KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/20: Results, star ratings, thoughts, observations, quotebook
By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
AUGUST 20, 2009
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-The "Cross the Line" opening still includes Jeff Jarrett but has Bobby Lashley added to the mix.
-A recap aired of "Hard Justice" PPV four nights earlier.
-They went to ringside with Mike Tenay asking for viewers' attention for a very special announcement. Tenay said Don West has received and accepted an offer to become "a very prominent person in the TNA merchandise department." He said nobody knows sports merchandise like West. He wished him the best in his new endeavor. He then introduced his new broadcast partner, Taz. Tenay said Taz is about to return to what he knows best and he can't wait to hear his comments on TNA talent. Tenay said he's always respected him. Taz said they'll have a hell of a ride.
-Kurt Angle led the Main Event Mafia to the ring including Samoa Joe, sans Taz. Tenay asked Taz for an update on the MEM. Taz said it was a loose affiliation, but nothing but respect. As Angle began to talk, he was immediately interrupted by Matt Morgan's music. He walked out looking pissed, with an axe handle in his hand. Morgan said two things were supposed to happen. Either he won the TNA World Title or Angle won the title with Morgan's help and Morgan gets into the MEM. He said option three happened, which is Angle screwed him. Morgan wanted to know why Angle took the biggest moment in his life away from him when he had Sting covered. Morgan said Angle had ten seconds to answer or he would be swinging from the fences.
Angle told him to hold on and calm down. Angle said they were working as a well-oiled machine and had Sting where they wantd him until he went into business for himself. He said Morgan kicked him and he was wondering if he'd ever wrestle again. He said he started getting feeling back in his arms and legs and heard the referee begin to count. He said he yanked the ref out of the ring thinking it was Morgan getting pinned. The crowd cat-called Angle's claim. Angle said he grabbed a chair to put an end to Sting, but because Morgan is inexperienced, Angle ended up hitting Morgan instead of Sting. He said he just happened to fall onto him and the ref counted to three. He said he's going to give Morgan a chance to make it up to the Mafia. Morgan was outraged as Angle's characterization of what happened. Angle said they should team against Team 3D in a tables match.
Morgan yelled that he thinks Angle has lost his freakin' mind. Angle told him to calm down. Morgan took a deep breath and said he'll be with him on this one. He said it's clear that Angle has always had his best interests at heart. He said it's time to show the world they're on the same page. He said that's the final Blueprint for tonight's show.
-Lauren ran up to A.J. Styles as he arrived backstage. She said rumor has it he has a major announcement. He walked right past her. [c]
(1) Beer Money (James Storm & Robert Roode) beat British Invasion (Doug Williams & Brutus Magnus) in 7:00. Before the match the ref ordered Kaz Hayashi, Sheik Abdul Bashir, and Brutus Magnus to the back. Tenay said this is part of a new initiative by TNA to give officials more power. Beer Money snuck into the ring from behind and beat up the British Invasion with trash cans. When the Brits came back, the crowd chanted "USA, USA." The Brit stied Storm to the ringpost with rope. The ref cut him ree and he entered the ring and broke a baord over Williams's head and then bashed Magnus with the broken board. Storm followed up with a beer bottle shot on Williams. Williams bled. Then Storm and Roode gave Magnus the DWI. Taz called it a career-shortening situation. A seven minute out-of-the-blue street in the opening segment on a TV show is everything that Vince Russo thinks makes his booking great, but epitomizes everything that's inefficient about his approach. (**)
-Lauren interviewed Angelina Love and Velvet Sky backstage. Love insulted Lauren, then denied she lost the Knockouts Title. She said Madison Rayne lost the title. Sky said she is no longer VIP, she is just P, and the BPs made her and can break her. [c]
-Lots of ads have begun for "The Ultimate Fighter" starring Kimbo Slice.
-Clips aired of ODB being upset with The Deaner taking the Knockouts Title belt from her and running to the back.
-Jeremy Borash chatted with Mick Foley backstage. ODB and Deaner walked past them, still arguing. Foley asked what the problem is. Deaner said the belt is his property because he scored the pin. Foley asked how a guy can be King of the Knockouts. Borash said as far as he's concerned, Deaner is the Knockouts Champion. ODB said she assumed if Deaner won, she'd become champion since he was with her. Dreamer said ODB assumed incorrectly. He explained the "ass out of you and me" bit on an ink board that was on the wall near them. Foley said he'd contemplate the situation and rule on it later. Abyss walked in and called him Mr. Foley. Foley said everyone calls him Mick. Foley handed him a gift for what he did for him. Abyss hugged the bag and said, "Groceries? I love groceries!" He opened the bag and inside was a blue flannel t-shirt. Abyss said it was beautiful and it put it on right away. He called it "glorious." Foley told him there's no crying in wrestling. Abyss hugged him. Foley asked him how he feels when the warmth of his blood drips down his face. He asked if it feels pretty good. Abyss said it does. Foley asked him to bring his barbed wire bat back.
