TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 5/1: Ongoing coverage of Spike TV show
May 1, 2008 - 10:00:07 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By James Caldwell, Torch columnist
TNA Impact on Spike TV
May 1, 2008
Taped Apr. 28 in Orlando, Florida
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
Opening: They started with a recap of last week's show. Tonight, it's the Egotistical Eight.
Announcers: Mike Tenay plugged Joe & Angle vs. Steiner & Petey tonight in the main event. Don West plugged Deuces Wild.
Impact Zone: Curry Man and Shark Boy are back on the show. Tenay plugged World X Cup returning this summer, then Machineguns came out as their opponents. Tenay called them the "kids" from Detroit.
1 -- CHRIS SABIN & ALEX SHELLEY vs. SHARK BOY & CURRY MAN
Guns dominated this to start with, as Curry Man found himself on the wrong end of some double-team offense. The kids did their customary pose for the hard cam, allowing Curry to attack them from behind and gain advantage for the cartoon characters. Shelley took a hot tag at 3:00 and landed a double DDT. He knocked both men to the outside, then Guns measured the Cartoonies for a double suicide dive on the floor, knocking them into the guardrail.
Scott Steiner had enough of this, and his music interrupted leading to Steiner, Petey, and Freak storming the ring. Petey now has blonde hair with a blond goatee like Steiner. Team Freaks jumped the Guns and the Cartoons, then Petey gave Shark the Canadian Destroyer. With the scrubs out of the ring, Steiner cut a promo on Kurt Angle. He said he's taking the TNA Title from Samoa Joe at Sacrifice, then he's going to make Angle his bitch.
Kurt Angle had enough, so he stormed the ring and attacked Steiner with right hand blows. Petey took a belly-to-belly suplex over the top rope, then Steiner tried to attack Angle, but Angle slapped on the anklelock. Babyface reaction for Angle here. Steiner tapped and tapped and tapped to the anklelock, but Petey smashed him from behind with a pipe. Steiner slapped on the Steiner Recliner until Samoa Joe made the save for Angle.
WINNERS: No Contest in 4:00. Match happened. Post-match set up tonight's main event, adding more to the slow-developing Angle babyface turn. (1/2*)
Backstage: Jeremy Borash asked A.J. Styles what he's going to do about Tomko. Styles stammered out that he doesn't know what to do after Tomko left for Japan. (This week, Styles is unsure of himself and a goofball, pretty much washing out the serious character development from last week.) Cornette then stormed out of his office and told Borash to spread the word on the Deuces Wild tag tournament. Styles said he needs more time to find a new partner. Cornette told him to find a partner tonight or forfeit the Deuces Wild spot.
Announcers: Mike Tenay walked off the set, leaving Don West to talk about stuff happening later tonight on the show. West then sent it to Tenay, who was in the ring. Tenay then brought out Angelina Love and Velvet Sky for an in-ring interview. Before Tenay could get going, they rubbed his tie seductively. Tenay then talked about the rules of the divas gimmick match at the PPV. His pick up line: "Are you ready to make...the ultimate sacrifice?" C'mon, Mike. Angelina then cut a promo about the make-over where someone gets her head shaved. She said they have some other candidates. They showed a Photoshopped picture of Gail Kim, then ODB with bald heads. This continued with Velvet saying none of the people in the building will only be able to look at the Beautiful People, but never touch.
ODB and Gail interrupted, then ODB said she could put her hands all over those big fake funbags. There is only one ODB. She then shoved Angelina down to the mat, and Gail shoved Velvet to the mat. Angelina and Velvet bailed to the outside. Apparently there was a nipple slip, as the camera blurred out Angelina's left breast. ODB said that since the hookers don't have any customers tonight, they can have a match tonight and leave them in their favorite position... flat on their backs. And here I thought this was a family show.
Backstage: Borash was still following Styles around. Styles found Angle, who asked if he's talked to Styles lately. Styles paused and quietly said no. Angle told him to keep it that way. Styles then barged into Booker T's locker room. Styles asked him to be his partner, but Booker had no idea who this man was. "You somebody's brother?" he asked. Styles said he's held all the titles in TNA. Booker said he's on the phone and doesn't appreciate people barging into his locker room looking for autographs.
