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KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 7/17: A ruling on the ownership and possession of the TNA World Championship, 10-Woman Gauntlet

Jul 20, 2008 - 4:02:56 PM

By Wade Keller, Torch editor

JULY 18, 2008


-The show opened with scenes from Victory Road with the James Earl Jones sound-alike voiceover guy. They showed clips first of Team Mexico winning the World X Cup and ended with Sharmell counting the pin for Booker T. The name of the show is "Why Sting Why?"

-The TNA Impact opening aired, then Mike Tenay and Don West introduced the show as the camera panned the frenetic crowd. Tenay said Samoa Joe was totally out of control on Sunday. He said Joe was out to prove a point because Kevin Nash and Booker T told him he couldn't beat Booker. Tenay said he then went out to prove a point "and he did it in blood." He said Joe then "totally disrespected" the icon.

-Booker T and Sharmell walked out. Booker had the TNA World Title belt. He said he proved he is the greatest champion of all time. He said his wife counted three as Joe lie lifeless on the mat. He said before all of the fans he was going to raise the title and declare himself the new World Heavyweight Champion. As Tenay was about to interject comment, Jim Cornette stepped out. He said, "Wait a cotton pickin' moment." He ordered Booker to hand that belt over to him so that he can deliver it back to the real World Heavyweight Champion, Samoa Joe. Tenay said, "A-men!" Cornette said there'd be a rematch at Hard Justice and he could try again to win it there.

Joe walked out in a suit. He walked up to Booker mid-ring. As he began to speak, Booker immediately cut him off. Booker said Joe has been crying all week and wants his belt back because he knows he can't beat him on his best day. Joe told Booker to do himself a favor and shut his mouth. He said there's no way he can call himself a champion with a straight face after he whipped his ass all over the ring in his hometown. Joe said he didn't want the belt because he's never taken a handout from a punk before and he never will. He rationalized Booker holding onto the belt because it keeps his focus on him as a target. That's about as a good of an attempt at a rationalization as there is for a champion voluntarily letting a non-champion keep his stolen belt, but it's still completely totally stupid for a champion who worked so hard to win a title let someone keep it who didn't win it. Joe then began yelling at Booker and told him to do him a favor and shine the belt for him. He told him to tell Sting that after he's done with Booker, tell his buddy, "the boogeyman Sting," Joe is going to get his "bleep" too. Tenay said, "Words of warning to Sting. I love it!"

-Lauren interviewed Beer Money. She laughed as she talked about how sore they must be from the lashings the fans gave them. Robert Roode said it's not funny that he has to stand when he reads the financial section because he's too sore to sit. He said tonight it's not fan revenge, it's Beer Money revenge. He said he was going to go around the park whipping fans. Lauren said he can't do that. He then yelled at the top of his lungs they do what they want (which is so unpleasant to watch on TV, and counting Joe, that's twice in ten minutes people have yelled on my TV at the top of their lungs). He told Lauren, "Now that isn't just funny, it's money." Ugh.

[Commercial Break]


-Jeremy Borash told Kaz backstage that he had a tough loss, but now he has a chance to redeem himself. Kaz took exception with the implication he let his team down. He said he didn't let just himself down. He said he let down Jerry Lynn, A.J. Styles, Amazing Red, Senshi, Christopher Daniels - every X Division wrestler who's ever stepped foot in that ring. He said there is a light at the end of his tunnel. He said he's going to embrace that light, but it might be a freight train coming his way.

[Commercial Break]

1 -- PETEY WILLIAMS vs. KAZ - X Division Championship

Tenay said Kaz's career has had hills and valleys, and he experienced a valley at Victory Road when he was pinned by Volador. Tenay updated that Scott Steiner was at home "vigorously rehabbing his knee" after tearing his ACL at the May PPV. After three minutes of rapid-fire action, each went for their respective finishers multiple times including a near fall by Kaz. Tenay noted it's been four years since Kaz held the X Division Title. Kaz gave Petey a rear-reverse tombstone type piledriver. Rhaka Khan distracted the gullible referee, who didn't make the count but instead turned to her. Kaz then turned and yelled at her and made a move toward her at ringside. She ran. Back in the ring Kaz face planted Petey for a very near fall at 4:00. When Petey climbed to the top rope, Kaz ran up and kicked him. Then he set up a Flex Capacitor off the ropes. Petey elbowed out of it and went for a top rope sunset flip. Kaz then went for a roll-up, but Petey rolled through and yanked on Kaz's trunks for the win.

