TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 6/3: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast [updated]
Jun 3, 2010 - 10:38:43 PM
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By Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Last week's show featured very good work from A.J. Styles, Ken Anderson, Jeff Hardy, and some downright artistry from Desmond Wolfe. Also, RVD and Sting were there, and we're supposed to care about them in the main event. No one's really told us why yet, only that we're supposed to. This is actually a throwback to very old school TNA, when Jeff Jarrett would wrestle some WCW outcast in a main event nobody saw cause we all tuned out after the A.J. Styles match mid-show. Those weren't really such good days though, so I don't think the vibe is being intentionally recreated. What would be really cool would be if they have a King of the Mountain #1 Contender's match as the PPV main event. They could even do that to determine the challenger at Bound for Glory, Royal Rumble style. They borrow enough ideas from WWE and WCW, it seems about time they picked up a good one.
For some reason we have to watch a couple minutes of the crummy show before TNA before we get started. Is "Jail" live? Why would it need an overrun?
We then cut to a recap of Mr. Anderson's face turn.
Tonight we'll see A.J. vs. Kazarian vs. Jay Lethal. TNAWrestling.com said that RVD would be defending his title, but there's no mention of that.
Sting comes down to the ring. Maybe now we'll finally get answers to all those questions we forgot about in March. He says that not everything is at it seems. There's a lot of smoke and mirrors going on around now. It's almost like everything's gone a little Hollywood-no pun intended. It's like everything black is white, and everything white is black. That's all right, cause if you've followed his career you know he's been in this spot before, where he's been labeled the antagonist. He doesn't see what he'd gain by giving us an explanation, and he doesn't think he owes us one anyway. But he can promise us that there is an explanation, and that it'll become known to all involved. Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan wanted change, and they're gonna get it at Slammiversary. He doesn't know RVD very well, but Van Dam's just in the wrong place. It's nothing personal, but when Sting takes that title off him at Slammiversary, everyone will be revealed for what they are. A video plays of Sting beating up random people. Eric Bischoff hobbles out on crutches, to a bizarre "Eric Bischoff" song from the crowd. He says that Sting's not the man he used to know. He's been trying to convince everyone for so long that he's a superhero, that he's starting to believe it himself. But superheroes don't attack people with bats or choke women who've given them another shot at a career. Whatever's wrong, it's in Sting's head, not with Hogan or Bischoff. Sting's started putting himself first, and that's not how Hogan and Bischoff run things. They always put the company and the fans first. In fact, Bischoff's going to put the fans first right now by making Sting wrestle. The crowd chants that Joe is gonna kill him, and when the camera pans back to Sting, we see why-Samoa Joe is standing right behind him.
(1) STING vs. SAMOA JOE
Joe unloads with jabs to start, backing Sting up into the corner. Before he can do too much damage Matt Morgan runs down and attacks Joe from behind. Sting lays in with boots as Morgan holds Sting down with a boot of his own to Joe's throat. RVD runs out to make the save. Sting flees, but Morgan stays long enough to get a leg lariat and a side kick.
WINNER: N/A. I never heard a closing bell.
Bischoff is still on the ramp (or maybe on again). This isn't over-in fact, it'll continue later as a tag match, and tagging with Matt Morgan has been a bit of a challenge lately. RVD grabs the mic, and says that he thinks it should be a four way. Joe seems happy with that idea. Bischoff admits that that sounds good, but he needs approval from Hogan. Speak of the devil, here's Hogan. After some ranting about RVD's stroke, he books the match. So what happened to the title defense? Are they going to add that stip later?
Christy asks A.J. Styles why he looks upset, and A.J. says he just learned about his match tonight. Flair comes by, and A.J.'s annoyed. Kazarian is right behind him, thanking him for all the faith Flair's shown in him lately. As they walk out, Kazarian thanks Flair for the watch. A.J. looks even more ticked.
