TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/12: Mega-Mafia explodes, Mafia talks, Mafia wrestles, Mafia ties its shoes, Mafia skips rope, Mafia does jumping jacks
Feb 14, 2009 - 10:40:16 AM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor
TNA Impact on Spike TV
February 12, 2009
Taped Feb. 9 in Orlando, Fla.
Opening: Right to the ring this week instead of a talking segment. Kurt Angle came out first for a tag match with Sting against Team 3D in a re-match of the PPV main event. Might as well give it away on free TV right off the bat. Of course, Mike Tenay thanked TNA management for booking this re-match of sorts. Prior to the match, the camera focused on Angle and Sting talking in close quarters trying to establish a working agreement.
1 -- TNA World Hvt. champion STING & KURT ANGLE vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON)
Angle and Ray started things off, and they repeated the story from last week's TV match of Angle refusing to tag in Sting. Fans chanted for Sting as a result. Very slow set-up for 3D to hit the "What's Up?" diving headbutt, then Angle finally made a tag to Sting. However, Sting dropped down to the floor and questioned Angle, leading to a brief shoving match until the rest of the Mafia stormed ringside to separate them.
Very slow action as Sting tried to tag out to Angle, but Angle dropped to the apron. Steiner, wearing his headdress, tried to talk sense into Angle. It would be like a clown trying to give financial sense to a CEO. Angle continued to avoid a tag from Sting, so Sting finally tagged Angle in and flipped him over the top rope into the ring. Angle and Sting argued, then Sting shoved Angle into Devon, who rolled up Angle for the pin. Afterward, Angle and Sting came to blows before the Mafia stormed the ring to separate them. Looked like a bunch of old guys fighting over the last bagel and coffee at the rotary club meeting.
WINNERS: Team 3D in 8:00. Brother Ray had his "boo-boo face" on since he wasn't getting his heat back for being pinned at the PPV and because 3D wouldn't be the focus of the match. Instead, it was more about developing tension between Sting and Angle. Match was really, really slow. (1/2*)
Post-match: Angle was in the ring with the Mafia with something to say. Angle said he's kept his mouth shut for the past four days. He can't keep his mouth shut any longer. Angle called Sting a fake, phony, and disgrace to the family. See, he was supposed to become 13-time World champ and Sting was jealous. He took it back to Las Vegas that it's family first and Sting went back on that pact. Angle said he should kick Sting's rear end to the curb, but at the end of the day, each side needs the other. Angle said he's going to help the Mafia tonight by becoming World champ when Sting takes a dive and Angle pins him for the belt.
Things seemed to be resolved, but Jeff Jarrett's music hit. Out came Jarrett, who we're not sure what role he's in tonight. Management? Wrestler? Janitor? Wait, that's Abyss. Jarrett approached Angle and said he's not going to allow that go on. He said Sting is the champ and Angle is not. Angle replied that Jarrett came back from the dead, so does he have to kill him literally? Angle shouted that this is about the Mafia, and has nothing to do with Jarrett, who answered that it has everything to do with him because it's his company. As the founder of TNA, Jarrett said Sting is the TNA Hvt. champion. Sting then grabbed the mic and said he's going to take Angle up on his offer. He nodded to Jarrett that he has this figured out. Don't worry.
Furrowed brows segment: Tenay and Don West were shown on camera firmly discussing what just happened to start the show. Recap, recap, recap, and now a "Showdown" between Sting and Angle.
Backstage: How about some more Mafia? Why not. Jeremy Borash was with Booker T and Sharmell to discuss the beginning of the end for the Mafia. Booker, with a normal voice and tone, said it's no beginning of the end. It's Sting just doing what the boss has to do. Booker said Mafia is a family and Sting has no choice. Borash turned his attention to A.J. Styles stealing his title belt at the PPV, which got a chuckle out of Booker. He said Styles stole something from him. He's got the cops on Styles looking for that Legends Title belt. Booker dipped into his locker room, then Sharmell was heard screaming. Borash opened the door and Styles was beating the crap out of Booker. He tore up Booker's plush office, then chucked Booker across the coffee table. Styles leaned over Booker and shouted that he is legend.
