TV REPORTS 7/3 Impact Review by Wilkenfeld: Roode & Storm rise to the top as Sting makes his surprise return
Jul 3, 2008 - 10:14:11 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
I have to do this semi-live, so I apologize for any inaccuracies arising out of a lack of rewind.
Where We've Been: We seem to be coasting to Victory Road on the backs of the feuds of Slammiversary. In all fairness, we're getting almost entirely new iterations of those feuds, and most of them still have plenty of legs left anyway. The weird thing, that's getting more pronounced every week, is just the complete absence of any heat behind Samoa Joe going into his first singles title defense. A year ago the crowd was begging for a Joe reign, and now they seem just as ready for it to end. The problem is that if Joe isn't the answer to TNA's woes, there isn't really a plan B. There's no question who their top talent is, and somehow or another they have to find a way to inject some energy into his title reign. The best I can come up with is a heel turn, but that's not ideal. For some reason there's no Impact Preview up on the website, which is odd.
AJ's in the ring with Karen, and he says that if Angle wants a war, he's got it. He doesn't care about much, but he does care about Karen and thinks that she shouldn't have to go to work scared every night. He calls Angle out, but Team 3D hits the ring instead. Ray tells Devon to look at the happy couple. Angle's not here because he's out scoring some really hot chicks. He doesn't understand why AJ would trash talk an Olympic gold-medalist. He says that the problem is Karen Angle, cause she's a soap opera bimbo, and AJ, cause he slept with another man's wife. AJ says that he remembers what Team 3D did, and that there's an old saying that payback's a…Ray completes the phrase with the word "bitch." He says that saying is 30 years old, and thinks that it must have just trickled down to the south now. Karen is nothing but a "butano"(?), which I guess is the Italian word for whore? That's the hot button, as AJ starts taking it to Ray and Devon. Eventually the numbers catch up to him, and he's about to be put through a table when Rhino makes his triumphant return. Team 3D beat a hasty retreat. He says that taking him out didn't work, and taking out Christian last week didn't work either—he'll be back at Victory Road. He reasons that they might as well make it a six-man tag, so they can kick Angle's ass too. He knows that Team 3D'll want tables, but he wants ladders and chairs. So he suggests the fans decide between a table and a full metal mayhem match. Wait, is Kurt really going to wrestle at Victory Road? Not cool.
Tonight we have round 2 of the World X Cup, and Taylor vs. Raesha Saeed for a shot at the women's title.
We cut to Angle, who explains that he's on a workout date, a lunch date, and a dinner date. He talks up how hot these women are going to be, which does not speak well of his future dates. Sure enough, the first is a distinct step or two down from Karen (or at least is well made up to be).
Sting is still in the ads for Victory Road.
LAX joins us live via satellite. For some reason Salinas keeps screaming in the background as Hector describes how they're going to beat Beer Money Inc. like dogs. I don't know who thought that was a good idea.
Speak of the devils, Roode & Storm, along with Jacqueline, hit the ring. Storm says that he's not even drunk yet but he still can't understand a word Hector is saying.
(1) THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS defeat BEER MONEY INC. (w/JACQUELINE)
Shelley and Storm start things off, which does not go well for Storm. Shelley takes him down with a Spinning Wheel Kick and tags in Sabin. Roode gets the tag too, and Sabin tags back in Shelley so they can legally hit a Leapfrog Stun Gun. There's another quick tag, and they take Storm off the apron with Poetry in Motion. Sabin goes to the middle rope, but Storm trips him up from the outside. They double-team Sabin a bit. A Dropkick from Roode gets two. Sabin weaves between the heels and gets in Shelley. Shelley goes for Sliced Bread #2 on Roode, but gets tossed off and into a Backstabber from Storm. Sabin comes in with a giant Tornado DDT. He and Roode fight to the outside as Storm sets Shelley up for Ms. Jackie to spit some beer in his face. Shelley dodges and hits a School Boy for the duke.
After the match, Beer Money Inc. flip out. They handcuff The Guns and start strapping them. They also strap the referees, security, and Don West. They drag the ring announcer into the ring and whip him for good measure. Cornette comes out, and he's not happy. He says that if they want to go all Wild West, he'll give them a showdown. He's going into the back to find the two most ticked off wrestlers in the locker room, and they're going to have a match.
That was a really solid segment. They managed to build up Beer Money Inc. while still giving the most underutilized tag team in pro wrestling a much needed win.
Angle is in the restaurant for his lunch date. For some reason he's wearing sunglasses inside a darkened restaurant. Before the camera shows the girl, he starts talking about what a "man's man" he is. Sure enough, it turns out "she" has chest hair. JB finally lets Kurt know, and he is not pleased with Brother Ray.
We're having another Bimbo Brawl. I wonder if I wasn't the only one who thought last week's outing was missing something.
