TNA Impact BAX'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 4/7: Sting vs. RVD main event, tag teams split, Jarrett climbs the cage with ease, Overall Show Grade
Apr 8, 2011 - 12:29:53 AM
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By Matt Baxendell, PWTorch Writer
BAX’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
APRIL 7, 2011
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
Where We’ve Been: Impact featured a long steel cage Main Event last week that concluded with the return of Christopher Daniels to aid Fortune in their fight with Immortal. The Main Event also featured significant friction between Mr. Anderson and his two opponents in Lockdown’s TNA Championship match, culminating with Anderson costing his team (which featured Sting & RVD) the match.
The show began with a montage recapping the aforementioned Main Event from last week, largely focusing on Daniels’s return to get revenge for A.J. Styles’s injury. Title of the show: “Rise of the Fallen Angel.”
Fortune’s music was playing in the Impact Zone and Daniels led the group out to the ring. Kaz was selling the beat down from last week with a big bandage on his forehead. Daniels grabbed the mic to a ‘Welcome Back’ ovation from the crowd. He acknowledged his rocky relationship with TNA before saying there was one thing more important than the business and that was his friendships in the business. He said that A.J. Styles was his best friend, saying they had each other's backs, no matter what.
But three weeks ago, he saw what Bully Ray did to his best friend and realized it was time to return to TNA. He told Fortune that his loyalty to A.J. was offered to them as well and he begged for to fill the fourth spot on Team Fortune in Lethal Lockdown.
With that, Immortal’s music hit before they could answer and out came Abyss, Matt Hardy, Bully Ray and Ric Flair. They came down to the ring as the announcers plugged Lockdown in Cincinnati. Flair took the mic to boos and said that things are past the point of no return. Flair said that he had no idea how Daniels was and asked him who he was to fly out of nowhere and represent the World Champions?
Flair said he hoped A.J. was laying at home now and could never walk again because there’s no crying in pro wrestling. Flair put over the three champions in Fortune, saying their only mistake was siding with A.J. instead of him. He offered Daniels the chance to leave TNA because someone was going to get hurt at Lockdown and it wouldn’t be Immortal.
Daniels told Flair to take his ‘offer’ and stick it straight up his ass. Flair said that Daniels didn’t have a contract and told him to hit the bricks. Daniels’s response to that was that the Network wanted Daniels there and someone was every step ahead of them.
Hogan made his way out onto the stage with Bischoff. Hulk quickly said that he was the one who ran TNA and he makes the rules. But if the Network wanted him on TV then they were on board. He said that if Daniels really wanted to be in Lethal Lockdown, then he could be as well. But since Hogan has the power, he stipulated that Daniels had to face Bully Ray tonight.
Bully Ray told Daniels that if he had any brains, he’d have been gone by now. He told Daniels that he was the guy who crippled A.J. Styles and he would do the same tonight if he wanted to. He put over Daniels for having balls but told him that he ended people's careers before telling him to go back to California. Ray followed that up by insulting Daniels’s mascara, nail polish, and face paint.
Daniels said that Ray shouldn’t worry about any of that stuff until the guy with the mascara, nail polish, and face paint started to kick his ass. With that, a quick brawl broke out that was broken up quickly by security that Hogan summoned from the back. TNA’s security has really gotten a lot better at separating brawls in the last two months. The brawl ended with Fortune standing tall in the ring as the announcers hyped Ray v. Daniels.
BAX REAX: I will be stunned if this Daniels-Bully Ray match ends in anything but a run-in schmoz. If Daniels’s stated intent is to return to TNA to get revenge on Bully Ray for injuring A.J. Styles, there’s no way there's a real match one week, right? With such an easy moneymaking feud on their hands, TNA has to save their first real one-on-one showdown for the PPV after Lockdown, right?
-Backstage, Anderson was unpacking his bag before he saw he had a letter on his desk. The letter was from Sting saying that tonight was showtime. [c]
-Back from break, Hogan was furious in his office while talking with Bischoff. He said that the Network was acting like a wrestler and when Hulk won the court case it was supposed to be 100 percent Hogan’s law. Bischoff said he would dig into it as Hulk slammed the door in frustration.
-Back in the ring, Mexican America made their way to the ring. As they posed in the ring, a giant Mexican flag unfurled from the ceiling. Apparently, the Knockouts Tag Titles are on the line tonight later as well.
