TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 9/17: Ongoing (not quite) "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Sep 17, 2009 - 8:15:37 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: The biggest TNA news is mostly backstage. The authorities dropped a bunch of the charges against Kurt Angle. This raises the possibility that TNA actually did the right thing at Hard Justice—rather than leaving the belt on a disgraced champion in a cowardly fashion, maybe they were sticking up for a mostly not-guilty man being railroaded. I'd still put a hell of a lot of money on the first possibility though. In other news, Mick Foley's father passed away. Since he was a well-renowned (actual) wrestling coach, Mick doing some sort of short tribute might not be wildly inappropriate. Foley is currently scheduled to wrestle Kevin Nash tonight, but I can never remember TNA's filming schedule—if today's show was filmed two days ago, one would certainly not expect him to have come in to work. Anyway, I'm sure we all send Mick Foley our sympathies, particularly since he seems to be one of the genuine good guys in the business. On the on-camera side of things, last week's main event was a bit bitter sweet. On the one hand, the trigger was pulled on the extremely predictable and completely unnecessary Homicide heel turn. On the upside, the very fact that the LAX break-up got the main event spot is a bit promising.
The Show: Love in a Hellevator
I just caught then end of UFC, and it reminds me a lot of Monty Python's Flying Circus—2% super-awesome, and 98% just watching people sit around. I guess that's why I have a column on TNA and not MMA.
We start things off with a long recap of the LAX break-up. If I had my druthers Hernadnez would pull a Jeff Hardy—I mean by refusing to fight, not by (allegedly) trafficking in narcotics.
Mick and Nash are walking around backstage. I guess this was filmed a while ago.
We start off hearing the Motor City Machine Guns' commentary feed. Taz is behind their presence. Tenay says: "FTW—this is more like WTF". Taz has to give him that that's clever, and says that he has a future in this business.
(1) THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE vs. TARA & CHRISTY HEMME Knockout Tag Team Champion Tournament
I think Tara and Hemme are supposed to be who the crowd is pulling for, but I still have been given no reason to root for Tara. Tara gets distracted by Sky on the apron, so Love takes control with a chop in the ring. Tara blocks another, chops back, then lifts Love into a submission by the hair. She does it again, and this time flips her over onto her face. She tags in Christy, who she then lifts into a leg-first battering ram. Christy hits a boot to the back of Love's head, but falls into a Drop Toe Hold. Love tags in, and starts taunting Tara as she tosses Christy across the ring by the hair. She does it again, and this time covers for two. She tags in Love, then Snapmares Christy. Love hits a dropkick while Sky still has Christy's head locked. A cover gets two. Both get to their feet—Christy ducks a clothesline and both women grab each others' hair at the same time. Both tag out, and Tara takes quick control of Sky with a Snap Suplex and a Shimmy-shake Moonsault. A cover gets two. Taz points out that without the shimmying it might have been three. Christy tags in and hits the FFG, but Love breaks up the cover. Tara takes Love outside the ring. Madison Rayne comes down to ringside with hair spray and the brown paper bag they put on her last week. Sky asks if she's going to spray her. She "tries", but only gets Christy. Sky rolls up Christy for the win.
WINNERS: The Beautiful People in five minutes. That was a decent opener, though I'm a bit (pleasantly?) confused—I thought this tournament was designed to get Tara and Kong on opposite sides of a ring without giving away their "dream" match.
After the match, Rayne turns around the bag, to show where she's written "I'm sorry". The Beautiful People welcome her back. Taz notes that referee Slick Johnson was looking right at Rayne when she unloaded the hair spray, yet did nothing.
Lauren is in the back with D'Angelo Dinero, who she says has claimed that Suicide needs to be "enlightened". Dinero invites her to call him her pope. He agrees that he's going to enlighten Suicide (for some reason he accents the silent e). He addresses the personal darkness Suicide has built around himself, but notes that we all have problems. So Dinero will bring him out of hell, then slap him back into it. He says something I can't make out about how he'll do no forgiv'n, then says that tonight he'll get his hands on Lauren. This was not his best promo work.
