TV REPORTS 5/1 Impact Review by Wilkenfeld: Impact pulls out an "A"
May 1, 2008 - 11:16:11 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Two weeks ago tag team champs Styles & Tomko lost the titles to Kaz & Eric Young, who were then promptly stripped of the belts. The X Division Championship also changed hands, and, in the wake of the recent injury to Petey Williams, is likely to again. This would actually be a cool opportunity to have parallel tournaments, particularly as the Motor City Machine Guns have already been eliminated from the quest for the tag team gold. With Samoa Joe's title reign under three weeks old, this could be an obvious reset moment for a company that has the tendency to serve up the same feuds over and over again. Of course throughout this Awesome Kong continues to dominate the women's division—it would be kind of funny if, like RVD's US Title reign in late 90s ECW, Kong's stable grip on one title in the midst of chaos actually makes it become the most valued. I'm not saying it's likely, but I would be amused. Anyway, tonight's show will feature more of the tournament for the tag titles and Jim Cornette going crazier.
The Show: The Egotistical Talent
Curry Man's out to start the show, and the crowd doesn't seem quite as enthused as normal. They seem happy enough though. Tenay confirms that the World X Cup is returning this summer.
(1) THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS and CURRY MAN & SHARK BOY fight to a No Contest
Tenay announces that tonight on Impact will have a tag-team theme, which sounds fun. Sabin and Curry Man start things off. Shelley comes in off a quick tag and works a Neck Wrench. There's another quick tag and Sabin hits a Double Axe Handle off the top before starting on the double team awesomeness. They pause a moment to pose, and CM tosses Shelley as Shark Boy takes down Sabin with a Lou Thesz Press. Shark Boy stays in the match, so I guess I missed a tag. He goes for mounting punches, it's reversed, but he gets a Hurricanrana off the top rope. CM comes in and hits a flying hip attack, but then gets caught on the top rope by a Power Slam. Shelley sets CM up for a DDT, calls in Shark Boy, and then DDTs them both. He tosses them from the ring, and they the Guns nail stereo Suicide Dives when suddenly Steiner's music hits. The Guns take out Little Petey Pump with a Hi/Low, but then turn into a Double Clothesline from Scott Steiner. Earl Hebner calls for the bell, and Tenay says it's a no contest.
After the match, Williams hits the Canadian Destroyer on Shark Boy for no obvious reason. Steiner grabs the mic and talks about he screwed Angle out of his title shot, but Angle weaseled his way back in. Most people would be mad, but he's happy, cause now at Sacrifice he's not only going to win the title, he's going to take Angle's medals and make him his bitch. I'm impressed by the consistency of character here—first Steiner refused to cash in his title shot on a weakened opponent, and now he's happy to have someone else in the match. He's a heel who genuinely believes his own hype. Anyway, Angle comes out and quickly disabuses him of some of it, tossing Petey from the ring and reintroducing Steiner to the Angle lock. Petey comes in and gets Angle from behind with a lead pipe, allowing Steiner to lock in the Steiner Recliner. Joe comes out and beats up Williams & Steiner, without ever making eye contact with Angle.
JB is in the back with AJ Styles outside Jim Cornette's office. He wants to know what AJ will do without a tag team partner, as apparently Tomko got injured in Japan. How awesome would it be if they brought back Christopher Daniels as his partner, and he and Curry Man started wrestling on the same show? AJ wants to know how Kurt found out Karen was there last week, as apparently AJ doesn't even watch recaps of the show now. Cornette comes out and says that at the end of Impact he's going to introduce the eight singles wrestlers who will be joining the Deuces Wild Tournament. AJ asks for more time to find a partner, and after a minute of moderately comic explanation Cornette gets AJ to understand that they have a TV show to put on.
Tenay is in the ring, and he brings out The Beautiful People, Angelina Love & Velvet Sky. So they're giving the women an interview segment before the gauntlet to determine the ladder match to get a chance to face Awesome Kong—maybe the women's title already is the most important on the show. He asks if they're willing to make the "ultimate sacrifice," getting their heads shaved. You know if I were in the military that would bother me on several levels. Love says they're not worried, cause if they worried they'd sweat, and if they sweat their makeup would run, and that would not be beautiful. They also want to make sure the makeover doesn't go to waste, and prove how helpful it could be by showing pictures of ODB and Gail Kim bald. No one would want to mess with The Beautiful People's looks, cause they're all we losers have to live for. Velvet Sky adds that we can look, but never touch. ODB and Gail Kim come down to the ring. ODB says that maybe she can't touch The Beautiful People, but she can sure touch their big, fake, fun bags. They shove the Beautiful People down. ODB grabs a mic and says that since those two hookers don't seem to have any customers, maybe they should come down in half an hour for a match, so they'll get a chance to end up flat on their backs.
