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KELLER'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 3/29: Jeff Hardy & RVD vs. Wolfpack steel cage match, First blood match, Handicap match, Ladder match next week

Mar 30, 2010 - 8:35:19 AM

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

MARCH 29, 2010


-The show opened with clips of the Eric Bischoff-Jeff Jarrett/Mick Foley feud. I don't really see the merit in Bischoff becoming the centerpiece heel of this company. Yes, he was a big part of NItro's rise, but whatever cache that had was offset by his association with the fall of Nitro. Then you have his exposure as Raw G.M., which was fine, but not enough to justify this type of TV exposure at the expense of others. I can hear the same excuses made for Bischoff as Jarrett made for all of those years, which is no one else is ready to step up, but stars are found or created when promotions find their backs to the wall and are forced to look at and push younger talent. This TV time to Jarrett and Bischoff at this level just seems so misguided at such a vital time in this company's history. It ended with the scene of Mick Foley walking off the stage and Mike Tenay saying he was fired. The title of the show is "V for Vigilante."

-Hogan apologized for Bischoff. He said he's so passionate. Jarrett said, "We all are." He said his business and personal gets real mixed up sometimes, but he said that's why they make a great team because they get things straight. Hogan said he was getting ready to head to New York for big business with Spike TV. Hogan then talked about all of the momentum he has and the passion the fans have for him. Hogan said if he beats A.J. Styles tonight, he'll be no. 1 contender. Jarrett got excited and said that's all he needs to hear.

"Black Machismo" Jay Lethal walked into the room. Hogan asked where he's been lately. Machismo apologized for not talking to him lately. He said word travels fast that he's leaving the show early. He asked to fill in for him. "One half of the Megapowers filling in for the other half," he said. Hogan said when he's gone, he can't think of anyone he'd rather have take his place. They did the Megapowers handshake.

-The TNA Impact opening aired. Then pyro blasted in the arena and Tenay introduced the show. He hyped Tara vs. Daffney. Taz hyped Jarrett vs. A.J. Styles (w/Ric Flair). Tenay plugged Kevin Nash & Syxx-Pac & Scott Hall vs. Eric Young & Jeff Hardy & RVD.

-Bubba the Love Sponge led The Band to the ring. Taz asked, "Why the hell is Bubba the Love Sponge leading The Band to the ring." At least they've figured out that they need to cast him as a heel. "You pathetic sheep marks," Bubba said. "There's not a one of you out here who wouldn't want to be me. Less the physical attributes, national radio show, worked for Howard Stern part time, I don't even need this job, quite frankly, but if I'm gonna work here, these are the kind of people I'm gonna hang out with." He said they get him. He handed the mic to Nash to talk about Eric Young, who's size he demeaned (which ignores that he's the same size as Kurt Angle every time they've stood next to each other). Nash said he and Young have become friends over the last year. He said he wants to talk to him man-to-man and offer him an apology. Taz said he didn't expect this. Tenay asked if he buys it. Taz said no. Finally, the announcers not acting totally gullible, like they're trying to sell something that nobody's buying.

Young walked out. Nash said what he did was business, not personal. He then said, after discussing it with his friends in The Band, they decided they'd offer him a spot on their team. Nash said there will be no six-man match tonight. He said Hardy and RVD aren't in their league and aren't ready. Nash invited him to join The Band. They held up the Wolfpack symbols. The crowd chanted, "Don't sell out." Young punched Nash and then went after Bubba with a choke. Nash jumped Young from behind. They gave him a three-on-one beatdown. Nash yelled, "Big mistake! Big mistake!" The crowd chanted, "RVD! RVD!" RVD ran out followed by Hardy.

