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TNA Impact
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 9/30: Belated detailed report on last Thursday's final hype for Before the Glory live special this week

Oct 5, 2010 - 12:42:39 AM
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By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

StaffKeller08_120_95.jpg
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV


[Q1]

-The show opened with a recap of what happened between Abyss and RVD last week. The title of the show is "Eliminating the Monster."

-They showed Kurt Angle on the phone with Hulk Hogan telling him he has no idea how much it means to have his support. Angle vowed to win the TNA Title at Bound for Glory and also annihilate Abyss in the cage main event. He told Hogan to take care of his back, then he headed toward the entrance tunnel. They took viewers "behind the scenes" as a voice told Angle to stand by. Then his music started and he headed to the ring.

-Tenay and Taz introduced the show officially as Angle walked to the ring. Tenay said if Angle doesn't win at BFG, he will retire. That's the last we heard of the Angle retirement stip. Angle entered the ring and wished Hogan a speedy full recover from back surgery Angle said his opponents at Bound for Glory are great competitors, but it will be a night for him to shine. He promised Hulk Hogan he would not let him down. He said regarding the "big favor" Hogan made to him, "I promise you, Hogan, I won't let you down on that, either." He said tonight he plans to cut the cancer out of TNA, and that cancer is Abyss. He said compliments of Hogan, he is getting Abyss inside a cage. Abyss's music played.

Abyss walked out. Angle charged at him and they brawled near the stage and then backstage. When they brawled off camera, they went to cool wide shot of the entire Impact Zone which made it look 15 times bigger than it actually is. Then they cut to Mike Tenay and Taz at ringside. They said they would try to get a camera to track them down. A camera caught up with them as they brawled in a relatively dark locker room. Angle bashed Abyss across the back with a chair a couple times. Angle said he won't be able to do to him what he did to RVD. Abyss used a low blow to stop Angle's barrage of punches. Then he threw Angle into the lockers. Security and agents (D-Lo, Simon Diamond, Al Snow) finally entered after a couple minutes and separated them.

KELLER REAX: Giving away Angle-Abyss on a whim like this is another example of TNA short-changing themselves when something like that can mean so much more if hyped for a few weeks so anticipation can build. It also diminishes the value of a cage match if you just throw it out there on a whim. Angle, as usual, was strong on the mic. He and Abyss had a good, intense brawl. [c]

-Back from the break, the deceptively huge D-Lo along with Al Snow tried to calm Angle. Abyss barged past them. Security and the agents separated them again. Good job building a sense of intensity between these two.

[Q2]

1 -- TOMMY DREAMER & RHINO (w/Sabu, Raven, Stevie Richards, Mick Foley, Brian Kendrick) vs. BEER MONEY (w/Ric Flair, Kaz, A.J. Styles, Matt Morgan, Douglas Williams) -- Lumberjack Match

Taz explained that each team's lumberjacks patrol one side of the ring, so there's a safe zone for each wrestler and a danger zone. Tenay hyped the live Impact next week with a battle royal featuring everyone on the card with $100,000 on the line. Tenay hyped Foley's book going on sale on Friday. Rhino took a beating for a few minutes, then hot-tagged Dreamer at 4:00. The lumberjacks got involved throughout the match and by 5:00 they ended up all brawling with each other. Styles sprayed something in Dreamer's eyes and Storm rolled up Dreamer for a believable near fall. Kendrick jumped Styles in retaliation. Dreamer gave Storm a Dreamer Driver for the win seconds later. Flair threw a fit after the loss. Sabu leaped off of a chair and springboarded onto the crowd of lumberjacks at ringside.

WINNERS: Dreamer & Rhino in 5:00.

STAR RATING: *

-Foley leaned on the top rope and said that's enough. He said he doesn't want to see any more bodies in the ring, but rather just two individuals in the ring. He said he wants it to be himself and Flair. He invited Flair in the ring to clear the air between them.

KELLER REAX: How many Spike viewers have any idea there's any special issue between Flair and Foley, or remember, or care? A good promo can make them care, but Foley has to realize he tracks his life a lot closer than viewers do, and those who do track it realize this is a really really old issue and most everyone has moved on from being fascinated by it. Can a promo between them bring some life to this stale insider feud? [c]

-Flair told Foley from mid-ring after the break: "Did you say you want to talk Ric Flair, the Wrestling God?!" Flair asked if they're on the air right now. Foley said they are and he wants to say something to him. He asked if he can speak to Ric Flair the Man. Flair spun around and said, "You got it, just like Superman. What do you want to talk about, asshole?" Foley said the world may be focused on the numbers 10-10-10 and it'll be a spectacular PPV offering. He said they should think about 10-7-10. He said he told Dixie Carter that it's time for them to end their 20 years of differences. He said Bound for Glory is big, but a Flair vs. Foley match "needs to be seen on national television." He asked Flair to meet him in the ring one week from tonight when they go one on one for the very last time.

