TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 8/13: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Aug 13, 2009 - 10:00:16 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been:: I've been getting very slow service at dinner till 9:01, so we'll have to skip the witty remarks and get right to:
The Show: The Future is Now
We start with a look back at least week's brawl. I guess I had time to write an intro after all.
Hey, Christy Hemme's back! Given how strongly she went out in her feud against Awesome Kong, I would have devoted some time to bringing her back in a cooler way.
(1) CHRISTY HEMME vs. SOJOURNER BOLT
Bolt and Christy trade side headlocks to start. Christy takes Bolt to the mat but gets trapped in a Leg Scissors. She slips out and brings the back of her boot down on Bolt's head for two. Bolt gets up and slams Christy's heads against the mat for two. The crowd tells someone she sucks, but I'm honestly not sure which. A Back Breaker from Bolt gets two. She chokes Christy against the ropes. The crowd chants for Christy, so I guess they must not like Bolt. Bolt comes in with a Slingshot Elbow, but when she looks for some sort of slam Christy takes her over and HOLY SHIT—and not in a good way. Sojo lands squarely on her head. Christy comes at her with a Cross Body Block. Sojo tries to roll through and hoist up Christy John Cena style, but can't get her up. The crowd boos—dude, she just landed on her head, cut the woman some slack. Instead she just stomps Christy and shoulders her some in the corner. Christy shoves her to the mat and comes back with the FFG for the win.
WINNER: Christy Hemme in five minutes. That was probably the worst landing in a women's match since that time Candace Michelle took a headfirst dive off the top rope.
We run down tonight's card. Hernandez will be taking on Doug Williams, Bashir & Young will take on Rhino & Neal, Brother Ray will face Scott Steiner, Awesome Kong and Tara will face Tara and ODB, and AJ Styles will meet Matt Morgan for a spot in the Hard Justice main event. I really hope that someone has an "If Morgan Wins, We Riot" sign. Also, we'll see a contract signing between Kevin Nash and Mick Foley, and an interview with Bobby Lashley. Because we all know that if there's one thing at which Bobby Lashley excels, it's talking.
Lauren is in the back with Taz, and she wants to know how Samoa Joe's loss to Hernandez affected his psyche going into Hard Justice. Taz agrees that two weeks ago Joe let him down—he had Hernandez for the taking, but he showed remorse. That doesn't work. Hernandez didn't beat anyone—Joe beat Joe. But Taz will turn a negative into a positive—he's good at that—and at Victory Road it will be Homicide who'll pay for Joe's mistakes.
(2) HERNANDEZ vs. DOUG WILLIAMS (w/BRUTUS MAGNUS & ROB TERRY)
Hernandez takes Williams down with a shoulder block to start. Williams dodges a charge and comes back with a European Uppercut, but Hernandez doesn't seem impressed. He takes him over with an extremely Delayed Vertical Suplex. He hits a big Shock-Treatment-like Back Breaker for two. Magnus distracts him from the apron, which allows Williams to hit a Spinning European Uppercut. The crowd starts chanting for USA, then, comically enough, realizes their "mistake" and starts chanting for Mexico. That was kind of cool. Williams works a choke against the rope and hits a Knee Drop for two. He hits some knees to Hernandez's back. Super-Mex starts to power out, but Williams pokes the eyes. Williams looks for a Back Splash off the top rope, which gets nothing but canvas. The crowd finally settles on a "Super-Mex" chant as he lays in with some clotheslines. Oddly West takes this moment to pick on them for chanting "USA" earlier. Hernandez hoists up Williams and just slams him against the canvas for two. Magnus creates a distraction from the apron, which Williams foolishly tries to take advantage of with a Cross Body Block off the top rope. Hernandez catches him in mid-air, and transitions into a Sit-Out Power Bomb for the win.
WINNER: Hernandez in 4 minutes. After the match, Brutus Magnus tries to ambush Hernandez, so Hernandez eats him. The distraction does allow Rob Terry to whack him in the face with his Feast or Fired Briefcase. I guess those two will be meeting this Sunday. I really hope that match is a squash.
We're told that there's a revolution brewing.
Hernandez grabs a mic from Lauren in the back and says something in Spanish. From what I can gather, he wants his briefcase back, and will plant in Terry's face, whether we like it or not.
