TV REPORTS 4/12 TNA Impact review: Wallum's "alt perspective" report with High and Low Points
Apr 13, 2007 - 2:23:00 PM
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TNA IMPACT "ALT PERSPECTIVE" REPORT
APRIL 12, 2007
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
BY BOB WALLUM, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Jeremy Borash sets the stage for this Sunday's pay-per-view briefly before LAX come rolling into the picture to suggest that Borash give Team 3D a message since he's so tight with them. Konnan decides instead to give the message himself and tells 3D and us, the viewing audience, that we're in for a surprise as a blinged out Hernandez wheels Konnan away.
We now hear Kurt Angle's music, prompting the entrance of Team Angle's captain. Angle comes to the ring where he has the rest of his team lying in wait for him. Sting apologizes for leaving Kurt hanging last week, saying he had other pressing issues to deal with but now Kurt has his undivided attention and he's more than happy to be a member of the team, yet Sting also knows that a team is supposed to have 5 guys and they seem to be one short. Sting counts himself among the many who want to know who team member 5 is. Angle tells Sting he respects him more than he will ever know, yet can't bring himself to divulge the mystery man until he can come to grips with the situation himself. Sting takes that at face value but Samoa Joe is not quite so forgiving and tells Kurt that he's starting to not believe Angle anymore, suggesting Angle's motives may be title-based and perhaps Kurt's road to the title would be easier if his teammates were summarily vanquished along the way. Joe tells Kurt every man on the team has stepped up so far and now it's time Kurt does the same by naming their partner. Angle tells Joe his integrity is not to be questioned and swears on his American flag that by the end of the night we will know who team member five is.
We open tonight's action with the return of So Cal Val to ringside, having magically changed from a red outfit worn during the Team Angle segment to a striking pink fishnet number. Mike Tenay and Don West go over the scheduled action for tonight's broadcast as Kevin Nash magically appears in the ring to no fanfare.
Nash tells us there will be several impostors, but only one Black Machismo. Jay Lethal steps out of the year 1995 resplendent in a wardrobe and look not dissimilar to Randy Savage, complete with straight hair and loud patterns. Lethal gives us an "Ooh Yeah" before Chris Sabin's music hits to start off the first match.
Match 1: "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal vs. Chris Sabin (non-title)
Sabin gets the early advantage but Lethal puts a stop to his continued showboating by grabbing a hold of Sabin's head and pulling him into the top rope while hurdling over the top, effectively clotheslining Sabin. Lethal goes to the top and hits Sabin with a double axe-handle, then follows with a quick nearfall of two. Sabin begs off from the Savage-channeling Lethal then thumbs the eyes of Lethal on the way in to regain the edge. Sabin misses with a clothesline and meets a Lethal elbow, Jay goes up to the top again but is thwarted this time as Sabin comes over and pushes out the legs, thus crotching Black Machismo. A Sabin enzuiguiri brings Lethal crashing to the mat, then Sabin wags a finger before covering Lethal for a quick two count. Sabin stands with a foot across Lethal's chest, mocking his Savage antics before letting loose with a Garvin stomp series, then a backsplash senton for another near fall. Sabin does some channeling of his own, using some Randy Orton offense (i.e. headlock) before Lethal ebows out, then a series of punches and a Savage twirl before dropping Sabin with a stiff right. Lethal with a elbow to Sabin's chin off the ropes, then Lethal shoots him across again where Lethal hits a clothesline for a near fall two count. Lethal tries to run the ropes but is tripped up by Sabin, who scurries to the ring apron, then grabs onto Lethal for a Tornado DDT and a two count. Sabin slings Lethal to the corner, but his big boot to Lethal's face is blocked by a shove away. Lethal moves in to attack but is met by a spin kick to the gut from Sabin. Sabin moves in to capitalize but is met with the Lethal Combination (backbreaker-S.T.O.), then Lethal goes up top and delivers the Savage Elbow Drop, then scores the upset pin over the champ going into Lockdown.
Winner: "Black Machismo" Jay Lethal
Tenay and West discuss most of the line-up for TNA's St. Louis PPV debut, then send it backstage to Leticia who is standing by with Team Cage.
