TV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/22: Lots of slapstick comedy and a really good main event
Nov 23, 2007 - 10:15:55 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT
NOVEMBER 22, 2007
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
TAPED 11/11 IN ORLANDO, FLA.
WHAT HAPPENED: 1ST HOUR
-After clips of last week's show, the James Earl Jones voiceover guy introduced the Thanksgiving theme'd TNA Impact, including a mix of clips of TNA with a college football stadium as the Monday Night Football theme played. It hyped the Turkey Bowl. They said Black Machismo, Christian Cage, A.J. Styles, and Samoa Joe were favorites to win. There were a bunch of football puns throughout. It was nicely produced, but it didn't really explain anything about the Turkey Bowl. And anything named Turkey Bowl sounds like a joke, not a serious tournament. This video, while well-produced and cleverly full of puns and such, didn't really build to anything concrete.
-They cut to Kurt Angle heading up a Thanksgiving feast with his daughter, A.J. Styles, Tomko, Jeremy Borash, and Karen Angle. Kurt had everyone hold hands. Borash reached across the table to hold Karen's hand rather than Styles next to him. Tomko put up a fuss about taking his cap off before grace. Angle led the prayer, thanking the Lord for their family. Styles slipped a wad of noodles. Karen and Styles sneered at each other and showed chewed food in their mouths. Angle was thankful that TNA writers weren't on strike, even though they don't receive DVD residuals and thankful that Pacman Jones was no longer with them. Angle pointed off camera and said, "Hey, look, the TNA Turkey Bowl is on." Everyone turned to watch as the TNA Impact opening aired. So far the show seems aimed at family members who don't like wrestling but are being forced to watch by a wrestling fan. I think the time could have been better spent so far getting all viewers to care about a few key characters who have a personal issue and plan to try to solve it later, with the same creativity and production values applied to that goal.
-Mike Tenay introduced the show with more hype for the Turkey Bowl. Don West hyped the stips, which includes three three-way matches and a three-way finals where the winner gets $25,000 and the loser must wear a turkey suit.
1 -- BROTHER DEVON vs. CHRIS SABIN vs. ABYSS
Devon brought the X Title belt with him to the ring that he and Brother Ray stole from Black Machismo. Devon met Sabin on the rampway to start the match. Seconds into the match, as Devon clotheslined Sabin out of the ring, Abyss's music played and he walked out. At 4:00 Black Reign and Rellik attacked Abyss. Rhino ran to ringside to make the save. Tenay plugged Turning Point's tag match featuring those four and ten thousand tacks. Sabin threw a barrage of punches at Devon in the corner, most of which looked lousy. Brother Ray entered the ring, but Sabin kicked him down right away, then schoolboyed Devon for the win.
WINNER: Sabin in 6:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Just a lot of moves and outside interference.
-They showed Kevin Nash and Scott Hall arriving backstage. Nash asked where Angle's shindig was. They thought they'd be uninvited guests for some desert.
-A commercial aired for the "History of TNA: Year One" DVD.
-A commercial aired with Booker T stating next week he'd reveal why he came to TNA.
-Back to Angle's dinner table, Robert Roode and Miss Brooks entered. Angle said, "Thanks for being late." Next James Storm and Miss Jackie walked in, followed by Chris Harris. Harris complained about the directions being lousy. Angle told him to be thankful. Then came Eric Young. Everybody was late at once. How convenient. Angle made Young sit at the little kid's small table off to the side with Angle's daughter.
2 -- KIP JAMES vs. SAMOA JOE vs. JOHNNY DEVINE (formerly Havok)
West said Joe is obviously the favorite in this match. Tenay talked about the third semi-final match including both Christian and Styles. He said they'd likely not get along well given recent events. B.G. James tripped Joe from ringside, leading to the first advantage for Devine and Kip. A minute later Kip and Devine argued, giving Joe a chance to recover and get up and powerslam Devine and give Kip a running knee in the corner. B.G. grabbed Joe's leg. The ref ordered B.G. to the back. Devine bumped Kip off the apron into B.G. Joe then gave Devine a Muscle Buster for the three count.
WINNER: Joe in 4:00.
STAR RATING: 3/4* -- Again, just a bunch of moves. Not boring, but not really a full-fledged match.
-Shark Boy, Sonjay Dutt, and Petey Williams joined Angle at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Dutt tried to take up a collection for starving kids. Angle spit out some of his food into the tambourine collection "plate." Everyone had a seat. Storm and Young continued their drinking contest. Styles said he had to go get ready to wrestle. He left without eating much of his food.
-Tenay revisited the bracketing for the Turkey Bowl as the Monday Night Football theme music played in the background.
