TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 3/8: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Mar 8, 2010 - 10:59:32 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Two weeks ago, TNA announced an exciting main event for their first regularly scheduled Monday night Impact, with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair coming out of retirement. Then last week they oversold the hell out of it, in the process reminding me that I didn’t really want Hulk Hogan to come out of retirement. That being said, they pulled out all the stops for the last Monday night show, so expect some good shock TV today. Don’t expect any follow up tomorrow, but today should be fun.
We kick things off with a completely redone intro. Rob Terry is featured annoyingly prominently, and Hogan is featured in the final shot. We then go to a giant pyro display, which really just makes me feel like they’re trying too hard.
Hulk Hogan and Abyss come out to Hogan’s music. Hogan is sporting the Red & Yellow—they get exactly 40 seconds of marking out for that. We see (I think) Dixie Carter at ringside. Based on her smile, I hypothesize that the liquid in her cup is not water. Abyss joins Hulk in playing to the crowd, and Hogan grabs a mic. They let the cheering go beyond the allotted 40 seconds, but not by bloody much. Hogan says that this is the biggest night in the history of TNA. He pauses for a “TNA” chant. He tells Abyss that there’s no reason to wait around. They’re going to be the judge, the jury and the executioner. He says he came to this company to take TNA to infinity and beyond, but since Flair & AJ left Hogan in a pool of his own blood in front of his own family the rules have changed. He tells AJ & Flair to come down to the ring to meet the power in TNA.
(1) AJ STYLES & RIC FLAIR vs. ABYSS & HULK HOGAN
Abyss swings at AJ to start. AJ ducks below and tries to kick out Abyss legs, but Abyss won’t go down. AJ bounces off the ropes, but gets caught in a Press Slam. A shocked AJ tags in Flair, who lays in with knife-edged chops in the corner. Abyss reverses positions and lays in with some chops of his own. He hits Flair with a Back Body Drop, but then gets caught by a low blow. That draws Hogan into the ring, which just enables AJ to work over Abyss in the corner. Hogan comes in to help out, but the heels retain control. Suddenly…the lights dim, and holy shit, there’s Sting! He stands next to Hogan and Abyss, then waits a suspiciously long time without attacking Flair and AJ. If I were Abyss I’d run like hell. Sure enough, Sting whacks Abyss with the bat, then nails Hogan. AJ grabs a chair from ringside and plants Abyss on the head with an unprotected chair shot. Okay, it’s a big night, so they get one. However, Flair then hits one on Hogan, and they’re officially over they’re quota. Flair and AJ beat down Abyss and Hogan as Hogan spouts blood. As AJ and Flair flee, Hogan grabs a mic and says that if Flair and his puppet AJ keep changing the rules, he’ll change the game. He wants AJ and Flair back out there, and this time it’ll be no DQ.
We recap what happened moments ago. On second viewing the Abyss chair shot might not have been as bad as I’d thought.
Sting is walking around in a conveniently dark backstage area. Dixie Carter comes over and asks what he’s thinking. He grabs her by the throat and says that he doesn’t owe her an explanation.
JB is in the back with AJ and Flair. AJ is annoyed that they’re restarting the match, since there are no do-overs in wrestling, but he doesn’t mind owning Hogan & Abyss again. Flair’s glad to see that Sting’s finally come back to his senses. Flair always knew he owned (?) Sting, and that Sting would do the right thing. Flair points to Abyss’s and Hogan’s blood on his knuckles, and says that he’s glad there’s more to come. If he’s coming out of retirement, he’s going to make an impact heard round the world.
Brooke Hogan and “Jennifer” are freaking out backstage. I assume she’s the girlfriend.