WINNER: Petey in 6:00.

STAR RATING: *3/4 -- Short, but good. Tenay's commentary was strong, talking about Kaz's ups and downs. That simple, relatable storyline within the match made that match ten times more interesting than any comedy aspect, ringside controversy, or match stip could have. It made Kaz seem human and made the match feel consequential.

-Backstage Jeremy Borash said he was about to get a reaction from Petey after his win (which would have been a welcome, novel segment after a big title defense), but instead Eric Young barged in and began "psst'ing" Borash, telling him he had hot news from the street. He said he knows about the first-ever meeting of the Prince Justice Brotherhood. Young told Borash that he can't tell anybody, but he'll keep him informed. Borash glanced at the camera. Young made him promise and even said he'd kill him if he told anyone.

[Commercial Break]

-Tenay threw to Borash interviewing Joe backstage regarding what happened with Sting at Victory Road. Borash asked if it's true that "Sting has gone to this place that we..." Kevin Nash walked in and said there was never a moment he doubted he could beat Booker T. He said he did what he did to motivate him so when the bell rang, he didn't give Booker a chance to breath. "You're the best in the game right now," he said. Nash said there is more to winning a fight than getting the 1-2-3 and he won that fight. Joe asked if that's really true, because the whole night was supposed to be about beating Joe. "I damn near put him in a coma in front of his family and he didn't give up," Joe said. "I gave him everything I had. I don't know, man. I don't know." Nash asked if he's going to doubt himself now. He said that's what Booker wants. "Dude, he did not win that match; you won that match." Joe said he knows who walked out of there with that belt, and it wasn't him. Nash said when a man no longer believes in himself, he's got nothing left. He patted Joe on the knee and walked away. This whole notion that Joe would think anything of Booker walking out with the title when it was Sting's baseball bat shot that left him vulnerable to the belt being stolen is utterly ridiculous. It just makes zero sense that an intelligent person would be down about his ability to beat Booker based on how that scenario played out. I mean, Booker walking out with that belt meant as much as if the referee or Dave Penzer walked out with the belt - Joe dominated Booker and destroyed him. This idea weren't supposed to buy into this scenario leading Joe to doubt himself makes no logical sense. I could see Joe doubting himself because he let his temper get the better of himself again rather than wrestling like a champion with his eye on victory and nothing else, but that's not even on the radar of anyone in this post-match therapy storyline.


-They went to Mike Tenay and Don West at ringside. West asked why Sting did what he did at Victory Road. Why is this so hard to figure out? Sting wanted Joe to stop acting like a punk-ass baby with a temper he can't control, and he felt Joe disrespecting him when he pretended to listen to him only to turn back to the ring and attacked Booker some more. So Sting hit Joe with the baseball bat after the match was already called off, stopping Joe who was so hot-headed he didn't even know what he was doing anymore. Sting acted rational and stopped someone who was acting against his better interests and potentially doing serious harm to his opponent after the match. That's not controversy. Sorry, TNA bookers, but as a viewer, there's nothing intriguing about what Sting did. What he did made sense. Joe is the guy everyone should be worried about, because his actions - not Sting - were totally out of the context of how a sane, admirable champion would act.

-They went to the production truck where Beer Money and Jackie attacked the production staff. For that type of incident to have even a smidgen of impact, the wrestlers attacking the production workers should be at the least suspended, but really fired. That's assault, and it's illegal, and it's against people who aren't in the fighting game, so it's in a whole different category than a wrestler attacking a wrestler. When that can happen as just a "business as usual" type of incident, it diminishes the impact of anything and everything else TNA bookers attempt to do to get fans outraged at heels.

[Commercial Break]

-Tenay said Sting has arrived! No mention of the production crew being attacked or the aftermath. That angle alone, if done right, could have been the focal point of the show. But instead, it's potentially forgotten about as soon as it happened, and certainly defined down by moving to something entirely different right after the break. Anyway, Borash was out back where a limo was parked. Out of it came Brother Ray, Devon, and Kurt Angle dressed as Sting. Borash didn't know what to think. Borash heard chatter around the corner. He confronted Curry Man, Shark Boy, and Super Eric. Borash asked Eric if this was a meeting he was talking about. Super Eric played dumb and said they are trying to rid something out of some neighborhood or planet or something. Then Eric said he had to "drain the super hero gun." Shark said, "That means he has to take a piss." Then they were attacked by Beer Money. Tenay said they're totally out of control and wondered who would stop them.

