TNA Impact WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/4: Complete "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast [updated]
Nov 4, 2010 - 10:48:22 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Last week introduced an innovative concussion-centered story, and supposedly they're going to follow up with an actual absence of head shots. Morgan did very well in the fan-voting back when they were still pretending to care about that, so hopefully they'll be able to make something of this. His performance last week was stellar, building up from moderate concern to a full-on face turn in realistic fashion. The PPV this Sunday is seeming a bit lackluster as-is, with the two main matches involving Team 3D and an Anderson they keep trying to convince us can't possibly win anything, so they could use a bit of a boost.
The Show: Kung-Fu Bischoff
We recap Morgan's odyssey last week.
Flair's getting a gi clad Bischoff psyched up, saying that Anderson won't have the guts to show up (for some undisclosed thing).
Bischoff and Flair (with a referee) hit the ring. The first thing Bischoff wants to say is that he spoke to Hogan and Flair, and Matt Morgan is out of Fortune, he's out of Immortal, and he's persona non grata (he pronounces that wrong). The crowd chants for Morgan as Bischoff wishes him well in his future endeavors. Now it's time to to talk about Ken Anderson. He asks if Flair remembers who that is. Flair says he was the guy who's too big a wimp to wrestle. Bischoff says that if Anderson still wants his shot, he's going to give him one more chance. All he has to do is come here, pin Bischoff, and sign the contract, and he can wrestle Jeff Hardy on Sunday. But if he stays home with an ice-bucket by his head complaining about his sore toe, he will never ever get a chance at Jeff Hardy. To give Anderson a taste of what he's in for though, Bischoff has something to say to the ref. He asks if it's true that he let Morgan out of his handcuffs early last week, putting Jeff Jarrett's career in jeopardy. The ref points out that the match was over. That seems reasonable. Bischoff thinks it's back-talk though, so he nails the ref with a nice STO, hits some stomps, and then tells him he's fired. He and Flair share a hearty laugh.
I don't like the talk of a contract—I hope they don't pull the "whoever signs a contract it counts" thing.
Tonight we'll see Ink Inc. & Mickie James vs. Generation Me & Tara as well as Abyss vs. The Pope.
Fortune arrive, with everyone ribbing Douglas Williams.
Kendrick is in the EV 2.0 locker room (sans Raven) hyping Foley's book. RVD storms in annoyed, and Dreamer tries to talk him down. Fortune come in. AJ's glad to see them at each other's throats, but it doesn't really matter—one of them's going home after Sunday's match anyway (the winning team gets to fire a member of the losing team, which has been on the website for a bit but I don't remember them mentioning in the show). AJ tells Rhino that his boring self will definitely be the one going home. Rhino tries to Gore him but somehow ends up nailing RVD. That's awkward.
We recap Hardy—Anderson, but they only go back as far as the Hardy heel turn. I would think they should play up the irony of the recent stretch where Anderson was trying to earn Hardy's trust, but to each his own.
They have Anderson on the phone (supposedly from Green Bay Wisconsin), and Tenay says his title shot is in jeopardy. Anderson says he suffered the worst concussion of his career, and that he doesn't know what's going to happen. He's even been having some trouble with his short term memory. Tenay asks for Anderson's thoughts on Morgan stepping up last week. Anderson says that these days it's hard to trust anyone, and he's going to need more than a gesture or two before he buys what Morgan's selling. Still, Morgan did the right thing last week, and if Morgan continues to have his back Anderson will have his.
Velvet Sky and Angelina Love are getting ready in make-up, since Sky will be facing Sarita next (cool!). Sky thinks she has something to prove to herself though, so she asks Love to stay in the back. She leaves, and Winter appears. Of course she's here, Love points out, Velvet's gone, "creeper". Winter tells her not to worry, since she'll never be alone again. Love says that she likes being alone, and in fact she's going to be alone right now. She leaves.
I realize the artist formerly known as Katie Lee Burchill has some moves, but stupid gimmicks have brought down better wrestlers than her (and, in fact, have brought her down at least once before).
