TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 6/11: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Jun 11, 2009 - 10:04:44 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: Last week, Jeff Jarrett slugged Earl Hebner and Mick Foley booked Sting vs. Angle in a King of the Mountain Qualifier match. This raises a question—if Mick's supposed to be avoiding serious competition, why isn't every qualifying match booked between like Shark Boy and Cody Deaner? Or couldn't Mick hire Kip James for the sole purpose of having his back in the KOTM match? I guess super-powerful heels not using their powers well is nothing new in wrestling, but it still doesn't make any sense.
The Show: Foley Fires Up Founder
We see hype for Angle vs. Sting. How many people want to bet against the theory that they somehow both get in? Bueller?
Foley comes out to start the show, accompanied by Rocko and Sally Boy. His horrible theme music is very slowly growing on me. He says that he realized when he took this job that there'd be tough times, he realized when he won the TNA World Heavyweight Championship that people would be gunning for him, and he realized that if he retained the title at Slammiversary he'd have to defend the title one to four times a year. He even realized that sooner or later someone would take this title away from him. But Jeff Jarrett took something away that Mick wasn't prepared to give up—his smile. Mick learned that when you have something to say you say it to their face, so he calls Jarrett down to the ring. Jeff Jarrett comes down in what might just be the worst PPV t-shirt of all time. Mick points out his own t-shirt, which features Jeff Jarrett. Mick respected him. He tried to overlook Jeff Jarrett's incoherence and bad choices, but he can't ignore his assault on a TNA official and senior citizen, Earl Hebner. Mick says that he cannot allow Jarrett to run wild anymore, so he's fined and suspended without pay. Jeff says that he's not going to stand here while Mick makes a mockery of the company—his comedy act is over. Mick does a quick 3 Stooges impression, and says that that's what a comedy act looks like. He starts yelling about how there's nothing funny about assaulting Earl Hebner. It's time to pay the band. Jarrett says that Mick has gone too far, but Mick thinks that it's Jarrett who's crossed the line. Don't they encourage us to do that? Mick says that they can do this the easy way or the hard way. Jarrett opts for the hard way, but before he can land a punch Rocko and Sally Boy cut him off and start beating him down. Mick leaves the ring. He reminds everyone that he said his reaction would be hardcore, so he slides in a chair. Jarrett, however, turns things around with a Double Clothesline. He grabs the chair himself, and floors Foley's security. Foley, watching from the ramp, says that Jeff has left him no choice. As soon as he regains his composure, he'll be kicking Jeff out of the building single-handedly.
Team 3D are in the back with Lauren. Tonight they'll be taking on Alex Shelley & Jay Lethal. They also have a problem with The British Invasion, and a title defense in two weeks—so, Lauren wants to know, why would they save Beer Money last week? Devon agrees that they have a beef with the Brits—they invited them over, and then they literally bit the hand that fed them. Ew. Ray grabs the mic. He notices that Lauren's looking uncomfortable, and asks if it's because of "him". The camera pans to show Raven sitting creepily. Ray acknowledges that that's a legitimate concern, since Raven's crazy. He does however want to focus back on Beer Money. This business is about respect, and over the last couple of months they've beaten respect into Beer Money, to the point where Storm and Roode are the team of the future. But Ray & Devon are still the team of today, and they have no plans to roll over just yet.
JB is in the locker room with Jeff Jarrett. Now that Jeff's calmed down some, he sees where Mick was coming from. Last week he lost his temper, and that was inexcusable. However, while he would leave peacefully, he's now going to remain in the arena so that Mick can try to kick him out.
(1) ALEX SHELLEY (w/CHRIS SABIN) & JAY LETHAL (w/CONSEQUENCES CREED) vs. TEAM 3D.
Devon and Shelley lock up to start. West points out that Team 3D are hypocritical for criticizing The British Invasion for doing exactly what Team 3D have done in the past. How did turning heel somehow make Don West moderately insightful? Shelley takes down Devon with a Spinning Leg Lariat, but Devon comes back with a Snap Power Slam for two. He tags in Ray, who holds Shelley up for Devon to nail a Guillotine Leg Drop. Ray works a wrist lock for a few seconds, but Shelley uses the ropes to flip out and make the tag to Lethal. Ray floors him with an arm wrench, then continues to work the left arm with some sort of arm bar. Lethal springboards out, then comes off the top rope with a Double Sledge. An attempted Handspring Elbow, however, is reversed straight into a Release Flip German Suplex. Lethal makes the tag. He and Shelley dropkick Team 3D out of the ring. When they go for dual Suicide Dives they end up hitting each others' partners. Chris Sabin gets up on the apron, which allows Shelley to take over in the ring with a Low Blow. He and Lethal trade tags, and take turns whacking Ray. Ray comes back with a loud open-hand chop from his knees, but he's still in the wrong part of town. He is eventually able to make the tag, and Devon comes in firing. He floors them both with clotheslines, Back Body Drops Shelley, gets Lethal with a Neck Breaker, then hits a Side Slam on Shelley for two. Shelley tries to shoot Devon into the ropes, but Devon comes back with a Flying Clothesline. Lethal breaks up the cover at two, so Ray tosses him from the ring. Sabin and Creed try to interfere, so Ray just Back Body Drops them right back out. They hit Wazzup on Shelley, but when they're about to get the tables Rob Terry runs down to ringside. While Ray and the ref focus on him, Doug Williams sneaks into the ring and whacks Devon in the head. The ref turns around just in time to count the three.
