TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/5: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Feb 5, 2009 - 7:42:55 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Last week's show saw the MEM taking over, and Mick Foley tapping Abyss and LAX to retaliate. In an odd booking decision, the MEM still dominated the rest of the show, but at least managed to do so in entertaining fashion. As I think back on the episode, what stands out is Scott Steiner's comical mic ramblings. It's hard to say what makes for a good, incoherent wrestling rambler—Flair had it (come on—you know as well as I do that some of those promos didn't make a lick of sense); Dusty Rhodes was hit or miss. It's starting to look like Steiner can pull it off, which is good—he probably doesn't have that many days left in the ring. The show ended with the return, by video, of an angry-looking Samoa Joe. Since TNA seems hesitant to make the leap with Hernandez, the Front Line could desperately use some angry muscle; Brother Ray really doesn't count.
The Show: Family Before Ego?
Tonight's main event will be Team 3D vs. Angle & Sting.
The MEM come down to the ring. Tenay claims that they always come down in the same order; I haven't been watching for it, so if anyone knows if that's true please give a shout in the comments. Nash starts things off tonight. As he nears the end of his career, he thinks back on the work he's done in the ring, but realizes that most of his work was really done backstage. He was like David Copperfield—when he wanted someone gone, they just vanished. He reminds us of Joe's trash talking Scott Hall at Turning Point 2007. Nash wanted Joe gone then, but for the first time, his target somehow found a way to stick around. And now he's back with a new haircut and some face paint. Maybe he's getting back to his roots—the crowd interrupts here with chants for Joe—but Joe's part has already been cast: in this show, he plays Kevin Nash's bi@#*. I can never figure out how the decide what to bleep. Angle's up next. He says that he knows everyone is talking about what'll happen when he and Sting are in the ring on Sunday. Lately he feels like he doesn't even know Sting. They formed the MEM to gain respect, but for weeks Sting's been doing his own thing. So to set his mind at ease, he assures Sting that the title will remain in the hands of the Main Event Mafia. Neither the crowd nor Sting seem thrilled with that promise.
Lauren is in the back with Team 3D. She says that after what they've just seen they must feel pretty comfortable that they have Sting and Angle right where they want them. Devon wonders if she means because of what they just saw. They're not buying it, cause they know what Kurt Angle can do. Ray takes the mic, and says that Angle being right where they want him would require a deep ocean, a meat locker, or the trunk of a car. He acknowledges that that sounds pretty bad, but it's all mafia stuff. He suggests Kurt might be taking this mafia business a bit too seriously. He also reminds Kurt of how he booked Sting in a handicap match last week, so that Kurt's motives in tonight's main event tag match is a bit suspect. Ray says they know what Kurt's up too, but they won't let it happen—he's never getting the tag in to Sting. They'll do what good tag teams do and cut the ring in half, softening Angle up like he softened up Sting last week. Then on Sunday, one member of Team 3D will become the World Heavyweight Champion. Lauren tries to remind them that only one of them can win, but they've already walked away.
On tonight's rough cut we look at TNA newcomer Kiyoshi. What happened to Sojourner Bolt? They discuss how Kiyoshi trained to be just like The Great Muta. Muta says that at first he didn't think Kiyoshi was anything special, but then he saw his passion to learn. Sting tells us that if Muta's willing to get behind someone, he has to be great.
They recap the fact that The Motor City Machine Guns didn't come out with the rest of the Front Line to bail out Petey Williams last week. Lauren talks to Lethal Consequences, who have a match with The Guns tonight. She wants to know if The Front Line is falling apart, but Creed assures her that the problem is entirely contained to The Guns. They don't realize that they have to put their family before their own egos. Lethal threatens The Rockers, and throws in something about Ted Dibiase while he's at it.
(1) LETHAL CONSEQUENCES vs. THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS
Never mind—before the match can start Beer Money ambush Lethal Consequences on the way to the ring. Storm brawls with Lethal into the crowd as Roode beats Creed around ringside. Lethal and Creed turn things around for a bit, but Roode eventually is able to sling Creed's arm around a ring post and blast it with a chair. The commentators rail against The Guns for not helping their Front Line brethren, but I'm not sure they're really obligated to when not up against the MEM.
