TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 3/22: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Mar 22, 2010 - 10:30:59 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
We're going without the benefit of a DVR tonight, so if Sarita or the Guns do anything, don't expect a move by move recap.
Where We've Been: Last night marked the first PPV in well over a year I didn't order, which, from what I read, makes the real star of the night me. Against All Odds was only okay, and Genesis was a bit of a letdown also. By my count that makes the last genuinely awesome PPV Final Resolution, interestingly the last PPV before the Hogan/Bischoff era. This show featured the shocking swerve wherein Kevin Nash, who for weeks did everything he could to get his buddies a job, turned on his partner in a match wherein if he lost his buddies, um, got jobs. Someone probably should have thought more carefully about the incentive structures involved. In the main event, TNA bookers decided to swerve those of us who thought AJ would beat Abyss, but didn't actually have a better idea, so the match ended in a no-contest. This is easily the worst time to have a no-contest, as it drags out this month's story into the first multi-month hyped main event of AJ vs. The Pope next month. Hopefully they'll put the nail in the coffin of Abyss's current push tonight. Not that there's anything wrong with Abyss—he just consistently draws the very worst plot lines in the company. I wonder if he's related to Kane.
We start off with a guitar solo by Easy E. It's an interesting start, but goes just a tad longer than it probably should have. He's sitting in the ring in a darkened arena with the spotlight on him. He says that name of the song is "What You Didn't Know About Me". The fact that he's a classically trained musician is just one. That's one of the reasons he has a problem with Jeff Jarrett. As someone who slaved for years over a guitar till his fingers bled, he gets a little miffed that Jarrett uses it as just a silly prop (I actually know someone else who plays guitar who that also annoyed, so it might not be as heelish as it seems). He doesn't think Jarrett can even play, but maybe he's wrong—he invites Double J out to prove him wrong. Jarrett comes out, sans intro. He tries to hand Jarrett the guitar, getting the fans psyched up to hear it. Jarrett doesn't take it, and Bischoff says that he didn't think he had the guts. He can't play, he sure as hell can't dance—maybe he can sing? Jarrett says that if Bischoff thinks he can humiliate him, he's got another think coming. Bischoff expresses again that Jarrett's a wimp, and that he doesn't have the guts to hit him. He dares Jarrett to hit him, then double dog dares him. Jarrett grabs the guitar and hoists it over his head, but double clutches. He puts it down, to the crowd's boos. He starts to leave, and Bischoff expresses that that's what he expected, and that Jarrett should go home to his little girls...bloody hell, can't they leave them alone for more than three weeks at a time? Anyway, he should tell them how he's not man enough to do the tough thing, which is why Bischoff is in the ring running the company and he's not. Jarrett reenters the ring, and Bischoff turns around into a guitar shot.
Mick applauds Jarrett as he arrives backstage. They talk about how good it feels to beat up Eric Bischoff.
We recap what happened moments ago. I hate that. Bischoff is just now getting up inside the ring. He yells into a mic that both Jarrett and Mick Foley have crossed the line. He could fire one or both of them with nothing more than the cost of a Fed Ex (how he fired people in WCW), but he won't give them the satisfaction. If they want to play games in the center of the ring, they can face off against each other. He doesn't care who wins and who loses, since the loser will be fired from TNA, and the winner will be his bitch.
In the back, Mick admits that their celebration was short-lived. Jarrett says that this is his fault, but Mick points out that he also lost it with Jarrett just last week. The fact is that this is a fight neither of them can win.
(1)THE BEATIFUL PEOPLE & DAFFNEY (w/ POISON) vs. TARA, ANGELINA LOVE, SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE.
