TV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV cablecast
Oct 18, 2007 - 9:13:55 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
OCTOBER 18, 2007
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
TAPED MONDAY IN ORLANDO, FLA.
Check out James Caldwell's report also on the Main Listing right now...
WHAT HAPPENED: HOUR ONE
-The show opened with clips from the Bound for Glory PPV. When they talked about "the unpredictable" happening, they went to a clip of Amazing Kong. I thought they were going to show her top flying off, but they didn't.
-They went backstage to Kurt Angle, alongside Karen, complaining about what happened Sunday night. He claimed he had Sting exactly where he wanted him and then Kevin Nash stuck his nose in where it didn't belong and cost him the title. Borash said Kev came down to help because it was obvious "Sting was gonna kill you." Angle took exception and said if Nash was there, he'd beat him down. Angle vowed he'd wrestle Sting for the title tonight and nobody would be there to help. Karen told Kurt's crazy if he thinks he can beat Sting without help from Kevin. Kurt said he is, adding, "Tonight is shake and bake time." He told Karen to get out of the room. She and Borash both left.
-The Impact opening aired, then Mike Tenay introduced the program. He wasn't yelling this week. Don West then chimed in and even he was toned down, too. This is so much more pleasant. Tenay talked about Bound for Glory being incredible. West wondered how Nash would feel when he finds out what Angle was saying.
Kevin Nash [artist Neal Obermeyer (c) PWTorch]
-Kurt Angle walked out to the ring with mic in hand. Karen followed. The crowd chanted, "You suck" at Angle. Angle said he doesn't know what the NWO or even what it stands for. He said, "I say it stands for Number One Zero." Good guess. Nash walked out to his new entrance music. He told Angle he might have something to say to his face. Angle said if it wasn't for him, he'd still be champion. Nash told Angle that Sting was kicking his ass all over the arena and the only reason he came out was he felt sorry for him. He told him he knows he's a hot-head, so he's giving him once chance to apologize to his face. Angle said, "I'm not sorry." He told Nash that he's been riding his coat tails ever since he won the title. "Your advice sucks, your jokes aren't funny, and you're a disgrace to the business," he said. Nash said that's a valid point and he has a fight tonight, but it's not with Sting, it's with him. Angle took a swing at Nash as Nash was unbutton his shirt. Nash blocked it and gave jim a Jackknife.
-They went to a replay of the the Jacknife given to Angle by Nash. Then backstage, Borash checked on Angle. He complained that his back and neck were hurting. Karen said he has got to figure out some way to make things up to Kevin. Angle immediately agreed and suggested a peace offering. Angle asked Borarsh, "What does Nash like?" Borash said porn. Angle told Karen to buy a big stack of porn for him. He asked Borash about the local porn shop. Borash said it was good. Karen thought it was some kind of joke. Angle said he'd just tell Kevin it was all a joke. "Brothers fight," he said. Karen said the only joke were those two. She got up and left. Karen's acting is really getting worse by the week. Angle is acting a little too goofy and inconsistent from segment to segment to take as seriously as a main eventer needs to be.
1 -- ALEX SHELLEY vs. CHRIS SABIN - Fight for the Fight Tournament
West said Shelley and Sabin facing off will be like they are looking into a mirror. They opened with a glimpse of that wrestling stuff that takes a backseat to too often to the wrong things in this promotion. The crowd was totally into it with dual chants for each guy. Brother Ray walked out and said, "This match absolutely sucks. You guys are horrible. You're not wrestlers, you're a bunch of wimps. You're nobodies." Devon attacked both guys from behind. Brother Ray said they're going to single-handedly destroy the X Division. "Why? Because we can!" he said. This "feud" is based on the idea that X Division "marks" will get all worked over and boo the heels trying to destroy Shelley & Sabin. The problem is, you need to build up both sides of a feud before you can expect fans to take it seriously. Shelley & Sabin haven't been treated as a serious act, so it seems more like a burial than a full-fledged feud, and fans need "hope" when their favorites are in jeopardy. So not only hasn't TNA built up the fan base of the so-called "X Division" entity, but whatever fans there are, they have little reason to hope for an outcome they want. This may very well be booked to benefit the X Division in the end, but (a) I doubt it, and (b) nobody's thinking that, even those who enjoy X Division wrestlers facing each other in cool matches - like we were about to see before this new angle began. After the mic work, Team 3D smashed both Sabin and Shellly through tables in stereo. If you watch this show with the belief that there is no way an X Division wrestler can draw because they're all too bland, too small, never been in WWE, and wrestle an opening-match style, there is nothing ever inconsistent that happens on this show inconsistent with that point of view.