During the break: More of the Mafia, this time Scott Steiner talking to Lauren about Samoa Joe being a fat, out-of-shape Samoan. He knows pure breed Samoans, you see, and Joe is definitely a half-breed.
Impact Zone: Time for another PPV re-match. Two to start the show. Might as well have replayed the PPV in condensed form. Scott Steiner came out for a headdress on a pole match, then Petey Williams came out to face Steiner. Tenay said Petey put in a "gutsy" performance against Steiner at the PPV.
2 -- SCOTT STEINER vs. PETEY WILLIAMS
Petey tried to jump Steiner from behind, but Steiner easily attacked him and tossed him through the ropes to the floor. Petey recovered in the ring while Tenay and West completely ignored all of the action trying to talk and recap and talk and recap all of these hundreds of little inconsequential storylines. Steiner continued to just dominate Petey, who barely put up a fight before crawling over to the corner. Petey was just not into this at all. He just looked like he was going through the motions. Steiner teased Petey to grab the headdress, then he busted out the Frankensteiner on Petey. Crowd popped for Steiner, then Petey surprised Steiner with a sunset flip powerbomb. He tried to pump up the crowd, but crowd wasn't into Petey because they knew Petey had no chance of winning this. Petey teased grabbing the headdress again, but Steiner gave him a fallaway suplex. Steiner then easily climbed the corner and grabbed the headdress to put an end to Petey's headdress gimmick.
Post-match: Samoa Joe's music hit and his name flashed on the screen. Steiner was less than impressed. No sign of Joe, though. Joe then appeared on the video screen and said Steiner doesn't know when his Nation of Violence is coming. He said he is going to kill him. Someone needs to file a police report for threatening another's man life. That's pre-meditation right there. It's one thing for the fans to chant it because it's just a catchphrase, but it's so counter-productive for Joe to actually be scripted to make that threat.
WINNER: Steiner in 7:00. Very annoying commentary production early on, as Tenay and West just kept talking and talking about nothing while the action was going on. Match was slow and Petey just wasn't into the match. I wouldn't blame him since he was booked to look the fool yet again. (3/4*)
Video package: Because there hasn't been enough Mafia on this show, a TNA video package aired with Mafia highlights.
Backstage: Borash was with Mick Foley to discuss Angle demanding Sting take a dive. Foley said he knows Sting won't lay down for Angle. Borash asked Foley about his new segment of Hardcore History and Foley's face lit up. He didn't care about the Sting-Angle deal, but cared about talking about the past. In any event, Foley said he'll talk indys, WCW, The Rock, and perhaps A.J. Styles nearly breaking his leg in a table spot. Foley then asked Borash about "The Wrestler." He said, "It makes you think." He walked off without explaining.
3 -- KNOCKOUTS GAUNTLET MATCH -- #1 contender match to Knockouts Title
Angelina Love and Taylor Wilde came out first for a Knockouts gauntlet/battle royale deal to determine the #1 contender to Awesome Kong's Knockouts Title. Velvet Sky came out third and double-teamed Taylor. Sojourner Bolt out next. Roxxi then came out to help Taylor. Newcomer Madison Rayne came out sixth. Either crowd isn't mic'ed well or they're simply not interested in much tonight. Out seventh was Raisha Saeed and the Knockouts fed for Raisha. No eliminations thus far, as Cute Kip saved Angelina. Out next was Rhaka Khan, who looked for some people to go after. ODB then came out as the final entrant.
ODB cleaned house and eliminated Khan, then Saeed was tossed. Angelina and Taylor then eliminated each other, much to Cute Kip's chagrin. Roxxi then eliminated Velvet. Sojo tossed out Roxxi, then Sojo dropkicked ODB out of the match. So, we're down to Madison and Sojo. Madison had a few nearfalls to look good, but Sojo had the final word with a flip-over facebuster for the pin and the win. Afterward, Raisha and Khan walked on stage with quizzical looks toward Sojo, who celebrated in the ring.
