TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/26: Mafia all-day long, Worst heel turn ever, West shoots on boo-boo face Tenay, Sting vs. Angle official
Mar 5, 2009 - 5:03:24 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor
TNA Impact on Spike TV
February 26, 2009
Taped Feb. 23 in Orlando, Fla.
We start with a video package recapping the Empty Arena battle between TNA champion Sting and Main Event Mafia leader Kurt Angle on last week's show. Angle reminded us that the only way the Mafia can be taken down is from within. In other words, TNA made sure to reinforce the idea that the younger stars in the Frontline are incompetent.
Empty Arena: A voice-over from Mike Tenay opened the show. Tenay and West were inside the Impact Zone where Tenay said over 2.0 million people watched last week's Sting vs. Angle battle. Quite the exaggeration. Just stop at record-setting viewership. Tonight, we hear from the Main Event Mafia.
Impact Zone: Angelina Love and Velvet Sky came out with Cute Kip for an opening tag match. after their entrances, Taylor Wilde and Madison Rayne came out to face the Beautiful People. Meanwhile, Tenay dropped his first round of histrionics about the most-memorable moment in TNA history last week with the Empty Arena.
1 -- TAYLOR WILDE & MADISON RAYNE vs. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY w/Cute Kip)
Tenay said Taylor wants to take Madison under her wing and show her the ropes on being a star in TNA. West said jealousy is always an issue with the Knockouts, so Taylor wants to make sure Madison isn't corrupted by the Peeps. Kip ran interference on the floor, which pulled the ref away from the action and allowed Peeps to double-team Rayne. Taylor took a hot tag at 4:00 and cleaned house, then the Peeps kinda stood around. Action broke down, then Madison cleaned house. You could see this one coming: Madison helped Taylor up, then punched her in the face. Velvet then snuck up from behind with a backstabber on Taylor for the pin and the win.
WINNERS: Beautiful People in 5:00. Why? So absurd that TNA just throws out these developments without a back-story, reason, or follow-up. It's as if the writing staff sat around and decided to just throw out anything to jumpstart the fading Knockouts division. Something on a pole? Nah. How about Cute Kip in drag? Nah. How about a random heel turn without a back-story or logical explanation so that no one cares? Sure, why not. (3/4*)
Backstage: Without even a follow-up on the "turn," they cut to the parking lot where Kurt Angle showed up with the Mafia. He wouldn't answer any of Jeremy Borash's questions, then the Mafia followed him into the arena.
Locker room: Borash tried to follow up with Angle and the Mafia in the Mafia locker room. Fans have a right to know what's going on after last week's show. Angle said they don't, but a statement will be made at the top of the hour. Some police dudes walked in asking for Mr. Huffman. Booker slowly raised his hand, then the Mafia made fun of his last name. Police walked off with Booker and Sharmell as Angle had a good laugh.
Impact Zone: Beer Money came to the ring for an "Off the Wagon" or TNA Tag Title defense. Tenay and West focused on Petey being fired last week, then Jimmy Rave and Lance Rock came out to challenge for the tag titles or be fired.
2 -- TNA tag team champions BEER MONEY, INC. (ROBERT ROODE & JAMES STORM w/Miss Jackie) vs. ROCK 'N RAVE INFECTION (LANCE HOYT ROCK & JIMMY RAVE) -- TNA Tag Title match / "Off the Wagon" challenge
Don West said let's be honest that Rave and Rock have kind of stalled the last few months. Their momentum stalled early on after a minute of offense, then the champs dominated Rave. Rock took the hot tag at 3:00 and cleaned house. He landed a chokeslam on Storm, then a chokebomb into backbreaker on Roode for a two count. He followed with an overhead powerbomb on Roode, but Jackie ran interference. Storm then smashed Rock with a tag title belt, put Roode on top of Rock, and the ref turned around for a three count.