AJ is looking for a partner in the back. He sees Angle, and starts to ask something, but thinks better of it. Angle asks if he's talked to Karen lately, and when AJ says "no" Kurt says to keep it that way. AJ goes into Booker T's locker room, and Booker wants to know who the hell he is. AJ tries to explain that he's the most decorated athlete in TNA history, but Booker just scoffs. AJ said that he had heard Booker was nice, and Booker responds that he is nice, but just doesn't like people barging into his room while he's on the phone. That was interesting.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Joe and Nash, and she recounts various events we already knew about. He says it's all just another day in the office. If people thought he didn't see things coming, they don't understand him. He and Kevin see everything coming. He loves destroying people, and at Sacrifice we'll all see how he loves being the champ. Nash seems offended that he didn't mention the money.
(2) LAX (w/Selinas) defeat ERIC YOUNG and KAZ
Hernandez starts things off with Eric Young, and that's the first time I remember hearing someone cheered over EY. Young tries to stay away, but eventually he runs into a Flying Shoulder Block. They make some tags, and Kaz and Homicide do some chain wrestling. Kaz gets the advantage with a Body Slam and a Springboard Leg Drop. He follows up with an Atomic Drop and a Dropkick, but Hernandez gets sick of this garbage and whacks him from the outside. He gets tagged in and nails the Drive By before locking in…a bear hug? That's not cool. Thankfully Kaz fights out right away. Hernandez lifts him up for a Back Breaker, but Kaz slips out. Kaz goes for a Springboard Cross Body Block, but Hernandez catches him in mid-air and turns him into a Sit-Out Powerbomb. EY breaks up the cover at two. Homicide comes in and nails an Overhead Belly-Belly-Suplex for two. Herenandez pops back in the ring for a second to run over Kaz and hoist him for a Doomsday Device. Kaz sort of weasels out of the way, but it's not quite clear how—I think maybe he was supposed to reverse it into a DDT? He makes the tag to Eric Young, who comes in fists blazing. He gets a Northern Lights Suplex for a one count on Homicide as Hernandez hits Kaz with a clothesline that takes them both out of the ring. Inside, Homicide goes for a Gringo Cutter, which is reversed into some type of Belly-to-Back Suplex attempt, which is reversed into a School Boy for the shockingly clean win.
After the match LAX shows respect to Kaz & Young. Homicide grabs the mic and calls Hector Guerrerro down to the ring. Apparently I should have been listening to the Spanish broadcasting. [Rachael just checked it for me—we didn't miss anything.]
Homicide says that they've been studying tapes for years, especially of Hector's brother Eddie. The crowd ERUPTS in an "Eddie" chant. Hector warns them to be careful where they're going. Homicide assures them that they've worked for years to be like Eddie, but it's not all about Eddie—they respect the entire Guerrerro family, especially Hector. He says they want the tag team titles back, and asks Hector to be in their corner at Sacrifice. Hector agrees: Viva La Raza!
Traci is in Jim Cornette's office begging for something. He assures her that she's one of the only people here he can tolerate, so he'll think about it. She walks off, and Morgan storms in demanding to be one of the eight singles wrestlers to get into the tournament. Cornette says he'll have to wait to find out, just like the "other seven." Didn't that just tell him that he's in? Anyway, Kip James jumps out and starts beating up Matt Morgan. This is easily the greatest feud ever.
AJ is about to go into Nash's locker room, but JB has him knock first. He comes in on Nash finishing psychoanalyzing of Christy, saying that sometimes a banana is just a banana and sometimes a rubber glove is just a rubber glove. AJ points out that there's big money in the tag division, so Nash should join him. Big Kev admits that there's something to that, but that there's even more money in the World Heavyweight Championship. AJ points out that Joe's already the heavyweight champ, to which Nash replies "You're damn right he is."
(3) GAIL KIM & ODB defeat THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
The crowd comes alive for ODB, who starts things off with Love. ODB quickly takes her down with a gut wrench. They make a pair of tags, and Velvet Sky takes it to Gail Kim for a second until Kim dodges a charge in the corner. Kim nails a Scoop Slam, but when she tries to follow up Love interferes. She tries to do some move off the top rope, but Love interferes again. Maybe Kim should go to the other side of the ring.
