TV REPORTS WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 3/4: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Mar 4, 2010 - 10:51:35 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
I'm running late again, so let's get right into:
The Show: Never Say Never
Not surprisingly, we start with a package hyping the tag match booked for Monday.
Let's start things off at the top, with the TNA World Heavyweight Champion, Ric Flair, and some women strutting down to the ring. Ric Flair starts things off by calling AJ the man. They've had a week to think about what happened with Hulk Hogan last week. He knows Hulk is in the building, and he wants him to come down so he and AJ can apologize for their conduct last week. They want to give him a present—to give back to Hulk Hogan and TNA. Hogan comes down to the ring, accompanied by Abyss. Ric Flair wants to know if he can assume that this'll be a peaceful conversation, and Hogan seems to calm Abyss down a bit. As a result of their bad conduct last week they're going to set him up and fill him full of rocket fuel—he can have one, two, three, or all four of the women with them (I think they're a little old for him). Abyss, however, gets none. Hogan says that he's not here to bum a cigarette, share a drink, or borrow one of Ric Flair's hits of Viagra. Hogan When he came to this company he promised everyone that he wouldn't lace up his boots, but the way Ric Flair and AJ Styles have been acting has changed everything. On March 8th, he and Abyss will be taking Flair and AJ to school. There's only one thing he has to ask these jabronies—what you gonna do...(he hands the mic to Abyss)...when Hogan and Abyssamania run wild on you? Flair reminds us that he retired on top two years ago, but says that he's willing to wrestle again for the sake of doing the one thing he's never done—beat Hulk Hogan on national television. AJ acknowledges that when Hogan was wrestling he was king, but things have changed. AJ's the champ now—he's concerned about Hogan risking his good name on live TV. He compliments Hulk's bling, suggests Hulk think again about the match, and then proposes he and Flair leave. Bischoff's music hits. He says that before they leave, AJ has some business tonight. AJ will be defending the World Heavyweight Championship Match in a Four Corners Match against Abyss, Desmond Wolfe, and (I'm pretty sure he said) The Pope. Are they really giving away Pope vs. AJ a month and a half early?
JB is in the back with Wolfe and Chelsea. Wolfe wants to know if JB has ever found a fiver in his pocket—he believes it's called "serendipity". The Sound of Music claims that when a door is closed, a window is opened—well that's bullocks. When someone closes a door on Wolfe he kicks it down, beats up whoever closed it, goes upstairs, yells at the bird and tells him to close the window cause it's getting a little chilly. AJ Styles has become a model champion, but, despite what Flair says, Wolfe can become the man without beating the man—he can pin Abyss or Dinero. Chelsea says that she wants the Hall of Fame Ring Abyss is wearing, and Wolfe says that he'll make that happen, because what Chelsea wants, Chelsea gets.
Bischoff is on the phone, discussing starting a professional football league that'll compete with the NFL, but that's just crazy. Jeff Jarrett comes in, and Bischoff says that he has to talk to the chef. Jarrett agrees that the chef is here, and that the rumor going around the locker room was that last week saw some of the best burgers ever served in catering. Bischoff comments that Jarrett doesn't seem to mind, and Jarrett agrees that whatever Eric throws at him he'll still be there. He suggests that they go back to the business of professional wrestling to get things flowing. Bischoff's glad Jarrett wants to get things flowing, since they've gotten really clogged—he hands Jarrett a plunger and tells him to be the janitor. Jarrett says that he's been here since day one and seen all the TNA janitors, but Bischoff is looking at the best right now. Poor Kip James.
That was an oddly compelling segment I thought.
(1)THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS vs. GENERATION ME vs. BEER MONEY INC. vs. HERNANDEZ & MATT MORGAN Non-Title Match
Sabin starts things off with a wrist lock on Jeremy. Jeremy flips out and gets one of his own, but Sabin flips out of that and reapplies the hold. He makes the tag to Shelley, then holds Jeremy down for the front-face-lock-dropkick. Jeremy gets enough distance to reach Max, who, in a fair silly move, Moonsaults onto Shelley's wrist, then tags back in Jeremy. Sabin tags in. He looks for a seesaw kick, but Jeremy cuts him off with a Backstabber and tags in Sabin for a Senton Splash against the ropes for two. Sabin rolls over into the corner, where Hernandez tags himself in. Max tries to come in off the top rope, but Hernandez catches him with a nice Press Slam. Hernandez goes to the outside for his slingshot shoulder block, but Matt Morgan tags himself in. He goozles Max. Jeremy tries to interfere with a double sledge, but Morgan catches him by the throat too. James Storm tries to run in, but Morgan kicks him down and nails the Double Choke Slam. Morgan takes a moment to jaw at Hernandez, claiming that he's showing him how it's done, but that only gives Max time to roll into Beer Money's corner. Storm floors Morgan with a Last Call Super Kick as Roode comes in for a School Boy and the win.