3 -- A.J. STYLES vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. BLACK MACHISMO
During Styles's ring entrance, they panned the Impact Zone with the camera turned sideways. It was a cool perspective. The match began before Christian's entrance took place. Tenay said the ref was ordered to start the mach without him. Good action for a few minutes including a nice high dropkick by Styles after a rapid exchange rebounding off the ropes. Christian then headed to the ring. Christian went right after Styles, who bailed out to ringside as they cut to a break.
Styles hid out in the entrance tunnel as Christian battled Machismo in the ring. As Styles headed toward the ring, Christian chased him to the back again. At 12:00 Machismo hit the Lethal Combination, then went to the top rope. Styles ran out and knocked Machismo off balance. Christian gave Machismo the Unprettier, but Styles quickly frog splashes Lethal and scored a three count before Christian turned around to make the cover. It wasn't particularly believable Christian would just sit there after the Unprettier and then act surprised when he turned and saw Styles in the ring considering behind his back Styles just hit the frog splash and the ref slapped the mat three times. Styles tried to explain to Christian he didn't mean to double-cross him in a worried/apologetic type of way as he backtracked up the rampway to get away from Christian in the ring.
WINNER: Styles in 13:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Good action, as you'd expect from these three, but a goofy finish takes away from it.
-Black Reign and Rellik joined the Thanksgiving feast. They tore apart the turkey and walked away with chunks. Reign put his pet rat in the green beans. Borash stood on a chair and Karen screamed for him to get that out of there. Angle just rubbed his face.
-A video aired hyping Booker T's joining TNA with another plug for next week's Booker T promo.
-Back to the Thanksgiving feast, Young was wearing Black Reign's wig. In walked Black Machismo, asking "Where's Okerlund? Where's Heenan? Where's the Snake?" So Cal Val walked in. Machismo laid his jacket down her to walk on and then sat next to her. West said there was budding chemistry between them.
-West and Tenay plugged the Turkey Bowl Finals, plus the Dec. 2 Turning Point PPV with the match with four cases with various stips, the 10,000 tacks match, Gail Kim vs. Awesome Kong, and the Outsiders & Joe vs. Styles & Tomko & Styles.
4 - VELVET SKY vs. ODB vs. ANGELINA LOVE
As Sky entered the ring, she rubbed the middle ring rope with her crotch. West said he's never so badly wanted to be a ring rope in his life. Well, if families were watching and chuckling at the Thanksgiving feast slapstick fest, the channel may have turned at that point. If not, ODB patting her boobs and bouncing her cleavage probably sealed the deal. ODB beat up Love quickly, yanking her to the floor and shoving her hard onto the ramp. The crowd chanted for "ODB." Love returned with a tip rope bodypress. ODB took a swig out of her flask as Love and Sky fought. ODB broke up Sky's pin attempt leading to those two fighting. ODB yanked Sky's head into her own crotch a dozen time, which is called "the Dirty Dozen." Between that move, the camera close-ups, the outfits, the gestures, the commentary, and the alcohol, this is one of those TNA matches that just seems classless and borderline sleazy rather than sexy and suggestive.
WINNER: ODB in 3:00.
STAR RATING: 1/2*
WHAT HAPPENED: 2ND HOUR
-Back to the Thanksgiving dinner, Borash pulled a Turkey baster out of his pocket. Angle did the "you happy to see me line or..." or line. Awesome Kong walked in and began eating a wax apple. "She's eating fake fruit, she's eating fake fruit," said Angle, which was funny because of its understated delivery.
-A Triple X video aired with Christopher Daniels standing between Elix Skipper and Senshi. Daniels asked, "Who among us is righteous?" He said nobody watching is. "I look at you and see nothing but weakness and fear and shame; that's why your lives are wretched, that's all you're worth. When God looks at you, when I look at you, we see nothing but waste. And that's the gospel according to the Fallen Angel." Well, some actual character development that oft-forgotten trio.
-Team 3D joined the Thanksgiving feast. Most of the guests got up and left. Angle squirted turkey gravy into Dutt's tambourine, and Dutt was excited. I guess he received Eugene's brain somewhere along the line. Devon and Ray sat next to Angle's daughter and began gnawing on a turkey leg. Angle's daughter said, "You guys suck!"
-Tenay said Angle's daughter is obviously a regular viewer of TNA Impact. Then a recap aired of the Turkey Bowl qualifying matches.