(1) SARITA vs. VELVET SKY
If Sky is coming along as a wrestler, which she certainly seemed to be last week, this should be a hell of an opportunity to shine. Sky goes behind with a full nelson to start. Sarita gets the reverse, and tries to bring Sky over for something, but Sky lands on her feet. Sarita looks for an Arm Drag, but Sky blocks and nails a nice Head Scissors Takedown. She hits an Arm Drag of her own and tries to lock in an arm bar, but before she cinches it in Sarita chops out of it. She beats Sky into the corner, but Sky comes out chopping.She looks for a DDT, but Sarita shovers her off. Sky charges back, but Sarita gets her boots up, then flips over her. She tries to lift Sky up by the hair, but eats a Stunner and then a thrusting dropkick. Sky signals for a DDT again, but Sarita grabs the ropes. She takes Sky down with a clothesline. She looks for a Tiger Bomb, but Sky fights out. Sarita shoves her into the corner and stomps her down. She Snapmares her back out of the corner and does an innovative backwward-roll-up for two. They both get up. Sarita shoves Sky into the ropes a few times, hitting forearms on the ricochet. Sky gets some separation with a chop, but Sarita takes her back down with a back elbow. Sarita looks for the Tiger Driver, but Sky slips out and connects with a Face Buster. She clotheslines Sarita down. Sarita tries to catch her in a Back Drop, but Sky reverses it and lands on top of her for two. She nails a quick Jaw Breaker. She again signals for the DDT, but Sarita flings her out of the ring. Sky comes back into the ring, but Sarita hits a round-kick on her way in and hits a quick Tiger Driver for the kill.
WINNER: Sarita in four minutes. Sky's move-set has certainly improved, but this was still not nearly the same caliber of match as what we've seen Sarita pull off with the likes of Taylor Wilde or Alissa Flash.
Bischoff is warming up with Jarrett in the back. Jarrett points out that he can't hit Anderson that hard. Bischoff says that he was thinking—it was really magnanimous of Jeff to apologize to Kurt Angle (he apologized for not killing him), but maybe he should apologize to Joe too. Jarrett asks whether Hulk would apologize, and Bischoff admits that he would not. Jarrett says that maybe he can find a word or two for Joe.
Douglas Williams is claiming that he never lost some title, but Kaz is disagreeing. Flair says that when the Horsemen had an argument they went to the ring and ironed it out. Williams and Kaz are pleased. Williams peels off to talk to Christy, but the cameraman says that the mic is not working. An Anderson-like mic drops from above.
(2) GENERATION ME & TARA vs. INK INC. & MICKIE JAMES
Tara comes out on a motor cycle, sporting a top that says "cougar". Mickie James gets to come out after Ink Inc., which seems perfectly appropriate. Seriously, what was WWE thinking letter her go? Did they just feel bad for TNA? Jeremy backs Neal into the corner, then hits an uppercut when the ref calls for a break. Neal whips him into the corner. He tries to float over, Neal catches him with an attempted Back Drop, he lands on his feet, but then Neal comes off the middle rope with a Cross Body Block for two. Neat. Moore tags in and hits a couple Arm Drags. He gets a roll up, but the ref is distracted by Mickie James and Tara bickering in a neutral corner. Neal tags in, and Moore drops him onto Jeremy. Jeremy tags in Max, who eats a Spinning Neck Breaker for two. Max Back Body Drops Neal onto the apron. Tara distracts him while Max catches him in a Leg Scissors and Jeremy dropkicks him to the floor. They roll him back in for a cover, which gets one. Max hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner, then distracts the ref while Tara works a sort of half-Tarantula. Max hits a high dropkick, then tags in Jeremy. Jeremy just hits a kick to Neal's face before tagging out. Max tags in and works a headlock on the mat. Neal powers to his feet, then head butts out. Max distracts the ref and Jeremy pulls Neal out of the ring. Neal ducks a clothesline from Jeremy but then eats a Superkick from Tara. Max and Jeremy trade a couple quick tags, working Neal's left arm. Neal suddenly shoves Max into Jeremy and makes the hot tag to Moore. Moore comes in and floors Max with a Spinning Wheel Kick. Tara rakes his back, but Mickie James comes in to deal with Max, elevating him to the top rope and Frankensteinering him back down. Moore elevates Neal out and onto Jeremy Buck, then goes to the top rope for a Moonsault on Max. Tara breaks up the cover at two, so Mickie jumps her with a Lou Thesz Press. Max Buck comes in with bad intentions towards Mickie, but she hits her spin kick and knocks him back onto the shoulders of Neal, where he eats a Mooregasm for game.
WINNERS: Ink Inc. & Mickie James in six minutes. That was a great TV match, both on its own merits and to build towards Tara vs. Mickie at the PPV.
After the match the heels jump the winners. Tara wrenches Mickie's face as Generation Me beat down Ink Inc. She raises up Generation Me's arms, then drapes her own arms over her shoulders.
Orlando Jordan and Eric Young are seeing a "specialist". He starts by asking how long they've been a couple. Young says that as the leader of this team he's excited for this chance to explore where their team should go. He thinks they need a double team finisher. They hit some bad innuendos that are neither funny nor worth repeating. Eric Young deserves better than this. So do I.
