TV REPORTS TNA IMPACT REPORT 1/29: Wilkenfeld's ongoing "virtual time" coverage of the Spike TV show
Jan 29, 2009 - 7:44:38 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Last week saw a tables match between AJ Styles and Kurt Angle, and the creation of one of the PPV main events I can remember. Since Brother Ray challenged Sting and Brother Devon challenged Angle, Jim Cornette decided to just go ahead and make it a Fatal Four Way, or possibly a Four Corners Match, depending on who was saying it. If there's one thing that will solidify Ray and Devon's main event status, it's putting them in the same sort of multi-person brawl they've always been in. Aside from which, I can't tell you how often I hear people say how much they wish TNA did more multi-way matches. Okay, I can tell you—it's zero. I find the logic of this just baffling. The only thing I can come up with is that Sting's too morally ambiguous to top the card and so they feel the need to move the strap onto Angle, but there had to be a better way to do it. Or perhaps they were concerned that Brother Ray could not headline a PPV, so they needed both Angle and Sting in the same match. But if they really think people won't buy that Ray (and therefore presumably Devon) has a shot, then all we'll be left with is a heel-tweener competition no one will care about either. Admittedly my fantasy booking also had Angle winning the belt off Sting in a multi-person match, but that was just so he could lose it to Hernandez's now bygone Feast or Fired title shot. Speaking of which, does it make sense to anyone that Ray and Devon are getting shots before Hernandez gets a real title match? That's not wholly rhetorical—if anyone has any brilliant ideas, feel free to comment. The best I can come up with is that they're saving Hernandez for Lockdown, but saving hot talent is generally a stupid move. It certainly didn't help Samoa Joe any.
We open with a message brought to us by the Main Event Mafia. They remind us of all the years they've spent entertaining us and bringing respect to the business. Now the Frontline are trying to end that, but they're stopping it here tonight.
Kurt Angle is sitting behind a nice desk, happy to finally have an office. Cornette bursts in, and he doesn't think it's a good idea for Kurt to be sitting at Jarrett's desk. Kurt points out that with Jarrett injured and Mick gone, there's no one there to stop him. Cornette sits back to watch the crash that will be an MEM run Impact, as Kurt signals for Sharmell in the truck to start the show.
Rachael has rightly pointed out that it would have been awesome if the MEM had put together an all-MEM intro.
Booker T and Kevin Nash are behind the commentary booth, which can only be an improvement. They rundown a bunch of matches for tonight, including a one-handed Petey Williams vs. Matt Morgan, ODB vs. the Kongtourage, Booker T vs. some referees, and Team 3D vs. Sting.
Sharmell is in the back interviewing ODB, who's not amused by the match she's been put into. They trade insults, but ODB says she's looking forward to beating up on the Kongtourage. Sharmell informs her that the MEM has had Taylor Wilde and Roxxi escorted from the building.
Steiner is your ring announcer tonight, though he can't be bothered to get any of the women's name rights (except for Kong and ODB). He also calls the crowd a bunch of rednecks, lest they cheer his legitimately amusing shtick. ODB comes down to cool new pyro. Kevin Nash channels Austin Powers, saying that ODB's a man baby!
(1) ODB vs. THE KONGTOURAGE
ODB starts things off taking Bolt down with a waist lock, but Bolt backs her up into the corner with some strikes. ODB comes back with a quick Small Package for one, then drives her out of the ring. Rhakha Khan comes into the ring—it looks like Bolt made the tag on her way out. Booker mentions in passing that Angle did tonight's booking, which explains the otherwise anomalous Team 3D vs. Sting. ODB drives Khan from the ring, so Saeed tags in. They trade strikes, then ODB clotheslines her over the top rope. Kong comes in and tries to connect with some punches, but ODB dodges around them. She sets Kong up in the corner for some mounting punches, senses the Kongtourage sneaking up behind her, and turns around into a Cross Body Block on all three of them. That leaves her back to Kong though, which isn't such a great idea. Kong knocks her down, and all four beat her down. Kong puts ODB away with an Implant Buster. Interestingly, Booker T has a pretty funny Don West impression.
WINNER: The Kongtourage in 4 minutes. 3/4* This match was effective enough, making ODB look strong and Kong look awesome.
