TNA Impact WILKENFELD'S TNA IMPACT REPORT 11/18: Complete "virtual time" coverage of Spike TV broadcast
Nov 18, 2010 - 10:35:39 PM
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By: Daniel Wilkenfeld, PWTorch Contributor
Where We've Been: I've been off the last couple weeks, which is a shame—I could have gotten some smark-cred by ripping on Impact last week, which I didn't like. First: Robbie E. continues to be on my television, getting wins. When he won the title, I'd hoped someone would cut the promo Mickie James just cut about the women's title saying that this is a new low, but that doesn't seem to be happening. (My choice would have been a face-turning Desmond Wolfe.) Also, despite the fact that Morgan and Joe both won their matches, Morgan got a title shot, seemingly based on the system that he happened to be the one in front of Eric Bischoff while Tenay was 'rassing him. We've come a long way in picking #1 Contenders since the days when they pretended to care about fan voting. Actually this still makes a lot more sense than Sting's June title shot. I do kind of like the horrid-looking title belt though—it fits Hardy's character.
The Show: Morgan Woooooos the Nature Boy
I'm not gonna lie—I kind of like that title.
We open with a cool video package set to Jeff Hardy's new music of him being heelish.
Slick Ric is out first, glad to see another packed house for Fortune and Ric Flair, the Nature Boy. Ric Flair has something big to talk about—Matt Morgan. Morgan didn't like the referee for his last title shot, but then he made the mistake of punching out Fortune last week. So Flair and Hogan got together and assigned Morgan a special referee for his rematch—Ric Flair. He doesn't want to hear that Morgan's going about the back complaining though, so he calls him down to say something to his face. A game crowd chants for Morgan, who comes down to the ring. Flair starts off by saying that Morgan's not allowed to call him 'Naitch anymore, since only his friends get to do that, and Morgan is now a foe. Morgan starts to look around, but Flair says that he needs to look to him. Morgan has to face Flair now and in the world to come, since the road to wrestling heaven goes through Flair. He could have Fortune come down to the ring and beat down Morgan right now, but Flair would never ask anyone to do what he couldn't. So if Morgan doesn't like the decision and wants a different ref, he has to beat the Nature Boy tonight. The crowd chants for him to do so. Morgan says that wrestling Ric Flair was item #1 on his bucket list anyway, so sure he'll wrestle him tonight. Flair is for some reason furious at this, and says something only moderately coherent about having sex with a horse last night (no, really). He hurls his jacket at Morgan, who says that he'll do his talking later in the ring when he shoves his size eighteen boot up Flair's ass.
Max and Jeremy Buck are coming down to the Impact Zone. Tara comes over and says how excited she's going to be to watch them. They are pleased.
Tonight Raven will be fighting in a win-or-be-fired match, and Abyss has issued an open-casket challenge. Flair has added a stip to his match: if Morgan wins he can pick his own guest referee, but if Flair wins Morgan never gets another shot at Jeff Hardy.
