TNA Impact WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 6/10: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast [updated]
Jun 10, 2010 - 10:37:06 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: I'll be honest—I don't really remember last week's show so well. I do remember liking it, and there being some fun wrestling from the likes of Jeff Hardy and RVD, and some further killer promo work from Mr. Anderson. With the possible exception of developments in the Flair—Kazarian--AJ triangle, it was fairly inconsequential. Given that recent consequences in TNA have involved a woman being sold into slavery for 30 days, I'll take "fun but inconsequential" any day. Anyhow, TNA has three days to give me some reason to think Sting deserves a title shot.
The Show: A Flair for the Dramatics
We recap Mr. Anderson winning over the Impact Zone, and Kazarian winning over Ric Flair. They seem to have permanently eliminated the intro in favor of a music-laden recap package.
A suit-clad AJ Styles comes down to the ring, flanked by Kazarian, Desmond Wolfe, James Storm and Robert Roode. AJ points out that, as we can see, Ric Flair is not with us. In his absence, AJ will take control of the situation. Everyone nods along, though Kazarian seemingly does so only sarcastically. What is the situation? When AJ arrived here he learned that they were booked in an 8 man tag tonight. Being the Rhodes Scholar that he is, he knows that an 8 man tag involves two teams of four. The problem is that there are five people in the ring right now. We all know that in this world five doesn't work. There were four Beatles, four members of the Fantastic Four, and who can forget the Four Horsemen? The crowd pops for the Four Horsemen reference. Well, he's got a solution—Kazarian's out. Kazarian claims that AJ can't make that call, as only Flair is in charge. Flair's music hits here, but it's only Jay Lethal in a suit. He tells us that the Nature Boy is the house, whooo! Did he hear that AJ Styles is in charge tonight? AJ Styles is not the man, he'll never be him—there's only one man who can be in charge right now, and it's the Nature Boy. AJ points out that he's not the Nature Boy, but Lethal ignores him. AJ's looking at the wrestling god right now. Because his shoes cost five hundred, the shirt costs six hundred, and he doesn't know what AJ's suit costs but he'd be ashamed to wear it. AJ says that it's custom made, and asks Lethal to read the label. Lethal claims it says "Wal-Mart". The Nature Boy is the 16 time, 16 time, 16 time World Champion, and there's no way AJ will ever compete. AJ's right that there'll be an eight man tag tonight, and "Flair" would like to introduce his team. Everyone knows the Naitch specializes in big men, so he went out and got the biggest, Abyss. Abyss comes out, sans Chelsea. "Flair" tells Desmond not to worry, cause she'll be com'n round the mountain when she comes. (You can decide for yourself whether I spelled that properly). His next partner is a man so nice they named him two times, two times, two times, Mr. Anderson! AJ's team can't win, cause look at the scrubs he has. AJ says that he's flanked by an awesome team—except for Kazarian, who doesn't count. Kazarian doesn't take kindly, but it doesn't matter, cause AJ also points out that Lethal only has three people. Lethal says that AJ can't count, cause the big man Abyss is worth two people. In fact they're ready to go right now. They storm the ring, with Lethal in particular entering via a Spingboard Double Clothesline. The heels quickly take control, with AJ and Kazarian bickering all the way. Jeff Hardy's music hits. He comes in from the crowd and clears the ring.
Brian Kendrick tells us something about his pineal gland being aligned with his third eye, enabling him to see his whole existence from beginning to end. He knows why his father was a schizophrenic and his mother a genius—it had to be that way for him to serve the role he had to serve. And the next step in that role is taking the X Division Championship, a title that has no prejudice of size or style. Thank you for your time.
It's nice that someone finally remembered that there is an X Division title match coming. It's a bit late, but I kinda dig the new age Kendrick—it reminds me a bit of Raven.