(2) "THE POPE" D'ANGELO DINERO vs. SUICIDE
Suicide runs down and immediately goes for a double leg takedown. They brawl to the outside. Dinero rolls into the ring, but Suicide follows him with a Slingshot Leg Drop for two. Dinero gets back up and hits a quick STO for two. He gets in a couple of Body Slams, but when he stops to pimp slap a downed Suicide, Suicide kicks him in the back. Suicide goes for the Suicide Solution, but Dinero stops him with an uppercut. We throw it to the Guns, who have some interesting things to say, mostly involving how much the movie Twilight sucks. Dinero locks in a Half-Chicken Wing. Suicide tries to power out, so Dinero tosses him into the corner. Suicide floats over and hits his powerful thrust dropkick. He gets another dropkick, then an Oklahoma Roll. Suicide goes to the top rope, and comes down with the Standing-Move-That-Couldn't-Possibly-Connect (but comes closer than usual), but Dinero gets him with the knees. Suicide pops up into the corner, where Dinero gets him with the DDE. That's all she wrote.
WINNER: D'Angelo Dinero in five minutes. I still have no idea what this feud is about, but I'm not going to complain about it.
We go over the card for tonight. We have the second semi-final in the Knockouts tournament, Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe (w/Kurt Angle on commentary), and Brother Ray & Robert Roode vs. Steiner and Magnus to determine who gets the man advantage at Lethal Lockdown. Here's a trivia question—in the history of Lethal Lockdown/War Games, how often have the faces ever got the man advantage? I can think of one. Oh, and Bobby Lashley will be talking. Great.
Rhino is walking backstage. No one cares. Poor Rhino.
Lauren tries to interview World Elite, but Young gives the mic to Kiyoshi in the back. He says something incomprehensible. Young says that what they did last week wasn’t mean. They didn't turn Homicide against Hernandez—Hernadnez turned Homicide against Hernadnez. Homicide was the architect of LAX—wait, wasn't that Konan? He also points out that if it weren't for Homicide Hernandez wouldn't even be in TNA—that's probably fair. But then Hernandez did the typical American thing—he got greedy, and tried to make it on his own. So Homicide did what any of us woud do, and stuck up for himself. Tonight Hernandez has a match with Bashir & Kiyoshi. Sunday he's been booked against Eric Young. EY just wants Hernandez to know that while he's obligated to be there for his match at No Surrender, Hernandez is still his brother, and Young would never lift a hand against his brother. I start to make some smarky comment about last week, but then I stop to wonder—in the entire beatdown, did Eric Young ever lay a hand on Hernadnez? I'm not sure he did. Anyway, Homicide takes the mic. He reminds Hernandez that they always said "to live and die in LAX"—well Homicide lives, and Hernandez will die. He's changed. He wants to make it on his own? That means he's left the gang—and everyone knows what happens when you leave the gang. So now World Elite is his familia—to live and die, in World Elite. That was a very effective segment.
Rhino is in the ring. The crowd is booing a bit, so he tells them to shut the hell up. They start booing more. He says that he's not one for ego, not one for speaking the spotlight, and not one for politics. When you don't play politics, other people move ahead of you in line. So he keeps watching that. At one point TNA gave him a push, but they did it by exploiting his personal demons—by which he means his like for the occasional beer and blacking out. Then TNA heard that he was training Jesse Neal, and they figured they could do something with that. So they put Neal on TV, and he embarrassed Rhino. Now they brought in the savior, Bobby Lashley; he might be undefeated in MMA, but this isn't MMA. He saw Dixie Carter sitting there with Lashley—when was the last time she sat there with him?—and announce that Lashley's opponent at No Surrender would be Rhino. Well his name is "The War Machine" Rhino, so she ("sweetheart) should get it right. Devon hits the ring. It doesn't sound to him like Rhino's angry—it sounds to him like a guy who's crying like a little b@#!$. Devon says that he had to calm his brother Bubba down (I guess they're not afraid of being sued anymore), since he wanted to beat down Rhino tonight for what he did to Jesse Neal. Devon thought he could talk some sense into him. Jesse Neal has nothing to do with politics. Rhino went to train him, then he did what he did. Devon remembers when a young punk named Rhino came to ECW, and he and Ray took him under their wing. He screwed up plenty, but they never beat him down for it. They told him his mistake and he corrected it. Devon's not out here to fight though. He thinks they should go to the back and share some war stories. They have something in common—the experience to put TNA right on top. So they should just put this whole thing behind them. Devon extends his hand, and Rhino takes it. He then reminds Devon that he said that TNA was going to the top, and he agrees—it starts right now with his beating Devon's ass. He sucker punches Devon, then sets up for a Gore. Brother Ray runs down to make the save, and the refs have to pull the two of them apart.
We recap Homicide's turn last week.
