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7/2 TNA Impact Recap by Wilkenfeld: The oddly-invincible Jeff Jarrett

Jul 5, 2009 - 2:42:08 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor

Sorry this is just up now—DVR issues.

Where We've Been: Last week we heard that Joe turned to the Mafia for the money, and that the rest of the mafia turned from Sting because they realized that he was a really crummy leader. The latter actually makes a certain amount of sense—under Kurt's leadership, the MEM won an estimated 100% of all matches not involving Mick Foley. Under Sting's, they all got beat up by Samoa Joe. Joe's turn makes less sense, and they seem to be implying that his personality was radically altered by his "advisor". That makes the Taz hypothesis make less sense, unless there's some gimmick in his history where he was money driven. Was there?

The Show: Double J Takes Control
We recap Joe joining the mafia. Speaking of whom, here the MEM is. Kurt tells Sting, sitting at home, that he should know it wasn't personal. He also calls Mick down to the ring to "face the boss". Here's Mick. Kurt says that Mick crossed the boss last week when he went back on his word by offering Team 3D a chance to win into the tag team title match. Kurt can't figure out why he would mess with the most powerful stable in the history of this business. But it doesn't really matter what Mick's answer is, since the MEM has a reputation to protect. Mick acknowledges that he made a huge mistake last week, but he's been having a rough few weeks and just wants to be left alone to fight Kurt at Victory Road. Kurt says that he wishes he could do that…and notices that Rocko and Sally have moved in front of Mick. He asks what they're going to do. Mick acknowledges that they probably won't do much, but tells them to try anyway. Steiner just whacks them both with a lead pipe. After complaining about shelling out big money for the worst security force in the world, Mick proposes a deal: Kurt can take him out, as long as he leaves him healthy enough to recover by Victory Road. Kurt thinks the idea of him playing Monty Hall is amusing, so he offers Mick the opportunity to pick a door to determine which MEM member would kick his ass. Mick takes a moment to be clear about who is behind which door—you know it sort of defeats the purpose of the doors if you tell him what's behind which. Mick picks Kurt's and jumps him. The rest of the MEM pile on Mick, which is totally cheating. Jarrett's music hits, and he comes down to the ring, guitar in hand. The MEM scatter, scared of Jarrett for reasons I don't fully understand. Mick slowly gets up in the ring, and Jarrett blasts him with the guitar. That's a novel approach to solving differences.

[Commercial Break]

They recap what happened moments ago, which I'd complain about if it hadn't let me catch up on my typing. During the break, Mick waved off medical help to go hunt him a Jarrett.

JB follows Mick into Jarrett's locker room, but security keeps the two of them apart.

Earlier today Mike Tenay had a sit-down interview with Kevin Nash—I guess I wasn't the only one who thought he stepped up on the mic last week. Tenay calls him arguably the most controversial figure in wrestling history, mentioning his defection from the then-WWF to WCW in 1996. Nash says that he was working 311 days a year as WWF champion and only "barely getting seven figures". Bischoff put out feelers promising them $1.5 million for half as many days, and so it was a no-brainer. He said that the impetus for that change was when wrestlers started talking about how much they got paid, and realized that some of them were getting screwed. They realized that this was a business, and they made things better for wrestlers everywhere. Tenay says it can't be all about the money, and mentions Nash's Legends' Championship opportunity. Nash acknowledges that it feels good to be a champion, particularly since he really does consider himself a legend. He also looks forward to a chance to beat AJ Styles, who he suspects is someone we'll still be talking about 20 years from now. But at the end of the day, having the belt at a photo op lets you rake in an extra three or four grand, cause everyone wants a picture with the strap. So yeah, in the end, it is all about money. I'm glad someone finally gave a reason why having the belt is worth more than any other main eventing position.

