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TNA Impact
BAX'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 4/28: TNA World Title three-way match, Heavy Knockout presence, Bax Reax to overall show

Apr 29, 2011 - 12:02:22 AM
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By Matt Baxendell, PWTorch Contributor

TNAImpactlogo_254.jpg
BAX’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
APRIL 28, 2011
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLORIDA
AIRED ON SPIKE TV


Where We’ve Been: Last week featured the cringe-inducing continuation of the Jarrett-Angle feud where horse poop literally fell from the ceiling. It also featured a lot of talking, a few new feuds set up, and a Main Event between Sting and Matt Hardy that saw Stinger retain his championship before being jumped by Mr. Anderson after the match. Tonight's show will hopefully have an answer on whether RVD is actually going to face Sting at Sacrifice and what Sting will do for revenge on Mr. Anderson.

[Q1]

Impact Title: "Queen Closeau." How does Karen get two straight shows named after her? The show began with seemingly every female TNA employee in the ring. Out came the Jarretts (Karen with a big umbrella over her head) and Karen said that she found out that Kurt put out a hit on her so she was going to find out who Angle had hired to take care of her.

Karen accused an older lady, who was apparently the caterer. She told Karen she had to make pot roast and left to the applause of Velvet Sky and the rest of the Knockouts. For the record, Angelina and Winter weren’t in the ring. Karen continued berating the non-Knockouts by accusing the seamstress next. Karen threw her out of the ring after a few “Kurt is small in the pants” jokes.

Miss Tessmacher was next. “Good old funbags herself” was how Karen described her before accusing her of arriving back in TNA at the same time as Kurt Angle. Tessmacher told Karen that she showed up to earn her paycheck unlike some others. Actually a good comeback from Tessmacher, her first actual contribution to Impact in the previous year, aside from those aforementioned funbags, of course. Tessmacher left, leaving Sarita, Rosita, Velvet Sky, Tara, and Madison.

Up next were ‘Rice and Beans, the little burrito sisters.’ Karen told them it was suspicious that they kept talking about America when her husband was an American hero. Sarita corrected her, saying they were MEXICAN American and they stormed off as well.

Up next were Tara & Madison Rayne. Madison accused Tara, calling her a ‘dirty, filthy slut.’ Tara spat her gum on Madison’s chest and left. Madison warned Karen to keep an eye on Tara, saying that Tara would also try to sleep with Velvet Sky, who was the only one left in the ring.

Karen asked Velvet if she wanted a new best friend. Karen said if she landed on the arm of Kurt Angle then it would catapult her career to the next level in TNA. Velvet Sky swung at Karen but Jeff grabbed her arm. Jeff accosted Sky before Velvet slapped him. Karen then pushed her and a catfight broke out. As they were fighting, Angelina and Winter came out to the ring and Angelina beat up on Velvet Sky as the Jarretts ran away. Winter threatened So Cal Val to ring the bell or else and suddenly we have our first match of the night.

1--- ANGELINA LOVE vs. VELVET SKY

Taz said that the match was supposed to be later in the night as a referee ran down to the ring and they went to break. [c]

[Q2] After a five-minute commercial break, Angelina was dispassionately beating Velvet Sky in the corner. Angelina no-sold a comeback attempt by Velvet as Winter cheered her on from ringside. Velvet was down and struggling as Angelina first tried to pull her hair out before gouging her eyes.

Velvet got back to her feet and attempted a comeback but Angelina continued to dispassionately no-sell the offensive moves before planting Velvet with a running clothesline. Angelina crawled over to Velvet and choked her until the referee broke up the choke after a five count. No pin attempts here, just some chokes and a couple of big mounted punches. The crowd tried to will Velvet back into the match but Angelina kept dominating.

Velvet took advantage of the referee distracting Angelina by hitting a facebuster and a bulldog, the first time that Angelina sold any offense. As Angelina was down, Velvet leaned through the ropes to yell at Winter, who raked her eyes and hit a neckbreaker on the second rope. This allowed Angelina to hit the Botox Injection on Velvet.