(2) ROSIE LOTTA LOVE vs. ROXXI
Rosie apparently took out Daffney a month ago. Did we see that? She's fairly large, so they crack some jokes about her weight. Roxxie gets knocked back twice trying to run Rosie down. Rosie comes back with a Body Slam. Roxxi dodges an attempted butt bump in the corner, then tries to fire back with forearms. A dropkick fails to take Rosie off her feet. Roxxi comes off the ropes for momentum, but Madison Rayne has snuck to ringside and nails her in the back with the women's title. Rosie doesn't seem thrilled by the help, and by the time she's done staring down Rayne she turns into a Small Package from Roxxi.
WINNER: Roxxi in just about a minute.
After the match Madison comes into the ring to yell at Rosie for letting Rayne off the hook. That might not have been a good idea for Rayne, as Rosie takes her down with a two-handed Choke Slam. JB catches up with Rosie on her way up the ramp, asking what she was doing. She says that the Beautiful People ambush women every week, saying that they'll take out one ugly person at a time? Uh uh. Rosie's big, and she's beautiful (she jiggles her boobs here, and the crowd, seemingly grudgingly, cheers), and she's going to take out The Beautiful People all at once.
Okay, she seemed kinda stiff in the ring, and she's no replacement for Awesome Kong, but that was a pretty impressive debut interview for Rosie.
(3) A.J. STYLES (w/RIC FLAIR) vs. KAZARIAN vs. JAY LETHAL
Kaz tries to direct traffic, but A.J. doesn't want to take orders. He rolls out of the ring, and indicates that Kazarian should have this one covered. Lethal gets a quick School boy on Kazarian, followed by a Springboard Cross Body Block. He bounces Kaz off the corner and hits an Arm Drag. He starts to cartwheel into a dropkick, but A.J. cuts him off with a clothesline. A.J. yells to Flair that this is how it's done, but Lethal dodges the ensuing charge in the corner and lays in with right hands. Lethal slides between A.J.'s legs and gets him with a Twisting Leg Scissors. He connects with the first half of the Lethal Combo, but Kazarian cuts him off before the second. Kaz and A.J. take a moment to argue. Lethal swings at Kazarian, who ducks, but gets A.J.. He then nails a simultaneous Bulldog on Kaz/clothesline on A.J., Matt Hardy style. Lethal looks for covers, but no one stays down. A.J. elevates him out and onto the apron. Lethal thrusts a shoulder into A.J.'s abdomen, but when he tries to springboard back in Kazarian shoves A.J. to the side and catches Lethal with a Diamond Cutter. A.J.'s annoyed, so he decides to connect with a Back Breaker. Kaz thinks he has that beat, so he hits an Arm Drag into a Neck Breaker, which was kind of cool. A.J. says that he still sucks, and that they should work together for one second, for Ric. They bicker, which gives Lethal the opportunity to start firing back with right hands and a dropkick. A.J. comes back from the mat with a Hurricanrana to bring Lethal down. A.J. says they should go for a double Suplex, but A.J. goes for a Vertical Suplex and Kazarian goes for a Back Suplex. A.J. just drives Lethal's face into the corner turnbuckle. He says that he's going to finish Lethal off with a springboard move, so Kazarian leans against the ropes just as A.J. comes off them. A.J. stumbles, and while Kazarian pleads his innocence Lethal shoves A.J. into him and gets a quick roll up (on A.J.) for three.
WINNER: Jay Lethal in six minutes.
Flair gets into the ring. He asks if A.J. understands that Ric Flair gave him the gift of being Ric Flair's protege, and today A.J. goes and loses to Jay Lethal? A.J. tries to blame Kazarian, but Ric's not having it. A.J. lost the title, and he's lost focus. Ric tells A.J. to go home, look in the mirror, and figure out what he wants to do and who he wants to be, cause right now he's not in Ric's good graces. When Ric gives you the ball, you don't drop it. A.J. needs to go home and make a lifetime decision. As he backs up the ramp, A.J. says that this is bullshit, and he's ten times what Kazarian is. Kurt Angle's music hits, and he comes up the lift right behind A.J.. A.J. doesn't think he needs that either, so he just walks past Kurt and into the back. Kurt starts towards the ring.