Tara runs down to the ring before her entrance, and actually gets down on both knees to plead for the return of Poison, whom Daffney stole last night. The Beautiful People jump her from behind, and Daffney puts Poison down. Tara's partners run down to make the save. Maybe I can keep up with a Sarita match after all if they end up having it go immediately to a
Wilde floors Madison Rayne with a Flying Forearm when we come back. She tags in Love, who comes in with a Double Sledge. Love hits an Atomic Drop, but Rayne is able to bounce into a tag to Velvet Sky, who's immediately taken down by a Neck Breaker. Sarita and Lacey Von Erich tag in. Lacey is really proud when she does a float over in the corner, but celebrates long enough for Sarita to knock her down her with a dropkick. Rayne tags in. Sarita floors her and then tags in Tara, who enters the ring with a Slingshot Leg Drop for two. Rayne reverses an Irish Whip attempt and sends Tara into the ropes, but Tara catches herself. In an awkward spot, she stands there for a second before Daffney interferes and whacks her back. Daffney tags in and carries in Poison to taunt Tara. Tara goozles her from the mat, but is so focused on her that she misses Sky tagging in. Rayne comes in to help, but Sky decides that they should tag in Daffney and just hold Tara for her. Love, Sarita and Sarita come in to help out,and everything breaks down. Love nails a Lights Out on Daffney, turns into a DDT from Sky, who eats a Northern Lights Suplex from Taylor Wilde, who gets a Choke Slam from Lacey Von Erich, who gets taken down by Sarita, who gets a knee to the face by Madison Rayne, who eats a Widow's Peak from Tara. It's like Chad Gadya a week early (that's amusing, if you got it). Tara gets distracted by Poison in the corner, which enables Daffney to sneak up behind her and get the roll-up for the win.
WINNERS: The Beautiful People & Daffney. That was a pretty good showcase for the women, if a bit gratuitously rushed by the commercial.
AJ, on a crutch and with an arm in a sling, arrives in the parking lot. Flair is still in a wheel chair.
Hogan has a major announcement for Lockdown next. If Abyss is in the main event, I riot.
We go over the results from the PPV last night. They don't feel the need to show the main event only in stills—I can't imagine why they don't think people wouldn't pay to see it in motion. I'm pleased to see that the reviews did not mislead me with respect to the awesomeness of missing last night's main event.
Hulk Hogan and Abyss come down to the ring to Hogan's music. Hogan's wearing black and yellow, which just confuses me. I could go for Abyss vs. Jeff Hardy in Full Metal Mayhem for a title shot at Sacrifice. The crowd chants for Hogan, who interprets that as evidence that Abyssamania is running wild. Things have gotten real personal between Hulk and Flair, and Hulk has to admit that Eric Bischoff was exactly right about Flair—he was playing all of Hogan's buttons. Flair made everything personal, and Bischoff is learning himself that the personal doesn't end well. So he vows to the fans and Dixie Carter that from now on it'll be only business. It starts at Lockdown, where Abyss will captain Team Hogan against Team Flair. Oh, that actually makes sense. I am pleasantly surprised. Abyss says that he hopes Flair and AJ crash in the hotel, cause otherwise they'll crash through whatever part of the Impact Zone he wants. Abyss reminisces about how great it felt to put AJ through the ring. It reminded him that he's not just Abyss—he's the pissed off monster Abyss. He didn't win the title, but he won his own respect. He addresses Flair, saying that at Lockdown he's coming to get him. Ric won't need any more wheelchairs or bandages—what he'll need is a mortician. Whacha' gonna do when Abyss runs fatal on you? That brings out Flair, AJ, and floozy, to Flair's music. Flair wants to know if he heard Abyss say the words "pissed off", since he's looking at pissed off eyes right now. He reminds Hogan that St. Louis is in the middle of a little place known as Flair Country, and he happens to be a cage match specialist. Abyss keeps trying to put them away, but he can't, cause they're not mortals—they're wrestling gods. AJ says that he had the match won till Hogan got involved, and Abyss decided that he had nothing better to do than try to cripple AJ. Flair says that to make sure Team Flair is successful at Lockdown its captain will be...Sting! The lights go down and Sting's music hits. When they come back on, Hogan is handcuffed to the ropes, Sting is sitting on the ring post, and a surprisingly healthy AJ whacks Abyss with his crutch. Sting leaves as AJ taunts Hogan. The Pope's music hits, and he runs down to the ring. He and Abyss tee off on AJ for a few seconds before Pope connects with the DDE. He grabs the key from AJ and unlocks Hogan, who goes after the wheelchair-bound Flair on the ramp. Flair tries to wheel away, but Hogan catches up to him by the entrance way. He rolls Flair down the ramp and into a clothesline from Abyss. Dinero stuffs a 20 into Flair's mouth as he, Abyss, and Hogan celebrate.