-Tenay and Taz were shown at ringside. They hyped the rest of the biggest PPV of the year coming up. Oh, wait, nope, it was the main events for the next four weeks of Impact. Oh wait, it was just the rest of this week's program. Samoa Joe vs. Homicide for the X Title, Madison Rayne vs. Angelina Love, Christy Hemme & Traci vs. Sarita & Awesome Kong, and the Impact debut of "The Pope"D'Angelo Dinero, a big announcement by Styles, and Team 3D vs. Matt Morgan & Kurt Angle.
(2) Angelina Love pinned Madison Rayne in 1:00. Sky ran to ringside with a celebratory smile on her face and joined Love in stomping on Rayne. They put the brown paper bag over her head. Tara's music played and she charged to the ring with Hemme. [c]
-A vignette aired of Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin saying they haven't seen much of them on TNA lately because they don't play politics. There was silly music playing in the background. Shelley said they're about three things: entertaining the fans, getting paid, and getting laid. Sabin said their paychecks have gotten smaller lately with less TV time. Sabin said they're offering their services to the fans. Shelley said they're charging just $2,000 an hour. He said they can play video games or disc golf. Shelley said he'll watch "District 9" again. Sabin said they'd be happy to sit on their couch and let them make them dinner. Shelley said their number is 1-696-696-6969. He said they'd even throw in a free Sham-Wow!
-A clip aired of security separating Sky and Love from Rayne backstage.
-Homicide's ring entrance took place. [c]
(3) Samoa Joe beat Homicide in 4:00 to retain the X Title. Homicide dove over the top rope onto Joe at ringside at the start. Taz said he is a fan of Homicide since they're both from Brooklyn. Joe came back with a snap powerslam and a nasty (undersold by the announcers) German suplex onto Homicide's head. Joe then hit a powerbomb into a pin attempt for a two count. Homicide reversed a tilt-a-whirl into a two count. Homicide stayed on offense and scored some two counts at 3:00. Joe escaped a sleeper and then hit a Muscle Buster for the clean win. Way too short. Good while it lasted. (*1/4) [c]
-They showed the feet of The Pope stepping out of a limo.
-They showed Lauren and the Knockouts backstage. Lauren announced that next week a tournament will begin to crown the new Knockouts Tag Team Champions. Hemme talked excitedly about teaming with Tara. Sarita and Taylor Wilde also talked about being together. They all laughed together like it was "girls night out."
(4) Traci won a four-match over Christy Hemme, Awesome Kong, and Sarita when she pinned Hemme. At 1:00 they cut to a break as they fought at ringside. [c] Kong gave Hemme an Implant Buster at 5:00. Then she slammed Sarita and slashed her mid-ring. As Kong climbed to the top rope, Traci snuck in and scored the pin on Hemme. Kong threw a fit at ringside afterward, tossing chairs all around. Tenay said he was just told that next week Kong & Ryesha Saeed would face Traci & Sharmell in the first round of the TNA Knockouts tag team tournament. [c]
(5) "The Pope" D'Angelino Dinero pinned Consequences Creed (w/Black Machismo) in 4:00. So Cal Val helped Dinero take off his jacket. The ref ordered Machismo to the back as part of the new "law and order" edict within TNA. As Dinero began to wrestle Creed, Tenay asked Taz what he's heard about Styles's big announcement. Taz said as far as he's concerned, Styles has a gigantic upset and he can't wait to find out what he has to say. Taz complimented the type of coverage Dinero made, saying that's a sign of someone wanting to win a match. Dinero charged Creed in the corner and rammed two flying knees into his back. Then he hit a swinging elbow drop for the win. Nice finishing sequence. Pretty nondescript debut, though, otherwise as nothing was done to establish what his whole persona means. (*1/4)
-Suicide stepped onto the stage. Dinero made a bug-eyed frightened face as the lights flashed. Suicide charged after him in the ring. Dinero escaped. Tenay said, "Something tells me we haven't seen the last between Suicide and The Pope." That's what announcers say when trying to get over an angle that has no substance behind it. [c]
-Lauren asked Morgan if he is really buying Angle's explanation for what happened at Hard Justice. Morgan said she's naive if she thinks Angle is working him. Morgan said Angle never lies, he's never stabbed anyone in the back, and speaks the gospel. Morgan said he wants to work with Angle as one functioning unit. Morgan said, "I guarantee I'm going to get your back and you're going to get my boot. Did I just say boot? I mean to say back." He told Angle they're on the same home team.