Angelina did the slow crawl over to Velvet before looking to Winter for guidance. Winter did the Undertaker throat-slash and Love locked in the same modified choke hold that Winter used previously. Velvet faded and passed out and the referee stopped the match as Taz yelled for the bell to be rung as Velvet was clearly unconscious.

WINNER: Angelina Love in 9:00 (4:30 Televised)

Angelina refused to let go of the move afterwards until Winter came into the ring. Winter then guided her out of the ring and up the ramp with a wave of her finger.

-In the parking lot, Anderson was shown pulling his bag out of the back of a raised pickup truck with flames running down the sides. He said it had sentimental value to him and life was good as an asshole, expect for one thing: his title shot. [c]

BAX REAX: Not much of a match from Velvet & Angelina as the whole point was to put over Angelina’s new zombie character and her apparent imperviousness to pain. Also a big changeup by starting the show focusing on the women and not showing any of the male wrestlers aside from the ever-present Jeff Jarrett until 25 minutes into Impact. I wonder how that will look in the ratings.

[Q3]

-Backstage, Matt Morgan was shown storming around looking for Scott Steiner. He said that he had one focus and that was winning his first TNA Championship. Then why is he chasing after Steiner, who is just a distraction to that focus? He said that if Steiner wanted to throw a monkey wrench into his gameplan then he was going to cut off the problem before it starts.

-In the Impact Zone, Christy Hemme introduced Anarquia and the rest of Mexican America. Anarquia called for the flag to fall from the ceiling as they showed the Spanish commentary team standing at attention. He said that everyone would salute the Mexican flag next week for their Cinco De Mayo celebration, finishing with “This land used to be your land, now this land is our land.”

2 – ANARQUIA (w/Mexican America) vs. CHRIS SABIN

Sabin was introduced as half of the Motor City Machineguns. That’s nice to see since TNA had mentioned they were going to compete as singles wrestlers. Anarquia jumped Sabin as he was keeping an eye on Hernandez and hit a big palm slap in the corner before stomping Sabin’s face.

The announcers put over the speed vs. power aspect of the match as Sabin hit a few high-impact move before Sabin hit an athletic springboard onto Anarquia. Uh oh, Sabin twisted his knee as he landed. They ran a replay and it looked bad from the angle shown. Anarquia rolled up Sabin quickly for the win.

WINNER: Anarquia in 2:00.

After the match, they picked up Sabin gingerly and made him stare at the giant Mexican flag. Motor City’s music played and out charged Alex Shelley, making his return after months of inaction. He cleared the ring and went to hit Anarquia with his belt but Rosita jumped in the way. Anarquia escaped by tossing tiny Rosita at Shelley and Mexican America retreated up the ramp.

BAX REAX: Good job by TNA making me think that Sabin had legitimately hurt his knee on the landing. Before Shelley ran out to make the save, I bought that he was hurt from the angle shown and Sabin’s immediate reaction to the ref. Glad to see the Guns back together and I hope they get plenty of in-ring time on future Impacts to remind everyone why they’re one of the best tag teams on the planet.

-Backstage, Steiner was trying to putt a fuzzy golfball. He said (in his typical screechy roundabout fashion) that he jumped Matt Morgan because he could. Steiner said he wasn’t a hard man to find and told the cameraman to go find Morgan and he would be waiting for him. [c]

-Back from break, Steiner baited Morgan from behind a curtain. Morgan couldn’t find him through the curtain and Big Poppa Pump jumped him from behind. Steiner was censored about twenty times while talking trash on Morgan’s athletic credentials before choking Morgan with a broom and then a reel of TV wires. Morgan managed to fight back and toss Steiner onto a table that collapsed before throwing him into a row of steel chairs.

[Q4] Morgan held a chair to Steiner’s throat, telling him that he wasn’t going to get into his way. Steiner tried to apologize twice as Morgan threw him into a fridge. Morgan bent over and told him that no one was going to get into his way of being the world champion.

