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CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 4/24: Ongoing coverage of Spike TV show

Apr 24, 2008 - 10:00:12 PM

By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

TNA Impact on Spike TV
April 24, 2008
Taped Apr. 16 in Orlando, Florida
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist

Opening: They started with Matt Morgan leading Lauren down the hallway, when they walked past Kip James. Morgan then jumped Kip and slammed him into a wall. They appeared to be in an aquarium. Morgan then blasted Kip while he was on the floor. He screamed at him that it's one down, and two to go. And Morgan is a babyface?

Opening video: They recapped last week, leading to tonight's Joe vs. Angle re-match. Tonight's message: "What are you willing to Sacrifice?" Well, that's an open-ended question. I'd sacrifice dessert for the Rockets to beat the Jazz tonight.

Impact Zone: They started in the building with Booker T's music. Booker walked to the ring dressed to wrestle, and Tenay recapped the issues between Booker and Sting at the end of last week's show. Tenay with the first WCW name-drop at 8:03 p.m. CST. Booker took the mic while standing in the ring and said he wanted to address Sting. He said there's been a lot on his mind the past week, so he wants Sting to come out and talk things out. Once Sting was in the ring, Booker brought up their history. He said they even watched a company crumble before their very eyes, but they were always there for each other. Booker said he got hot last week and disrespected Sting. He apologized, then Sting shook his hand to accept.

Robert Roode's music interrupted, though, and out walked Roode, Jackie, and James Storm. Storm with the first words talking about that touching moment. Storm laughed about them being cool back in the '80s, then said Booker and Sting just need to get married on national TV. He said Sting's facepaint is perfect for Showtime. Storm said Booker's weave has never looked better. Roode then said what his drunk cowboy friend is trying to say that he wants to see Sting vs. Booker tonight. He said the people in the building at watching at home on TV want to see that battle.

Jim Cornette interrupted the proceedings and said the last time he checked, he has the authority to sign matches. Cornette said Roode is dressed real nice - like the head of the board of directors of a massage parlor. Speaking from experience? Cornette said he's tired of people thinking of themselves and not about the TNA team. He said he's come up with a concept for Sacrifice to determine the TNA Tag Title situation. Cornette announced a Deuces Wild tournament deal of some sorts. Basically, a Strange Bedfellows/Battle Bowl tag team deal. Cornette suggested he would have some written material explaining all of this. Booker, Sting, Storm, and Roode looked dumbfounded by Cornette's explanation. He then booked for tonight Sting & Booker vs. Storm & Roode.

Backstage: They quickly cut backstage where Borash found A.J. Styles hiding. Styles said the Deuces Wild deal is a load of crap, but they can't do anything about it. Borash said J.C. is mixing things up. Styles asked who J.C. is. Borash said it's Jim Cornette. Suddenly, Styles pulled Karen Angle out of this hiding place, and she was utterly embarrassed by having Borash spot her. She complained about not belonging here anymore, while scared about Kurt finding out she's here. Karen asked Borash if he could keep it quiet. Borash (almost too authentically) vehemently denied that he's a snitch. Styles and Karen then walked off.

In-ring: Rellik and Black Reign walked to the ring for the first of the Deuces Wild tag team deal. Team 3D then came out as the opposition. They're apparently back on good terms, as they walked out together.


1 -- BLACK REIGN & RELLIK vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON) -- Deuces Wild tag team tournament qualifier match

No commercial break thus far. The match started with Rellik working on Brother Ray. Team 3D then had a miscommunication and almost ran into each other. They had a brief argument before cutting to a break.

[Commercial Break]

All monsters out of the break, with Devon being worked on by Rellik. Cornette sent word to Tenay that the second DW qualifier will be Sabin & Shelley vs. Rhino & Christian. Ray then took a hot tag and did a double splash in the corner on the Monsters. Ray with a chokeslam on Rellik for an apparent three count, but the ref said Rellik got his shoulder up. Fans were upset with the ref for blowing the call. Tenay pointed out how crazy for Team 3D to get sympathy from the crowd. Ray complained, which allowed Monsters to regain control momentarily. 3D then came back with the 3D on Rellik for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Team 3D in 10:00. Not a bad match. Pretty good final few minutes for a TV tag match. Interesting to see the potential babyface turn for Team 3D with the match-up here. (*1/4)

Backstage: Lauren was in TNA Knockouts locker room to hold a mic. Everyone had invitations to some big meeting later in the show. Angelina Love suggested Cornette has something creepy in mind. Velvet asked ODB if she has a house on wheels to get back to. ODB got up and suggested a mint. There was someone sitting in the far back of the locker room completely no-selling all of this non-sense, but I couldn't tell who that was.