(1) JAY LETHAL, THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS, & VELVET SKY vs. GENERATION ME, ROBBIE E., & COOKIE
I totally want to watch three quarters of this match. Taz and Tenay mention that Sky and Sabin have been dating for a few months, which has been hinted at a few times. Lethal calls for Robbie E., but gets Max Buck instead. He hits a couple quick Arm Drags, then tags in Shelley. Shelley connects with a double-sledge off the top. Max Buck puts on the breaks after a whip, but does so in the wrong corner; the faces tee off for a few seconds. Shelley sets him up in a Tree of Woe, then tags in Sabin, who hits a Hesitation Dropkick as Sky stands on Buck's crotch. A cover is broken up at two. Shelley tags back in. He sets up for a Superkick, but Jeremy Buck yanks him out of the ring. Robbie E grabs onto him as Max connects with a dropkick through the ropes. Robbie rolls Lethal back to Max for a cover, but it only gets one. Cookie tags in and stomps on Shelley's back, but Shelley sits up. Robbie E quickly tags in, but just does a short Front Chancery before tagging in Jeremy. Jeremy just does a choke and makes the tag right back out. Shelley tries to fight out, but Jeremy nails a Gut Buster and Max hits a Swinging Neck Breaker as he (Shelley) is held prone. Sabin breaks up the cover at two. Jeremy whips Max into Shelley, but Shelley Back Body Drops him over the top rope. Shelley floors Jeremy with a Jaw Breaker, and Robbie tags in. Robbie grabs Shelley's leg and starts to taunt him, till Shelley connects with the Ensuguri. Jeremy tags in and tries to hold Shelley, but Lethal gets the hot tag. He hits clotheslines to everyone, then a Handspring Elbow to both members of Generation Me. Cookie attacks from behind, but before he can retaliate Lethal gets distracted by Jeremy Buck and hits the Lethal Combo. He tags in Sabin, who comes in with a Springboard Flying Forearm. Robbie breaks up the cover at two, and everything breaks down. Sabin hits an Inverted Atomic Drop, then invites Sky to hit a multi-rotation Twisting Head Scissors. Generation Me are stacked up in the corner, so the Guns take turns hitting running clotheslines, then their version of Poetry in Motion. They get Jeremy Buck with Skull & Bones, but the ref's busy getting Shelley out of the ring (I don't know why he cares now). Max Buck grabs Cookie's hairspray and sprays Sabin in the eye, and Jeremy rolls into a cover with the tights for 3.
WINNERS: Generation Me, Robbie E, & Cookie in six minutes. This was good TNA-style action, but the careful reader might have taken note of the different number of moves Robbie E hit this match. Listen—you have the worst gimmick in years—this is not the time to hold back on your move-set.
Jarrett is warming up in a hoodie which Tenay tells us is MMA-style.
Generation Me are bragging about their win. The Guns come by and Shelley says that they're the champs cause they don't have to cheat (when did that become their character?). He challenges them to an Empty Arena Match on Reaction. Crap—they finally found a way to make me watch Reaction.
Jarrett is telling Gunner & Murphy about his newly revealed MMA-love. Their job is to stay outside and make sure Kurt Angle doesn't come in. Kurt has no integrity left—he said he'd retire if he didn't win the title, but that was bullshit. JB comes by, not happy about the introduction he's been given for Hardy's match later. Jarrett yells at him to shut up, and says that if he doesn't want to be on the outside looking in, he'd better read it right. Meanwhile, everyone thinks Jarrett's MMA skills are a joke, so tonight he'll be doing an exhibition with students, and he expects JB to call every shot. Jarrett asks what his issue is, and JB wants to know what happened to him. Jarrett's slaps him. He's sick of people looking down at him—he keeps telling us that he didn't sell out, he bought in. This company is finally being run properly, and now it'll be profitable.
We recap Angle—Jarrett.