Angle is in the ring, as are Kazarian and Flair. Kurt tells Kazarian that he came out here to show him the proper respect, before he makes Kazarian his first victim. You see, Kurt Angle likes his opponent to know exactly what he's going to do before he does it. A few weeks ago Kurt told Hogan that he wanted to work his way up through the rankings. Unfortunately, Kazarian is tenth, so it starts with him at Slammiversary. Ric asks Kurt if he realizes he just walked right by Ric Flair without saying a word. They have a lot of history, and it's good. When Kurt started in this business, Ric came up to him and said that he wanted his youngest son, his pride and joy, to be just like Kurt Angle, the best amateur wrestler in the world. That shows the respect Ric has for Kurt. But that was a different time, and Kurt doesn't seem to realize that they're not talking amateur wrestling anymore, and whatever Kurt was as an amateur, Ric's ten times that as a pro. If you ask anyone in this business, Ric Flair is a god. He has his gold medals right here in his hall of fame ring and his gold watch. Ric wants to feel HBK respect, Sting respect, or Hogan respect, and until he gets that vibe from Kurt Kurt should just hit the road, like A.J. did. Kurt doesn't want to make Ric take his jacket off. Kurt just shrugs and starts to leave the ring, but Ric has a better idea. He wants the fans to understand just where Kurt fits into his world. Ric'll leave first, and Kurt will hold the ropes. Then they might be on the same page. Ric walks up to the ropes, and waits expectantly. Kurt hesitates, but Ric instructs him to show the fans how much respect he has and will attain (?) in months to come. Sure enough, Kurt sits on the rope as Flair leaves. As Flair walks up the ramp though, Kurt comes after him and tosses him to the floor. Kazarian jumps Kurt from behind and brings him back into the ring, but Kurt turns the tide and unloads with right hands, forcing Kazarian back out.
Matt Morgan catches up with Sting in the reaction cam. "We" aren't going to try to sell Sting a bill of goods. "We" know people don't trust "us", and "we" understand that, but if there's one thing you can trust it's that "we" will do anything to win a world championship. So why don't they get some two-on-one advantages, and then let the chips fall where they may. Sting walks away silently.
A.J. is throwing a tantrum in the back. Flair wants him to think about who he wants to be? He's a pro-wrestler-he's the best wrestler in the world. What he has to do is kill Jay Lethal. Bischoff-he'll go to Bischoff and ask for Lethal at Slammiversary.
We recap Anderson's face turn again.