Kazarian is in the ring, and…holy shit, is someone going to cut an X Division promo? He says that it was a year ago he walked away from TNA. He had a lot of doubt, mainly about himself. But now he can safely say that that doubt is gone. The reason he came back to TNA is to reignite the X Division. The crowd goes ballistic, chanting “X Division”. He says that if TNA is going into war, the warriors of the X Division should lead them into battle. Daniels comes down screaming “wait wait wait”. He says that if someone is going to lead the X Division, it won’t be Kazarian or any of the buffoons in the back—it’ll be the man who was X Division for ten years before X Division meant anything, and the longest reigning X Division champion ever. He’s here today to proclaim that he and he alone will lead the X Division, since he is X. Doug Williams comes down to the ring, amused by the geezers blabbing in the ring. The X Division is alive and well, since he’s X Division champion. Kaz admits that Williams is X Division champion now, but asks where he was 7 years ago when he and Daniels were pioneering the X Division. Daniels doesn’t like being lumped in with Kazarian, cause he doesn’t know of anything Kazarian did that was so special. Kaz replies that maybe he doesn’t know of any such thing because, deep down, he’s a selfish prick. Bischoff hits the entranceway. He says that the main reason he came to TNA was because of the X Division. It’s not the heart of TNA—it’s the adrenaline, and he’s here to make sure it runs stronger and deeper (I hope he meant to say “not just the heart”—maybe he did and I missed it). He knows Kazarian has a title shot scheduled at Destination X, but instead let’s just do it tonight. And he hasn’t forgotten about Daniels, cause it’ll be a Triple Threat—and it’ll be right now.
(2) DOUG WILLIAMS (c) vs. DANIELS vs. KAZARIAN X Division Championship Match
Daniels goes for a school boy on Williams, Kaz takes Daniels over with a Sunset Flip, but then Williams rolls up Daniels for two. Daniels looks for an Angels Wings, but he has to pause to take Kazarian over with a Back Body Drop, and loses control to Williams. Daniels comes back with a Leg Lariat, but Kazarian hits the breaks before running into one himself. He shoves Williams against the ropes and rolls him back into a cover. Daniels tries to interfere, but Kazarian takes him over with a Northern Lights Suplex that doubles as a bridge on Williams. Sweet. Both men kick out at two. Williams and Daniels fight to the outside, so Kazarian comes over with a diving Plancha. Kaz and Williams go back into the ring, where Williams gets the upper hand as Frankie whiffs on a slingshot Leg Drop. He connects with a high knee for two. We cut to a shot of Dixie Carter. That’s annoying. Kazarian gets the upper hand with a Jaw Breaker, but Daniels yanks his leg from the outside. Daniels tosses Williams from the ring, and takes Kazarian down for a Springboard Moonsault. Daniels only gets the near leg hooked, so Kazarian kicks out at two. Williams is back in, and he and Daniels brawl from the corner to the center of the ring, where Kazarian takes them down with a double dropkick off the top rope. He knocks Williams out of the ring with a thrust dropkick, then gets Daniels with a springboard Leg Drop for two. Williams comes back in and looks for the Chaos Theory. He connects, but as he does so Daniels gets him in a School Boy, so he has to break it at two. Daniels runs Williams out of the ring and floors Kaz with a Ura-Nage. He whiffs on a BME attempt, and gets up right in front of Williams. Williams bounces him off Kaz for a Chaos Theory Suplex, and Kaz is too dazed to break up the three count.
WINNER: Doug Williams in 7 minutes. ***3/4 That was awesome more for its placement on this big a show, and its adherence to old-school X Division style. I probably missed half the moves as I was typing. It also did a lot to legitimate Williams as champ.
After the match, Shannon Moore (back in punk mode) runs down to the ring, catches Williams with a Twisting Head Scissor Takedown, signals that he wants the belt, then hits a spin kick on his way out. Bischoff appears in the entrance-way, says that that’s what he likes to see, and so Williams just met his opponent for Destination X.
JB is in the back with Dixie Carter. She says that she’s thrilled that he re-signed his contract, and that if he wants to get in the action he’ll have a match tonight. He’ll find out his opponent later. For those who’ve successfully evaded personnel spoilers (I screwed up and saw one), this has the potential to be all kinds of awesome.
Since Kong & Hamada haven’t defended for the past 30 days, they’ve been stripped of the titles.