Flair dropped the mic and walked out of the ring. He yanked Foley's book out of the hands of a woman sitting in the front row. He re-entered the ring and said: "You, Best-Selling Author, Father of the Year, Couch Potato, wants to wrestle Ric Flair live? Really? Really!?" He put the book on the mat and stomped on it. It didn't break. He elbow dropped it. Unlike the mystery G.M., it didn't cry out in pain and ask Flair to stop. "The answer is yes, you son of a bitch," he said. "No, how are you going to get out of it."

[Q3]

Foley said he hasn't shown himself as a great wrestler much lately. He cited a book review that asked if he cared about wrestling as much about his family and charity. He said when Flair called him out, he felt that burning feeling that he hadn't felt in years. He said as much as he hates it, it took Flair to bring out the best in what he does. Flair said, "That's what I do." He said he brings out the best in everyone. Flair punched and slapped his face until he bled above his eye. Foley punched himself and bled from his forehead and lip. Flair told Foley to take his best shot. Flair said next Thursday night he'll have his whole family there not for his retirement, but to see the end of Foley and EV2. He said Dreamer told him he is hardcore. Foley asked how many years he's been in wrestling. Flair said 39. Foley said it shouldn't have taken him nearly 40 years to figure out he's hardcore. He said he was always hardcore. Flair told Foley his "balls are big again." Foley said he feels like he's been coasting in TNA whereas Flair has been working hard. He said he doesn't like Flair, but he doesn't hate him. He said he's had trouble walking and standing up, but next week he wants a Last Man Standing Match. Flair said, "You got it." He said if he loses to him, Foley can turn around, drop his pants, and he'll kiss his ass on national TV. Flair went berserk and threw the mic in the air left. Foley said he'll see him in the ring in one week. "Bang! Bang!" he closed with.

KELLER'S REAX: I know they want to "pop a rating" but this just gives TNA one more thing to talk about that doesn't focus on Bound for Glory being a must-see show. The line about this match needing to be on national TV basically said it's too big for pay-per-view, which is a bad message to send when you're trying to get people to pay to see the biggest PPV of the year a few days later. They didn't reallly talk about what the issue was between Foley and Flair the past 20 years, and I'm not convinced that people know, or that those who know care anymore. The performances on the mic harkened back to why these two were big stars 10-15 years ago, but no good mic work is going erase that one wrestler is nearly crippled and the other is well into his 60s, so it comes across as Grandpa Fantasy Camp for wrestlers who are hanging on too long and trying to relive their glory and just know their place in 2010. Hearing Foley talk about how he's coasted in TNA so far doesn't really make him a sympathetic figure, either. I don't know. I mean, as fans of Foley and Flair over the years, it was a nice to see they still can deliver, but it just seems to be too late and getting in the way of pushing whatever TNA is selling at Bound for Glory. Maybe if they spent six weeks rebuilding the tension between these two rather than just Foley on a whim deciding he needed to settle this 20 year feud next week it would resonate more with me.

-Backstage Mr. Anderson complained to Eric Bischoff that Hogan called Angle, but not Anderson. Bischoff said Hogan carried a promotion on his back for a long time, and so did Angle. He said they have a lot in common, but he shouldn't read anything into it. Bischoff said he has great confidence in him, which is why he booked him in a match with Samoa Joe. He asked him to not read into it, but just go out and do his job. Anderson said if he were a betting man, he would bet on him tonight and next week in the battle royal.

-They showed Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley heading toward the entrance tunnel backstage. Tenay said Shelley's been gone for several weeks. He looked intense. [c]

-They went to Tenay and Taz at the announce table. They hyped the line-up for Bound for Glory.

[Q4]

2 -- INK INC. (Jesse Neal & Shannon Moore) vs. GENERATION ME

GenMe are definitely a heel act, while unconventional, can draw some money for TNA if they utilize them right. The way they walk to the ring and gyrate and chew gum just makes you want to see them get smacked like no other act in wrestling right now other than perhaps Alberto Del Rio. Taz said he admires that GenMe are trying to injure the champions so they can't defend the titles. He said it's a shortcut, sure, but it gives them a chance to become no. 1 contenders. What exactly guides Taz's commentary? Is he in favor of cheapshots and cheating and sneak attacks and injuring people outside of the confines of an official match or not? He's all over the place. Taz and Tenay shifted to talking about Hogan and Bischoff each picking a favorite in the BFG World Title match. Tenay said Team 3D say they have a big announcement to make. Taz said he's tight with them, but he doesn't know what their announcement is. "Nobody tells me nothin'," Taz complained. Neal charged in the corner, but missed. Max then gave Moore a kick between the legs and rolled him up for the pin. Afterward GenMe briefly celebrated at ringside, then jumped back into the ring and further beat up Neal as Moore still recovered from the low-kick. The Guns charged to the ring and GenMe fled quickly.