Earlier this week Mike Tenay sat down with Bobby Lashley. He left WWE for MMA because he "still wanted to fight". Umm…I'm all for not pretending too much that wrestling is real, but that's just ridiculous. Lashley still loves professional wrestling, and thinks that he can be successful in both. Tenay implies that Lashley is responsible for his problems with Kurt Angle. Tenay says that Kurt wants to be known as the greatest wrestler of all time, and so Tenay wants to know who Lashley thinks would win in a fight between the greatest wrestler and the greatest MMA fighter. They signed Brock Lesnar? Oh, I guess they just meant Lashley. He says the winners will be the fans, and predicts that they'll see it soon enough.
JB is in the back with Dr. Stevie and Daffney. Stevie says that thousands of people have begged to collect the bounty against Abyss. Apparently lots of people hate that guy. He does want to stress that it's not about pinning Abyss, it's about making taking him out and making him bleed. Abyss storms on camera and grabs Dr. Stevie by the throat. He asks why Dr. Stevie doesn't finish his own business, then answers his own question by calling him a bitch. Suddenly, Jethro Holliday whacks Abyss from behind with a chair. I can honestly say that I did not foresee that. He keeps whacking a downed Abyss with the chair.
Lauren is in the back with Tara and her spider. She comments on how Tara impressed everyone by winning the title within a few weeks, but since then she's been a bit derailed. Tara says that it's a bit more like she's been run off the road by a 200 lb. truck. That's okay though, since Tara came here to beat the best, and Awesome Kong might be the best wrestler ever. I assume she means the best women's wrestler, and I further assume she's forgetting about her own feuds against a certain Canadian.
(3) RHINO & JESSE NEIL vs. ERIC YOUNG & SHEIK ABDUL BASHIR (w/KIYOSHI)
Why does World Elites' theme music have country harmonica in it? Jesse takes EY down to start, but Young picks a leg and they quickly trade holds. Rhino tags in. EY shoots him off into the ropes, but gets a shoulder block for two for his troubles. Jesse Neal tags back in with a side headlock. Young shoots him off, and he comes back with a shoulder block too. The commentators fail to draw attention to the fact that Neal responded exactly as Rhino had, which I assume was the point. Bashir tags in, hits Neal with a high dropkick, then tags back in EY. A big clothesline on Neal gets two. Young whacks Neal's head against Bashir's boot, and they trade some quick tags. Neal goes for a cover on Bashir after he tags out, which I assume is supposed to show his inexperience. Bashir tags back in, baits Rhino into the ring, then fakes the tag to EY. They work the double team, then Young lays in with some Elbow Drops. He tries to come off the top rope with a move that couldn't possibly have connected as anything, but it doesn't matter since Neal gets a boot up. Young crawls over to his side as Neal crawls over to his. Suddenly Neal decides to pop Bashir off the apron (I would think to prevent Young from making the tag, though West claims it was for revenge), so Young just rolls him up himself and usesm the trunks for the 1-2-3.
WINNER: World Elite in 6 minutes. Neal hasn't shown any offense, but at least he can take a beating.
After the match, Neal tries to argue that he did his best. Rhino points out that he had the tag, and that his best clearly isn't good enough. He slaps Neal in the face, then Gores him. I don't know who the face is here—the incompetent student or the dude who just Gored someone who was on the USS Cole.
We recap what happened moments ago.
Lauren is in the back with Rhino, and she wants to know how he could have Gored Neal. He offered to train Neal when he heard his story. Rhino counters that this isn't the Lifetime Channel, and Jesse keeps making mistakes. When he saw Neal he saw someone who he thought wanted to fight. But look at Rhino—he has scars earned wrestling to support his family. He respects everything Neal's done for the country, but until she shows he's willing to get up and fight here in TNA, he's just an embarrassment. I still don't know who the heel is—I guess that's good.
(4) AWESOME KONG (w/RAESHA SAEED) vs. ANGELINA LOVE (w/MADISON RAYNE & VELVET SKY) vs. ODB (w/CODY DEANER) vs. TARA (w/SPIDER)
I could have sworn that they said at the start of the show that this was a tag match, and I'm really not sure when they made the switch to a Fatal-Four Way—sorry about that. It does make Tara's promo make a bit more sense in retrospect. Tara walks by three pro-Tara signs on her way to the ring. Really? I don't get it. Unless they're plants. ODB takes control of Angelina Love as Kong chokes Tara in the corner. ODB hits a Fall-Away Slam and goes to help deal with Kong, but both she and Tara eat a Double Clothesline. They low-bridge Kong out of the ring, then take turns with ODB's flask. Tara takes her shirt off. ODB vaults out of the ring onto Kong and Raesha Saeed, and Tara vaults out at all three Beautiful People and WHAT THE HELL is wrong tonight? Tara's forehead clearly whacks the concrete, and the fact that the commentators don't mention it makes me a little nervous.
