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THE SPECIALISTS
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 10/16 TNA IMPACT: What I noticed on the show that you might not have

Oct 17, 2008 - 1:34:09 AM
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By Curtis Shanks, PWTorch Specialist

Welcome to the TNA Impact edition of Under the Microscope. We're here to review all those little observations and tidbits you may have missed. This is not a detailed recap of the show, but a review for those of you that saw the show but didn't actually "watch" it. After last week we know that A.J., Booker and Christian almost didn't make it onto the PPV, TNA chose Kurt over Karen and that Kurt Angle plays a much better a-hole heel than goofy heel. But what else is there to notice? Let's see what we can spot. Cue the opening pyro.

Before we enter the Impact Zone, let's take a quick Microscope look at last Sunday's Bound For Glory PPV. As the cameras cut to Mike Tenay and Don West for the first time, we notice that Don West is apparently color blind. Those of you that saw his unique suit and tie combo surely realized this as well.

Years ago when Rhino was wrestling in hardcore matches and winning the ECW world title I'm sure the last thought on his mind was that he would someday be involved in a Bimbo Brawl match on the second largest promotion's major PPV.

When Roxxi debuted in TNA over a year ago, she was known as the Voodoo Queen, the valet of the Voodoo Kin Mafia. Once in the ring, she showed off her finisher, known as the Voodoo Drop. With the break up of VKM and Roxxi's move into wrestling in the Knockout division, she dropped the Voodoo Queen gimmick entirely, although her finisher continued to be known as the Voodoo Drop. TNA finally changed the name of her finisher at BFG... slightly. Mike Tenay called it the Cajun Drop as she attempted it on Taylor Wilde this past Sunday.

I don't know if it was meant as comedy or not, but my friend and I laughed for a while at one Mike Tenay line tonight. After A.J. Styles nailed a dropkick in the triple threat, Tenay yelled "that was frickin' poetry in motion!" As we've seen in the past, the announcing in TNA is heavily scripted. Tenay may have been reading a line intended for Don West, as I can easily see him delivering that line.

It's a longstanding tradition in wrestling to use a play-on-words involving a wrestler's name and their finisher. We've seen the Stratusfaction, the Lethal Combination and the Edgecator in the past. But I've never liked the Bookend by Booker T. An inanimate object used to support a row of upright books doesn't scare anyone. Now that Booker is carrying around his mysterious briefcase, he could start referring to it as the Bookcase. In Sunday's triple threat, A.J. Styles was a victim of the Bookend and also was hit with the "Bookcase". Two moves like that are sure to leave some Bookmarks on A.J. Sorry, I couldn't resist as my Microscope was stuck in pun mode.

As we enter the Impact Zone, it appears last Sunday was the last we will see of Johnny Devine in TNA, as he was granted his release earlier this week. Devine debuted with TNA back in May of 2004, but hadn't done much besides serving as Team 3D's lackey and a three week run with the X Division title earlier this year. Devine started out in Canada's Stampede Wrestling and debuted in TNA as a member of Team Canada. One can assume Devine left because of a lack of push, as his last singles win on TNA TV was over Alex Shelley last March.

Despite being reportedly signed to a six month deal, TNA is playing up the fact that Mick Foley is one and done for TNA as he gives his farewell address tonight. If history is any indication, this may be a mistake on TNA's behalf. In early 2006, Sting came into TNA for a tag match with Christian Cage vs. Jeff Jarrett and Monty Brown. Sting's arrival was good for TNA in the fact that it caused the television ratings to jump. Sting was signed for a year, but TNA treated it as one and done and Sting gave a farewell address following his PPV "obligation". The farewell came off too well, as many believed the angle and the television ratings dropped following Sting's "departure".

Tonight, A.J. Styles tells Sting that "he's been friends with Samoa Joe for a long time". I seem to remember a different story. For the better part of a year, Styles, Joe and Christopher Daniels were embattled in a feud for the X Division title. When Joe was an X Division heel, his gimmick was that he would go too far with vicious attacks on other wrestlers. Styles tried to tell Joe about respecting the X "code", which Joe shot down only adding fuel to the fire.

Tonight was the first time I can remember a member of LAX using the entrance ramp for their ring intro. As Homicide and Hernandez come to the ring, we don't see any shots of the separate LAX entrance they've always used.

It seems as though Hornswoggle has a side job as a TNA cameraman. During the backstage shot of Mick Foley heading towards the ring, we get a walking camera shot from waist level pointed straight up.

It is mentioned tonight that Roxxi's foul-mouthed backstage promo is basically her first. Consequences Creed is also a rookie promo, as last Sunday and tonight were his first real promos in TNA. Whether they are horrible on the mic or fantastic, TNA does a good job of letting most of their talents speak. LAX is coming out of their shell without Salinas and Hector, so the only real obstacles left are Rock 'n' Rave, The Guns and Awesome Kong (although that is part of her character). TNA seems to have a development through experience approach, as everyone else is given some time of promo time at least every few weeks.

Here's hoping the music video we see towards the end of the show promoting the live HD show next week is TNA's opening theme from here on out. The song and presentation are much better than TNA's current opening.

If you watch ECW on Tuesday's you're familiar with the fact that Tommy Dreamer is a former ECW champion. WWE touts this accomplishment, despite Dreamer losing the title on the same show that he won it. Being a former ECW champion on TV today is an accomplishment, though. The only other former (original) ECW champion still wrestling on TV today was the last champion, TNA's Rhino.

Tonight's notable MIAs: Christian Cage, Rhino, Beer Money, Samoa Joe, Petey Williams, ODB and Taylor Wilde. Some big names not present for the fallout show of the biggest PPV of the year.

Numbers crunched harder than an unprotected chair shot to the head: Thanks to the ten-man Steel Asylum match and the eight-man Monster's Ball match, almost every TNA talent got some camera time on the biggest show of the year. The only active wrestling talents not on the PPV were B.G. James, Lance Rock and Christy Hemme (although the latter two wrestled in a dark tag match). Breaking it down, 39 out of TNA's 43 active wrestling talents were given at least some time on their biggest PPV of the year. Compared to WWE and their big PPV, Wrestlemania, TNA did a much better job of getting everyone on the show. When Wrestlemania took place this last March, WWE's active roster sat at 77 wrestling talents. Excluding the dark match battle royal only 40, or just over half, made it onto the show in some sort of capacity.

Curtis Shanks is a self-described wrestling nerd. Who else would lay claim to keeping up-to-date on the title histories of over 40 independent and foreign promotions? In the words of Adrian Monk, "It's a blessing...and a curse." Curtis encourages anyone with questions or comments to e-mail him at curtisshanks.torch@gmail.com.


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