WINNERS: Beer Money Inc. in four minutes.
Sean Morley and Slick Johnson are in Bischoff's office. Bischoff's been pushing Jarrett, but he just doesn't seem ready to break. So since Jarrett wants to get back to wrestling, Bischoff has booked him in a match tonight against Morley. He forgot to tell Jarrett, but that's no matter. It's No DQ and falls count anywhere, and Bischoff believes Jarrett can be found in the men's room. He suggests Morley go finish the job, and Morley seems happy to oblige.
Kurt Angle is in Hulk Hogan's office. Kurt says that he has a little problem, and suggests that Hulk let Kurt take care of Flair and AJ Monday night. Since Hulk arrived he's been a huge boon to this company—just look at what he's done for Abyss. Hulk's too important to risk out there against AJ; he should stay in the back doing his job, and let Kurt do his out there in the ring. Hulk says that this is his last chance, and he has to know that he's can get by these guys. Kurt respects that, so they shake hands.
We cut to Mick in etiquette school. His coach asks him to help with her coat, and he tries to button it. She suggests that he take it off, and he's surprised, since no woman has ever asked him to take her clothes off. She wants to know what image he's going for, since if it's scary then he's got it down. Mick says that he's going for "vinatge hardcore legend". She wants to see his walk, so he busts out a Jarrett strut. She suggests he button his jacket when he walks and unbuttons it when he sits down—Mick thinks it would be more efficient to just leave it unbuttoned. She also wants to do something about his hair, but he's afraid that if he cuts it people will see that he really has gentle eyes. They discuss a tailor for his suit, which I don't get, since they made a big deal that it was custom made.
Sean Morley and Slick Johnson are entering a men's room backstage. Morley tells Slick to ring the bell, and after some discussion Johnson makes a ringing noise.
(2)SEAN MORLEY vs. JEFF JARRETT No DQ Falls-Count-Anywhere Match
Morley enters the bathroom and cheap shots Jarrett, then tosses him against the walls and stalls. Morley focuses on the left shoulder, then makes a cover for two. Jarrett asks what the hell Slick is doing, so Johnson tells him that it's a match. Morley "lands" a kick to the temple that clearly whiffs by maybe six inches. Morley places Jarrett's left arm in the door frame and slams the door on it a bunch of times. He slams Jarrett against the wall one more time and makes an oddly sexual cover for three.
WINNER: Sean Morley in just over two minutes.
Christy Hemme is in the back with "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero. She recaps his winning the tournament three weeks ago and the attack by AJ and Flair two weeks ago. Pope says that she knows how it is though—when you roll with The Pope, you might start out on top, but he always ends up there. Flair and Arthur "I have no class" Styles tried to put him down like an old mule, but he's back. They can't be too happy about that—Pope's doctor isn't either. She mentions the match tonight. He had some big plans for Lockdown, but why wait for tomorrow what you can take care of today? Pope suggests that if that big-nosed Flair gets involved Pope'll reach all the way back to the 1980's for a very special pimp slap. Pope has spoken.
We recap the triumphs and trials of Rob Terry and The British Invasion. This wasn't worth the time in the first run, much less in recap form.
(3)DOUG WILLIAMS vs. ROB TERRY Non-Title Match
There's no way they let Williams win here, is there? Williams slaps Terry to start, so Terry shoves him down. He takes Williams up for a Press Slam, then locks in a bear hug. Williams bites his way out, lands a headbutt to the mid-section, and then...gets taken down by a leg lariat from Terry? Where the hell did that come from? Terry looks for his Running Power Slam. Williams slips out the back and goes for The Rolling Chaos Theory, but Rob Terry blocks it and connects with a Choke Slam for the win.
WINNER: Rob Terry in a minute and change. Yes, the X Division Champion just lost to Steroids McSteroidson in a minute—admittedly that leg lariat was impressive.