Kong squishes Tara against the corner as we get back. Okay, they're now pointing out the hit to Tara's head on the replay, so that should be cool. Tara rolls out of the ring and pulls Kong after her. Love and ODB enter the ring. Love hits her with a Bicycle Kick, which is now called the "Botox Injection". ODB gets up swinging, and nails a Running Power Slam that Kong has to break up at two. Kong tosses Love from the ring. ODB looks for a Body Slam on Kong, but it's not happening. Kong comes back with a Body Slam of her own and a Leg Drop for two. The crowd comes alive for ODB, which is probably what you want before her PPV title shot. ODB keeps warding Kong off, but Kong eventually gets her with a Choke Slam. Cody Deaner gets up on the apron. Kong tries to stare him down, but he's not having it. The crowd suggests that Kong is going to kill him. Instead, he kisses her. She is not a happy Kong. She drags Deaner into the ring, slams him against the mat, then kills him with an Awesome Bomb. While she's distracted, Tara slips up behind her with a School Girl for the three count.
WINNER: Tara in 11 minutes. This seemed to serve its purpose, but didn't do much more than that.
Lauren is in the back with AJ Styles and Sting, who will be in AJ's corner tonight. She feels the need to explain to us that with the series tied 1-1, tonight will be the deciding match in the best of three series. She stresses the spot it'll put Sting in if he has to go against both Angle and Morgan on Sunday. Sting agrees that AJ is in the pressure cooker. AJ says that that's what this business is all about—what separates the mid-carders from the main-eventers is their ability to perform under pressure. He's let a lot of people down, but, conversely, he's used to having to earn everything he's gotten in this business. So tonight one of two things will happen. Either AJ will be a winner—or he'll be a loser.
JB is in the back with Team 3D. Brother Devon acknowledges that the Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat were two of the greatest tag teams in the business, and even paved the way for teams like 3D, but the fact is that Team 3D are the best in the business today. They're 22 time champions, and fan-voted as the greatest tag team of all time. I missed that vote—I'd have probably gone with Edge & Christian. Steiner & Booker are just another team for them to knock off. Ray says that he couldn't agree more. Team 3D are the best, and the reason they're the best is that the fans say so. Whenever they go out to the ring, you hear the crowd chanting "3D, 3D". Actually they're usually chanting for tables. They talk a big game wherever they go, but that's because they can back it up. He's not gonna bitch and moan, but those are their titles. They got screwed out of the belts, screwed out of the #1 contendership, and screwed out of the IWGP titles. If he had known getting screwed would feel this bad, he would have stayed a virgin. He'll see Steiner in the ring.
Steiner, Booker, and Team 3D hit the ring with mics. Steiner starts things off, pointing out that he's heard Ray opine that Harlem Heat and The Steiner Brothers were two of the greatest teams of all time. Well Ray can hold his breath, cause they don't care what he thinks any more than they care what these redneck fans thinks. They couldn't have beaten them back then, and they can't now. They'll be keeping the titles on Sunday, and there's nothing anyone can do about it. Ray says that this is what he's always respected about them—they talked trash and then they backed it up. That's what made them great, but that's what makes Team 3D even greater. The Steiner Brothers were a household name. Harlem Heat were a household name. But "garbage" is also a household name, and, just like garbage, they're getting old and they stink. This draws boos from the crowd. Steiner goes to pop Ray, but Ray blocks and connects first.
(5) Brother Ray (w/Brother Devon) vs. Scott Steiner (w/Booker T)
Steiner rakes the eyes to take control, as this match is No DQ. Steiner works some knees in the corner, and takes a moment to spit at Devon at ringside. Steiner Suplexes Ray for two. He charges in the corner, but Ray gets a boot up and comes back with some elbows. He whips Steiner into the corner and Splashes him against it. He looks for a Body Slam, but Steiner slips out. Ray catches him with a Bubba Bomb anyway. He hits a Splash, but Booker breaks up the ensuing cover. Devon runs in to deal with Booker as Ray does connect with the Body Slam. Devon hits the Wuzzap on Steiner. Ray dons Steiner's chain mail, then suggests that Devon get the tables. They set up a table in the ring, when The British Invasion run down to the ring. Team 3D get distracted, which is enough for Booker to get back in the ring and toss Devon. They hit a Double-Team Choke Slam on Ray through the table, which is enough for the win.