WINNERS: Beer Money in 4:00; HoytRock is fired. Yawn. Formula Beer Money tag match. Rock hasn't been on TV in forever, so it's not like this meant much. Just thrown out there on TV. (3/4*)
Parking garage: Sting pulled up in a slick yellow sports car. Borash tried to get a word from Sting, but no word. Suddenly, a man was lurking in the background. Perhaps A.J. Styles. Or a generic man.
Backstage: Booker was leading a police investigation of someone breaking into his locker room to steal items. Check this out...his most-prized possession of a picture of himself with Ali destroyed. Booker started talking too fast to be deciphered, then he pleaded with one of the lame cops to do something.
Impact Zone: Tenay and West were shown talking on camera. West was starting to show signs of frustrations with Tenay. They recapped the Booker vs. A.J. Styles feud that has included Styles's variety of attacks, then Tenay then threw it to West to read the live events tour schedule. West intentionally went through the list with weak enthusiasm to foreshadow the heel turn on Tenay.
Abyss therapy session: Abyss said he knows he shouldn't try to hurt himself, but it makes him feel so gold. He told Dr. Stevie Richards about picking up presents on Christmas, then finally finding the Jonas Brothers CD. Could he become a teen idol too? Please, Stevie, make it happen. He wouldn't have to lose the mask, though?
ODB thing: They showed a video package on ODB's contest for one night with ODB. Cue up random YouTube videos of men across the U.S. describing their ideal night with ODB. This is why advertisers don't pay money to advertise on wrestling.
Backstage: Booker led the police officers into the garage area, pleading with them to lock Styles up. Go find him at the Honky Tonk, man. Booker said he's tired of this. Lame Cop #1 got on the walkie talkie, then the other one sped off to find Styles. Or not. Styles suddenly showed up near a golf cart and attacked Booker until Mafia security held Styles off. TNA security then intervened.
Backstage: Lauren was with Scott Steiner for some insight when Tenay interviews Angle and Sting. Lauren was verbally abused by Steiner, then Steiner talked about taking a dump. Speaking of dumps, Samoa Joe attacked him like the Boogeyman. No, not the fired WWE wrestler. Steiner told Lauren to go find Twinkie Boy Samoa Joe for him. Joe then brought the thunder to Steiner's backside. He held a large knife, perhaps one you would find at Benihana's, to Steiner's throat and told him he's going to torture him. Joe nearly slit his throat, but Joe held off. Reminded me of Heidenreich with Michael Cole in the closet. Only, no Hershey's Chocolate.
Impact Zone: Tenay and West talked about the Empty Arena match last week again. West appeared to be frustrated talking about Tenay having the exclusive interview with Sting and Angle.
Backstage: Borash brought in Jeff Jarrett for a chat about the Mafia. Mafia this, Mafia that. Mafia here, Mafia there. Jarrett said he knew it was only a matter of time until the Mafia split apart. Finally, business back to usual. Yippee.
Hardcore History 101: More talking. Mick Foley said his favorite match was 1997 against Shawn Michaels at In Your House. He said he was actually physically conditioned, then he put over WrestleMania 20 teaming with The Rock. Foley said he was okay and the match was good, but he realized if you're Mick Foley and you've based your career on exceeding limitations, then you realize that's not good enough. Foley talked about the hardcore rules match against Randy Orton from 2004. He put himself over for pushing Orton to the next level. He said he had a concussion during that match, but he felt that he had as good a match as possible. Until he can top that match, it will remain his favorite hardcore memory. What a mess. I'm starting to believe that Vince McMahon and Foley made up this whole "magic headsets" dispute story so Foley would come over to TNA and just put over WWE in every way possible.
Impact Zone: Mike Tenay brought out the Mafia for an in-ring confrontation between Sting and Angle. Angle was with Steiner. Sting was Nash and Booker on the other side of the ring. So, will it be Sting vs. Angle for the TNA Title at Destination X? Nash walked over to Angle and hugged it out, then walked back over to Sting to grab the mic. Nash said he's been named spokesman for the Mafia. He said they all expected a tough ride when this group was formed. Nash said they've had a week to patch things up, but they're still a family.
