TNA Impact WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT ALT. PERSPECTIVE Report 1/20: Jarrett--Angle drama sinks the ship
Jan 20, 2011 - 10:44:21 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Family-stalking and family-taunting are still my least favorite angles, but, last week, TNA managed to come close to topping them with who's-sleeping-with-Karen-Angle plots. Typically I like shoot angles, but this one is both dull and, given that there are actual children involved still, in fairly bad taste.
Kurt comes out and rants about how Karen can't take away his character or what a great husband and father he was.
Thoughts on Kurt's rant:
1) Based on his own book, I have my doubts about the great husband claim. I have no reason to doubt his parenting.
2) He just said he was away too much, but only to give his children everything they ever wanted—that claim always strikes me as questionable, cause I'm guessing the kids' happiness correlates more to parental attention than wealth (I'm too lazy to look it up for sure though).
Team Jarrett come down and attack evil ninja style. It goes badly for them. Angle shouts for Jarrett.
Immortal's music hits, and Bischoff and Flair come out. They're followed by a bevy of uniformed police officers. That actually strikes me as a fairly reasonable response. Flair and Bischoff wave goodby as the cops escort Angle from the Impact Zone.
Tenay and Taz tell us that the Jarretts are about to arrive, so we shouldn't tune out. I was just thinking that that was why I should tune out.
The Jarretts showed up—still don't care.
(1) SARITA vs. VELVET SKY vs. MICKIE JAMES vs. MADISON RAYNE Non-Title Match
Mickie has the match won when Tara sneaks in from out of nowhere to pop her. Sarita and Sky crack heads. Rayne tries to finish off Mickie with the glove-o-doom, but Mickie dodges. She connects with Velvet Sky, which the commentators try to sell as "backfiring", but which seemed like it still worked out okay. James gets the rollup for the win on the surprised and confused champ.
WINNER: Mickie James. Her feud with Rayne needs at least one more match, and this justified that fairly well.
Beer Money get psyched for their main event match with RVD & Anderson. James is doing 8-ounce curls with a couple bottles, which are quickly converted into 6-ounce curls when he takes a few sips. But Roode knows that he'll be all business for their match tonight.
Anderson is still sporting the Hardy belt in the pre-match graphics. How awesome would it be if Eric Young demanded a title unification match, only to reveal after the match was signed that he hasn't really been knocked wacky at all but has been elaborately scheming for a title match all this time? After all, he would could point out, how ridiculous is to believe that a kick to the head would suddenly make someone wacky? TNA bookers have proven they like the long game before, and I could really go for an end to Eric Young wackiness.
Samoa Joe is hiring Okada to follow around Pope and film him. Wait—who the hell is Okada? [A quick internet search reveals that he's been wrestling on Xplosion, and was a background character on Impact all of one time before now.]
Ric Flair comes out with Rob Terry, talking about how any woman would want to go home with him. It's odd giving Terry a mouthpiece—the main thing he has going for him is that killer Welsh accent.
(2) ROB TERRY (w/RIC FLAIR) vs. MATT MORGAN
Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint and gets the instant win.
WINNER: Matt Morgan. That'd be a lot cooler if Hernandez didn't have a similarly instantaneous win over Terry (No Surrender 2009, I think), but we're probably not supposed to remember that.
Flair tries to chop Morgan down, but Morgan's not selling it. Abyss runs out and attacks Morgan. Morgan sidesteps and floors Abyss with a Discuss Clothesline, then nails a Side Slam to a slowly recovering Terry. Abyss attacks again, and with the help of a distraction from Flair gains the upper hand. At least he gains the upper hand for a few seconds, before Morgan floors him and Abyss with a double clothesline. Wouldn't this type of awesome dominance have made more sense when they were trying to build him up as a credible title threat? Terry clips Morgan's leg, and the triple-team finally takes over. Abyss and Terry hit a double-Choke Slam on Morgan. Isn't that the move that almost crippled Batista when it was done by Kane & Big Show? And I'm guessing both of those guys have a bit better control than Rob Terry (and probably Abyss).
TNA went to Japan. I'm not sure why that should interest me.
Jeff Hardy is wrestling Tommy Dreamer later.
AJ is getting Kazarian psyched up. Kaz expresses a bit of concern about Bischoff's leadership, but AJ's not worried. When Kazarian leaves Crimson (the artist formerly known as "Little Red") chokes AJ with a wire from behind and says that he has two weeks before "they" arrive. I'm kinda digging the quick Crimson attacks, particularly since they're apparently not going to draw out this "they" redux for the original's six months.
(3) KAZARIAN (c) vs. JAY LETHAL X Division Championship Match
Lethal signals that he's going for his seventh X Division Championship, which I'm pretty sure would take the once-unbreakable record away from AJ Styles. Lethal starts things off hot with a flurry of offense. Kazarian tries to bail, but Lethal catches up to him and brings him back. Lethal keeps up the offense for a couple minutes. Kazarian gets a bit of control with a leg lariat, but it isn't long before Lethal retakes control. He hits a Lethal Combination and a Savage Elbow, but Kazarian kicks out. When Lethal goes for a Sunset Flip Kazarian sits on him and uses the ropes for leverage and the win.
WINNER: Kazarian. The two stories here were Lethal getting screwed despite dominating the match, and rookie referee Jackson James blowing another call. I'm not sure where they're going with either.
Anderson tries to get RVD to focus on tonight, but he's still intent on Hardy. Dreamer, who's sitting awkwardly off camera, says he'll take out Hardy for RVD and soften him up for Anderson.