(3) BASHIR & KIYOSHI vs. HERNANDEZ
Bashir and Kiyoshi try to go on the attack early, but Hernandez knocks them both off. He tosses Kiyoshi across the ring with his shirt, then Back Body Drops Bashir half-way to the lights. He stacks them up in the corner, and Splashes them both, then—holy shit—he hip tosses both with one arm. He tosses Bashir from the ring and slams Kiyoshi down from on top of his shoulders, face-first. Hernandez might just have the biggest move-set in pro wrestling. Bashir comes back in with a Missile Dropkick, then takes Hernandez down with a Neck Breaker. Bashir and Kiyoshi go to the top rope, but Hernandez rolls out of the way of Kiyoshi's Moonsault, tosses Bashir down, clotheslines Kiyoshi, Pounces Bashir right out of the ring, then murders Kiyoshi with the Border Toss for three (seriously—I don't remember that move ever hurting anyone, but I don't understand how anyone every fails to get hurt taking it).
WINNER: Hernandez in two minutes. That was one of the best squashes I've seen in ages.
After the match Homicide runs down to the ring. Hernandez goes to cut him off, but EY comes behind him and whacks him with a chair. Well, they didn't really drag out the suspense regarding how EY would interact with Hernadnez. Homicide holds the Feast or Fired briefcase over Hernandez's throat, and EY pounds it with a chair.
Lauren is backstage with ODB. She suggests that if a man wins the Knockouts title, it would disgrace the division. ODB doesn't think it matters, since it's not going to happen. Regardless of her history with Deaner, she would never let him disgrace the title.
(4) ALISSA FLASH vs. CODY DEANER Lumber Jack Match
The women at ringside do not seem happy with Deaner. Deaner jaws at Daffney, so Flash throws him out to the wolves. Kong squishes him, and the rest of the knockouts pile on. Roxxi and Sojourner Bolt Suplex him on the steel ramp. They pound him a bit more, then roll him into the ring for Flash to make the cover.
WINNER: Alissa Flash in a minute and a half.
With their shared mission accomplished, Kong and Tara try to kill each other. Deaner starts backing up the apron, and right into ODB. She floors him with her flask.
Lauren is in the back with Kevin Nash. She says the internet is abuzz with people auditioning to get into the Big Sexy World Tour. Huh? She questions whether this is really the best night to be holding auditions for another project, given that he has two big title matches in the next 72 hours. Women keep coming in to show him their portfolios. Lauren checks out one of them, and has to admit that they are pretty. He calls her a freak. She says that he's the narcissictic jerk who's parading around women and probably rating them from one to ten. Are you not supposed to do that? I really should get rid of that spreadsheet then. Nash thinks that she misjudges him. He pours her some wine, which she admits is pretty good. He snuggles up and says that she could jump to the front of the line, since he's sure the Cinderella slipper fits. She seems suddenly confused. Before anything can happen a large woman walks in, and Nash seems happy. He says that it take a real man to "fence with a woman like this". That segment was actually going pretty well till the end.
JB is in Mick Foley's office. Mick is fine with Nash's attention being distracted. He and Nash have something in common—the number 16. Nash wears a 16-sized boot, and Mick got 16 big ones the last time they wrestled. Last time he met Nash, Big Sexy took his title, but he gave him something back—his will, his desire, and a reminder of the man he used to be. So tonight we might see the return of an old friend, the one who used to say "have a nice day!" Doesn't Vince McMahon own that persona?
(5) KEVIN NASH vs. MICK FOLEY Legends' Championship Match
The crowd is back behind Mick. He and Nash lock-up to start, which not surprisingly goes better for Nash. He backs Mick into his corner, hits his high knees and right hands. Mick starts fighting back with right hands of his own, and gets Nash off his feet with a knee lift. Mick works him over with right hands in the corner, then runs into him knee first. He pulls out the sock, but before he can lock in the Mandible Claw Nash flings him out of the ring. Foley tries to pull Nash out with him, but Nash uses his leg strength to shove Mick back into the barricade. Nash comes out, runs Mick into the steps, chokes him with the sock, bangs him into the barricade again, the apron, and then the steps again. Mick goes back into the ring, but Nash is right behind him. He connects with a series of back elbows in the corner. Nash chokes Mick against the middle rope, then goes back to the right hands and elbows. Nash then goes back to the middle-rope choke. This is like the anti-Hernandez match—only three moves allowed. Abyss's music hits, and he runs down to the ring wielding a barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat. Nash flees, and for some reason the ref calls for the DQ.
WINNER: Kevin Nash by DQ in five minutes. I was a bit suspicious when they said they were giving this match away.