Jeff Jarrett is coming to the ring.
Brother Ray is saying that he never thought they'd be this excited to be having a retirement match, but the fact that they're wrestling The Guns is really exciting. Shelley says that what really sounds crazy is that they're excited to wrestle Team 3D too. There's a bit of a weight difference, but they're looking forward to it and it'll be a real honor. Ray says that they're not looking forward to getting kicked in the face, so they can just leave those kicks at home. Sabin thinks that as big an honor as it would be for Team 3D to retire as champs, it'd be an even bigger honor for the Guns to beat them.
All that mutual love is making me feel a serious heel turn coming. Team 3D would certainly make more plot sense, and the Guns are just too damned likeable anyway.
We recap Jeff Jarrett being a jerk for the last few weeks.
Double J hits the ring. The crowd tells him that he sold out. He complains about Kurt bashing in windows, attacking Flair and Bischoff. He knew Kurt was weak, but he had no idea he was this weak. Did Eric Bischoff try to put Kurt in a wheel chair? Did Ric Flair try to cripple him? No, that was Jarrett—his issue should be with Jarrett. If Kurt has all this pent up anger, he needs to just sit back and think about thinks. In fact, he should just go home. For his second point, he just as one word for Joe--"I'm sorry". I'm about to point out that that's two words, but Taz beats me to it. He's sorry—if he'd known just how tall that stage was two weeks ago, he would have gone a whole lot higher. But Jarrett's going to give him a chance to fight on Sunday. He knows that Joe won't be 100%, but Joe's a good guy, just like Jarrett used to be, so he knows Joe will show up. As a final point, he doesn't want to hear from fans that he sold out—he bought in. Jarrett starts to leave, but Joe jumps up through the entrance ramp and beats him down to the ring. He drives him into the steps, then shoves him against the barricade. He takes him into the ring as the crowd informs Jarrett that Joe will kill him. He hits a CM Punk like high knee in the corner, then sets up for the Muscle Buster. Gunner & Murphy run out to make the save. One eats a dropkick and the other gets a Snap Power Slam, but that buys Jarrett enough time to flee. For some reason he stops on the ramp to take off his shirt. Gunner and Murphy are back up and jump Joe from behind, but he just tosses one and Muscle Busters (Muscle Busts?) the other one. He stares down Jarrett at the top of the ramp.
RVD says that he's not sure who to trust anymore. He's not sure who're his friends, or who's his enemy, so he'll just look out for himself for now. Don't be surprised if he's not as into working with his brothers just now, since he's not even sure who's his brother and who's not.
Bischoff is stretching, getting ready for his match.
(3) AJ STYLES (c) vs. RHINO vs. RVD TV Championship Match
I will personally give Dixie Carter $10 if they get rid of this stupid title. AJ tries to convince RVD to go to work on Rhino, but RVD just shoves him back. Rhino tosses AJ from he ring. Rhino and RVD stare each other down, but then Rhino rolls out of the ring after AJ. That doesn't go well though, as AJ drives him into the steps. RVD goes to the apron as AJ slides in, then AJ catches him with a dropkick when he tries to springboard back. AJ chops RVD into the corner, but then gets his Irish Whip to the opposite corner reversed. RVD hits his Monkey Flip. When he goes to follow up AJ rakes his eyes, then stomps him down into the corner. He elbows the back of RVD's head, then Body Slams him down. Tenay and Taz argue, forgetting about the match. Rhino yanks AJ's leg from outside, then rolls back in and hits a clothesline and a Belly-to-Belly Suplex. He goes for a Gore, but AJ dodges and Rhino eats ring-post. Van Dam leaps to his feet and nails a jump-kick. He hits a Body Slam and starts to go for Rolling Thunder, but sees AJ getting up. He goes for another Body Slam instead, but AJ blocks it. AJ charges and gets Back Body Dropped out to the apron. He goes to springboard back into the ring, but RVD kicks his leg out from under him. RVD wants to go after AJ, but Rhino pulls him back into the ring so they can finish things. As they bicker AJ hits a Flying Forearm that catches both of them, then rolls RVD up by the tights for the win.
WINNER: AJ Styles in 4 minutes. It wasn't long enough to be much of anything.