[Commercial Break]

Abyss is on a rampage backstage, looking for Dr. Stevie. Lauren, terrified, tries to stop him. He hoists her on his shoulders and leaves puts her down on what is, as near as I can tell, the SportsCenter desk. He promises that he'd never hurt her, since he's never cared about anyone as much as he cares about her. But he's sick, and always will be. He's never asked her to stop being a woman; she shouldn't ask him to stop being a monster. She assures him that he's not a monster, he's a human being. He gives her a kiss on the forehead and promises to be back with her when he's done. That segment was oddly sweet.

(1) CODY DEANER (w/ODB) vs. AMAZING RED
Please tell me they're not going to make Red a jobber. Red dodges some right hands to start, kicks the back of Deaner's leg, and works a wrist lock. Deaner reverses into a wrist lock of his own, but Red flips out and hits a couple of quick Arm Drags. Red comes off the ropes with a Head Scissors, so Deaner rolls out of the ring for a breather. There's no escaping Red, as Red comes out of over the top rope with a Corkscrew Plancha. That move is artwork. Red rolls Deaner back in, but only gets two. When he bounces off the ropes for something else, Deaner floors him with a Decapitator Clothesline. Deaner slowly works over Red in the corner, then floors him with a Body Slam. A Fist Drop gets two. For some reason the camera shows ODB grabbing her boobs. Red reverses a whip into the corner, runs up Deaner (almost Jimmy Yang style) and floors him with a jump kick for two. Red goes back to the top rope, but gets distracted by ODB and knocked down to the canvas. Deaner goes to the top as ODB warns him to go back to brawling. He puts his baseball cap on backward and goes for a Flying Headbutt, but Red rolls out of the way. Red goes to the top and comes back with the Red Eye, which is a sort of Tornado Top Rope Flatliner.

WINNER: Amazing Red. I can't time these without my Tivo. Sorry. Deaner was amusing, and Red was jaw-dropping as always.

Abyss is breaking stage props in the back when security comes up with baseball bats. Abyss stares them down, then some old guy I'm clearly supposed to recognize comes up and says that he might be a crazy old man, but he won't allow this in his house.

[Commercial Break]

JB is in the locker room with Jeff Jarrett when the MEM walk in clapping. Kurt tells Jarrett to relax, and that there won't be any problems. Kurt has Joe hold his title, which strikes me as a bad long term plan. He tells Jeff that though they've had their differences in the past, it doesn't have to be that way anymore. The MEM are happy with where they are, and Jeff's clearly gotten rid of that thorn in his side Mick Foley. So he's offering Jeff a peace offering—with Jarrett's backstage power and their stroke, they could completely rule all aspects of TNA. Jeff says to screw his offer. He reminds him of recent history, of how Jarrett brought Angle in to replace him, but Angle abused his position. I didn't realize anyone cared about continuity. Jeff says that they'll be running things his way tonight. Angle & Samoa Joe will wrestle against Jeff Jarrett & AJ Styles in a tag match, where Kurt's title will be on the line. If either Jarrett or AJ get the fall, they'll be the new champ. Booker starts screaming about how unfair it is, though Angle looks oddly calm.

Lauren is in the back with Jenna Morasca. She knows that Jenna's not a wrestler, so she wants to know how she'll get out of her scheduled match at Victory Road. Jenna says it's simple—she'll just fight her. Sharmell is all show, and isn't a wrestler herself. Sojourner Bolt saunters on screen, and seems disgusted. Just because Jenna's from New York she thinks she has street cred? All Sojo sees is another anorexic, pasty white girl. So she'll be training her girl Sharmell, who'll be ready at Victory Road. It's not a question of whether Jenna can dig it—it's whether she can survive it. If Bolt had a more dynamic move-set she could really be a top star.

[Commercial Break]

JB is in the MEM locker room. Kurt says that Jarrett just signed his own death warrant in his own blood. Every time Kurt battled Samoa Joe, he wondered what it would be like to team up—the two of them would be unstoppable. Now that dream becomes a reality. I now appreciate why he didn't seem upset earlier—that's a nice touch. Booker sends Sharmell to get Matt Morgan to discuss Mafia business. Sharmell bickers then leaves. JB makes a comment about John & Kate, I die a little over the fact TNA has to refer to a show on TLC to seem hip.

