TV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 12/17: Final hype for "Final Resolution" including Jarrett confronting Dixie, Jan. 4 hype, Daniels vs. Wolfe
Dec 17, 2009 - 11:40:35 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
DECEMBER 27, 2009
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-They opened with clips of the A.J. Styles-Daniels dissension storyline building up the PPV main event on Sunday. They also showed clips of Kevin Nash taking over Impact last week and selling a TNA Title shot to Desmond Wolfe, ending with Daniels causing a distraction that actually helped Styles, leading to a Wolfe-Daniels brawl, creating that split loyalty Vince Russo booking is famous for (dislike Daniels because he's clashing with Styles, but like Daniels because he's clashing with top heel Wolfe). The title of the show, therefore, is of course: "Judgment Day for Double J."
-The TNA Impact opening aired. Mike Tenay introduced the show as the camera panned the crowd and pyro blasted. Tenay said they're anticipating the return of TNA founder Jarrett. Taz threw to Jeremy Borash tracking down Mick Foley and insisting that he listen to him, saying something about Hulk "not liking this at all." Foley shoved Borash when he got too insistent and in his face. He then walked into the empty Impact Zone and jumped Kevin Nash who was sitting at the announce table. Lauren was on hand to do her usual overacting. We got that awkward "empty arena" grunting sans any crowd heat or announcing. Eric Young, Desmond Wolfe, Homicide, and Sheik Abdul Bashir saved Foley. Other heels joined in. Nash took a couple final shots and said, "You're done! You're done, Foley."
-Tenay explained that Nash's proposal for Foley to meet with Hulk "set off a powderkeg." Tenay hyped details of the meeting in the Los Angeles would air later. Taz hyped the return of Jarrett. They recapped the Foley-Jarrett "summit." Good idea, since they lost roughly 25 percent of their audience last week during the second hour (which contained several Foley-Jarrett segments). We got to relive the references to "her" and "Kurt" and bridges that need to be crossed that left the audience last week completely lost.
-Lauren interviewed Roxxi, making her return to Impact. She said during her time off she's been working out and wrestling in Mexico, improving her ring skills, plus fitness competitions. Lauren admired her rock-hard dimensions, then asked about wrestling ODB later. Roxxi said ODB is almost as unique as she is.
-An ad aired for Hulk Hogan and the Jan. 4 TNA Impact. Eric Bischoff did the narrating. They continue to be coy about Bischoff's role in this. Another thing viewers have to wonder about and, perhaps, resent Tenay and Taz for not addressing it. I believe announcers need to seem like they're on the side of the viewers, first and foremost, and that means answering, or at least asking, the questions viewers have on their minds [c]
-Borash interviewed Angle backstage. He asked him if he's prepared for the Three Degrees of Pain match this Sunday. Angle said he feels great and he wants TNA to throw everything at him because "it's the only way I'll get back on top." He said he hasn't lost since September, and that was a four-way. He said Wolfe might be among the top two or three wrestlers in TNA, but he won't beat him on Sunday. Borash asked his thoughts on Jarrett. Angle turned his back and didn't answer.
-A vignette aired on Tara, who said she's in TNA to become the top woman wrestler and the next Knockout Champion. Then clips aired of ODB attacking Tara last week on her talk show.
1 -- ODB vs. ROXXI
Taz and Tenay revisited the Nash rules last week that both women had to be bombed for their match. Tenay said at the PPV, the rematch will be about pure competition. Roxxi hit a fallaway slam, a corner splash, and a big boot for a two count at 1:00. ODB avoided another boot and took over with stomps and punches and a corner splash. Then she hit a Bronco Buster, which Taz said Tenay likes to call it the "Carpet Buster." Taz laughed. Tenay asked if he'd rather call it the Bronco Buster. Taz said he'd take the high road. Tenay said, "Oh, the no-sell." But Taz already sold his name for that move with a laugh; what he meant was he wouldn't call it by that name. Roxxi made a comeback at 3:00 with a discus forearm and a Voodoo Drop for the a near fall. ODB came back with a jaw jacker and then pulled out her flask. The ref stopped her from using it as a weapon, then Roxxi rolled up ODB from behind for the upset win. ODB attacked Roxxi afterward with her flask to the back her head. Then she choked her. Tara made the save.
WINNER: Roxxi in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Solid five minute match.
-They showed a clip of Foley driving to meet "Hulk" in L.A. Foley talked about the two layovers and flying coach and sitting near "the crapper," but everything will be forgiven when he sees Hulk. [c]
-Foley told Borash that if things get worked out with Hogan, everything will be forgiven. They cut to Foley working out a gym, doing curls. Lou Ferigno walked in and gave him a tip on his technique. Foley asked if he was sitting in on his meeting with Hulk Hogan. Ferigno said the meeting is with him, "The Hulk." Foley said he's upset and he apologized for wasting his time. He said Nash will pay a price for that prank.