JB introduces Jeff Jarrett for his MMA exhibition. He's preceded by a sextet of young wrestler-looking folk. He slaps JB for no obvious reason. Jarrett has made JB announce that this is an exhibition, and only a trained professional should perform these moves. Jarrett has the guy in the truck run a disclaimer on the bottom not to try this at home. I don't know why that comes off as heelish, but it does. The first move performed is going to be a Jujikatami Arm Bar. Okay, there's no way I'm going to be able to spell these things right in real time. Jarrett explains that this is simple enough for us commoners to understand. You just need to block a haymaker, flip the guy down, put your knee in his solar plexus, and wrench back on the arm. He demonstrates, and the guy taps. The crowd says that this is boring. The next move is the Japanese Knee Lock. Jarrett gets on his back, and says that that can happen if you slip on a banana peel or something. You hook your ankle around the guys knees and pull him down with you, then wrench the knee. We might recognize this, since it's what Jeff's buddy Frank Mir used to make Brock tap. This time Jarrett lets the tapping go a bit longer before breaking the hold. JB announces that the next move will be the ankle lock. This move has been perfected by a guy Jeff knows very well. He has been a champion literally all over the world. Shamrock? He has been a champion in TNA. The crowd chants for Angle. It took this man years to perfect it, but Jarrett's done so in a matter of months. He is of course talking about Ken Shamrock. He tells the next pupil to get on the mat, and when he doesn't move fast enough Jeff shoves him. He demonstrates the ankle lock, complete with leg-grapevine. The fourth move is the rear naked choke. Jeff says that maybe he's done the naked rear choke in the bedroom, but that's another issue. Jarrett says that this move has probably won more matches than any other. He learned it from someone who spent years perfecting it. He names another MMA fighter as the crowd says that Joe is gonna kill him. Jeff demonstrates, and this time he just ignores the tap completely. Joe's music hits. He hits the entrance, and says that Jeff should stop wasting everyone's time and fight. Jeff says that he has two students left—if Joe can beat them, Jarrett will face him tonight in a Submission Match. The first student tries to pick a leg, but Joe rolls through and gets what Taz tells me is an Arm Bar Key Lock (it looks really cool). The second one Joe just squishes, then gets the tap with a sort-of Crossface. JB announces that we will now see a Submission Match, and Earl Hebner comes out.
(2) JEFF JARRETT vs. SAMOA JOE Submission Match
Jarrett shoves a student at Joe to start, who Joe just kicks down. He clotheslines the next and T Bones a third. Jarrett runs away. The student Joe squished second pops him from behind, so Joe Muscle Busts him.
WINNER: No Contest in zero seconds?
Stevie Richards is giving Raven a pep talk, pointing out that this is an opportunity for Raven to show what he can do. Dreamer says that with RVD and Rhino out and Sabu fired and Mick who-knows-where this is a chance for Raven to prove what a leader he's always been. Kendrick adds that he saw birds out his window, which was a sign. Raven agrees, since someone needs to give Immortal the bird. He flicks off the camera. That match will be up next.
Raven is already in the ring when we come back. This better not really be his last match, if he doesn't even get an entrance.
(3) RAVEN vs. JEFF HARDY Win-or-be-Fired Match
JB announces this as the featured match of the evening. First, from Cameron North Carolina, he's the Charismatic Enigma, the self-declared anti-Christ, and, since 10-10-10, the undefeated, undisputed, heavyweight champion of the world—Jeff Hardy. And in the opposite corner we have Raven. Taz talks about Raven storming into Immortal's office—I just rewound through the whole show and still can't find that scene, sorry. Hardy shoots Raven off, but Raven comes back with a shoulder block. A cover gets one. Hardy hits a Jaw Breaker as he gets up, but Raven Drop Toe Holds him right out of the ring. He follows Hardy out and Russian Leg Sweeps him into the guard rail. He rolls Hardy in, goes to the top rope, and rides Hardy down with a knee to the back for two. Raven gets a chair and sets it up in the corner. He tries to whip Hardy into it, but it's reversed. He rolls to the outside. Hardy follows him out and clubs his back, then drives his back into the apron. He rolls back into the ring, but whiffs on a Whisper in the Wind. Raven unloads with jabs and a discus clothesline. He whips him into the corner and comes out with a Running Bulldog for a respectable two count. He looks for the Raven Effect, but it's reversed into a Twist of Hate and a Swanton for the win.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy in 3 minutes.
Dreamer, Kendrick and Stevie come out to say goodbye to Raven. Hogan's music hits, and he comes out. Hogan says that this is quite appropriate. Dixie Carter had the gall to say that this worthless bunch in EV 2.0 had the same importance to wrestling as Hogan. Well this is quite appropriate. With all Raven's whining "what about me?", now he's fired. Quote the Hulkster, nevermore. Raven goes out to confront Hogan, but for some reason Stevie stops him. Hogan says that Hardy now is wrestling.