WINNERS: GenMe in 5:00.

STAR RATING: *1/4

KELLER'S REAX: Good basic post-match angle. The heels attack a mid-level babyface team in a heelish way, then the top babyface team charged out, and the heel cowards flee from an even fight. That's good basic stuff that TNA should focus on more.

-The roving camera followed Samoa Joe backstage. He said he appreciates this chance Hogan and Bischoff are giving him. He said after he beats Anderson, he has a clear path to getting a title shot. He turned to the camera and closed with: "Mr. Anderson, you're right about one thing, you are an asshole." [c]

-The Guns cut a promo backstage. They said at the live Impact next week, they plan to begin their revenge against GenMe and everyone else are just obstacles they'll get past to get to them.

-Mr. Anderson's ring entrance took place. When the crowd chanted "Asshole!" at him, he said, "Why thank you!" He said he is bound for glory on 10-10-10. He introduced himself and entered the ring.

[Q5]

3 -- MR. ANDERSON vs. SAMOA JOE

The Pope came out to his entrance music and joined Tenay and Taz on commentary. Sting and Kevin Nash stood behind the desk on guard. Joe aggressively went after Anderson in the corner. Anderson tried to fight back with punches, but Joe pelted him with rapid-fire backfists. Anderson battled back with a headock. Joe escaped and hit an enzuigiri. He then chopped him in the corner. Pope asked Taz who's the guy with the big black bat. Taz guessed Sting. Pope said he's wrong, just ask Miss Tessmacher. Tenay asked for some solid proof of whatever it is he's talking about. Pope said he sees things a lot clearer than he used to. Taz said he's had some kind of epiphany and on 10-10-10 they'll find out from him, Sting, and Nash what this is all about. Joe applied a rear naked choke at 3:00. Anderson dropped down with a jawbreaker to escape and then hit the Mic Check for the win.

WINNER: Anderson in 4:00.

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Good but short.

-Afterward Nash approached Joe from ringside with a bat in hand. Nash said, "Join us! Last chance, join us!" Joe called for Nash to get into the ring. They cut to a break before the situation was resolved. [c]

-Nash stood in the ring. "You know, they say bad things happens to bad people," he said. "It's amazing Hulk Hogan is lying in a hospital bed right now." He said all along Sting has been telling people that since Hogan and "that cockroach" Eric Bischoff arrived what's really going on. He said he and Sting and Pope know exactly what's going on. They haven't been duped. Pope said, "You are a no good son of a Bischoff." He said Sting and Nash know what's going on and have been around the block. He said he's street smart. He said Bischoff and Hogan are coming out on the losing end. Sting said, "Hulk, this is about you and me, Hulk." He said this started with them back in WCW. He said this is a classic case of good vs. evil. He asked the fans if they came to see the good buys or the bad guys. The crowd cheered bad guys more than good guys. He said the real question is who is wearing the black hats and who is wearing the white hats. He said that's the question everyone wants answered and there's only one way to answer that question. He said Nash & Sting vs. Joe & Jarrett is a good start, but he proposed they turn it into a six-man match with Pope. Pope said, "Count me in." Sting asked Hulk to lace them up one more time. That's not fair. The poor guy's in the hospital. "No more games, Hulk," he said. "At Bound for Glory, let's show people what's going on." Taz pointed out that Hulk is in the hospital.

Bischoff came out with his grand daughter, I mean secretary. Bischoff told Miss Tessmacher what's happening is disgusting. He said these three in the ring are showing their true colors. He said he sees two guys, Nash and Sting, at the end of their careers. He said their better days are behind them, and it's a fact of life. (Same could be said for Foley and Flair, but multiple times two.) He said Pope is still green and has a lot to learn. He said he tried to convince Nash 15 years ago he might be knocking on the door of the twilight of his career and start working with younger talent. He said he pouted them and was selfish, and he's still selfish. He said one thing he respects about him is he's always been the same - self-serving and all about himself. "No surprise," but at least consistent, he said.