WINNER: Scott Steiner in four minutes. The pre-match promos were more fun than the match itself, which probably isn't all that surprising.
Mike Tenay, Kevin Nash, and Mick Foley are in the ring with a table and a pair of contracts to sign. Since when don't they sign the same one? Mick signs his immediately, while Nash reviews his carefully before eventually affixing his signature. Now it's time for their final pre-match comments. Mick reminds us of an interview Tenay had with Kevin Nash where he said it was all about the money. People have been asking him if Kevin really thinks that way, and, now that he thinks of it, he's never had a conversation with Kevin that didn't revolve around money. Meanwhile, Mick has six kids who've been asking him when he'd be a champion again. Now he can have them look at the Legends' Championship. Doesn't that pride mean anything to someone like Nash? First, Nash isn't sure he should have so much pride in that belt, given how he won it. However, he says that yeah, he really does mean that it's all about the money. He did a show this week, where not having that belt cost him $20,000. Kevin doesn't understand Mick. Here's a guy who can write a best-seller. The audience, in surprising unison, points out that he's written two, and Kevin responds that it's good it is to know they can count. He has a lovely wife at home. Nash doesn't get why Mick doesn't take the easy way out, as he would do, instead of wrapping himself in barbed wire and setting himself on fire. Mick thinks for a second, and asks Kevin if he's right that the show he was at was Wizard World. Kevin says yeah, and says that it's a big comic book show. Mick agrees that it's very impressive, but questions the fact that he's out here to talk about Hard Justice, and Kevin Nash is hung up on Wizard World? (You can hear the incredulity very clearly in his voice). Mick says that Nash should bring his intelligence, height, and good looks to Hard Justice, and Mick will bring his passion, and they'll see what happens. Nash inexplicably takes his shirt off. Foley acknowledges that Nash has genetics on his side, but asks what the point is. Nash says the point is that he is an athlete and a businessman, whereas Mick is a pathetic "wrestler". Mick questions whether Kevin really just called him the "w-word." Mick says that Kevin's damned right he's a wrestler. His idea of being a wrestler involves things like barbed wire and trash cans. Nash can bring his set of skills on Sunday, and Mick will bring his, and they'll see how it plays out. They shake hands and wish each other good luck. Nash starts to leave, and Mick gets confused. Does Nash mean to tell him that Mick's a wrestler, on a wrestling program, signing a wrestling contract, with table in the ring, and no one's going to go through it? That's the greatest line ever. Nash says that he read his contract. He won't get paid more for going through the table, and he won't get more for putting Foley through, so why would he bother? Mick says that that's the difference between them. Mick would put Nash through it for free, and he'd go through it for free himself. Nash laughs at that point. Mick says that he really would, and in fact thinks he will—he then Elbow Drops himself through the table. Nash doesn't seem to know how to take that. These two are absolutely brilliant.
We run down the card for Hard Justice. We've added Abyss vs. Jethro Holliday. I don't know why either. We then hype the Steel Asylum, and all thank our luck for that lawsuit that made them get rid of the name "TerrorDome".
Lauren is in the back with Matt Morgan, who seems disgusted to be talking to her. She says that he has to be feeling the pressure, but he doesn't think there is any. If she wants to see pressure, she should go to that midget AJ Style's locker room. I thought he didn't get his own? The Blueprint's in the driver's seat, and it's his turn. He's so confident that he's going to win tonight that he's guaranteeing victory.