Dreamer is still in the ring, and he calls out Rhino to do some explaining. Rhino comes out without music—I thought that was the sign that Immortal didn't like you? I'm confused by the symbolism here. Rhino asks if he's supposed to explain himself. Everyone in the match at Turning Point knew that at the end of the night his contract expired. None of them cared. The only one who cared was Eric Bischoff, who gave him the choice between employment and unemployment. At first Rhino told Bischoff that he could kiss his ass, but then he thought about it. He was here for years before Tommy Dreamer and RVD, and then they showed up and stole all the glory, like they always do. Rhino was just an afterthought. He hopes they realize now that he doesn't take a backseat to anyone. Dreamer says that he never thought Rhino took a back seat—he's always thought that Rhino was one of the best athletes in the world, and the War Machine. Rhino says that that's right, cause he kicks ass, and if Dreamer isn't careful he'll get his ass kicked tonight. Dreamer wants to set the record straight—he and RVD came to this company because Dixie called them, because they believed in TNA, and because they believed in everyone in the back. Rhino's contract expiring was business, but then he did the one thing they'd all sworn they'd never do—sold out his friends for the almighty dollar. The crowd tells Rhino that he sold out, and Dreamer says to listen. Rhino points out that Dreamer and RVD weren't going to put food on the table for his family and his little girl. Desperate men do desperate things. Dreamer and RVD didn't look after him, so now he's just going to look out for himself. Rhino starts to leave, but Dreamer stops him. He admits that Rhino has a point, and that Dreamer can appreciate his need to support his little girl. But if you look at what's happening, they're all being picked off. The difference is that where Raven and Sabu went out fighting, Rhino effectively quit. That sets Rhino off, and he yanks Dreamer's hurt wrist. RVD's music hits and he runs down for the save. He knocks Rhino down with a Wheelbarrow Kick, but when he goes to check on Dreamer he lets Rhino nail him with a Gore.
Abyss is on the way to the ring for his casket based challenge, which we're told has been accepted by Shannon Moore.
Matt Morgan is saying that he won't make the same mistake as everyone else and get starry-eyed when in the ring with Ric Flair. He's going to make his own moment, and if that means going through Ric Flair then so be it.
(4) SHANNON MOORE vs. ABYSS Casket Match
Moore dodges around the ring to start, then tries for some quick strikes. Abyss no-sells them and hoists Moore up for a battering ram to the corner. Moore slips out and shoves Abyss into the turnbuckle, then hits a series of haymakers and kicks. He attempts a sort of sideways Cross Body Block in the corner, but Abyss catches him and tosses him to the mat. He tosses Moore from the ring and follows him out. He tries to shove him into the casket, but Moore stops himself and comes back with right hands. Abyss stops him with a knee lift. Moore rolls into the ring, and Abyss follows him. The Monster charges in the corner, but Moore dodges to the outside. He hits a couple more punches, then nails a Guillotine Leg Drop when Abyss doubles over. He tries to roll Abyss into the casket, but Abyss stops himself on the apron. Moore goes back to the rights, then hits a running clothesline. Abyss stays on the apron. Moore goes for another, but Abyss palms his head and tosses him out of the ring and into the barricade. Moore still has some fight though, and slams the lid of the casket down onto Abyss's arm. As Abyss flinches back Moore hits an Asai Moonsault over the casket onto Abyss. Wow. He tries to shove Abyss into the casket, and manages to get the torso in before Abyss kicks him off. Abyss gets out and just shoves Moore into the guard rail. Both roll into the ring. Abyss goozles Moore. Moore fights out with elbows to the face, but then runs right into a Black Hole Slam. He drags Moore over to the casket, but when he opens it back up The Pope is there. Pope hits a series of rights, and for some reason the ref calls for the bell. Pope keeps up the beat down, and Moore helps out with a kick off the top rope.