After the match, Brutus Magnus runs in and pops Rob Terry from behind. He has Williams hold Terry while he administers a beat-down.
Jeff Jarrett is being seen to in the back. Bischoff takes the place of the medic and yanks Jarrett's arm. That can't be good for TNA's liability insurance. Jarrett wants to know what the hell Bischoff is up to. Bischoff says that Jarrett wanted a match, so he gave it to him. Jarrett says that there wasn't a ring for 100 yards, and he didn't want a match in the bathroom. Bischoff says that for someone who agreed to start at the bottom Jarrett's being awfully demanding. If he wants a match in the ring though, he can have one—Bischoff just hopes he's a fast healer, cause that match will be later tonight.
Mr. Anderson is walking around in the back, with a fake medal and something that says "loser".
Mick Foley balances a book on his head, but his coach wants him to walk loosely with it on. He says that his book, Countdown to Lockdown, is coming out in September 2010. She only reads classics, but there will be plenty classic about his new book. He sits down, but she wants him to get back up and try the jacket unbuttoning again. After all those years of dropping elbows he needs her help to get up. She then wants him to help her out with her chair, but she needs to help him up yet again. She explains that they'll practice a "B & D—bread and drink"--set up. Mick suggests he get two drinks, since every guy likes double Ds. She shows him how to eat soup using a rhyme--"out to sea and back to me"--but he suggests instead that "to be done quick, eat like Mick."
We recap Anderson--Angle.
Angle's music hits, and Anderson comes out—apparently it's actually a cookie sheet around a chain that has "loser" written on it. He's also sporting a bald-cap and a gaudy medal. He says that he is the greatest wrestler in the world today—oh it's real, it's damn real. Most of us know that he's also the most injury-prone wrestler in the world today—in fact he thinks he's just broken his neck for the seventeenth time again. One time he broke his neck while tying his shoe, one time while walking his dog, and one time he pushed too hard when taking a dump he broke his freak'n neck. One time while he was drinking a Yoohoo, and then one time in band camp...but enough about that. We have some serious things to talk about. He addresses Mr. Anderson, that son-of-a-bitch, for cutting him up with that thing around his neck. By the way, we should know that he doesn't give a damn about the soldiers in Iraq—it's just a ploy to get our cheers and to make us think that he's a real swell guy. Angle storms down to the ring. Anderson tries to cut him off as he enters the ring, but Angle fights through with clotheslines. Anderson rolls out of the ring. When Angle follows him, he gets a face full of beer from some random cup. Anderson beats him back into the ring, drops his straps, and hits an Olympic Slam. He takes the Warrior medal off Angle's neck and puts it around his own.
Abyss finds Hulk Hogan in the hall backstage. He's not very proud of this, but he didn't have a very good childhood and wasn't raised very well. Hogan tells him that he doesn't have to go there, but Abyss wants to get something off his chest. His mother didn't want him to watch television, but he always found a way to get to that 8 x 8 black and white TV to watch Hulk Hogan. Abyss begged to see him, and then one day she got him a ticket to see him in the Richfield Colosseum in Cleveland, Ohio. Hey, I remember that place! Actually it was midway between Cleveland and Akron, but close enough. Anyhow, Abyss watched Hogan get the sold out arena to his feet. But now Abyss has the ring, so he has the Hulkamaniac power, and he can handle things on his own. Hogan asks if Abyss would ever leave him or push him aside? Abyss says that of course he wouldn't. Hogan says that he and Abyss are one. Wait, what? They share the same blood, and they're family. Now that Abyss has that ring, he does have the power, and Hulk knows Abyss will protect him. Fans around the world believe in Abyss, and they know that with the goodness inside him Abyss will protect him. When Flair and AJ come at them with all the hate in the world they'll fight them off. Hogan says that he loves Abyss, and Abyss reciprocates. That segment was really, really weird—I don't think I liked it. It seemed to detract from Abyss's monster-ness.
We recap Angelina Love--The Beautiful People.
Earlier tonight: Angelina Love is in a photo shoot when Madison Rayne and Lacey Von Erich attack. Von Erich holds Loves arms through the barricade as Velvet Sky pelts her with some belt. Von Erich thinks she's had enough, but Sky says that it's not enough till she says it in. She lands a few more lashes, then storms off. Von Erich and Rayne seem a little shocked, and possibly scared.
