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TNA Impact
TNA IMPACT RESULTS 5/20: Keller's ongoing "virtual time" coverage of show on Spike TV including Top Ten Contenders revealed

May 20, 2010 - 9:02:44 PM

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

MAY 20, 2010


-The show opened with a highlight package of highlights on the Sacrifice PPV. It made Sacrifice seem like an eventful, newsworthy PPV, but they covered so much ground it was hard to pick one or two major things out of it and remember them.

-Show Title: "10 Card Stud."

-They skipped the TNA Impact opening and went right into the arena as pryo blasted and Mike Tenay introduced the show. He hyped that the Top Ten Contenders list would be revealed in just moments. They showed Tenay and Taz at ringside. Tenay said they just received word that there would be a huge announcement "from the Hulk Hogan/Eric Bischoff regime" regarding their main event tonight. Taz touted the return of Kurt Angle. They replayed the ill-advised top-of-the-cage moonsault. Good to see TNA highlighting something that showed terrible judgment. It's like when WWE highlighted Chris Benoit's top rope headbutt after his neck surgery and after many (including me) were publicly calling for WWE to fine him or fire him if he did the top rope headbutt because it showed such poor judgment in the zeal to be noticed as a stud athlete.

-Bischoff walked out with his female assistant to announce the Top Ten Rankings. He called the TNA World Heavyweight Championship "the most coveted title in all of entertainment." Entertainment? Does a scripted entertainment TV show about police officers refer to the police station as a "set"? Does a scripted entertainment TV show about doctors do a scene where they give an award to the "Actor of the Year" instead of "Doctor of the Year"? I do not at all understand how this mindset continues where people within pro wrestling are so scared to "insult" viewers by referring the word "sport" when referring to what they are presenting. It's just mind-boggling how off-base this is. TNA has gone both ways on this, sometimes trying to contrast WWE's marketing itself as "sports entertainment" and at other times like this going right along with it. It's so stupid. Anyway...

Bischoff said the Championship Committee consists of Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter, and himself. They also took into account fan voting online, career won-loss record and previous championships, and their TNA win-loss and championship record. The showed Dixie Carter, Hogan, and three men in suits leaning toward a monitor in anticipation of this big announcement of the top ten wrestlers, which was ridiculous since the only two recognizable people in that picture ARE ON THE CHAMPIONSHIP COMMITTEE and CREATED THE LIST THEMSELVES. This promotion is so tone deaf sometimes it's just mind-boggling. Plus, they were all overacting and it looked like a cartoon scene the way they were acting like kids who were told a juggling clown was about to walk into the room. Tenay said regarding that scene: "That just shows how important this announcement is." Anyway...

Bischoff announced Samoa Joe was no. 10. His music played and Joe walked out onto the stage. A short vignette aired touting his strengths. Up next was Global Champion Rob Terry. He walked out to his music. Another vignette aired. Next was Desmond Wolfe at no. 8. Then "The Pope" D'Angelo Dinero at no. 7, who is out with an injury so yeah, give him a title shot. No. 6 was Abyss, no. 5 was Mr. Anderson, no. 4 was Jeff Hardy, no. 3 was A.J. Styles, no. 2 Kurt Angle, and no. 1 was Sting. Angle didn't come out when he was announced. The crowd chanted "We want Angle! We want Angle!" Sting did walk out when announced.

Let's see... They've got wrestlers standing up there for this ceremony all together on the stage who have made false accusations of assault leading to an arrest and a hit and run. Taz said he thinks Sting should be suspected, not named no.1 contender, after what he did to Jeff Jarrett on Sunday. Bischoff told Sting that he will face RVD at Slammiversary next month, but first tonight he'll face Jeff Hardy and have a chance to prove he deserves to be the no. 1 contender. "Oh ho ho, man. That's huge!" Guess who said that. Taz is the correct answer.


Sting said he'll do the same thing to Hardy that he did to Jarrett on Sunday. Sting swung his bat and knocked down three podiums with signs that said "TNA Top Ten." Sting then jabbed Bischoff with the bat in the leg. Abyss ran in, but Sting jabbed him with the bat and clotheslined him over the top rope. Hardy ran in and yanked the bat away. Bischoff limped at ringside. They had a staredown. Hardy slapped Sting. Sting kicked Hardy between the legs. RVD's music played. With Sting distracted, Hardy gave Sting a Twist of Fate. They did a good job making a big deal of the Top Ten List with this ceremony, and I'm sure the order makes sense to them storyline-wise, but it's so out of line with the fan voting it's kind of embarrassing, plus the revealing of the list dragged a bit. The angle with Sting-Hardy was a solid way to add some heat to the main event, plus getting RVD involved made booking sense. [c]

-Tenay and Taz briefly recapped the angle before the break.