Tenay said he's not feeling that vibe. Nash told Tenay to stop stirring the s--- because he works for Jarrett and Foley. He screamed down to Tenay that they know what's going on around here. They argued about Jarrett clearing the arena so that he could work Sting and Angle. Nash said they fell into Jarrett's lap by killing each other. He said they don't work for Jarrett or Foley and the only thing that could break them up were themselves. Nash said Mafia runs this.
Jarrett's music had enough, then Jarrett stormed the ring ready to talk. Jarrett said he knows Sting and he sees what everyone else sees: Sting ain't buying this crap for one minute. Jarrett said Sting stands for honor, dignity, tradition, and integrity. Where is the integrity after one of Sting's "brothers" spit right in his face? Jarrett said he's going to give everyone their wish and make Sting vs. Angle for the TNA Title at Destination X.
Booker Huffman had enough and told Jarrett to hold on a second. He doesn't care about Jarrett being the founder. Booker said Jarrett found a company with a bunch of nobodies and wannabees. Booker said rumor is that Jarrett started this company out of a flea market and he painted the building. He said if there was no Mafia, there would be no TNA.
Booker started to take off his jacket to fight, but Jarrett asked Booker what he's going to do about it. He said he's given every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears for this company. Look at it now, Book. This is his house and these people are his family. His family wants Sting vs. Angle for the title. Jarrett said he'll see them back out here tonight to get the contract signed. Oh boy, another talking segment.
Announcers: Tenay and West were shown on camera. Tenay hyped the contract signing as West fidgeted around at his desk. West told Tenay to kiss Sting's ass. "Excuse me?" Tenay asked. West told Tenay to pull down Sting's pants and kiss his him. Tenay was stumped. West told Tenay not to act stupid because he knows what this is about. West threw down his headset, then grabbed the house mic to address Tenay. He said they've been best friends for seven years and they've called every TNA match together.
West said TNA recently held a meeting about his future at the announce position. He accused Tenay of not picking a side when it came to West. West called him a selfish prick. You could have done the right thing, Mike. But you didn't have the balls, man. West said he doesn't know what his future holds, but one thing is that their friendship will never be the same and you can take this mic and shove it up your ass. West stormed off, then Tenay was shown staring down in disbelief.
Backstage: Kongtourage had a dispute in the hallway.
Announce position: Tenay said he never saw Don West's meltdown coming. He cued up a video package of West's promo. ... Impact Zone: Rhaka Khan and Sojourner Bolt came to the ring very upset with Kong and Saeed. Tenay said he's distracted. Khan did a rap about not allowing Kong to deceive her anymore, then she screamed at her to come out for a match.
3 -- Knockouts champion AWESOME KONG & RAISHA SAEED vs. #1 contender SOJOURNER BOLT & RHAKA KHAN
Awkward exchange between Rhaka and Saeed in the early going. Ref Hebner was distracted, as was Tenay. Kong smashed Khan with a corner splash, then there was another awkward exchange involving Khan. Apparently Khan and Bolt were...the...babyfaces? Oh, by the way, there's an X Division ladder match coming up in ten minutes according to a mid-match graphic. Wait, what happens if this match goes 15 minutes? Oh, that's right, this wrestling stuff is just a dirty word, according to Dixie Carter. Action broke down at 5:00, then some folks collided. While Kong and Khan battled on the floor, Sojo pinned Saeed with a backslide. Post-match: Kong tore up the opposition. She gave Sojo a powerbomb into Khan's stomach, which looked pretty nasty.
WINNERS: Bolt & Khan in 6:00. Rough match. No reason to care. Knockouts division is in a sad state right now. (1/2*)
Impact Zone: We're moments away from the Mafia's moment of truth. They showed a split-screen of Angle pacing around the Mafia locker room while Sting was on the couch in a separate locker room.
