TV REPORTS 10/16 Impact Review by Wilkenfeld: The veterans bring their gravitas to the mic in a very good outing
Oct 16, 2008 - 10:54:48 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: So Bound for Glory climaxed with Sting winning the title courtesy of an assist from Kevin Nash. As a finish to Bound for Glory, it was kind of lame. As plot advancement though, it wasn't such a horrible call. What I'd really like to hear is that Nash has actually been nursing a grudge since Joe's anti-veteran promo at Turning Point last December. That would be a really good way to reincorporate the awesome, but otherwise ignored, promo. It's a shame there's no way for TNA to get the rights to the nWo name, as I always thought WWE's 2002 attempt to recreate it was a much bigger wasted opportunity than the much-hated WCW invasion angle. Anyway, despite Sunday's disappointment, I'm really looking forward to tonight's show. It'll be fun to see how long TNA can keep me looking forward to the next good show without ever actually delivering one.
The Show: Foley's Farewell
Are they going to run the exact same "veteran retires from TNA but is baited back by obnoxious heel" that they ran with Sting in 2006?
Don West tells us that Abyss was hospitalized, but has been released. Foley will be giving a "farewell address". We will also be seeing Roxxi vs. Raesha Saeed, Kevin Nash vs. Consequences Creed, and Booker T vs. Hernandez. Wow, the Random Match Generator 3000 is working overtime tonight.
(1) SONJAY DUTT (w/SOCAL VAL) & SHEIK ABDUL BASHIR defeat THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS
Sonjay and Sabin start things off with a rapid sequence of high octane reversals, culminating in Sonjay hitting a somewhat off-looking Leg Scissors. He does some boasting, which gives Sabin a chance to recover. Sabin goes for a kick, it's caught, but rather than hit the Ensuguri he goes low for a sweep instead. Sonjay rolls out of the ring, so Sabin knocks down Bashir and flies over the rope onto both of them with a Somersault Tope. A cheap shot from Bashir let's Sonjay take control, but Sabin reverses a charge in the corner and gets in the tag to Shelley. Shelley comes in, knocks Bashir off the apron, drives Sonjay down to the mat, Superkicks a returning Bashir back off the apron again (I think Bashir might be trying to lay claim to Flair's lesser known record of most times knocked off the ring in a single match), plants Dutt with a Pile Driver into a Face Plant, and then goes outside to take out Bashir with a Suicide Dive. When Shelley tries to reenter the ring Val trips him up, but Sabin just comes in on his own to take it to Dutt. He floors the guru, and Shelley makes it back in just in time to nail a Frog Splash for the kill. I didn't know the Guns were allowed to win matches.
After the match, Angle's music hits. He comes down to the ring and tosses both Guns out to the floor. He follows them out and hits a few cheap shots, then comes back in and takes out Sonjay with an Olympic Slam. I wonder if they avoided having him be in the ring with Bashir so that none of us will remember that horrible time Daivari was Angle's manager. Kurt grabs a mic, and tells Jarrett that no one gets to steal a win on him and then walk away. At Bound for Glory Jarrett might have won the battle, but he didn't win the war that's coming. Angle asks if Jarrett is a true champion or just some hick from Nashville. He lays out his game plan: he's going to take out TNA wrestlers one by one till Jarrett agrees to come back in the room. This would be more poignant if we had any reason to think Jarrett didn't want to come back into the ring.
JB catches Nash arriving in the back and asks about his unexpected appearance at BFG. Nash points out that someone paid for his plane ticket, so someone must have expected him. He's always said to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, so for 10 months he clung to Joe after Joe disrespected him and Scott Hall. He's loyal to his friends, but most importantly he's loyal to Kevin Nash. So from now on it's Kevin Nash…4 life.
With the exception of their not announcing earlier that Jarrett wasn't ever coming back to the ring (or at least not doing it very loudly), that was just about a picture perfect segment.