WINNER: Shelley & Creed in nine minutes. That was standard Team 3D fare. I like the lack of symmetry between Team 3D's save of Beer Money last week and Beer Money's absence tonight. *
JB is in the back with Mick, who's watching footage of Jarrett whacking various celebrities with a guitar. JB asks why Rocko and Sally are suddenly flanked by an army of guards, and whether this is what Mick meant when he said he'd take out Jarrett single-handedly. Mick says that it is, cause with one hand he drew a line in the sand and selected the individuals to take out Jeff Jarrett. He gets them all riled up and leads a charge out to find Jarrett. He pauses to go back for his title, then resumes the charge.
JB is warning Jeff Jarrett that the mob is coming, and here is Mick with his posse. Mick rambles a bit about the upset senior citizen community. He advises Jarrett to leave peacefully, and Jarrett says that he's willing to head out before he does something he'll regret. He suggests that Mick needs to get a sense of his role in TNA. Mick says that he does know—he's World Heavyweight Champion.
We run down tonight's car. In addition to the announced matches, we have Madison Rayne vs. Tara (Victoria) and, by order of Mick Foley, Shane Douglas vs. AJ Styles.
JB is in the MEM locker room. Booker says that Joe will suffer for messing with the family, and Steiner says that, in addition to making Joe bleed, they're also going to break his legs and do various other unpleasant things to him.
(2) SCOTT STEINER & BOOKER T vs. SAMOA JOE Nation of Violence First Blood Match
Steiner tries to cut Joe off in the ramp. Joe comes back firing, but Steiner whips him into the barricade. Steiner grabs the timekeeper's bell and plants it on Joe's head. Steiner then uses the hammer to ring the bell on Joe's head. Wouldn't it be more efficient to just use the hammer directly? He whacks Joe's head against the apron, then rolls him into the ring. He tries to charge Joe in the corner, but gets caught by a Yurinagi. Joe whips him around, then lands his flipping dropkick. When Joe tries to follow up with a clothesline, Steiner catches him in a Flatliner. He exposes a turnbuckle, but Joe keeps his head from making contact, then slams Steiner into it. He tries to open Steiner up with some punches, but Steiner slams him back into the turnbuckle. He goes to the outside to get his lead pipe, but Joe cuts him off on his way back with a Suicide Dive. Joe grabs a trash can, knocks Steiner, places it on his head, and works over the can with the pipe. When they get the can off, Steiner's bleeding profusely. Per the stipulation of this match, Joe now has to take on Booker T, who appears in the entranceway with Sharmell.
Creed takes Booker down to the ring and slams his head into the ring post. What has he been doing during the break? They trade Knife-Edges Chops, with Joe retaining control. Booker comes back with a kick to the gut, and knocks Joe's head into the barricade and ring post. Joe blocks the next try at the barricade and comes back with one of his own. Joe gives Booker one more shot to the ring post, but Booker takes over with a kick and knocks Joe headfirst into the steps. He tries to open up Joe with some knees to the head, but Joe hoists him up and crotches him on the guardrail. Joe takes the opportunity to grab a pipe, which he slams into Booker's stomach. Booker's spitting up blood, and it's over. Wow did Steiner draw the short straw on the blade-job meter.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in 12 minutes. It's sort of random to have a match on free TV that requires two people to bleed, and it got a bit repetitive at points. Still, it was an okay brawl, and the crowd seemed to get a little behind Joe by the end. *1/4
We recap what we just saw. I'm not sure why either.
Lauren is with the trainers, Booker T, and Scott Steiner. Angle and Sting are there, looking concerned. Raven is there, looking, well, Raven-like.