(1)BRIAN KENDRICK vs. HOMICIDE
Before he comes out Homicide yells that Kendrick wants to be crazy, but he knows street crazy. The crowd is excited to see him. Right before the opening bell Douglas Williams joins Tenay and Taz on commentary—this should be good. Homicide backs Kendrick into a corner—he wants a cheap shot, but Kendrick blocks it. Homicide nails a brutal haymaker though, and follows up with another. I'm reminded that Kendrick got a win on Williams while he was distracted by Kazarian, which I'd actually forgotten about. Kendrick connects with some sweeping low kicks, but Homicide punches him back down. Homicide tosses his bandana at Kendrick in disgust, then goes for the Gringo Killer. Kendrick gets out and shoves Homicide into the corner, but gets stopped by a back elbow. Homicide nails a beautiful T-Bone Suplex for two, then gets chokes and face-washes Kendrick in the corner. Williams says that if he were in this situation he'd just give up to save himself for the title match. I could be wrong, but I think Homicide just did the "You Can't See Me" gesture. He nails a cross between a Body Slam and a Michonoku Driver. He tries to finish Kendrick off with a Gringo Cutter but BK whacks him in the back of the head. Kendrick follows up with strikes in the corner, but Homicide yanks him into the ring post. Homicide unravels his wrist tape to choke Kendrick. The ref takes it away, so Homicide just takes the tape of the other wrist and uses that. Homicide poses, so Kendrick gets up firing. He takes Homicide down with an Ensuguri. Homicide rolls out to the apron—Kendrick follows him out and smashes the back of his head into the ramp repeatedly. Referee Jamie Tucker pulls him off, and Homicide takes advantage of the distraction to grab a toolbox from under the ring. He considers taking a hammer, but settles on the screwdriver. When he goes back into the ring the ref grabs it away from him, and while they argue Kendrick nails a kick to Homicide's temple. That's enough.
WINNER: Brian Kendrick in seven minutes. That was a really good match, but an odd way to build up a #1 Contender—the focus of the match was almost entirely on Homicide. Still, I'll never complain about a focus on Homicide.
Jesse Neal is trying to get at Brother Ray in the back. Their respective partners and security are keeping them apart, badly.
Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore are in the ring. Neal has a mic, and he asks for Brother Ray to come out so they can talk man-to-man. Ray storms out angrily, with Devon lagging behind trying to talk him down. Neal says that if Ray has a problem with him, he should do something about it to his face instead of ambushing him. And what's the deal with laying cards on them? Ray has no idea what he's talking about, but what he does know is that Jesse Neal is getting too big on himself. Did he forget who he's talking to? He's talking to Brother Ray, one of the legit tough guys in this business. Devon gets in his face, so Ray tells him to get back. Neal contends that he never disrespected him, and always gave him the credit he was due. Ray says that he doesn't need his credit—Neal's a nobody. Before Team 3D found him he was just a failure in the navy, and if Ray has anything to say about it he'll be a failure in the wrestling business too. Neal's ticked, but Ray contends that it's all just the truth. Moore looks mad, so Ray punks him out. Moore says that the Book of Dilligaf says that Ray is nothing but a bully who should get his puppet out of here. The crowd, finally knowing who to cheer for, goes nuts for Devon. Devon tells Moore that he gets a pass for that one. Neal already has a pass, since 3D trained him—he's a product of Team 3D. He tells Ray to get his head on straight, then walks away from all of them in disgust. As Neal and Moore watch Devon go Ray pops Neal in the back of the head, then scampers off.
Apparently in an attempt to convince me that Sting deserves this shot, they show a moderately edited version of Sting killing Jarrett back at Sacrifice. First he attacked him backstage, then wrenched his arm back on the ramp, then used the barricade to give him a crimson mask at ringside. He then laid Jarrett's left shoulder across the steps, laid the bat perpendicularly across the shoulder, and stomped on it. He did some more shoulder wrenching before finally tossing him into the ring for a Scorpion Death Drop and a three count. He told Jeff that if he wants to play the deception game, then he's no different from "those guys" and deserves the same fate. Sting continued the beatdown while Jarrett was on the stretcher till Hogan came and scared him away. Well, now I finally understand—Sting deserved a title shot because he was able to beat up a 42 year old man and TNA icon with the help of a baseball bat.
We'll hear from Jarrett next.
Matt Morgan is in the back with Bischoff and Ms Tessmacher. Bischoff assures him that he has a partner ready for Morgan who just loves Morgan to death. Morgan, seeing where this is headed, is not happy. He gets even more irate when he hears that his title shot has been bumped up to tonight.
Jarrett is sitting at home with his arm in a sling. He says that Sting literally beat the hell out of him. If someone literally beat the hell out of me I'd be grateful—there's nothing worse than having some hell in you. Sting wrenched his shoulder of its socket. This isn't the Sting he's fought against and teamed with before. He's been possessed by the "evilness". He'll get his revenge, but it won't be any time soon. There's on PPV a year he has a personal connection to, and this year he'll have to miss it. He'll be sitting at home with his girls, explaining why he's not at Slammiversary. Jarrett doesn't have his answers yet, but he vows that he's gonna get them.