[Commercial Break]


Backstage: Borash found Kurt Angle sitting in his locker room staring straight ahead. Kurt cut off Borash's line of questioning before he could snitch about Karen, then Kurt talked in a trance about beating Joe tonight. He said it's going to happen tonight, then at Sacrifice, he will successfully defend his title against Rick Steiner. "You mean Scott Steiner?" Borash asked. "Whatever," Kurt said. Borash was about to leave, but then he spilled the beans on Karen being here tonight with Styles. Kurt snapped out of his trance, then shoved Borash out of the way to go find Karen.

Announcers: Tenay and West talked about Angle losing his focus. West said if Joe loses tonight, then he only would have held the belt for less than two weeks. It's not Tuesday night is it? Tenay and West then segued to a really good video package on the ongoing feud between Angle and Joe.

Video from earlier today: Tenay met up with Joe and Kevin Nash working out in the ring in an empty Impact Zone. Nash said the training never stops because Joe is the TNA champ and he's not going to let himself down. Tenay said Angle isn't going to hold back tonight. Joe said Angle always gives him the best, which he expects. He said the punishment isn't going to stop just with Angle, but also at Sacrifice against Steiner. Good commercial-to-commercial segment hyping Joe vs. Angle.

[Commercial Break]

Video package: Tenay and West recapped the wild tag team title situation involving Super Eric, Eric Young, Kaz, Styles, Tomko, and Cornette.

Backstage: Lauren brought in Eric Young and Kaz for a promo. Young was flipping out about people lurking around. Kaz then said he's been busting ass trying to become tag champ. He suggested Young screwed things up last week. Young said he would do whatever Kaz asks. Kaz suggested he throw up the Bat signal for Super Eric to show up. They had a deal and they shook on it.


2 -- MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY) vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE & RHINO -- Deuces Wild tag team tournament qualifier match

Christian and the Guns had matching outfits with black trunks and white trim. Mom checked in: "I wonder if they planned that?" Christian and Shelley had a nice exchange, leading to a standoff. Christian clapped it up for Shelley, then Rhino and Sabin tagged in to exchange holds. Rhino rolled to the floor, then Sabin tried a highspot, but Christian knocked him off the turnbuckle to the floor. Shelley cleared Christian to the floor to return the favor, then he flipped over the top rope onto Christian and Rhino. Cut to a break.

[Commercial Break]

Rhino and Christian took turns working over Shelley, who couldn't make the tag to Sabin. Shelley then came back with a Sliced Bread #2 out of nowhere on Christian, which allowed him to make the tag to Sabin. Sabin cleaned house on the opposition before dumping Rhino to the outside. Sabin then splashed Christian in the corner and nailed a springboard clothesline for a nearfall at 10:00. Suddenly, Rhino re-entered the ring and gave Shelley a TKO. Christian spike DDT'ed Sabin in center ring, but he only got a two count. Christian tried a top rope frog splash, but Sabin moved. Guns with a combo of holds, but Rhino dropped Shelley with the Gore. Christian then nailed the Unprettier on Sabin for the pin and the win.

WINNERS: Christian & Rhino in 12:00. Nice match with good energy throughout. Good to see Sabin & Shelley have a strong showing against main event opposition that didn't end in a quick squash. (**)

Backstage: TNA Knockouts were shown leaving their post in the locker room to head for the ring. Something's a-brewing.

[Commercial Break]

[End 1st hour - one of the better first hours of TNA Impact in some time. Effective, sound booking with two solid tag matches.]

