TV REPORTS CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 4/2: Samoa Joe vs. Sting, A.J. Styles vs. Scott Steiner, Continued excellence with Beer Money and Team 3D
Apr 9, 2009 - 1:00:15 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch.com assistant editor
CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 4/2: Samoa Joe vs. Sting, A.J. Styles vs. Scott Steiner, Continued excellence with Beer Money and Team 3D
TNA Impact on Spike TV
April 2, 2009
Taped Mar. 24 in Orlando, Fla.
Overall Thoughts: This episode of Impact effectively built to Lockdown with the continued development of the excellent Beer Money vs. Team 3D program. TNA is doing great work building to their tag title match at the PPV. Meanwhile, the intrigue of where Jeff Jarrett's loyalty lies - between old and new - took a few twists and allowed A.J. Styles to deliver some much-needed athleticism on the show. A solid effort from TNA to continue building to Lockdown despite giving away Joe vs. Sting on free TV in a one-minute match.
Tonight: Samoa Joe is crazy, Mick Foley wants everyone to talk about Lockdown instead of WrestleMania 25, and we need a captain instead of Samoa Joe. Mike Tenay introduced the show by reminding us that Kurt Angle is one captain for Lethal Lockdown.
Impact Zone: The show started with Jeff Jarrett coming to the ring. Jarrett recapped the Lethal Lockdown build-up that his plan was for each team to pick members, who would compete against each other to determine who gets the man advantage. Jarrett said Samoa Joe will be on the team, but he doesn't want to be captain or pick folks. That really makes Joe sound tough...not.
Out came A.J. Styles as Joe's replacement. Or, so Jarrett thought. Styles said he's honored, but he has to decline the offer. Say it ain't so, A.J. He self-deprecated that he hasn't done anything in TNA and he's let Jarrett down. He said Jarrett started this company seven years ago (there's our weekly reminder) and put everything on a bunch of independent wrestlers. Samoa Joe was not in that group of Originals, but he's conveniently remembered for being as such. Styles name-dropped Christopher Daniels and James Storm before saying he will be on the team, but Jarrett should lead the team. Styles told Moses to lead them to the Promised Land, and they won't let him down this time.
Jarrett milked it, then ran up to Styles and shook his hand. They shared a bro-hug, before Scott Steiner's music interrupted. Steiner said Styles is telling you the truth because when Jarrett started TNA seven years ago, it was filled with nobodies and wannabees. Now, the roster is still filled with that other than the Main Event Mafia.
Steiner slipped out of character and addressed Jarrett as his "friend" to sell him on joining the Mafia. Steiner said they're the same. He understands Jarrett might be a little confused or desperate because Mick Foley is out of his mind, but there's no way he can trust the future of the company with these young punks like Styles. Steiner re-introduced Jarrett's late wife into the storylines. He tried to use her dying words against Jarrett by telling Jeff to trust him and the Mafia with the future of TNA.
Steiner said if there's an emergency with Jarrett's daughters, who can he trust? Steiner sold himself as the person they can trust. Jarrett wiped his brow as Steiner told him to come back where he belongs. Styles interjected that there's a roster full of guys in the back that Jeff can trust and it doesn't include the Mafia. Styles told Jarrett to trust his heart just like he did seven years ago. He told Jarrett to do what's right. Styles turned his attention to Steiner for a match in the "man-advantage" series of matches. Steiner told him he has a match. He then told Jarrett he can trust him. Caldwell: I liked this a lot, other than the incorporation of Jarrett's family into storylines, which is very uncomfortable. Bringing the real-life issues of who TNA should market - old stars or new stars - provides a clear issue and conflict to watch unfold weekly on TV.
Backstage: Jeremy Borash brought in Kurt Angle from the Mafia locker room. Angle said the landscape in TNA is changing after Foley waffled Sting over the head with a steel chair. Now, they go to work. Angle said Sting is back with the Mafia and Steiner told Jarrett there's a place for him to belong. Angle admitted he was wrong regarding Sting after Sting saved him a few weeks ago. Tonight, Angle is going to issue Sting a public apology.
Backstage: Sheik Abdul Bashir asked for TV time. He was given 15 seconds. Bashir said TNA's problem is much bigger than himself. Suddenly, Kiyoshi and No Limit showed up to stand behind Bashir. Apparently TNA is just lumping all "foreigners" into one heel stable in act of 1980s xenophobia. Wonderful.