Sting is out, TNA World Heavyweight Championship in hand. He says that he knows that it's not supposed to be him with the belt, it's supposed to be Samoa Joe. He can also say that at Bound for Glory Joe was the better wrestler, and in fact Joe is the better wrestler. The old man bit off more than he could chew, and ten minutes into the match he knew it was over. Joe could have finished him anytime he wanted to, but he did what he always does, and tried to humiliate and disrespect Sting. And it's because of Joe's disrespect that Sting is the champion instead of him. How many times did you ever see Sting have Flair on the ropes but choose to prolong the agony? He didn't, cause he had respect. That's why he has the title, and that's why he's going to keep it. After he won the match, half the people in the locker room shook his hand and half didn't, and one of the ones who didn't was AJ Styles. Sting knows that AJ is friends with Joe. Speak of the devil, AJ is out to the ring. He agrees that he's friends with Joe, which is how he knows that if Sting would just listen to people he'd get the respect he deserves. If Sting didn't belittle people like Joe and AJ, they'd wouldn't try to belittle him. AJ stresses his hard work, and how people like Low-Ki and Christopher Daniels built this company. I didn't know you could still say "Low-Ki" in TNA. Nowadays, people like AJ and Joe give their blood to be the mortar that holds this company together, and if Sting doesn't like it he knows where to find the door. AJ reminds us that his wife is basically a single mother, while Sting is out coaching his son's football team. Sting reminds AJ how he complained about his father, but says that if AJ keeps making the choices he does he's on the road to be just like his dad. AJ slaps Sting, who, after a brief internal struggle, decides not to reciprocate. He tells AJ that because of their history he'll let that one go. AJ just says "Don't" and slaps him again. They brawl to the floor, where they're pulled apart by security.
In the back, Kurt Angle is beating the hell out of Curry Man. Shark Boy tries to intervene, but that doesn't go well for Shark Boy. Eric Young tries next, and while he does a little better, he's still no Kurt Angle.
I'm not sure why they had Sting bring up AJ—it would have been more dramatic to have AJ come down to confront Sting of his own accord. Otherwise this was very good stuff.
JB is in Booker T's posh locker room. He points out that while Hernandez is known as a tag wrestler, it's hard to ignore his strength and size. Booker says that if they want to talk about strength and size, he knows all about strength and size. He rants about lions and elephants in his country. So he's definitely supposed to be from Africa? That makes this gimmick a bit more racist. Sharmell says that Booker will reveal the contents of the mystery briefcase live on Impact next week. This half-segment was the first real whiff of the night.
(2) BOOKER T (w/SHARMELL & THE SOON TO NOT BE A MYSTERY BRIEFCASE) defeats HERNANDEZ (w/HOMICIDE)
For the record, I am all in favor of Hernandez and Homicide going into singles wrestling without actually breaking up as a team. Booker and Hernandez lock up, with Hernandez gaining the early advantage. Booker comes back with a Side Headlock, but Hernandez shoots him off and floors him with a shoulder block. They lock up again, but this time Booker kicks Hernandez in the stomach. He lands a few Knife Edged Chops before Hernandez catches him with a big Delayed Vertical Suplex for two. Booker comes back with a Leg Lariat for a two count. He knocks Hernandez down with a side kick, then mounts him for some punches. Then, in an attempt to prove that his thoroughly entertaining performance last night was a fluke, Booker starts working the Sleeper. Hernandez gets to his feet, but Booker stuns him with some knees and goes for the Scissors Kick. Hernandez dodges and comes back with a Decapitator Clothesline and a huge Stinger Splash for two. He Scoop Slams Booker to the mat, then goes to the apron so he can hit his Slingshot Shoulder Block for two. He hoists Booker up for the Border Toss, but Sharmell gets up on the apron and distracts the ref. Hernandez puts him down, and for some reason Homicide goes to yell at the ref too. Booker takes advantage of the distraction to nail a low blow, then has Sharmell pass him the case. He nails Hernandez in the head for the win.