In the ring, Christy Hemme asks us to welcome her guest, who has a big announcement to make for his match at Slammiversary, Mr. Anderson. He comes down to the ring and takes a moment to check out Christy. She says that the floor is his. He had been looking forward to a big Katie Couric style interview, but he's kind of distracted right now. He keeps looking down her shirt, so she turns her back. Then he looks up her skirt. He knows he's not a chauvinist, so does that make him...an asshole? She says yes, as does the crowd. But he thinks the pot's calling the kettle black, cause he knows everyone in the crowd is just waiting on a wardrobe malfunction-so that would make all of them assholes. They chant that they agree, and Anderson points out that this has got to be a censor's worst nightmare. Anyway, he saw that Beer Money had a blank next to their names at Slammiversary, so Mr. Anderson signed up. But he couldn't do it on his own, and besides, it's not really a party without Jeff Nero (maybe?) Hardy. Hardy's music hits, and he comes down to the ring. He and Anderson share a fist pump. The crowd goes nuts. Hardy says that a lot of people are wondering what's going on-why would he ever team with Anderson? But we should hear the way he talks and see the way he moves-Anderson's the funniest asshole he ever met. Besides, Anderson's the craziest guy in the company other than him. So it will be a party at Slammiversary, and all the creatures of the night are invited. Anderson wants to point out that he might be an asshole, but he's also a cheap asshole, so it's BYOB. Beer Money's music hits. As they come down, Roode is gesturing that they're not here to fight. When they hit the ring, Roode points out how cute it is to see TNA's very latest bffs (best friends forever, for those of you who aren't teenage girls and missed the relevant episode of South Park). And it's an entertaining pair too-we have Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson...Anderson. But what do either of them know about tag team wrestling? Jeff laughs, and Roode admits that earlier in his career he had a cup of tea with his brother-Jeff yells out "V1!" and the crowd goes nuts again-but we all know Matt carried him and they sucked anyway. Tag teams are about being like brothers, and putting the needs of the team first. But Jeff Hardy's a moron and Mr. Anderson's an asshole. They're like oil and water, Jekyll and Hyde, or Lacey Von Erich and that perverted little midget-so what makes them think that they can even step into the ring with Beer Money at Slammiversary? Anderson takes the mic, and says that this might be a little off subject, but why is Roode's hair always frick'n wet? Okay, that one got a real laugh from me. And come to think of it, quick draw, why is Storm wearing sunglasses? Only two types of people wear sunglasses indoors-blind people and jackoffs. Taz takes exception to that. The crowd let Storm know which category they think he belongs to. Storm lets out a big fake laugh, and suggests that Mr. Anderson should be known as "Mr. Funnyman". Actually Storm does a little stand-up comedy act himself-watch this. He pops Anderson in the face, and Roode goes after Hardy. They only brawl for a few seconds before security guards swarm the ring and pull them apart. We're told that if we can regain control it'll be Jeff Hardy vs. James Storm next. That's convenient timing.
Storm is beating Hardy around the ring, but Hardy reverses an attempted whip into the guardrail. Hardy plants Storm's face into the steps. Storm blocks when Hardy tries to drive him into the ring post, so Jeff just takes him down with a clothesline. Hardy exposes the cement and hip tosses Storm into it. He clubs Storm in the back of the head and rolls him into the ring for the opening bell.
(4) JEFF HARDY vs. JAMES STORM
Hardy thrusts a shoulder into Storm's abdomen from the apron, but Storm comes back with a kick to Hardy's exposed head and takes him into the ring with a (slightly twisted) DDT. Storm takes Hardy into the corner and stomps on him, then goes to the outside to get a running start for a big boot to the side of Hardy's head. He comes back in for a nonchalant cover, which gets two. I guess he thinks it's time for Hardy to get back into it, since he locks in a chin lock. Not surprisingly, Hardy powers out. Storm stuns him with a back elbow, then hits him with a Gut Buster and slams him back into the mat. There looked like there might have been a slight miscue there, but I'm not sure. A cover only gets two, so Storm goes to the outside to get a chair. Referee Brian Hebner takes it away as he comes back in, and the distraction buys Hardy time to nail a Jaw Breaker. Hardy and Storm both get up swinging, but when Storm tries to come off the ropes Hardy catches him with a Flashback. Hardy opens up the chair and uses it to help him nail Poetry in Motion for two. Hardy signals for the Twist of Fate; Storm twists out, but Hardy nails his Inverted Suplex instead. Jeff goes to the top rope, but Storm knocks his legs out from under him. Storm goes for a Frankensteiner, but Hardy holds onto the ropes and comes off the top with Whisper in the Wind for a long two count. Storm clings to the bottom rope, and as the ref pulls Hardy away Storm takes a swig of his beer. When he gets up he spits some in Hardy's face, then nails an Eye of the Storm for two. Storm is getting frustrated, so he grabs the chair again. He swings at Hardy, but Hardy dodges. The chair bounces off the rope and back into Storm, and Storm falls right back into a Twist of Fate. Hardy finishes him off with a Swanton Bomb.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy in six minutes, plus an additional two minutes of televised pre-match brawling. This was an awesome tv match.