-In the parking lot, Sting was shown wearing his red jacket before he happened to walk by Mr. Anderson’s truck. Shocking that he found it, really. Out came the baseball bat and pretty soon the headlights and windows were shattered. Sting casually walked away after taking a drink of water before thinking better of himself. He went back to climb onto the hood of the truck and bashed a giant hole into the front windshield with the bat, which he left behind in the hole as his calling card before grabbing his jacket and walking away. Tenay teased an unannounced TV Title defense between Daniels & Gunner as they went to break. [c]

-Impact returned with Christy Hemme staring down the hard camera announcing Daniels as the challenger as Taz & Tenay put over the consequences of taking Immortal’s only championship. Gunner came out and the match was on.

3 --- TV champion GUNNER vs. DANIELS -- TV Title match

Gunner was put over by the announcers as Hulk & Bischoff’s “Ace in the Hole,” having apparently never let them down. Gunner dominated early as the crowd got behind Daniels, who managed to fight back as Taz informed the audience that Gunner has an extensive military background. A running knee to Daniels’ midsection allowed Gunner to take control.

However, Daniels surprised him with a crucifix pin that was good for a two count. However, it didn’t last long as Gunner hit two more knees to the gut and locked in a sitting bear hug. Daniels fought his way out but Gunner hit a front face suplex onto Daniels for his first two count of the match.

At the 3:00 mark, Gunner hit some big punches in the corner as he was put over as Immortal’s Blue Chipper. He charged the corner but Daniels slithered out of the way and hit a lifted foot to the chest before hitting a clothesline/legsweep combo. Daniels hit a huge overhand powerslam off of the top rope for a two count near fall.

Daniels set up for the Angel’s Wings but Gunner fought out of it as Tenay claimed it was good scouting on Gunner’s part. Gunner hit a few big shoulder thrusts in the corner before trying to put Daniels on his shoulders for some sort of big move. However, Daniels fought out and hit a chokeslam that set him up for the B.M.E.

But Gunner moved and Daniels landed on his feet. As he charged Gunner in the corner, Daniels was thrown over the top turnbuckle and hit his head on the ring post. This made the third time onto Gunner’s shoulders the charm as he tossed Daniels to his side and hit a powerful DDT for the pinfall victory.

WINNER: Gunner in 5:00 to retain the TV Championship.

BAX REAX: Apparently Gunner is going to be the recipient of a push here as he looked decent defeating Daniels to hold onto the TV Championship. I hope we get to see these two lock up at Sacrifice in a return match because I’d like to see what Gunner can do in a 15-minute match with a wrestler of the caliber of Christopher Daniels. This match was rushed but was enjoyable while it lasted.

-Sting was shown walking down a dark hallway and he is out to the ring next. [c]

[Q5]

-The Impact Zone was dark and Sting’s music was playing as the TNA Champion came out to the ring. A nice wide angle of the arena was shown, making it look a lot bigger than a sound stage. Sting said that he’s trying really hard to take down Hogan and Bischoff but every time he turns around, there’s Mr. Anderson.

Out came Anderson, who had the bat in his hand. He asked Sting if he smashed every window in his truck out. Sting said no. Anderson asked if he smashed out over single window on his truck. Sting said no. Anderson asked if the video he saw was lying and asked Sting again. Sting said he did it.

Anderson acted like he was going to be furious but then said he’d get them replaced. What? He said that he wasn’t falling for Sting’s games. Anderson said he could blow the truck up, because he’d just replace it because he’s “Rich, beyotch.” I guess Anderson was channeling Dave Chappelle. Anderson told Sting that he would play this game right back but Sting had the chance to end that by giving him his rematch. After all, Sting had the power.

Out came RVD, who keeps being put over as never having lost his title. It's hard to take that claim seriously anymore when he’s had multiple shots at the TNA Championship in the last few months. Van Dam put over Sting as a stand up guy who treated him fairly. RVD said that as much as the TNA Championship meant to him and as dirty as Anderson was, RVD said that the network wasn’t going to take him out of the title equation, so Sting should do whatever it took to take Anderson out of the equation. Is Rob actually high? That makes no sense!

