KELLER'S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT 7/21: Ongoing "virtual time" report on Sting title win fallout, Hardcore Justice hype
By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING BLOG
JULY 21, 2011
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-After a video recap of last week's show, including the Evil Clowns and Sting winning the World Title, Sting came to the ring.
-Sting, doing his crazy "Joker" routine, said, "There's something exhilarating about being insane!" He said this is the spot in the promo where he's supposed to say "we can do things the easy way or the hard way," but he added that they're simply going to do things his way. He called Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan to the ring. Instead, an evil clown walked onto the stage, then unmasked to reveal Kurt Angle.
Angle said they have a dilemma because as he's trying to save the company for Dixie Carter, they've hit a speed bump, and that speed bump is him. He said their paths are about to cross once again at Hardcore Justice. Angle said second best doesn't work for him. "I have to be the best because I've given myself no other choice." Sting said they do have a dilemma. Brother Ray and Mr. Anderson walked onto the stage to Immortal's music.
Ray said they do have a big dilemma on their hands because in the next two hours they're going to have to work with each other since they are all having a tag match later. He said he worked hard to give himself abs, so he doesn't appreciate Sting bruising them with his bat. Anderson called Sting and Angle "butt buddies." Did Anderson get that gem from the 1982 Junior High School Insult Booklet?
WK REAX: I'm still not doing anything but cringing at Sting's Joker character. It's just so beneath him given all he's done. I know they're trying to give him something to do that isn't the plain-talking Steve Borden sounding guy, but this is just embarrassing and awkward, like the drunk dad at the wedding reception who takes over karaoke as everyone just hides their face in their hands or finds an excuse to leave the reception hall for a smoke even if they don't smoke. [c]
1 -- ROB VAN DAM vs. SCOTT STEINER
As RVD walked to the ring, they showed a few quick highlights of RVD vs. Jerry Lynn. Steiner dominated offense early with methodical power moves, chops, and stomps. At 4:00 RVD hit a spin wheel kick off the ring apron into the ringside barrier. Back in the ring Steiner tried to call for a timeout. RVD ignored that, but Steiner came back with a belly-to-belly out of nowhere for a two count. RVD came back with a Rolling Thunder for a two count a minute later. Steiner implanted RVD into the mat face-first off the top rope for a near fall, ending when RVD put his foot over the bottom rope. That move looked nasty. Steiner waited for RVD to stand up and then delivered a Steinerline. RVD went down hard. Steiner did push-ups rather than go for the pin. The ref told him to count to three. Steiner didn't like the ref giving him lip. RVD then schoolboyed RVD for the three count.
WINNER: RVD in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 - Steiner knows his limitations and his strengths and, with an opponent like RVD, can have a perfectly serviceable TV match like this. The announcers didn't play up enough that RVD was still battered from the Lynn match, because depth-chart-wise, Steiner shouldn't look like he's a level higher than RVD, but here it looked like Steiner could have easily won with just a little more mental discipline, and RVD won just out of opportunism, rather than being the better man. [c]
-Mickie James walked to the ring with her Knockouts Title belt. Velvet Sky walked out next. Mickie said she feels honored and privileged to give her her first Knockouts Title match tonight. She said she's been put through a lot by Angelina Love and Winter, and she's earned and deserves this title shot. Mickie said they're going to tear the roof off the Impact Zone and show everyone at home why they're "the best damn women's division out there today." She vowed to walk in the ring and out of the ring as Knockouts Champion, "so you better bring your A-game, ya' hear?"
WK REAX: Good for Mickie to add that she intends to win, not just "have a great match." In the context of the wrestling show, wrestlers should talk about winning being their top goal, not being exciting or tearing the roof off, etc.
Love and Winter interrupted. Love said rather than wrestle tonight, those two should just hold hands and get a hotel room. Love said she's noticed a total disrespect for her among other Knockouts in the locker room. She said time and time again she has proven herself to be the best, but she's never been given her dues. She said Winter has shown her it's all due to jealousy. She said she's on a level all her own. She encouraged Sky and Mickie to keep putting themselves over to the moon, and then go bark at it. Good line. She said no matter who wins, it's headed right back to her anyway.
Winter took the mic and said they work as a real team and that bond is forever. She said at Hardcore Justice, she will beat whomever holds the Knockouts Title. "Night is about to fall," she concluded.