Angelina Love comes down to the ring and gets a mic. She addresses Velvet Sky, calling her a b@#ch. Love tells her to come out now, and that she's not leaving till she does. I'm not sure why that would bother Sky, but apparently it does, since she comes down the ramp, belt in hand. Love comes up after her, takes her down, and slams her into the side of the ramp. She slams Sky into the steel guard rail, the ramp, and the guard rail again. She lays in with the belt a few times, then takes Sky into the ring. She connects with a bicycle kick, then grabs the belt again. Rayne and Von Erich come down to the ring, but Love's ready for them. She connects with the belt to Rayne, but is no match for the Ugly Stick. Von Erich and Rayne hold Love down as Sky lays in with the belt again a few times. The Beautiful People celebrate in the ring.
Bubba The Love Sponge approaches Hogan in his office. He says that the problem is that no one will tell Hogan the truth. He was the best man at Bubba's wedding, the godfather of his children, and Bubba was with him during his surgeries. Hogan was brought in for his mind, not his wrestling. Hogan says that Bubba bounced back from his hard times, but he still hasn't. The only thing that never left him was wrestling, so he has to do this. Bubba points out that Hulk (he's now calling him Terry) still has him, Nick, Brooke, and Jenny (I think that was her name). Those people love him because he can walk (that seems harsh). He promised them he wouldn't wrestle again, and so he should think long and hard about what's really important before he gets back in that ring.
Mick's etiquette coach thinks that "Mr. bee-SHOFF" will be pleased, so they practice a handshake. She wants to know how he says goodbye to a woman. He says that most guys he knows just sneak out the back. She suggests he say goodbye, and then he says that he knows the rest. He gives her a big hug. That was not what she had in mind.
We recap Nash & Young—Scott Hall & Syxx-Pac. Nash and Young will have comments on Monday
(4)TOMKO vs. JEFF JARRETT
Jarrett lost his music and pyro again. Tomko starts things off with a side headlock. Jarrett shoots him off, but Tomko comes back with a shoulder block and starts working Jarrett's injured left arm. Jarrett fires back with right hands. Tomko tosses him into a corner, whiffs on a charge, but then connects with a back elbow when Jarrett tries to take advantage. Tomko goes to climb the top rope, but Jarrett is up, so he works Jarrett's arm against the ropes. Jarrett fires back, so Tomko drops to the floor, wrenching Jarrett's arm. Jarrett nails an Ensuguri as Tomko gets into the ring, stomps him against a rope, but then walks right into a Decapitator Clothesline. Tomko makes a couple of covers for two, then stomps down on Jarrett's shoulder. Tomko cinches in a key lock, so Jarrett gets a leg in the ropes. Tomko stomps the arm again and then connects with an arm bar takedown for two. Tomko works another key lock variant, but Jarrett fights him off. Tomko takes him up for a Power Slam but Jarrett reverses it into a DDT. Jarrett goes to the corner for some mounted punches, but Tomko takes him back down with an Inverted Atomic Drop. Tomko charges, but Jarrett pulls himself up by the ropes over him, then rolls him up for three.
WINNER: Jeff Jarrett in five minutes. I could be wrong, but it sounded like a non-trivial portion of the crowd was booing the Jarrett win.
Bischoff joins the parade of people trying to convince Hogan not to fight Monday. He says that the Hogan brand is what's making everything possible, and without it he's not sure anyone can pull things off. Hogan points out that if he doesn't do it, then it's not clear what the Hogan brand is. Hogan says that when they came to this company they agreed that they'd go up and down together, but this is a different thing. Hogan's been called out, and if he doesn't do it then there is no tomorrow. Hogan put that ring on Abyss, so when they punked Abyss out they punked him out too. He reminds Bischoff of his promise to back up Hogan no matter what, and Bischoff says that he will. They shake hands, and Hogan mutters that he's sick of talking about this.
(5)AJ STYLES (c) (w/RIC FLAIR) vs. DESMOND WOLFE (w/CHELSEA) vs. ABYSS vs. "THE POPE" D'ANGELO DINERO Four-Corners TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
The Pope limps to the ring. The crowd has his back as he starts things off against AJ. AJ chops him, so Pope shoulder blocks him back. AJ picks a leg, but Pope fights off the attempted Figure Four. Abyss tags out Pope, and AJ falls back away scared. Wolfe tags out AJ—he tries to get Abyss with a Sunset Flip, but Abyss lands on him. Abyss goozles him for a Choke Slam. AJ tries to interfere, so Abyss catches him too. They kick Abyss in the gut, but he takes them both down with a double clothesline. He floors Wolfe with a side slam, but AJ breaks up the cover at two. Pope reenters the ring and helps Abyss clothesline AJ and Wolfe out of it.