JB is in the back, where Kurt Angle is beating up Jimmy Rave. Lance Rock comes to try in vain to make the save, and West forgets that he's no longer Lance Hoyt. Christy is a quivering mess, but Angle lets her be. If you want to hurt the company, shouldn't you be aiming a bit higher than The Rock & Rave Infection?
Not-Crystal is in the back with Roxxi, and says that she must be worried that when she fights Saeed later Kong will be right there. Roxxi says that she doesn't give a @#$! about Kong. Not-Crystal explains that while this is Roxxi's first interview, she should know that Spike won't allow that sort of language. Conveniently, Roxxi doesn't give a @#$! about Spike either. She's learned that it doesn't matter if you win or lose. She's lost most of her matches, had her head busted open and shaved, but she's still $%@$ing standing here, so if that @!#$^ Kong thinks she's going to go run and hide, she's got another think coming. "Sorry Spike."
I think this new Roxxi will work out well, but it could just as easily become a train wreck.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Christy Hemme, who says she's rushing to the hospital. She runs into The Beautiful People, who want to know why Christy's stealing their camera time. They plug their new segment and the switch to HD. Christy tells them to let her go, but they don't like that she didn't say please. Christy flicks them off, so they toss her into the nearby stairs and give her the Brown Paper Bag Treatment.
Kurt Angle's back on his way out to the ring. The ring announcer maybe says something to him, so Angle beats the hell out of him. He rolls him into the ring, beats him up with his own shoe, then puts him in the Angle Lock. An army of security guards and referees come down to break things up, but they attack evil-ninja-style and Kurt takes them all out. Jarrett finally hits the ring, and says that Kurt needs to admit that it's over. He wanted a match at Bound for Glory, and he got one. The last thing Jarrett needs now is to get back into the ring. Kurt yells that Jarrett didn't beat him. He reminds Jeff of that time he was at his house—he knows where he lives, and maybe "Uncle Kurt" could pay Jeff's kids a visit. Jarrett flips out, and this time it's him security has to hold back. Why do heels in TNA always screw with people's families? It wasn't cool the first time (Jarrett 2006), was lamer the second time (Angle 2007), and is even lamer now.
They have a WrestleMania-style music-video package of Bound for Glory. I was wondering why there wasn't one at the end of the show on Sunday. I guess TNA can make one, but not in real time? Although they were running late-ish on Sunday, so maybe they just didn't have time to get to it.
Mick Foley is out for his farewell address. You know if he would quit after one refereeing gig Angle would have a fairly legitimate beef with with respect to Jarrett's calling him TNA's biggest acquisition. The crowd chants "Foley", but he's not sure he deserves that. He wants to share a secret he's been hoarding for 23 years. People looked at the style he wrestled, and people always thought he liked pain. The truth is that he's a junkie—a roller coaster junkie—c'mon, he barely ever has a beer! He endured the pain by seeing the world as his own amusement park, and he could always put up with the agony as long as he knew there was a roller coaster coming. He runs down a list of roller coasters for no apparent reason, but does manage to work in the cheap pop. But lately he's been realizing that life and wrestling are a lot like a theme park—sometimes you just have to go back your hotel and have a dip in the pool so you'll be ready to come back later and have more fun. A few months ago he felt the fun ebbing away, but his weeks in TNA around such tremendous athletes were like a dip in the pool. Unfortunately, there's a limited number of times you can be a Special Guest Enforcer, and he's pretty sure that number is one. So as much as he'd love to stay, it's time to go. He works his way up the ramp, where Consequences Creed, Jay Lethal, and AJ Styles meet him with hugs. At the top of the ramp, Jarrett comes out and says that they can't leave things like this. He begs Foley to come to his office for ten minutes, and Mick relents. Maybe we've got a new GM coming? They seemed to be foreshadowing that on Sunday.
