TV REPORTS KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 1/3: Four Gauntlet Matches, Styles's Conundrum, Final Resolution Hype
Jan 5, 2008 - 7:52:24 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Wade Keller, Torch editor
KELLERS TNA IMPACT REPORT
JANUARY 3, 2008
TAPED ON SPIKE TV
-After clips of last week's show, Jeremy Borash stood in front of A.J. Styles's grandmother's townhouse in Gainsville, Ga. Borash said he received word earlier in the week from Styles's family that he wouldn't be at the show and, in fact, Styles had been holed up at his grandmother's house. Borash was welcomed inside by Styles's sister. He met other members of his family. Borash knocked on a door that featured pictures of Kurt Angle and Christian on the door. Borash talked to Styles through the door, asking him for his decision. Borash said he wouldn't leave until he got an answer. Styles's family went berserk knowing they were on TV.
-The TNA Impact opening aired. Then Mike Tenay wished everyone a happy new year and introduced the show as the camera frenetically panned the crowd and pryo blasted. Don West talked about all of the gauntlet matches planned for the show.
-They went to Jim Cornette and Matt Morgan standing in mid-ring. Cornette said for the first time ever on one TV show, there'd be four gauntlet matches that would decide the rankings for all four of TNA's divisions - heavyweight, X, women's, and tag team. He shifted into a plug for Sunday's PPV - Robert Roode & Ms. Brooks vs. Booker T & Sharmell. As Cornette plugged Christian Cage vs. Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe's music interrupted. He complained about not getting title shots despite destroying everyone who has gotten in his way. He complained especially about Kevin Nash and Scott Hall, whom he called the phantom of the Impact Zone, a tag team title match, but he can't get one.
Kevin Nash walked out and interrupted Joe's interruption. He said he stood in the ring at Turning Point and listened to him take shots at he and Hall. "Scott Hall has more problems in an hour than you'll have in a lifetime. You don't have the right to run your mouth about Scott Hall," he said. The crowd reacted with some applause. He said Joe reminds him of Hall and himself when they were younger. He said, though, that Joe hadn't reached the place the Outsiders have yet and he needs to recognize it. Joe said even the most historically significant pack leaders have to move aside of be put aside. That also got applause. Nash said he isn't going to walk aside, so he maybe it's time he try to push him aside. Cornette said he has heard them both and he's going to give them what they want - sort of. Cornette said he was going to give Nash & Hall a tag team title shot, but since Hall "apparently Mr. Hall has other plans," the title match is off and he's off Final Resolution. He said the only fair thing to do is to team with each other for the tag title match at the PPV. Nash and Joe glared each other, uneasy with Cornette's "compromise." He said they can take the offer or be completely off the PPV. Good segment.
-Crystal interviewed Roode and Brooks. He talked about the opportunity to face Booker and Sharmell. Brooks said she despises everything about him, saying it takes quite a man to hit a woman. She asked why she has to fight Booker and Sharmell because she has no problems with either of them. Roode said his problems are hers and to do what she is told for once in her life. He shouted, "Say it, say it, say it." She wouldn't. He said he might send her back to the strip club where he found her. She said, "It pays to be Roode." He let out a satisfied left and walked away.
-Crystal interviewed Team 3D and Johnny Devine backstage. She was sick of Team 3D and refused to interview them, so she walked off. Brother Ray complained about their ranking in the tag division. He said they're the greatest team of all time. He said they've been training hard for Ultimate X such as scaling buildings. Devine said he's like King Kong. Devon blew his top. Ray stepped in and told Devine, "That was stupid." Well, he's right about that. Devon did his, "Oh my brother, testify" close. Kip James interrupted, ad told Team 3D to watch their carbs. Ray shot back, "Where can I get a pair pants like those, Daisy." B.G. James laughed. Kip asked when he's going to announce that he's his tag partner for the tag title shot he earned. B.G. said he has his eye on somebody. Kip yelled, "Do I need to remind you of where we've been." He talked about their 12 years together. He gave B.G. a crotch chop and shouted, "Scout this!"
1 -- TAG TEAM GAUNTLET MATCH
Lance Hoyt entered first followed by Kip. Tenay said B.G. may be shopping for a new partner because of the way Kip dresses. Tenay said he thinks Kip lost a bet. West said he knows Kip and he probably shopped for that. That whole exchange sounded totally scripted. Tenay is especially ineffective reading prepared scripted lines without sounding like he's reading lines written by someone else. Devon came out a minute later. Then Alex Shelley and Homicide. Homicide ducked a charging Kip, who fell to the floor. West said Kip can return if his partner, B.G., makes it to the final two at which point it becomes a regular tag match. Jimmy Rave came out next. Then B.G., Ray, and Chris Sabin. Devon was eliminated before Ray entered. B.G. was eliminated to mark the first complete team elimination. Hernandez made the final entrance. Ray and Hernandez worked together, but then Hernandez followed up a high-five with a clothesline.
Seconds after returning from the break, Shelley and Sabin finished Rave with a double-team sequence.