1 – HERNANDEZ & ANARCHIA (w/Rosita & Sarita) vs. TOMMY DREAMER & DEVON
Hernandez was shouldered out of the ring early by Devon before he locked up with Anarchia. After a drop toe hold, Dreamer dropped an elbow before hitting a bodyslam. Another quick tag and Devon set up for the ‘WASSUP?’ spot and nailed it on Anarchia. As they celebrated, Hernandez came into the ring and attacked them from behind. The giant Mexican flag is still hanging.
Devon hit Hernandez with a Thesz press before Anarchia slung Dreamer into the ring post. With Devon in control in the ring, Rosita tried to interfere, which led to Devon planting a giant kiss on her. However, as the ref ushered her out of the ring, Anarchia hit Devon in the back with a steel chair as he bounced off the ropes and Hernandez got the pinfall victory.
WINNERS: Hernandez & Anarchia in 2:00.
Post-match, Hernandez sent the two women to ringside to pull the ring mats up at ringside. Hernandez then set up to hit a Razor’s Edge on Dreamer over the top rope onto the open concrete but Matt Morgan ran down to prevent him from doing so. Hernandez & Morgan had a stare down before Anarchia tried to attack the Blueprint from behind. However, Morgan fought him off and hit a chokeslam as Hernandez ran off quickly. [c]
-Backstage, Winter was shown berating Angelina for agreeing to be Velvet Sky’s tag partner, saying she loved her and that Velvet didn’t have her best interests at heart. Angelina slugged her random drugged drink to Winter’s encouragement.
-In the Impact Zone, Samoa Joe made his way down to the ring for a match as the announcers plugged his showdown with the Pope at Lockdown. It looks like Joe is wrestling Murphy. Before the bell rang, Pope came out and sat down at the announce table.
2 --- SAMOA JOE vs. MURPHY
Murphy started off with the advantage as Joe was trying to go after Pope. However, Joe absolutely leveled him with a clothesline before dragging him quickly into the rear naked choke and before Pope could get in more than a few sentences at the announce table, this match was over via submission.
WINNER: Joe via submission in 0:30.
Samoa Joe ran right up the ramp and went after the Pope, who ran away.
-Backstage, Anderson was followed by the roving cameraman. As he went to get coffee, he found another note from Sting that said, “Once an asshole, always an asshole: Let’s finish what we started tonight.” Anderson started yelling at the ceiling as he agreed with Sting and told him to stop leaving him love notes. [c]
-Back from break, the Beautiful People were making their entrance with Rosita & Sarita already in the ring. Velvet Sky came out alone at first before having to head back and bring out a near comatose Angelina Love. Instead of doing their usual entrance, Angelina just walked deliberately to the ring as Velvet tried to talk some sense into her.
3 -- Knockouts tag champions SARITA & ROSITA vs. THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE -- KO Tag Title match
As Velvet was trying to help Angelina into the ring, she was attacked from behind by Sarita. However, the advantage didn’t last long as Velvet hit a drop kick before hitting and inverted atomic drop followed by a bulldog on Rosita. With Velvet controlling the action, Taz & Tenay announced that Bully Ray vs. Daniels would be a lumberjack match. TNA loves to announce stipulations during Knockouts matches.
Meanwhile, Velvet was trying to tag Angelina in, but she didn’t respond. Winter suddenly appeared on stage and gave her a hand signal, which led to Love hitting a big guillotine on Velvet, which she followed up with a beating in the ring before walking off back in her blank state. Sarita picked up the scraps and got the cheap pin for the win.
WINNERS: Sarita & Rosita in 1:30
BAX REAX: Three matches in and none are longer than two minutes. Thus far, this is Vince Russo’s dream episode of Impact. Why even have wrestling when the combined match time of the first three matches is under four minutes?
-Backstage, Mr. Anderson was calling for the Stinger as he scrounged around with a lead pipe. He bumped into Eric Young & Orlando Jordan, who told him to look in the rafters. Orlando’s uncomfortable line of the night: “Ken, I’m totally into your whole asshole thing.” Anderson awkwardly thanked him before resuming his search for the TNA Champion. [c]
-Anderson was up in the rafters with his lead pipe, looking quietly for Sting as commercial ended. He found a big black box, which I guess he thought hid Sting but no one was there. Suddenly, a leather-jacketed shoulder was shown in the foreground before it was revealed to be RVD with one of Sting’s leather jackets on.