WINNERS: No contest in 0:30.
STAR RATING: n/a
-Backstage, Borash was with Jim Cornette in his office. He said things were going great "until the burrito brothers screwed everything up in the very first match." Christian Cage barged in with a ladder. Christian said he knows what they're going to do. Cornette said, "What, paint the ceiling?" That was funny. Christian said he's going to become the no. 1 contender in "my match, a ladder match." Samoa Joe barged in and said he's there to claim the final spot in the tournament. Christian and Joe argued. Matt Morgan stepped between them and they cut to a break.
-Tenay had a sitdown interview with Glen Gilbertti. Tenay talked about his days in WCW as the Disco Inferno. He said in the early days of TNA, he was a more serious wrestler "with a totally different character development." I hate when insider terms are used in the context of a TV show, where the premise around which everything is built should be that wrestler want to win matches and win titles. Character development is something that everyone agrees to pretend happens naturally, not because Glen Gilbertti decided to "market himself differently." The tweak that works here in place of what Tenay said is to eliminate the insider term "character development" and replace it with, "When you came to TNA, you grew up. You dropped the silly outfit and dancing routine that you thought would help you get the attention of promoters early on and decided to wrestle based on your ability. But was it good enough? Apparently not, as you dropped off the wrestling map shortly thereafter." Tenay did say that Gilberti dropped off the wrestling map. Gilberti said he didn't fall off the wrestling map. He said he's still a pro wrestler, he just hasn't been on TV. He said he still thinks he's one of the best wrestlers in the world. Tenay talked about the movie, "The Comeback," and said it's a parody; he asked Gilberti if his comeback is actually a parody, too. Gilberti said this isn't a joke. "I'm ready to be in the spotlight again," he said. He said he doesn't need TNA, TNA needs him. Scott Steiner walked past in the background with his gear bag. He said hi to Mike, then looked at Glen and said, "Give it up." That was pretty funny, too.
2 -- TALIA MADISON vs. AWESOME KONG
Kong dominated from the start and finished her with a sitout powerbomb. "Get out the spatula," said West.
WINNER: Kong in 1:00.
STAR RATING: 1/4* -- Just a squash.
-Borash interviewed Nash backstage. He said he can be a nice guy or a mean son of a bitch, and Angle picked his poison. He said recently he's just been comedy relief, but he was fine with that. He tried to lighten things up as everyone around him was fighting for their spot. He said if he wants to find out if he's got a little Diesel left in him he'll fiind out. Karen approached Nash. He said, "You lie with you, you die with him. You're on the other side now." She said, "Oh, this is such a mess."
-A commercial aired for Christian Cage's DVD which includes footage of Christian wrestling with Adam "Edge" Copeland in the indys. His DVD cover is great. It's a t-shirt, too.
-The blond lady interviewed Chris Harris. Rhino walked in. Harris complained that Rhino showed up for the interview late. "If you don't mind, be where you're supposed to be on time from now on. Oh, and try to be sober tonight." Rhino grabbed his arm and asked if he had a problem. Harris said, "The fighting's out there." A little backstory to a tag match is nice, but Harris went from the inspirational babyface feuding with former partner James Storm to a total ass without explanation. What happened?
3 - JAMES STORM & ROBERT ROODE (w/Ms. Brooks) vs. CHRIS HARRIS & RHINO
Tenay plugged a TNA Mobile alert of TNA planning "a hostile takeover of another wrestling promotion" (in Japan). West and Tenay noted that Harris and Rhino got along well in the opening minutes of the match. Harris had Roode rolled up, but Storm distracted the ref, so Rhino jumped into the ring to knocked him down. However, that distraction opened things up for Storm to surprise Harris with an enzuigiri leading to a Payoff by Roode for the win. After the match Rhino tried to help Harris up, but Harris shot him a look of anger.
WINNERS: Storm & Roode in 7:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Decent action.