Jim Cornette is live on the phone from Las Vegas. He's got to deal with Kurt's craziness, so he books Kurt against the one man he doesn't think Kurt wants any part of—"The Blueprint" Matt Morgan. Really? He's Kurt Angle. He won a gold medal with a broken freak'n neck. I don't think he'll sweat Matt Morgan. West argues that so far Angle's attacks have all been blindsides, whereas Morgan will be prepared, but Shark Boy, Lance Rock, and Eric Young all threw the first punch.
(3) ROXXI defeats RAESHA SAEED (w/AWESOME KONG)
Saeed gains a quick advantage, stomping on Roxxi in the corner. We have a minute of beat down, then Saeed locks in some sort of weird Surfboard/Lasso From El Paso/Face Plant. She whiffs on a dropkick off the rope. Roxxi bounces off the ropes, and Kong tries to trip her but misses. Roxxi nails a Fall Away Slam on Saeed, then goes out to deal with Kong. She eats a clothesline, but then takes Kong into the steps. Kong is down long enough for Roxxi to put Saeed away with the Voodoo Drop (which might or might not now be called the Cajun Drop) in the ring for the win.
After the match, Kong comes in and puts Roxxi away with an Implant Buster.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Matt Morgan, and she wonders how he can focus on the match when Abyss just got out of the hospital. He says that his focus is as far as away as possible, since it's his fault his best friend Chris Parks was even in that match. That's something he'll have to live with for the rest of his life. But he's a main event waiting to happen, and if Kurt wants to talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time (did he?), that's a seven-foot understatement.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Christy, who apparently requested this interview time. She tells the Beautiful People that if she didn't have to go to the hospital right now, she'd kill both of those "sluts" right here tonight. Instead she'll have to take them out next week in Vegas. If they think she's angry now, she'll be sure to be PMSing next week. Christy showed really good emotion here.
They run down the card for next week—Christy vs. (a member of) The Beautiful People, Jay Lethal vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir for the X Division Championship, the four teams from Monster's Ball competing in a gauntlet match (with the fans choosing the order of entry), Taylor Wilde vs. Awesome Kong for the women's title, Booker T revealing what's in his case, and AJ Styles & Samoa Joe vs. Nash & Sting. That actually does sound like a pretty loaded show.
JB is in the back with Consequences Creed, and he wants to know if Creed thinks he's going to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Creed says that it's never the wrong time to shoot yourself right to the top. So tonight Nash should bring his A game, his B game, and his video games, including TNA Impact the video game which all fans should be playing, and even though Nash is like 9'12", Creed is psyched. That was fun.
(4) KEVIN NASH defeats CONSEQUENCES CREED
Nash takes Creed down with his slow shots to the torso, then hits some Knee Lifts in the corner. Creed dropkicks Nash's knee, then hits some jabs. He can't take the big man off his feet, and when he goes for a kick Nash reverses it into a Decapitator Clothesline. Nash works a Lifting Cobra Clutch, which does not look pleasant, then puts Creed away with a Jackknife.
After the match, Nash takes a mic. He says the new generation of guys around here are either the most arrogant or the stupidest SOBs he's ever met. If Joe couldn't see what was coming at Bound for Glory, he must have forgotten the trash he talked about Scott Hall ten months ago. The only people stupider than those two (Joe and Hall?) are the people in the Impact Zone, who are still cheering for him. He bets we've always wondered what it's like to be Kevin Nash. In David and Goliath, the giant is a big dumb monster. In Jack and the Beanstalk, it's the same. But the reason we hate him is that he's not stupid. He's the smartest man in pro wrestling (take that Raven!). And the other reason we hate him is that those of us who are dumb enough to bring our wives know that they're wondering what it would be like to spend the night with him. But the thing we hate the most is that if we pooled all our money, we'd have less than he spends at a strip club in a month. We don't have to like him, but we better learn to live with him, cause he's the best thing going today.
JB is trying to listen in at Jeff Jarrett's door. Jarrett and Foley come out, having just shook on something. Mick asks if he's serious, and Jarrett assures him that he is. Mick says he has to go take a Kurt and wipe his Angle. JB tries to press him for details about their negotiations, but Foley just gives one hint—Jeff's brain is "mavericky". JB complains that that's not even a word and follows Foley, looking for more answers.