(5) ROBERT ROODE vs. MR. ANDERSON
Anderson and Roode lock up to start. Roode backs Anderson into the corner. The ref calls for the break; Roode goes for a cheap shot, but Anderson ducks it and gets in a shot of his own. Anderson gets a side headlock; Roode shoots him into a shoulder block but then whiffs on an elbow drop. Anderson gets another side headlock, then takes Roode down for an elbow drop and some mocking. Anderson jumps on Roode against the ropes, then covers for two. Roode runs around the ring, and when Anderson follows him back in Roode kicks the middle rope up into his crotch. Roode works right hands around the ring. Anderson tries to fight back, but Roode bends him over with a kick then leaps over with a Neck Breaker for two. He chokes Anderson against the bottom rope, working the five count a couple times. He Snapmares Anderson down then works a neck vise. Anderson powers out. Roode tries to take Anderson down with a Spine Buster, Anderson reverses into an attempted Mic Drop, but Roode stops that with an elbow to the face. Anderson takes him over with a Back Body Drop. He tries to follow up with an Oklahoma Roll but Roode rakes the eyes and nails a clothesline. Anderson gets a boot up in the corner, but when he goes for a Sunset Flip Roode grabs onto the ropes and sits on him for three.
WINNER: Robert Roode in five minutes. Is it my imagination or did Anderson's finisher used to be the "Mic Check"?
Anderson calls down his mic, and says that any man can be beaten on any given day. He just got beat again, and by Bobby Roode nonetheless (Roode, on the ramp, yells that he likes to be called "Robert"). But it seems like the only way people can beat him is by engaging in under-handed chicanery and tomfoolery. And the reason they need to do that is that he is no mere mortal, but rather Mr...He lets one half of the crowd do the first Anderson, and the other half the second.
Doug Williams, in the reaction cam, is saying that right now the X Division does wrestling a disservice. Where he's from wrestling is about attacking the limbs and grinding people down. What the X Division wrestlers do is just flip around and grab attention, so he's here to reeducate them on how to really wrestle. If they want to beat him they'll have to do it the British way, by actually wrestling him for it. If they do that, they might have a chance, but otherwise it's not going to happen.
We recap Abyss-Wolfe and Jordan-Terry. Jordan is sporting Rob Terry pasties and that weird shaking dumbbell thing.
(6) DESMOND WOLFE & ORLANDO JORDAN vs. ROB TERRY & ABYSS (w/CHELSEA)
In a rare nod to continuity, Tenay mentions in passing that Wolfe and Chelsea got sentenced to community service for filing a false police report about Abyss. Wolfe attacks Abyss's injured arm to start, kicking and elbowing it. He tags in Jordan, who comes in with a Double Sledge to the bandages. He strikes the arm a few more times, but Abyss hits an elbow, then suddenly charges Jordan in the corner and tosses him out of the ring. Jordan lands near Chelsea, and checks out her dress, so she slaps him. Taz says that he didn't think she was his type. Either Taz knows something about Jordan's taste in personalities or someone needs to sit him down and explain what the word "bisexual" means. Wolfe comes over. First he yells at Jordan for looking at his girl. Then he yells at Chelsea for slapping his tag team partner--"I don't know if he's interested in you or interested in me, but by slapping him you..." I want to know how that sentence ends, but Abyss cuts him off before he can finish it and drives his head into the guard rail. In the ring, apparently Abyss thought to tag out before leaving, as Terry flips Jordan back in over the rope and finishes him off with a Freak Buster.
WINNERS: Abyss & Rob Terry in about three minutes. Abyss holds up Terry's arm.
We recap Jesse Neal-Brother Ray.
Jesse Neal has been laid out in the back.