Backstage: Lauren brought in Samoa Joe for an interview on Sacrifice. Kevin Nash was standing over Joe's shoulder holding the TNA Title belt for Joe. After Lauren talked and talked, Joe said they say this three-way situation coming ahead of time. Joe said he welcomes the competition and he can't wait for Sacrifice. He told the boys that he loves being the champ. Joe walked off, then Lauren looked to Nash for some additional thoughts. He told Joe he also loves the money. The money, man.
Impact Zone: Kaz and Eric Young came out for a Deuces Wild deal. Young's non-superhero gimmick is now that he's afraid of the hard camera. Salinas then led out LAX as the opposition tonight. No doubt that LAX is one of the hottest acts in TNA in terms of crowd response, and TNA has failed to take full advantage of that.
2 -- LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ w/Salinas) vs. ERIC YOUNG & KAZ
Kaz started off on the offensive against Homicide, then Hernandez flew the ropes with a shoulder tackle on Kaz to give Homicide offensive control. Hernandez took a legal tag, then he caught Kaz in mid-air with a sitout powerbomb for a nearfall. Action broke down at 5:00 with Hernandez taking Kaz and himself to the outside with a big clothesline. Homicide then rolled up Young for the pin and the win.
After the match, Kaz shouted at Young for losing. LAX then knocked fists with their opponents in a show of respect. Homicide took the mic and addressed Hector Guerrero, who was at the Spanish broadcast position. He told him to come into the ring. They cut to break with Hector walking to the ringside area.
WINNERS: LAX in 6:00. Fine tag match. Nothing particularly memorable, but it held its place on the tag team-focused show. (*)
Back from break, Homicide told Hector to keep his eyes on him. Homicide said they've studied tapes for years, especially Hector's brother, Eddie. This led to an "Eddie" chant, then Hector told him to be careful. Homicide said they wanted to be like Eddie, as well as the entire Guerrero familia. He said they want him to be in their corner to guide them to the tag titles. Hector asked if they really want all of the Guerrero guidance going after the belts. Homicide said yes, yes, and Hector said they have a deal. They shook hands and it's on for Sacrifice.
Backstage: Someone was in Jim Cornette's office complaining. Apparently it was Traci Brooks all dolled up. Cornette said he can actually tolerate her, so stop complaining and he'll look into her issues. She walked off, then Matt Morgan walked in to get his notice on the Deuces Wild deal. Suddenly, Kip James jumped Morgan from behind and threw him into Cornette's desk. This led to an office brawl until security somehow discovered the scene. How does security know where all the brawls are going down? Are there hundreds of security guards just walking around the building monitoring potential brawls?
Elsewhere backstage: The camera showed the back of a pair of pants walking. Turns out it was Angelina and Velvet on the way to the ring for their match against Gail and ODB.
Backstage: A.J. Styles was still looking for a partner. He approached Kevin Nash's locker room door. Borash told him to knock just in case something mischievous was happening. They barged in to find Nash holding a therapy session with Christy Hemme. He tried interpreting her dream, then Christy did a giant punk rock scream and left. Nash said that just killed it. After everyone paused to process the Hemme, Styles told Nash there's big money in the tag division. Nash said there's also big money in the heavyweight division. Styles, assuming Nash was altruistic in his support of the current champ, reminded Nash that Joe is the heavyweight champion. Nash said that's certainly right. He walked off, leaving Styles dumbfounded.
Impact Zone: Angelina and Velvet came to the ring. They did their crotch burn ring entrance for a second time on the show. TNA has dedicated a ton of time to this team on the show, but I believe the ratings draw of the divas is small doses without overexposing them to keep them fresh each week. Gail and ODB then came out separately for the tag match.
3 -- ODB & GAIL KIM vs. ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY
Velvet was working on Gail when they cut to a break.
[Q5 -- second hour]
ODB took a hot tag and cleaned house on the Beautiful peeps. Again, the babyface celebrated to the camera instead of continuing the attack, which allowed the heel to attack from behind. No matter, though, as Gail and Angelina ended up on the outside, and ODB finished off Velvet with a running powerslam for the pin and the win.