Sting agreed to take Anderson out of the mix tonight and said he’d face Anderson for the World Title. This drew Hulk Hogan out from backstage, still holding the giant lead pipe. Hogan said that Sting had to be the greatest fighting champion TNA has ever had with all of the title shots he’s handed out the last couple of weeks. Hulk said that he title match that Sting just booked with Anderson was now going to be a three way since he has the power to change the match as well.

Hogan said that Sting or Anderson weren’t going to walk out of the Impact Zone as champions tonight, instead it would be Bully Ray. Out came Ray as he and Hogan taunted the men in the ring. [c]

BAX REAX: This segment made no sense. None whatsoever. Am I supposed to believe that RVD would just cavalierly give up his title shot after a year’s worth of screwjobs simply so that Sting could shut up Anderson? Couldn’t the two of them just jump Anderson right there in the middle of the ring instead without giving Ken what he wanted? Plus, I was under the impression that Sting got to pick his opponent once from his contract, so this doesn’t line up with what he said last week either. On top of that, Sting’s admission to smashing up the windows on Anderson’s truck was a letdown: Instead of the funny comeback of saying that he left one window intact that I expected to hear, Sting hung his head and said ‘Yes’ like he was a third grader busted in a lie by his parents. Everything about it was wrong, aside from the fact that the Main Event could be pretty decent.

[Q6]

-Samoa Joe was shown backstage and he was talking about Crimson. Joe said he was impressive. He said that what he did to Abyss was a thing of beauty and Crimson has a lot of potential. They referenced Joe’s epic winning streak from 2005 while talking about the fact that Crimson had never been beaten in TNA. Joe rightly said that no one would match his streak again and Crimson had never faced him before.

-In the Impact Zone, Crimson’s “Winning Streak” was put over during his entrance. What winning streak? Didn’t he lose the Tag Team Four Way at Lockdown? Joe came out afterwards to a thoroughly unintimidating introduction by Christy Hemme. Tenay reminded audiences that Joe used to be the biggest badass in wrestling five years ago with his unbeaten streak (thanks for bringing up that Joe should be so much more prominent in TNA right now than he actually is, Mike) while Taz remarked that Crimson hadn’t taken his eyes off of Joe since he got into the ring.

4 --- SAMOA JOE vs. CRIMSON

Taz’s incredible powers of foresight came through at the bell as Crimson charged across the ring and landed some early punches before the two men traded back and forth in the middle of the ring before Crimson hit a boot to Joe’s face. After an attempted submission from Crimson, Joe hit a high running boot before throwing Crimson into the corner and hitting his combo enziguiri move for a two count.

Crimson fought back with an exploder suplex before leveling Joe with a spinning neckbreaker for a two count. Crimson tried to pick Joe up for a body slam but he couldn’t. Joe tried for a high kick but Crimson moved and hit a suplex followed by a knee drop for a two count.

Joe and Crimson then traded blows before Crimson charged Joe in the corner, promptly receiving a big uranage that forced Crimson to climb out of the ring to regroup. Joe tried for a running move but Crimson hit an elbow that stopped his momentum. However, Abyss charged down to the ring and jumped Crimson as the ref rang the ball.

RESULT: Match Thrown Out in 4:00.

Joe and Abyss stared each other down for a moment before Joe shrugged his shoulders and walked off. Abyss slammed Crimson into the ring steps before throwing him into the ring and hitting him with the Black Hole Slam. Tenay & Taz were way too excited about Abyss dominating a guy with a ‘winning streak.’

BAX REAX: This whole winning streak is transparently ridiculous as a way to try to put over Crimson leading into a match with Abyss. The problem is that (a) if TNA hadn’t allowed Crimson to fade into the background until deciding to have Abyss seek revenge that this ‘streak’ wouldn’t be necessary and (b) it still isn’t necessary since the whole Janice stuck into Abyss’ back thing should be more than enough to establish motivation for them to feud. While the story told was perfectly fine with Abyss’s interference (especially since the first three matches didn’t end with run-ins), the whole fake ‘winning streak’ is just stupid.