(2) ERIC YOUNG vs. RHINO (w/JESSE NEIL)
Young and Rhino trade blows to start, with Rhino gaining the advantage with a big clothesline. Young strikes as he gets up, hitting a clothesline of his own and working Rhino in the corner. He brings him to the mat for a chin lock. Rhino powers out right away, so Young yanks him down by the hair for two. How does that get two? I could get up after being yanked down by the hair. He takes Rhino over to the rope, so he can choke Rhino while dissing Jesse Neil. Neil argues back, so EY pops him and goes to the outside to toss him into the announce table. Rhino's still on his knees when EY gets back, so he tees off. Rhino no-sells the blows and gets up swinging, then comes off the ropes for a Flying Clothesline for two. Rhino hits a shoulder block in the corner and big Spine Buster, but Jesse Neil is up complaining to the ref. Rhino goes over to talk some sense into him. Young shoves Rhino into Neil, then rolls him up for the win.

WINNER: Eric Young. I think EY is the hottest heel in TNA right now, and I like the potential for a Rhino or Jesse Neil heel turn as well.

Sharmell, still annoyed at being a messenger, finds Matt Morgan on his cell phone. She tells him that Kurt wants to see him, and he instantly hangs up his phone. He asks Sharmell to repeat what she said, then spins her around in excitement. He knew this day would come, where he'd be invited to join the MEM. He wonders how many zeroes he'll get at the end of his check. That was a decent segment.

[Commercial Break]

JB is still in the MEM locker room with Kurt and Booker, and he wants to know whether they're going to invite Matt Morgan to join. Kurt tells him to be patient. Morgan comes in, excited. Kurt says that they're taking Morgan seriously, but there are a few more things he needs to do. Morgan thought he did enough last week when he served Sting up on a silver platter. Kurt says he's doing well, but he needs to have all his bases covered. Tonight, he has a match against Jarrett and AJ, and where you see AJ, you see Chistopher Daniels. Kurt doesn't want Daniels to get anywhere near the ring. Morgan says that he understands, but that Kurt needs to understand that his patience is not unlimited. He leaves, and Booker is amazed by his audacity. Angle just chuckles about how some kids will never learn.

We see a package hyping Sarita's debut in two weeks. I'm stoked.

(3) THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (w/MADISON RAYNE) vs. AWESOME KONG (w/RAESHA SAEED) & TARA
Tara comes down to the ring with a presumably spider-filled box. Sky takes Tara down by the hair to start. Tara goes behind, floors Sky with a gut wrench and floats over into a Reverse Chin Lock. She lets it go and hits a couple of quick Arm Drags. There's a bit of sloppiness as Sky tries to get away. Tara tags in Kong, who hurls Sky across the ring to make the tag. The crowd chants that Kong is gonna kill her. Kong pummels Love in the corner. She tags in Tara, who gets foolishly distracted by Sky taunting from the apron, which allows Love to take control. Sky tags in and hits an elbow drop that barely gets two. She flings Tara towards Love, then tags out. Love whips her into the ropes, but Tara ducks the attempted clothesline and both women go for each others' hair simultaneously. Both women make tags. Sky tries to strike Kong, but it doesn't even faze her. Kong tosses Sky into the corner. Love attempts to interfere, so Kong floors her. She goes for an Awesome Bomb on Sky, but Love breaks it up. Tara runs in and clears Love from the ring, which leaves Kong alone to hit the Implant Buster on Sky for the win.

WINNER: Awesome Kong & Tara. That was a bit slow, but I like seeing Kong as a monster, and I'm sure this is really just a delayed set-up for Kong-Tara down the line. In the ring, Tara puts a tarantula on Velvet Sky as Love and Rayne flee.

[Commercial Break]

Love is flipping out backstage about the spider. She wants to know if this is wrestling or some animal kingdom show. Lauren asks about Velvet Sky, but Love is more worried about the fact that it might one day be her. Lauren asks what that thing on her shoulder is, then laughs as Love runs away screaming.

Brother Ray tells us to Cross the Line, and then that "I Will Become."

