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KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 10/29: Examining the Hulk Hogan announcement, Sabin controversy, Wolfe vs. Angle, Joe-Styles-Daniels hype

Nov 3, 2009 - 11:30:54 AM

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

OCTOBER 29, 2009


-The show opened with clips of Hulk Hogan making various mainstream media appearances. The narrator told viewers to stay tuned for his historic TNA debut. Then they went right to the TNA Impact opening, of which Jeff Jarrett is still part of (hmmm...)

-They went to a video package of Kurt Angle's "transition" last week complimenting "the boy and the girls in the back" for earning his respect and becoming his "peers" in his mind. Then clips aired of Desmond Wolfe attacking Angle.

-As the camera panned the crowd and pyro blasted, Tenay said, "You've read about it, you've heard about it, and the world is talking about. Hulk Hogan has partnered with and TNA and Dixie Carter." Taz said the mammoth announcement would take place later on the show. They said they are assembling footage of the press conference during the show and would present it later.

-Desmond Wolfe walked out for his ring intro. He formally introduced himself. He said, "To my friends, I'm just "Wolfe, but to your wankers, I am Mister Wolfe." He said he was raised from Day One to be the World's Greatest Fighter. He said it's in his blood, in his jeans, and what he does. He said everyone who has stepped in his way has gotten knocked on their ass. He said some people are destined to become common folk, whereas he was destined to become a champion. He said Angle won the Gold Medal not by outscoring his opponent, but because it was given to him because they felt sorry for him. He said Angle's tough guy image is a facade. He said he proved it when last week he "left him lying on the floor." He might be the first wrestler in history to get that grammar right. The correct phrase is "left him lying on the floor," but all wrestlers and even most practicing journalists get it wrong and say "left him laying the floor" (which incorrectly indicates they were having sex on the floor, because "lying" is a state of motionlessness, whereas "laying" is an action). I've been waiting 22 years for a wrestler to get that right! Now if we can just root out the phrases "try and do" (should be "try to do") and "could care less" (should be "couldn't care less"), I can die happy. Wolfe said he could have broken Angle's neck last week, but he didn't because he left his mark. He said in one night he became the greatest wrestler in the history of TNA. Angle's music played and he walked out.

Angle stepped onto the stage. He listed several wrestlers who have earned his respect, but said Wolfe has earned nothing. He told Wolfe he messed with the wrong guy. He said tonight he's going to face him one-on-one in a street fight. They should have a street fight, but not until they've had at least two regular wrestling matches on PPV, so a street fight should be slated for January. Tenay, though, hyped they'd have a street fight tonight on Impact.

-Lauren stood backstage with A.J. Styles watching a monitor replay footage of the mystery person who attacked him. He said, "Only a punk clips somebody from behind." In walked Samoa Joe. Styles asked if it was him. Joe said, "It wasn't me." He said he doesn't need to attack him from behind. Joe suggested it was Daniels. Styles said, "No way." Joe said Daniels has reason to begrudge him since Daniels hasn't had the success in TNA that Styles has had. He said Daniels wants his "spot." He said at No Surrender when he won the TNA World Championship, Daniels was the first person out there to congratulate him. He said he was the only one. "It was you and Daniels soaking up your adoring fans' adulation," he said. Joe said sometimes Styles is so angry at him he might be blind to his own friend stabbing him in the back. Joe walked out and Styles kicked a bench. Joe sounded like he was hoarse, but whatever it was, it was the most impressive he's been on the mic in very long time. He finally wasn't yelling at the top of his lungs, and he came across as a tough guy you'd respect. The softer he talked, the closer I listened. [c]


-They went to Awesome Kong destroying an AKEA room with a golf club because she doesn't have a handler anymore. Tenay and Tazz appeared on camera. They hyped the line-up for Impact beginning with the Hogan announcement. They showed footage of Dixie Carter arriving for the press conference looking quite a bit like that crazy cult lady on "True Blood." They also showed Hogan again.


When Flash was hung upside down and the camera zoomed in on her butt, Taz said that looked uncomfortable and reminded him of the pictures he showed him of his honeymoon. Tenay and Taz began talking again about Hogan, which was good. Tenay said the Hogan news broke "after tonight's Impact show was taped." Wait, they just showed them at ringside, so how could their comments be taking place after the show was taped? That mind-bending. So they're calling the action at ringside a few feet from the ring, but somehow able to know about the future, or did the matches they're watching happen in the past? How did someone (like Taz or Tenay) think about how little sense that would make within the TNA Impact world to acknowledge the future during what is presented as commentary taking place during the taping? I'm confused trying to explain why I'm confused. The short of it is, they didn't need to explain that the news broke "after Impact was taped." It was perfectly fine to present the show as if it were live and not draw attention to the fact that everyone wasn't obsessed with Hogan and instead going about their business. Tara's finisher was, as Tazz put it, "not pretty, but effective."