The match starts right as we come back, but Creed's been taken to the back. Lethal starts things out with a Snapmare Takedown and dropkick to Sabin. He hits some quick jabs, but Sabin slows him down with a knee lift and makes the tag to Shelley. Lethal backs Shelley into a corner, but when he charges Shelley catches him in a Front Chancery. I've never seen that before. Lethal powers out, Shelley Back Body Drops him out to the apron, but he comes back with a Slingshot Dropkick. Sabin tries to come in with a Slingshot of his own, but Lethal goes underneath him with a Suicide Dive to Shelley on the outside. Sabin tries to follow him out with a Cross Body Block, but Lethal dodges. He rolls in Shelley for two. Sabin tries to charge, but Lethal dodges and the Guns bump into each other. Shelley backs Lethal up into a corner, but when he goes to the opposite corner for a charge Lethal closes the distance and clothesline him. When he goes to follow up, Sabin quickly shoves Shelley out of the way and nails a Back Breaker. They work over the double team for a minute or so. Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2, but Lethal shoves him off and nails a leaping kick to the head. Sabin comes in for the illegal double team to regain the advantage. A weird bridging cover gets two. Eric Young runs out and takes Creed's spot on the apron. It doesn't look like he's needed though—Lethal ducks a kick from Sabin, catches Sabin's leg, then ducks the ensuing Ensuguri which goes on to nail Shelley. Lethal makes the tag, and Young does the normal house-cleaning before nailing an awesome top rope Leg Drop on Shelley that has to be broken up at two. Shelley takes the break to go to the top rope as Sabin hoists Young up, but EY slips out, pulls Sabin up onto his shoulders, uses Sabin to ram Shelley, then nails them both with a Double Death Valley Driver for the kill.
WINNER: Jay Lethal & Eric Young in 5 minutes. That was a fun match—I like over-coordinated MCMG tag matches. I do wonder why EY was allowed to tag in. Does anyone who stands on the apron get to? Could I run out? Awesome.
Shelley has the mic in the ring, and he says that if you take a shot at the king, you better not miss. The two things that mean the most to him are his X Division Title and his tag team partner, and he needs a challenger for the former at Triple A, Against All Odds (he pauses when he realizes that one of those words starts with an "o"). Young first points out that it doesn't look like he missed, then promises that if Shelley's "life partner" stays in the back EY will correct whatever mistakes were made and take the X Division Championship.
They run down the card for Against All Odds.
Jim Cornette is in the back with the Kongtourage, and he warns them that he expects the women's championship match on Sunday to be one-on-one. Bolt warns him in turn that if she ever sees him without his "cracker, jack" (pointing at JB), he'll be in trouble. She's growing on me, though I'm a bit confused how JB stops her from beating up Cornette. Maybe she meant the camera? The Kongtourage leave, and Booker T comes in with Sharmell. He's wearing a referee's shirt, and he has a great idea for tonight—he can call the upcoming match between Sewell and Bashir. Cornette says that's a horrible idea, cause he doesn't have a referee's license. Since when do you need one of those? Booker says that something's going to happen to Sewell tonight, and it'll be all on Cornette's head. After he leaves, JB helps Cornette check his blood pressure.
Lauren is in the back with The Beautiful People and Cute Kip, and tonight they're all business. Lauren reminds us how they got even two weeks ago with "the governor", but suggests they'll have a harder time tonight when they deal with Taylor & Roxxi, who can fight back. Love assures her that after what Taylor & Roxxi did to them, they won't get a chance to fight back. What happens to them won't be a fight—it'll be a tragedy. Velvet Sky says that tonight The Beautiful People are going to reclaim their throne and reclaim their pride.
(2) SHEIK ABDUL BASHIR vs. SHANE SEWELL
They lock up and drag each other around the ring to start. The ref has to break them up in the corner, and after Sewell grants the clean break they lock up and do it again. This time Bashir gets in a cheap shot, and beats down Sewell in the corner. Sewell comes back with a clothesline, and Arm Drags Bashir, who rolls out of the ring. Sewell follows him out, where Bashir is able to ram him into the barricade. He rolls Sewell back into the ring, and hits a right hand for two. He whacks Sewell a couple times in the back, then floors him with a Russian Leg Sweep for two. He works the waist lock; Sewell powers out, gets briefly caught in a Sleeper, but then Back Drops out of it. Bashir tries to charge Sewell into the corner, but eats a Drop Toe Hold right into the bottom turnbuckle. Sewell hits a cool Delayed Elbow Drop and a Bulldog for two. Bashir goes for a Vertical Suplex as he gets up, but Sewell reverses it into a Fisherman's Suplex for a long two count. Bashir tries to fight back, and the ref takes a seemingly accidental bump. Sewell and Bashir hit clotheslines at the same time. While they're down, Booker starts to come down in his referee's shirt. Earl Hebner and Rudy Charles come down as well, but aren't willing to get in Booker's way. Booker helps up Bashir, who goes for a Leg Drop off the top rope. Sewell sits up just before it connects, then nails a Cross Body Block off the top rope. Booker won't make the count, and, after not thinking of anything subtle to do, just kicks Sewell in the head. The refs on the outside call for the bell. Sewell gets up fighting, and we have a pull-apart brawl.
WINNER: SHANE SEWELL by DQ in six minutes. This was better than their match at the last PPV, and the most effective I've seen Sewell so far.