Rough Cut: Focus on the Ultimate X match. Alex Shelley said he's afraid of heights. Hernandez isn't afraid anymore. A.J. Styles said he doesn't think about fear because then you get hurt. Chris Sabin said he was in the first Ultimate X match, and he had no idea what to expect. TNA wasn't prepared, either. Styles said you can't prepare. ...They aired a music video on Ultimate X with Hoobastank providing the soundtrack.
4 -- X Division champion ALEX SHELLEY vs. CHRIS SABIN vs. JAY LETHAL vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED -- X Division Title match -- Ladder match
Creed and Lethal were knocked to the floor early on.
Tenay talked about Don West's meltdown to set the stage for the finish of the ladder match. Creed and Sabin were knocked to the outside, then Shelley grabbed Lethal and ran off the ladder to hit Sliced Bread on Lethal. Shelley then scaled the ladder and easily unsnapped the title belt to win the match and retain the X Division Title.
WINNER: Shelley in 6:00 to retain the X Division Title. Not much to see here. Zero hype on the show because there were too many earth-shattering Mafia developments to cover, no pre-match promo, and just a bunch of spots leading to an anti-climatic finish. (*)
Post-match: Suddenly, Suicide came flying into the ring and he knocked over the ladder. Awkward crash spot. Suicide knocked around folks, then he kinda rammed Lethal headfirst into the turnbuckle. Shelley was his final target for an overhead slam. Suicide then picked up the X Division Title and rubbed it slowly. Suicide did the Christopher Daniels pose, then the lights went down and back up. Suicide was gone. Tenay said Suicide came alive. Haha.
Backstage: Jarrett was shown picking up his guitar before heading to the ring. Angle was shown gathering the troops in the Mafia locker room. Sting was then shown walking down the hallway.
Impact Zone: Jeff Jarrett came out first for the contract signing. He had a clipboard in hand. Jarrett brought out Kurt Angle first. Nash did the talking for Angle, then Jarrett asked Angle why Booker, now Nash is doing all the talking. Jarrett said he's not a movie buff, but he thinks Angle is a knock-off "Godfather" figure. Jarrett summed up his thoughts that Angle essentially has no balls. Angle took off his sunglasses, then he signed the contract. Angle started to hand the clipboard back to Jarrett, but he opted to smash it over Jarrett's head and inflict a beating that included an Olympic Slam.
Mick Foley made the save, Mafia backed off, then Foley turned his back on the Mafia. Tsk tsk. Angle smashed him from behind and slapped on the anklelock, then Sting stormed the ring with baseball bat in hand. Sting smashed Angle from behind with the bat, then he helped up Jarrett. Sting helped Foley up, then Jarrett grabbed the contract and asked Sting to sign on the dotted line. Sting affixed his signature, then Nash lowered his head in dismay. Sting sarcastically dropped the clipboard down on Angle's chest and Tenay recapped Sting vs. Angle signed for Destination X.
Final Thoughts: TNA did the smart thing by making it appear that Sting turned babyface ahead of the Destination X PPV where he'll defend the TNA Title against Kurt Angle. Otherwise, there would be nothing worth paying for after TNA gave away an Empty Arena match on free TV. ... Outside of the Mafia, there is absolutely nothing intriguing happening with this promotion. Joe is threatening to kill people and he's being presented like a jerk. Styles is being presented like a punk kid who didn't affect Booker in the slightest way. Otherwise, Booker wouldn't have been in the final two Mafia talking segments on the show. ... X Division is a joke. Zero build-up for a ladder match. ... Knockouts division is slowly losing the value it once had in the Gail Kim era. A random "heel turn" with no follow-up and the Kongtourage having a terrible match was a double whammy on this show. Rough episode of TV unless you're the biggest Mafia fan ever.
We welcome your 0-10 score and comments on this show for an "Impact Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of PWTorch.com. To contribute your thoughts on Impact, click here.
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