WINNER: Tara in 5:00.


-After the match, Kong charged to the ring and kicked Tara in the chest. Kong then gave Tara an Implant Buster onto Alicia Flash. Tenay said that's a warning to everyone in TNA that she's "uncaged and unleashed."

-They went to Team 3D backstage having a fun exchange with each other. In walked Rhino. He said he finally thought they started to see the big picture. He said Hernandez wanted to take him out of TNA for good "and take my spot here." He said tonight he faces Matt Morgan. He asked if they see a pattern there. Brother Ray said what's insane is that he believes all of the garbage coming out of his mouth. Ray said they didn't save Rhino from Hernandez, they saved Hernandez from Hernandez. Hernandez was born in 1973, Ray in 1971.) He said if Hernandez threw him over the top rope and his brains splattered on the floor, he'll be suspended. "That kid is the future of this company." (Hernandez is two years younger than Brother Ray, by the way. Rhino said deep down they know he's really right. Devon said they don't need any help with the Machine Guns. "They never beat us before, they'll never beat us again," Devon said. Rhino told them to watch their backs because "they're all in on it." Ray said, "Thanks for the heads up, Lee Harvey." [c]


-Clips aired of the Ultimate X match last week.


Tenay pushed that the production team is putting together the footage of the Hulk Hogan press conference. Taz wondered what TNA stars think of the signing. Tenay wondered what role Hogan would have in TNA and how it'd affect everyone from the teams in the ring to himself and Taz on commentary. At 2:00 Ray gave Sabin the infamous Urinage suplex that caused the commotion backstage with Kevin Nash going nuts because the match wasn't stopped. They replayed the move several times from multiple angles, but edited out Ray going for the cover and lifting him afterward. They instead cut right to Devon gorilla pressing Sabin in the air, thus much of the controversial conduct by Ray was edited out, making it tough to judge as a third party what Sabin's body language should have told Ray at that moment in the match, but what was shown was pretty nasty. Shelley clipped Devon's legs, so he dropped Sabin. Sabin had the wherewithal to tag in Shelley a couple seconds later. Taz and Tenay noted that Sabin landed hard and "might have had his bell rung." They replayed it again two more times. Tenay said it was "difficult to watch." They showed medical staff checking on Sabin on the ring apron. Taz said Sabin's landing reminds him of when he broke his neck in a tag match with Eddie Guerrero as his partner. He said Shelley, like Guerrero, might have to finish the match alone. Shelley wrestled Team 3D alone, but took a second here and there to check on Sabin's condition. Imagine having to keep your focus on the match when you're legitimately worried about the condition of your friend and tag partner. Shelley put Devon in a half Boston Crab. Devon pounded the mat and the ref called for the bell, assuming he tapped out. Tenay and Taz wondered if he just hit the mat in reaction to the pain or because he really was giving up. Tenay said, "Just as we've seen in Major League Baseball and the NFL, there's controversy when it comes to officiating in TNA."

WINNERS: Sabin & Shelley in 5:00.


-Lauren interviewed Scott Steiner backstage. Lauren asked if Steiner wanted to apologize to Bobby Lashley and his wife. He seemed to begin to apologize, and Lauren let us know that would make her very very happy. Then Steiner said he's sorry that she's never been with a man like him. Lauren let us know that made her very very sad. He said she lusts after him and concluded that he has a "big surprise" for her, and pointed down. Get it? [c]

-They showed Desmond Wolfe lacing his boots. Tenay plugged that the street fight against Kurt Angle was coming up on Impact. This was a mid-commercial break interlude, a new trend to slow down fast-forwarding among DVR users a new trend in TV.

-A commercial then aired for the "Smackdown vs. Raw" video game, a rare instance of John Cena and other WWE stars appearing during the Impact commercial breaks. [c]

-Hermie Sadler interviewed Amazing Red and Don West. Red said he's not an "I'm going to get you" kind of a guy, so he wanted someone to speak for him and West is perfect for that. West said Red personifies what a wrestler should be. He said he "represents everything that's right about this business" and is a role model for kids. They abruptly cut away before too many more people tuned out.