(2) MOOSE defeats ROXXI LEVEAUX
Moose starts things off with a White Russian Leg Sweep for two. She takes Roxxi to the outside and just starts whacking her against anything and everything. She tries to run a shopping cart into her, but it somehow gets caught, and Roxxi whips her into it. Despite TNA not capitalizing on Roxxi's Sacrifice performance, the crowd is still louder for her than they were for AJ Styles or Rhino. Meanwhile, Roxxi leaves Moose a bit too much room, and she capitalizes with a series of stiff cookie-pan shots. Moose rolls Roxxi into the ring, but this time it's Roxxi who creates some distance and blasts Moose in the head with a road sign. A few shots from a hockey stick and a chair get two. She sets up the chair in the corner, but Moose blocks the Irish Whip attempt and dodges a charging Roxxi. Roxxi hits the chair, and falls back into a Double Armed DDT from Moose for three.
Cornette is in the back with Kevin Nash. Somehow, JB is with him, which confuses me as to when Kurt's dates are supposed to be taking place. I probably missed something earlier. Cornette suggests that there might be a financial bonus in it for Kevin if he can put Beer Money in their place. Kevin agrees, and then asks who his partner is. Cornette grudgingly admits that it's Joe. Nash wishes him good luck telling Joe about this. Cornette seems surprised that Nash doesn't have a problem with it himself, but Nash doesn't see problems—only opportunities.
Cornette is in the locker room with Joe, trying to sell him on beating up Beer Money. Joe agrees, but then asks who his partner is. Cornette hems and haws; Joe immediately figures out the score and is not happy about it. He doesn't trust Nash, and wants nothing to do with him. Cornette says that he didn't trust him either, but he's been good for Joe. He's got him looking over his shoulder and not trusting anyone.
We recap Nash and Joe's history.
Kurt is on his last date, with, as JB fairly points out, a moderately normal looking woman. Kurt is slowly relating his life's story, and they keep cutting away in 20 minute increments only to come back to his having progressed a year in his development. She keeps getting up and excusing herself, and Kurt determines that she's bulimic. He confronts her about it, but it turns she has a spastic colon. Kurt thinks that's hilarious, but she doesn't seem to see the humor. She storms off.
(3) REY BUCANERO defeats ALEX KOSLOV (w/DAIVARI)
I don't get why Koslov is getting so much airtime. He's certainly decent, but so far hasn't shown anything special. Sure enough, he tries to prove me wrong by starting things off with some random flips, big bumps, and a-no hands Somersault Tope over the top rope. He comes back in with a Springboard Cross Body Block and a kick to the back of the head for two. Koslov goes for a Victory Roll but Bucanero just slams him on his head. Holy shit! He finishes things off with a Corkscrew Moonsault. Consider my remarks about Koslov withdrawn.
Kurt Angle is looking for Brother Ray backstage. If the dates occurred days ago, why did Ray say at the start of the show that he was out dating and couldn't answer AJ? JB catches up with him and tells him about the fans' choice match at Victory Road. Kurt is not happy about it.
Kurt Angle comes down to the ring and still, unaccountably, wearing shades. Admittedly they do look somewhat cool on him. He's not happy about the fact that Ray sees his love life as a joke. Team 3D come out, and Ray suggests they go to the back and talk things out. Angle doesn't want to do anything with them since they don't have the proper level of respect. Ray begs off, and says that in their mind he's the man. The truth is that he just lost his black book, so he did what he thought was the right thing—he used Devon's instead, and we all know what Devon's into. In any event, he did Kurt a favor: he picked up a girl last night, and rather than "use her" himself he saved her for Kurt. He calls down a fairly hot skinny girl (who I'm still not convinced is any cuter than Karen). Kurt asks her if she wants to go for a ride on the Olympic gold medal freight train. He also wants to know what she has to offer. She says that she is loving, likes to have fun, and is loyal. "Loyal" was the wrong word to choose though. Kurt says that none of them are loyal, and that if she had a chance to sleep with another man in his bed she'd do it, just like Karen. Hysterically, the one voice you can hear in the crowd is someone yelling "it's true!" She gives him a "screw you." He apologizes, and says that he gets a little carried away sometimes, but of course he would never hurt a woman. Thankfully, he knows some people who will. The Beautiful People come out and give the girl the brown paper bag treatment. Karen's had enough, as she comes down, tosses The Beautiful People, and slaps Kurt. Kurt is ticked, and backs her into the recovering Beautiful People. Things look grim, but AJ hits the ring along with Rhino, ODB, and Gail Kim, and they proceed to clean house.
JB is with Booker T in his new dressing room, and he wants his thoughts on Joe & Nash teaming tonight. Booker thinks it's great. Nash has got Joe wrapped around his little finger, completely ignoring the task at hand. Booker has everything in the palm of his hand, except for the World Heavyweight Championship. He hopes Joe and Nash do work out their problems though, cause Joe's going to need it.
We have another edition of Rough Cut with Matt Morgan. He talks about how this was his life's dream, and how he was thrilled when he got sent to OVW to get paid to get trained. Didn't he just say two weeks ago that his early dream was the NBA? He talks about his first match with Angle, and then about his early stuttering gimmick. Kurt says that that was a mistake, as he should have been booked as a monster.