(6) AJ STYLES (w/STING) vs. MATT MORGAN (w/KURT ANGLE)
AJ pops Morgan on his way into the ring, then somersaults over the top rope out onto Morgan. Morgan reverses an attempted whip into the guard-rail, but AJ hops over it and comes back with a Flying Forearm. He takes Morgan into the ring, and we get the opening bell. AJ goes back to the left leg he worked on last week, then cinches in a Figure Four. Morgan pulls himself over to the bottom rope and gets the break. AJ thrusts some shoulders in the corner, but Morgan shoots out with a knee lift. He whips AJ into the corner, then sets him up on the top rope. AJ hits some right hands and tries to hit a Tornado DDT, but Morgan holds him up and places him on the apron. AJ tries to come in with a Flying Forearm; Morgan ducks, but AJ lands on his feet and comes back with a high dropkick. He charges Morgan in the corner with a forearm, but when he tries for a second he gets floored with a Big Boot. Morgan works him over with his back elbows in the corner. He lifts him up, decides it's not yet time for the Hellevator, then tosses AJ haphazardly to the mat for two. He tosses AJ from the ring, where Sting checks on him. AJ rolls back into the ring. Morgan steps on this neck, then hits his leap-over top rope choke for two. AJ tries to fight back from his knees, but Morgan just shoves him back to the mat. Morgan hits a Fall-Away Slam for two. Morgan argues the count while Sting tries to encourage AJ. Morgan turns around with enough time to send AJ back to the canvas with a head butt. Morgan looks for a Carbon Footprint in the corner, but AJ slips away. Morgan tries to follow him with a charge in another corner, but AJ gets away again. AJ comes back with some hard right hands, and a Standing Ensuguri that only brings Morgan to a knee. A Springboard Dropkick off the apron gets two, but AJ then walks into a Side Slam that gets two as well. Morgan was only able to get a weak cover due to his injured left leg. Morgan goes to the top rope, but AJ cuts him off and crotches him on the ring post. AJ climbs up after him for a Suplerplex, but Morgan knocks him down. Morgan tries to grab AJ's neck from behind, but AJ hits the Pele on Morgan on top rope for two. AJ looks for another Flying Forearm, but Morgan ducks beneath it and comes back with a Carbon Footprint for the clean three count. Wait, what?
WINNER: Matt Morgan in 11 minutes. That was a really good match, and arguably earned Morgan his spot in Sunday's main event, but I'm a bit worried about who's going to keep the pace up this Sunday.
After the match, Kurt celebrates with Morgan. The rest of the Main Event Mafia come down to join him.
Kurt Angle has a mic, and officially congratulates The Blueprint, Matt Morgan, for making it into his first main event at Hard Justice. Kurt knew from the moment Morgan got to TNA that with his size and his strength, they'd recruit him for the Main Event Mafia. I'm pretty sure it didn't exist then. Morgan suggests that he remembers pursuing them, but Kurt doesn't think they should quibble. Now Matt Morgan has to do just one more favor, and he's in the MEM. Morgan says he doesn't understand. Kurt tells him not to be coy. Matt Morgan doesn't think Kurt Angle, a thirteen-time world champion, could possibly be asking someone to help him win at Hard Justice. Angle clarifies that he's not asking for help—he's demanding it. Morgan has something to say to the "Little Man"—no one demands anything from the Blueprint Matt Morgan, and that includes Kurt. If he thinks Morgan's going to pass up this opportunity then he's crazy. He's walking into Hard Justice as the Blueprint, but he's walking out as the new World Heavyweight Champion.
We see a music video going over the card for the PPV.
Where We're Going: I'm a bit worried about Sunday's main event, for two reasons. First, with Kurt injured and Sting inconsistent, there's really no one to guarantee the match ever leaves first gear. Second, I'm afraid Sting will continue TNA's longstanding streak of "faces dumber than rocks" when he turns his back on Morgan, only to find out Kurt played everyone again. It's also a bit weird that they have a card with Jethro Holliday and Cody Deaner, but without Eric Young or AJ Styles. They could just put the two of them against each other, or, if they want to do something a bit more creative, they could put them both in the Steel Asylum Match and make it look like the #1 Contendership for the X Division Championship means something. Now that I've thought of it, I really like the idea of AJ rebounding from letting Sting down by returning for a while to his X Division roots.
Star of the Night: Matt Morgan. Nash, Foley, and AJ were all great, but Morgan almost convinced me that I shouldn't be ticked by his win. That's impressive.
Overall: This show progressed a few PPV feuds nicely, but I never care much about that. As its own show, it was a mixed bag. It started off very slowly, but picked up very well for the last three segments. Foley and Nash were brilliant, Morgan and AJ put on a good match (that was helped by the absence of a mid-match commercial break), and the ending was well done (though I worry about its implications for Sunday). The end of the show is the largest determinant of what I take away from it, so the solid final half hour lifted it to a B+
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He has nothing clever to say about how he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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