Van Dam attacked Anderson and beat him down with the cheesy line: “Hey Kenny, you know what time it is? 4:20, which means you’re about to get smoked!” After a good minute or two of beat down that featured a lot of RVD kicks, Anderson was put into a head scissors that Xenia Onatopp would have been proud of and RVD choked him out before mocking him and choking him out with the lead pipe. Where was this killer instinct from RVD when Jeff Hardy had Abyss gore him with the nail board? [c]
-Back from break, a montage was shown hyping the Lockdown title match. Van Dam continued to pump the fact that he was never defeated for the TNA Championship when he was champion. Lots of footage of the three guys selling their pursuit of the TNA Championship. That was followed by a condensed replay of the rafters beat down from the previous segment.
-In the Impact Zone, out came the TNA Champion, whose face paint seems to feature more red every week. Sting got a strong ovation from the crowd while Taz & Tenay talked about how RVD was the one playing mind games with Anderson instead of the Stinger.
Sting said it was a good night, so he wanted company in the ring and called out RVD. The crowd started a ‘RVD’ chant before Sting said the biggest reason he came back to TNA was to stop Hogan & Bischoff. However, he said that he has been distracted by RVD & Anderson. He said that he knows that he and RVD haven’t seen eye to eye as the two men referenced RVD’s debut last March, where Sting beat the crap out of RVD with the baseball bat.
[Q5] Sting apologized for that before telling Van Dam that he owed Sting an apology for using him in his mind games tonight. RVD told Sting that he respected him as the TNA Champion, even though he never lost the belt. He said that he used to open shows for Sting but now, RVD is the whole f’ing show and he’d prove it at Lockdown.
Out came Hulk & Eric. Hogan praised the new RVD attitude that I mentioned earlier. Hogan said that his blood got pumping and wanted to do something crazy, so he gave RVD the Stinger in the ring tonight. That’s the Main Event. RVD sold excitement as Sting shook his head in disappointment.
-Backstage, Madison and Tara were bickering in a back alley. Tara didn’t want to do something that Madison requested but Rayne told her that the only reason that she was in TNA was because she let her come back. Tara said that she wasn’t comfortable doing whatever task Madison asked her to do and called her insane before they rode off on the motorcycle. [c]
BAX REAX: I hope there is a lot more wrestling in hour number two. For those of you who follow Hulk Hogan on Twitter, he said that TNA was the only wrestling company out there since Vince wanted to focus on entertainment. He said that wrestling matters. Well, TNA has done a great job showing it when they're halfway through Impact without anything remotely resembling a decent match.
-Anderson was shown limping down a hallway, selling the effects of the RVD beating while still twirling the pipe. He knocked down every poster before pausing in front of a poster of Hogan, which he left alone.
-In the Impact Zone, Generation Me (no signs of strife from last week’s match yet) were in the ring with Robbie E. and Cookie. Kendrick came out next, followed by Chris Sabin, who was making his first appearance on Impact in at least a month. Tenay said that the Machine Guns recently decided to compete in the X Division going forward, which makes no sense since the X Division has virtually no televised matches. Anyways, it is going to be a six-man X Division tag match, with Suicide as the final entrant.
4 -- GENERATION ME & ROBBIE E (w/COOKIE) vs. CHRIS SABIN &
BRIAN KENDRICK & SUICIDE
Sabin and Robbie started things off as the announcers mentioned the nine-man Ultimate Xscape match at Lockdown for the first time on TV, even though they’ve been plugging it online for a while. Sabin wrestled circles around Robbie for a moment before tagging in Suicide, who hit a few impact moves before getting into it with Max Buck, which allowed Robbie to recover and get a quick pin attempt.
[Q6] Tenay mentioned the strife between the brothers Buck as Max Buck was tagged in. Apparently, Max is a glory hog while Jeremy does the dirty work. Suicide was isolated in the corner with a lot of quick tags before Max tagged himself in selfishly when Jeremy was in the ring, allowing Suicide to get a hot tag to Kendrick at 3:00. Kendrick hit multiple drop kicks before he isolated Max in the ring after Suicide and Sabin went for springboard crossbodies. Sabin connected, Suicide didn’t, which allowed Jeremy to get back in the ring and save his brother with a quick version of Trouble in Paradise.
Jeremy went up to the top turnbuckle to hit a high impact move but his own brother crotched him on and asked him what he was doing. Max then hit a brutal DDT with Jeremy’s feet on the top turnbuckle. As Max posed angrily on the ropes, Kendrick snuck in and picked up the cheap pinfall.
WINNERS: Sabin, Kendrick, and Suicide in 4:00.
After the match, Max glared at his downed brother and yelled at him before taking off his ‘Gen Me’ armband and throwing it on his brother.
