TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 2/4: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Feb 4, 2010 - 10:04:08 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: I tried to remember what happened last week, but I couldn't. So I went back and checked my recap, but I still couldn't find anything. Doug Williams became your new X Division Champion in an effort to make Amazing Red's title reign as completely anti-climactic as possible. Wow, they really are trying to make him the new Rey Rey. Jeff Jarrett and Eric Bischoff started playing their more natural roles as a face and a heel, respectively (how strange is this world where I perceive Jeff Jarrett to be more natural as a face?). That's a good play, but since they seem willing to change directions every week or two we'll have to hold off a few weeks to see if it's real. We still haven't gotten good explanations for the things that need to be explained—we don't know why AJ Styles turned heel, or why Earl Hebner called for the bell in the title match two weeks ago. We might get some new information on the latter, but something tells me we'll never get an answer on the former. For one thing, it occurred to me that the only logical way to have AJ go into more detail would be for some TNA original to challenge him, but last I checked all of them were heel. Unless Jarrett really is face this week—he'd still count. Let's see.
The Show: The Breaking of the Band
Brutus Magnus hits the ring for an 8 Card Stud qualifying match. Mr. Anderson hits the entrance-way and says that this is the moment we've all been waiting for. The crowd says that he sucks, but he claims to be the future of that four-sided ring. He once again emphasizes its four-sidedness. That's interesting—I wonder if someone in TNA read my column last week? He says that he didn't call himself the future—Hulk Hogan called him the future, so you'd better believe it.
(1)BRUTUS MAGNUS vs. MR. ANDERSON Eight Card Stud Qualifying Match
Magnus looks for a lock up, but Anderson knees him in the gut. He punches Magnus in the corner, but Magnus blocks one and unloads with rights that back Anderson all the way across the ring. The ref pulls him off, and Anderson takes advantage with a lightning fast dropkick to the knee. Anderson pounds Magnus against the mat with stomps and an elbow drop. The crowd is cheering him now. He whips Magnus into the corner and stomps a mud hole in him. The ref tries to pull him off, but he continues stomping Magnus as he argues with the official. Anderson resumes the assault, but Magnus fights out of the corner and connects with a Big Boot. He whips Anderson into a shoulder block and hits a Union Jack for two. Magnus lifts up Anderson for the Tormentum, but Anderson is able to get his thumb into Magnus's eye. As soon as his feet hit the mat Anderson nails the Mic Check for the kill.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson in 3 minutes. I really want to like Brutus Magnus matches, but somehow they don't usually click with me.
Mick Foley arrives in what the announcers describe as a luxury ride, but it looks pretty normal to me.
Wow, I've been doing this long enough that this is my second live February 4th Impact coverage—I had to convince the site that it was a new one.
Christy is in the back with Kurt Angle. She wants to ask about his upcoming match with Tomko, but he'd rather talk about Hulk Hogan. Kurt can't believe that Hulk would look him in the eye and shake his hand, only to have his boys Syxx-Pac and Scott Hall ambush him right after. Christy asks if he's accusing Hogan of the attack last week, and he responds that of course he is, since that's the kind of guy Hogan is. Fool him once, shame on you—fool him twice, shame on him. He'll be paying Hogan a visit later tonight.
Tenay and Taz go over the card for tonight. We'll see Tara defending against Angelina Love, Morgan & Hernandez defending against Team 3D, and AJ styles very much not defending (I assume) against The Pope. I really hope they give that last one a bit of time.