WINNERS: Motor City Machine Guns in 16:00.
STAR RATING: *3/4
-After the match, Devine and Team 3D attacked the Guns. They gave Shelley and Sabin their 3D move. Devine brought a table into the ring. Devine and Devon held the hands of Shelley and Sabin on the table, then Ray bashed them with the kendo stick. Tenay and West said that was an attempt to break their hands so they can't climb in the Ultimate X match. Black Machismo and Petey Williams made the save. Ray said they now have the advantage in the Ultimate X match.
-Crystal interviewed Kurt and Karen Angle backstage. Crystal said it appears Styles's decision could go either way. So could Tomko. Kurt asked if she was kidding, because he can offer what they both want personally and professionally. Kurt said A.J. may not be at the building, but he'll secure Tomko. Angle closed: "Never underestimate the brains of Kurt Angle, because as they say in a drawer full of knives, I may not be the sharpest." Crystal laughed and Karen said she obviously did not marry Kurt for his brains.
-Borash, back at A.J.'s house, he interviewed Miss McGuillicutty, his third grade teacher, apparently just hanging out with the family. She said A.J.'s actions don't surprise her. She said he was always a shy guy, and had a lot of zits from eating too much chocolate. Styles yelled from behind his door, "Oh, come on!" McGuillicutty yelled in a glass-breaking high-pitch for A.J. to come out immediately. He didn't. Styles said he'd remain there until they got an answer with Final Resolution just a few days away.
-Tenay and West were shown at ringside talking about Fina Resolution. They ran down the line-up.
2 -- KNOCKOUTS GAUNTLET MATCH
Angelina Love and Ms. Brooks were the first two out.No close-up this week when Love rubbed her crotch against the middle rope seductively as she entered the ring. No horny gushing by West. Miss Jackie, Velvet Sky, and Christy Hemme were out next. Christy's split legdrop is pretty impressive. ODB came out next with her signature charge to the ring. The crowd popped for her. Tenay and West noted the crowd response for her. ODB eliminated Brooks. Roxxi Laveaux came out next followed by Awesome Kong. Kong eliminated Love. With ODB, Roxxi, Kong, and Jackie left, they cut to a break.
Kong's three opponents teamed up to eliminate her after the break. Roxxi eliminated Jackie afterward, leaving ODB and Roxxi. Roxxi stopped ODB's "Dirty Dozen" spot and made a comeback. The crowd chanted "ODB, ODB." ODB patted her boobs and then hit Roxxi with a Thesz press off the second rope for the win. Tenay asked whether that would be seen as a landmark victory in the career of ODB.
WINNER: ODB in 10:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4
-Crystal interviewed Tomko about Angle's plans to "demand his allegience." Tomko said from now on he's not going to allow people to demand anything of him. He said he's put up with a lot from Christian over the years and now he's dealing with Angle. He said he's going to demand respect from Angle for bailing him out of the asinine situations he gets himself into each week. He said it stops right here tonight.
-Tomko stood mid-ring and called out Angle. This is an interesting test for Tomko, who's been simmering as a potential breakout character for a long time, and he has a real chance to elevate in 2008 up the TNA roster. He's got a good look and personality and enough experience in the ring in Japan to bring something fresh to his matches if they are positioned to matter, although his rep is that he sticks a little too closely to some tendencies he picks up Japan that management feels don't translate well in the context of TNA. Angle stepped into the ring and said he doesn't wait for anybody, and he's tired of he and A.J. playing games, so he wants an answer before his title defense against Christian on Sunday night. "Are you with me or are you without me?" he asked. Tomko said he's right, he needs to make a decision. He said he hadn't made his mind up a few weeks ago, but the Angle Army stands for respect, loyalty, and family. He said he's asking if he'd take a bullet for he or Christian. "In that situation, Kurt, I think I'd be something like an outlet. I think I'd take a bullet for Tomko and if you and Christian went down in a blaze of glory it probably wouldn't hurt my feelings." Tenay then repeated what Tomko said by restating it, as if viewers needed a translator. Karen gasped in the background. Angle asked, "So what are you saying?" Tomko said, "I'm with Tomko and I'll give you one guess who makes decisions for Tomko: Me." Angle said he doesn't agree with his decision, but he can respect it. They shook hands. As Tomko began to turn, Angle moved toward him. Tomko turned around, grabbed him by the throat, and told him he'd give him a pass for that move because of their history. He said, though, the very next time he puts his hands on him, he'll break his neck permanently. He shoved a red-faced Angle to the mat.
-Back to A.J.'s grandmother's house. Borash interviewed Coach Butterman, Styles's wrestling coach. He reminisced about A.J.'s high school match against a girl. He told an embarrassing story of A.J. peeing. Styles burst out of the door and claimed it was Mountain Dew. Borash threw back to the arena, but vowed to get an answer tonight.