Kurt's excited in the back, and says that this is the best production of Impact he's ever seen. Cornette questions whether Kurt will be responsible for the inevitable lawsuits. JB asks Kurt if they can just go back to the regularly scheduled program before someone gets hurt. Angle says that the whole point is to hurt people. JB warns him that he's heard that Foley's coming, with backup. Angle welcomes him. He also questions whose side JB is on, as he's been awfully fickle since Karen left. JB assures Kurt that he always puts bros before hos, but Angle sends him out to the crowd to sell some t-shirts anyway.
Sharmell is in the back with referees Andrew Thomas and Rudy Charles. She wants to know what they'll do for a career once Booker cripples them. Thomas doesn't think this is funny, but Sharmell says they should have thought of that before Hebner and Sewell picked a fight with Booker. Rudy Charles reminds us of his amateur background and says that he'll come out fighting.
Steiner says this match will be a meat grinder, then gets confused regarding why Rudy Charles only has two first names listed. Booker as Don West ("Black Snow") talks about how excited Booker must be in the back. It's kind of weird.
(2) BOOKER T vs. RUDY CHARLES & ANDREW THOMAS
Steiner comes over to the booth to fill in for the mysteriously absent "Black Snow". Earl Hebner is your official for this contest. Rudy Charles starts things off, looking moderately apprehensive. He tries to rush Booker, but gets knocked down by a clothesline. Booker picks him up, then slaps him back down to the mat. He picks him up again, and kicks him back down. Steiner sounds bizarrely normal on commentary. Booker picks up Charles again, kicks him in the gut, then takes him down with a Scissors Kick. Booker T drags Charles's body over to Andrew Thomas, who finally makes the reluctant tag. He picks up his arms for some old school fisticuffs, but Booker clotheslines him down. Thomas sells "unconscious" really well, as Booker drags him over to the corner and chops him in the chest. Either that or Booker actually knocked him out. Booker kicks Thomas down to the mat. Kevin Nash says he'll tell us who'll be the next member of the MEM if we join TNA Mobile. Booker puts Thomas down with the Book End, then makes the cover. Hebner grudgingly raises Booker's arm.
WINNER: BOOKER T in 2 minutes. Squash (duh).
After the match, Booker gets in the face of Hebner, but Shane Swell runs out in street gear to make the save. He holds his own for a second, then gets put down with a Superkick.
The MEM tell us to cross the line, but mostly they talk about how awesome they are.
Kurt Angle is on the line with Nash, and is excited to learn about some hot chick in section three. Sting bursts in, and he's not happy. Angle says that as the world champ he should be able to fight off two guys, especially as they'll have to tag in and out. Sting reminds him that in two weeks Angle will be in that ring too, and he should think hard about whether he wants it to be with Sting-friend or Sting-foe.
Sharmell is in the back with Matt Morgan. She questions how he'll possibly beat a one-armed Petey Williams. Morgan talks about all the accomplishments he's had this year, from becoming the largest ever American Gladiator to having his DNA sent out into space, but how none of that will compare to when he faces down Petey Williams later tonight. Damn the Main Event Mafia! Morgan says that one-armed or not, he doesn't have mercy on anyone. We can just ask Abyss, who Morgan says is watching at home.
Steiner wants to say something to Barack Obama right now—he says we should stop building a wall to keep the Mexicans out, and start building one to keep the Canadians from coming in.
(3) MATT MORGAN vs. PETEY WILLIAMS
Petey Williams has one arm tied behind his back to start. Morgan goes down to his knees to look Petey in the eyes, but Petey dropkicks him down. Morgan gets up ticked, but Petey dodges his strikes and connects with some rights of his own. Morgan goes for a Big Boot, but Petey ducks and Morgan gets hung up on the top rope. Morgan gets free, and has Petey goozled. Petey fights out, but then runs right into a Decapitator Clothesline. I'm pretty sure the rope has come undone, and Petey's just holding it there. Morgan backs him up into the corner and hits a series of back elbows. He floors Petey with a Side Slam, but lifts him up after two. He nails a Fall Away Slam, then lifts him up again. Steiner comes onto the apron and starts shouting something to Morgan. While they're arguing, Petey gets his arm free. That explains why the rope needed to be so loose. He hides the arm behind his back, and when Morgan comes close he unloads with a series of punches. He draws Morgan towards the ropes, leaps out to the apron, and comes back with a Slingshot Code Breaker. Morgan gets up, only to eat a Missile Dropkick off the top rope. Petey sees Steiner getting up on the apron, so he knocks him down and follows him out to get a few more shots in. That lets Morgan recover enough to nail the Carbon Footprint on Petey as he comes back in for the win.