Leticia refreshes us about Cornette's stipulation form the town meeting last week and asks Christian his response. He tells her perhaps Team Angle is thrilled, his own team is thrilled, but Cage says for him things have gone from bad to worse with Sting back in the picture, then the stip of the title shot for anybody who scores the pin at Lockdown. A.J. Styles interrupts Cage to tell him it's just business, and business is all about the title on Cage's shoulder. That's why he's there, that's why the whole team is here, but now the team just needs to focus on Lockdown and the numbers advantage they still enjoy. Cage snarkily thanks Styles for pointing out the obvious as A.J. argues with Cage over who knew it first. Cage squelches their argument and tells Styles he's right about one thing, numbers are still in the favor of Team Cage and they'll worry about things tonight first, then Lockdown. Scott Steiner then intercedes with asking about his title shot and walks away as Cage chastises his team for thinking about themselves first, then turns around to see Abyss standing there, gets a sour look on his face and asks Abyss if he ever washes his mask and walks away leaving Leticia to silently laugh away from camera as Abyss grunts his disapproval.
Jeremy Borash is in the locker room with Kevin Nash, Lethal and Sonjay Dutt. Borash points out the big win for Lethal as Nash corrects him with "Black Machismo" and tells Lethal he promised him he could trust him. Lethal goes into Savage mode and says he trusts Nash but what about Sonjay? Nash tells "Vin-Man" to come into view and Dutt comes in with more remnants of Nash's closet, this week modelling the Vinnie Vegas jacket. Nash coaxes Dutt into a "Fuhgeddaboutit" but Sonjay's not feeling the vibe and walks away as Nash tries to tell him it's money. Borash calls it a work in progress and turns to notice Eric Young sitting in the corner. Borash tries to talk to Young but is interrupted by Robert Roode who tells Borash that he was told not to talk to Eric without his permission. Roode then tells Borash to hold the mic nice and tight while he tells Petey Williams that as far as Roode is concerned Lockdown can start tonight. James Storm loudly (and drunkenly?) interjects about Chris Harris being used to blindfolds. Roode goes back to the subject at hand and tells him he can try to be a friend to Eric Young all he wants, it doesn't matter because he'll show everybody Sunday night that it pays to be Roode. Roode asks Jackie if she's ready to give Gail Kim a taste of the beating she'll get at Lockdown and Jackie replies in the affirmative before the crew leave the locker room. Roode reminds Eric Young beforehand he is to stay in the locker room and not move.
Match 2: Robert Roode (w/ Ms. Brooks) and Miss Jackie vs. Petey Williams and Gail Kim
Despite Petey's attempts to restrain her, Kim attacks Jackie at the bell as Williams squares off with Roode. The faces get the early edge with stereo flapjacks, then Kim dispatches Williams to handle Roode, which he does with a slingshot hurancanrana to the outside as Kim focuses on Jackie in the ring. Kim drops a knee on Jackie then bounces her repeatedly off the mat then lays in some punches before Roode, somehow dispatching of Petey outside, returns to the ring and pulls off Kim and lays her out with a backdrop suplex. A heel Gail Kim never would've stood for that. Petey returns with a shoulderblock to Roode's mid-section from outside, then a slingshot jaw-breaker to return inside the ring. Williams is all fired up now and delivers a flying forearm to Roode in the corner, then lays in punches on Roode in the corner before Jackie intercedes with a rake to the eyes. Roode almost takes Williams out of his boots with a clothesline, then we see the referee on the outside checking on Gail Kim. Back in the ring Roode punishes Williams some more in the corner, laying in some fists of his own and reverse whips Williams back into the corner, meets Petey's boots on the way in but reverses Williams' momentum into a spinebuster as we go to a commercial break.
We return to action with Jackie in the ring trying to beat down Petey but Petey gets up and strongarms Jackie over to the ropes, unfortunately right within distance of a blind tag to Roode, who gives Williams a good tag to the chops before entering the ring to continue the assault. As Roode continues to beat down Williams, the referee has somehow managed to drag Gail Kim halfway up the ramp. Back to action Petey catches Roode in a slow moment and fires in a series of punches, then follows up with a spinning wheel kick on Roode. In a miraculous moment of healing Kim returns full speed to the ring and goes after Jackie again, diverting the referee's attention away from the legal men in the ring. Kim drags Jackie in by the hair and tries to get at her but the referee (smartly so, one would say) sandwiches himself between the two ladies to prevent the physicality. In the background action we see Williams hit an enzuiguiri on Roode, draping Roode over the second rope in place for the hesitation dropkick from Williams. Williams hits a side Russian leg-sweep on Roode as the referee is still tied up with the ladies, leaving James Storm to come down to interfere, but Williams tries to head him off at the pass and exchanges punches with Storm on the apron. Roode sees the opening and rolls up Williams, knocking Storm to the floor but getting the pin with a handful of tights.