2 -- MATT MORGAN vs. JIMMY RAVE (w/Christy Hemme)

First, Jimmy Rave and Christy Hemme were introduced. Rave said, "We love you Baltimore!" Rave went after Morgan at the bell, including biting his face. Morgan no-sold everything and then flattened Rave with a big boot. Mr. Originality then went into Goldberg mannerisms. Then he did the throat-slice gesture and gave Rave his finisher for the pin.

WINNER: Morgan in 1:00.


Afterward, Lance Hoyt - renamed Lance Rock - came to the ring. He told Morgan that if you mess with the band, you mess with the man with the lead guitar. "You want a gig, you got it, because I'm about to rock your world." Morgan dominated him at the start. Christy distracted the ref, which supposedly gave Rock a chance to break free although in reality the Hemme distraction meant nothing. Hoyt went for a moonsault, but Morgan moved. He followed with a corner clothesline and another big boot. He followed with his finisher for the win. Morgan pounded his chest in victory. There's something about Morgan that just isn't main event in the way he carries himself, but it not something that can't easily be fixed. He just has to listen to people who know about the small things that make all the difference in that regard because he might have it in him.

WINNER: Morgan in 1:00.

-Jim Cornette was surrounded by a room full of yelling Knockouts. He yelled at the top of his lungs that he wanted everyone quiet. He then announced a ten-woman gauntlet match. As they continued to chatter, he said he hopes none of them are married because their husbands ought to commit suicide. (That was just way too heavy a statement. More evidence in continuing pattern that the writers and others in TNA have serious issues with women, and it's not an appealing program to watch unless you also completely hate all women because people on all sides talk as if it's a given women are all the same.) Cornette said the winner of the gauntlet match tonight will face Taylor next week for the title. He shoed them away disrespectfully. "Women, women," uttered Cornette. Traci Brooks told Cornette he should really take her up on the offer. Cornette said it might be a good idea. He said Traci is such a nice lady. He then kicked Borash off of his desk and out of his office.

[Commercial Break]

-A video segment aired promoting Karen Angle's new interview segment, "Karen's Angle." She said she's going to get the truth whether they want to give it to her or not.


-Lauren followed Beer Money outside the Impact Zone. They threatened to attack Lauren as she told them "they're only tourists." They attacked two security members. Tenay and West were outraged that now they're going after the fans. West said that puts TNA in great legal jeopardy.

-Kurt Angle came out onto the stage in full Sting make-up and outfit, followed by Team 3D.

[Commercial Break]

-In the ring, Angle spoke to the fans and said they're there to welcome Sting to their fraternity. He said people said it would never happen, but here in TNA anything is possible. He said: "After over two decades of kissing babies, slapping hands, and hollering like an imbecile, Sting, you finally showed your true colors at Victory Road." He said with the mighty swing of the bat, he shattered all of the hopes and dreams of the Mighty Stingers all across the world. He said they want to know why. Angle said the answer is simple - the fans don't appreciate all he does for them and all of the young punks in the business who have no respect for anyone. He claimed he talked to Sting last night, so he's telling the truth.

A.J. Styles, Christian Cage, and Rhino walked out. Styles insisted that nobody knows why Sting did what he did to Joe. He said he trusts that Sting had a good reason and made the right decision. He said he trusts him, and soon enough Sting will let them know the reasons for his actions. He said he was out there to talk about the three morons in the ring. Brother Ray interrupted and said for the last four days they've been licking their wounds from the beating he gave them at the PPV. He bragged about what they've done to them, including putting Christian through a glass table. (Remember that; it was seven major angles ago.) Ray told Rhino he "has no brains." He told Cristian he's known him for ten years and his ego "is bigger than Awesome Kong's toilet seat." He granted them a rematch at Hard Justice - a six-man tables match. Tenay said, "Wowww!"