[Q6]

Bischoff said Pope disappoints him the most. He said he made it to the semi-finals, but he lost on the way to the World Title. He said he gave him another opportunity and he came up short. He said now he wants to talk about a conspiracy, but he should ask Angle, Anderson, and Hardy if they feel they're being treated unfairly. He said they're all looking forward to BFG. He called out Sting for calling out Hogan, bad back and all. Bischoff said he doesn't make a habit of speaking for Hogan, but he'll make a rare exception. He said Hogan will be on Impact live next week and he'll answer for himself in front of the whole world. He said he hopes he likes the answer. Tenay called it "absolutely must-see."

KELLER REAX: I still don't know what they're talking about, and I've had my fill of references to 1997-era WCW in any form. It's a full decade - and then some - removed and it's time to start new stories. There's so many good stories that could be told that people today would understand and care about. Referencing this stuff from 14 years ago would have been like WCW Nitro being built around angles at the first Starrcade or Stan Hansen's AWA Title reign or the Von Erichs-Freebirds feud 14 years earlier. Nobody here is likable, either.

-Elsewhere Styles yelled at Kendrick for coming after him. He vowed to rip his head off. Flair said, "He's a buck forty! He's a buck forty!" Styles then Iced Flair once again. Flair swigged the Smirnoff Ice again. This is TNA trying so hard to be cool, but getting it all wrong by having a heel act do this. Flair immediately then danced and whoo'd. Groan. At least Tenay and Taz don't fake chuckle after these skits. This was also one of those silly production innovations that isn't working where a secondary camera captures a wrestling recording a promo, presumably directed at another camera that we don't see. What's the point? It makes it seem like they don't get the purpose of the rest of the cool production techniques they're using that actually make sense and work. [c]

-Clips aired of Amazing Red beating Jay Lethal for the X Title, then losing it back to Lethal later in the week. The narrator said TNA is the place where anything can happen.

-Miss Tessmacher told Tara and Madison Rayne to be on their best behavior because she has the power to fire them. The Beautiful People showed up and yelled at them. Tessmacher ordered them to sit down now and reiterated her power to fire them. She asked Rayne if she brought the waver to allow Tara back into the ring. The BP said to rip it up into shreds. Rayne said she'll do whatever she has to do to keep Tara in her corner. The BPs laughed and made cracksTessmacher said Mr. Bischoff ordered a four-way match at Bound for Glory for the TNA Knockouts Title. Angelina Love said she's not comfortable with that since they just got back together. A yelling match ensued. After everyone left her office, Tessmacher got a phone call. The camera snuck a peak at her flirtatiously saying she'd be there in 20 minutes at the usual place.

KELLER REAX:: The good part is this "felt real." The bad part is that we couldn't understand some of what was said because of the "innovative production technique" being used here that was actually literally nauseating to watch with its rocking back and forth and herky-jerky movements.

[Q7]

4 -- A.J. STYLES (w/Ric Flair, Matt Morgan) vs. BRIAN KENDRICK -- TV Title Match

Yes, the TV Title is finally being defended. Taz said Kendrick is dressed like a monk or like Obi-Wan Kenobi from Star Wars. Flair joined Tenay and Taz on commentary and pushed that next week he'll be facing Foley. He looked at the camera and cut a promo saying TNA doesn't know what it got itself into when it brought him on board. "Consider Mick Foley gone," he said. "I'm going to pick his bones." He tossed the headset down and walked away.

Some nice exchanges early in the match, as you'd expect with these two. Morgan cheated from ringside, choking Kendrick on the bottom rope as the ref lectured Styles. Styles covered Kendrick for a two count. Taz and Tenay talked about everyone picking up their game headed into BFG.

Kendrick climbed to the top rope, but rather than dive onto Styles, he dove onto Morgan at ringside. Tenay said that shows he's crazy. Styles attempted a dive through the ropes at Kendrick, but Kendrick nailed him with a kick. Kendrick then climbed back to the top rope, but Morgan knocked him off balance as Flair distracted the ref. Styles then lifted Kendrick off the ropes and delivered a Styles Clash for the win.

WINNER: Styles in 5:00 to retain the TV Title.

KELLER REAX: They announced Styles was still "TV Champion of the World." They had to add "World" to it? Really? At least way back when Tully Blanchard upgraded his NWA TV Title to the NWA World TV Title, they had an explanation and then treated the belt more seriously afterward. Also Taz said Styles holding the TV Title makes him the best wrestler on TV anywhere. That just makes no sense. Zero. The TNA World Champion is on TV. Isn't the TNA World Championship a more prestigious title?