(3) TAYLOR WILDE & SARITA vs. MADISON RAYNE & VELVET SKY (w/LACEY VON ERICH) vs. ANGELINA LOVE & TARA TNA Knockouts Tag Team Championship Match
Taylor Wilde and Sarita look for quick roll ups before the bell, but don’t get them. Wilde starts things off with Tara, but Tara keeps control so Wilde tags in Sarita. Sarita hits a cool slingshot Neck Breaker, but then runs into the wrong corner and gets tagged out by Velvet Sky. She & Rayne work the double team in the corner as Love inadvertently distracts the referee by trying to interfere. Wilde & Sarita break up a cover at two, but Von Erich grabs their legs and Sky & Rayne kick them out of the ring. Love gets by the ring and hits a Botox Injection on Rayne (who I believe is legal). However, while the ref tries to get her out of the ring Daffney sneaks in with the women’s title belt and plants Tara. Rayne rolls onto her for the cover and the win.
WINNER: The Beautiful People in 3 minutes. Hey, remember the respect they just showed the X Division titles? They did not show it to these. That being said, if you had to pick one, then they totally made the right call.
Christy is in the back with “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero. She plugs the post-show, then says that Pope has a match with Desmond Wolfe tonight. As he starts to go into his spiel Wolfe comes out and hits Pope’s ankle. Wolfe grabs a chain (I missed from where) and whacks Pope’s injured ankle.
Sting is on his way to the ring. Taz asks Tenay what he was doing at 4:20 this afternoon. That was a bit blatant.
JB is in the back with The Beautiful People, who are celebrating. He says that he has to admit that those belts look good around their wastes. Rayne is excited to finally be the tag champs. Von Erich wants to know if she’s the champ too, and say that of course she is, since they couldn’t have done it without her. JB calls for the champagne to celebrate. Sky pops the cork, saying that with BP as champs, things are going to explode. She pours some champagne on JB, and a champagne fight ensues.
We recap Sting’s return from earlier.
Sting hits the ring first. Tenay says that he hears boos, but I can’t really make them out. They milk the suspense for a minute or two. The crowd takes advantage to start with an “RVD” chant, and sure enough, here he is.
(4) STING vs. RVD
RVD comes in through crowd and hits his leaping side kick off the top rope on his way in. He connects with Rolling Thunder, and it’s over.
WINNER: RVD in about 15 seconds.
After the match, RVD starts to celebrate, then Sting whacks him from behind with the bat. Sting works over his leg a bit, then starts to leave. RVD starts to get up, so Sting goes back and nails him a couple more times. That draws thunderous “You suck!” chants. Sting starts to leave again, but seems to have second thoughts. Referees try to talk some sense into him, so he hits them all with the bat, then goes back and gets RVD a couple more times. Hogan’s music hits, but Bubba the Love Sponge intercepts and talks him down. Sting takes advantage of Hogan’s hesitation to hit RVD a couple more times with the bat. Hogan’s had enough, so he tries to hit the ring. Security guards hold him back, which enables Sting to keep hitting RVD with the bat. While Hogan’s being held, Sting nails him too. Why are the guards holding back Hogan and not Sting? That’s not good security. They start escorting Hogan to the back, but Sting follows, knocks down a couple guards, then hits Hogan again. Oddly enough, they still do nothing to stop him. Seriously, who writes their manual? Sting eventually gets bored of hitting people and leaves.
Tenay and Taz talk about how shocking this behavior is out of Sting, which makes more sense in this case than when they claimed an AJ heel turn was totally unprecedented—even when he was a heel in TNA, Sting was really a face.
Kevin Nash’s music hits. We cut to a brief shot of Eric Bischoff sitting around backstage, but that might have just been a production error. Nash hits the ring, holding a piece of paper and accompanied by Eric Young. He says that for the last month, no matter what they’ve done Hall & Waltman have found their way into the Impact Zone. Nash talked to Hogan, and he got a contract for one time and one time only—Hall & Pac will be wrestling at Destination X against him and Eric Young. He calls out Pac and Hall, telling them to come down to the ring and accept.
While they’re at it, it would be nice if they mention why they’re feuding with Nash in the first place, before everyone stops caring.