Winner: Robert Roode and Miss Jackie
Post-match, Gail Kim is still trying to extract a pound of flesh from Jackie but is once again manhandled by Roode. Before Jackie and Storm can take advantage Chris Harris comes down to try to make the save, quickly dropping Storm and Roode, then lifting Jackie by the neck up high before Storm clips his leg, leaving the faces in peril yet again. Camera goes to the ramp where Eric Young, the world's worst listener apparently, is walking to the ring with chair in hand. Young hits the ring and chases Storm away, then Jackie leaving him man to man with Roode, who begs him to hit him. Roode quickly darts out of the ring and grabs the house mic and tells Young to put the chair down, as Roode owns him and can make sure he'll never wrestle again in his life. A dejected Young leaves the ring and is led up the ramp by the ear by Ms. Brooks. Funny stuff.
Borash is in the back hallway trying to get a word out of the newly mysterious Fallen Angel, Christopher Daniels, but is rebuffed on all of his questions until Borash's suggestion the bat is related to Sting. Daniels shoves Borash against the wall with the bat and walks away and as Borash laments another failed interview LAX appears with a hog-tied Brother Runt. Konnan (sans wheelchair) walks up and says since they couldn't find 3D they found the next best thing (i.e. a family member) and says he will suffer the consequences and shows off his weapon of choice to Borash before departing to the ring.
We're back and a promo for the Electrified Cage Match plays to neatly segue into LAX's presence in the ring. Konnan rolls out the usual fat jokes before deciding to make an example of Runt, blaming the usual suspects for the plight of Latino Nation. 3D appear up on the ramp to ask them not to shoot their brother but Konnan says he's like the American police, shoot first and ask questions later and pulls the trigger on the taser, ostensibly shocking the booze from Runt's system before 3D rushes down and clears the ring. A worried Tenay asks the cameras to cut away from the action in the ring and as 3D try to tend to their fallen brother we go to another commercial.
Back from commercial, a somber Tenay and West recap the situation from before the break, then wonder what the mindset of Team 3D is now going into Lockdown, another segue into a vignette for Lethal Lockdown.
Match 3: A.J. Styles vs. Samoa Joe (winner gets numbers edge at Lockdown)
As Tenay and West debate Team Angle's ability to prepare due to the unknown member, Tenay drives home the importance of this match to Lockdown itself. Styles dodges a couple kicks from Joe and lets Joe know about it. Joe scores with kick number three, however, knocking Styles dizzy. Joe lays in a few more kicks and Styles tries a block but Joe rolls through and locks up Styles' ankle which causes Styles to scurry to the ropes for the break. Joe scores again with a chop to the back and a kick to the chest, then goes to the ropes which Styles first leapfrogs over Joe, then ducks under the return trip and sets to dropkick Joe, who wisely sidesteps Styles letting him hit nothing but air, then Joe follows with a knee to the chest which warranted a replay. Back to live action, Styles avoids Joe's bullrush into the corner, then punches Joe into the corner before Joe catapults Styles to the ring apron. Styles pokes the eye then jumps to the top rope and hits Joe with a flying forearm to send us to the last commercial break.
Back to action Styles still has the edge on Joe, even lifting him up for a body slam which appeared to take as much out of Styles as it did Joe. Styles with a kneedrop of his own to Joe's chest as we replay the action before the break, we go live and Joe tries to punch out of Styles' grasp but A.J. backs him into the corner with forearms, then gives Joe a couple shoulderblocks to back him in further. Styles chokes Joe in the corner then rakes Joe's back. Styles goes to pull Joe out of the corner but Joe punches free, then runs the ropes but Styles goes low on a dropkick taking out Joe's leg. Styles backs Joe into one corner then shoots him to the opposite corner then follows in with a running clothesline. Joe staggers out of the corner and as Styles goes in to continue the assault Joe fires back with punches, then goes to whip Styles to a corner but Styles reverses to send Joe in. Styles tries to follow with another clothesline but Joe catches him in mid-air and sends Styles crashing to the mat. Joe levels Styles with a couple double axe-handles, Styles returns the fire with a headbutt to the gut, Styles runs the ropes at Joe who powerslams Styles for a nearfall of two.