Eric Bischoff hits the ring. He says that he's glad to be back. Last week Hulk made it perfectly clear that Mick Foley was expected to play ball, but Mick wasn't willing to do that. Tonight that decision will have cost Mick dearly. Here's Mick to find out what it'll cost him. The crowd goes nuts for him. Speaking of nuts, he says that his reputation in this business is for having something wrong up there (he points to his head). The problem isn't that he puts his body on the line time and again, but that he seems to like everyone. They try to get him to say bad things about various industry luminaries (he lists off some names to cheap pops—I only catch "Paul Heyman"), but he never does. He likes everyone—but Eric is the exception. He's everything Mick hates about this business. Where Mick was willing to and sort of did give everything for this business, Bischoff came from the outside. He was a salesman who became a commentator, and the worst one in history. In what will almost certainly be the line of the night, Taz points out that Mick apparently never heard of Mike Adamle. Bischoff weaseled his way to power specifically because he wasn't from the old school of wrestling. Well maybe Mick isn't from the old school—he's from the school that burnt down before the old school was built (he hit that same line about Dominic Denucci once). Bischoff says that this isn't about them—but Mick thinks that of course it is. It's about the fact that when Mick was 22 he started saving every dime so that he'd never have to work for someone like Bischoff. But this isn't just about him—it's also about JB and Abyss. Who the hell does Bischoff think he is to threaten them? Does he have any idea how many hats JB wears backstage? The Impact Zone wouldn't last a minute without him. The fact that he doesn't know that just shows how little he actually understands this company. Bischoff doesn't want to hear any more, and starts to talk about his power. He says that it's time to turn the page, but that reminds Mick of what he wrote about Bischoff in his book—that power should only be in the hands of someone who isn't in love with it. It's clear Bischoff hasn't learned a thing since running WCW into the ground. This business has always been Mick's first love—he was busting his ass for it while Bischoff was making reality shows with Chachi (ha!)--and he'll be damned if he's going to watch someone else taking advantage of it. Mick starts to storm off, but Bischoff reminds him to think of JB and Abyss, whose careers he still controls. If Mick wants to preserve their jobs, he'll play ball tonight by wrestling Kevin Nash in a No DQ match. Bischoff knows that they have some history, including an ambush by Mick on Nash in the Impact zone a couple months back. He then starts shouting about tit-for-tat, but have no idea what he's saying.
JB and Abyss are watching on a monitor backstage. Abyss asks if everything is going to be okay. JB says that he's just here to pick up his last check. He worked for Bischoff ten years ago, and believe him—if Bischoff's in charge, then no one's okay (awesome understated delivery by JB).
Christy is in the back with Tara. Tara goes over her history with Love, reminding us of how Love made her life a living hell when she got to Impact. As I recall you put a tarantula on her best friend, but whatever. Anyway, Angelina has clearly changed, and she proved it last week when she made the save.
(2)HERNADNEZ & MATT MORGAN (c) vs. TEAM 3D Tag Team Championship Match
Hernandez and Ray lock up, as we're told that Hernandez and Morgan sought this match. Both men go for forearms, and they come out even. Hernandez shoulder blocks Ray across the ring, but whiffs on a charge in the corner. Ray whips him into the opposite corner and charges. Hernandez shoves back Ray and goes to the top rope, but Ray chops his chest and and tosses him to the mat. An elbow drop gets two. Devon tags in, and Hernandez overpowers him and makes the tag. He lets Devon recuperate, so Devon comes out firing with punches and a flying clothesline to Morgan. A leg drop gets one. Morgan hits a 360 Degree Clothesline as he gets up for two. Hernandez tags in and works a face lock. Devon powers out, but runs right into Hernandez and bounces off and to the mat. Hernandez powers Devon onto the corner, but when he looks for the Superplex Devon bites his head. Devon hits a Kamikazee Headbutt. Why is that move still legal? Both men tag out. Ray gets the early advantage with quick jabs. Morgan turns him around, Ray goes for a German Suplex, Morgan blocks it with his elbows, but then Ray catches Morgan's boot and connects with the German. Hernandez comes in and eats a Samoan Drop. A double team neck breaker on Morgan gets two. Hernandez comes back in, and Team 3D set up for Wazzup?. The Nasty Boys run down and shove Devon off the top rope. As Ray stares them down Hernandez recovers. Ray tries to take him back down with a Ura-Nage, but Hernandez blocks it and shoves him into a Carbon Footprint from Morgan. Morgan makes the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Hernandez and Matt Morgan in six minutes—that was pretty good.
After the match The Nasty Boys try to do more damage, but the champs return to the ring to ward them off. Team 3D get to their feet, and, after a bit of cooling down, pump fists with the champs. Ray returns their belts to them.
(3)JESSE NEAL vs. SAMOA JOE
I was starting to worry about Joe. Neal tries to jumps the bell, but Joe fights him off with a Tazplex. He chops the hell out of Neal in the corner, charges him, then jump kicks his head off. Neal tries to fight back from his knees as the crowd decides that Joe is now face. Neal rakes Joe's eyes, but even with a running start he can't take Joe off his feet. Neal punks out the crowd, then goes to the top rope for a Cross Body Block, but Joe just walks away. Joe stomps the living daylights out him, charges him in the corner with a knee and Muscle Busters him. He yells out for AJ before getting the cover.