(4) MILANA COLLECTION AT (w/INVISIBLE DOG and YOSHIMO) defeats CURRY MAN (w/KAZ)
A Sunset Flip on Curry Man gets two to start. He goes to the top rope to follow up, but Curry Man tosses him back down. He hits a Back Body Drop and a Butt Bump in the corner. He goes to the top rope, but Milano ducks. CM tries to come back with a clothesline, but Milano Matrix-es under it. Curry Man connects with a strike, but Milano bridges out at two. A Superkick from Milano gets two. Curry Man goes up top, and hits a Cross Body Block for two. He goes for a Spice Rack, but Milano pushes him off and into the ref. Milano capitalizes with a low blow and Springboard Corkscrew Moonsault for the win.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Beer Money, and Roode is amazed that they're finally getting the attention they deserve. Storm busts out his homemade Beer Money t-shirts, and says that when he was little if he got belted and kept acting up his mama would tell him to go cut a bigger switch. Well, he guesses at Victory Road they're just going to need some bigger switches. Roode tells Joe & Nash that he doesn't care about their drama.
(5) TAYLOR defeats RAESHA SAEED
Taylor is apparently from Toronto, ON, which raises the immediate question—what the hell do they put in the water there? And why are all Canadians good wrestlers? Taylor and Saeed rush each other to start. Saeed takes Taylor up for a Slam, but Taylor slips out and takes control with an Arm Drag. Saeed shoots her into the ropes and goes for a Back Breaker, but Taylor spins out of it. Taylor goes to the top rope, but in an ugly move she jumps way short of Saeed and eats a kick to the stomach. She rolls to the outside, where Kong nails her with a clothesline. Saeed follows her out and whips her into the steel steps. She rolls her into the ring and hits a Back Suplex for two. Saeed hits a Body Slam as the crowd erupts for Taylor. Saeed whiffs on a Moonsault, and Taylor comes back with a series of clotheslines and some sort of whacky Inverted Hurricanrana for two. Saeed fights back with forearms and goes for a Slam, but Taylor floats over and takes Saeed down with a kick. Kong pulls the ref off the count at two. Taylor takes Kong out with a Baseball Slide, then hits a Tiger Suplex on Saeed just as the ref makes it back into the ring to count the three.
Gail Kim talks about how her win at Bound for Glory was the greatest moment of her career. Angelina Love thinks that she hasn't had the opportunities Gail has, but she'll hold the title longer and make it prettier than Gail ever did.
(6) SAMOA JOE & KEVIN NASH defeat BEER MONEY INC.
Nash starts things off with Robert Roode. Roode gets a quick advantage, but eventually Nash remembers that he's Kevin Nash and he's fighting Robert Roode. A Big Boot draws in Storm, who Nash tosses before hitting a Side Slam on Roode for two. Joe tags himself in, and leaving me to wonder how long Joe's been sporting that Mohawk. Roode creates enough distance to tag in Storm, whom Joe then decimates with a series of running kicks.
Roode is hammering Joe in the corner when we come back. During the break Beer Money took control with the illegal double-team. Booker T watches happily backstage as Beer Money work the double-team even more. Joe briefly takes control with a Snap Slam, but when he gets to his corner he flicks Nash off rather than make the tag. The heels retake control while Joe's distracted, so Nash just invites himself in and takes out both members of Beer Money with a Double Clothesline. He takes Storm to the outside and fights him backstage. Ms. Jackie gives Roode handcuffs, but Joe avoids contact. He goes for the Kokido Clutch but gets fought off. He sets Roode up on the top rope, but Roode knocks him back. Joe just comes back with a Pele and Musclebuster for the win.
Nash comes back to the ring, and he and Joe stare each other down when suddenly Sting's music hits. Holy shit. I guess I shouldn't have doubted the ads.
Where We're Going: I was skeptical of TNA's signing Karen Angle, where by "skeptical" I mean "thought it was a really horrendous idea". Today though I saw an opportunity that I must admit I had missed till now: having Karen officially on staff allows them to integrate the ever-popular women's division into the main event scene. In fact, tonight's show went a long way to unifying the storylines of three of the four divisions. It's a shame Steiner is injured, as his alliance with Little Petey Pump could easily have enabled them to fold the X Division into the main story lines as well. Having The Beautiful People and Gail Kim involved in main event angles though will only be a positive going forward.
Star of the night: Beer Money. They didn't do anything too special, but they were involved in a main-event match with Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash without looking hopelessly out of place. Tonight did a whole lot more to solidify Roode's status than his involvement in the King of the Mountain Match did.
Overall: Tonight's show started slow, but it picked up a lot by the end. The surprise return of Sting was a nice touch—even if it won't turn out to make any sense, which I'm guessing it won't, it still popped me out of my seat for the first time in weeks. The show gets massive points for Taylor and The Motor City Machine Guns getting their respective wins. B
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**