(7) RVD vs. SAMOA JOE vs. STING vs. MATT MORGAN Non-title Match
So for those keeping score at home, the claim that RVD would be defending the title was, technically speaking, a lie. Morgan and Joe start things off in the ring as Sting takes it to RVD on the outside. Joe takes control in the ring with jabs, then crushes Morgan with a running elbow and his Pele-like Ensuguri. Morgan and Joe roll out of the ring as Sting brings RVD into it. RVD catches a kick and reverses into a Spinning Heel Kick and an Inverted Atomic Drop. He Superkicks Sting out of the ring as Joe comes back in. Amazingly, the crowd is back behind Joe as they stare down. Before anything can happen, Morgan and Sting come back in and attack Joe and RVD, respectively. Morgan chokes Joe and takes him back outside. In the ring, RVD gets some distance, connects with a leaping side kick, and then hits Rolling Thunder on Sting. Morgan breaks up the cover at two. He whips Sting into the ropes, but lowers his head too early-Sting kicks him in the face, but he no-sells it and connects with a 360-Degree Clothesline. Joe breaks up the cover at two. He tosses Morgan from the ring, which gives Sting enough time to get up and start connecting with rights. Joe hits a Superkick out of nowhere, but Morgan breaks up that cover at two. Morgan charges Joe in the corner, then takes him down with a Side Slam. RVD tries to take Morgan down with a Cross Body Block, but Morgan catches him and nails a Spinning Side Slam. Morgan works his back elbows in the corner, then seems to catch sight of something in the crowd. Amazingly, the camera is perfectly positioned to get a look at exactly where Morgan was looking, but still can only get a blurry image of what appears to be Hernandez. As Morgan looks on Joe nails a leaping kick to the side of his head, then nails a Muscle Buster. Joe turns around right into a side kick off the top from RVD. RVD goes right back up for a Five Star Frog Splash on Morgan, which is enough. So was Sting down that whole time from Joe's Superkick?
WINNER: RVD in six minutes.
Joe gets in RVD's face as we go off air.
Where We're Going: Your guess is as good as mine with regard to Abyss, Desmond Wolfe, Orlando Jordan and Rob Terry. Oddly enough, I want to like Jordan, but can't, and want to not-like Terry, but do. It's a strange world. Other than that, the mid-card is going really well. Anderson and Hardy stole the show once again, Lethal and Kazarian are clearly more than capable of handling their new prominence, and the more Douglas Williams gets to talk the better. Three quarters of the main event were good, but sadly the quarter that was not is supposed to be the lynch-pin of the PPV. I realize I've been harping on this a lot, but if you go back in the archives a year or two you'll see that I actually am a bit of a Sting fan-it's just that he's very clearly not fitting in with the current product, and pretending otherwise isn't helping anyone. Also, when you promise you have an explanation for something random, doesn't that just seem like a code for "we really haven't figured out the explanation"?
Star of the Night: Mr. Anderson. His tag team partner had the better match, but there's no question who's doing the heavy mic work on their team.
Overall: This show did all the right things. It had some fun matches, and pushed forward all the big PPV feuds. Even the main-event-feud I deride so much was helped immensely by this episode-Sting's promo was a bit underwhelming, but it was a lot better than nothing. There was a lot of good wrestling, though the fact that it was broken into seven separate matches made things feel a bit disjointed. Overall though, the pacing was a step in the right direction too. They kept all the matches commercial-free, and managed to do some really nice lead-ins from segment to segment (the three middle segments right around the hour-mark were especially well tied together). This was an enjoyable show. If TNA management could dig themselves out of two or three horrific booking decisions, they'd have a hell of a product on their hands. There was nothing really amazing about this show, but there was a lot that was very good, and I don't remember being particularly bored even once. A-
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. It's the end of Spring Quarter, so he has a bunch of papers to grade this weekend. People who want to volunteer their help can send such offers to firstname.lastname@example.org
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