WINNER: Samoa Joe in two minutes.
We recap the match, which is a little weird given that it only lasted twelve seconds. I think the point is emphasizing the potency of Joe's finisher.
Christy catches up with Hulk backstage, and she wants to know how he responds to Angle's comments. He doesn't know what she's talking about. Seriously, even he doesn't watch this show? Maybe he does read my recap then. Anyway, she summarizes what Kurt said, and Hulk seems frustrated to be accused of something else he didn't do. He says he'll be easy to find tonight, and Christy lets him know that Kurt will be paying him a visit.
(4)"THE POPE" D'ANGELO DINERO vs. AJ STYLES (w/RIC FLAIR) Non-Title Match
Tenay talks about the "amazing transformation" we've seen in AJ Styles. Apparently that's the new euphemism for "inexplicable turn". Pope gets a quick wrist lock to start, so AJ backs him into the corner for a break. AJ hits a few chops, but the Pope comes back with a slap to the face and a Drop Toe Hold. AJ gets away for a second, but Pope explodes with a fast series of elbows, complete with his own lewd gesture. AJ rolls out of the ring.
[Commercial Break—AJ and Dinero are fighting even, then AJ nails an elbow]
AJ hits a shoulder block as we get back. Pope shoots him off, but he stops himself and hits a chop. He shoots Dinero off in turn, then nails his leap frog and high dropkick. He stomps Pope against the ropes, then catapults his throat into the bottom rope. AJ sets Pope up in the corner and starts chopping. Pope chops back, but doesn't have enough. AJ locks in a rear chin lock, but Dinero gets to the ropes. AJ chokes Dinero against the middle rope for the full four count. He hits a straight suplex, then makes a nonchalant cover for one. Dinero fights back from his knees; AJ shoots him off into the ropes but he flips over AJ and gets a Sunset Flip for two. AJ gets up and hits a Decapitator Clothesline for two. AJ cinches in another chin lock as the crowd comes alive for Dinero. Dinero tries to power out, but AJ whacks the back of his head. AJ stomps him around, as Dinero makes nice gestures that show he's still trying to defend himself. AJ stands Pope up, which might have been a mistake, since Pope suddenly blocks a punch and unloads with a rapid fire series of punches. A flying back elbow gets two. When AJ gets up he pokes Dinero's eyes and nails a Standing Ensuguri. AJ waits for Pope to get up in the corner, but Pope dodges. He chops AJ into the ropes for his leaping Guillotine Choke now called (according to Taz) the "The Coronation", but AJ blocks it. AJ looks for a suplex, which is reversed into a Small Package for...holy shit that's three!!!
WINNER: D'Angelo Dinero in 10 minutes. I did not see that coming. Could someone check when the last time AJ lost a match was? I don't remember him losing since August. ***1/4
After the match AJ and Flair start beating down Dinero with the title belt, when out for the save is...Samoa Joe? He squishes AJ in the corner. Flair is dumb enough to chop him, and Joe does not look happy. Flair knows what he's doing though, since the distraction is enough for AJ to take down Joe with a chop block. They stomp Joe in the crutch, but Pope is back up. He tosses Flair out of the ring and starts beating down AJ in the corner. Security enter the ring to let AJ escape.
Awesome, awesome, segment.
Security are holding Joe and Dinero in the ring as Flair is screaming about how Joe out to know better. This is the new TNA. Who does he think he is? Samoa Joe somehow gets his hands on a mic and screams at Flair to shut his mouth before Joe shoves the nature right up his ass. Flair tries to get a word in, but Joe talks over him. He calls AJ an unrepentant scum bag. He doesn't care when it was, when they were fighting or when they were best friends, AJ was always a warrior. He gave that all up for what? Some nice suits and Flair's wholesale hookers? It seems it's up to Joe to show AJ how to be a man again, which is why he's cashing in his title shot at Against All Odds. He suggests AJ treasure his title every night, knowing he's facing the the inevitable in a few weeks. He and the Pope suddenly get by security, and AJ & Flair flee.
Christy is in the back with Angelina Love, and she wants to know whether Love expects The Beautiful People to interfere in her match tonight. She says that of course she does—it's what she would do if she were still in The Beautiful People. She taught them everything they know, but clearly not everything she knows. For one thing she knows that they should never have tried to "replace" her—she asks how that's going for them. Anyway, she's a two time women's champion, and expects three to be her lucky number.