That segment was pretty effective at setting the stage early for Lockdown and making The Pope seem like a big deal again. I do wonder about the slight to Wolfe in having Sting opposite Abyss.
Jeff Hardy, RVD, and Shannon Moore arrive backstage. Hardy says they're going to have fun tonight but, unfortunately, it'll be at someone else's expense.
(2) ROB TERRY vs. TOMKO Global Championship Match
Tomko connects with a forearm to start, then a shoulder block. Terry doesn't leave his feet, and responds with a clothesline that floors Tomko. Tomko gets an elbow up in the corner, but Terry takes him over with a Fall Away Slam, then floors him with a spin kick when he gets up. A Choke Slam gets 3.
WINNER: Rob Terry. Please no. Or at least, if you're going to push Terry, institute a real wellness policy so I feel like I can cheer him without feeling responsible for his future heart troubles.
Wait, why would I want to cheer Rob Terry?
We're told that Beer Money will be the special Guest Referees for their match tonight. Mick and Jarrett are pacing pensively backstage, and we're told that their match will be next.
We see video of Foley's shaving Bischoff last week.
We recap Foley and Jarrett's TNA relationship, then their feud with Bischoff. We conveniently leave off the part where Foley tried to quit, as that would take some of the sting off this potentially getting fired thing. I wish I had a DVR so I could confirm this, but it sure feels like there's a lot of filler tonight.
JB is in the back with Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley. Mick says that while he's talked a couple times about walking away from TNA, if that happens it'll be on his terms, not Bischoff's. Holy shit—someone cares about continuity! Anyway, all these weeks Mick has been putting on suits and taking etiquette lessons and kissing Bischoff's ass he was sustained by the thought of coming up with a way of ousting Bischoff from the company. Jarrett says that they both deserve to be there. Mick agrees, but says that the only way they can prove how much they love this company is to give it their all and try to walk away winners. Jarrett reminds Mick that it was him who helped bring Jeff back when he was on the outs with management, and so Jeff owes it to him to keep his spot.
(3)MICK FOLEY vs. JEFF JARRETT No-DQ You're Fired Match w/Special Guest Referees Beer Money Inc.
Jarrett still doesn't get music. I would have thought that, if you had a match where you gain regardless of who wins and who loses, the last thing I would want would be a weird officiating situation. The crowd's chanting something, but I can't tell what—it seems to be "Foley". Storm is your official in the ring. Mick and Jarrett shake hands, then lock up. Neither gains an edge. They try it again, and Mick powers Jeff into the corner. Storm calls for a rope break, and now the crowd has dueling chants, with the Foley side being a bit stronger. Jarrett shoots Foley off into the ropes, but Mick comes back with a shoulder block for one. Jarrett works a side headlock, so Mick shoots him off, hits an elbow, and gets another quick cover. Mick shoots Jarrett off into the ropes yet again, but Jarrett comes back with a Sunset Flip for two. Mick responds with a Back Slide for two of his own, then just goes back to the right hands and forearms. He works Jeff against the bottom rope for a bit. He looks for a Double Armed DDT; Jarrett reverses into an attempted Stroke. Mick shoots him off, and Roode grabs Jarrett's boot from the outside. Jarrett is not happy. Mick slightly whiffs on a forearm to the back of Jeff's head—that's surprising. I hope we don't have another Foley heel turn. Mick knocks Jarrett out of the ring, then follows him out. He works him against the guard-rail as Eric Bischoff walks down towards the broadcast table.