-They showed Tara and Miss Tessmacher headed to the entrance tunnel, but they were attacked by Rosita and Sarita. [c]
-The brawl with the Knockouts continued after the break backstage.
-They cut away to Mike Tenay and Taz at ringside. They hyped Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles vs. Gunner vs. Matt Morgan in a four-way. They threw to soundbites from all four. Samoa Joe said he's the best wrestlers in the company and he's going to turn things around tonight. He said his place in the standings is ridiculous and he's scoring. Morgan vowed to get his ten points so he can headline Bound for Glory. He said he came out of the womb a future world champion. Gunner said he's on the fast-track to glory. When Styles began his promo, Christopher Daniels walked in and said something to him. Styles sounded irritated by the news and he slammed the door on the roving camera. [c]
-Tenay plugged that tomorrow night on Spike TV, Miss Tessmacher would compete in the Hooters 2011 International Swimsuit Competition on Spike TV.
2 -- ROTITA & SARITA vs. MISS TESSMACHER & TARA -- Knockouts Tag Team Title Match
Tara and Tessmacher attacked the champs from behind on the ramp before the bell. Early Tara was knocked backward off the ring apron onto her head on the floor. Sarita was wearing a protective facemask. Tara barged into the ring at 3:00 to break up a two-on-one. Ref Earl Hebner restored order quickly. Tara finished Sarita with a sitout powerbomb. During the pin, Rosita rolled up Mickie next to Tara and Sarita for some reason, but the ref didn't count that pin attempt, and it was too late anyway. Taz said he didn't know what that was about. It was strange.
WINNERS: Tessmacher & Tara to capture the Knockouts Tag Team Titles in 4:00. [c]
-Ring intros aired for the four-way match up next.
3 -- A.J. STYLES vs. MATT MORGAN vs. GUNNER vs. SAMOA JOE -- Bound for Glory Series Ladder Match
Morgan and Joe battled inside the ring, as Gunner and Styles fought at ringside. Joe and Morgan knocked Gunner down with a ladder, then Morgan yanked Joe into a short-arm clothesline. Styles got in a flurry of offense against Morgan with his quickness and agility, but Gunner cut him off and gave him a nice slingshot suplex. Joe senton splashed Morgan in the ring, then set up a ladder mid-ring. As he was about to climb it and reach for the BFG clipboard, Gunner cut him off. Joe dove onto Morgan at ringside, leaving Gunner to climb the ladder. Styles springboarded onto the ladder and met Gunner up there. He knocked Gunner down. Joe knocked Styles down. Joe one-arm slammed Styles when Styles dove at him. Gunner knocked Joe to the floor afterward and again tried to climb the ladder. Morgan, though, stopped him with a Carbon Footprint. Morgan climbed the ladder and grabbed the clipboard down to win.
WINNER: Morgan in 5:00 to earn 10 points in the BFG Tourney.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Good while it lasted, but for a ladder match, the finish came too quickly. They could have held the audience with a longer match.
-Tenay showed that Morgan moved into second place behind Crimson with 24 points in the BFG Series standings. [c]
-Eric Young, whose beard continues to grow out, said he's going to defend his title belt at any cost. He took digs at Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. He walked into a gas station convenience store where he saw whom he thought was Cee Lo. It was actually D-Lo. D-Lo said he's an officer over the company and he knows he's not Cee Lo. He told him not to go down this road. Young schoolboyed D-Lo and counted a pin. He then ran away as D-Lo chased him down in the store, but Young escaped out the door.
4 -- BRIAN KENDRICK vs. ALEX SHELLEY -- X Division Championship
At 2:00 Kendrick caught Shelley with a dropkick as Shelley dove off the top rope at him. Rapid-fire action continued with Kendrick diving through the ropes onto Shelley at ringside. Back in the ring Kendrick dove at Shelley with a splash attempt, but Shelley lifted his knees. Shelley gave Kendrick a Sliced Bread variation off the ring apron. Austin Aries, wearing a suit, snuck to ringside and KO'd Shelley with the X Division Title belt. Kendrick scored the pin quickly thereafter. Kendrick hid at ringside. Kendrick looked puzzled at how he was able to score the pin. Kendrick helped Shelley to his feet afterward. Shelley staggered and collapsed.
WINNER: Kendrick in 5:00 to retain the X Division Title. [c]
-Backstage Kendrick reacted to his successful title defense. He said he didn't know Aries interfered. "I didn't know I won that way," he said to (off-camera) Jason Hervey. Kendrick said it's not about being the highest flyer, it's about being the best wrestler. He said Douglas Williams was a fine champion who was crafty, but didn't resort to that. He said what happened flies in the face of what he represents.