Rhino and RVD are in each others' respective faces. The rest of EV 2.0 come down to pull them apart. The crowd chants for Dreamer. Raven pulls RVD off and gets punched down. Dreamer grabs a mic. He says that this is enough—it's "us". It's like RVD doesn't believe them, and he doesn't call them back. RVD asks whether he should trust them like he trusted Jeff? Everyone knows Dreamer's the brains behind the operation, so why should RVD look any farther? Dreamer says that if RVD wants to think like this, Dreamer will just have to handle this the old fashioned way and beat some sense into him at Turning point. RVD tells Dreamer to inform his boss Eric Bischoff that it's a match.
Kazarian vs. Douglas Williams is up next.
Abyss is calling Pope a phony and a false prophet. If he truly was a pope he'd understand that Immortal, just like Hulkamania will live forever. And tonight he'll take what's important to him, just like he's taking his congregation one-by-one.
Ric Flair comes out to join the commentary booth.
(4) KAZARIAN vs. DOUGLAS WILLIAMS
Williams gets a quick full nelson. Kaz slips out, but Williams transitions to a wrist lock. Kaz flips out of that. Williams picks a leg, but then Kaz kicks him off. Beer Money saunter down to the ring, beer in hand. Kazarian knocks Williams down with a shoulder block. Williams connects with a headlock takedown. He and Kazarian jockey for position, with Kazarian ending up in a standing side headlock. Williams flips him off. Kazarian goes for a Sunset Flip, but Williams drops down on him for two. The crowd is getting into it as they lock up for the Test of Strength. Williams pushes Kazarian down to a bridge, but then Kazarian reverses positions. Kaz trips Williams and hits a series of kicks to the midsection, culminating in a leg lariat for one. Kazarian whips Williams off into the corner, and when he bounces back both men crack heads. Williams ducks below a clothesline when they get up and nails a flying uppercut. He looks for Rolling Chaos Theory but Kazarian jumps out and back off the middle rope with a Cross Body Block. Williams rolls through for two. He rams his head into Kaz's abdomen, whips him off into the corner, and hits a beautiful T-Bone Suplex for two. James Storm is standing around on the apron for no reason. Sure enough, Kaz whips Williams into Storm and gets the quick School Boy for the win.
WINNER: Kazarian in five minutes. The wrestling was fantastic—it's a shame they couldn't give it more time or an exciting finish.
Williams is ticked. Beer Money try to talk everyone down, but Williams and Storm exchange some shoves. Flair comes down to the ring and gets between everyone. The crowd says that they want Morgan. Flair extends his hand to Williams, who takes it. He then makes Williams and Kazarian shake.
Earlier today The Pope said that finally he's going to get The Monster one-on-one on Impact. Tonight he's going to handle business like it's never been done before. If he has to pimp-slap Abyss over and over till there's nothing left but the mask to hide his shame, then that's what Pope's gonna do.
Eric Young is lying on Jordan's lap, talking about how his mother always pressured him to be a single, but they're just meant to be as a tag team. Jordan says that this is all his fault, since he hasn't communicated right, and he has something to tell Eric. What he has to say is that he's bi. Young finishes "-polar!", saying he diagnosed it weeks ago and that the specialist is nothing but a scam. That being said, does he validate parking? That was a bit more amusing than the first segment.
(5) ABYSS vs. "THE POPE" D'ANGELO DINERO
Pope runs to the ring with taped ribs, unloading with quick right hands. He hits a couple big uppercuts, but Abyss stays on his feet. He comes off the ropes and right into a Big Boot to the ribs. Abyss Splashes him in the corner, then tosses him from the ring. He follows him out and hits a couple rights to the head. He stomps down on Pope, then jaws with a random "fan". He loses it and yanks the "fan" over the guard-rail. The ref calls for the bell.
WINNER: The Pope by DQ in about a minute.
Abyss goes nuts and starts yanking in "fans" and beating them up. Al Snow and D-Lo Brown come down and talk him into slowing down. Pope has a mic in the ring. He says that if Abyss wants to get the congregation involved by scaring the life out of them, how about they do this: in three days, it'll be a Lumberjack Match, with lumberjacks comprised of The Pope's congregation. Abyss says that he would never speak for Hulk Hogan or Eric Bischoff, but he doesn't think that in this instance they'll mind—it's on.
Robbie E is having "Cooks" admire his belt, but says that it's nothing compared to the X Division Belt he'll be sporting after Sunday. Cause they're tan, they're hot, and Lethal's not. Because Jersey's in the house, bitches.
We run down the card for Turning Point, complete with a video package.
It's 10:58. Jeff Hardy talks about how all of us dream about having it all, but very few of us know what it feels like. He used to think that if he did things the right way he'd be rewarded, but he's learned to take what he wants. At Turning Point he will keep what he loves by any means necessary. He instructs us to celebrate professional wrestling's anti-Christ, to celebrate Jeff Hardy.