-Back to the Styles family house. Borash interviewed Marry Jane. She threatened to tell Borash and the viewers something they don't know about him. She said like most young boys, "he was frisky" and one day she walked in on him in the bathroom. A.J. interrupted and asked for a balony sandwich. She said as soon as he revealed what side he's going to be with. He refused, but did ask Borash if he had Tomko's new cell phone number.
-Crystal interviewed Black Machismo and Sonjay Dutt backstage. She asked about Dutt stealing a kiss with So Cal Val. Machismo accused Dutt of glancing at Liz and made a reference to John Stossell. He referred to Dutt as Bollea. Dutt kissed Crystal on the cheek to show how innocent a kiss can be. He offered to kiss Machismo. He said, "I don't swing like that, Adonis. We may be the Mega Powers, but I've got my eye on you." Dutt said, "A kiss is a kiss." They walked away and Christian walked in and said since that interview bombed, he'd step up. Christian said he'd become the World Champion at Final Resolution for the third time.
3 -- X DIVISION GAUNTLET MATCH
Sonjay Dutt walked out first followed by Petey Williams, who brought his X Division briefcase with him. They cut to a break before the match began.
The match began as soon as they got back from the break. A minute later, Shark Boy walked out limping. He managed to powerbomb Dutt and Petey off the top rope. Elix Skipper was out fourth. Tenay said things haven't been the same for Triple X's remaning members - Skipper and Senshi - since Christopher Daniels drew the briefcase with the pink slip. Skipper dove at Dutt in the corner, but Dutt moved and Skipper tumbled over the top rope to the floor. Johnny Devine came out fifth and was jumped by others immediately. Devine eliminated Shark Boy, but Petey and Dutt refocused on him. Next out was Senshi. Devine tried to talk Seshi into siding with him, but Senshi shoved him into Dutt and Petey who flipped him over the top rope to the floor. Dutt mistakenly landed on Petey, then Petey tossed Dutt over the top rope. It came down to Petey vs. Senshi. Petey hit the Canadian Destroyer a minute or so later for the clean win.
WINNER: Williams in 8:00.
STAR RATING: **
-Crystal interviewed James Storm and Miss Jackie. They complained about Eric Young claiming to be the drinking champion. He claimed Young cheated by spilling beer onto his chest as he drank, saying he must be trying to grow something down there - quite the comment from someone with a smooth chest himself. Storm issued a new drinking challenge.
-Back to A.J.'s grandmother's house, Borash interviewed a Catholic priest about A.J.'s days as an altar boy. It turned out it was a different A.J. as A.J. popped out of the room and said he's Baptist. Not even close to funny.
-West and Tenay quickly ran down the Sunday PPV line-up.
-Crystal interviewed Booker T and Sharmell backstage. Booker said his wife joined him in TNA to provide moral support, not wrestle, so he's about to confront Jim Cornette. Sharmell said she's not scared and she's ready to get revenge for the things Roode said about her.
4 -- HEAVYWEIGHT GAUNTLET MATCH
Booker T came out first, without Sharmell. Matt Morgan was shown watching at ringside. Tenay said Booker requested he come out number one. James Storm was out second. Then Robert Roode and Eric Young came out a minute and two later.
After the break, Scott Steiner entered. Kaz, Chris Harris, Black Reign, and Rellik were also entered during the break. Judas Messias walked out next just as Harris was eliminated. Kevin Nash entered next. As Abyss's music played, Messias eliminated Steiner and Young quickly. The lights went down, and then came back on with Abyss standing mid-ring. He went right after Messias. He clotheslined Messias over the top rope, but also went over himself. Entering next was Samoa Joe. The last scheduled to enter was Christian. Reign eliminated Booker just as Booker was trying to eliminate Rellik. Angle snuck up to the side of the entrance tunnel as Christian's music played, but Christian didn't walked out. Angle turned to ask Morgan where Christian was. At tha point Christian jumped Angle from behind. Reign was eliminated by Nash as Angle and Christian brawled on the aisle. Angle rammed Christian into a ringpost at ringside. Security pulled Angle away. It was down to Joe and Nash in the ring. Nash offered a handshake. Joe accepted. Nash then stepped over the top rope to eliminate himself as a sign of friendship. As Joe watched, a recovered Christian schoolboyed Joe for the win. He retreated through the crowd immediately.
WINNER: Christian in 14:00.
STAR RATING: *
-Back Borash, he said he promised viewers an answer and he wanted one now. Styles said, "I'm going with Christian." Then he changed his mind and said, "I'm going with Kurt." As Borash began reporting on that sudden change in decision with a straight-face, Styles said he wouldn't make up his mind until Final Resolution.
-A final video pitch aired for the Final Resolution line-up.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The problem here is the Gauntlet Matches didn't really add up to anything that had any affect on the PPV matches, and confused the notion of there being number one contenders headed into the PPV. The content of the matches were just rushed through with so many rapid eliminations. The Styles skits ranged from mildly amusing to completely not funny, with Borash holding everything together by making the best of it with his improved straight-man personal in the midst of ridiculousness. Tomko was solid as usual in his role. The Nash-Joe storyline has been advanced well. Okay show, average for Impact these days.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**