-Mexican America (Hernandez, Anarquia, Rosita, Sarita) walked to the ring. Anarquia complained about happened to Sarita and Rosita earlier. He then called Beer Money to the ring. They walked out.
James Storm told Anarquia to shut up. He told them to do everyone a favor and "leave the ring, leave this company, and do something you're good at, like cutting grass, my grass." He said he wanted to re-introduce themselves. He described Bobby Roode as a "money-making, no-b.s.-takin', will punch you in the mouth and not twice think about it." He described himself: "Creek-swimming', turkey-shooting, deer-skinning, biscuit-eating, Dukes of Hazard loving, Johnny Cash listening, beer-drinking, country-as-cornbread, Tennessee-born-and-raised, I'm as American as they come, I am 'Cowboy' James 'Mother Freakin' Storm." He said they've beat the best and they're four-time world tag team champions. He said the difference between the teams they've beaten and Mexican America is that they're not just going to defeat them, they're going to kick their ass. He complimented the great luchadors who came before them such as the Guerreros "and all the other Hispanic-Americans you disgrace every time you come out here doing this Mexican-America b.s."
He told them to write a note on Aug. 8 on their calendar - the day after Hardcore Justice - because that day they're going to wake up and find their green cards stuck straight up their ass. Roode finished with: "Sorry about your damn luck."
WK REAX: He was walking a tight-rope there leaning toward being anti-Hispanic, but he brought it around nicely by making it clear he didn't dislike Hispanics, just them. That Storm promo was channelling a little Michael Hayes, a little Dusty Rhodes, a little "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. He can talk. He can bring people to the show and make them fans of Impact with that charisma and confidence and way with words. [c]
-Mickie James came out to defend her title against Sky. Love and Winter attacked Mickie at ringside. Sky made the save. Sky and Mickie took Winter and Love into the ring and continued to beat on them. ODB and Jackie jumped over the railing and joined in the beat down on Sky and Mickie. Taz and Tenay said they don't work there. Taz said they gave their word they'd leave and they broke it. Traci Brooks charged to the ring to help fend off the heels. Tenay said, "I think that's Traci Brooks." Thinks?!? He explained she is an original Knockout and is apparently back. Several referees came out tried to restore order. Jackie beat up some security guards. Police officers eventually handuffed and arrested them.
-Traci said she's back, contract or no contract, to keep ODB and Jackie from making Sky's life a living hell.
5 -- KURT ANGLE & STING vs. MR. ANDERSON & BULLY RAY
Mr. Anderson mocked the fans boos when he stepped onto the stage. Bully Ray grabbed the mic away from Anderson and told him not to give the miserable pieces of crap fans what they want and do his self-ring-entrance. Ray said, "Let's go." Anderson did it anyway. Ray looked disgusted that Anderson couldn't help himself. Tenay said as much as they've been wondering if Sting and Angle can get along, maybe they should have been more concerned with Anderson and Ray getting along. Taz said during Sting's ring intro that we don't know what the whacked out Sting is going to do next. Jeremy Borash did the formal ring intros for the main event.
Ray jump-started the match after the intros by attacking Sting from behind. The match began with five minutes left in the second hour. At 3:00 Angle and Anderson both got tagged in. Angle suplexed Anderson three times, then gave one to an interfering Ray. As Angle lifted Anderson, Ray chopped Angle's let out from under him. Sting threw Ray out of the ring, then Stinger splashed Anderson. Angle gave Anderson an Angle Slam for the win.
WINNER: Angle & Sting in 4:00.
-Afterward Sting and Angle had a tense handshake and exchanged a few words. Sting asked Angle, "Have I gone too far or not far enough?"
WK REAX: That was just too short for a TV main event. It felt like the ring intros took longer than the match, and with two hours building it up, the viewers deserved more of a match.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was one of those shows that could have been scripted on the front and back of a 3x5 notecard... and that's a good thing. This was not overbooked. It was more straight-forward, with five matches and a few promos and angles that stuck more because viewers weren't bombarded with tons of rapid-fire content. It didn't feel desperate. I'd like to see them find a way to deliver a full-fledged lengthier main event match to give the show a sense of having a payoff. Heck, even eight minutes is better than four.
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