-Backstage, Anderson was prepping for the Main Event. He said that winning was the only thing but instead of a one on one rematch, he’s stuck in a three way match. However, he said he wasn’t going to whine and complain, instead he was going to go out and win before tossing the cameraman out.

-Mickie James was shown backstage. Guess she is up next. [c]

[Q7]

-Kurt Angle was shown laughing backstage, calling Karen an ass for interrogating all of the TNA women. He said that Karen would meet his girl real soon, maybe even next week. Angle said that it was no one that anyone knows and when Karen saw her, she would s--t her pants.

-Back in the Impact Zone, Mickie James came running out to the ring with her belt as her win at Lockdown was recapped. Mickie got on the mic and said that the only thing that she wanted when she started was to go down as the greatest women’s wrestler of all time. But right now she wanted to most of all dedicate her Knockouts Championship to the fans and thanking them.

-Backstage, Bully Ray was shown talking to Abyss saying how “Bully Ray, TNA Champion” would really piss the wrestling world off. He said that he would trade in all 23 of his tag championships for one TNA Championship. All he has to do is beat an asshole and a guy with paint on his face.

-Main Event introduction time. Out first was Mr. Anderson, who did his self-introduction on top of the ramp. The announcers discussed Anderson’s annoyance at not getting a one on one match for the TNA Championship. Afterwards, Bully Ray came out with the lead pipe, which Taz called Immortal’s symbol. Last out was the champion, who Taz noted would be defending his championship for the third time in the last eleven days.

TNA did the whole PPV Main Event introduction with Jeremy Borash doing the individual introductions.

5--- TNA World Hvt. champion STING vs. MR. ANDERSON vs. BULLY RAY -- TNA World Title match

Bully Ray dominated in the early going, keeping both Sting and Mr. Anderson down before hitting a big side slam on Sting for a two count. However, Anderson came in and kicked Ray in the head before hitting his own side slam on Sting for another two count. As Sting was down in the ring, Ray and Anderson glared at each other before exchanging punches.

But they forgot about Sting, who clotheslined them both before tossing Anderson out of the ring. Sting went to bounce of the ropes and attack Ray but Anderson jumped up and hit him in the back, leading to a big boot to the face from Bully Ray. Anderson then foolishly tried to climb to the top turnbuckle but Ray threw him down and got a two count before the match went to break at 3:00. [c]

After a four-minute commercial, the match returned with a nearfall two count for Bully Ray on Anderson. Sting was out at ringside and Taz informed the audience that Ray dominated throughout the break. The announcers compared Gunner’s effectiveness with Ray’s value to Immortal as Anderson had to grab the bottom rope to avoid a three count.

Ray continued to dominate as he and Anderson were the focus of most of the action as Sting was down in a corner receiving periodic kicks to keep him down. Anderson finally recovered to hit a pair of clotheslines followed by his swinging neckbreaker move for a two count.

At this point, Sting finally got back to his feet and lit up Anderson before hitting him with the Stinger Splash. Ray went to hit them both but Sting moved and Anderson took the brunt of a second running move in the corner. Sting tried to catch Ray napping but Ray moved and the ref took the brunt of the Stinger Splash instead. Taking advantage of Sting’s concern for the ref, Ray leveled him with a clothesline.

Realizing that the ref was down, Ray grabbed the pipe and decked Sting in the gut, telling the audience that the blow was for Hogan. Suddenly, A.J. Styles came into the picture and hit his Pele Kick on Ray. This allowed Sting to pick up the lead pipe and clock Ray in the head with it. A backup ref eventually came to the ring to count the pinfall.

WINNER: Sting in 10:00 (6:00 televised).