Nash & Young are still waiting. The crowd is chanting something—it might be “Hall is drinking”, which is just not cool. Tenay asks how they keep getting into the building, which suggests that at least someone remembers that they still have to explain who’s pulling their strings. Nash & Young are flanked by security as Hall & Pac finally make their way to the ring. Hall starts things off with a “hey yo.” He points out that two-thirds of the legendary Wolf-Pac are in this building. He has something to tell Big Sexy—or should he say “Big Sell-Out”. Nash is Hogan’s stooge. He thinks he can go to Hogan for a contract about the match—in case Nash didn’t see what just happened, Hogan isn’t running the Shi-zo anymore. Hall says that he’s not too smart, but he’s talked to his lawyers, and if they’re going to be making people rich at the next PPV, they want their cut. So if they wrestle, they want contracts. Nash doesn’t think that’s in the cards, but Bischoff appears on the monitor and says that if they win, he’ll make sure they get contracts. If they lose though, they need to ride off into the sunset. I really don’t see how that condition’s enforceable. Hall accepts, and Nash says they’ll meet at the PPV. Those two shake hands, but Pac slaps EY in the face. Hall and Nash watch as security guards hold those two apart, but Bischoff says that he’s sick of having to pay for extra security. Tonight they’ll be doing things a bit differently. Hall and Nash will be escorted away from the ring, but Eric Young has been given a license to kill, and is instructed to “slap that punk upside his bitch head”.
(5) ERIC YOUNG vs. SYXX-PAC
Young gets a double leg takedown right away, but Pac comes back with kicks in the corner. Young explodes out with a clothesline and hits a Back Body Drop. Young looks for a DVD, but Pac slips out and nails a Reverse Heel Kick. He tries to follow up with a Bronco Buster in the corner, but EY steps aside, then connects with a Pile Driver for the win.
WINNER: Eric Young in a little shy of two minutes.
A Humvee arrives in the parking lot, and a bunch of soldiers get out. This will either be really stupid or fairly touching. I’d bet very good money on the former.
A dozen or two soldiers come out and line the ramp-way. Kurt Angle’s music hits. As he walks down to the ring the soldiers turn around to face him—I assume that’s a sign of respect. They then go to surround the ring. Kurt tells Mr. Anderson that he’s brought a few of his closest friends out with him tonight. These are the men and women who represent the US and sacrifice everything for our country. That gets a USA chant, which I’d think would feel nice for them. These are the men and women who choose to leave their families and loved ones to go protect people like Kurt and Mr. Anderson. These are the people who, two weeks ago, Mr. Anderson spit on. That’s not how I remember it happening. It did lead to Kurt having an epiphany though—winning a gold medal is nothing compared to what these soldiers do for our country. (Duh) So it’s Angles duty to defend and serve them when bitches like Mr. Anderson degrade them. If there’s one thing he’s learned over the past year, it’s that you don’t mess with a US soldier. At Destination X Mr. Anderson will learn that when Angle beats him all around the Impact Zone. Anderson appears on the monitor, begging Kurt to stop grandstanding. It’s not about him or those “highschool drop outs” in the ring. That’s about as far as he gets, since Kurt has rushed to the interview set, where he nails Anderson with a clothesline. He beats Anderson down to the ring. Anderson briefly turns the tide when he connects with a right hand while holding Angle’s medal. He starts to back up the ramp, but walks right into a pair of soldiers. He then quickly retreats back towards the ring, which Kurt yanks him into. Kurt tosses him out one side, where the soldiers suddenly become motivated lumberjacks, beating up Anderson before rolling him back into the ring. Angle does the same for soldiers on the other sides, then hoists an American flag. The soldiers come into the ring and lift him onto their shoulders, flag in hand.
That was much closer to good then stupid. The Anderson shot at the troops was just close enough to what someone like his character would say not to seem like completely gratuitous cheap heat. I don’t really get why Kurt got such treatment from the soldiers, but if they want to lift him onto their shoulders then who am I to argue?
