that's the dumbest thing he's ever heard. That was kind of funny. Mick enters the office wearing an overcoat, which he takes off to reveal a suit. He seems pleased by it, but Bischoff is concerned by some mustard on the jacket. Mick says that there's an explanation—he saw Jarrett flipping burgers, and just had to do a spit take. Bischoff thinks that's a bit of a problem, and tells Mick to get his assistant to book him an etiquette coach. Mick seems pleased that Bischoff is willing to pour that much money into him, but Bischoff wants him to be an asset, addressing corporate financiers and such. After Mick leaves, Bischoff breaks out in laughter (though ambiguously enough that we don't have to pretend Mick never sees tapes of the show).
(5)DESMOND WOLFE (w/CHELSEA) vs. ABYSS
Abyss comes out to a remixed version of his old music, fused with some Hogan-esque rock. It's an odd combo. Abyss powers Wolfe into the corner to start, but Wolfe comes back by knocking his knee out. He wrenches back Abyss's neck a few times, but Abyss powers to his feet and backs Wolfe into the corner Andre the Giant style. Wolfe dodges a charge and floors Abyss with a forearm to the face. He tries to get Abyss up to the top rope for a Tower of London (though Taz claims he was going for a Vertical Suplex), but can't get it. He hits a Mongolian Chop and his running back elbow. He still can't get Abyss up to the top rope, so he goes for another—Abyss meets him in the opposite corner with a charge. Abyss goes for a Choke Slam, but Wolfe slips out. Wolfe comes off the ropes, but right into a Black Hole Slam.
WINNER: Abyss in 2 minutes. I'm all for the Abyss push, but who makes these booking decisions? Jordan gets a win over Joe last week and Wolfe gets squashed tonight?
After the match Flair and AJ come down to the ring. He wards them off, till Wolfe sneaks up behind him and whacks him three times in the back with a steel chair. Abyss tries to Hulk up, but Flair clips his leg, then kicks his crotch when he gets up. Wolfe gets some handcuffs from ringside and attaches Abyss to the ropes. Hulk saunters to the ring slowly, then beats up the three heels as they attack evil-ninja style. Finally Flair clips his leg and all three of Hogan, Flair, and Wolfe beat down Hulk Hogan. Flair rips off Hogan's shirt as Wolfe holds him up for a series of chops. AJ blasts Hogan with the belt. Flair helps the busting open process with some shots to Hogan's forehead. Abyss monsters up, then rips right through the cuffs. Wolfe flees to backstage, while Flair and AJ go as far as the ramp.
Abyss is helping Hogan to his feet as we come back and recap what happens moments ago. Taz points out that this must have been a premeditated trap—otherwise why would Wolfe have handcuffs with him? That's pretty good color commentary.
Back live, Hogan has a mic. He says that if Flair wants to get involved in matches, then on March 8th he'll be coming out of retirement to compete. Flair starts to say that Hogan can't do that, so Hogan has the truck cut his mic. On March 8th Flair & AJ Styles will be facing Abyss and his partner, and Hogan has given Abyss the green-light to beat them all over the ring. AJ wants to know who Abyss's partner is, since Abyss doesn't have anyone to call on. Hogan says that on March 8th, AJ Styles & Ric Flair will be facing Abyss & Hulk Hogan. Taz, in an effort to further his trend of always hitting the line of night, lets out a "Holy %#$*!"
Where We're Going: Obviously, we're going to Monday nights, and spending the next week and a half getting ready for that. Hogan and Flair returning to the ring in the same match is of course huge news. While I certainly don't want to see them dominating main events any time soon, the occasional one-off could be enjoyable, and the presence of Abyss and AJ should be enough to cover for Hogan and Flair's weaknesses. I'm also pleasantly surprised that we're doing this on March 8th, since I would have bet that this match would be the main event of Destination X, which it really has no business being.
Star of the Night: Mr. Anderson. His delivery in the first promo was spot-on, and while I didn't like some of the content of his second promo, it was still delivered perfectly. Kazarian probably would have had this locked up if they'd given his match more than 3 minutes, and Hogan could make a good case if his promo didn't hinge on self-aggrandizement.
Overall: First, this episode gets immediate bonus points—despite the fact that there were four plot-critical chair shots, they appeared to all be shots to the back. I very much enjoyed the main event announcement. Even though I was never a Hulkamaniac as a kid (though I'm too embarrassed to say which of his opponents I favored), and even though it was obvious what Hogan was going to say as soon as the last segment started (or at least after he said the words "March 8th"), I still marked out a little. Such is the artistry of Hulk Hogan. Sadly, that was one of only a few high points. By my math this show had only 13 minutes of wrestling, of which almost half was taken up by the Nasty Boys. This would have been fine if the backstage promos had been interesting enough to make up the difference, but outside of the first segment, the last segment, and Anderson's promo, nothing stood out as memorable. Also, who looks at Kendrick vs. Kazarian for a shot at the X Division Championship and thinks "3 minutes seems about right"? For that matter, who thinks "Desmond Wolfe would be a really good jobber for Abyss"? Buoyed almost entirely by the excitement generated by the main event this gets up to a B.
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. Those eager for a shout out are welcome to guess who he was rooting for in place of Hulk Hogan. Submissions and other comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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