(3) SHANE DOUGLAS vs. AJ STYLES
Shane Douglas looked old when I started watching TNA 6+ years ago. Unlike Raven, he is not looking that much better now. Douglas goes for a kick. AJ catches it, so Douglas starts covering up. AJ does a bit of mocking, then works a wrist lock for a few seconds. Douglas responds with a headlock, which is not how I'd try to impress the fans in my first match back. AJ gets away and floors him with his high dropkick. Douglas rolls out of the ring, and AJ follows him with a Slinsghot Splash. He sells an ankle injury—I don't know if it's legit. Douglas yanks him into the guard rail, but AJ yanks him back. He rolls Douglas back into the ring. He looks for the Flying Forearm, but Douglas knocks the rope out from under him. Douglas dropkicks him from the apron to the floor. He brings AJ back in, and stomps on him a bit in the corner. He hits AJ's back. AJ tries to fight back off the mat, but Douglas knocks him back down. They do it again, but this time AJ keeps throwing haymakers. He suddenly ducks a shot from Douglas and nails the Pele. Douglas is right by the ropes, and gets a foot up at two. He Back Body Drops AJ out to the apron, and when AJ tries to come back in with a Sunset Flip he cuts him off with a punch. He tries to hit a Belly-to-Belly Suplex, but AJ reverses it into a Rolling Arm Bar for the quick tap.
WINNER: AJ Styles in 4 minutes. I'm expecting at least one person in the comments to complain that I don't appreciate how awesome Douglas used to be. That's probably fair. Here? Not so much. DUD
After the match Douglas attacks AJ from behind, then hits the Belly-to-Belly Suplex. He starts stomping away on AJ, which brings out Daniels to make the save. The crowd goes apathetic. The ref tries to pull Daniels off, which gives Douglas the opportunity to swat Daniels with a towel. Daniels goes down, and it turns out there were cuffs wrapped in the towel. Douglas locks Daniels to the ring rope, and looks like he has very bad intentions towards AJ. Before he can do much, Joe runs down, and Douglas runs like hell. That, oddly enough, does get a response from the crowd—maybe because it was not as predictable?
Lauren's running away from Raven, trying to call Abyss. He (Raven) chases her into the women's room, then just sits down outside it. Meanwhile, we hear Daffney tee off on Lauren inside. The camera then goes into the bathroom, to show Lauren looking surprisingly healthy given all the screaming she was doing.
Taylor Wilde catches up with Daffney backstage. She whiffs with a lead pipe, which lets Daffney shove her into a chain link fence and choke her out. That might go down as the least effective vengeance since Othello. Eventually, Dr. Stevie pulls Daffney off. Raven is still sitting on the floor creepily.
JB is in the back with The Beautiful People, asking about their reaction to the new lovely knockout. Angelina Love is annoyed that their set (the throne and screen) is missing. She knows the economy's in the tank, but her butt needs to be somewhere. JB tries to grab her a throne, but no one's biting. Madison Rayne wants to know when Tara became "lovely". Does JB just like putting nouns before people's names? JB is about to correct her grammar, but she goes on to say that if she had one noun to describe JB it would be "idiot-hole". That could be a noun. Anyway, they know how to deal with a "diva" who invades their turf. JB questions their use of the word "turf" as if they're the Warriors or something, but Love assures him that they're no baseball team. Velvet Sky somehow makes the word "diva" sound like a swear word. Love claims that without The Beautiful People there wouldn't even be a Knockout Division. JB tries to share a "Holla", but Love calls him "so icky" and storms off.
We check in with ODB and Cody Deaner in TN. She says that most men can catch chickens—we've all seen that before—but the real test of being a man is seeing whether you can catch a duck. He chases some ducks around, yelling "help me be a man!" We get another montage of him lifting paint cans and stuff, and then she tosses him into a pond for trying to smoke a grit. I'm again surprised by the fact that I'm amused by this sketch.
JB catches up with Kurt in the back. He points out that Kurt's been quiet lately, and asks if he has something to say. Kurt says that he does—Joe did everything he said he was going to do, taking out Nash, Steiner, and Booker T. Now, if Joe wants Kurt Angle, he can come and get him. Kurt's ready. JB tries to ask about Kurt's match with Sting, but Kurt storms off, the match tonight seemingly forgotten.
(4) TARA (w/ANGELINA LOVE & VELVET SKY) vs. MADISON RAYNE
Tara has decent music. She and Rayne trade some standing submissions, but Tara cartwheels out and grounds Rayne. She keeps working a wrist lock, so Rayne goes to the ropes where her peeps can pull her out. Tara knocks back Sky and Love, rolls Rayne back in, and hits a cool Slingshot Leg Drop for two. Is that new? Tara gets distracted by Love for a moment, which lets Rayne take control with a knee to the gut. She hits a few more knees to Tara's head, then hits a Neck Breaker for two. She hits some mounted punches, continually going for covers. Rayne goes for a dropkick off the top rope, but Tara rolls out of the way. She catches Rayne with a right hand as she gets up. She hits a few more, than gets a Snap Suplex and rolls into the cover for two. She follows up with a Body Slam and a Standing Moonsault (no shimmy-shake) for two more. Annoyed that the Moonsault only got two, Tara hits the Widow's Peak for the kill.
WINNER: Tara in five minutes. Tara looked very good here, which I assume was the point. *
Love gloats about her title on the way out.