Christian said he has a question for Silent Bob. He said he is embarrassed about being through a table. He said it was the worst pain he's experienced in his life, but it's given him time to reflect and do some thinking. He said he wants to know who they are to give any kind of orders, like what kind of match they're going to have or when it's going to take place. Christian added, "The last time you gave an order that anyone took seriously, the answer was, 'Thank you, please drive through.'" Ray got so upset he leaped over the top rope and ran toward them. He stopped short, though, and was talked back by Angle. Christian said the match is going to take place, not at the PPV, but next week. Christian said it'll be a five-table elimination match, meaning that if you go through a table, you're out. The crowd chanted, "We want tables!" He said in the mean time do them a favor and go home and pat themselves in the back and keep putting each other over for how they beat them up, but then remember these three words: "Rhino, get the tables!" Well, that's four words. Overall good set-up for next week's match. It's a match that shouldn't be given away on TV if you're in the business of selling PPVs, especially given nothing they're doing makes much of a different in the short-run at popping TV ratings.


-A video feature aired on the TNA Knockouts rivalries, then hyped the title match against Taylor next week.


Jackie vs. Gail Kim opened the match. Tenay and West talked about next week's show including the Knockouts Title match and the five-table match. Angelina Love entered a minute later. Jackie and Love shoved each other, but then double-teamed Kim. Celinas entered fourth. Velvet Sky entered fifth, and she and Love attacked Celinas. Roxxi entered next. (They seem to have dropped Laveaux as her last name.) Rhaka Khan entered sixth and tossed everyone around. Traci came out next. Tenay wondered what her proposition was to Cornette she referenced earlier. Christy Hemme was ninth in. The final entrant was ODB. ODB sprayed her shot of booze in Christy's face. They cut to a break as ODB was takings shots at one woman after another in a flurry of energy.

[Commercial Break]


They showed clips from during the break of three eliminations: ODB eliminating Khan by avoiding a big boot, Kim eliminating Christy, and Love slidekicking Traci off the apron. Jackie tossed ODB out during current action, drawing boos from the crowd. I'd better protect ODB from such flippant eliminations. Jackie head scissored Roxxi out, then Jackie was yanked out by Roxxi. It came down to Kim, Love, and Sky. Love and Sky double-teamed Kim until Love mistakenly hit Sky. Kim made a comeback. Kim and Love tumbled over the top rope; Kim knocked Love to the floor to eliminate her. Sky then schoolgirled Kim from behind to win.

WINNER: Sky in 17:00.

STAR RATING: ** -- Lots of action, decent finish.

-Borash interviewed Booker and Sharmell backstage. He complimented Booker on his locker room makeover and his jacket. He said he's heard a rumor he gets to pick his opponent tonight in any kind of match. Booker said he's going to give Consequences Creed a shot at the TNA World Championship. Booker then said into his cell phone, "Yes 911, I'm requesting an ambulance outside of the Impact Zone tonight." He told Borash his match is going to be a stretcher match.

[Commercial Break]

-Borash interviewed Black Machismo and So Cal Val backstage. Borash asked when his feud with Sonjay Dutt ends. Machismo said it ends when he says it ends. He said they were all one big family before Dutt ruined it all. Val asked what he wants Dutt to do. "He has feelings for me," she said. Machismo said he wants him to take a left in the fork and get the hell off the road. Val said, "I think you're being way too hard on him." She walked off. Machismo followed, looking frustrated.


West and Tenay talked about Val's comments about Dutt having feelings too. "Are you kidding me?" said Tenay. Young collapsed and clutched his heart when the pyro blasted. Devine laughed. Dutt went for a very early cover on Young, but Devine broke it up. They pretended to be friends, then double-crossed each other with pin attempts. Young tossed Dutt out of the ring. Devine gave Young a running knee leading to the first two count. Young caught Devine with knees as he went for a springboard moonsault. Dutt tried to get back into the ring, but Young knocked him down again. Dutt returned to the ring and clipped Young's leg from behind, then rolled him up for the pin.

WINNER: Dutt in 3:00.