Jarrett and Foley are brawling at the top of the ramp. Jarrett gains the upper hand and beats Foley halfway down the ramp, where he nails a Vertical Suplex. Foley rolls back into the ring, where Jarrett goes to work with right hands. He makes a cover for two. For some reason Roode is the official in the ring now. Jarrett hits another right hand, and hooks both legs for two. He takes Foley down again and tries to use the ropes for cover, but it still only gets two. Jarrett connects with more right hands, then a DDT for a long two count. He grabs a chair from ringside, but Mick kicks him in the gut before he can use it and nails a Double Armed DDT (I didn't see if Jarrett's head hit the chair, but I don't think it did). Mick's cover gets to two before Jeff gets his foot on the rope. Mick busts out the sock, and connects with a Mandible Claw when Jarrett gets up. Jeff grabs the rope, but Roode knocks him off it. Mick takes Jarrett to the mat with a cool dual Mandible Claw/Cobra Clutch, but Jarrett powers out with back elbows. Mick charges Jeff in the corner, but Jeff knocks him back and connects with a Stroke onto the chair. That's over.
WINNER: Jeff Jarrett, who doesn't seem very happy about winning. Mick goes over and raises his hand, but then Jarrett's raises his back. They share a handshake and a hug. Storm and Bischoff mock the show of emotion.
The crowd chants their thanks to Mick. As Mick walks by the broadcast table, Bischoff waves and wishes him well on his future endeavors. Bischoff takes a mic and suggests that Beer Money look like they have some more left in them, so he suggests they take it out on Jeff Jarrett. They set up a chair in the corner and drive Jeff's head into it. A countdown appears on the screen, and Jeff Hardy's music hits. He and RVD run down to make the save, and Beer Money flee. RVD asks for a microphone. He tries to sort out who's beer and who's money. He then introduces himself and Jeff Hardy. They're just looking to have some fun, and they've agreed on what a blast they could have beating the two goofballs in Beer Money around the ring tonight. RVD says that they look like they're itching for a fight themselves, and challenges them tonight. Roode shouts his acceptance. Bischoff wants to know who allowed this to happen.
We recap Foley's loss moments ago, and I suppose that a Mick Foley firing might merit that treatment. Various faces are arrayed to wish Mick well as he leaves the arena. Abyss and JB are last. Mick hugs Abyss, and tells JB that he might even learn to tweet. Bubba the Love Sponge catches Mick on his way out, and, before he says a single word, gets the loudest heel heat of the night. Bubba tries to ask about his match, but Mick doesn't think it's the time. The crowd chants for Bubba to be fired. The Love Sponge keeps pressing, so Mick floors him with a couple forearms and lets rip a "Bang Bang!" on his way out the door.
Bischoff is taking a seat in Hogan's office, and he's in a pretty good mood. Hogan doesn't see what he's so happy about, since they just lost Mick Foley. Bischoff pushed him till he snapped, then pushed him some more, then fired him. Bischoff points out that he fulfilled his promise to eliminate distractions, but Hogan still thinks that Mick could have been an asset. He thinks that Eric let things get personal, and that it's time to get back to business, particularly as regards Jeff Jarrett. Bischoff agrees that it's a whole new day with Jeff, then starts to leave. On his way out he starts to ask about Hogan's involvement with RVD and Hardy coming out when they did, then thinks better of it and leaves.
Christy is in the back with Beer Money, who she says are having a busy night. Roode says that she's damn right they're busy, and that's how they like it. They've had plenty of time off camera to think about what really matters to them, and its not these fans. It's Beer Money. This is still the laziest heel turn ever.