Love is in control of Gail Kim, pounding her head to mat. Kim dodges a charge in the corner again and responds with a couple quick covers for two. Love nails a jumping kick for two. They both go for clothesline and take each other down. We get two tags, and ODB is on fire. Love tries to help Velvet Sky, but ODB catches her with a Fall Away Slam. ODB hits a Lou Thesz Press off the top rope on Velvet Sky, but Love recovers just soon enough to break up the count. Sky tries to do something or other, but ODB just powers through it and nails her with a Running Power Slam for three.
As ODB and Kim celebrate Love comes back in on the attack. Kim and ODB regain control, so Love ducks out, but Roxxi Leveaux cuts her off on the ramp and rolls her back into the ring. The crowd comes alive for Roxxi as she, ODB, and Gail Kim tee off on Love. ODB gives her a swig from her flask to celebrate.
JB is in the back with James Storm and Robert Roode, and Storm apologizes for getting in Roode's face last week. Roode says that's water under the bridge, and Storm wants to know why anyone would drink water. He also wants to know why Roode is reading the news, and they have a conversation about the merits of various sections of the paper. AJ Styles comes in looking for a partner. Storm wants to know why he should help, and AJ offers a bottle. Sadly, it turns out to be Grandpa's Cough Syrup, so Storm is not inclined to join-up. After all, the only thing AJ brings to the table is that skank Karen…AJ jumps him before he can finish the thought. Roode breaks things up and points out that it's two against one. AJ, dejected, sits down and panics just as a shadow falls over him. He asks the mystery person to be his partner, and seems excited by the answer. Abyss?
Rave's daily shout-out is to Columbus, so I'm not sure if that means I have to root for them this match.
AJ comes out first, and is joined by his partner...Super Eric! It's no Abyss, but it's pretty cool. Tenay points out that this actually makes sense, since AJ and Super Eric are the two people who claimed that Super Eric and Eric Young were different people in the first place. I hadn't noticed that.
(4) AJ STYLES & SUPER ERIC defeat THE ROCK & RAVE INFECTION
AJ starts things off dominating Jimmy Rave. The crowd is going berserk for Super Eric, whom AJ tags in. Rave brings in Hoyt, who tries to impress Super Eric with his size. Super Eric's not having any of it, as he goes on the attack for a minute before tagging in AJ. They hit a Double Arm Drag for two. Hoyt powers AJ into the corner and tags in Rave, which seems like it's never a good idea. AJ immediately turns things around. Christy tries to distract him from the ring apron, but AJ informs her that she's no Karen. That's bizarrely sweet. She trips him, which lets Rave take him down with a running STO and tag in Hoyt, who hits some sort of twisting drop for two. He tags back in Rave and they hit Stereo Elbow Drops for two. Hoyt leaves the ring, which allows AJ to hit the Pele and make the tag. Super Eric goes on the attack, eventually setting up the Double Death Valley Driver. Hoyt fights it off, but falls into position to eat a Stinger Splash on from AJ onto him onto Rave. Super Eric nails a clothesline on Rave for two. He goes for a Tilt-a-Whirl something, but Rave reverses it into a standing Arm Bar. As they fight in the ring AJ Styles charges at them—they Back Body Drop him into Lance Hoyt, who he Hurricanranas. Hole. Y. Shit. Super Eric rolls up Rave in a Small Package for two. Rave gets up right into a Standing Ensuguri from AJ Styles, which knocks him back into a DVD from Super Eric for three. Super Eric and AJ have massive potential as a team.
JB is in the back with Sting, who agrees with Cornette that this place is a loony bin. He says that people you think you know, you really don't. JB wants to know if he's talking about Booker, and Sting says it just goes to show what this business can do to you. JB wants to know what he means by that, but all he'll say is that it's time for the Egotistical Eight.
They unveil the new Eliminatio…um, "TerrorDome." Actually, it's just a steel dome with a hole on the top, and you win by escaping through the hole. That's actually kind of a cool idea. It's a shame they gave it such a dumb name.
Daisy Haze comes down to the ring. If you don't know who that is, you're not alone. Cheerleader Melissa comes down next, and I'll have to wikipedia this but I'm pretty sure she's Raesha Saeed. I guess my idea about Daniels playing two characters at once wasn't so absurd.
(5) Cheerleader Melissa defeats Daisy Haze
They start things off with some old school grappling in the ring. Melissa takes her down with a shoulder block, but Daisy comes back with an Arm Drag and Leg Scissors Takedown. Melissa fires back with pure power, and takes Daisy over with a Suplex. Daisy tries to come back with a series of chops, but Melissa takes her down with one stiff forearm shot. The crowd gets behind Melissa, who nails a sick Gringo Killer for the win.