Impact Zone: Suddenly, we have some sort of match occurring. Lethal and Creed came out, followed by LAX, who still have their briefcases from Feast or Fired like eight years ago. Sheik then came out with Team No Limit for an eight-man tag as Tenay talked about this hackneyed patriotism storyline.
1 -- JAY LETHAL & CONSEQUENCES CREED & LAX (HOMICIDE & HERNANDEZ) vs. SHEIK ABDUL BASHIR & KIYOSHI & NO LIMIT
Announcers turned their attention to everything except for the match early on. The wrestlers set up some spots on the outside involving everyone, then back in the ring, Bashir escaped a DVD attempt from Creed with an eye-rake. Bashir then hit a reverse DDT for the pin and the win. Tenay wanted to know if he was the legal man. Suddenly, rules matter. Replay showed that Bashir made the tag as the legal man, confirming Don West's belief.
WINNERS: Team International in 5:00. Not a memorable match, as it flowed just like every other mid-card Impact TV match. Just a chance for guys to be on TV. Meanwhile, LAX's momentum has come to a screeching halt. (*)
Backstage: Borash tried to ask Jarrett if he was shocked by Steiner's advances earlier. Mick Foley interjected from Jarrett's office chair that you can't make sense of an illogical business. Jarrett said he regrets ever letting Crazy Mick Foley buy into TNA. Jarrett doesn't get Mick. They had a chance to take down the Mafia, but Foley set them back. Foley said they need the Mafia, otherwise the show will be boring. Jarrett told him he's not cut out to be a leader, so Foley stomped off ready to prove him wrong.
Backstage: Team 3D sat down with Jim Cornette to ask them if he will back up his word after they did him a favor. Suddenly, Mafia security interrupted. They said word on the street is that Cornette sent 3D to get them a few weeks ago. Cornette confirmed that, then they challenged Team 3D to a match later tonight. Ray laughed at that thought.
Announcers: Mike Tenay and Don West broke down the show. Rayne vs. Wilde in Knockouts action. Angle publicly apologizes to Sting. Rd 1 of the Lockdown Advantage Challenge: Styles vs. Steiner. Suddenly, Beautiful People interrupted to complain about the "mark" fans in the audience, who will never have a chance with them. Velvet Sky promised a haircut for Taylor Wilde.
Sit-down interview earlier today: Mike Tenay sat down with Mick Foley, who was playing the loopy character. Foley said Sting is smug, arrogant, and condescending trying to take on the conscious of TNA. Something snapped inside him, Foley said. He said he felt freedom and pride after his actions. Foley said he over-sold Sting's contribution to his career and plans on dropping the Perfect Elbow on Sting. Suddenly, there was talk of the TNA World Hvt. Title. That's right, Sting is the World champ. Foley said he didn't think of being champ six months ago, but now he says, "Why not?!" Back ringside, Don West was a bit confused.
Dr. Stevie segment: Abyss was sitting down on the couch talking about the woman with the eight children. Another storyline from like three months ago that's now been turned into a banner ad online. Stevie asked Abyss why he returned to using weapons. Abyss didn't answer and said he's been with family, but Stevie said he has no family. He admonished Abyss for his disobedience. Abyss said he has to reveal a secret. He accepted a match against Matt Morgan in a Doomsday Chamber of Blood match. Stevie then stood up, closed the door, and slowly approached Abyss to slap him across the face. "Why?!" Stevie then beat up Abyss on the couch and told him it's "Wrong, wrong, wrong!" Abyss squealed like a pig, then Stevie returned to his chair. They continued to not show his face. Stevie calmed down, then asked Abyss if he'll come back same time next week.
Rough Cut: Team 3D talked about the damage they've put their bodies through during their careers. Devon said if you're not strong enough to endure the punishment, you're in the wrong profession. They said it's necessary to take a table or chair shot for their style, which they thrive on. Can't help those who don't want help. Ray promised hardcore action in Philadelphia at Lockdown.
2 -- MAIN EVENT MAFIA SECURITY vs. TEAM 3D (BROTHER RAY & BROTHER DEVON)
Security came out first, then Team 3D came out. Beer Money was ringside on color commentary and they tried to tell 3D they were just there to watch. 3D didn't pay attention to Security, who jumped 3D on the floor to jump-start the match. Back in the ring, the four big men had a good ol' fashioned brawl while Beer Money talked about their tape-study of 3D for Lockdown. Back to the match where Devon and Ray double-teamed Security until hitting a hangmen's neckbreaker on Sal for the pin and the win. Robert Roode said they will be ready at Lockdown.