-They cut backstage to Bischoff wincing in pain. Hogan was tending to Bischoff. Matt Morgan walked in and said it looks like it must hurt, but now he knows what it's like to have Samoa Joe running around attacking people. Hogan told him to back down and said it's a bad time. Hogan said he has his tag title rematch, but "good luck finding a partner." Hogan said he's the least of their problems and they need to concentrate on how to get rid of Sting. I know. Fire him. If only Hogan and Bischoff had that kind of power. Oh wait...


Tenay said they were still awaiting the return of Angle. Taz speculated that Roxxi was concerned about her cardio since she went for three quick covers in the opening seconds. Tenay noted that Sting vs. Hardy tonight is the first time those two ever meet. Nice to see it get all of an hour and a half of time for fans to anticipate it and TNA to build it up. Roxxi only needed a couple minutes, though, to finish Rayne with a Voo Doo Drop. "This is humongous!" Who said it? Taz, of course. Tenay and Taz made a big deal out of this being a big upset. It would seem that way if Rayne had been built up for months in a logical manner as a rising Knockout with an impressive winning streak against tough competition. Instead, she won out of nowhere on a whim and thus beating her really doesn't mean much even if the announcers say so. The announcers are right to make the best of the lousy situation the bookers created for them, although injuries did force the booking team's hand.

WINNER: Roxxi in 3:00.

-Backstage Chelsea was broken up over having to stand next to Abyss for the next 30 days. Wolfe tried to calm her saying "you are my girl" and nothing will change that.

-The roving cameraman caught up to Angle as he arrived. He asked why he didn't come out when they named him the no. 2 contender. He asked Angle if he even knew he was ranked no. 2. Angle paused, then kept walking, without saying anything at all.

[Q3] [c]

-A video package aired on Angle with music credited to Taproot; song-title "Fractured (Everything I Said Was True)." Appropriate song name considering his broken neck and his catch phrase. However, when he predicted his arrival in TNA would lead to Impact ratings doubling, well that part didn't turn out to be true.

-Angle walked out to his entrance music. Taz said it was great to see Angle back in TNA. A month off is not that big of a deal. The way they're treating this it's like he was gone for a year or two. He said he's noticed a lot of change over the last four years in TNA since he first arrived. He said when he started in TNA he was one of the elite, one of the best. The crowd chanted, "You still are! You still are!" He was just ranked the no. 2 contender, after all. Angle listed RVD, Hardy, and Anderson as big signing, plus Styles, Samoa Joe, Eric Young, and Jay Lethal as TNA wrestlers who elevated themselves. He said he is now no longer one of the elite. "Kurt Angle is just another name on the TNA roster," he said.

He said he will wrestle for free. He said it's never been about money or ego or the spotlight. He said it was about wrestling in the ring, looking his opponent in the eye, battling, and one walking away a winner, the other a loser. He said he was bred to be a winner, referring to himself in the third person. He said he's going through a tough time right now which maybe a mid-life crisis. He said he's accomplished everything as a wrestler - amateur, Olympic, and professionally. "What can I do to reinvent myself? What can I do to make myself new?" He said he's going to start from scratch, take himself out of the top ten, and wrestle each and every one of the top ten wrestlers beginning with no. 10 and ending with no. 1. He said fans are going to see some of the greatest matches of all time. "That is real! That is damn real!" Taz couldn't believe he gave up his no. 2 contender spot. What does that man? Can do that? What does it matter if only the no. 1 contender gets a title shot? Tenay said they'd stay on top of the situation.

-Christy Hemme interviewed Ric Flair, asking him who he thinks Lethal's partner will be against Beer Money later. Flair said he doesn't care. Good. Can't wait for that tag match that Flair doesn't care about. He then talked about Lethal imitating him. "There is only one," he said. "I'm taking it completely as an insult. You not only humiliated me, you insulted me." He said his other mistake was costing Styles the TNA Title at Sacrifice. Flair said he needs the gold. He rubbed Hemme's hand on Storm's arm and pec. He asked if she liked that. She said no, as if he had shoved her hand onto a giant rat. Flair said, "That's muscle!" Kaz walked in and asked for a moment to talk to Flair. Flair told Beer Money it was okay and to go prepare for their match. They left. Flair asked Hemme, "Is it true you got married without Living the Legend?" Hemme said, "We're done here" and walked away.