Hardy took the mic and said they're ready to the six-man tag right now. He said, though, since they think they're the main event, they'll make it the main event tonight. Hardy then said they're going to make it a cage match. The Band protested. Apparently Hardy has the power to just add a cage to his matches?? What's that? [c]



They aired clips of Kazarian earning the no. 1 contendership for the X Title. Tenay said Kendrick is a loner who lives in his own world. During the ring entrance, Kendrick pushed his way right past Williams. Moore went after Williams aggressively at the start. Tenay announced that Impact will air next week at a special time, 8 p.m. EST, an hour earlier than usual. The heels dominated the body of the match, but the faces made a comeback. Kaz back suplexed Kendrick onto his head as Moore spin wheel kicked him. Kendrick's bump onto his head looked scary. Williams charged at Moore, but caught a boot. Moore then gave a flying neckbreaker to Kendrick for the win. Moore drew black make-up on Kendrick's face. Williams backed up the ramp and didn't save Kendrick.

WINNERS: Kazarian & Moore in 4:00.

STAR RATING: * -- Decent tag match. We still know nothing about Kazarian and viewers have no reason to like him or connect with him. He's just a guy in blue tights. At least they're building up Kendrick's personality.

-Bischoff was on the phone in his office. He told presumably Hogan that he'd make his plan work. He told him to have fun in New York. Bischoff chatted with a woman who was dressed provocatively. He told her to keep this annoying guy out of his office. As she asked who, Machismo walked in and offered to make Bischoff the third member of the MegaPowers. He said they're working side by side today. Bischoff sarcastically said, "Oh, that's awesome." He presented him with an idea. Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik vs. The Killer Bees, Koko B. Ware vs. Akeem the African Dream (w/Slick), and King Kong Bundy vs. The Junkyard Dog. Bischoff said he's too valuable to spend his time on the undercard, so he told him to think about the main event. Machismo liked the challenge.

-They showed The Pope heading toward the entrance tunnel. [c]


-"The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero walked out to the ring dressed up in full character. Taz said he loved his sports jacket, but wondered if they made it in orange. Pope talked about getting the World Title shot on Apr. 18 at Lockdown against A.J. Styles. He said it's a moment Pope has dreamed of his entire life and worked toward his entire career, only to have it jeopardized by Styles and Flair. He said Styles has been hoping and praying that Pope doesn't notice him and know he's alive. He said he's nothing more than a shadow in the street lights, and Pope by contrast is the guiding light of TNA. He told Styles to buy Flair the most expensive astronaut suit made for man because he's planning to take him to the outer limits. He said Styles may be phenomenal, but he'll never be The Pope. He rattled all of his superlatives. The crowd chanted, "Pope is pimpin'!" He said when the smoke is cleared, he will be standing mid-ring with the TNA Championship and the world along with his Pope Congregation will declare that he has not only arrived, but "Pope is Pimpin'!"

Chelsea walked out as Pope's music was playing. The crowd chanted her name. She said she has one dream that he might be able to help her with. She said she's always wanted to be a ho. Pope said he's going to have to lay his hands on her real soon, but first he wanted to know if she knew how to drive a stick. He let out a smile. She said she doesn't know exactly, but she said she's a real quick learner. She asked if he had a gun in his pocket or is she just happy to see him. Desmond Wolfe charged into the ring. Pope attacked Wolfe as he entered the ring and knocked him to the floor. Pope then bent her over and kissed her. Taz laughed. She, of course, liked it because all women in wrestling like kisses initiated by men.

-They showed Tara heading toward the entrance set. [c]

-A grainy video clip aired of Samoa Joe. He was shivering. He said, "They have spoken and the results will be different, will be very different." He could barely get his words out. Taz said Joe has resurfaced, but he wondered who "they" are.

-They showed Taz and Tenay at ringside. They hyped the announced matches left on the show.

-Orlando Jordan dropped from the rafters wrapped in yellow police tape that said: "TNA - Cross the Line." He moved seductively and crawled out of the ring and up the ramp. Taz said he didn't get it. He said Jordan is a little eccentric. Tenay said he's bizarre. He stood up and walked to a lounge area on stage left. He threw his hair back and revealed he was wearing eye liner. He sat between a woman and a guy who are apparently his sexual play things as they had male-female-male symbols on the backdrop. They're playing him as being bisexual and into threesomes, I suppose.