WINNER: Sojourner Bolt in 9:00. Now, it's Kong vs. Sojo in a Kongtourage battle similar to the Angle vs. Sting battle in the Mafia. Match was just an excuse for a flesh fest. I'd rather see a competitive match from the Knockouts rather than the Knockouts turned into the X Division by just throwing-'em-at-the-wall. (1/2*)
Mafia locker room: They cut from Khan to Angle, who was backstage staring at a picture of Sting. He then ripped it to shreds and gritted his teeth.
X Division video: They started building up the Ultimate X match for the Detination X PPV. Styles, Sabin, Shelley, Homicide, and Hernandez talked it up. Brother Devon pulled a 3D by living in the past comparing it to the TLC matches they used to do. Various video clips accentuated the match risks effectively.
4 -- MOTOR CITY MACHINEGUNS (X Division champion ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN) vs. JAY LETHAL & CONSEQUENCES CREED
Frontline explodes! Do they even exist as a unit anymore? Where are the ra-ra locker room videos with ODB covering her hair with a towel? This was a follow-up on last week when Shelley & Sabin left L&C hanging when Beer Money attacked them. Tenay and West plugged Ultimate X returning in March. But what's the purpose? What feud has escalated to the point of needing to be resolved? "These guys think of new things to do," West said. Oh, it's merely a monkey bars spotfest, that's right. Guns double-teamed Lethal at 3:00 and Creed shoved Sabin onto the pin attempt to break up a pin. Action broke down as all four men hit signature spots. Lethal then blocked Sliced Bread from Shelley and hit an elevated twist-over facebuster on Shelley for the pin.
Post-match, Shelley put the X Division Title belt on the ground and the Guns extended their hands. Creed and Lethal shook, then Guns turned their backs to walk away. Of course, they turned back around and landed double kicks to the crotch of the victors. Camera then blurred out a double middle-finger salute.
WINNERS: Lethal & Creed in 4:00. Forgettable match with a lot of spots leading to the finish. It's just tough to buy into these characters when the Frontline has been pushed so far out of any important angles. If it's not Mafia, it's not important.
Backstage: Borash held up his phone and plugged TNA Mobile, saying there is a new tag team coming to TNA. "They're internationally known!!!" Well, shoot, where do I sign up? Borash recapped the Sting-Angle deal, then Borash wanted a word with Sting in the rafters. Instead, Jeff Jarrett came down the steps. He forced some line about Borash seeing a ghost, then Jarrett said things will be very interesting tonight.
ODB's Angle: ODB grabbed a bunch of letters from fans before saying she's single and she'll announce the winner of her contest at the PPV. Brutus Magnus came onto the set sporting his ridiculous shoulder thing to establish he's a gladiator. ODB asked him about his open challenge for competition, but said she had an open challenge for Brutus before opening her legs. Brutus said this is why he was reluctant to come to the U.S. to advance his career. She made an IHOP joke, and Brutus left the set. Brutal, brutal segment.
Backstage: More Mafia-ness. Lauren brought in Kevin Nash for a word on how this Angle-Sting thing will play out. Nash referenced a bunch of Mafia movies, then talked about putting someone six feet under in the desert. If you screw with the family, you sleep with the fishes. Just some random lines from a C-level Mafia movie.
Let's pause for a second and make a point that TNA is doing everything right to plug tonight's Sting-Angle confrontation. Discussion from involved parties. Sense of importance. Promos from fellow family members. Here's the problem: TNA has over-loaded the angle that people simply don't care. It's evident in the ratings where they lost over 100,000 viewers from the first hour to the final three quarter-hours.