-After the match, Machismo jumped Dutt. Devine helped Dutt make a comeback, but Lethal fended them both off, knocking Devine out of the ring with a dropkick. Val ran to the ring and called for them to stop fighting. Lethal threw Dutt into the ringpost at ringside. Then he took a chair from a fan. Val yanked it away. Tenay acted much more surprised by that than he should have, exclaiming, "What?!" Lethal told Val to return to the back. As she turned to leave, Dutt hit the ringpost with a chair, then threw the chair to Lethal, then dropped and pretended he was hit. Val demanded to know what he did. "You're an animal!" she said. "How could you?" She stormed away. Lethal looked helpless as he tried to explain himself. Dutt wore a wide grin.

-James Storm and Robert Roode talked about whether they should be worried about hitting female fans given Spike TV's rule of man-on-woman violence. Storm said, "Let 'em fine us. You've got all the money."

[Commercial Break]

-Roode and Storm entered the ring. Roode said the fans may have enjoyed seeing them get "whipped like dogs" at Victory Road. He said, "Let's get whipping!" They went to ringside. Tenay said this is way too nuts and crossing the line. They yanked a fan in the front row over the railing and threw him into the ring because he was wearing an LAX t-shirt. They exposed his back and whipped him. Referees charged into the ring. Beer Money cleared the ring. Agents Pat Kinney and Scott D'Amore entered the ring to talk them down. When they acknowledge D'Amore and Kinney, they don't acknowledge their former prominent (especially D'Amore) roles on TV in previous years. They approached Hector Guerrero and beat on him. They handcuffed Hector to the top rope. West said he was absolutely helpless. They pulled his t-shirt over his head and exposed his back. Roode and Storm took turns whipping him. Hector tried to kick at them, but they whipped away at him. Finally Homicide and Hernandez made the save.

-Borash interviewed Angle, Team 3D, and Tomko (remember him?) backstage. Angle asked if Styles & Christian & Rhino realize what they're getting themselves into. Ray noted they've never lost a tables match. Angle said they'll be pulling splinters out of their backs. Angle said next week they're not coming alone, implying Sting would be in their corner. Kurt then talked about the debut of Karen's new talk show, asking Tomko to crash it and make her life a living hell.

[Commercial Break]


-Lauren interviewed a jumping with happiness Creed backstage. He said this is the opportunity he's been waiting for. He imitated Booker's Spinarooni and acknowledged his resume, but he said after tonight he won't forget the name Creed. Lauren laughed with Creed as his energy was contagious.

7 -- BOOKER T (w/Sharmell) vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED -- Stretcher Match

Booker wore the TNA World Title belt to the ring. Tenay acknowledged that and said Booker is wearing it, but it's not his. West recapped that Cornette said Joe is champion, but Joe told Booker to keep the belt until the next PPV and shine it up for him. West said Booker can't be in ideal shape because he was so beaten on Sunday that he didn't even know Sharmell had counted to three and he needed help getting to the back. You wouldn't know it looking at Booker, who has never looked fresher. The match began with ten minutes left in the show. They showed the stretcher at ringside. Creed got in some early offense with his high-energy attack. Booker retreated to ringside at 2:00 to take a breather. Tenay said it would turn TNA upside down if Creed beat Booker.

[Commercial Break]

At 5:00 Creed controlled the action with an armbar and ten some punches. Booker kicked Creed in the face, then slammed him. Tenay said he was just handed a note from Cornette that the Motor City Machine Guns have challenged Beer Money to a strap match, and Beer Money accepted. He also plugged the debut of Karen's Angle, Taylor vs. Sky for the Knockout Title, and the six-man five-table elimination match. He said next week's Impact is loaded and one of the biggest in their history. Booker nailed Creed with an axe kick at 7:00. Booker then KO'd Creed with a series of knees to the head, which is a good, realistic move that more pro wrestlers should incorporate into matches. Booker pounded Creed onto the stretcher. Tenay said they had anticipated a feel good moment with Creed perhaps pulling an upset, but instead Booker has beaten Creed senseless. EMTs wheeled Creed to the back, giving Booker the win.

WINNER: Booker in 8:00.

STAR RATING: *1/2 -- What aired was good.

-Afterward, Booker continued the beating on Creed. When Sharmell opened the ambulance door, Joe popped out and hit Booker and shoved him into the ambulance. He then pounded on the door and ordered the ambulance to drive away. Joe grabbed a black baseball bat out of Sharmell's hands and asked who gave it to her. She ran away. He threw the bat on the floor and looked frustrated.

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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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