JB is in the back with RVD and Jeff Hardy. RVD is in the process of taping his wrists, and Jeff Hardy is painting his face. JB points out that Beer Money are a career tag team, but Jeff reminds him that he knows a little bit about tag team wrestling himself. RVD says that they know exactly what they're doing, and it's showing people why they're special. It's cause his partner his Jeff Hardy, and he's Mr. Monday Night, Rob Van Dam.
We recap Hernandez and Morgan's growing tension, culminating with Morgan nailing Hernandez with the Carbon Footprint last night.
(4)MATT MORGAN vs. HERNANDEZ
Hernandez jumps Morgan on his way down to the ring, then takes him down the ramp and tosses him in. He shoulder blocks Morgan, who rolls back out of the ring. Hernandez follows him out and continues the beat down. He slams Morgan against the steps, mat, and the apron, then rolls him back into the ring. Morgan gets on his knees, begging Hernandez to stop. He extends his hand—Hernandez takes it, then kicks Morgan in the gut. He hits his t-shirt toss across the ring, then does it again. He splashes Morgan in the corner, then takes him down with a modified Spine Buster. He charges Morgan again in the corner, but this time Morgan is able to Back Body Drop him all the way to the floor. Hernandez pulls Morgan out after him, but then whiffs on a clothesline and hits his arm against the steel. As he's leaning against the ring post Morgan nails a Carbon Footprint that sandwiches Hernandez's head between his boot and the steel. The camera work was really good here, as Hernandez really looked like he got killed. The ref calls the match.
WINNER: Matt Morgan by KO.
They stretcher Hernandez out, and even Homicide comes down to check on him. That would be more effective if we'd seen Homicide at all in the last two months, but it was still pretty nice to see them actually sell something. At least I sure as hell hope (and assume) it's just a strong sell and not an actual injury.
We recap what happened moments ago, and again the recapping makes sense for once. Hogan, Dixie Carter, and a couple wrestlers are looking on as Hernandez gets taken away in an ambulance. Someone says something about calling his wife. Taz and Tenay spend a few moments more selling the injury on commentary, then say that it's live TV and they have to move on. They recap the The Band reunion last night.
(5)BEER MONEY INC. vs. JEFF HARDY & RVD
I'm sure someone's thought of this before, but wouldn't "High & Higher" or "Higher & Higher" be an awesome name for the team of RVD and Jeff Hardy? Hardy gets the main event entrance spot. He starts things off Storm, who connects with a quick kick to the midsection and some right hands. Storm whips him into the ropes, but he slides through Roode's legs and pulls him off the apron. He then rolls back into the ring and Back Body Drops Storm out and over onto his partner. He gets a ladder and sets it up as a bridge between the ring and the guard-rail.
Roode is turning things around on Van Dam in the ring. He whips RVD into the corner, but then runs right into a back elbow and a quick Moonsault for two. Roode tags in Storm, who takes advantage for a second before running right into a leg lariat. Hardy tags in, ducks under a right hand, and connects with an Inverted Atomic Drop. He follows up with a double leg drop and an Inverted Suplex for two. Roode runs in to help out, which brings in RVD. While the ref is distracted Roode picks Hardy's foot off the top rope to stop an attempted Whisper in the Wind, then fake tags himself in and hits a Neck Breaker. Storm tags back in, and teases Hardy with the prospect of a tag. He cinches in a Reverse Chin Lock; Hardy starts to power out, so Storm rips him down by the hair and tags in Roode. Roode taunts RVD, then takes advantage of the distracted referee to work an illegal choke. He goes for a chin lock of his own, but this time Jeff Hardy is able to get out with a Jaw Breaker. Roode comes back with a big Spine Buster for two, then makes the tag. Storm works a sort of Camel Clutch, stomps Hardy's back, then goes to the Sleeper. Hardy powers out, and this time both he and Storm look for Cross Body Blocks at the same time. Roode comes into the ring to keep the ref from seeing Hardy make the tag, then pulls Hardy back into his corner and fakes a tag himself. He holds Hardy as he tags back in Storm, who hits an