Joe lifts Styles for more punishment but Styles drops down with a jawbreaker to escape. Joe sends Styles to a corner but Styles comes back off with an inverted DDT for a nearfall of his own. Styles backs Joe into a corner again but Joe blocks his attempted offense with punches then goes up top to scissorkick Styles but Styles moves and Joe takes out referee Andrew Thomas. Joe's up first and goes to check on the ref which leaves him open for a round kick from Styles. Styles sets up for a Styles Clash but is backdropped off by Joe. Styles staggers to a corner where he is met by the running knee from Joe, who goes to set up Styles for a Muscle Buster but Styles slips out of his grasp. Styles tries for the go-behind roll up but is yanked off by Joe who locks in the Kokina Clutch and as Styles does a tap out for the false finish we see up the ramp that Christian Cage is waving forth his troops. Not to be outdone, Team Angle quickly makes their way down the ramp to head off the interference and as both teams brawl at ringside we hear music not heard in quite some time. As Tenay and West are incredulous, Jeff Jarrett makes his return to the Impact Zone with guitar in hand and hits the ring. He faces down Joe at first, holds up five fingers and proceeds to waffle Styles with the guitar. Jarrett smiles, holds up the five fingers again and leaves the ring much to Joe's surprise. Joe quickly covers Styles as the referee wakes from slumber and counts to three, giving Team Angle a fifth man, and more importantly the advantage in the Lethal Lockdown match this Sunday.
Winner: Samoa Joe
Post-match we are treated to various reactions from the participants in the Lethal Lockdown match, all of them pretty much in disbelief and that counts for members of both teams as Sting and Samoa Joe animatedly display.
A nice series of promos from participants in several different matches on Sunday's PPV finishes off this week's program.
High Impact Points
1. Samoa Joe vs. A.J. Styles - As much as we criticize (and rightly so) the throwaway matches between the main event players they feature from time to time, you have to also give credit where credit is due in which the amount of time they gave to the match (more than acceptable), the level of action between the two combatants (exactly what you'd expect) and more importantly the stakes of the match to sell the PPV (extremely well sold) made for one of the best Impact main events in recent memory.
2. Black Machismo - Yes, you can argue with its originality (or seeming lack thereof) but you can't deny that in the TNA atmosphere Jay Lethal was going to need a little something extra to stand out from the pack, and since the decision was made to use Lethal's gift of imitation, it would do a disservice to go any less than 100% with it whether it was entertaining or if it bombed. Even the most jaded observer would have to admit it's somewhat of a guilty pleasure to watch him work this gimmick. I'd still like to see some of Lethal's work combined with Savage's moveset and by incorporating the Lethal Combination it appears they are willing to do just that. The jury's still out on what happens to Sonjay, but who's to say lightning can't strike twice?
3. Christian Cage/A.J. Styles - I could almost retire this from a high point, but you can't deny that these two performers work so well off of each other. Styles may not necessarily demonstrate what Cage brings to his promos, but by the same token it's hard to picture Christian doing what Styles brings to the mix so they compliment each other so well it never fails to make for entertaining T.V. and what will definitely sell a feud between the two somewhere down the road.
Low Impact Points
1. Selective security - Suspension of disbelief, as usual, continues to be the lowlight of TNA programming. Apparently you can have security on hand to break up catfights in Jim Cornette's office (last week) but when a performer is physically abducted and brought into the ring to be shot with a Taser and not a single security member is in sight? Unless Robert Roode bought off the security team to make them supervise Eric Young sitting in the corner (more on that fiasco in a bit) it's just another in the long line of horribly lazy oversights which brings TNA's creative team to be held in such little regard.
2. Robert Roode's "contract" - So if Jim Cornette has made it clear that he is charge of declaring who receives title shots in TNA, would it stand to reason then that he also has a fair say in decisions involving talent relations? It's one thing for Robert Roode to say that he can make it to where Eric Young can't wrestle anymore because he says so, but unless Roode is also writing checks to Mama Cornette he shouldn't have any say whatsoever in Eric Young being fired by TNA management, so basically the entire angle is based on Roode's power over somebody that he really doesn't even possess, or at least can't enforce.
3. Petey Williams - Throw another broken record on the pile, but since turning into a defacto face during the LAX flag burning angle, has Petey Williams been made to look anything other than the stupidest person on the planet? Countless interferences, mismatches, outnumberings and beatdowns have been the staple of any story involving Petey, and unless he's involved somehow with Eric Young this pattern doesn't look to change, and that's an absolute crime for someone as talented as he is to get saddled with this repeatedly. I'd be willing to bet he'd jump at the chance to thrown on Nash's old Oz gear just to get away from the albatross he's currently lugging around. Same applies for Gail Kim here, just sub in Chris Harris for Eric Young.
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