Sting stood exhausted in the ring selling his third title defense. Suddenly, a close up showed Mr. Anderson’s head rising above the ring apron and he was holding the pipe. Tenay said not to go anywhere as they went to commercial. [c]

BAX REAX: This was largely a Ray-Anderson match that featured Sting pop his head in every now and then. I know Sting isn’t the young man who wrestled Ric Flair to fame in the 1980s anymore but it seemed like he laid around a lot in this one. As for the match itself, Ray got his hand up for the headshot with the pipe, so it wasn’t an unprotected shot. I also liked seeing Ray sell the effects of the head shot so heavily as he was down a long time before the replacement ref made the three count.

-Back from break, Bully Ray was shown backstage. What happened to Anderson with the pipe? Ray was complaining that he should be the champion and said he was going to take it out on A.J. Styles for costing him the match. Ray said that he wasn’t going to be as nice to A.J. Styles now that he cost him a world championship. He said that it would be in A.J. Styles’s best interests to not show up for Impact next week.

-A.J. Styles asked if Bully Ray really thought he was going to take him out and end his career?

-Steiner was storming around outside, saying that he beat Morgan down, calling Morgan "Division III" and a basketball player, not a wrestler. Steiner said that he was going to get Morgan on Impact next week.

-Karen and Jeff were complaining that they didn’t figure out who Angle’s mistress was.

-Velvet Sky was mad at Karen for accusing her of being Karen’s mistress and then complained about Angelina choking her out, saying Love wasn’t in her right mind. Velvet said she was tired of being mad all the time.

-Jeff and Karen were back trying to figure out if it was someone from their past who was coming to put the hit on Karen. And that’s how the show ended.

BAX SHOW REAX: This was a strange episode of Impact. The show started off with Karen Jarrett interrogating the Knockouts, the cooking lady, and the seamstress before continuing the Velvet-Angelina-Winter triangle story. I’ll be very interested to see how the ratings look starting off the show with all Knockouts for the first two segments.

There were a few bright spots: Alex Shelley made his return, which can only be a good thing as the wrestling skills of the Machine Guns has been sorely missed by TNA in the last couple of months. I’m not even worried that it looks like they have a feud with Mexican America because I’m just happy to see them paired back up again. Another bright spot with the TV Championship match between Daniels and Gunner. Gunner looked respectable and I hope these two men get more time to wrestle at Sacrifice.

The Morgan-Steiner interaction was nice because it made Morgan look strong and continued his message that he’s in the hunt for the TNA Championship. Plus Steiner is a ‘name’ guy that Morgan can take down en route to an inevitable spot in the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary.

But, like usual there were plenty of things that made me shake my head. I’ve already skewered the ridiculous reasoning that RVD gave Sting to set up his match with Mr. Anderson. I get they’re trying to drag out the build towards Sting-Anderson in a one on one match but Van Dam’s excuse didn’t pass the sniff test. I also hated the ‘winning streak’ Crimson was all of a sudden on. It was completely unnecessary and untrue to continue his storyline with Abyss and it made Joe’s major winning streak from 2005 seem less important and historic by comparing them.

Finally, there was slightly more wrestling this week than last. By my count, TNA put out 30 minutes of wrestling but only 21 minutes of it was televised. While that’s a step up from last week’s show, Impact still suffers from too many talking segments and not enough in-ring action. I’m still wondering if the 30+ minutes of wrestling on the lead-in show to Lockdown was a mirage. This episode of Impact was unique because of the all-Knockout start and it did a good job of moving the storylines along (outside of the cringe-worthy Sting-RVD exchange), but not much really stood out to me tonight.

Show highlight: Daniels vs. Gunner for the TV Championship

Show lowlight: Rob Van Dam's strange justification to Sting as to why Anderson should get a title shot.

SHOW GRADE: C

Matt Baxendell is one of the Torch’s new contributing writers covering TNA Wrestling. He’s also an on-air talent for Sports Radio 790 The Zone in Atlanta. If you want to talk wrestling, hockey or football with Bax, please email him at matt.baxendell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @MattBaxendell


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