Matt Morgan hits the ring first for his tag title rematch. Hulk Hogan comes out next. He says that Morgan is the biggest cry baby he knows. There's a reason he's out there alone, which is that he's stabbed more partners in the back then Hulk's ever seen. Hulk's glad that the fans don't shake his hand, cause he'd probably steal our wallets while we were doing it. All that energy Morgan's been sending out will be coming right back to him. Well, it's time to meet his partner—does "viva la raza" mean anything to him? That gets some boos, presumably on the thought that it's a cheap invocation of Eddie Guerrero. Oddly enough, Hernandez started walking out, then Hogan called for him, and then his music hit. It was weird. Anyhow, he hits the ring with a Slingshot Shoulder Block halfway across the ring. Hulk joins the commentary booth. Hernandez beats Morgan around the ring, then rolls him in for a Stinger Splash in the corner. Hogan says that it was a bad break that Hernandez was out when he was, since if he'd been there when the fans had voted he could have been the #1 or #2 contender. Hernandez chokes Morgan out with his shirt, then walks away. Hogan says that he likes what he sees between them, and so they'll have a match at Slammiversary. Hulk meets Hernandez on the ramp to raise his hand in victory. Morgan is on a stretcher and just being lifted out of the ring when The Band's music hits. Security guards that had been seeing to Morgan leave the ring, but he's still strapped into the stretcher.
(2)THE BAND vs. MATT MORGAN & HERNANDEZ (technically) Tag Team Championship Match
Eric Young covers Morgan for three.
WINNERS: The Band in three seconds.
Christy is in the back with Rob Van Dam. She says that the heat between him and Sting has been increasing—how does that effect his match tonight? What match? [apparently that was just a mis-speak, because he does not in fact have a match scheduled tonight] Anyhow, he says that his strategy at Slammiversary will be what it's always been, to show Sting why he's the one who has that belt, and it's cause he's Rob Van Dam, not someone who can just...before he can finish Sting whacks him from behind, chokes him out, and lays in with some strikes. He takes the title belt and walks away.
We recap what we just saw moments ago.
Trainers are trying to convince RVD to stay down, but he notices that his belt is missing. Christy tells him what happened, and he goes off looking for Sting.
Kurt comes down to the ring for his first match back. The crowd welcomes him back. Kurt informs us that since his first match in working up the top ten is with an excellent X Division wrestler, Kurt sought for his opponent the best X Division wrestler on the planet. So he asked his friend to hold nothing back tonight, cause he won't be.
(3)KURT ANGLE vs. AMAZING RED
Good choice—the crowd agrees. Angle takes him down with a shoulder block, but Red gets up, leap frogs him, takes him down with an Arm Drag, and then back down with a Twisting Head Scissors. Kurt goes behind looking for a German Suplex, but Red flips out over his head. Kurt catches him with the Belly to Belly Suplex though. Kurt charges Red against the ropes, but Red sidesteps and sends Kurt flying out. Red looks like he's going to vault out onto Kurt. Kurt steps away, so Red lands on his feet. Kurt tries to alley-oop Red, but Red lands on the apron, stiff kicks Kurt in the head, then gets him with a beautiful Hurricanrana (almost a Dragonrana really). Kurt rolls back into the ring. Red springboards in after him, Kurt dodges, so Red rolls through but right into a Decapitator clothesline. Red looks dead, but when Kurt tries to finish him off with an Olympic Slam Red reverses it into a DDT. Red nails an Ensuguri. Kurt tries to Back Body Drop Red out of the ring, but again Red lands on the apron. He comes back in with a Spingboard Flatliner for a long two count. Kurt nails a quick German Suplex, but when he tries to follow up with the Olympic Slam Red reverses it with an Arm Drag. Red goes for a Buzzsaw Kick—Kurt ducks, but Red continues the rotation and nails him with the back leg. He hits a sitting Hurricanrana that spikes Kurt's head into the mat then nails the Red Star Press (a standing Shooting Star) for what must have been 2.99999. He goes to finish off Kurt with the Infra-Red, but Kurt rolls away and connects with the Olympic Slam as he gets up. That's enough for three.
WINNER: Kurt Angle in four minutes. They're amazing! Kurt helps Red up, then raises his arm. They hug.