-Styles walked to the ring. He said he's had it pretty rough the last two weeks. He said he had it rough as a kid, but he never quit. He said his family moved from trailer park to trailer park with a father who didn't know how to show his kids that he loved them, but he never quit. He said he's telling people that not to get sympathy but because he's proud of the man he's become. The crowd chanted "A.J., A.J." He said what he's not proud of is losing the Legends Title or losing one of the most important matches of his life against Morgan, or losing friends like Joe. He said he's passionate about TNA. He said he's missing at least half of his kids' lives, but when he gets home, he's having to deal with what's going on at work. He said he yells at his wife and kids for petty stuff. He began to fight back tears and then said, "There's a point in time in every man's life where he has to look in the mirror and ask himself the question - is it worth it?" He said, "That answer is no." The audience applauded. He said it's not worth another setback or disappointment or letting the TNA fans down. The fans cheered again, apparently indicating they'd rather he quit than let them down again. He said it's time for A.J. Styles - referring to himself in the third person - to say goodbye to professional wrestling. The crowd groaned and chanted "Please don't go." Sting then walked to the ring in a t-shirt closely resembling the Affliction look. Styles wore an actual Affliction t-shirt. Sting asked Styles if after seven years, quitting is the legacy he wants to leave behind. Sting said he's quitting on himself, his wife, and little A.J. He said he wanted to pass the torch to somebody and he's the person he's been talking about all of this time. "You are... no, let me rephrase that. You were the chosen one," he said. He said that's flushed down the toilet if he's quitting pro wrestling. Sting asked Styles to look him in the eyes and say he quits. "Tell me, 'I quit. I'm a loser.'" He said do that or else get his tights back on and claim what's his. Styles contemplated: Sting or My Family. TNA Fans or My Family. He turned and hugged Sting and started crying again, indicating he had lost his head briefly. Styles wiped the tears away and followed Sting to the back. [c]
-Lauren interviewed Hernandez. Eric Young interrupted and tried to recruit him into the World Elite. He said the World Elite doesn't play games. Young said he can tell Hernandez thinks he's right or he would have tried to hit him. He closed with, "I'm the leader of the World Elite. I'm easy to find."
-Bobby Lashley walked out to ringside in jeans and a white button-up shirt. He shook hands with Taz, then sat between Taz and Tenay. Lashley said it's great to be in TNA. Taz seemed a little irritated. Lashley said next week Dixie Carter will make her TNA debut and let all the fans know what he's doing in TNA. They showed a graphic of Dixie and Lashley. Tenay asked Lashley to join them on commentary for the main event. As Team 3D walked out, Tenay asked Taz if he overstepped his bounds by asking Lashley to join them. Taz said he thinks Lashley made a mistake not joining the Mafia, but there's no friction.
Morgan really seemed to be retaining water in the face and mid-section. The camera angle as he approached the ring accentuated that he's not as cut in the abdominal area as he always has been in the past. Taz said Angle was eye-balling him on his way to the ring. Angle walked over and jawed at Lashley, then palmed him. Lashley punched him back. Security stepped in. The crowd chanted "Bobby, Bobby." Security led Lashley to the back. Tenay said that's probably best for all concerned (including the viewers) that Lashley leave the broadcast table and return to the back.