-Tenay hyped Sting vs. Hardy as the main event. [c]


-Terry said he was just informed by doctors that his knee is severely injured in four places, but nothing will stop him from fighting Orlando Jordan later. He said with all the talk about securing a place in the company, he's only been in TNA for a year yet he's already Global Champion. He said it will be painful, but he's going out there to knock Jordan's teeth down his throat.


Jeremy Borash is such a better ring announcer than Dave Penzer (sorry Dave). He also vocally is much less associated with so many of those terrible WCW years. Jordan was lowered to the ring by that hot pink piece of cloth under his shoulders. Terry limped to the ring. Jordan focused on Terry's knee early in the match. Jordan pulled off Terry's knee wrap and then applied a cranking knee lock. The ref stopped the match even though Terry didn't tap. How about establishing what the rules actually are? These rep stoppages without a tapout or verbal submission are so flat because it just screams "copout finish" because "we didn't want either wrestler to do to the job." Jordan wouldn't let go of the hold afterward for a minute despite several referees yelling at him. Tenay said he's heartless.

WINNER: Jordan in 3:00.

-A vignette aired with Lethal saying one of the greatest moments in his history went all wrong because Flair took his imitation of him the wrong way. RVD entered his locker room and offered to be his partner later. Lethal looked at the camera and said with a smile, "I guess Rob Van Dam is going to be my partner today. That's awesome!" [c]


-They showed Hardy putting make-up on his face. He said Sting inspired him when he was 11 years old to wear make-up. He said he idolized him and always wanted to be in a match with him, but he never envisioned it'd be like tonight. They're figuring out a better way to present these "candid" camera shots. No more creepy sneak-peeks through blinds in the locker room, but instead just the sense that the camera is roaming around and catching wrestlers being themselves and not being in "promo mode." It's good.

-Ink Inc. walked up to Team 3D and asked Brother Ray why he did what he did on Sunday. Ray said what he did was an "attitude adjustment." Is he allowed to say that legally? He said they got a big head after one World Tag Team Title shot. Jesse Neal said maybe "Bubba" is jealous. Ray said he's one half of the world's most famous tag team. He said he has no reason to be jealous and told him to use his brains before he talks. Neal told him to keep his distance. That set off Ray who went after Neal. Moore and Devon pulled them apart. Ray got in a shot and then shouted, "There's my distance! There's my distance!" Ray said he told Devon "from Day One," implying he never liked or trusted Neal.


No Black Machismo get-up for Lethal. Just orange and white trunks and boots. Taz said it was good to see Lethal being himself and not in some other persona. Storm shoved Lethal off the top rope at 4:00. Beer Money double-teamed Lethal with stomps in the corner. Taz said he doesn't like the chances of RVD & Lethal considering that Beer Money have teamed so much longer and have had so much success. Tenay said he just received word that the Championship Committee just received word of Angle's withdrawal from the no. 2 ranking. He said that opens up no. 10 because everybody is moving up a slot. He said TNA has added an eight-man X Division battle royal to determine the no. 10 position. "Talk about a high stakes match!" Tenay said. Why is it a high-stakes match? What does being no. 10 mean? And this seems rather arbitrary. What about career titles history and won-loss record? What about fan voting? Why an X Division wrestle? Isn't this top ten list supposed to be for the heavyweight title? So with no X Division wrestlers in the announced top ten, we're supposed to now accept that a battle royal will determine the lone X Division wrestler in the top ten? What about the X Division Champion and other X Division contender? They were all bypassed and none made the cut? Why would an X Division wrestler want to be in the top ten for the Heavyweight Title anyway? Putting one X Division wrestler in the top ten at no. 10 after all were bypassed previously just says none of the X Division wrestlers were good enough to make the cut. Instead, they should have a separate Top Contenders list. This is low-IQ booking on display here. Everything just seems so arbitrary or contradictory you just stop caring.

At 3:00 RVD tagged in. After a kick off the second rope, RVD went for a pin on Roode, but Storm broke it up. RVD fended off a double-team attempt. Lethal hit a top rope dropkick on Storm, then he gave Roode the Lethal Combination, then RVD hit Rolling Thunder on Roode, and then Lethal put Roode in the figure-four for the tapout.

WINNERS: RVD & Lethal in 4:00.