uppercut to Hardy's abdomen. Storm looks for an Eye of the Storm, but Hardy slips out, plants Storm's head into the top turnbuckle, then floors him with a Whisper in the Wind. Hardy dives across the ring to make the tag as Roode tags in on the other side. RVD is all kicks on Roode, then takes a moment to pop Storm off the apron. He connects with a Monkey Flip on Storm, followed by a jumping side kick off the top rope that Storm has to break up at two. RVD kicks Storm in the face, hits a Body Slam, then connects with a Split Legged Moonsault. RVD makes the cover, but Storm isn't legal (the commentators are oddly confused regarding why the ref won't make the count). Roode attacks while RVD is confused, then he and Storm catch an interfering Hardy with a Beer Money Suplex. Roode catapults RVD into a DDT from Storm, but it only gets two. Hardy's back up, and he connects with a Twist of Fate on Roode. He starts to go to the top, but Storm takes him to the outside. Storm tries to whip Hardy into the ladder set up outside, but Jeff slides below it and shoves it into Storm. He climbs to the top rope as RVD connects with a Rolling Thunder on Roode. Hardy follows up with a Swanton Bomb, then RVD finishes things off with the Five Star Frog Splash for the win.
WINNERS: RVD & Jeff Hardy. That's two weeks in a row Jeff Hardy has been involved in a great main event match; this week's was probably the better of the two.
After the match, Eric Young comes into the ring from the crowd and grabs a mic. He says that he just talked to Hulk, and next week they're going to have a six-man tag. It'll be Hall, Waltman, and Nash against Eric Young and his two partners—he raises Jeff and RVD's hands. Hardy and RVD seem happy about that. We're also told about Tara vs. Daffney in a First Blood Match next week.
Where We're Going: The table for Lockdown is actually pretty well set already. Hogan and Flair will be having a show down in the Lethal Lockdown Match itself, and The Pope will get his shot at AJ. Beyond that, a lot depends on whether the slow-burned Hogan-Bischoff split kicks in before the PPV, but with Hogan already busy with Flair it probably makes sense to stall that one a bit longer. I have no idea what the plan is with Mick Foley, who put in one of his better matches since he came to TNA. Meanwhile, the sooner they can get Hardy into the main event picture, the better, assuming that he have confidence that he won't be serving time or confined to North Carolina any time soon.
Star of the Night: Jeff Hardy. There were a lot of great performances tonight. Mick and Jarrett showed that they can cover each others' weaknesses a bit, and of course all four men in the main event did their part.
Overall: I must be good luck for TNA, since after missing a disastrous PPV I returned just in time for what was really a pretty killer Impact. I couldn't measure match length, but if I didn't notice them feeling overly short, what does it really matter how long they actually were? It felt like there were two real matches, plus one decently long showcase match. The main event didn't have any real surprises, but it did feature some really rock solid wrestling—given the spasmodic nature of recent TNA booking, that's a trade I'll make any week. Foley, Jarrett, Hardy, RVD, and Beer Money all told decent stories in the ring, and the women reminded us that, even without Awesome Kong, there's still some awesome wrestling to be had in the Knockouts Division. I'm not usually a fan of injury angles, but I thought the Hernandez bit was well done, particularly as it followed just a particularly nasty move rather than, to take a random example, a choke slam through some sort of seemingly solid surface. I even liked the weird open. The mention of Jarrett's kids was thankfully quick and painless, so my only real complains are with a slight over-reliance on recap packages and the downright baffling Rob Terry push. That latter was buried in the middle of the show though, and mercifully short. I go by main events, and that did it's part. Hell, even Bubba the Love Sponge finally served a useful function, which is downright amazing. A-.
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He is taking off a couple weeks for passover. Requests for personalized witty commentary can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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