-A clip aired of Foley attacking Nash earlier. Taz said he understands Foley's frustration. Tenay said he felt like he was the butt of a joke and didn't appreciate the "swerve."
-Backstage to Borash again, Nash yanked the mic out of his hand. Nash cut a "yelling at the top of your lungs" promo where he said Foley signed his death warrant. He said he's counting the days. "You gave us a reason, that's all we needed," he said. He said on Jan. 4, Hulk Hogan will be on Impact "and you will be unemployed." He tossed the mic back to Borash and walked away.
-Back to Borash and Foley again. Foley said Nash got one over on him, but he's circling the wagons tonight. Foley said he needs allies and thus he and Jeff Jarrett share a lot in common. Abyss limped into the room and yelled at the top of his lungs, "Did you forget that I'm your ally?" Did you forget it's you and me against Dr. Stevie & Raven at Final Resolution? He said while he's been out looking for Hogan, he's dealing with a leg injury from a brutal attack. Foley said he didn't forget or forgive. He said he won't forget about what they did to his leg or his own eye. He said all he's guilty of is not being in two places at once because he did what he felt was best for the company. He said he's crazy if he thinks he won't be by his side at the PPV. He asked him to tell him that he'll be there for him. Abyss assured him he would.
-Lauren interviewed Matt Morgan, Hernandez, Suicide, and The Pope backstage. She noted that Hernandez has to last five minutes in the ring alone before anyone else can join their tag matcb. Morgan said they'll be just fine. Pope asked to "exercise his prophet capabilities." He said he can see into the future, and "the future stands before you right here." He threw some money in the air. Huh?
2 -- BROTHER RAY (w/Brother Devon, Jesse Neal, Rhino) vs. MATT MORGAN (w/Hernandez, The Pope, Suicide) - Lumberjack Match
Suicide was supposed to be with Morgan, but he came out a few seconds late. Taz and Tenay made an issue of it. Tenay also plugged the Jan. 4 episode of Impact, "featuring the debut of Hulk Hogan." Taz said no one will ever forget it. Tenay plugged Dixie Carter's Twitter account. (Dixie Carter's Twitter picture is kinda strange for an executive leader of a wrestling company. Just saying...) At 2:00 Ray avoided a Carbon Footprint and then back suplexed Morgan, who grabbed the back of his neck. When Ray threw Morgan to the floor, Neal, Rhino, and Devon jumped Morgan. Pope and Hernandez made the save as Suicide kept back a few feet. Ray did the twirling arms and crotch-crab, giving Morgan time to recover and execute a chokeslam. Morgan was yanked to the floor by the heels. Suicide was first on the scene to help Morgan. The lumberjacks brawled as Morgan returned to the ring. Neal gave Morgan a low-blow as Devon distracted the ref, leading to Ray getting the win.
WINNER: Brother Ray in 6:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4
-The commercial aired for the TNA Impact three-hour special on Jan. 4.
-A video feature aired on Jeff Jarrett including footage of Jarrett with a lot of hair being interviewed by Dave Brown on WMC-TV in Memphis, Tenn. and a picture of Jarrett, his late wife Jill, and their daughters. It recapped various storylines regarding Jarrett having troubles inside the ring and outside the ring. Dixie was shown describing "a personal situation" outside of the ring "that put all of us in a difficult situation." It's so tough for fans to take sides or get invested in this when they remain so vague about what personal incident happened.
-They went to Jarrett getting out of a car outside the Impact Zone. Foley greeted him. Jarrett had the long beard and cap. Taz said that scene felt uncomfortable. [c]
-Mid-break they showed The Beautiful People walking toward the entrance set.
-Lauren interviewed Beer Money Inc. about the Feast or Famine match. Roode said it's a "must-win" situation, although by winning, that assures they could end up with a "fired" briefcase. Storm said nobody's getting in their way. In walked Samoa Joe who said he was listening off to the side. He said he's putting his entire career on the line for his shot. He said nobody wants to give him another shot, but unlike those two, he deserves his shot. In walked Sheik Abdul Bashir and Eric Young. Storm said: "What do you want, Mr. Clean." Funny. Young said there will be some new entrants in the "Feast or Fired" match - Bashir, Kiyoshi, Homicide, Big Rob Terry, Kevin Nash, and himself. He said their sole goal is to make sure they don't get a title shot again.