They showed Krystal Lashley, Bobby's wife, at ringside. At 1:00 Steiner clotheslined Lashley at ringside. He was wearing a shirt with Kyrstal's image on it. He stood in front of her at ringside and asked if she wanted to be with a real man. Lashley hit Steiner from behind. Young hit Lashley from behind. In the ring Lashley made an immediate comeback and set up his Dragon sleeper. Steiner entered the ring with a chair and bashed Lashley in the back with it. The ref called for the bell. Steiner put Lashley in the Steiner Recliner.

WINNER: No contest in 4:00.

-The World Elite stood center-ring wearing their new white workout sweat suits with their new "W/E" logos. Brutus Magnus said the rumors are true, British Invasion were suspended without pay until Turning Point. He said they apparently didn't like that he decked the referee. He said it's a loop hole because the cage match was Beer Money's last title shot. He said they had to make sure they left with the belts, and they did. He said they fined them as well. "Big deal," he said. "Pocket change to the World Tag Team Champs." He said they can call it a suspension, but they prefer the term vacation. Taz interjected, "Or holiday." Funny. Young then took the mic and bragged that he dished Lashley his first defeat. Tenay said the match was ruled a no contest. Shouldn't it have been a DQ win for Lashley since Steiner interfered on Young's behalf? Young said he had a big announcement that would change the wrestling world and shake TNA's foundation. "The Legends Title is dead," he said. (Okay, now they're just trying to curry favor with me.) He said he now wants the belt to be referred to as the TNA Global Championship. He said he will never defend the belt on American soil and he will never defend the belt against an American wrestler. He said the reason is because "you people don't deserve me as your champion." They showed a close-up of the belt, and it says Global on it. Tenay just accepted that a wrestler can change the name of the title, which makes sense since they just began sanctioning matches for the belt that Booker T made up.

Kevin Nash stepped out. Taz said he wants his 60 grand. Nash asked if they had a deal at Bound for Glory. He asked if the deal wasn't that he made sure Hernandez didn't touch him and he'd walk out with his belt and 60K. He said Young didn't hold up his end of the bargain. He asked Young if that's really how he does business. Young said he knows it might be hard for him to deal with it because "the shoe is on the other foot" because he's been doing that type of thing for years. He said he respects that and "learned from the master." He said they each knew one of them was going to get screwed, and he made sure it wasn't him. He told him to step into the ring so they have the conversation face-to-face. Beer Money then entered the ring from behind and began hitting World Elite members with a stop sign and a chair. Nash then smiled and said, "You can run, boys, but you can't hide."

-Backstage Daniels approached A.J. Styles and asked him what he thought of what Samoa Joe was saying about him attacking him. Daniels was upset with Styles that he didn't say he didn't believe him. Styles accused Daniels of being defensive. Daniels said Joe wants them to fight so it increases his odds at Turning Point. Daniels began to leave and said he's going to go talk to Joe.


-Ring intros took place for the six-woman tag match. Then they cut to an oddly placed commercial break one minute into the second hour. [c] Then they did another commercial interlude showing the six women getting ready to face off. Then they finished the commercial break. [c]

4 -- THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (Velvet Sky & Madison Rayne & Lacey Von Erich) vs. ODB & HAMADA & CHRISTY HEMME

Tenay pushed the Hulk Hogan-TNA "partnership" and said footage of the press conference was coming up soon. Tenay again stressed that everyone is wondering what the "implications" (he meant "ramifications") will be now that Hogan is partnering with TNA. At 3:00 Christy missed her top rope legdrop. Lacey then gave Christy a weak looking chokeslam for the win. Taz noted that Christy has a surgically repaired neck. After the match, Awesome Kong's music played and she brawl with Tara at ringside until they were pulled apart by security.

WINNERS: The Beautiful People in 4:00. [c]


-They showed that Kong and Tara were brawling backstage with security again trying to separate them. They cut away to show a video package on Mick Foley and Abyss.


Before the match Stevie told Abyss to come see the monster he created in him. Taz said that proves Stevie is insane. Stevie met Abyss in the aisle and they brawled into the ring. Abyss no-sold some Stevie slaps and chops, then slapped Stevie hard to the mat and threw him to ringside. Taz said he and Stevie spent a lot of time together in the original ECW and Stevie does like to "get extreme." Tenay hyped the Hogan signing, noting again it happened "after tonight's Impact show was taped." Stevie worked over Abyss's legs to take control, including using a hockey stick. Abyss came back with Shock Treatment for the win.