JB is in the back with Sting, and he wants to know how he stands with Kurt Angle. Sting says he doesn't know, so everyone will just have to watch the PPV to find out. What he does know is what the title represents—honor, dignity, and respect. He knows that if anyone else wins it it'll be tarnished, and he will not let that happens. JB asks specifically if Kurt winning would tarnish the belt, but Sting walks away without answering.
We recap a decent chunk of the history between The Beautiful People and Roxxi & Taylor Wilde.
(3) THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/CUTE KIP) vs. TAYLOR WILDE & ROXXI
It's good to see them giving the women the 10 o'clock match. The Beautiful People attack Roxxi & Wilde on their way down to the ring. Love stays mostly in control of Taylor Wilde, while Velvet Sky goes back and forth with Roxxi. Eventually Sky Drop Toe Holds Roxxi into the steel steps as Love rolls Taylor into the ring. They take turns pounding and choking Wilde for a couple minutes, taking full advantage of the five counts. Wilde rallies a bit against Love, creating some distance and nailing a Cross Body Block for two. The advantage is short lived, as Love tosses her into the ropes as she gets up. Roxxi has made her way onto the apron as The Beautiful People nail a Double Elbow Drop on Taylor. Sky charges Wilde in the corner, but Taylor gets her legs up into a kick and creates enough distance to make the tag. Roxxi briefly dominates till Love comes in with the illegal assist. They nail a double team Bicycle Kick/Russian Leg Sweep for the win.
WINNER: The Beautiful People in about three minutes. Didn't we just see the tag-team-member-getting-injured-in-a-pre-match split-screen-brawl thing like five minutes ago?
After the match, they hit the Bicycle Kick/Russian Leg Sweep on Wilde and give them both the brown paper bag treatment. As they go to pose, "the governor" runs down, low blows Cute Kip, tosses Velvet Sky, and nails "The Thrilla from Wasilla" (it's an Ozone) on Love.
We apparently are being treated to two Rough Cut segments. Yay? They talk about how hard it is to break through in Japan, whereas in the US you have the chance to shoot up through the ranks. I did not know that.
Later tonight we'll see Matt Morgan vs. Rhino, but first we have to job out Shark Boy to the new guy.
(4) BRUTUS MAGNUS vs. SHARK BOY
Shark Boy hasn't gotten the memo, so he tries to start things off with some offense. He goes for a Cross Body Block, but gets caught and put down into a slam. Magnus Snake-Eyes him on the ring post, then bounces off the ropes with a HHH-like high knee. A Leg Drop gets two. A Spinning Back Elbow gets two more. Magnus goes for a Slingshot Elbow Drop, but Shark Boy dodges. Shark Boy comes back with some right hands and a Lou Thesz Press. He follows up with an Elbow Drop, then Stomps a Mudhole on Magnus in the corner. He nails a knee to Magnus's face, but Brutus comes back with his finisher—it's sort of a cross between an F5 and a Samoan Drop.
WINNER: Brutus Magnus. Duh.
After the match, Magnus grabs a mic and expresses annoyance that he came all this way for competition like this. He issues an open challenge for Against All Odds, and sounds really good doing it.
JB is in the back with Kurt Angle, who's surrounded by security for no obvious reason. Also, he seems to be getting undressed, which strikes me as an odd time to do an interview. JB asks for Kurt's comments on what Sting had to say, but Kurt points out that Sting didn't really say anything, and it's just people like JB trying to stir things up. He also talks about Ray's threat to cut the ring in half. Where Team 3D need each other, Kurt doesn't need anyone—he'll beat them by himself. JB asks him to reconsider, but he's sure he can do it on his own.
They recap the history of Abyss and Matt Morgan.
(5) MATT MORGAN vs. RHINO
Remember how Rhino got the title shot at the last PPV? That's kind of funny now. Poor Rhino. He and Morgan jockey for position. Neither gains the advantage, so Morgan kicks Rhino in the stomach. Rhino comes back with some right hands, but Morgan floors him with a clothesline. He pauses to soak up some boos, then floors Rhino again with a Russian Leg Sweep. He nails his back elbows in the corner, then a modified Stinger Splash. He hits that choking-leg-drop-on-the-top-rope thing for two, then settles in with a choke. Rhino powers out; Morgan no sells a shoulder block but gets floored by a clothesline. Rhino pounds him in the corner, then nails a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. He tries to finish things off with a GORE, but Morgan leaps over it and hits the Carbon Footprint. He gets a chair, and sets Rhino up for a Hellavator onto it, when Abyss's music hits. Abyss comes down to the ring with two bags. He attacks Morgan, drawing the bell.
WINNER: It should probably be Morgan by DQ, but I'm betting that since Rhino's face they'll call it a no contest (if they call it anything).