WINNER: Matt Morgan in four minutes. * That was actually a really cool squash, as for a split second they made me wonder if Petey could win.
Morgan nails an extra Hellavator for kicks. Steiner locks in the Steiner Recliner, so Lethal Consequences and Eric Young come down to make the save. Booker T comes down to the ring to clean house, but keeps a mic so he can stay on commentary as he does it. It's fairly impressive actually.
I guess Kevin Nash is going as "Chet Lemmon", which I have to admit I don't get.
Team 3D are down in the ring, mic in hand. Ray says that while he can't believe he's going to say this, he actually feels bad for Sting. They actually don't want to fight Sting in this match tonight, since Kurt just backed him into a corner. I just noticed that Devon's sporting their newly won Japanese tag titles. Ray reminds us of how he's ticked at Sting for lying to himself and lying to all of us. He says that Sting shouldn't take the ass whuppin' he's about to take personally, just like how Ray or Devon won't take it personally when they beat Sting for the title in two weeks. That didn't make a lot of sense.
Steiner introduces Team 3D as hailing from Dunkin Donuts, in the great state of obesity. He's really pretty good at this.
(4) STING vs. TEAM 3D
Devon starts things off for his team, gaining an early edge with a hammerlock and a side headlock. He takes Sting down with a headlock takedown, but Sting powers back to his feet. Devon transitions to a wristlock, then drags Sting over to Ray for the tag. Ray insists Devon let Sting go before he'll come in. Sting and Ray go face to face, then lock up. Ray gets a side headlock, Sting shoots him off, so Ray comes back with a shoulder block. Ray comes off the ropes again, but Sting catches him with an elbow. Ray fights back with a Body Slam and an Elbow Drop for two. Ray tags in Devon—Sting hits some kicks, but Devon takes him down with the Flying Reverse Elbow. The crowd is split pretty evenly between Sting and Devon, as Sting rolls out of the ring for a breather. Steiner goes over to talk to Sting, so Brother Ray attacks him. Sting goes back into the ring to fight Devon, as Steiner attacks Ray from behind.
Devon and Sting are trading blows in the center of the ring. Sting gains the upper hand and takes Devon over with a Snap Suplex for two. He shoots Devon off into the ropes, and both go for clotheslines at the same time. Devon makes the leaping tag to Ray, who comes in with right hands and Short Arm Clotheslines. A Sidewalks Slam gets two. Ray shoots Sting off into the ropes, Sting catches him with a kick, then Ray comes back with a Yurinagi. They almost blow the spot and hurt someone, but Sting seems to be okay. Steiner distracts the ref so that he can't make the count. Angle runs down and pulls Devon off the apron, then low blows Ray behind the ref's back. Sting nails a DDT, but the ref only turns around in time to count two. Sting goes for mounted punches on Devon in the corner, but Ray comes up behind him and hoists him up for a Doomsday Device. Angle breaks up the count right in front of the referee, drawing the DQ.
WINNER: Team 3D in 10 minutes by DQ. That was a pretty fun handicap match. **1/4
The MEM take it to Team 3D in the ring, and Booker comes down to the ring. He grabs a table from under the ring on his way, but just as they set it up…BANG BANG! And holy shit, Foley's backup is LAX and Abyss! That's awesome on so many levels. The four of them clear the ring.
Foley is still in the ring with his posse, where he says that as amusing as this experiment has been, it's over. He reminds us that two weeks ago Hernandez wrestled his butt off against Sting, only to have his shot ended prematurely. So Hernandez will be getting another title shot at a time to be determined. Mick says that since Steiner is such a fan of weapons, he'll be in a weapons match later tonight against Abyss. Abyss will be like a kid on Christmas day, whereas Steiner will be the naughty child Santa forgot—he'll not be allowed any weapons. And if Kurt likes handicap matches so much, he might as well be in one himself. So tonight he'll be taking on both members of LAX.