WINNER: Abyss in 3:00.

-Afterward, Stevie choked Abyss with a stick. Mick Foley's music played and Foley walked out to the ring. Stevie seemed encouraged by the apparent reenforcement. Foley tapped Stevie to hand him the stick. Foley swung and hit Stevie instead of Abyss. "What the hell?" said Tenay. Taz said Foley didn't miss, but rather that was by design. Tenay said Foley is the living, breathing example of unpredictable. Tenay said they need to get Jeremy Borash to find out why Foley did that. [c]

-Borash caught up to Foley backstage. Foley said "no comment." Borash asked for more. Foley said what happened out there is between he and Abyss, "and that is all the people need to know." He then held up his hand like Baron Von Raschke. Tenay asked why Foley was channeling Von Raschke.


As the match began, Tenay again plugged the Hogan announcement, calling it "the biggest moment ever for us." Taz said Hogan has a past with Morgan. Tenay said they have a common thread, which is "American Gladiators." Morgan was a gladiator when Hogan was an announcer. Tenay said they know Morgan is on Hogan's radar. Rhino took early control. Tenay said Rhino isn't necessarily paranoid. He may be clever in acknowledging that younger wrestlers are looking to take the spots of veterans. Taz agreed. At 2:00 Morgan made a comeback and signaled for the Hellivator. Rio elbowed out of it and hit a belly-to-belly. Taz said Morgan's high center of gravity makes him easier to suplex. Morgan then surprised Rhino with a Carbon Footprint for the sudden win.

WINNER: Morgan in 3:00.


-After the bell, Rhino gave Morgan his Gore. Hernandez made the save. Rhino fled the ring. Rhino stood at ringside and said only the strong survive in TNA and nobody's going to take him out.

-Backstage Daniels approached Joe. Daniels told him to cool it with the games. Joe said he's not twisting the facts, but he's just pointing out what's in front of his face "or maybe I should say behind his back." Joe said when he told Styles that Daniels might hurt him, he rolled his eyes. Joe said he considered it a joke to suggest he is in his league. Joe told Daniels to think about that the next time he looks at him "or looks down at him, however that works." Daniels hit the wall. Joe should have a cold every week because this low-key verbal style is immensely better than his yelling-at-the-top-of-his-lungs toddler tantrum style. He is money right now with this approach because it stand out so much and just plain fits his persona better. [c]

-Don West hyped upcoming TNA dates. Homicide interrupted and said his boy is ducking him. He grabbed him and West got bug-eyed. Homicide demanded a title shot. West said he could have what he wanted. Homicide then grabbed his wallet and grabbed some money and said he'd hold his driver's license until Turning Point. He said his wife is good looking, so he must be packing.

-Borash told Angle backstage he's never seen him so upset. He said he hardly knows who Wolfe is. Angle said he's trying to take a shortcut, and nine out of ten times shortcuts come to a dead end. Borash asked if there might be someone behind Wolfe's actions, someone who doesn't want him in TNA. Angle said he tried to put him on the map the cheap way and he's going to send him back where he came from. Begin the conspiracy theories about who's behind Wolfe's actions. Who wants Angle out of TNA? Maybe Jeff Jarrett hired him? Or Hulk Hogan? Or Eric Young?

-They went to the back where Styles was knocked out cold backstage. Lauren was very, very worried and promised to keep everyone up to date on developments. Terry Taylor was with the medics checking on Styles. [c]

-As the ambulance pulled away, Lauren said they're taking him to a local medical facility for an examination. She told fans to stay tuned to TNA's website for details. Taz wondered who was behind the attack. The implication is it was Daniels.

-Angle's ring entrance took place followed by Wolfe's.



Angle charted at Wolfe at the start of the match. TNA putting Wolfe into the ring against Angle in his TNA debut is kind of off the charts in terms of the inefficiencies, one of the most glaring examples of the main problem with TNA's booking philosophy and approach. Wolfe took control at 1:00. Taz said he heard that Wolfe has a lariat clothesline that is just lethal. Didn't Taz recognize him as Nigel McGuinness, and now he's just aware of "rumors" that Wolfe has a nasty clothesline. Angle knocked Wolfe over the top rope to the floor, then head-first into the steps. Tenay said the Hogan press conference footage is coming up next. He said it doesn't get any bigger than this. Wolfe made a comeback at ringside at 3:00. Back in the ring they exchanged punches, but then Wolfe dropped Angle with a yanking arm twist that Angle sold like he was punched by Big Show. Wolfe went for his killer lariat that has never been seen on TNA TV. Angle ducked and then back suplexed Wolfe. He dropped his strap and showed fire. Wolfe recovered and nailed Angle with his signature lariat. Taz gasped and said that wasn't your basic clothesline. The ref called off the match, saying he can't move. Wolfe said he'll end his career right here and now. Where was that ref when Sabin went down for real earlier in the taping?