Eric Bischoff, still in his gi and holding a contract, comes down to the ring. He says that all Anderson has to do is to come down to the ring, sign this contract, and he gets to face Jeff Hardy. He gives JB a note, and tells him to read it exactly as he wrote it: "The following contest is scheduled for one fall and is our main event of the evening. This bout has been sanctioned by the Immortal athletic director Hulk Hogan. When the bell rings, the man in charge—senior referee Earl Hebner. And now, from Orlando, the moment we've all been waiting for. He weighed in this morning at a slim, trim 168 lbs, 4% body fat, an eighth degree black belt in karate, with 34 wins and no losses, all coming by TKO, the undisputed TNA kickboxing champion, the fighter, artist, and inspiring Eric Bischoff. And now introducing his opponent, from the frozen, inbred tundra of Green Bay Wisconsin, he has never been the TNA Heavyweight Champion of the world, the important warrior, the Russian with a concussion, the pussy-willow of Wisconsin (Bischoff starts cracking up here), the President Obama of head trauma..." JB trails off here, saying this is ridiculous. Bischoff, and the crowd, tell him to keep going. JB starts to say that "He is..." but Bischoff cuts him off and says that he wanted JB to read it the way he wrote it. But they all know that Mr. Anderson isn't there, and all these people came to see Eric Bischoff go, so why don't we give them a match—Jeremy Borash vs. Eric Bischoff. He stomps on JB's foot, then kicks him down. He hits some punches against the mat, when Mr. Anderson's music hits and the lights go out. They come back on, but there's no Anderson—what there is is Matt Morgan standing behind Eric Bischoff. Bischoff turns around into a Big Boot (I think he might have been too short for Morgan to come off the ground with a real Carbon Footprint), and Hebner counts the 3.
Morgan takes the contract and signs it. I knew they would pull this. Morgan takes a mic and says to tell Jeff Hardy that Morgan will see his ass this Sunday at Turning Point. Ric Flair comes down to the ring and grabs a mic, calling out Morgan. He says that Morgan is really good at knocking out people with their backs turned. The biggest mistake of Morgan's life was walking away from Fortune, as now he's a giant missile that going to come crashing down. In three days he will face Jeff Hardy at Turning Point, where he's going to bleed, sweat, and pay the price of a lifetime. Bischoff doesn't seem thrilled by Flair agreeing to the match.
Where We're Going: In order to make this PPV not seem like a joke, they either need to give Morgan the win, which is highly unlikely, or at least make him seem strong enough in defeat that he'll be a viable contender going forward. That being said, there's such a backlog of top faces I'm not sure TNA will really want to stick with Morgan long enough to make his sudden push make sense, and neither option does much to make him a more plausible threat to Hardy right now. It's a bad hand they were dealt with the Anderson injury, but, as indicated above, it's not like anyone seemed hugely excited by Anderson vs. Hardy anyway. In some ways the Morgan push last week had a much bigger money feel, but there was just no good follow-up. This PPV has a distinct treading-water feel going in, which does not incline me to pay $35 for it.
Star of the Night: Douglas Williams. The man is pure gold on the mic and has the type of skill that looks phenomenal against the right sort of opponent, which apparently includes the versatile Kazarian.
Overall: This was not a great show. The had 4 hours, counting last week, to get Morgan vs. Hardy over. Last week was paced just about perfectly (excepting the incredibly bizarre move of having Morgan lose cleanly in 3 minutes ten days before he's supposed to main event a PPV), but having Morgan show up in the predictable spot at the end didn't really do anything to get me more excited than I was two hours ago. Matt Morgan should have been all over this broadcast, not relegated to a cameo. The mixed-gender tag match and Williams vs. Kazarian were both great, but between them were less than 12% of the show (give or take). RVD's hurt lack of trust could be compelling, but just isn't clicking for some reason. The less that's said about EY & OJ the happier I'll be—they both have too much talent for this garbage. Jarrett was what he always is, effective but not exciting. The Pope's always a joy to watch, but wasn't really given much to do tonight. Jay Lethal has had like one match on Impact in the last two months, which he lost. (Also, as near as I can tell, whoever is booking has also lost Desmond Wolfe's phone number, unless he's hurt.) This show had a few good moments, but mostly was an underwhelming rush of mixed opportunities. C
Daniel is a graduate fellow at The Ohio State University. He's thinking of skipping the PPV Sunday to save money. Anyone with a good reason why he shouldn't should send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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