In the back, Lauren (I'm finally sick of that old gag too), Tenay, and West are with Jim Cornette. He says he'll explain everything later, but for now they're back in control of the show. He tells Tenay and West to accompany him to the announcing booth for a special announcement. Must they?
Tenay and West are back on commentary (doh!), with Jim Cornette standing behind them. They run down the card for Against All Odds. Abyss vs. Morgan and Steiner vs. Williams have both been officially booked. Cornette says that now that they're back in control of the Impact Zone, it's time for some payback. So at Against All Odds it'll be a fight between Shane Sewell and Booker T. I'm kind of missing how that's supposed to punish the MEM.
(5) SCOTT STEINER vs. ABYSS
Abyss is followed to the ring by a small army of stage hands carrying weapon-filled trash cans. Steiner tries to pick up weapons as Abyss throws them into the ring, but referee Slick Johnson keeps stopping him. Instead he just stomps Abyss on his way into the ring, then beats him down in the corner. Abyss shoots Steiner into the ropes, but Big Poppa Pump catches him with a kick to the head. It's cool though, since Abyss just floors him with a Shoulder Block and charges him in the corner. Abyss sets up a chair in the corner as Steiner rolls out of the ring. Steiner grabs some weapons, but Abyss cuts him off outside the ring before he can use any. Abyss drives Steiner's head into the ring bell (or probably the table nearby), sets him up against the Spanish announce table, but then whiffs on the charge. He goes through the wall as the crowd chants for TNA.
Steiner nails his push-up elbow as we get back. Steiner rolls out of the ring to get chair, but the ref gets in his way. By the time Steiner shoves him aside, Abyss has recovered enough to punch the chair back into his face. A trash can to Steiner's head gets a long two count. Steiner whips Abyss towards the corner with the chair; Abyss stops himself, but Steiner hits a low blow and tosses him into it anyway. I don't know why the low blow didn't draw a DQ. Steiner rolls out to get the ring bell, but Abyss catches him back in the ring with a Choke Slam into a trash can for another long two count. Abyss grabs the ring bell, but before he can use it Steiner knocks it back into his head with a lead pipe. The ref calls for the disqualification as a result of the lead pipe usage.
WINNER: Abyss by DQ in 10 minutes. *1/2 I'm happy to see the old Abyss back. Now hopefully they'll have him stop talking about his therapist every week.
After the match, Steiner whacks Abyss in the back with a trio of chair shots, then starts choking him in the corner with the edge of chair. The lights go out, and Suicide takes a zip line down to the ring. He tosses Steiner into the corner, elbows his head, then drives his head into the ring post. Suicide holds a few fingers to his own head, the lights go out again, and he vanishes.
We see another promo for Brutus Magnus, saying he'll debut next week. I should really hate that gimmick, yet I very much don't.
They show pictures of TNA's Europe tour. Jarrett seems to be coming to the ring in one of the shots, which is kind of weird given Angle's statements earlier. Similarly, one can clearly see Samoa Joe there as well.
Lauren is in the back with some random people hyping Burnett's new cowboy reality show. Are these cross-promotions the price of having Spike help out with Mick and Angle's salary? If the answer is yes, then it's a good deal; otherwise this is bloody silly. Beer Money come by trash talking, but we cut away right before a fight can break out. West says that it's not surprising Storm would be intimidated by "real cowboys". Did they just admit that their wrestlers' gimmicks are BS? That's odd.
(6) LAX vs. KURT ANGLE
Homicide starts things off for his team, but before anyone can do anything they have to pause to soak up the LAX cheers. I can't remember the last time a crowd was entirely against Angle. Homicide takes Kurt down to the mat with a toss, but it's not a great idea to get on the mat with Kurt. Kurt turns Homicide into some sort of arm lock, but Homicide slips out and cinches in a wristlock of his own. Kurt backs him up into the corner, then nails him with some right hands during the break. He shoots Homicide into the ropes, but Mr. 187 comes back with an awesome Twisting Leg Scissors Takedown. He nails a Spinning Wheel Kick, then makes the tag to Hernandez. Hernandez floors Kurt with a shoulder block, then Homicide dropkicks him in the face. Hernandez makes the cover for a two count. Kurt gets up and tries to knock down Hernandez, but just bounces right off. Hernandez clotheslines him over the top rope, then Super-Mexes out on top of him. That move still amazes me.