Beer Money come down to the commentary table.

(4) TEAM 3D vs. BOOKER T (w/SHARMELL & SCOTT STEINER)
The crowd comes alive for Team 3D as Roode puts over all four competitors on the mic. Are they face again now? Scott Steiner takes Ray down with a Suplex, Ray comes back with a Body Slam, then both men whiff on elbow drops. Ray tags in Devon, who hits some textbook right hands. Steiner reverses an attempted Irish Whip, then distracts the ref while Booker T hits a kick from the apron. Booker T tags in and hits a series of kicks on Devon. West on commentary points out that the single most elite tag performer in the last seven years has been James Storm, which is a decent point I hadn't really considered. In the ring, Steiner takes Devon down for two then tags back in Booker. Booker hits a Reverse Side Kick and then a Spinning Back Kick. Devon ducks below an attempted clothesline and we get a Double Clothesline Takedown. Devon makes the tag first, and Ray comes in with a series of clotheslines on Booker. He hip tosses Booker over; Steiner tries to help out, so Ray hits him with a Bubba Bomb. He goes back to work on Booker T, who hits a Bookend out of nowhere. It only gets two. For some reason Bashir and Kiyoshi come out and attack Beer Money at commentary. In the ring, Team 3D have somehow isolated Booker T for a 3D, but Sharmell has the ref distracted so he can't count the three. Steiner comes back into the ring, so they nail him with the Wazzup!. Ray sends Devon to get the tables, which turns out to be a very bad idea, as he's met by a large and angry Rob Terry; in the ring, Sharmell distracts the ref as Brutus Magnus hits Ray with a Feast or Fired briefcase and rolls Booker into the cover. The ref turns around and makes the count.

WINNER: Booker T & Steiner. That was a fun little match, even if the The British Invasion interference could be seen coming a mile off. *

Tenay tries to throw things back to Lauren, but is overruled by someone in the production truck.

[Commercial Break]

Jethro Holliday comes for his match with Black Machismo. Jay Lethal doesn't show up, as apparently he bumped into Abyss backstage. Abyss floors him, then takes out Creed when he tries to help out. Abyss hits the ring, where Holliday tries to meet him with right hands. Abyss hits a Black Hole Slam then tosses him unceremoniously from the ring. He calls for a mic, with which he calls out Dr. Stevie. He tells him to come out come out wherever he is. He wants the whole world to hear this—he doesn't need Dr. Stevie anymore. There'll be no more therapy sessions, no more daily check-ins, and no more shock treatment—except for Dr. Stevie. When Abyss gets his hands on him, he's going to hoist him up and drop his 350 lb. + ass and snap him across his shoulders like his twig (that's a description of his move—the Shock Treatment). Dr. Stevie appears on the monitor with a crying Lauren. Isn't kidnapping a federal crime? That would be awesome if Abyss got him sent to prison. Dr. Stevie asks if Abyss knows what he could do to her—he's not going to though, cause he's not a monster. Abyss tries to get the monitor shut off. Dr. Stevie says that he's been treating Abyss every day for ten years, and is not going to let him get away now. Wasn't Abyss supposedly in solitary confinement a year or so ago? I didn't know they allowed wrestler-therapist visits. Next week, Abyss will show up for therapy, or else. Abyss runs away crying. This was creepy, and generally the type of segment I hate, but the performances are making it almost palatable.

[Commercial Break]

(5) JEFF JARRETT & AJ STYLES vs. KURT ANGLE & SAMOA Joe
TNA World Heavyweight Championship Tag Match
AJ comes down after Jarrett, which is a nice touch. Joe, meanwhile, comes down to Angle's music. The fact that Angle said so clearly that Sting wasn't in the building makes me hope that we might actually get a title change, till I remember that in TNA now you retain the title on a DQ. JB does the full main event intros, which is yet one more nice touch. Angle and Jarrett lock up to start. Jarrett gets a headlock—Angle shoots him off, but he comes back with a shoulder block. He looks for a Stroke, but Angle fights it off and goes for an Angle Lock, which Jarrett escapes. Angle takes Jarrett down with a European Uppercut, but Jarrett comes right back with an Arm Drag and a big clothesline. He tags in AJ, but Kurt rakes the eyes and makes the tag to Joe. Joe hits a cool rolling leg sweep on AJ. Joe bounces off the ropes, but AJ leapfrogs him and comes back with the high dropkick. Angle runs in, but AJ sidesteps him over to Jarrett, and the two of them take turns punching Kurt. Jarrett comes in and he and AJ work the double-team on Joe.