3 -- THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (Velvet Sky & Lacey Von Erich w/Madison Rayne) vs. AWESOME KONG vs. HAMADA vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE
They showed a clip of last week's mud match, after which ratings crashed. Five percent of the audience loved it, but up to 30 percent were offended enough to turn the channel. Tenay announced that there would be no edition of Impact next week on Christmas Eve, but they'd have a four-hour special Impact on New Year's Eve featuring some previously unseen-on-Spike matches from PPV plus a one-night Knockout tournament. With all of the ring intros, I couldn't even tell whether this was a six-woman tag or a three-way tag of teams of two or what. Sarita opened against Kong. Velvet Sky tagged herself in against Hamada, then taunted Wilde. Tenay finally explained it was a non-title three-way match-up. Kong entered and attacked Rayne as Hamada dove onto Sarita at ringside. Kong then sat down on Rayne to score the pin.
WINNER: Kong in under 2:00. Ridiculously short once again. You'd think they'd leave their top ratings draw in the ring for longer than that. I rewound and rewatched three times to figure out who was teaming with whom and what the match stipulations were. Just a mess. I mean, there were three teams out there (including all three Beautiful People and two duos, or at least it seemed), two women in the ring at a time fighting each other, and indiscriminate tags. This was symbolic of a lot of what's wrong with TNA, making things needlessly complicated without adequate explanation only to have it add up nothing.
-Lauren tried to interview The Beautiful People after the match. Von Erich told her, "Why don't you find a backseat to crawl into, you skank." Lauren slapped her and stalked away.
-Jarrett yelled at Foley and wondered aloud why he let Foley talk him into being there. He said, "This is wrong! This is all wrong!" Foley said he came there because deep down he wants to and needs to be there. Jarrett said he wants to walk into Dixie's office and give her a piece of his mind. He yelled about founding "this place." Foley said for a while he felt he deserved to be gone. Jarrett said he didn't know the full story. Foley said he can yell at her and "feel like a man for a little while, but what does that do for any of us." Foley said deep down the wrestlers respect him, so he needs to put his pride aside. He said long-term his little girls need him to be smart about this and not blow off steam and walk away without a job. Jarrett settled down and said, "All right." [c]
-Christy Hemme interviewed "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal backstage. She said the second installment of the Black Machismo Open Invitiational is next. He said The Anvil pulled a fast one on him. He said bring on The Model, The Rooster, or The One Man Gang. Taz said Machismo is, "Special.... Special!"
4 -- "BLACK MACHISMO" JAY LETHAL vs. TATANKA
A clip aired of Anvil pinning Lethal after a running powerslam. No context, just enough to make Lethal look like a comedy jobber lower than Santino Marella. Tatanka came out in the same outfit with the same gimmick name as in his WWF days. Tatanka hit four early legdrops in a row. Taz said it's not fair for Lethal because he can't prepare for his opponent. Tenay said he might want to re-think the format. Tenay said maybe Lethal is psyched out seeing these legends. Lethal made a comeback with a top rope axe handle. Tatanka got fired up and began no-selling and dancing. He chopped Lethal several times including once off the top rope for a near fall. Lethal came back with a top rope axe handle attempt, but Tatanka caught him in the gut. Tatanka then lifted and dropped him with the Indian Death Drop for the win.
WINNER: Tatanka in 3:00.
-Hemme interviewed The Motor City Machine Guns. She talked about their resume. Sabin said nobody pays attention to their accomplishments. He said maybe their problem is that they "don't promote alcoholism and greed like other tag teams around here." He said perhaps the people in power don't get their sense of humor and shenanigans. He said on Sunday they'll prove they're the best tag team. Alex Shelley said they're proud to say they've had to scratch and claw for every inch of what they've accomplished in TNA. He said the British Invasion will be outclassed, outwrestled, and outgunned. [c]
-Foley said maybe he should handle the talking when they walk to meet with Dixie. Jarrett said he's going to do it his way, the right way, one-on-one with Dixie. He told Foley to trust him. Foley said everyone in TNA and his girls depend on him. He wished him luck.
-Tenay said for five months Jarrett has been waiting for this meeting. Taz said it's arguably the most important of his career. Then they shifted to hyping the Final Resolution line-up.