-Jeremy Borash interviewed Tara who said Daffney took her spider, her baby, so she's going to make her pay. Daffney jumped her on the interview set. Borash bailed out of the picture. Tara made a comeback and bashed Tara into the stage steps. Then she called her a bitch and threw her into the fence face-first repeatedly. Tenay said the first blood match is up next.

[Q4] [c]

3 -- TARA vs. DAFFNEY - First Blood Match

Another gimmick stip that feels gratuitous. It just doesn't feel like this feud is at the stage of calling for a First Blood match, and giving it away on TV on short notice diminishes the perceived novelty of the stip and the grudge match. They brawled toward the announce table after the break. Daffney made a comeback a ringside with the handle of a broom stick. She broke it and tried to use the spike resulting as a weapon. Taz said it was beginning to resemble a vampire movie. Tara blocked it, kicked Daffney, and gave her the Widow's Peak at 3:00. Tara bashed Daffney with a tool box. Daffney bled. The ref called for the bell. They showed a close-up of Daffney bleeding a little on her forehead. She laughed as she noticed blood on her hands

WINNER: Tara in 4:00 to retain the TNA Title. [c]

-A video aired on Foley vs. Jarrett from last week, TNA's version of the Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels match. One of many, many differences is that match had a 60-minute build-up and Taker-Michaels had a chance to simmer, well, a little bit longer than that.

-Jeff Jarrett's ring entrance took place. He had his music and pyro back, which Taz noted must be due to Hogan. Tenay said Hogan has decided to give The Founder a new star. A.J. Styles's ring intro then took place. Flair followed behind him in a wheel chair pushed by Chelsea, who recovered from being kissed by The Pope. Flair looked very serious. Tenay again plugged the earlier start time next week for Impact.


4 -- A.J. STYLES (w/Ric Flair) vs. JEFF JARRETT

They opened with a test of strength. Styles messed with Jarrett's hair from behind and taunted him. He followed with a top toss and then flexed. Jarrett made a comeback with a high hip toss and then he leaped onto Styles over the second rope. He gave him a reverse atomic drop and then looked at Flair and did the Jarrett strut. That upset Flair, who worked his way toward the ring in his chair. Styles made a comeback and went for a corner splash, but Jarrett moved and then hit Styles with an enzuigiri or a near fall at 3:00. Styles came back and began working over Jarrett's legs and then quickly applied the figure-four leglock. Flair reached out with his crutch to give Styles a chance to grab on and gain extra leverage. Jarrett got up and reversed momentum and quickly applied the figure-four. Styles reversed it. Jarrett grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Flair swung his crutch at Jarrett, so the ref sent Flair to the back. Styles protested and argued with security on the ramp. Flair, meanwhile, was rolled back to the stage. Jarrett chased down Styles and punched him. When Jarrett threw Styles into the ring, they cut to a break. [c]

Back live, they showed a replay of Styles diving over the top rope onto Jarrett after a ref bump and and a low blow on Jarrett. Styles settled into a chinlock in the ring at 10:00. He switched to a chinlock a minute later. Jarrett made a comeback and hit a high back back bodydrop followed by a back suplex. Jarrett gave Styles a Pedigree and then went to the second rope. He dove at tyles, but Styles caught him and powerslammed him at 13:00. Styles then hit a springboard flying forearm for a two count. Styles set up a Styles Clash. Jarrett blocked it and backdropped out of it. Both men were down and slow to get up. Chelsea rolled Flair back to ringside. The ref was distracted. He stood on the apron and ordered Flair to the back. Jarrett threw Styles into the ropes, and it just happened to knock the ref off the apron to the floor. Jarrett then hit Styles with a Stroke off the middle rope and got a visual three count and then some. Bischoff entered the ring and wound up and swung a guitar at Jarrett from behind. Jarrett blocked it and yanked the guitar from Bischoff. Bischoff did the begging off routine. Styles hit Jarrett with a low blow and then gave him a Stroke. Bischoff got the ref up from ringside and helped him into the ring. He counted to three. Taz said, "A lot of moving parts to this match." Is that his new code for "overbooked mess?"