BAX REAX: Decent start to the hour, considering that this four-minute showing doubled the amount of wrestling on the card thus far. I still don’t understand why they’re splitting up Generation, Me but at least they’ve got time on TV the last two weeks to tell the story. Nothing is worse than a half-assed tag team split that gets quickly forgotten (see: pretty much every tag team not named DX in WWE since 2006).
-Backstage, Rob Terry and Gunner & Murphy were being berated for Hogan for their failings. Well, apparently not Gunner, who was being referred to as ‘champ’ by Hogan. I hope he mean ‘champ’ in a cute 1950s schoolboy manner because no one takes the TV Championship seriously. Gunner followed orders and slapped the heck out of Murphy & Terry before Hogan expelled them from his office when Anderson came a callin’.
Anderson stood spinning the pipe before putting it down immediately when Hulk told him to. Ken said that he was tired of getting beaten up every week. He said that his hat was in his hand and he begged Hulk to make him the referee between Sting and RVD tonight. Hulk asked what he got out of this deal. Anderson said that he would give him his support.
Hulk and Anderson shook hands and Hogan told him that he had been waiting for this for a long time. He told Anderson to take the pipe with him because he might need it.
-Out in the parking lot, Mickie James was down unconscious as Madison & Tara zoomed off on their motorcycle that had been shown laying on her a moment before. The cameraman ran to her aid as commercial hit. [c]
-A.J. Styles’s injury at Bully Ray’s hands was replayed multiple times before Ray was shown in the ring. Daniels came out to with Fortune in tow. Oh, Immortal is at ringside too. I guess the lumberjacks are the rest of the Lethal Lockdown match.
5 - DANIELS vs. BULLY RAY -- LUMBERJACK MATCH
The initial stare down came to the sounds of a ‘Fallen Angel’ chant. However, Ray took early control of the match before Daniels fought out of the corner and hit two big armdrags and tossed Ray to ringside. Luckily for him, it was amidst the Immortal crew and he got back in largely unscathed. However, Ray turned the table quickly and tossed Daniels into Immortal, where he was pounded mercilessly until Fortune intervened.
[Q7] Back in the ring, Ray hit two big open palm slaps on Daniels’s chest before leveling him with a right cross. As Daniels was down leaning on the second rope, Ray slapped him in the back of the head and then got him back up, only to level him with a clothesline. Three minutes into the match, this has been all Bully Ray, much to the displeasure of the crowd.
Ray picked up his chain with Daniels leaning on the turnbuckles for support. However, the ref took the chain away and while Ray was complaining, it allowed Daniels time to recover and start a comeback. Daniels hit two elbows and an enziguiri that allowed him to hit a top rope huracanrana. Ray managed to slow his momentum with a clothesline but then missed a big splash that gave Daniels an opening to take him down hard and hit the Best Moonsault Ever.
However, as the ref (Jackson James) was counting the pin, Flair pulled him out of the ring. Fortune and Immortal stared each other down while the ref separated them. Unfortunately for Daniels, who was held in a headlock between the ropes by Bully Ray standing at ringside that meant that James’s back was turned when Hogan himself came down and hit a knockout punch on Daniels with the chain wrapped around his hand. James managed to notice what was going on just in time to count the pinfall victory for Bully Ray.
WINNER: BULLY RAY in 5:00.
BAX REAX: Hulk himself coming out to screw Daniels? TNA really is doing a good job making his return seem like a big deal. While tonight’s dirty finish did a good job of preserving this feud for a potential PPV singles match down the road, the truth of the matter is that the only clean victory in five matches tonight was Samoa Joe’s squash victory over Murphy. Whatever happened to getting an actual result on Impact matches?
Apparently, Jeff Jarrett is demanding the cage be built now for whatever he is doing next. Something about a promise to Kurt Angle that wasn’t mentioned more than once tonight. We’ll find out more after the break. [c]
- Jarrett came out for a full-length entrance while last week’s Angle ‘arrest’ was shown on a split screen. Jeff said that he knew how Angle felt now that he was standing in the cage. He said that Kurt belonged in jail after violating the restraining order. He asked Angle if he had a master plan to violate the restraining order so that he didn’t have to face Double J at Lockdown, saying that it was a huge blessing in disguise for Jeff.
If Jarrett had beaten Angle to within an inch of his life again at Lockdown, he would have been the one who went to jail for beating him so badly. He said that once Angle got out of prison then they should let bygones be bygones but the kids weren’t going to visit him in prison since they needed Daddy Jeff more than the thug life Kurt lives.