Post-match: Security jumped 3D from behind with chair shots to the back. Beer Money left the announce position and grabbed a chair to tease joining Mafia Security for chair shots on 3D, but Roode flipped the script and jammed the chair into Security before clearing them out of the ring. Roode and James Storm then handed the IWGP tag titles to 3D, to further confuse them.
WINNERS: Team 3D in 4:00. Excellent storyline progression with Beer Money teasing "respect" to make sure 3D lowers their guard before Lockdown. One of TNA's best pre-PPV programs in months. (n/a)
Backstage: Borash walked around with Mick Foley, who said Jeff Jarrett is a party pooper. Suddenly, Samoa Joe interjected his paper knife into the scene. Joe said he wants every last one of the Mafia and Foley can make that happen. Foley said as executive shareholder in TNA, he can make that happen. So, put the knife away and we'll see what can happen.
Backstage: Lauren wanted to know why Beer Money made the save. Roode said a lot of people took notice last week after their cordial interview with Team 3D. He said they have Team 3D's back until Lockdown because they want 3D at their best at Lockdown. No excuses. No injuries. Storm said they want 3D to bring those crazy Philly fans...heck, even bring them inside the cage. Storm said when they win, everyone will know they are the greatest tag team in the world. This makes sense now. Months and months of TNA brain-washing the fans that Team 3D is the greatest tag team ever will lead to Beer Money being elevated as top stars in TNA by beating the "greatest tag team ever" based on how TNA has presented Ray & Devon. TNA's plan is starting to come together nicely to sell this Lockdown PPV. Well done.
Impact Zone: Kurt Angle led Kevin Nash, Booker T, and Sharmell into the ring so he could apologize to Sting. Angle said it takes a big man to admit he was wrong. Angle started to make excuses for why he's so paranoid, but said he was wrong about Sting. He apologized, then put his hand out. Sting spoke first. He said he can't believe him. Kurt, after everything you've done, a simple handshake is going to erase it all? Kurt, you questioned me as a wrestler and a man. Kurt, it was about respect. Kurt, that's not what you're about, is it? You know something, Kurt, you might be the biggest spoiled brat in TNA with no comparison to the younger wrestlers. Kurt, your ego has gone too far. Kurt, I'm not buying it.
Angle said Sting is right about everything. He's who he is and he can't change. All he can do is apologize. "I...I am sorry," he said. Fans weren't buying it. Sting dipped out of the ring, then Kevin Nash called him by name. Nash said a man apologizes and you're just going to walk away? What happened to turning the other cheek, man? Sting told him not to go there. Nash told him he's the only person who can make a difference. He said Angle needs him and he's the only one who can make this right.
Suddenly, Mick Foley's music hit. Foley suddenly appeared from the rafters. He said he's been busy getting reacquainted with an old friend - his barbed wire baseball bat. Foley said he has a job to do now that Mafia seems to be all fine and dandy. He wants to make sure Sting is ready for him, so in his capacity as executive shareholder, he has booked Sting in a match tonight. Non-title, of course, but his opponent is Samoa Joe. Foley said he'll be up in the rafters enjoying the view.
Jeff Jarrett DVD video plug: They showed a clip of Scott Steiner talking about growing up with Jarrett in the wrestling business, which plays into the opening segment of the show.
Dr. Stevie Part 2: No body part of Dr. Stevie was shown on camera, but they showed Daffney "the Governor" talking about her being crazy. She spent five years in the crazy house, then she did commercials and voice-overs. One day, she gets a phone call from Roxxi and Taylor Wilde to play the fake Sarah Palin role. It was just supposed to be a job, then Beautiful People started cutting her. And then it was on. All of her feelings she tried to suppress started coming back. Now, she's crazy again.
3 -- MADISON RAYNE (w/Beautiful People) vs. TAYLOR WILDE
Rayne's initiation into the Beautiful People fold didn't go well, as he lost again when Taylor scored a leverage pin for the three count. Afterward, Angelina and Velvet scurried into the ring to get hold of Taylor's hair for a haircut, but Taylor escaped to the outside with a victory and her hair.