Post-match, the Beautiful peeps tried to attack the winners, but they cleared Velvet and Angelina from the ring. Suddenly, Roxxi LeVeaux came to ringside and threw Angelina back into the ring. Angelina found herself cornered in the ring, so she took a round of punishment before Roxxi delivered the Voodoo Drop.
WINNERS: Gail & ODB in 8:00. Fine, basic storytelling with the heel getting her comeuppance after talking a big game earlier in the show. (*)
Backstage: Borash found Robert Roode, James Storm, and Jacqueline in drinking room. Roode was reading the Business section of USA Today while Storm just wanted to play a drinking game. Roode said money makes the world go 'round. Storm said he's one drink away from the whole room going around. Styles then tried to offer a beer to Storm to be his partner, but Storm didn't appreciate the cheap beer. Storm talked smack about Karen, which set off Styles. Roode intervened before things could get ugly, then he told Styles the answer is no. Roode's crew walked off, leaving Styles alone with Borash. Suddenly, there was a person off camera who drew Styles's interest. He asked said person to be his partner, then he walked off camera.
Impact Zone: Christy Hemme led Hoyt and Rave to the ring. Rave got his random shout-out in, but no mic time for Hoyt. A.J. Styles then walked out by himself and he picked up his Encyclopedia Brown crown from a pedestal on the stage. He told the cameraman you'll never believe who he got as his partner. Super Eric's music hit, then Eric walked out as his partner. West then tried to explain the goofy storyline leading to Super Eric joining with Styles. He said he never thought this thing would ever make sense, but it's becoming clearer to him. Sorry, Don, I was with you all the way until "but".
4 -- A.J. STYLES & SUPER ERIC vs. LANCE HOYT & JIMMY RAVE (w/Christy Hemme)
Styles did his trademark leapfrog, drop down, dropkick combo on Rave at 2:00, then Christy got on the apron and tried to distract Styles with the splits, but Styles professed his allegiance to Karen. Christy got back at Styles by tripping him from the outside, setting up Hoyt and Rave's attack on Styles.
Eric with a hot tag at 4:00, and he went for a double Death Valley Driver on the heels, but they slipped out. Styles then helped out Eric with a leaping forearm smash in the corner. He took Hoyt down with a huracanrana, then he drilled Rave with an enziguiri kick. Eric followed with a DVD on Rave for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Styles & Super Eric in 5:00. Entertaining combo of Young and Styles. I liked the more serious Styles last week, but this has potential depending on TNA's follow-up. Just fine. (*1/4)
Backstage: Borash brought in Sting for a random interview. If someone put $1,000 and an ice cream sandwich on the table and told me to name Sting's current storyline, I would fail. Borash asked Sting what the lay of the land is. Sting said this place has turned into a looney-bin. He screamed that he doesn't know who to trust anymore. Borash tried to lead Sting to an actual answer, but Sting just became frustrated and said he'll find out what's happening from Cornette. I officially have no idea what just happened.
Announcers: Tenay and West said they've separated themselves from the competition with the match gimmicks. That's not necessarily a positive thing. This led to a video package on the new concept match called the Terrordome. Why is this match happening? What feud is so red-hot that it requires a giant structure to settle the feud?
Impact Zone: Daizee Haze came to the ring with the graphic showing her name as Daisy Haze. Cheerleader Melissa then came out after apparently dropping the Raisha Saeed gimmick. Or, will she have two personalities like Eric Young?
5 -- DAISY HAZE vs. CHEERLEADER MELISSA
Good to see Melissa in a legit national TV role. Match could have used a pre-match word or two to explain who these ladies are to an audience that isn't familiar with them. Haze had a little offense, but Melissa was dominant. She finished off Haze with Homicide's Cop Killer for the pin and the win. Crowd was hot for Melissa, and Tenay told Cornette to pay attention.