[Commercial Break]

In the ring, Joe is somehow standing over a prone AJ. He tags in Kurt, who hits some Randy Orton-like stomps, except that they're not at a snail's pace. We see that during the break the MEM took over with Joe's big Ura-nage and Kurt's Overhead Release Belly-to-Belly Suplex. Live, AJ hits a Standing Ensuguri and both men are down. AJ crawls over to make the tag, but Joe takes Jarrett off the apron. He then returns to his corner for Kurt to tag in. AJ creates a moment's distance with a back elbow, then goes for his Springboard Inverted DDT. Kurt tries to interfere, so AJ hits him with a simultaneous One-Armed DDT as he takes down Joe. The crowd rightfully chants for TNA. AJ looks for a tag, but Joe cuts him off with a Kokido Clutch. AJ rolls out and nails a Pele, which enables him to finally connect with the tag. Jarrett is a house of fire, taking down both Joe and Angle. He hits a Stroke on Angle, then dodges an attempted Senton Splash by Joe which ends up hitting Kurt. Jarrett sets Angle up on the top rope for a Super Stroke, but Joe tries to cut him off with a Muscle Buster. AJ sees what's happening, and takes out Joe with a Flying Forearm. Unfortunately, he also takes out referee Slick Johnson, who therefore cannot make the count after Jarrett hits said Super Stroke. Jarrett sees that the ref is down and goes for the guitar, but Slick Johnson is up again and grabs it. Angle takes advantage of the distraction to cinch in the Angle Lock. Joe yanks AJ off the apron so that Jarrett can't make the tag, though of course if he got that far he'd be in the ropes anyway. Jarrett goes for an Ensuguri, but Angle ducks and keeps the Angle Lock applied. Kurt drops to the mat and Grapevines the legs, and Jarrett passes out from the pain. Yeah—God forbid we let Jarrett tap to the most devastating submission move in the company.

WINNER: ANGLE & Joe. An all too rare clean Impact main event finish after a solid match. ***

The rest of the MEM come down to pick off Jarrett. AJ grabs his Legends' Title and briefly scatters them, but they come back and take AJ from behind. Backstage, we see Morgan taking out Daniels. The crowd chants for Sting. As Nash gears up to whack AJ with the belt, the lights go down and Sting appears. The MEM attack evil-ninja style, so he floors them all with his bat. He grabs the title belt, the lights vanish, and when they come back up Sting has vanished with the title.

Where We're Going: So at this point the main question is whether they string along Angle-Sting till Bound for Glory, or if we get to see it sooner. I imagine the former, based on the universal rule of "Sting always wins the title at Bound for Glory." That being said, their outing at Destination X didn't exactly turn a lot of heads, so they might want to rethink that if they're planning to make it the biggest match of the year. TNA managed some nice forward progress along most of the major plotlines, but didn't really add much new material tonight. We're therefore pretty much where we were at this point last week.

Star of the Night: AJ. An otherwise subpar show was rescued by a solid main event. All four men did their part, but AJ, not surprisingly, did the most.

Overall:I liked this show. There was at least one rock solid match, some nice showcases, and a bit of development in the main story lines revolving around four of their five titles. Even the Abyss bits were surprisingly watchable, proving that a good performance can sometimes bail out even the worst of plots. This show takes a major hit though for what wasn't there—one week without any X Division development is acceptable, but two in a row is not cool. B

Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He thinks TNA screwed up DVR recordings by slightly altering the show's titles. Anyone who knows why they would do that can send such information to dawilk316@gmail.com


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