WINNER: Taylor Wilde in 3:00. Just fine. Not sure if it will lead to anything at Lockdown, but it's a fine TV storyline. (n/a)
Backstage: There was a commotion in the women's locker room. Beautiful People tried to subdue Taylor Wilde as she was in a bath robe following her victory. They wanted to give her a trim, but TNA security intervened. ... Back ringside, Tenay and West gave the angle some token discussion before turning their attention to plugging Lockdown and house shows.
Backstage: They showed Scott Steiner and A.J. Styles on a split-screen ahead of their semi-main event match.
Backstage: Lauren brought in Jenna Morasca from Survivor. Lauren said Kurt Angle was saying some things about Jenna. Kevin Nash then walked up to Jenna to begin his task of trying to get her into the Mafia stable. Jenna wanted to know what Angle said, but Nash said it's not important. He did his Big Sexy voice and Jenna melted in his arms before he led her away for some negotiations.
4 -- SCOTT STEINER vs. Legends champion A.J. STYLES -- non-title match
Match went back and forth in the first two minutes as the announcers debated the ethical standing of both men. Styles took a potential short-cut that West complained about, then Steiner nailed a low-blow that Tenay pointed out. West tried to defend it going to break.
The action picked up with West knocking Styles anytime he scored an offensive move. Styles wanted a huracanrana mid-ring, but Steiner blocked with a powerbomb for a two count. Styles tried to come back with a springboard flying elbow on Steiner, but the ref was pulled into the way to take the blow. Kurt Angle then ran to ringside and slid a chair into the ring. Styles ducked a shot, though, and hit the Pele kick. Styles checked out the chair while Jeff Jarrett came to ringside to beat up Angle. Styles teased using the chair on Steiner, but Jarrett warned Styles he would be DQ'ed. In the confusion of Angle and Jarrett then fighting on the floor, Steiner slammed Styles into the chair and hid the evidence. Ref came back over and made the three count for Steiner. Post-match: Jarrett tried to check on Styles as West accused Jarrett of costing Styles the match.
WINNER: Steiner in 8:00. Mafia takes 1-0 advantage. Fine match to set up intrigue at Lockdown for whether Jarrett is going to double-cross the Frontline - if they even still exist by name - or whether the Frontline will over-come the stacked deck from the Mafia with Jarrett's help. I'm okay with TNA using a wrestling match as a vehicle for something bigger if it makes sense. This was good development. (*1/2)
Backstage: Borash was with Sting in a dark corner of the arena. He broke it down as Sting's biggest title defense to date at Lockdown against Mick Foley. Sting said Mick is going to pay next week for setting him up with a match tonight against Joe, who isn't all there in the head.
5 -- SAMOA JOE vs. TNA World Hvt. champion STING -- non-title match
Joe, in his ridiculous pants, stormed into the ring to bring his Nation of Violence to Sting. Don West complained about Joe trying to end careers and take food off the table. Meanwhile, Sting tried the Scorpion Deathlock that Joe escaped. Joe put Sting in the corner for a top rope move and the ref admonished him, so Joe chucked the ref down. DQ finish. Second ref was thrown down. Joe then gave Sting the Musclebuster.
Joe slapped on the rear naked choke as Booker T tried to make the save. Joe ducked the axe kick, then nailed a nice enziguiri kick. Joe smashed Booker with right hands, then he grabbed a chair from the front row. Sharmell tried to cover up Booker as Joe thought about whether to take out the entire T family. Joe dropped the chair instead and left the ring. After it seemed all was well, Joe slowly grabbed Sharmell and hauled her off to the backstage area. Fade to black with Joe taking Sharmell completely out of the Impact Zone as West said he's gone way too far.
WINNER: No Contest in 1:00. I don't like the idea of TNA giving away Sting on free TV in a TV match that goes less than a minute. It takes away the value of the title and the titleholder. Joe's storyline is fine as a madman with only a small piece of his conscious left fighting against the Mafia, but he doesn't exactly have admirable traits as the person fighting against the evil establishment. He isn't a likeable character if you're looking at it from a story-telling perspective and he's depriving the fans of in-ring action if you're looking at it from a "wrestling fan" perspective. At the end of the day, the storyline cliff-hanger was good to build intrigue for the next episode as TNA continues to build to Lockdown. (n/a)
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