After the match, we see that Mick is busted open. Nash applauds Abyss on his way out. Abyss tries to talk to Mick, who turns his back on him. I could be wrong, but I think the crowd is chanting for them to hug. That's abnormal wrestling fan behavior. Mick isn't having it though. He walks away, as Abyss tries to explain that he was only trying to help. Ummm…are they turning Mick again? That would just be, what's the word? Oh yeah—stupid.
Lauren is in the back with Team 3D & Beer Money. She recaps the stakes in their tag match tonight, for those of us with the attention spans of goldfish. Ray says that the stakes are high. For the last year Team 3D and Beer Money have been defining tag team wrestling for this business. They beat the crap out of Beer Money, and every once in a while Beer Money beat the crap out of them. Tonight is huge, cause Sunday they'll be in !#$#@$FRW cage. I don't even know what that one was. Ray's known for 15 years that Devon had his back, and he's sure Roode feels the same way about Storm. Well tonight they'll have to have each others' backs, just like that. He asks what Roode has to say, and Roode only has one comment: testify.
Lauren catches up with Abyss, who's fairly upset. He reiterates that he was only trying to help. He should go find Mick. Lauren suggest that he should probably give Mick a bit of time. Abyss flips out and goes to look for Mick.
(6) SCOTT STEINER & BRUTUS MAGNUS (w/DOUG WILLIAMS & BOOKER T) vs. BROTHER RAY & ROBERT ROODE (w/JAMES STORM & BROTHER RAY)
For some reason all four heels come out to Steiner's music. Even more surprisingly, the faces all come down to Beer Money's music (though what appears to be a mixed video package). Steiner starts things off by picking off Roode's leg. It's easy to forget that Steiner actually knows how to wrestle. He pounds Roode in the corner, then works a side headlock. Roode powers out, but Steiner takes him back down with a shoulder block. Roode quickly gets up with a back elbow and a fast knee drop. Steiner punches him in the gut and tags in Magnus. That wasn't a good idea, since Magnus runs right into Roode's clothesline. Ray tags in, and they hit a Double Hip Toss. Ray hits some brutal open hand chops, then a Rock Bottom for two. Steiner gets the cheap shot from the apron, which enables Magnus to get the straight Suplex. He tags in Steiner. Ray tries to get away, but goes to the wrong corner. Steiner distracts the ref while the heels pile on. Ray turns around and right into a clothesline, then Steiner drops the Push-Up Elbows. He trades a quick couple tags with Magnus, then hits a huge T-Bone Suplex. Taz credits Steiner with being one of the people from whom he stole that particular move. Ray ducks a clothesline and hits the Bubba Bomb. Both men make tags, and Roode immediately takes control over Magnus. He hits a big Back Body Drop, then pops Steiner. He turns around into a boot from Magnus, but comes back with a Spine Buster which Steiner has to break up at two. Ray takes Steiner out of the ring. Roode hits the Pay Day on Magnus, but the ref is distracted by the outside antics. Williams sneaks into the ring and whacks Roode in the head with his title belt. The ref turns around just in time to count the three.
WINNERS: Magnus & Steiner in five minutes. That was a pretty good use of time.
Dixie Carter talks about TNA's alliance to Kyle Vanden Bosch to raise money for the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of America. They put together a media center. Having worked in one of those, I can tell you that stuff like that is a lot more essential than one might otherwise have guessed, so kudos to them.
(7) AWESOME KONG & RAESHA SAEED vs. SARITA & TAYLOR WILDE
If there's one thing that will not help me make up time, it's a Sarita match. Wilde starts off with some quick kicks on Kong, but then foolishly runs right into her and bounces off. She keeps Kong from capitalizing by hitting a kick from the mat, but Kong spins her around with a Tilt-a-Whirl Facebuster. Saeed tags in, and Kong drops her onto Wilde. Wilde slips away and makes the tag. Sarita enters the ring with a Slingshot Arm Drag, but Saeed rolls onto her feet. Sarita goes for some sort of Leg Scissors type move, but it's reversed into a Side Slam. Saeed tags in Kong, and they choke Sarita against the corner. Sarita gets up, so Kong slaps her down. Kong squishes Sarita in corner, then Snapmares her down and into a Sleeper. Kong then stands up and spins around without breaking the Sleeper—ow. Saeed tags in and works a Surf Board for a few seconds. A cover gets two. A Vertical Suplex gets two. Saeed hits a Body Slam, but Sarita kicks her off and goes for the tag. Saeed tries to cut her off, but Sarita spins her into the turnbuckle. Sarita rolls under her and makes the tag. Taylor Wilde hits a quick tag, a dropkick, a Twisting Head Scissors, and a Pinning Hurricanrana that Kong has to break up at two. Sarita dropkicks Kong before she can back up, but when she tries to rush Kong she (Kong )elevates her out of the ring with her legs. Kong follows Sarita out. In the ring, Saeed catches a kick and trips Wilde up, but then walks right into a Bridging German Suplex for three.