Nash and Eric Young are strategizing. Bischoff walks in, and Young introduces himself—apparently he's still Global Champion. Good for him. Bischoff asks him to leave, and as soon as he's gone Bischoff laments that he has another name to learn. He asks Nash to do him a favor and destroy Mick Foley tonight. Nash points out how convenient it is that he needs a favor while Hall and Pac need jobs. Bischoff says that Nash knows the score on that one—they don't have jobs because they're screw-ups who won't follow the rules. Nash can either be like them, or he can go out there and destroy Mick tonight. See, that's the greatness of Bischoff as a heel—I don't know if that was supposed to be a threat.
Christy is in the back with Mick Foley, and she wants to know if he'll fall in line. Actually he thinks he was offered a choice, to play nice or to lace up, and thankfully he's got a new pair of boots. Christy asks about the bad blood between Mick and Bischoff, and Mick points out that the blood is literal. Mick started to cool on Bischoff, but then he thought about all the hell Bischoff's put him through over the last couple months, putting him on a cross country chase (when did we find out that Nash was acting on Bischoff's orders?). Abyss comes by panicking, but Mick assures him he doesn't have to worry. He instructs him not to come down to the ring tonight, no matter how bad things get.
(5)TOMKO vs. KURT ANGLE Eight Card Stud Qualifying Match
Tenay asks who will be advancing—my wife points out that we don't need the match to answer that. Comically enough, Taz then basically says the same thing. Angle starts things off with a quick go behind and a German Suplex, but Tomko comes back with a kick to the head. They go toe to toe, and Angle hits his surprise head butt and then clotheslines Tomko out of the ring. He follows him to the outside and bashes his head against the stairs. He rolls Tomko into the ring, but when he follows him in Tomko connects with a nice Snap Power Slam to take control. Tomko whips Angle shoulder first into the ring post and then hits a Power Slam for two. Tomko cinches in a nerve hold; Angle powers out, but rights right into a Two-Handed Choke Slam. Tomko's looking pretty crisp. He goes to the top rope, but Angle runs up the ropes and hits a Belly-to-Belly Superplex. He gets up just before Tomko and hits a pair of German Suplexes. Tomko blocks the third with some elbows, but misses a charge in the corner and eats an Olympic Slam for a long two count. Tomko nails a Decapitator Clothesline as he gets up. Tomko looks for a Big Boot, but Angle ducks it and nails a lighting fast German Suplex. They almost blow the second, but then nail a third, a fourth, and a fifth. Kurt drops the straps and locks in the Angle Lock, complete with grape-vined legs. That's it.
WINNER: Kurt Angle in five minutes—another good match, and a good showing in defeat for Tomko.
We see some stills from the Europe tour. I assume they're just stills to encourage us to order the encore presentation of, um, the Europe tour. Okay, I have no idea why they didn't show video.
We then recap...Hulk Hogan joining TNA? Is there a pattern here? Oh, I guess this is really a package about Nash's recent history with Foley.
Nash is in Hulk's office, where Hogan's talking about some TriStar deal. Nash mentions his match with Foley. He's on board, he's a team player, and he doesn't much like Mick Foley anyway. However, he still suggests Hulk give Pac and Hall a second chance; Hogan claims that they've already been given second, third, and fourth chances but that they're a mess. Nash has a good deal going, and he should distance himself from then. Nash, however, thinks that now is when they need him most, and asks one last time for Hogan to consider it.
(6)TARA (c) (w/POISON) vs. ANGELINA LOVE Knockouts Championship Match
Angelina has new music but the same rope-straddling ring entrance. They jockey for position, with Tara eventually taking control with a side headlock takeover, continuing the side headlock against the mat. Love rolls her into a cover, but Tara rolls it back. Love reverses into a head scissors, which Tara later reverses into a bridge for two, which Love re-reverses with a Backslide for two of her own.
[Commercial Break—Tara is in control with a wrist lock]
We come back for a Test of Strength, which Love somehow twists into a hammerlock on the mat. Tara gets to her feet, still in a wrist lock, but then reverses it into one of her own. Love picks a leg and sends Tara to the mat. She picks her up and slams her head first into the top turnbuckle, but when she goes to do it again in the opposite corner Tara reverses it. Love floats over in the corner and gets a School Girl for two. Tara hits a kick and a side slam for a long two count. Love gets up firing, but misses with the attempted Bicycle Kick. Tara goes for the Widow's Peak, Love reverses it into a Victory Roll for two, but Tara re-reverses and stacks Love up for three.