Earlier today: Abyss was on the couch in Dr. Stevie's office promising he'll get better. Abyss said President Obama's kids are so cute. He wondered if they watch Family Guy despite the questionable content. Abyss snapped to attention to discuss the violence. He then snapped back to Lost and discussed storylines. Stevie Richards, with only the back of his head visible, told Abyss they'll meet again next week. Abyss laughed and rubbed his hands.
Impact Zone: Abyss and Rhino are getting a tag title shot. One of those deals where TNA just threw two "babyfaces" together. Beer Money then came out to defend the belts. Tenay was incensed - just plain mad! - that James Storm was driving the Booze Cruiser to the ring while wearing beer goggles. How dare he.
5 -- TNA tag team champions BEER MONEY, INC. (ROBERT ROODE & JAMES STORM w/Jacqueline) vs. RHINO & ABYSS -- TNA tag title match
After a commercial break, Abyss hit the Shock Treatment on Storm, but Roode broke up the pin. Rhino, Roode, and ref Slick Johnson then took each other over the top rope in a double clothesline spot. Back in the ring, Storm tried to nail Abyss with a beer bottle, but Abyss hit a chokeslam with Storm landing on the edge of the bottle. Matt Morgan then snuck into the ring with chair in hand and nailed another chair shot to the head on Abyss. Storm made the cover, ref Slick returned to the ring, and a three count was made. Post-match: Beer Money held off Rhino from helping Abyss, who took another chair shot to the head from Morgan.
WINNERS: Beer Money in 6:00. Just what you would expect from a TNA tag title match involving Abyss - ref incompetence, interference, and chairshots to the head. Sad defiance. (3/4*)
Split-screen: Angle and Sting on the way to the ring.
Hardcore History 101: Mick Foley was shown sitting down to chat about history. He went back to his first No Ropes barbed wire match against Terry Funk in Japan. Foley said they killed each other in front of 150 people and he had serious wounds from getting his hands caught in the barbed wire. He said they met on a bus ride after the match and hugged it out like men. Good memory, Foley said.
Impact Zone: Kurt Angle walked to the ring with mic in hand and referee Earl Hebner following him down the ramp. Sting then came out with his chipped facepaint from the opening match. Referring to controversial Hebner, Tenay took us back to the past with Andre-Hogan in the '80s and Montreal in the '90s because Hebner isn't relevant solely being in TNA. Angle took the mic and told Sting let's just get this over with. Sting asked Angle if this is really what he wants. Angle said there's no other choice. Sting said he'll go ahead and take a dive for the good of the family. Wait, wait, wait.
One question, Kurt. Where's his integrity? What happened to a man losing like a man? Angle looked down at the mat to sell that he was thinking. Sting asked Angle what he would have done in the Olympics if he asked his opponent for a re-do if he lost instead of beating him first. Sting said at AAO, he earned this TNA Title, not Kurt. Sting asked Angle if he can really say he's the better man. Of course you can't, Kurt. So, I guess I'll just lay down. Sting dropped the belt and mic, then took a knee. He picked up the mic again and said the loss at the PPV was nothing compared to losing his wife, family, honor, and respect. No one respects you, Kurt, no matter how much they say it. Sting said Kevin, Scott, and Book know Angle for who he really is - an egomaniac who would cut the legs out from under them if it would benefit him. Sting said it's always been about Angle and he's tarnished every single thing he's ever accomplished. What could have been is now nothing. So, there's nothing left to do but just ... lay down.
Sting went flat on the mat, then Angle pointed to Hebner to get in position. Sting told Angle to go ahead and steal his thirteenth World Title. Angle approached Sting as Hebner cocked his arm. Fans booed as Sting told him to go ahead and do it. Angle had enough and told Sting to get up you s.o.b. He said no one puts one over Kurt Angle. Angle vowed to take his title and end his career. A brawl broke out, then Mafia stormed the ring to separate them. Angle took the mic and said it will be Sting vs. Angle one-on-one next week in an Empty Arena match. Angle vowed to end Sting's career, then Angle attacked Sting. Nash simply walked off as Steiner tried to separate them. Mafia security eventually intervened.
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