WINNERS: Taylor Wilde & Sarita in, you guessed it, five minutes. I really don't know why they didn't make this match the final and give it 15 minutes.
After the match, Lauren catches up with Wilde and Sarita celebrating on the ramp. Wilde says that on Sunday they're going to make history, and Sarita says something in Spanish. For some reason they're playing Sarita's music, despite Wilde getting the pin.
JB is in the MEM locker room with Kurt Angle. He goes over Kurt's opponents. Angle gives his opponents credit for doing what they have to do, which is to try to take out the top guy. Being champion is one thing, but being at the top of your craft is another. Kurt Angle is the absolute best, and whether you love him or hate him, you have to acknowledge that he's the best inside that ring. He will not, and cannot, be beaten on Sunday.
We run down Sunday's card. They seem to be treating Lashley's debut as the second biggest match, which makes me die a little inside.
Lauren is in the locker room with Sting and AJ Styles, and she wants to know what happens when they get in the ring on Sunday. Sting says that what happens will be exactly what Kurt said would—they'll all being trying to be the best. Sting might be AJ's teacher, but there's no way he'd just let AJ win it, and he doesn't think AJ would want him to. AJ says he has more respect for Sting than anyone, and appreciates his near-infinite patience, but that Sting knows that he'll be aiming for the win—he doesn't think Sting would have it any other way. AJ just thinks that this is his time.
(8) SAMOA JOE vs. MATT MORGAN
Here's a sidenote—I really liked McKinley's column here, but I do disagree on one point—I think operation "elevate Morgan" has been going at a fairly reasonable pace. Joe starts off the match with a barrage of quick strikes, an elbow, and his version of the Pele in the corner. He continues the rapid-fire beatdown, and I guess the unstoppable version of Joe showed up tonight. Joe chokes Morgan against the ropes, and just continues to pound on him. He looks for a running start at Morgan, but walks right into the Big Boot. He hits his patented back elbows in the corner, a big running Splash, then his hoist-up-his-opponent-think-of-the-helleavator-then-just-decide-to-drop-him. It's interesting that he's still doing that as a nominal face. Morgan hits his Float-Over Choke against the ropes for two. When he looks for a Suplex Joe slips away and hits a series of strikes, followed by a Back Drop. Joe celebrates, but Morgan no-sells the impact behind Joe's back. Joe turns around into a Choke Slam. Morgan prepares for the Carbon Footprint, but Joe rolls out of the ring rather than get up. Morgan follows him out, and they brawl towards the commentary booth. Joe flings Morgan into the booth. He crashes into Angle, who retaliates with right hands. The ref calls for the bell.
WINNER: A no-contest maybe in 3 minutes? Joe might have been disqualified.
After the match, Angle works over Morgan. Joe walks over, seemingly about to help, when Daniels runs down and jumps on him. Daniels and Joe fight to the back as referees separate Angle and Morgan.
We come back from commercial at 10:58, as security guards are still struggling to keep Morgan and Angle apart. The crowd is behind Morgan. They do the usual thing where they keep lunging at each other through security. Angle connects with a low blow, and Olympic Slams Morgan through a conveniently placed table.
Did I accidentally fast forward through Lashley's interview, or did it just evaporate? Presumably it's the former, but I'm definitely not going back to check.
Where We're Going: We saw some good forward progress on virtually every feud today. Most impressive was the rallying of the women's division around ODB, which almost makes the ODB-Deaner feud not-stupid. Rhino showed some decent heel-chops for the first time in approximately four million years. I don't really know what the Big Sexy World Tour has to do with anything, but he's sufficiently entertaining whenever he's talking that it probably doesn't matter.
Star of the Night: Hernandez--when in doubt, always back Hernandez. Taylor Wilde had a really good night too.
Overall: I really liked this show. Despite the fact that none of the matches went more than five minutes, most of it didn't feel rushed. I'm still baffled by the omission of such people as Jay Lethal. I'm somewhat more interested in No Surrender than I was a few hours ago, so they get credit for that. The lack of any signature moment was probably the show's biggest failing. B+
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He's apparently teaching two classes this quarter, so don't expect much from him. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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