-Borash interviewed Kaz, who said he's been in the midst of turbulance during his entire TNA stay, including "putting up with Raven's douge-baggery." He said his group was a bunch of kids who wanted everything handed to them. He said that's not how "The K-A-Z operates." He said he's going to "fight for the right to party with some gold." That was a totally unintentional heel interview. Calling yourself "The K-A-Z" and saying you want to "fight for the right to party for gold" (especially the way he said it) is just asking for boos. Or it should be.
-Tenay and Cornette stood together in front of a table stacked with four title belts. He said they were there to present the championship belts to the new title holders. Black Machismo walked out wearing his X Title belt. The crowd chanted "Black Machismo." Cornette said he's not a new champion, so he's not scheduled to be part of the ceremony, but he said he'd take that opportunity to congratulate him. He said, "Ohhhh yeahhh!" He soaked up some applause, then headed to the back. Tenay introduced Gail Kim first. She thanked the fans with a big smile, then left.
WHAT HAPPENED: HOUR TWO
Out next were Tomko and A.J. Styles. Cornette said they're developing into a top quality tag team, as evidenced by their tag title win. Tomko said he had his doubts, but now he stands corrected and congratulated him. He said, "Against my better judgment, I'm going to let you have the rest of this time to talk." Styles pulled out a sheet of paper and thanked Ivan Drago from Rocky 4, the Pokemon Diamond, Kip James "who's keeping it real at 50." Christian interrupted and said he ought to be thanking the Instant Classic. He said he wants the final slot in the tournament. Cornette said since Joe wants it, too, the only fair thing to do is to "give you both the right to fight for the right to fight for the right" by booking a singles match for that one final spot.
And finally, Sting came out. Cornette began to congratulate Sting. The crowd chanted, "You still got it!" Everyone paused. Sting seemed to get choked up a little. Cornette said of all the championships he's held, he can be proudest of this because he fought harder and suffered longer to get it. Cornette handed him the belt. Sting said Angle took him places he's never been before, then added, "Guess what? I still got it, man, I still got it." He held the belt up. Tenay asked if he'd accept Angle's challenge for a rematch tonight. Sting asked the fans. They cheered. Sting said, "It's showtime one more time, then."
Angle's music played. He came out onto the stage in a wheelchair. Angle said he was brutally attacked by Nash earlier, and therefore TNA doctors gave him a note that says he cannot compete due to "serious trauma of the spinal cord." West said they figured that out fast. He said he can't get out of the wheelchair, so there will be no match. He said he'd take him up on the offer next week. Sting asked if his mommy signed the note. He said he better bring the wheelchair next week, because if he's not really crippled this week, he will be next week.
I liked that segment because it really drove home the importance of the titles and the sense that something big happened at the PPV. It was a rare "moment of reflection" on Impact to take in what happened rather than just moving forward so quickly that everything is a blur. It also gave everyone a chance to establish their characters and ultimately forward the Sting-Angle situation. It was old school, in a good way.
-Angle cried backstage to Karen that he thinks Sting really is going to cripple him. He said he's starting to really believe him. Karen reminded Angle that he hit his 18 year old son. Angle said he has to go find Nash because he can't go into that match without Kev's help.
-The Fight for the Fight tournament brackets were shown: Young vs. Storm, Hoyt vs. Kaz, Roode vs. Fatu, Shelley vs. Sabin, and Joe vs. Christian in the wildcard slot. There's been no good explanation for how that Wildcard Slot works, since it's not part of the bracketing for the other eight wrestlers.
4 -- KAZ vs. LANCE HOYT (w/Christy Hemme, Jimmy Rave)
After several minutes of action, Rave and Hemme argued on the ring apron. The distracted Hoyt in the midst of momentum. Kaz got up and set up Hemme for a kiss. Hoyt charged. Kaz dropped her and kicked Hoyt on the chin, then scored the pin.
WINNER: Kaz in 4:00.
STAR RATING: * -- This show really needs a match now and then that just is a match, that just ends with a pin. Without it, near falls never mean anything because viewers are conditioned to just wait for the run-in or outside interference.
-The blond lady interviewed a guy who's the champion of Major League Eating. He plugged the show coming up after Impact on Spike. I won't be watching. Then Junior Fatu walked in and said he'd shut down any buffet. He said he's part of the new breed of TNA. He asked if anyone smelled anything. He said after he's done beating "that jabroni Rick Rude, Robert Roode, whatever his name is" next week, somebody - Kurt Angle or Sting - will be the recipient of the Stinky.