STAR RATING: * -- Way too short for a tag match with this level of wrestlers involved. It cheapens the whole concept of a big-name tag match to go just four minutes. How does anyone get excited about a PPV of six to eight matches when TNA establishes on TV intriguing matches between evenly matched wrestlers such as this is over in around four minutes. It's totally arbitrary that PPV matches go much longer than TV matches. At least in WWE, TV main events tend to be PPV length, although they're often guilty of going very short with evenly matched wrestlers otherwise on the show.

-After the match, Flair walked out. Lethal met him on the ramp. They brawled briefly. As RVD took a victory lap, slapping hands with fans, Sting came out through the crowd and attacked him, shoving a chair into his face. Sting, creatively, was wearing a Sting mask which made RVD think it was just a fan dressed as Sting. Sting took it easy on RVD for some reason, just hitting him flush in the head one more time with a shove (not a swing) of the chair and then walked onto the ramp and threw the chair at him (but missed), and then left. [c]


-A recap aired of Sting's actions.

-Hardy stood in the ring. He said he's made a living of walking to the beat of a different drummer. He said nobody knows what goes on in his mind. He said, "Thank God!" He dared Sting to "try and figure me out" in the next hour because he and the Creatures of the Night "are going to take you beyond your wildest imag-eye-nay-shun!" His music played and he walked out. Tenay excitedly said he was getting word of something going on in the back

-Backstage security pounded on a locker room and Wolfe opened it. He told Chelsea it was time. This is like that Eliott Gonzales scene years ago. Chelesea reluctantly got up as Wolfe scolded security for forcing people to do things they don't want to do. He told them if they put one hand on her, they'll have to answer to him.

-Abyss walked to his entrance song, a hybrid of his music and Hulk Hogan's "American Made" music. He said Wolfe has something that belongs to him, "so let's do this." He said, "Bring her to me!" Security dragged her to the ring. Tenay said, "Almost against her will." Almost? Taz said it's like watching a horror movie. She pleaded with security, but they did their job. Abyss said it's quite ironic what's going on "because Sunday at Sacrifice I made you my bitch and tonight I'm taking yours." Wolfe said, appropriately, "Ohhh, zinger!" That's the type of moment that explains why Abyss got 1 percent of votes and Wolfe got over 50 percent in fan voting. Abyss always stresses the naughty words too much like he's "getting away with something" and Wolfe is always the coolest man on the screen, so you do the math. Wolfe said, "You're taking her over my dead body," said Wolfe, who then kicked Abyss between his legs. He did the same to a security member. That's three crotch kicks in one show. A lot of fans popped and chanted, "Desmond Wolfe! Desmond Wolfe!" No talk from the announcers explaining how this situation would be enforced by management. Would management really force the ludicrous stip to be enforced? Wolfe broke a bottle and then threatened Abyss with the broken glass. Wolfe sliced Abyss's arm with it. Abyss, who falls onto thumbs tack for fun and no-sells chairshots, went down like he was shot. Wolfe ordered Chelsea out of the ring as Chelsea indicated he was going too far. That distraction gave Abyss a chance to give Wolfe a Black Hole Slam. Ah, the good ol' Beauty and the Beast storyline. Chelsea began to leave with Abyss, who then picked her up and carried her away. "I guess a deal is a deal no matter how sadistic it is," said Taz. Tenay said: "Abyss has the services of Chelsea for 30 days. Folks, let your imagination run wild!" (For Tenay's sake, I hope that was scripted for him to say and not his idea.) Taz said, "It'll be like a grizzly bear mating with a rabbit. It's gross." At least I think he said "mate with." It was difficult to clearly hear him. [c]


-In the ring stood Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, and Eric Young. Young said, "I understand the boos. I have everything and you have nothing. I'm in the Band and you're not." He said he, Hall, and Nash are like brothers. "We're blood," he said, adding they're the only person in wrestling he shares anything in common with. Young said Nash is an ass-kicker who does what he says he's going to do. He said nobody else in the business has the balls to do what Nash does. "Well, except for me and Scott." I know Michael Chiklis went from "The Commish" to "Det. Vick Mackey" and pulled it off brilliantly, but it's still so tough to see Young as anything but that comedy mid-card figure of his first six years in TNA no matter how well he delivers a promo, and he did a nice job here. Hall made "I can't believe he just said that" facial expressions throughout Young's promo. Neither Hall or Nash talked.