Sting says that he's possession of it now, but on Sunday he's going to own it. It's just like he said—Robbie--when he takes that world title from him, the veil will be lifted from everyone's eyes. Cause the word of the month in TNA is "Deception"--he turns around the title to reveal that he's graffitti'ed "deception on it". Whether RVD's aware of it or not, he's a part of the problem, and Sting will deal with it on Sunday.
We have a package highlighting TNA's eight years of existence. They're celebrating this improbable success story with "this summer's hottest pay-per-view of the year". I have absolutely no idea what the hell that could mean. Hogan says that the talent treats every match like a main event, they don't miss, and Hogan's just happy to ride the train. In a moment of awesomeness, RVD says that he doesn't think that Sting deserves the #1 Contender's Spot. Hogan says that the way Sting's acted, he wouldn't have even let him in the building, but with his history the fans' votes were enough to swing the needle his way. Wait, WTF?!?!?!?!? I just checked the current poll. This week Sting appears to be at 5% (by contrast, Jeff Hardy is at 26%)--the week before the rankings came out, he was at 1% (and Desmond Wolfe was at 50%). I'm not going to ask why they just ignore the vote and make shit up, but GIVEN that they just ignore the vote and make shit up, WHY DO THEY REVEAL THE RESULTS OF THE VOTE ON THEIR OWN FREAK'N WEBSITE??? Head...going to...explode... Kurt actually tries to sell Sting without lying, saying that with Sting's history it's legitimate to treat him as the #1 Contender at any time at all. Okay, at least that's an answer—it's a bad answer, but Kurt is still playing the right game. Anyhow, the rest of the package hyping Slammiversary is decent.
RVD is still looking for Sting. Can't he just call whichever camera guy was there for Sting's promo?
(4)AJ STYLES, JAMES STORM, ROBERT ROODE & DESMOND WOLFE vs. JAY LETHAL, ABYSS (w/CHELSEA), MR. ANDERSON, & JEFF HARDY
Oddly enough, the faces come out to Hardy's music. I would have thought Lethal's would have made more sense. Roode starts things off for his team with a knee to Lethal's gut. Lethal tries to fire back, but Roode stops him with an eye rake. Roode whips him into the ropes, but Lethal comes back with a Tajiri-style Handspring Elbow. Roode falls into the faces' corner, and they take turns punching him. Abyss tags in, and Roode's not happy. Abyss tries to crush him in the corner. Roode sidesteps, and Storm comes in to help him out with a double team. Abyss goozles them both. Wolfe runs in to help, but walks right into a Big Boot. Beer Money kick their way out of the Choke Slam, but Abyss takes them back down with a double clothesline. Anderson and Storm tag in. Anderson and Hardy trade quick tags, isolating Storm. Hardy hits a double sledge off the middle rope, then a series of mounted punches. He takes Storm down with a Snapmare for a one count. Storm pokes his eyes and makes the tag to Wolfe. Hardy tries to take Wolfe down with a Jaw Breaker, but Wolfe blocks it with a knee to the face. Hardy comes back with a straight Suplex for one. Wolfe gets a tag to AJ, who works some shoulder thrusts in the corner. He connects with a Body Slam and follows up by a Knee Drop for two. AJ locks in a Sleeper. Hardy powers to his feet, but AJ takes him back down with an elbow to the back of the head. AJ hits another elbow and a stomp, then tags Wolfe in. Wolfe whips Hardy into Storm and Roode's boots. He tries to do it again, but Hardy reverses and Wolfe takes the contact. Hardy gets too close to the wrong corner though, and Beer Money start pummeling him. Lethal runs in to make the save, and the ref briefly loses control as everyone tries to force everyone else out. The ring clears, and Roode tags in. He and Storm hit a Beer Money Suplex, followed by a (solo) knee drop for two. He drapes Hardy's head over the apron, which enables Wolfe to whack him in the throat from the outside. Roode catapults Hardy into Wolfe's fist. A cover gets two. Hardy almost gets away, but Storm tags in and they nail Hardy with a Wishbone Split. Storm locks in a Front Chancery. Hardy backs him into the corner for a tag to Lethal, but Desmond Wolfe has referee Slick Johnson distracted. AJ tags in. Hardy tries to fire back, but AJ pokes him in the eyes. Hardy brings AJ down with a Jaw Breaker. AJ tries to hold onto Hardy's ankle, but Jeff nails his inverted Ensuguri and makes the hot tag to Lethal. Wait—the hot tag goes to Jay Lethal? Cool. Roode tries to interfere, but Lethal clotheslines him down, then kicks Storm and dropkicks Wolfe off the apron. He Back Body Drops AJ, then tosses him up in the air and nails him with a Neck Breaker. Wolfe breaks up the cover at two, then DDTs Lethal. Anderson comes in and Oklahoma Rolls Wolfe, Storm Superkicks Anderson, Hardy Twist of Fates Storm, Roode Spine Busters Hardy, Abyss Choke Slams Roode, and then Wolfe takes Abyss down with his killer lariat. Wolfe yells for Chelsea to giver him her chair now, but she's hesitant. The time delay is enough for Abyss to get up, and he punches the chair back into Wolfe. AJ comes back into the ring and nails Abyss with his Springboard Flying Forearm. Lethal tries to springboard into some move on AJ, but Styles catches him with a Power Bomb and hits the Styles Clash for the win.