WINNER: Styles in 16:00.

STAR RATING: **1/2 -- Decent match, but it's a throwback to the Jarrett-booked PPV main events where he just did one twist after another leading up to the finish, which over time made the content of the matches leading up to the finish totally pointless where fans knew near falls didn't count. And then the overly complex sequence of ref bumps, interference, etc. all turns into a blur by the end.


-Borash interviewed Young, Hardy, and RVD backstage. Young said he never claimed to be the smartest man, but he is clever. He told Nash if he wants to tie his rope to the sinking ship instead of him, a rising star coming up the ranks, then so be it. He said everyone knows he's in the business for the right reasons, but Nash is in it for the wrong reasons. RVD said that was well put. He said he and Jeff believe that once they've made it to the top, you have to fight harder to stay there. He said they disrespected them, so they're back. Hardy said it's buys like that who kept their boots on his chest to keep him from climbing to the top. He said they know they can't shine his boots. Young hyped the main event six-man cage match and told Nash to look at his partner and then look at his partners and "ask as honestly as you can, who traded up?" [c]


Tenay said it shouldn't be a surprise that Bischoff booked Machismo against Beer Money in a two on one match. They beat up Machismo from the start. Tenay again plugged the early timeslot next week. Storm grabbed a beer as Lethal surprised Roose with a small package for the upset win out of nowhere. "Upset city! What a shocker!" said Taz. Lethal then drank Storm's beer as Beer Money freaked out about their loss.

WINNER: Lethal in 2:00.

[Q7] [c]

-Tenay and Taz talked about the attack by Morgan last week on Hernandez. They said it was scary. Taz said he's heard it could be several months before he can return. Tenay listed some neck injuries he was diagnosed with. He wished him a speedy recovery. Taz said they'd hear from Morgan on his actions next week.

6 -- THE POPE vs. DESMOND WOLFE (w/Chelsea)

Tenay hyped again that Impact would be live next week an hour earlier than usual. Pope opened with a hammer lock. Wolfe fired back with a forearm. Wolfe rammed Pope's head into the turnbuckle a few times. Pope ducked a clothesline at 2:00 and then hit a reverse atomic drop and a flying shoulder. Tenay wondered if Chelsea was causing a distraction for him. Pope gave Wolfe a Thesz press. He pounded away at him. Wolef made a comeback with a kick to the gut and the charge in the corner. Pope sidestepped him and then gave him a palm thrust to Wolfe's face. He followed with a corner swing drop elbow. Chelsea distracted the ref as Wolfe wrapped a chain around his hand. He KO'd Pope with it and then scored the pin.

WINNER: Wolfe in 4:00.

STAR RATING: * -- These short matches between top contenders really diminishes the whole notion of top wrestlers facing each other. It really didn't prove anything for Wolfe to win the way he did, although Taz and Tenay were in a position to act like it meant something. [c]


-Kurt Angle walked out to his music and stood in the cage set up for the main event. He addressed Mr. Anderson. He said ever since he stepped foot in TNA, he set his sights on him. He said he's even claimed he might be as good as him. "Do you even know who Kurt Angle is or what motivates me?" He asked him if he knows what he's thinking at this very second. He said he'll give him insight into who he is. He said he's an Olympic champion who has made a living on winning and playing by the rules because that's what athletes do. He said athletes are always in command and always in control, but somehow he lost all control. He said maybe it was when he spit in his face or cut him up with his Warrior Tag or maybe because he degraded the great troops of the United States of America. He said at Lockdown it'll be them one more time, one-on-one in the cage, no rules, no regulations, no control. He promised the ending of the match would be his face and body covered in his blood. "Oh, it's real. It's damn real!"