Bubba the Love Sponge is still calming Hogan down. Hogan goes back to the spiel about this being his last shot. Remember when they kept on the Love Sponge instead of Awesome Kong? Suddenly Earl Hebner storms in, begging for a question chance. Hogan says that he doesn’t want to deal with it tonight, but Bubba tells him to quit being so high and mighty. Everyone should get a second chance in life (wouldn’t this be Hebner’s eighth chance?). Hogan agrees, but he wants a favor in return. His son and daughter are watching, so if he can’t continue, he wants Earl to promise to stop the match. Hebner agrees.
They run down the card for Destination X—Abyss vs. AJ for the title is official.
Jarrett is walking around backstage, where he approaches James Storm. He wants to know if Storm volunteered for the upcoming match, or if Bischoff forced him into it. Storm says that Bischoff can’t force him to do anything. Jarrett wants to know how they can be doing Bischoff favors, after everything Bischoff’s done to him, and everything he did to help launch Storm’s career. Storm says that it’s about what Jarrett’s done for him lately, and he’s sorry about his damned…Jarrett slugs him before he can finish, but then Robert Roode takes down Jarrett from behind. Mick Foley comes by and tells them to take it to the ring. Did I miss a Beer Money heel turn?
(6) BEER MONEY INC. vs. JEFF JARRETT
Beer Money are beating Jarrett around ringside. They roll him into the ring, so special referee Mick Foley calls for the bell. Jarrett gets a leg up in the corner on Storm, clotheslines Roode, and plants Storm against the middle rope, but when he goes to follow up Roode cuts him off with a Spine Buster. He catapults Jarrett into a DDT from Storm, then they take turns punching Jarrett in the face. Taz points out that they’ve barely been on TV lately, so it makes sense for them to have volunteered for this match. Roode holds Jarrett while Storm takes a swig of beer, but Jarrett ducks the spit. He kicks down Storm, tosses Roode from the ring, then Back Body Drops Storm after him. He follows them out for a Meeting of the Minds. When he tries to reenter the ring Storm grabs his ankle as Roode shoves him off into the barricade. Mick’s not happy, so he passes Jarrett a barbed wire baseball bat. Before Jarrett can use it, Slick Johnson runs down and grabs it. As Mick argues with him Beer Money nail Jarrett with a low blow, then finish him off with a DWI. Slick Johnson makes the count.
WINNERS: Beer Money Inc. in five minutes.
Abyss and Hogan are talking in the back. Abyss says that he owes these guys big time for what they did to Hogan. Before Hogan can respond Brooke comes in and freaks out, begging him not to wrestle. I was sick of this plot last week. She says that to everyone else he’s the Hulkster, but he’s her dad and she’s worried. He assures her that Abyss has her back. She wants him to promise that this’ll be the last time, since they’ve already lost so much. He promises that he won’t go back out there again.
Tonight’s main event is brought to you by Rent-A-Center. It’ll be way cooler if they start getting sponsors for curtain jerkers.
AJ & Flair come out to Flair’s music—way to respect the champ there. The ring announcer introduces them for a “continuation” of tonight’s main event, which makes me feel good about not listing a conclusion earlier. Abyss and Hogan come down to Hogan’s music.
We’re told that there will be no more commercials, and that we’ll stay with this match till it ends.
(1.2) RIC FLAIR & AJ STYLES vs. HULK HOGAN & ABYSS No DQ Match
Flair starts things off with some chops on Hogan, who takes him over with a Back Body Drop. Hogan connects with some right hands, so Flair rolls out of the ring. Hogan follows him out and shoves his bandana down Flair’s throat, shoves flair’s head into the barricade, then chokes him out. Flair is bleeding profusely in what has to be record time, so Hogan bites the wound. Flair tries to come back with knife-edged chops, but Hogan pokes him in the eyes. Flair flees slowly up the ramp, so Hogan sends Abyss to fetch him back. Given Hogan’s bad knees, that is actually really good resource management. Hogan is waiting in the ring with his belt when Abyss tosses Flair back in, so Hogan lays in with a few pelts. Flair connects with a low blow, then makes the tag to AJ, who decides to work over Hogan’s left leg a bit. He then punches him a few times in the head. Hogan rolls out of the ring, but AJ follows him out and runs him head first into the ring post. He rolls Hogan back in and makes the tag to Flair. Flair connects with some stomps and drops a knee to Hogan’s crotch before tagging AJ back in. AJ goes with straight right hands, with the third one taking Hogan off his feet. Flair tags back in. He takes Hogan down to the mat with a Snapmare, but then goes to the top rope. Hogan cuts him off and tosses him across the ring. Abyss and AJ both tag in. Abyss looks for a double Choke Slam on AJ & Flair. They fight out of that, so he connects with the double clothesline instead. He charges first AJ, then Flair in the corners, then nails each with a Choke Slam. AJ gets back to his feet firing, but Abyss no sells and Back Body Drops AJ out of the ring. AJ lands on the apron and comes back with his Flying Forearm for two. Suddenly Abyss starts Hulking up, as Hulk comes in and does likewise on Flair. Abyss forgets punches two and three, so the timing’s off, but it’s still neat. Hogan tosses AJ to Abyss, who gets him with a Black Hole Slam for the kill.