WINNERS: Styles, Storm, Roode & Wolfe in eleven minutes. That was an awesome match—all the more so because they let it go eleven minutes without a commercial.
RVD is still looking for Sting. Instead, Sting finds RVD, jumping him from behind. Sting calls attention to the belt around his waist, then drives RVD into a crate. He then beats him with—poster board? Maybe it was drywall. He beats RVD with a trash can. RVD gets a trash can lid and nails Sting in the stomach, then drives him to the concession area and some t-shirts. He beats Sting into the scaffolding under the entrance, nailing him with a chair to the back. He grabs onto some bar and kicks Sting with both legs. Sting turns things around and hurls RVD into a mailbox shaped trashcan. He does it again, then takes RVD out among the fans. RVD fires back to Sting's gut. Taz on commentary says that Sting doesn't owe anyone an explanation, but if he's going to hint at it he should just tell us already. Either you're talking or you're not—you can't be half pregnant. RVD beats Sting into the ring, rips off his (Sting's) jacket, and uses it to choke him. He sets Sting up in the corner, then rips the belt off him. He beats him down in the corner, then gets a chair from ringside. He sets it up between the ropes. Sting blocks the attempted whip, kicks RVD in the gut and then whips him into the opposite corner. RVD bounces out with a Superkick, but when he approaches Sting he gets flung face first into the chair. Sting takes the chair and nails RVD in the back. He grabs the title belt and a mic. He says that the belt is deception, and that it's RVD's till Sunday. He drops it on Van Dam and walks out, his music playing.
Where We're Going: I'm really not sure if they just have no idea how to handle fan voting or if Hogan just sleeps through the meetings where they go over the results. The latter's a live possibility, as he did also forget a few weeks back, whilst giving Desmond Wolfe a title shot, to mention that he was getting that shot because of his overwhelming popularity in the voting. They need to either figure this thing out or kill it—or at least learn to lie about it better.
Star of the Night: Jay Lethal--his Ric Flair is just downright uncanny. Honorable mentions go to Amazing Red and Hernandez for reminding us that they both exist and are awesome.
Overall: So let's get this out of the way first: Hogan attempting to justify Sting's #1 Contender Status by appeal to the very poll that rejected him was quite possibly the most mind-boggling thing since Katie Vick (or Al Wilson, whichever was more recent). Aside from that though, this show was great. The pacing has improved by leaps and bounds in recent weeks. The three (real) matches and two brawls they put on this week were all given enough time to tell a story. The final Sting—RVD brawl was even enough to give me my first glimmer of interest in the Slammiversary main event, which is a really good way to close out the show right before the PPV. It was even enough to make me think that I might have been wrong to blame Sting for the fact that he's been a complete joke as a #1 Contender, rather than blaming really, really atrocious booking. I like the mini-focus on the X Division, and really liked the slow-burn storyline around who ambushed Neal. It was understated, which I didn't know was a word anyone in TNA had in their vocabulary. Another small touch I liked was that Matt Morgan displayed a level of intelligence greater than that of the average squirrel in realizing that Hernadez was coming back well before the official reveal. Overall it was just a really great show, if we ignore the stupidest comment I've ever heard. So in fact, I think I will ignore it, since it really wouldn't be too fair to sink the whole show on the basis of nine seconds of idiocy. Blocking all things Hogan out of my mind, this was another rock-solid A- show.
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He just got his first ever dog, Muppet Shadowfax Wilkenfeld. Suggestions about what the hell one does with a dog can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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