(6) "The Blueprint" Matt Morgan & Kurt Angle vs. Team 3D. Morgan really seemed to be retaining water in the face and mid-section. The camera angle as he approached the ring accentuated that he's not as cut in the abdominal area as he always has been in the past. Taz said Angle was eye-balling him on his way to the ring. Angle walked over and jawed at Lashley, then palmed him. Lashley punched him back. Security stepped in. The crowd chanted "Bobby, Bobby." The bell rang with 12 minutes left in the show. Taz called Brother Ray "Bubba" and then corrected himself. As Morgan was about to pull a table out from under the ring, Ray attacked him. Taz again called him Bubba. Morgan missed a legdrop attempt on Devon in the ring at 3:00. Devon clotheslined him to the floor. Team 3D then flap-jacked Angle, who rolled to the floor. They cut to a break. [c] Team 3D set up a table in the corner, but Morgan recovered and took them both down with a clothesline. At 10:00 Angle avoided a Ray suplex onto a table and gave him an Angle slam instead. As Team 3D were about to suplex Morgan onto a table, Angle tried to move the table but didn't move it enough. The legs came off the table on impact, but that wasn't the planned finish so Tenay explained that it didn't count as breaking a tbale. At ringside Ray gave Angle a boot to the face as Devon rammed Angle into the steps. Ray brought another table to the ring and set it up. Angle fought back and punched Ray silly in the corner. Then Morgan returned to the ring in time to help Angle work on Devon. Angle put Devon on the table and punched him several times. Angle told Morgan to climb to the top rope, although Morgan had other ideas. As Morgan climbed to the top rope, Ray got up and knocked Angle out of the ring. Ray and Devon then slammed Morgan of the top rope through the table (which Morgan sold, although Foley taught us last week it's "fun" to crash through a table). (**1/4)
THOUGHTS, OBSERVATIONS, NITPICKS
STYLES SEGMENT: Styles basically said he chose his family over wrestling and Sting walked out and said he's quitting on his family? How does that work? "That's what losers do - they quit." Uh, people who love their families and are conflicted with work obligations taking a huge toll choose their family if they can afford it... I know Sting's retiring, but his age really kicks in when he takes off the sunglasses and has no make-up on. He looked every bit of 50 when he did that... Styles came off almost too human and too vulnerable. Now that they've got this "crisis" out of the way, they need to define him for what his strengths in the ring and not focus on him being a troubled trailer park kid who wishes he was spending more time with is wife and kids. I still can't get over the idea that Sting talking Styles into remaining a wrestler in TNA instead of spending time with his family is supposed to be the heroic gesture from the tribe leader with all the wisdom. The lesson is that work is more important than being there for your kids, assuming you have a choice, which is how Styles portrayed it...
MORGAN-ANGLE: The Morgan-Angle dynamic is kinda fun, actually. Morgan knows Angle is a liar, but if he tries to outwit him, it backfires. Overall, the ongoing storyline is being played out pretty well and Morgan is carrying his side of the promos well...
TAZ ON COLOR: Taz picked up on Impact where he left off on ECW and Smackdown, which is pretty mediocre. He just doesn't seem inspired and he lacks direction as a character. He doesn't really have an attitude or any edge. He's just easy-going to the point of seeming nonchalant with the exceptions seeming forced and manufactured. I really wanted to be blown away by "Taz unleashed," but I already miss the energy and passion and familiarity with the product that Don West brought to every segment every week. Maybe as he becomes as familiar with the product as West, he'll inject more passion and fewer throwaway generic lines and cliches...
OTHER THOUGHTS: Minutes after Tenay talked about West taking a job in the merch department, Morgan walks out wearing not a TNA-branded t-shirt, but an Affliction t-shirt. West has some work to do... Lashley remains just an awkward person. His facial expressions and body language are just odd and don't exude star power and charisma. TNA keeps getting behind pushing ex-WWE guys without regard for whether they'd be picked to get pushed if the had no prior TV exposure. The exposure on WWE TV is obviously nearly worthless given that Kurt Angle, Booker T, and Christian, among others, have had almost zero effect on TV ratings when they've debuted or become regulars on the show. The top draws for Impact have mostly been women who have never been on Raw or Smackdown before... I'm curious if Eric Young can overcome his previous image as a comedy goofball and portray himself as a serious leader of a heel faction...
OVERVIEW: As always, there was too much on this show. The idea of having Love beat Rayne in what amounted to a blowoff squash match at what should have or could have been the very start of a feud was a head-scratching choice. Same with having Joe beat Homicide clean in such a short match. Throwing the X Title match on in the opener without any hype really defined down the importance of an X Title match. Same for having the special stips for the Brits vs. Beer Money tag. Just too many matches that could have been much more if they weren't rushed onto TV and blown off so quickly. Such is the story of TNA, getting the least possible out of shoving the most possible on TV...
Angelina Love to Lauren: "I don't understand what you said because I don't speak Ugly."
Angelina Love: "Do the Beautiful People look like they're laughing? No, bceause laughing causes wrinkles."
Taz: "That was a joke, Tenay. You gotta start putting my jokes over. Even if they suck, you gotta put them over."
Taz: "Bubba hitting Matt Morgan like he owes him money."
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