WINNER: Tara—I don't know why they didn't get more time, but it is a pretty packed show. At some point during that match there was a "spontaneous wardrobe malfunction" with Tara's top.
After the match Tara helps Love to her feet, then The Beautiful People run down to attack. Tara thinks for a moment, then decides to make the save. They're about to double team Sky when Rayne and Von Erich distract them. Tara and Love fight Rayne and Von Erich out of the ring as Velvet Sky flees.
Syxx-Pac and Kevin Nash are outside the Impact Zone.
Kurt Angle storms into Hogan's office, and he wants to know how Hulk could shake his hand and then have him ambushed. Hogan's a bit confused, since he refused to give Pac and Hall contracts. The problem here is Kurt's temper, which Hogan knows has been a problem for Kurt in the three years since they got here. Kurt disagrees with respect to the source of the difficulty. He's heard the horror stories, and he knows what Hogan's like. Kurt's not going to let Hogan screw him like he has all the others. Hogan suggests that, for his own good, Kurt leave the office right now. Kurt slams the desk, then leaves.
Mick Foley hits the ring, barbed-wire wrapped baseball bat in hand. Nash has a shopping cart full of toys.
(7)KEVIN NASH vs. MICK FOLEY No Disqualification Match
Nash tosses some weapons in to start, and grabs a trash can. He uses it as a shield to block Foley's bat, but it gets crushed. Nash has to switch to a chair, but that gets messed up two. Nash grabs a hockey stick and nails Foley's ankle. He grabs the barbed wire baseball bat and tries to shove it into Foley's face, but Foley grabs it long enough to nail a back kick for a low blow. Mick attacks with rights, so Nash rolls out of the ring. Mick follows him out and slams Nash's head into the apron. He hits a few more shots, then rolls back into the ring. He grabs something, but, as Nash comes into the ring, Mick suddenly double clutches and won't use it. Nash connects with a Big Boot for the win. Not surprisingly, the object was the caricature of Mick and Abyss.
WINNER: Kevin Nash in two minutes. Why did they even bother having this match?
Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac make their way through the crowd. They get to the ring, where Hall suddenly slugs Kevin Nash. He and Pac beat up Nash, then exit up the ramp way. Taz is confused, as am I. Though in retrospect we probably should have figured out what was going to happen from the episode title.
Where We're Going: I think it's reasonably clear that at least once in the last few weeks someone called an audible, as this is very much not the way the TNA landscape looked February 14th. Joe has arisen as the missing voice of old-school TNA, with Anderson seemingly being positioned to represent change. Since Anderson is heel, that'll hopefully mean they bring my bloody six-sided ring back, hopefully well in time for Lockdown.
Star of the Night: There were lots of good performances tonight, but it's hard not to go with D'Angelo Dinero, who I thought was having a star making night even before he got the 1-2-3.
Overall: I very much enjoyed this show. There were several really well contested matches, most notably of course Styles-Dinero. Joe I thought took another step to reestablishing his sorely missed bad-assness, Foley and Bischoff were mic gold, and Nash was great. Everything was cruising nicely until the main event—if you're going to have a two-minute main event match, it had best have some really cool angle. Otherwise there's really not much point. I was just settling in when the match ended. Clearly it was designed just to get the post match wackiness, but was there really no other way to get Kevin Nash out into the ring? Also, I think the emphasis on Hall and Pac's craziness might have taken away from the zing of the turn—why not expect a turn from people you've already told us are crazy? Hall randomly attacked a fan at the PPV—that makes him attacking Nash slightly less shocking. I think as an angle it has plenty of possibilities. They can have a little mystery regarding who's giving them orders, with then maybe a big reveal of someone not Bischoff (or else a really good fake to someone else before the inevitable Bischoff reveal). But as a show ending segment, it was just bit lacking. With really only the main event weighing this show down, it still might be worth an A-.
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. Any of his students who have come across this column should not take it as a guide to formal paper writing. Questions regarding formal paper writing, and, one supposes, TNA wrestling, can be sent to email@example.com.
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