JB is in the back with Eric Young, and he wants to know what's gotten into him. EY says that nothing's gotten into him—he's just sick of getting taken advantage of. JB asks by whom, and Young says that it's everyone—Jeff Jarrett, the fans, even JB. JB suggests that he stop blaming everyone else, so EY just slaps him in the face. Whoa—people threaten to do that all the time, but I can't remember the last time JB took a hit.
SoCal Val has taken over backstage interviews. I didn't even know she was still employed. Good for her. Daniels storms on camera and seizes the mic, and says that if Shane Douglas wants his second chance, he can have it at Slammiversary. If he beats Daniels, Daniels will give Douglas his spot on the roster, but if Daniels wins, Douglas has to get his ass out of Daniels's company. I really don't think you can offer your job to anyone you want, unless you're like the dictator of North Korea or some such. Come to think of it, has Daniels just been storming around backstage since AJ's match two segments ago, waiting for a camera to find him?
(5) KURT ANGLE vs. STING King of The Mountain Qualifier
They say this match is for the "fourth and final spot", which would be traditionally correct, but they claimed there would be seven people this year. Did they really announce that before knowing who they would be, or did someone get hurt? Angle and Sting shake hands to start. Kurt backs Sting into a corner, where he grants the clean break. They lock up again, and again need to break cleanly. Angle gets a quick Headlock Takedown; Sting reverses with a Head Scissors, but Angle quickly gets to his feet. They lock up again; Sting shoots Angle off into the ropes, but he comes back with a shoulder block that sends Sting to the canvas. Angle shoots Sting off, and this time it's Sting who comes back with a shoulder block. Not content, he hits another one just for kicks. Angle rolls out of the ring for a breather.
Kurt Angle and Sting are facing off in the middle of the ring. Kurt gets control with a kick and a Vertical Suplex for two. Sting reverses an attempted Irish Whip and hits a back elbow. He clotheslines Angle out of the ring. He follows Kurt to the outside, and punches him around ringside. Angle comes back into the ring. While he's standing prone in the corner Sting looks for a Stinger Splash, but Angle gets out of the way and hits an Olympic Slam for two. A Back Breaker gets two. Angle works a chin lock for a few seconds. Sting powers out, but walks right into a Belly-to-Belly Release Supelx for two. Angle is now making his covers in pairs. Sting gets to his feet, and...you've got to be kidding me:
That last segment was three minutes. I wonder if someone at TNA thinks that if they take random commercial breaks everyone will think the matches are longer than they are. Sting is elbowing Angle in the corner. Kurt gets a leg up to create some distance, and they both go for clotheslines at the same time. They both get up swinging, with Sting eventually getting the upper hand with a series of clotheslines. He connects with a pair of Stinger Splashes in the corner, and hits a Suplex for two. As he picks Kurt up, Kurt goes behind and smoothly transitions into his trio of German Suplexes. Angle drops the straps. He looks for an Olympic Slam; Sting slides out and goes for a Scorpion Death Lock, but Angle reverses the attempt into an Angle Lock. Sting kicks him off and into the ring post. He catches Angle on the rebound and hits a huge Power Bomb for two. Sting tries to finish him off with the Scorpion Death Drop, but Angle backs him into the corner. Sting dodges an attempted charge, and Angle hits the post. Matt Morgan runs down to the ring, and while the ref goes to deal with him Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop. There's no ref to make the count, so Sting goes over to chat with Morgan. Kurt cuts him off and whips him into the ropes. Sting ducks an attempted clothesline (sort of—it actually looked like the clothesline clipped the top of Sting's head) but gets whacked in the back by Matt Morgan. Sting falls back into the Olympic Slam for the kill.
WINNER: Kurt Angle in 18 minutes. By all rights, this should have been great. It was not. The breaks were distracting, and I'm getting the feeling Sting's just been phoning things in for the last few months. *
After the match, Angle sees Morgan on the apron. Morgan tries to raise Kurt's hand, but Angle rebuffs him. Morgan gets ticked and shoves Kurt to the mat.
Where We're Going: We seem to have unity in the Main Event Mafia, with both Sting and Kurt rebuffing Morgan's attempts to suck up. I'm thinking of starting a pool regarding how long it'll take to make the reveal that Morgan's really been taking orders from Angle for weeks. He has been taking Sting's take over conspicuously well, and is known for his duplicity.
Star of the Night: Raven There were no real stand-out performances tonight, so I give credit to the guy who can cut the world's most terrifying promos without saying a word.
Overall: Tonight was serviceable. Most of the matches served their role in advancing stars and/or stories, but none really jumped off the screen—likewise for the promos. This was mostly a holding-pattern week, which is fine, but not exciting. B-
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He is finishing off his spring quarter, which you would think would mean he would be working right now instead of writing a wrestling column. Criticisms can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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