-Backstage Abyss with Janice, his two-by-four with nails, talked about his main event cage match with Angle. He told RVD that they should make it more interesting with Monster's Ball Rules at BFG. He asked RVD to join the battle royal next week so he and Janice can shred him like a head of lettuce. So Abyss wants to finish RVD before he has to face him at BFG in the Monster's Ball Match? [c]

-RVD was interviewed outside. He said it turns out it wasn't the best thing to return as he did last week. He said he couldn't be himself if he didn't put his body on the line, though. He said now it's out of his hands and up to the doctors and the universe to heal him enough to participate. He said he plans to make a full recovery and take on Abyss on 10-10-10.

-A commercial aired hyping "Before the Glory," next week's Live Impact, including the Battle Royal. Also "Shore" makes their long-awaited debut plus Mick Foley vs. Ric Flair "two decades in the making." Boy, if the storylines were as good as the production work that goes into these videos hyping them, they'd be set.

[Q8]

5 -- KURT ANGLE vs. ABYSS -- Cage Match

Angle jumped-started the match going right after Abyss. Tenay and Taz talked about "They," wondering who "They" might be and saying they have no clue. He said there was speculation it was EV2 or Fortune. Taz pushed the "cutting edge" Reaction show. Tenay said it takes fans behind the scenes. Taz said it's definitely ground breaking. Angle found Janice and tossed it over the top of the cage to take it out of play. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c]

Taz said thank god "Bob" isn't around, Abyss's branding iron. Angle came up bleeding at 9:00. Abyss punched away at the cut. The blood poured from his head like a faucet. Abyss methodically beat on Angle until he came back with a diving leg sweep. Angle pounded away at Abyss's head and then climbed to the top rope and landed a frog splash for a two count. Abyss rolled through and applied an ankle lock a minute later. Abyss powered out before he could lock it on fully and chokeslammed him for a near fall. Angle went for an Olympic slam, but Abyss reversed it into a Shock Treatment backbreaker for a two count. Angle climbed to the top rope a minute later as Impact officially ended at the top of the hour and they finished the match during the "Reaction" show.

[Q9]

Angle jumped off of the top of the cage. Abyss caught him and turned it into an awkward Black Hole Slam. Abyss landed awkwardly, then picked up Angle and rammed him into the cage. The ref went down. Abyss chokeslammed Angle and then tried to wake up the ref. When the ref didn't wake up, Abyss patted him down; the announcers assumed he was looking for keys to the cage.

Mr. Anderson then came out to his music and he climbed over the top of the cage, further breaking down whatever is left of the idea that a cage match keeps wrestlers in and riffraff out so scores can be settled. Anderson entered the ring and punched away at Abyss. Abyss made a comeback and gave Anderson a Black Hole Slam. Abyss shook the door to the cage until it came off its hinges, further chipping away at whatever was left of the mystique of cage matches. Abyss then grabbed Janice. Angle fought back and grabbed Janice. Abyss left the cage and there was no finish. So Abyss didn't lose, yet Angle doesn't have to retire before Bound for Glory.

WINNER: No contest in 18:00.

STAR RATING: ** -- A listless cage match for the most part. A real mess, actually, and the non-finish was one of the worst and most blatant copouts in TV main event history. They just keep diminishing the whole concept that winners and losers of matches matter, yet ironically that's how they make their money - selling matches. It's just baffling and dumbfounding how they can look themselves in the mirror and accept their paychecks for trainwrecks like this.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Way way way way too much going on. They shoved four weeks worth of storylines and big matches into one show. There's no focus. Most of the big stuff doesn't make sense or resonate in any normal human being way. What stake do viewers have in what happens with the whole Nash & Pope & Sting conspiracy theories regarding Bischoff, who always come off as a prick, and Hogan, who always comes across as a has-been charismatic superstar with his heart in the right place? And then Flair-Foley was just sad, not because it was bad, but because you just sense that these two can't just be happy with their great moments when they could actually deliver in the ring. And then there's "They" and the Battle Royal and RVD's ambiguous update on his health and a TV Title defense thrown into the mix and the mess with the women in a four-way and Samoa Joe doing a job in five minutes and on and on. Oh yeah, and Angle put his career on the line, but that was barely mentioned, and then wrestled to a non-finish in a cage match - a concept that is supposed to cement a clean outcome and keep people from entering or leaving the cage once the door is locked, all of which was blown to smithereens by TNA's "knock the traffic cones over" style of booking by going where they want to go without any regard for how they get there. It's really embarrassing, I truly don't think the key people in the company see how bad this is at ultimately drawing money and building a larger audience.


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