Somehow Homicide is once again the legal man, as Angle works him over with a chinlock. We see how Kurt took control with an eye rake and a toss out of the ring during the break. Homicide escapes, but then walks right into a Tilt-a-Whirl Back Breaker. Angle nails an Overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex, then brings down the straps. He tries for the Olympic Slam—Homicide escapes, but then gets caught in an Angle Lock. He kicks Angle off. Kurt tries to come back with another attempted Olympic Slam, but Homicide reverses it into a giant DDT. Homicide makes the tag, but Angle was somehow able to distract referee Earl Hebner and prevent him from seeing it. Kurt goes back to work on Homicide, stomping him in the corner. He takes him into the middle of the ring with a Snapmare into a chin lock. Homicide powers out; Angle tries to kick him down, but he catches Kurt with a Dragon Screw Leg Whip. Homicide tries to turn Kurt over for a Single Legged Boston Crab, but Kurt fights it off. Kurt looks for a clothesline as he gets up, Homicide ducks underneath it and goes for a Gringo Cutter, Kurt shoves him off and re-re-reverses into an attempted German Suplex, Homicide goes behind him to re-re-re-reverse Angle into an attempted German Suplex of his own, which is re-re-re-re-reversed into a Victory Roll into an Angle Lock. Holy shit—I had to watch that sequence in slow-mo—twice—to be able to call it. Hernandez crawls towards the ropes, but Angle pulls him back to the center of the ring. Homicide rolls Angle off, and right into a Slingshot Shoulder Block from Hernandez. Hernandez nails a Stinger Splash on Kurt in the corner, then uses his shirt to toss Kurt across the ring. He whips Kurt into the ropes; Angle ducks an attempted clothesline and tries to nail a Cross Body Block, but Hernandez catches him and turns it into a Sit-Out Power Bomb. Hernandez hoists Kurt up for the Border Toss, but Angle slips out. Hernandez charges, but Kurt dodges and he flies out of the ring, catching his shoulder on the ring post on his way out. Homicide sneaks up behind Kurt and nails a School Boy for two. He uppercuts Kurt in the corner; Kurt shoots him off and tries to follow up with a clothesline, but Homicide nails the Gringo Cutter. He sets up the Gringo Killer, but Angle slips out onto his feet nails the Olympic Slam for the win.
WINNER: Kurt Angle in 15 minutes. ***1/2 I never like seeing LAX lose, but I would have been fairly satisfied with that match as a PPV semi-main event.
As we go off the air, an angry Samoa Joe appears on the screen. He's got a weird tattoo on his face, and tells the MEM that he'll be introducing them to the real Samoa Joe.
Where We're Going: Thankfully we're going to get another Hernandez title shot, which is all that really matters. Speaking of LAX, two and a half years ago when they started wrestling, I was one of the first people to start talking about how Hernandez was something special. Everyone else was giving raves to Homicide. Well, tonight reminded me that everyone else was right too. As great as Hernandez was in tonight's main event, Homicide stole the show by going move for move with Kurt Angle. It was really watching an artist at work. His X Division title shot should be well built-up, as Shelley vs. Homicide can steal a show just as easily as Shelley vs. Sabin can.
Star of the Night: Kurt Angle Any other night Homicide would have won for his performance, but Kurt pulled his weight both in the ring and in behind the scenes promos.
Overall: I thought tonight's show was just great. The first hour was amusing and different, but all the squashes put me in the mood for something else. They delivered that something else in the second hour. Putting aside the cowboy business as what I can only assume is an unfortunate contractual obligation, I really don't have a bad thing to say about this show. The return of ass-whipping Joe at the end was just icing on the cake. Kudos. A
Daniel is a graduate student at The Ohio State University. He missed last Thursday column since he had just earned his MA in philosophy and qualified to pursue a Ph.D. He was extremely drunk. Congratulations and/or condemnations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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