WINNERS: Hulk Hogan & Abyss in 14 minutes, with an episode of Impact between the first five and the last nine.
After the match Desmond Wolfe comes down and nails Abyss with a chair. Hogan blocks the shot aimed at him, but it allows Flair to kick his leg. They start working the three-on-two advantage. Pope comes out to try to make the save, but he’s still sporting the injured ankle, so it doesn’t go well. It looks like we’ll end on another beat-down when—HOLY SHIT that’s Jeff Hardy. Apparently I didn’t get all the personnel spoilers after all. He explodes with Twists of Fates all around, and is going up for a Swanton Bomb when we fade to black at 11:08.
Where We're Going: Abyss got a pin on the champion which, for those keeping score at home, means there’s absolutely no way in hell he’s winning the title at Destination X. In all fairness he didn’t have a chance anyway, since Abyss vs. Pope would be the single weirdest Lockdown main event ever. As it is, after a promising start a couple weeks ago they’ve gotten a bit sidetracked on Pope’s build-up to his big title shot. Meanwhile he’s dealing with Desmond Wolfe again, which history should be good for both of them if and when they move them to the main event. The real question is how Jeff Hardy fits into the main event picture, since it’s a bit overcrowded already. I could really get behind a Wolfe-Hardy match at Lockdown though.
Star of the Night: Kazarian. Remember when the X Division mattered in TNA? No? Well, someone finally did, and then put on the sort of choreographed spectacle that reminded some of us why we loved it so much in the first place (and, no doubt, reminded others why they hated it).
Overall: I really enjoyed tonight’s show. I’d heard about RVD, but missed Sting and Jeff Hardy (and, technically, Shannon Moore), which is always nice (for those who wonder why I’m sometimes out of the loop, it’s because I want to be able to enjoy shows like these). The Hardy appearance was a bit tempered by the fact that they teased it two months ago, but hopefully it’s the real deal this time. The focus on the X Division was a huge change of pace, as was the fact that, by my math, there was more bell to bell action this week then the past two weeks combined (though they did have the extra eight minutes). The women’s tag belt situation was a very rushed, but honestly with Kong and Gail Kim both missing, the women’s division is not what it once was. If you’re going to keep around the belts though, you should at least make them slightly meaningful. The bigger problem tonight was the return of the whining about Hogan wrestling, which was not especially helped by Brooke’s performance. Even that though played out somewhat well—contrary to some opinions in the comments, I think they actually covered Flair’s and Hogan’s weaknesses pretty well, and the bottom line for the episode revolved around Abyss, AJ, Pope, and Jeff Hardy, which is much better than I expected. The Sting heel turn could have been done better, but since they haven’t tipped their hand much on where that’s going it’s a bit soon to judge. Even the The Band segment, which lately have been the bane of Impact, was fairly effective this week, as it seemed like someone actually remembered that that storyline should, at some point, have a payoff. This was a good show that planted some interesting seeds all of which, I have no doubt, TNA will utterly fail to cultivate. A-
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He is not sure how to handle the fact that Impact now conflicts with both Raw and 24. Suggestions and other comments can be sent to email@example.com
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