Abyss and Wolfe are fighting on the outside and AJ rolls Pope into the ring as we get back. Wolfe ducks a clothesline on the outside and Abyss eats ring post. Pope ducks a right hand in the ring and connects with a series of strikes. Flair grabs Pope's leg, and when Pope turns around AJ clips his leg. AJ distracts the ref as Flair takes a chair and beats the holy hell out of Pope's ankle. Flair tosses the chair away, so AJ comes over and cinches in a Figure Four Leg Lock. Pope refuses to tap, but the ref calls for the bell anyway to prevent injury.
WINNER: AJ Styles by referee's decision in 7 minutes.
After the match, Wolfe comes into the ring and seems confused and annoyed. He decides to join in on stomping The Pope though. Abyss comes into the ring and takes down AJ and Wolfe. Meanwhile, Flair grabs a barbed wire bat out from under the ring, with which he whacks Abyss from behind. Wolfe helps hold Abyss down as Flair hits some more shots. Hogan saunters to the ring. Flair tries to get him with the bat, but Hogan gets it away from him and whacks him in the chest. Somehow that busts open Flair's face, and he's bleeding as Wolfe and AJ roll out of the ring. Hogan lays in with right hands to Flair's bloody face until security guards start storming the ring. Hogan starts popping them, and Abyss comes over to help. AJ takes advantage of the distraction to pull Flair out of the ring.
We come back at 10:59. Hogan has a mic, and Flair has a crimson mask. Hogan says that this is just a sample of what's gonna happen Monday—blood will flow like water, till no one knows who Flair is. AJ Styles will be history. Pope doesn't want to wait till Monday—he wants to do things right now. Flair, however, backs out of the Impact Zone.
Where We're Going: We're cruising to the epic Hogan-Flair confrontation. After a week, the shine from that has sort of worn off, and devoting this whole bloody episode to how old and decrepit Hogan is was not quite the sale TNA seemed to think it was. I'm already sick of him as an active wrestler, and he hasn't even stepped back into the ring yet. Anderson—Angle was back on the right track, with Anderson mocking Angle's invoking of the troops rather than the troops themselves. Aside from that and the more obvious appearance of a Wolfe/Flair alliance that was subtle enough last week that I thought I was imagining it, I'd be hard pressed to find much forward progress tonight towards much of anything.
Star of the Night: Mr. Anderson. He managed to harken back to two weeks ago when he managed to further his feud with our Olympic hero without saying things that were actively confusing or out of character.
Overall: This show had a few distinct positives. First, there were no Nasty Boys. Anderson—Angle progressed nicely, as did Love—Sky, though the latter might have gotten more time than it really merited. The main event was decent—I don't remember TNA busting out the referee's decision thing too often (I'm not counting what seemed to be a botched finish of Joe vs. Lashley at Bound for Glory), so that was a good way to further AJ's feud with The Pope without giving us a complete screw-job ending. Even that was a bit tainted though by the fact that we were given essentially no indication of what was transpiring with the other two competitors while AJ held Pope in a long Figure Four, and by the fact that half the match took place during commercial. Finally, the Jarrett and Foley segments were more entertaining than they had any business being. Nevertheless, this show never really got any momentum going. There seemed to be an oddly large number of recap packages, a continued complete disrespect for the X Division Champion (though, in all fairness, that was probably mitigated by the fact that half the audience has probably forgotten that Doug Williams is the X Division Champion), and, most problematically, all Hogan, all the time. Maybe the attempts to sell the audience on the drama revolving around Hogan's return to the ring clicked with others, but for me they just fell flat. I don't care—in fact, I would actively prefer he not be an active competitor. Moreover, I don't totally get his motivation here; contrary to what he said, AJ and Flair didn't call him out—he first through in his name as a possible combatant himself. C
Daniel is a graduate instructor at The Ohio State University. He would like to give a shout out to Brian Atkinson for successfully guessing his childhood cheering for Ultimate Warrior. Mocking comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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