Abyss nails the Black Hole Slam, then lets loose the tacks in the middle of the ring. He goes for a Choke Slam, but Morgan slips away and makes his escape.
During the break, Abyss threw a host of the weapons into the ring. He says that he's going to introduce Morgan to his real best friend. His name isn't a Chris—his name is Abyss. He has endured a lot—abusive fathers, prison time, psychiatric treatment, shock treatment, and ridiculously bad story lines. Okay, that last one was just implied. Morgan knew how sensitive his situation was, and he befriended him by presenting a false image of trustworthiness. If Morgan's the DNA of TNA, he's going to see what happens when you add the Abyss chromosome to the mix. Abyss then pounds the hell out of the tacks with his fist. Holy shit—the crowd agrees, and chants for TNA. He closes by pointing out that you always hurt most those you love, and that'll never be truer than at Against All Odds. Lauren comes to the ring to talk him down. That was the most effective Abyss promo ever, which admittedly says remarkably little.
The MEM tell us to cross the line.
JB is in the back with Mick Foley, who's looking forward to seeing whether Sting & Kurt Angle can coexist. They hype Sunday's match a bit, then JB asks for an update on Jeff Jarrett. He says he has something to important ask him. Mick says he can ask it himself when Jarrett returns next week to Impact.
Sting and Kurt Angle come to the ring separately for the main event.
(6) TEAM 3D vs. KURT ANGLE & STING
Devon starts things off trading go-behinds with Kurt Angle. He cinches in a side headlock; Angle shoots him off, but he comes back with a shoulder block that floors Angle. Kurt goes to the apron for a breather. He walks over to Sting, but chooses to charge Devon rather than make the tag. Devon floors him with a clothesline, then hits his Spinning Back Elbow for two. Kurt goes to tell Sting he can go to the back, and turns around into a takedown from Devon. Devon tags in Ray, who twists Angle's arm. He hits some strikes and a Body Slam for a short two count. Sting wants the tag, but Angle flicks him off (sort of). Kurt backs Ray into a corner, then nails the cheap shot as they break. He hits a series of rights, takes a moment to knock Devon off the apron, then goes for the Angle Lock. Ray kicks him off, but Kurt comes back with an Elbow Drop for one. Devon tags in, and Team 3D nail a Flapjack for two. Sting again tries to tag in, but Kurt's still not having it. Devon nails a Belly-to-Back Suplex for two, so Kurt rolls out of the ring. Sting tells him to make the tag. He doesn't want to, so Sting reminds him that they're supposed to all be family. Scott Steiner comes out to adjudicate. Wow—how awesome would a Judge Scott show be on daytime TV? I would never miss an episode.
Angle floors Devon as we come back. Steiner helped him gain the advantage during the break, then got banned from ringside. Angle has some sort of cross-face locked in. He goes for an Angle Slam, but Devon reverses into an Arm Drag and makes the tag. Ray hits a series of strikes, then nails a Bubba Bomb for two. Ray goes for a Suplex, but Angle slips behind him and nails a German Suplex of his own. The crowd wants Sting. Angle pulls down the straps and goes to the top rope. Ray gets underneath him with an Electric Chair, and Devon nails the Doomsday Device. Sting distracts the ref, who still manages to turn around in time to see Booker run down and nail Team 3D. That draws the DQ.
WINNER: Team 3D by DQ in 10 minutes. This was less a match then a story, and in the latter regard it was a success.
Steiner comes down, and the MEM beat down Team 3D in the ring as Sting watches from the outside. Team 3D rallies and clears them out of the ring. Angle goes to have words with Sting, who just wants to know if it'll be friend or foe at Against All Odds. Steiner and Booker have to hold Kurt and Sting apart, as Team 3D watch on amused from the ring.
They go over the card for the PPV, then we close with a grainy version of the same video from Joe.
Where We're Going: The TNA Originals couldn't take on the Mafia, so they brought in some veterans to form the Front Line. Now it's looking like The Front Line won't be able to take on the Mafia, so they'll have to destroy themselves. We seem to be headed to a Sting face turn, so if they want to really do something cool they can mix things up and have him go full-on heel. I've never really seen much heel work from Sting, but I'm betting it could be a lot of fun when put up against the likes of Joe and Hernandez. One way or another, I imagine they'll be moving the belt onto Angle, if for no other reason than that Joe isn't allowed to wrestle Sting.
Star of the Night: Kurt Angle. I should really just go ahead and name this honor after him.
Overall: TNA doesn't tend to take a lot of chances right before a PPV, and tonight was no exception. They made a bit more explicit the Angle-Sting issues, and did some excellent storytelling, but nothing overly exciting. This show was competent—it loses a mark for running the same injured-tag-partner stories in back-to-back matches. B-
Daniel is a graduate student at The Ohio State University. He apologizes if he's a little slow tonight; he's sleepy. Complaints can be registered at email@example.com
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