[Q5 -- second hour]

Impact Zone: Jim Cornette was in the ring one minute past the top of the hour. He brought out the TNA Knockouts for his big announcement. Christy Hemme flashed the "eat me out" signal to the camera with a giggle on the way to the ring. Eventually, they all made their way to the ring. Cornette announced a very special match for Sacrifice. He booked a TNA Knockouts Makeover Battle Royale. Awesome Kong and Raisha were shown standing alone on the stage. Cornette said it will start as a battle royale, then with it down to two ladies, a ladder will come into play. A contract will come down and the two girls will fight to climb the ladder to earn a TNA Knockouts title match against Kong. The runner-up of the match will get the makeover. Cornette said he knows what young people are up to these days, so he said it will be a Britney Spears makeover, with the loser getting her head shaved.

Backstage: Lauren brought in Roode and Sting to talk about tonight's match and the Deuces Wild tournament. Booker said it's all about winning. He said it won't be any different tonight. Booker said it's going to get real ugly, dog. He peaced out, but Sting brought him back to clarify what Booker meant by winning. Booker clarified, and asked Sting if he can handle that. Sting confirmed that he can indeed handle that.

Impact Zone: Robert Roode walked out to the ring. James Storm then walked out with Miss Jackie. Booker led out the babyface legends, then Sting came out.

3 -- ROBERT ROODE & JAMES STORM (w/Miss Jackie Moore) vs. BOOKER T & STING

Sting and Booker started on the offensive against Storm, but Roode came back with a hard chop on Booker. Roode used a sneak attack by Storm to take advantage on Booker leading to a break.

[Commercial Break]


Heels were in control on Booker out of the break. Storm put on his Cowboy hat and took a bite out of Booker's forehead while having Booker in a corner mount. Roode then went to the mat with a front facelock to keep Booker away from his partner. Roode played to the crowd too much, allowing Booker to nail him with a spinebuster. Sting took a hot tag at 10:00 and cleaned house. Stinger splashes for everyone, followed by a faceplant on Storm for a nearfall. Heck broke loose, then Jackie tripped Booker from the outside, allowing Roode to nail the Jake DDT. They set up a Tower of Doom spot in the corner with Storm powerbombing Sting while Sting superplexed Roode. Mid-ring collision between Booker and Storm.

They reset the action with Sting being dumped to the outside. Roode ended up with a beer bottle in hand, and Storm got upset with Roode for stealing his beer. Sting, with Cowboy hat affixed on his head, then caught Storm from behind with a Scorpion death drop while Booker took out Roode. Sting then covered Storm for the win. Booker and Sting celebrated while Storm and Roode had a shoving match.

WINNERS: Sting & Booker in 12:00. Another fine tag match. A bit repetitive with the heel beat down, hot tag, and babyface victory, but can't complain about good, solid wrestling. (**)

Backstage: Borash and Angle walked around the building until finding Karen and Styles talking on the couch. Kurt overturned a table then screamed at Karen for trying to interfere in his business again. He said only after he beats Joe for the belt will they sit down and talk about their issues. Styles tried to play peacemaker, but Kurt shoved him and told Styles to get lost with Karen. Styles stood firm, then told Karen they were leaving. Kurt then stared after them when they left. Great character development for Styles here. Kurt maybe realizing the error of his ways at the very end was good too. This show is definitely clicking.

[Commercial Break]

Backstage: Lauren was in Jim Cornette's office to discuss some business. Cornette said there are too many spoiled brats in TNA - men and women. He did the "back in my day" speech, then said he knows everyone on the TNA roster hates him. Cornette then talked about his big plans for a match at Sacrifice that will be revealed next week. He said they will sacrifice a few careers or perhaps even a life. Cornette said he's the puppetmaster and they all dance. Lauren got scared and asked why he's acting a little evil. Cornette said he's just a nice, honest, Christian businessman who likes to make sure the employees toe the line. He did a Dr. Evil laugh, then left.

Impact Zone: Kurt Angle came to the ring with 31 minutes to go in the show. Samoa Joe then came out sporting the TNA Title belt over his shoulder. Tenay said the much-anticipated re-match is up next.


