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THE SPECIALISTS
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE - 4/23 TNA IMPACT: Lockdown errors, Foley and Raven's select group, no more bleeps, and a love of brackets

Apr 24, 2009 - 12:17:21 AM
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By Curtis Shanks, Torch 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 Kong lost some locks, Mahoney & Runt were in town for a visit, and Mick Foley has multiple personalities. But what else is there to notice? Let's see what we can spot. Cue the opening pyro.

Before we kick off this week's Impact, a couple of things were noticed by the Microscope during last Sunday's Lockdown PPV. The first was a great bit of editing by TNA after the Suicide match. As Suicide was celebrating after retaining the X Title, we cut away for a backstage promo from Christopher Daniels and A.J. Styles. If you hadn't heard, Daniels pulled double duty last weekend as he is still portraying the Suicide character until Kaz returns. By going immediately from a shot of Suicide celebrating to an obvious pre-tape promo from Daniels, TNA was no doubt editing to humor to the Internet fans who are aware of Suicide's real identity.

There were a couple of errors in the TNA graphics during the PPV. While they weren't major mistakes, one of the year's biggest PPVs is not the best time for simple errors to pop up. The first was during the on-screen graphic hyping the LAX-Guns-No Limit tag match. The graphic pointed out that No Limit was looking to retain the tag titles they had lost, but it should have said they were looking to regain those titles. One little letter makes quite a difference.

The second was during the Beer Money entrance for the other tag title match of the evening. The graphic listed them as the IWGP tag title holders, even though 3D were the actual holders of those straps. TNA has so many tag titles that even the graphics department can't keep them all straight.

In a surefire sign that he was dropping the title to Mick Foley, Don West put over Sting before the match by recognizing his lengthy title run. West struggled to come up with a name that has held the title longer than the six month reign Sting was amidst at the time. If you are talking about just the post-NWA world title, West was right - their aren't any names. Since the NWA withdrawal, Sting's 189-day run was the longest with the TNA title, as he recently passed former record holder Samoa Joe's 182 days. If we were to include the NWA days, Sting is in fourth place behind three Jeff Jarrett world title runs.

As we start off this week's Impact, Jeff Jarrett is bringing out the new TNA World Heavyweight champion, Mick Foley. With his TNA title victory this past Sunday, Foley has joined a very small group. Foley is now the second person to hold a title while in WCW, WWE, ECW, and TNA. Raven was the first to accomplish this feat, as he also had titles in ECW (tag and World), WCW (U.S., light heavyweight, and tag), WWE (Hardcore) and TNA (World). Along with world titles in WWE, Foley has also held tag titles in WCW, ECW, and WWE and was the first ever WWE hardcore champion.

The case could also be made for Team 3D and Rhino. Those three individuals have title reigns from all four promotions on their resumes, but their WCW title reigns came after WWE had purchased WCW and their titles. Rhino and 3D were not part of the WCW roster, but 3D managed to win the WCW tag titles and Rhino the WCW U.S. title (before it was renamed the WWE U.S. title).

Could we see another name added to the list? It's not likely, as the list of those missing just a TNA title contains names like Shane Douglas, Lance Storm, Terry Funk, Dean Malenko, and Chris Jericho.

Nothing appeals to sports fans more than a bracket. NFL playoffs, MLB playoffs, March Madness - tournaments are just a fun aspect and the wrestling world loves to take part as well. You could put chemistry terms into the bracket format, and it'd still be fun to look at. Team 3D announced a tag team tournament for a trophy, some cash, and a shot at their TNA tag titles. Don't forget about the chance to see your name in a bracket as well. Ray states that "the tag team division in TNA is great, but it's not what it could be." I agree with that statement, as TNA puts a lot more emphasis on their tag title belts and the division than WWE does. In fact, you'd have a hard time even assembling a bracket in WWE without mish-mashing the show rosters (which they don't seem to have any qualms about).

Looking at tag teams in WWE, it's hard to find two individuals who routinely tag together who are still on the same show. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase form Legacy on Raw, Cryme Tyme occupies the Smackdown roster, and the Colons currently hold the belts on Raw. I have a hard time finding another actual tag team on any of their shows.

TNA's tournament should give us some great matches after the Lethal Consequences vs. Beer Money match we saw to open. We still have The Guns, LAX, No Limit, the team Eric Young will be a part of, and possibly Christopher Daniels/A.J. Styles to join the tournament.