-They showed Jarrett walking up to Dixie's office. He paused to gather himself, then walked in. She uses a Mac. That's a good sign. Jarrett told Dixie that Foley thought it'd be a good idea to come down and chat with her. He said he thinks it's a good idea. She said, "Chat about what, Jeff?" He said he'd like to come back to the company he founded. She said before they talk about his future, they have to be "crystal clear" about their past. She said he lied to him. She said when they made a bunch of promises to Kurt Angle in Pittsburgh, "you ending up with his wife and children wasn't one of them." Yea! It's finally explained. Now the new problem: It sounds really creepy. "You didn't leave me many options," she said. "So I gave you your best option." She said she "hoped time on the sidelines might heal this mess." Jarrett said he was sorry from the bottom of his heart, for disrespecting her, and for everything. Dixie said at this point, it's not about her. She said he has to go face Kurt and take responsibility and set things straight. He accepted full responsibility. [c]
5 -- DANIELS vs. DESMOND WOLFE
Did they take any time to promote this? Shouldn't the no. 1 contender to the World Title going into Sunday facing Wolfe, given his hot push out of the gate, have been treated as something really, really special? Or at least a little bit special, as in worth some analysis and promos heading into the match? Not doing so defines it down as "just another match." Taz explained that Daniels helped Styles last week to protect him going into the PPV because he's obsessed with beating him on Sunday. Daniels applied his obligatory side headlock at 3:00 after a slow build up to that point. The crowd was (understandably) split. Daniels sorta landed with a split-legged moonsault; it just grazed Wolfe when he landed. Moonsaults, such as the Lionsault, are just so hard to execute in a way where there's any visual impact because of the rolling landing, especially when done up close instead of sailing high and far off the top rope. They moved into a series of near falls via counter pin attempt at 9:00. In the midst of all of that, Wolfe small packaged Daniels, but Daniels reversed it, and then the bell began ringing. The ring announcer said the ten minute time limit expired and it was a draw. The crowd booed. There was no countdown for the ten minute time limit (which I've been told was announced at the start of the match by the ring announcer), but I suppose since the average length of a match on Impact is about 3.5 minutes, it's rarely an issue. I'm not against it, but they should explain that ahead of time and pay attention during the match. Imagine a close football game with no attention to the two minute warning.
WINNER: Time Limit Draw in 10:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 -- A little slow with the build and the lack of babyface took away from the ability to do what most viewers want when they watch any competition - have a reason for cheering someone.
-As Jarrett was about to enter Angle's locker room, Foley told him he was proud of how he handled his talk with Dixie, but that's not Dixie in the next room. He said he was going in there with him. Jarrett said he had to do this one-on-one. He told him to trust him. Foley said he trusts him, but not Angle. They both walked in. Angle said he heard he was coming. He didn't turn around. Jarrett said: "I just want you to know this, man to man. If I disrespected you in any shame, form, or fashion, I just want you to know I'm sorry. Kurt, did you hear me? I'm sorry." Angle said nothing and didn't turn around. Then he spoke up and said, "Yeah, I heard what you said." He turned around and walked past him, saying, "I have a match." No forgiveness.
6 -- SCOTT STEINER & RAVEN & DR. STEVIE & THE BRITISH INVASION (w/Rob Terry) vs. A.J. STYLES & TYSON TOMKO & BOBBY LASHLEY & ABYSS
Abyss limped badly, barely able to walk. Tenay said they couldn't air footage of Abyss being set on fire, which Spike TV didn't allow them to air, but is still on their website. Abyss clotheslined Raven over the top rope to the floor in the opening seconds. Raven came back and bit Abyss's injured leg. Abyss brawled with Raven and Dr. Stevie toward the back. Meanwhile, Lashley battled Steiner at ringside. They cut to a break before the bell rang to officially start the match. [c] Lashley and Steiner ended up brawling into the backstage area, as did Abyss, Raven, and Stevie. In the ring, Angle battled Doug Williams. Rob Terry yanked Tomko off the ring apron. Styles tagged in and cleaned house on the Brits. He set up a Styles Clash on Brutus Magnus, but Williams broke it up. Tomko knocked Williams off the top rope as Styles rolled up Magnus for the three count.
WINNER: Styles's Team in an est. 5:00. Not really a gradable match as much of it took place during the break and half the competitors were in a backstage brawl.
-Afterward, Angle confronted Styles. Wolfe and Daniels then beat up Styles and Angle. Daniels grabbed the TNA World Title and got in Styles's face and said, "It's my turn!" Wolfe, meanwhile, applied a nasty armbar on Angle mid-ring. The show ended with Daniels and Wolfe shaking hands.
FINAL THOUGHTS: It'd have almost been impossible not to improve on last week's show, but this was a sizable improvement. In key areas, such as filling in holes on the Foley-Jarrett-Angle situation (it's still kinda creepy and seems like it's dirty laundry viewers don't need to hear about) and actually promoting the Jan. 4 show and the top PPV matches.
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