WINNER: Wolfe in 4:00 (apparently, as no one bothered to actually announce a decision)

STAR RATING: *1/4 -- Good start, but more of an angle than an actual match. It's a huge annoyance when the outcome of the match isn't deemed important enough to announce, or for political reasons they don't want to make the call. The contrast between how TNA is pushing Wolfe in week three compared to how WWE is pushing Sheamus shows the stark contrast in philosophies. The same thing was accomplished on Raw on Monday with Sheamus destroying Jamie Noble, but WWE didn't give away without notice the money match in the process of establishing Sheamus's abilities. [c]

-They showed Angle being carried out on a stretcher.

-Tenay threw to the Hogan press conference footage.

-They began with Eric Bischoff introducing Hogan at the press conference. Hogan stepped up to the podium as fans chanted "Hogan! Hogan!" He said it was so nice to be back in the house that Hogan built. He introduced his new business partner, Dixie Carter. She walked onto the stage and shook hands and lightly hugged him. She said there is no single name that defines an industry more than Hogan. She said he's recognized worldwide and is a pop icon. She said they are so thrilled to have him join their company, "the man, the brand, all you Hulkamaniacs." She said justo ver seven years ago they were a TV show that broadcast weekly PPVs to tens of thousands of people, and now they're announcing "the biggest acquisition you can have in the history of wrestlnig." Hogan said it's intense and he feels "born again." Hogan said: "This is awesome. When TNA approached me and I saw how aggressive they were and how they made a stance and how they dug in with Spike TV, I knew this is where I wanted to be. This is why I'm getting back into the mix of the business with TNA. This is the company that is going to lead the way in the future. I guarantee that." Spike TV president Kevin Kay then spoke about Hogan taking them to the next level, come up with new programming, and take TNA to the next level. Hogan said his goal is to make TNA the number one sports entertainment company. "There are so many positives that they have. I just think they needed a little momentum shifter like Hulk Hogan to make a statement, just like the last time I decided to shift gears. The company I worked with, the people I worked with, in a short amount of time we showed the world we had the best product. Dixie Carter has her act together. You couldn't have a better partner than Spike TV. I'm telling you, brother, I'm really looking forward to getting into the mix. I don't know what's going to happen, brother, because when I go at it, I go at it wide open." He told the fans he loved them, did his "whatcha gonna do, brother" bit, and the show ended.


Mike Tenay: "It doesn't get any bigger than Hulk Hogan joining TNA - the most defining moment in our history - the announcement of the partnership between TNA, Dixie Carter, and Hulk Hogan - an absolute blockbuster."

Desmond Wolfe: "I'm not going to come out here and say I am the Next Big Thing. Read my lips. I am The Only Thing."

Desmond Wolfe: "That's why I am here in TNA - to dominate a sport I was built for, I was designed for, I was bred for. I don't need a gold medal to prove how tough I am."

Kurt Angle to Wolfe: "I'll let you in on a little secret. You messed with the wrong guy. If you think you're going to make a name for yourself at the expense of Kurt Angle, you've got your head up your ass. Nobody comes in my backyard and pisses in hit. Nobody!"

Brother Ray (born in 1971) on Hernandez (born in 1973): "That kid Hernandez is the future of this company."

Scott Steiner: "I'm here to apologize to Bobby Lashley's wife. I am truly sorry... sorry... that she has no idea what it's like to be with a real man. I see her looking at me in the back and I can see the lust, the desire that she wants to be with me. She has a want, she has a need, to be one of my freaks. She wants to be my number one freak and I'm going to make it happen."

Mike Tenay: "I can't tell you how many texts that I received and they all said the same thing - that situation with the Beautiful People, Taylor Wilde, and Sarita in catering was one of the hottest things they've ever seen on Impact."

Taz in response: "Well, if you're into food and stuff, I guess."

Taz: "I could not help but notice on the back of the buttocks of the tight area of Velvet Sky that it says the word shy. She's anything but shy."

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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.

He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).

He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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