Mr. Anderson's music played and he stepped out onto the stage. He said they're going to kill each other if they don't stop the feud now. He said they're trading wins and trading beatdowns. "We're 50/50, man. We're canceling each other out." He said TNA has decided to put them inside the cage to settle things once and for all, but a little birdie stood on his shoulder and he doesn't want to say who that Birdie is, "but *cough* Bischoff." And he told Anderson that a match between them is booked for next week, but not an ordinary match. He said it will be a ladder match. Angle smiled. Sounds like a good thing for a guy with Angle's neck problems to be part of. Anderson said a key will be available and it will unlock the cage at Lockdown. This is TNA going back to needlessly complicated stipulations rather than just escalating a feud naturally and having them settle feuds without needing notes to keep track of stips. Anderson said Angle is a nice guy who's better parent than he is, but "nice guys always finish last." He said next week and again at Lockdown, "thank god I'm an a--h---... a--h----!" Good line from Anderson, but I still get this feeling that TNA is like kids when the parents leave the room and getting away with swearing, as if that makes a significant difference in this product succeeding.

As Angle walked to the back, The Band walked out together right past him. Tenay said the ring intros of their opponents would be right after the break. [c]

6 -- ERIC YOUNG & ROB VAN DAM & JEFF HARDY vs. THE BAND (Kevin Nash & Scott Hall & "Syxx Pac" Sean Waltman)

Young came out first, followed by RVD and Hardy. It's a small thing, but to keep it from seeming that TNA considers Hardy the bigger star than RVD, they should have put Young's intro in the middle, so the big stars bookended the intros. As Young walked toward the cage, Waltman shoved the door in his face. The Band then attacked the faces on the ramp. Syxx gave RVD a spin wheel kick.


In the ring, Nash methodically beat on Hardy as Hall and Syxx threw RVD into the ring. They left Young on the floor at ringside. Why throw RVD into the cage? Why not go for three-on-one odds? I suppose they want to beat up both RVD and Hardy without Young getting in their hair. Syxx gave Hardy a Bronco Buster in the corner. Tenay asked if there's anything more disrespectful than that. Hardy powerbombed Syxx to make a comeback. He held Syxx so RVD could giving him Rolling Thunder. Hall intervened against RVD as Nash went after Hardy. Nash whipped Hardy, but Hardy leaped off of RVD's back and kicked Hall in the corner. RVD gave Nash a neckbreaker. Young climbed the cage. Syxx climbed from inside the cage and tried to deter him. RVD went after Syxx and yanked him to the mat. RVD stood on the top rope and his choosing of all three heels. Hardy joined him and they hit simultaneous moves on Hall and Nash. Young then dove off the top of the cage with an elbowdrop and covered Syxx. Hardy also covered Syxx and the ref counted to three.

WINNERS: RVD & Hardy & Young in 6:00.

STAR RATING: * -- Just a clustermess of a cage match, but with six wrestlers and six minutes given to the match, that's what you get. I don't get the psychology of the babyfaces beating the heels pretty much clean in this first battle, either. I know they can "get their heat back," but it still seems a little early. But then again they began with a cage match in this feud rather than building up to it over three months. It's TNA. Shrug.

-Christy Hemme interviewed Abyss backstage. He said his goal is annihilation, especially of Sting, a former mentor who has chosen the wrong side. He said his partners must be hungry, blood-thirsty, and have an axe to grind. He revealed that his first teammate for Team Hogan against Team Flair at Lockdown is Jarrett. Jarrett walked into the picture rubbing his hands together, as he often does, and he said this business is crazy and they're just getting started. He said now that Hulkster has his trust, he's proud to be on his team. He said if Flair wants to get involved in his matches and cost The Founder the TNA Title, he'll get in his business starting at Lockdown. He said on Apr. 18 he's blowing it all off in St. Louis. Abyss then said, "Your move, Nature Boy. Whatcha gonna do when the Monster Abyss, Jeff Jarrett, and Team Hogan run wild on you?"

-They cut back to RVD, Young, and Hardy slapping hands at ringside. Tenay said next week they'd reveal the next member of Team Hogan plus hyped Angle vs. Anderson in a ladder match.

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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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