The Jarretts are on their way to the ring, but someone opens a back door and lets Kurt Angle back into the building too.
The Jarretts are out, and yep, this crap is getting the 10 o'clock spot. Thankfully I'm not doing virtual-time coverage anymore, so I don't have to dignify this segment by typing it up. I do have to admit that the crowd's "sloppy seconds" chant, while in bad taste, is still kind of funny.
TNA only subjects us to 3 minutes of blather before Kurt Angle pops up and German Suplexes Jeff. Karen slaps Kurt, which keeps him distracted long enough for Double J to connect with a low blow. Beatdown ensues. Yawn.
We recap what I didn't care about moments ago, then cut to Kurt beating up a trash can. So Kurt went from fighting Jeff Jarrett to beating up an inanimate metallic object. Go ahead and come up with your own joke on that one.
(4) TOMMY DREAMER vs. JEFF HARDY
Dreamer beats Hardy around the ring a bit till Hardy yanks him off the apron. They battle into the ring. Dreamer reverses an attempted Twist of Hate into a Dreamer Driver, but Hardy's gets a foot on the ropes before three. Hardy shoves the middle rope into Dreamer's groin when Tommy tries to go to the apron. He nails the Twist when he gets up, and that's all she wrote.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy.
Pope asks to borrow some producer's computer. When he says he's busy Pope calls him and steals his macbook.
AJ tries to tell Flair about Crimson, but Flair's not buying it, since Immortal are "they". Flair "ices" him (reveals a bottle of what looks like Smirnoff and makes AJ chug it). AJ questions the timing, and tries to down it despite a burning throat. He's spared when Kurt Angle hits him in the back of his head with a baseball bat. Kurt chokes Flair and says that he's about to call Jarrett out into the Impact Zone, and Flair had best make sure he comes out.
Beer Money come out for their match, followed by RVD.
Wait, so the Jarrett—Angle drama is the 10 o'clock segment and the main event? Wow did I quit at the right time.
Anderson comes out last, introducing the total nonstop asshole and total nonstop champion, Mr. Anderson! Anderson!
(5) BEER MONEY vs. RVD & MR. ANDERSON Non-Title Match
These four could sleep their way to a serviceable main event, and that seems to be what we're getting. Anderson is isolated for a bit, which is okay but gets a bit slow at times. RVD gets the hot tag from the champion, and is a house of fire till Roode trips him from the outside and Storm nails a Backstabber for two. Anderson prevents any double teaming long enough for RVD to set up the Five Star Frog Splash. Roode gets away and almost makes the stop, but RVD just fights through it and nails the move. Referee Jackson James is mysteriously absent though, as he's outside trying to keep Jeff Hardy from entering the ring. Matt Hardy sneaks in and nails his Twist of Hate on RVD. Jeff backs away and lets the ref make the count when Storm rolls into the cover.
WINNERS: Beer Money Inc. As expected the match was pretty decent, though I'm not sure it's a great idea to have the champ be isolated, then totally fail to help out as his partner fights through both men.
Kendrick is trying to counsel Bully Ray to have less anger. Ray shoves him hard into a locker as he tries to demonstrate yoga. This actually has the potential to be amusing.
Flair is ticked at Jarrett for getting him choked out. He wants him to deal with Kurt. Bischoff convinces him to do it, promising that he'll have his back.
Brother Devon comes down to the ring. This outranks the champ & RVD vs. Beer Money? He calls out Ray so he can finish what he started at Genesis. Ray comes down the ramp, but before he can start backing down Kendrick comes up behind him and shoves him into the ring. Ray's ready for a fight though, as he has a chain. Before he can use it Devon knocks it out and picks it up, but Devon is promptly swamped by security. Ray jumps Devon from behind, then takes out the security guards when they try to restrain him. He gets a chair from ringside, wraps it around Devon's neck, then hits it with the chain.
Kurt Angle is still slowly meandering to the ring. What happened to the police?
Angle's already in the ring when we get back. Jarrett comes down, flanked by Gunner & Murphy. He sends them in first, and they get eaten. When Murphy eventually gets a shot in from behind Jarrett runs in and takes over. However, he foolishly goes for the hold-the-guy-up-so-he-can-duck-and-I-can-accidentally-hit-you maneuver, and Kurt ducks and then clears out Gunner & Murphy. Kurt works a rear naked choke, when Immortal swarm and attack. Abyss is missing though, and he appears at the top of the ramp—and topples over, Janice lodged in his back. Crimson comes out behind him and yells that "they" are coming February 3rd. Kurt takes advantage of the distraction to clear the ring.
Where We're Going: With Hardy's trial getting a continuance, TNA desperately needs a new #1 heel. It's a bit unclear who's getting bumped up the roster, as with AJ hurt, Abyss killed and Morgan defected Immortal lacks a signature singles star. Obviously Matt Hardy could step up quickly, but it wouldn't really be believable that they would give him the title after all of fifteen minutes with the company. The only upside of Jarrett being busy with Angle's wife is that he can't also be busy with the title. One begins to suspect that Crimson is front man for some big heel, but unless they try yet another ill-fated Sting heel turn I don't know who's left.
Star of the Night: Crimson. He didn't actually do anything, but his sudden main-event involvement was the only genuinely intriguing part of the show.
Overall: This show was heavily weighted down by the Jarrett—Angle soap drama, and there just wasn't enough to overcome it. I was not amused. D
Daniel is a graduate fellow at The Ohio State University. He's enjoying his new scaled back role. Suggestions for future columns can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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