4 -- SHANNON MOORE (w/Jesse Neal) vs. ERIC YOUNG (w/Scott Hall, Kevin Nash)

Okay, I'm going to ask. Why does Tenay always call Eric Young "Eli"? Or is it "Ely" because his full name is "Eric Leslie Young" or something like that? And shouldn't that be explained now and then, or is it that obvious? [Edit: I've been informed he calls him simply "E.Y." That makes sense. I wonder if I've been alone in the world wondering from time to time why his nickname is Eli. I never cared enough to ask before; glad I did now. Scratch that off my list of things I need to figure out an answer to in life.] Moore punched his way out of a loosely applied armbar by young at 2:00. Ray walked to ringside a minute later. Neal tackled Ray. With the ref distracted, although awkwardly executed, Hall hit Moore in the back with a tag strap. Young then finished Moore with the leaping piledriver.

WINNER: Young in 3:00.

-Ray got the better of Neal. He kicked him in the back of the head. He chewed him out. Devon told him to leave it alone. Ray said, "I brought you in, I'll take you out!" Tenay asked Taz if he had seen this situation between Ray and Devon before. Well, there was that one time they feuded and nobody cared, but other than that, no. [c]

-Tenay and Taz recapped the angle with Brother Ray and Devon before the break.


Homicide, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Kaz, Amazing Red, Generation Me #1, Generation Me #2, Brian Kendrick. Hilariously, with 14 minutes left in the show, Tenay said Spike TV will stay with this even if it goes past 11 o'clock. Oh, he was including Sting vs. Hardy in that comment; that makes more sense. Flair walked out. Taz said Kaz got new energy when he saw Flair, indicating he wanted to impress him. Kaz played to Flair. Kendrick snuck onto the match late and battled Kaz. Tenay said this could be a "career-changing win" for whoever is the last standing. Taz said it would put them on the radar. Flair looked impressed. Kaz seemed excited to have impressed Flair.

WINNER: Kaz in 4:00. [c]


As Sting made his ring entrance, Taz said RVD may have a few cracked ribs for Sting hitting him in the head with a chair. Hardy came out second. With five minutes left in the show, this epic never-before-seen dream match began. The poor saps in the crowd had no idea how much time was left in the taping, so they thought they might actually be on the verge of seeing something special instead of yet another devaluing of the whole concept of a star vs. star match-up. Had Sting and Hardy's careers taken a slightly different course the last six months, this could have been a co-headliner at WrestleMania 26. And it would have boosted the WrestleMania buyrate had it been promoted right. And here it is, a five minute throwaway match on Impact given away with zero weeks' notice. This is why TNA deserves what they get (or, I should say, don't get). There's very little difference between Sting's in-ring style in 2010 and Kevin Sullivan's in the late-1990s. Both styles incorporate standing up during their methodical kick-punch office, raking eyes, and avoiding taking any bumps.

At 4:00, after Sting controlled the entire beginning of the match, he missed a Stinger splash in the corner when Hardy moved. Hardy missed with a top rope flip dive when Sting side-stepped him. Sting then moved Hardy nearer the bottom rope so Hardy could grab it after applying the Scorpion Deathlock to force a break. Hardy crawled toward the bottom rope and forced a break. The ref tumbled out of the ring when Sting yanked Hardy back into the ring. The ref had to create all of his own motion. Mr. Anderson entered and gave Sting a Scorpion Death Drop just as Sting was about to give it to Hardy. Anderson rolled to ringside and hid as Hardy scored the three count. Anderson then entered the ring and raised Hardy's arm.

WINNER: Hardy in 6:00.


-Afterward, Hardy shoved Anderson. Anderson talked to him and tried to convince him he wasn't his enemy. Some vocal fans chanted, "Anderson! Anderson!" Sting entered the ring and hit both Hardy and Anderson from behind with a bat. Some fans chanted, "Hogan! Hogan!"

FINAL THOUGHTS (4.0): An annoying show in many of the usual unnecessary ways of TNA's sloppy booking team. I can't believe how little they got out of the first-ever Sting-Hardy match. Can they plan more than one week ahead and get something out of all of this money and star power they've acquired? Geesh! I mean, there was some sensible basic Booking 101 stuff pulled off successfully amidst a lot of nonsense. I think they're turning Mr. Anderson too soon, but they might sense the fans were going to cheer him anyway. But if TNA turned everyone that fans rejected in the role they were cast in, half of the roster would have to be turned. They're also losing out on RVD vs. Anderson as a major feud this summer, and really forever because there's no way RVD should turn heel and there's no way Anderson should be turned back heel after a short run as a babyface. Other than Taz saying being in the top ten puts you "on the radar," no explanation was given to how it's advantageous to be no. 4 instead of no. 7, or no. 10 instead of no. 3 for that matter.

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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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