Jeff then said that he was going to bring out the Queen for her special entrance tonight. However, when he said to hit her music, Kurt’s music hit instead. When Jarrett turned to the entrance ramp to see if Angle was coming, Kurt came flying into the ring on Suicide’s zipline and the ring crew stood the final side of the cage up behind him, sealing Double J in with him.
As the two men stared each other down, Karen came flying down to the ring. Jarrett managed to scamper out of the cage before Kurt could get his hands on him. As the Jarretts sprinted back up the ramp, Kurt sat atop the cage brooding. [c]
-Back from break, Kurt Angle said that he didn’t go to jail last week. He said that the police saw the footage and let him go after seeing it was a set-up. Angle then told Jeff that he had just heard from the Network and they had a special stipulation for their match.
-Anderson made his entrance first for the Main Event, armed with his lead pipe and limping. RVD was next, followed by the TNA Champion. Pre-match, Sting handed Anderson the belt as they stared each other down.
6 -- TNA champion STING vs. ROB VAN DAM -- non-title match
RVD and Sting locked up briefly after the ball before both men played to the crowd. Lots of early stalling while the announcers talked up the possibility of Anderson scouting both men so close to Lockdown. When some action finally happened, RVD hit two thrust kicks off of the top rope before hitting Rolling Thunder for a two count. RVD’s momentum as stopped when he went for a big shoulder block in the corner and Sting moved, sending Van Dam’s shoulder flying into the ring post.
Sting took advantage of this, whipping Van Dam into the corner and following it up with a Stinger Splash. Shortly thereafter, RVD went down to a Scorpion Death Drop. As Sting stood up and everyone expected to see the Scorpion Death Lock, Anderson suddenly stopped playing the neutral ref and hit the Mic Check on Sting.
With both men down, Anderson started the count but skipped from one to six, which meant that RVD barely made it to his feet to avoid the double count-out. As the announcers said that RVD didn’t see Sting get hit with the Mic Check, Van Dam dragged a prone Sting to the center of the ring and hit the Five Star Frog Splash for the win.
WINNER: RVD in 3:30.
BAX REAX: So the TNA Champion is pinned in under four minutes? While I don’t have any issues with Anderson interfering in this match, which I fully expected, why would TNA have its World champion lose by pinfall in such a quick manner at any point in time?
Afterwards, Anderson and RVD stared each other down before Anderson got the belt from So Cal Val and laid out Van Dam with it. He got in RVD’s face and screamed that it was his title. As he was doing so, out came Murphy & Rob Terry applauding Anderson. The put him up on their shoulders as Immortal’s music played. While Anderson sat waving his pipe in the air, Hulk came out on the stage applauding. It looks like Mr. Anderson is officially part of Immortal.
But, as it looked like Impact was about to go off air, Anderson decked Rob Terry with the pipe and soon put both men down with Mic Checks. Anderson pointed his pipe at Hogan, mocked him by holding his hand up to his ear and then screamed at him, saying, “You’re Next!”
Impact went off air with Hogan cursing out Anderson. So much for Kenny joining Immortal.
BAX SHOW REAX: So, the TNA Champion was pinned in under four minutes? I can’t repeat this enough. While I understand the screwjob storyline being told and like Anderson's continued loose cannon traits, it makes the champion look incredibly weak losing so quickly. While I understand TNA wanting to keep fans guessing when it comes to the outcome of the title match at Lockdown, I think having Sting get beat so quickly wasn’t smart.
The rest of the show had its ups and downs. The only clean finish of the night was Joe’s squash and the total amount of wrestling on the show was 16 minutes by my count, a reduction by at least one-third from last week’s solid offering. However, I like that TNA made a big deal out of Daniels’s return and I think there’s real potential for Ray and Daniels to have a solid feud after Lethal Lockdown. I also like the Main Event dynamic going on, meaning that Lockdown’s two highest profile matches should have well-developed stories.
In the end, when the Champion is pinned in under four minutes, the longest match barely hits the five-minute mark, two of the best tag teams in the company (Motor City Machine Guns & Generation Me) are written off as groups for differing reasons, and Jeff Jarrett climbs a steel cage like a billy goat, rendering all future cage matches much more difficult to believe (great idea with an all steel-cage PPV coming up), then it simply wasn’t a good night. Some stuff worked, but nowhere near as well as last week’s show in my book.
SHOW GRADE: C-
Matt Baxendell is one of the Torch’s new contributing writers covering TNA Wrestling. He’s also live on air as one the Young Guns on Sports Radio 790 The Zone in Atlanta. If you want to talk wrestling, hockey or football with Bax, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MattBaxendell
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