Not-Crystal is talking to Steiner and Petey, who have the good sense to ignore whatever her question was. Steiner says that while people claim all men are created equal, when you look at Joe that's clearly not true. He then busts out a promo that really has to be taken down verbatim: "Normally if you go one-on-one with another wrestler you have a fifty-fifty chance of winning. But I'm a genetic freak, and I'm not normal. You've got a 25%, at best, of beating me. And then you add in Kurt Angle to the mix, your chances of winning drastically go down. See, the three-way, at Sacrifice, you have a 33 and 1/3 chance of winning, but I got a 66 and 2/3 chance of winning, cause Kurt Angle knows he can't beat me, and he's not even gonna try. So Samoa Joe, you take your 33 and 1/3 chance, minus my 25% chance, and you've got an 8 and 1/3 chance of winning at Sacrifice. [about this point Petey Williams starts shaking his head in confusion, though Rachael has convinced me that with some charitable interpreting you can actually make the math up till this point work] But then you take my 75% chance of winning, if we was to go one-on-one, and then add 66 and 2/3 percent, I have 141 and 2/3 percent chance of winning at Sacrifice. You see Joe, the numbers don't lie." He says he'll break it down to the ladies—would they rather come home to him or Joe? Not-Crystal says that she thinks Joe is kind of nice. Steiner observes that she must be one of those girls who likes romance, and then asks all his freaks whether they'd rather go home to a Genetic Freak to be satisfied or a fat slob like Joe. Petey Williams pipes in that while Steiner might be your hook up, Petey is the one we outta look-up, and we should holler, if we hear that.
Tenay observes that what we just saw was the "damndest interview we've ever seen", and West announces that Einstein is rolling over in his grave. Normally I'd criticize them for the lack of understatement, but there was nothing understated about that promo.
(6) Kurt Angle & Samoa Joe defeat Scott Steiner and Petey Williams
Joe starts things off teeing off on Petey Williams. Petey goes for a move off the top as Joe just walks away. He lands a big knee on Petey and tags in Angle. Petey tangles him in the ropes and hits a Hesitation Drop Kick. He tags in Steiner, who pounds on Angle in the corner. Angle retakes control with an Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex and tags in Joe. Joe goes on the offensive, but Petey makes a blind-tag and surprises Joe with a Missile Dropkick.
Steiner is in control of the world champion, dropping a big elbow and tagging in Petey. Joe gets control for a second but a distraction from Steiner gives Petey a chance to hit a Spinning Wheel Kick and make the tag. Steiner locks in a Sleeper, and Joe powers out just long enough to get caught in an Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex for two. Steiner charges Joe in the corner only to eat a Yurinagi, but Petey hits Joe before he can follow up. Petey tags in and goes for a Double Axe Handle off the top, but Joe reverses with a boot. Joe slowly makes his way over to his corner, where, rather than make the tag, he gives Angle the finger and explodes on Petey and Steiner with some offense of his own. That might be the first time I've ever seen someone make a hot tag to himself. Joe hits a Snap Slam on Petey as Kurt takes out Steiner, but when he goes for the Rear Naked Choke Angle breaks it up. Joe tosses Angle from the ring and hits a Standing Muscle Buster for the win.
After the match, Angle comes in and attacks Joe with a German Suplex and an Angle Lock. Steiner comes in with a lead pipe and Angle bails, so Steiner just nails Joe and grabs the belt.
JB wants to know what Cornette's scoop is. After a topical Jeremiah Wright reference he refuses to answer.
Cornette is in the ring with the two TNA World Tag Team Championship belts. He calls out the eight singles wrestlers who will take part in the Deuces Wild Tag Team Tournament: Matt Morgan, Kip James, BG James, James Storm, Booker T, Robert Roode, and Sting. He starts to talk to those eight individuals, when he realized there are only seven. Abyss? He calls out the eighth participant…Awesome Kong! Holy shit! I did not foresee that.
Where We're Going: Though I said last week that this tag tournament should make the titles seem important again, I didn't actually expect it to. Well, props to TNA all around. The addition of Awesome Kong to the mix makes the tournament seem new and exciting, and the addition of Hector Guerrerro to LAX might mark the resurgence of the world's best tag team. I'm actually looking forward to this PPV a lot now, which is I believe the first time I've had that feeling since…October? Now they just need something analogous for the X Division and everything will be coming up roses.
Star of the Night: Scott Steiner. He turned in two extremely good promos, and was part of a perfectly workable main event.
Overall: I really don't think I have anything bad to say about this show, and a whole lot of good. This was the strongest Impact in months by a mile. A
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