TNA has been bragging about picking up former champions and adding them to their roster recently. We've seen Bobby Lashley, Stevie Richards, Christopher Daniels, and could possibly see Tazz in the future. But another former champ debuted tonight to much less fanfare. Jethro Holliday tagged with Eric Young in the tag tournament after his partner had "transportation problems." Holliday is of course former WWE wrestler Trevor Murdoch, who formed a tag team on Raw with partner Lance Cade. Cade and Murdoch wrestled in OVW under the team name T.N.T. before debuting on Raw in the fall of 2005. The team enjoyed three runs with the tag titles before Murdoch was released from the company in July 2008.

This is actually the second stint in TNA by Murdoch. Before his time in WWE, Murdoch was part of the Dupps tag team during the early days in TNA. The Dupps consisted of Stan (Murdoch) and Bo. Bo was indy wrestler Otto Schwanz, who has done a number of WWE jobs under the name of Murray Happer. The Dupps competed on the very first TNA show (does that mean Murdoch is now part of the TNA originals stable?) and defeated the tag team of Christian York and Joey Mercury. The team did not last long, as Murdoch wrestled in only one other match during his run with the company. No word yet if Murdoch will serenade EY with his country voice after the team inevitably splits.

Christopher Daniels sat down for an interview with Mike Tenay this week and mentioned the fact that he and A.J. named their kids after each other. Daniels and Styles are real life best friends, and the statement about their son's names is not just something to add to the storyline. Styles named his first son Ajay Covell Jones, as Daniels's real name is Daniel Covell. Daniels returned the favor by naming his son Joshua Allen Covell, as Styles' real name is Allen Jones. Honoring your friend with your child's name is a nice gesture, but I don't think we'll see a Suicide Curry Jones anytime soon.

Say what you want about the main event this week, but there was plenty of things during that match that we've never seen before. Trash cans and chairs have been a staple of hardcore matches for a long time, but there were plenty of other everyday items that nobody would think of as a weapon that were used. A walker, a lawn Santa, a mail box, and a pogo stick were all used as weapons. Other objects present that weren't used were items such as a wet floor sign, a roll of carpet, an umbrella, and a pink shovel. TNA will probably save all the items that were not ruined for their future "object on a pole" matches. Pogo stick on a pole match anyone?

TNA has made some mistakes in the past trying to hide the fact that Impact does not take place on Thursdays, but rather Mondays and Tuesdays. But they did add a nice little touch to the Foley videos. Each video had the day of the week listed to start, from Sunday night through Wednesday. Foley was really at the Impact tapings Monday and Tuesday, but by showing him doing other things on those days leading up to Thursday, TNA for once gave us the impression that the show actually occurs on a Thursday.

Someone in TNA is not a fan of the miscellaneous counters we've had in the Microscope's history. The bleep counter is out of life, as there were plenty of swear words on this week's show, but no bleeps. TNA is now just giving us gaps in the audio whenever their talents feel like being potty mouths.

The Sting name-drop counter appears to be going on hiatus as well. Mick Foley tells us that we won't see Sting for a while in the Impact zone after his title loss at the PPV. TNA is trying, but the name-drop counter still lives. Jarrett and Foley exchanged words in the opening segment and filled Sting's shoes nicely. In that segment we got ten "Jeffs" and nine "Micks." Way to go, Mick and Jeff. You kept the counter alive, Mick and Jeff. I wonder how many you'll dish out next week, Mick and Jeff. The "Jarrett is the founder of TNA" counter is also back, as I counted six instances of TNA's beginnings mentioned on this week's show.

Numbers crunched harder than an unprotected chair shot to the head: Last week we looked at some numbers concerning World Title matches on PPVs, as the WWE Title will be defended at Backlash in a three-on-three match. We looked at the match types for all the World Title matches in the two promotions, as TNA has had a reputation for overbooking their world title matches on PPVs. But what about just the main events on PPVs?

Not every World Title match is the main event, and not every main event is for the World Title. Looking at all 54 TNA PPVs and the last 54 PPVs in WWE, it is no surprise that one-one-one contest are the most common main event. That has been the case 31 times in TNA and 34 times in WWE. The results are fairly close there, but not so much in tag matches for card's conclusion. We've seen 13 in TNA, but only four in WWE.

With Rumble matches, Championship Scrambles, and Elimination Chambers, WWE leads the way when it comes to matches with four, five, or even six guys all competing for themselves. Eleven times in WWE that has been the case compared to only five for TNA (four of them King of the Mountain matches). That leaves only triple threats for match types. TNA and WWE are right on par with each other in that case, as each have presented five triple threats for a PPV main event in that time.

Curtis Shanks is a self-described wrestling nerd. Who else understands what Matt Striker is talking about all the time. Feedback is welcome, as comments, suggestions and questions can be sent to Curtis at curtisshanks.torch@gmail.com or in the comments section below.


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