WINNER: Melissa in 3:00. Fine debut match for Melissa in an actual role. This was a random deal, though, with there already being three divas segments on the show. But, I'll take Melissa in the ring over the alternative of another backstage slumber party segment with Cornette in the divas locker room. (3/4*)
Backstage: Right after the match, they cut backstage where Lauren interviewed Steiner, who was with Petey and Freak. Steiner said there's a saying that all men are created equal, but that obviously doesn't work when you look at Joe compared to him. Steiner proceeded to trip all over himself offering a ton of percentages and calculations on what kind of chance he has of winning at Sacrifice. This made him so not threatening as a heel, then he asked Lauren if she'd rather be with him or Joe. Lauren shrugged her shoulders and said she kinda likes Joe. Steiner said that's because Joe is one of those soft guys while he always satisfies. Petey said Steiner has the hook-up, but Petey is who you need to look up. That's pretty good, and just utterly laughable with that high-pitched voice and silly costume.
Impact Zone: Steiner and his crew came to the ring for the main event. Tenay said the previous interview was the damndest thing he'd ever seen. His scripted words, not mine. Kurt Angle then came out first for the default babyface team. Samoa Joe followed out with TNA Title belt in hand. No sign of Nash so far.
6 -- TNA World Hvt. champion SAMOA JOE & KURT ANGLE vs. SCOTT STEINER & PETEY WILLIAMS (w/Rhaka Khan)
Petey worked on Angle to start with, then Steiner tagged in and Angle fired off a big overhead release suplex. Joe then tagged in and worked on Steiner. Petey took a blind tag and he surprised Joe with a missile dropkick to begin working on Joe. Time for a break.
They returned with Steiner working on Joe. He did push-ups next to Joe's fallen body, then tagged out to Petey, who took a spinning heel kick when Steiner kneed Joe from behind from the apron.
Joe eventually set up for the hot tag to Angle at 11:00, but instead of making the tag, he flipped Angle the bird and fired up his own attack on Petey and Steiner. Joe landed a snap slam on Petey for a two count when Steiner broke up the pin. Angle then stormed the ring and clotheslined Steiner to the outside. Meanwhile, Joe put Petey in the rear naked choke. Angle tried to attack Joe, but Joe kicked him to the outside. Joe then dropped Petey with the Musclebuster for the pin and the win.
After the match, Joe casually adjusted his britches, giving Angle an opening to drop him with the Olympic Slam. Angle slapped on the anklelock, then Steiner ran into the ring with the lead pipe and chased Angle out of the ring. Steiner turned around and smashed Joe with the pipe instead.
WINNERS: Joe & Angle in 12:00. Fine for promoting the Sacrifice match, but I'm not digging how TNA is presenting Joe. As we all know, post-match proceedings take precedence over the actual wrestling on Impact, so the final image of Joe being KO'ed once again isn't exactly a ringing endorsement of Joe as champion. The first few weeks of any new relationship - in this case Joe as new TNA champion relating to the TNA audience - are vitally important. Right now, TNA isn't returning phone calls or holding the door open or buying popcorn at the movie date. After all, TNA went basically this entire show without acknowledging last week's great date with the FREE TV PPV-quality match that was won by Joe. (*1/2)
Backstage: Borash chased down Cornette in the hallway and commented on how crazy that just was. Cornette said that's nothing compared to what he's going to say up next.
In-ring: Jim Cornette stood behind a table with the TNA Tag Title belts. Cornette explained some Deuces Wild rules, then he brought out Matt Morgan to be part of the Egotistical Eight for the Battle Bowl match at the PPV. The rundown from the babyface tunnel was Morgan, B.G. James, Booker T, and Sting. Alternating with the babyfaces, the men emerging from the heel tunnel were Kip James, James Storm, and Robert Roode. Cornette started to hype the deal after Sting came out, but then realized he was missing the eighth person. He then announced Awesome Kong as being added to the mix. Tenay said that's just plain nuts. Kong came out on stage with the Knockouts Title over her shoulder and the men stared up at Kong with quizzical looks. Cornette was shown laughing maniacally to end the show.
Final Thought: This was a fine show; just kinda OK. Nothing to be too upset about. Nothing to bang your head against the wall after seeing. Well, there were probably a few things that would have at least entertained the thought of battling the wall, but this was just one of those shows that was fine while it lasted, you acknowledge the show existed for two hours in your life, and move on to whatever is next on the agenda. That is, unless you send in TNA Impact feedback for a Reader Reax feature ... right here on PWTorch.com.
We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for an "Impact Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Impact, click here.
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**