We get a two minute music video about TNA HD and crossing the line.
Not-Crystal is in the back with Team 3D, and she thinks that what they did to Abyss was more like an assault than a match. Brother Ray wants to know what everyone expected, putting the most hardcore tag team in history in a Monster's Ball. Did we expect to see headlocks? It's also the fault of the fans, for always expecting a new level of violence from Team 3D. He tells us to look forward to Vegas, where they'll be bringing sex, drugs, and rock & roll.
(5) MATT MORGAN defeats KURT ANGLE
I have this nagging feeling Morgan (who for some inexplicable reason enters second) might win this match. They lock up, and Morgan shoves Kurt down to the mat. Angle goes for a Side Headlock, but Morgan shoots him off and floors him with a shoulder block. Angle finally gains control with some uppercuts, but when he tries to follow up with a Cross Body Block he gets caught in a Fall-Away Slam. Morgan hits his cool leg drop on Angle's neck on the top rope, which really needs a name, then hits another Undertaker-style Leg Drop on the apron.
We get back just in time to see Morgan hit a Cross Body Block off the top rope for two. He signals for a Hellavator, but Angle rolls out of the ring. He makes Morgan chase him around the ring, and when Morgan rolls back in Angle is there to greet him with a stomp. He works over Morgan's left leg a bit with various strikes and holds. Morgan eventually shoves him off, but Angle comes right back with a couple of chop blocks. Kurt tries for a third, but Morgan cuts him off with a clothesline. Both men get to their feet and exchange blows, with Morgan gaining the advantage. He hits a series of clotheslines, charges Kurt in the corner, then hits a Sidewalk Slam for two. He goes for another charge in the corner; Angle dodges and goes for an Olympic Slam, but Morgan slips out and hits a Bicycle Kick for two. Angle grabs the ankle as he gets up, but Morgan fights it off and nails a Bookend for two more. For some reason they pretend that's the Hellavator. This time he does go for the real Hellavator, but Angle slips out, clips Morgans legs, and nails the Olympic Slam for the win—so much for my nagging suspicions.
After the match Angle cinches in a nasty looking Ankle Lock, but Abyss slowly makes his way to the ring to make the save. Kurt's finally met someone he wants no part of, so he backs out of the ring. Abyss goes to check on Morgan, but Angle attacks from behind after all. He tears off Abyss's shirt so he can lay into Abyss's bandaged torso, then puts Abyss in the Angle Lock.
JB catches up with Jarrett, and he wants to know what they were talking about in his office. Jarrett says they were discussing the intricacies of politics and the bailout. Foley concedes a bit more, saying that he's going to make an Earth-shattering announcement next week. What happens in Vegas won't stay in Vegas—it'll be shared with the rest of the world. I'm glad they didn't try to end the show claiming that Foley was done.
Where We're Going: Seemingly we're on a good track, with AJ-Sting and Joe-Nash in the works. Both feuds are well-motivated, with roots of the former going back about two months and roots of the latter going back five times as long. It's odd that Nash has gone full-on heel after Stinger has been playing it so neutrally, but maybe that's just an expression of Steve Borden's desire not to screw with his legacy too much. Why we had to wait till after BFG for the good stuff is beyond me, but it finally seems to be here.
Star of the Night: Sting. The Stinger gives us another promo-masterpiece, weaving together Joe's frequently mentioned anger management issues with the story of his losing the title.
Overall: This was a very strong show. There were a few missteps, but with the exception of Angle gratuitously threatening Jarrett's kids they were all relatively minor. Foley, Sting, and Nash were promo gold. AJ performed surprisingly well on the mic. I don't like Hernandez losing, but I think losing dirty after dominating most of the match was about as much as one could reasonably expect. A-
Daniel is a graduate student at The Ohio State University. He has a Friday morning class, and can't figure out how to balance that with his recapping duties. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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