[Commercial Break]

4 -- TNA World Hvt. champion SAMOA JOE vs. KURT ANGLE -- TNA World Title match

No formal ring intros, surprisingly. Angle is in regular wrestling attire. Bell sounded at 25 minutes to the top of the hour, giving them plenty of time. Joe ran over Angle at 2:00 with a shoulder block, and Angle rolled to the outside to catch his breath. Back in the ring, Joe hard clotheslined Angle and immediately grabbed a headlock to ground Angle. Just a great first few minutes. Angle then missed with a corner shoulder tackle and spilled to the floor. Joe measured Angle and landed a suicide dive elbow smash. After four minutes of action, gotta have that commercial break...

[Commercial Break]

Back from break, Joe caught Angle with a flying boot and sentaun splash for a nearfall. Joe landed body kicks for another nearfall. Angle rolled to the corner to catch his breath, but Joe washed Angle's face with the toe of his boot before nailing a running boot to the face. Joe dominating at 10:00 with the story of Joe having the weight of his career on the line off his shoulders.


Angle suddenly came back with a release German suplex that shook up Joe. Angle quickly sat down on a reverse chinlock while sitting on Joe's back for added pressure. Angle then tried to charge Joe in the corner, but Joe caught him with the E. Honda front slam to quiet Angle's offensive attack. Ref Hebner reprimanded Joe for closed fists, allowing Angle to recover and dump Joe to the floor. Joe sold a left knee injury, and Angle took full advantage by kicking the knee repeatedly. They cut to a break at 14:00 with Tenay asking whether Joe will be able to survive the match.

[Commercial Break]

They returned at 17:00 with Angle applying the figure four leglock in center ring. They showed clips from during the break of Nash and trainers checking on Joe. Nash gave Joe a pep talk to get back in there "for us". West pointed out Nash taking ownership over the championship along with Joe to show his emotional involvement in Joe's title reign. Back to real-time action where Joe took a rope break on the figure four to escape the hold. Angle then went back to stomping on Joe's knee to continue wearing him down. They had a standing exchange at 19:00 with Joe landing body blows, then suddenly dropping Angle with a spinebuster for a nearfall.

Act 3 started at 20:00 with Joe landing a snap suplex for another nearfall. Joe, with one bad wheel, walked into the anklelock, but Joe flung Angle off into the corner. Joe missed with a corner splash and Angle dropped him with the Olympic Slam for Angle's first true nearfall of the match. Angle went for the home run of his majestic top rope moonsault, but Joe rolled out of the way just in time. Joe then tried the rear naked choke, but Angle countered into the anklelock. Suddenly, Joe kicked Angle's feet out from under him and Angle fell right into the rear naked choke. Angle fought the hold and reached out for a rope break at 22:00.

Joe hobbled to his feet and took Angle up top. Angle blocked the Muscle Buster, but Joe went for an enziguiri kick. Angle ducked, though, and ref Hebner took the kick in the noggin. Angle then hit the Olympic Slam and slapped on the anklelock. Suddenly, Scott Steiner showed up ringside and nailed Angle with a lead pipe. Steiner disappeared, then Joe dropped Angle with a front slam. He covered Angle and Hebner made the slow three count for the win.

WINNER: Joe in 23:00 to retain the TNA World Title. It didn't have the epic feel of Lockdown, but it was a heck of TV title match. The interference at the end knocked a little off the top, but the final three minutes was so great. Great layout of the match with Joe dominating 10 minutes, Angle working on the knee for ten minutes, and then a flurry at the end. I hope this rates well, as it's the epitome of TV pro wrestling in 2008. (***3/4)

Post-match: Steiner entered the ring and screamed at Angle not to disrespect him ever again. Joe was handed the TNA Title belt, then Joe walked over to Steiner and told him he could be champ just like that. Joe had enough and slapped Steiner across the face. Refs stormed the ring to hold Steiner back. Jim Cornette emerged and threatened to fine Steiner six months of pay if he touches anyone. He said he didn't see anything settled tonight thanks to Steiner. Cornette then booked a three-way match at Sacrifice. "We're going to let it all hang out and somebody is going to make a sacrifice!" he shouted. Tenay quickly ran down the Sacrifice PPV highlights to close the show.

Quick Final Thought: Excellent show from top-to-bottom. One of TNA's overall better efforts that I can recall in some time. I'll have more on this show in the Corner Cube tomorrow afternoon.

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for an "Impact Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on Impact, click here.

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. 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)


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