-Angle said Black Reign might know where Nash is. He wanted Karen to go ask him. Karen said, "You want me to go talk to the freak?" Angle said, "Yes, you're married to me, for better or for worse." Karen went up to Black Reign and asked if he's seen Nash. Reign said, "As a matter of fact, I have." He then showed Karen his rat (a real rat). Karen screamed and ran. Angle called for help.
5 - DISCO INFERNO vs. ABYSS
Gilberti came out as Disco Inferno to disco music. Tenay said they had no idea earlier that Abyss would be his opponent in his comeback match. Tenay wished him luck and said he'd need it. Abyss dominated and scored a clean win with a Black Hole slam.
WINNER: Abyss in 2:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
-Afterward, Reign attacked Abyss. Abyss made a comeback, so James Mitchell jumped into the ring and hit Abyss from behind. Abyss brushed it off and lifted Mitchell. Reign hit Abyss with a "Darkness Falls Weapon" (hey, that's what Tenay called it; look for it at your local Halloween shop). Reign and Mitchell handcuffed Abyss to the ringpost. Reign beat on him, then brought his pet rat out, licked it a few times, and then brought it close to Abyss face. Reign put the rat in a bag, then put the bag over Abyss's head. Tenay and West made the obligatory sounds of disgust. Said West, "There's no telling what the rat's doing in there!"
-Tenay and West plugged the Sting vs. Angle rematch. Tenay called it the biggest match they've ever had on Impact.
-They went back to Borash, Angle, and Karen. Kurt accused Karen of pushing his wheelchair, "like a girl." Karen said, "I am a girl." Kevin Nash sped off in a rental car. Angle got out of the wheelchair, fell, got up, yelled an apology to Nash, and said, "I'll buy you porn!"
6 -- SAMOA JOE vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE - Fight for the Right Wildcard
Apparently because Sabin and Shelley "were injured," the winner of this gets the slot they'd have had. So, because Team 3D attacked the, they both lose out on the chance to advance in the tournament. That's fair. And they've already assessed they're too injured to be ready for the second round? That lacks credibility; there was no time to assess that. But it also means they won't wrestle on TV for several weeks or else it's just absurd. Joe got in early offense. Christian bailed out. Joe chased him right back into the ring. Christian side-stepped a Joe kick. When Christian bent over to get him, Joe kicked him from the ground and then hit him with a running knee in the corner. He followed with a face wash in the corner. Joe knocked Christian to the floor at 3:00 and then went for a dive through the ropes. Christian moved, and Joe was ready. When Joe landed safely on his feet at ringside, Christian dove at him. Joe met Christian's head with a kick. Christian gave Joe an inverted DDT on the ring apron a minute later. He rammed him into the guard rail, then brought him into the ring and tore at his face. This feels like the longest the beginning of a main event has lasted on Impact in a long time before a commercial interruption. It's nice. Christian jumped onto Joe on the floor and hit him with a forearm at 5:00.
Back from the break, Christian remained in control. He hit a neckbreaker, then mounted Joe and choked him. They went back and forth with some good action. Tenay called it a "pay-per-view quality match-up." At 13:00 Christian dove at Joe off the top rope, but Joe caught him mid-flight and turned it into a neckbreaker. Joe then hit Christian with a stiff clothesline for a near fall. Joe thought he had Christian as a series of kicks and a running kneedrop, but Christian kicked out. Joe set up a Muscle Buster. Christian fought it off, but Joe withstood the punches. Christian, though, then bit him and followed with a frog splash for a near fall at 15:00. Christian slapped Joe. Joe ducked a clothesline. The ref got hit instead. Joe hit the Muscle Buster and scored a visual fall. Styles charged into the ring. Joe tossed him right away, but then faced Tomko. Joe kicked Tomko between the legs and threw him out of the ring. Matt Morgan ran out and fought Tomko to the back. Christian went at Joe with a chair, but Joe kicked it into him, then applied the rear naked choke. Christian tapped out, but the ref was still down. Roode came out and bashed Joe from behind with a chair. Christian covered Joe and the ref came to and counted three. Tenay wondered what Roode's interest was in helping Christian.
WINNER: Christian in 17:00.
STAR RATING: ***1/4 -- Very good TV match. Too bad every Impact match seems to end with the interference type finish, because then this leaves a bad taste in your mouth more than it would if it was the exception, not the rule.
-A recap video aired of highpoints in the show.
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