5 -- A.J. STYLES vs. SAMOA JOE vs. CHRIS SABIN
Tenay said Hall and Nash went "new school" when they picked Samoa Joe to be their partner at Turning Point. Borash handled ring intros to create a sense of prestige for the match, but the signals were mixed as th ref held up a comical turkey suit to his right. Another ref to his left showed of a $25,000 check awaiting the winner. Joe and Sabin knocked Styles out of the ring in the opening seconds, then battled each other. When Styles ran back into the ring, they side-stepped him and Styles flew to the floor. Sabin kicked Joe to ringside, then dove through the ropes onto Styles on the floor.
-A commercial aired promoting the TNA Meltdown CD featuring 20 TNA wrestler entrance themes.
The match then continued with Styles battling Sabin in the ring. Joe approached Styles, spun him around, and punched him a few times. He nailed Sabin with a roundkick to the side of his head. Sabin and Styles both rolled to the floor. Joe went for a running dive through the ropes on Sabin, but Styles cut him off with an elbow at 5:00. At 8:00 Styles settled into a chinlock. Sabin applied a chinlock on Styles at the same time. Styles held on. Joe lifted them and dropped down with a double jaw-breaker.
Sabin took control of the match after the break. Joe picked up Styles and rammed Sabin with him, then scored a two count on Styles after a powerslam. Joe came back with a big kick to the face, then slammed Sabin onto Styles, followed by a senton on Styles for a two count, broken up by Sabin. At 14:00 the crowd chanted "This is awesome!" As Sabin fought Joe in the ring, Styles grabbed a table at ringside. Styles yanked Sabin to the floor. Styles went for a suplex on a table, but Joe dove at them first. They moved, so Joe crashed through the table. They cut to third commercial break.
With Joe knocked out at ringside, Styles and Sabin battled for a few minutes. Good stuff, as you'd expect. Tenay and West reminded viewers that Hall and Nash were still planning to crash the Angle dinner. At 22:00 Styles hit the Styles Clash, but Joe returned just in time to break up the pin. Joe caught a flying Styles and dropped him on his head in a vicious move that should never be anything but a decisive finishing move. Sabin threw a spin elbow at Joe, then they cut to yet another break.
-Another commercial aired hyping Booker T's promo next week.
Tenay said the Turkey Bowl featured the type of action that shows what separates TNA from everyone else. Styles surprised Joe with a Pele kick at 28:00, but Joe fired right back with a one-armed slam and Muscle Buster for the win.
WINNER: Joe in 28:00 to win $25,000.
STAR RATING: ***1/2 -- Really good match. Probably better than this rating live, but with four commercial breaks, only a little over half of it actually aired. A showcase TV match for TNA, though, which is no surprise given the three involved.
-They cut to Angle saying he wasn't going to let Styles be humiliated in a turkey suit. They showed Kong still gnawing at a fake apple.
-Back in the ring, Styles refused to let the refs force a turkey suit on him. Tenay said he just received word that Jim Cornette is headed to the ring. He said Cornette surely wants justice. Justice for what?
-Another commercial aired pushing Booker T's "in-ring debut" for TNA, not counting last week when Booker T stood in the ring with Sharmell and Jim Cornette. Do they mean "wrestling debut" or do they not remember last week.
-Hall and Nash each threw pies in Karen Angle's face. Machismo called for a food fight. A food fight ensued. Kong got to eat real food thrown at her, so there was a bright side.
-Cornette said Styles has been the biggest turkey in TNA for a long time, so he now he's going to prove it. He said he would not let Styles cheat the fans out of what they deserve to see. Cornette told him to put the suit on. Styles caved in for some reason and began putting on the turkey leg warmers. Cornette told him to "put it all the way on or you're all the way fired." Why doesn't Cornette tell the same thing to Team 3D about returning the X Title belt they stole? Just askin'. The crowd chanted "Gobble, Gobble." Tenay said, 'This is our Thanksgiving night payoff!" Styles reluctantly put the turkey suit all the way on. As Tenay began the sign-off with several minutes left in the second hour, Angle walked to ringside in his pilgrim outfit. He entered the ring, Tomko followed. Angle said: "You have got to be kidding me. I have never been so humiliated in my entire life." Styles pointed out Angle's costume. Angle said there's a big difference between a pilgrim and a turkey. Joe walked out onto the stage along with Hall and Nash. Joe said they look like three jackasses. Angle said, "I'd rather be a jackass than a Samoan," then he did a snorting laugh. Joe said, "Before the Kurt Angle comedy hour bombs more than it has already, gentleman, let's go kick some ass." As they walked to the ring, Tenay asked for extra time in the show if possible. A three-on-three brawl broke out as West plugged Turning Point's main event again. Young walked into the ring with at turkey leg. As Hall held Angle, Young shoved a turkey leg in Angle's mouth.
-Another plug aired for Booker T's "in-ring wrestling debut" next week. Okay, they cleared that up this time.
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