Winner: Abyss by DQ (in a casket match?) in six minutes. Oh wait—Tenay says that the ref just through the match out, which I assume means that it's a no contest—that makes somewhat more sense.
Angelina Love is on her way to the ring. As the leader of the knockouts, she's going to show Mickie James that you can't just saunter in and get a title shot. They have a #1 Contenders Match up next.
(5) MICKIE JAMES vs. ANGELINA LOVE #1 Contender's Match
Love goes for a quick gut wrench and a pin. She picks a leg and goes for another, but Mickie bridges out from under her and rolls through for two. She gets another roll-up for two. They share a hand shake of mutual respect. Love gets a side headlock. Mickie tries to shoot her off, but Love hangs on and drives her to the mat. Mickie briefly powers out, but Love just puts it back in. She finally shoves Love off, but then eats a shoulder block. They jockey to try to hit an Arm Drag, but Mickie ends with with a Monkey Flip and a dropkick for two. Love backs Mickie into the corner for a quick forearm. Mickie responds with a knee to the gut, but then eats a jumping clothesline for two. Love hits a Front Power Slam for two again, then goes to the chin lock. Mickie powers out. She goes for a Back Drop, but Love lands on her feet. Love looks for the Botox Injection, but Mickie ducks. Mickie looks for another handshake, but Love shoves her down to the mat for two. Mickie charges Love into the corner, but Love gets her legs up and starts choking her, then whacking her upside the head with her leg. She kicks Mickie back, then floats over into a School Girl for two. She whips Mickie into the corner, but this time Mickie gets her legs around Love's head and comes down with a Twisting Head Scissors. She hits a nice Reverse Neck Breaker for two. She goes to the top rope, but Love ducks beneath her and nails the Botox Injection. It takes her a second to make the cover though, and James kicks out. Angelina lifts Mickie up for the Lights Out, but Mickie elbows out and hits the Impaler DDT. She hooks both legs for the pin.
WINNER: Mickie James in six really great minutes. That was probably the best Love has looked since Awesome Kong left the company.
Brother Ray is coming out next.
Angelina Love is throwing a tantrum in the back. Winter shows up, saying that it was destiny that made her lose that match. It pains her to see Angelina like this, but everything is happening just as has been destined since the beginning of time. Everything will now fall into place. It's time that the two of them really got to know each other.
If they drop this "no one else can see her crap" I could see why people think Katie could pull this gimmick off.
Ray is in the ring, saying that everyone wants to know why he turned on Devon—it's cause he can. He'll give us an explanation cause he's in a good mood tonight. Fifteen years ago Ray invented the greatest finishing move in the history of the business—a move that could beat anyone on any night in any kind of match, a move that won him 23 tag titles. That move is the 3D—the Dudley Death Drop. Everyone has fallen to that move—Dreamer, RVD, Taz, Sabu, Terry Funk, the Undertaker (when was that?), Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Hardy Boys, Edge & Christian, the APA, the Rock, Jeff Jarrett, Samoa Joe, and even the Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. No one has ever kicked out—until Chris Sabin. But Sabin shouldn't blow smoke just yet. He didn't kick out cause he was a tougher wrestler—he kicked out cause his brother Devon was weak. Devon has always been weak. Ray was the star of Team 3D. Devon was a costar. Devon never stood by his side—he always stood two steps behind him, where he belonged. The crowd wants Devon. Ray says he'll put this in perspective, so that someone as simple-minded as Devon can understand—Ray's the Shawn Michaels, and Devon is Marty Jannetty. And for all the people who are asking who Marty Jannetty is—exactly. Any one of their brothers could have been Ray's partner—little Runt, big Dick, it didn't matter. When Ray thinks about it, it's crystal clear—Devon's just a sidekick. He's nothing more than a guy who got Ray's tables. Ray storms off quietly. I hate to admit it, but that was actually really good (though a bit of a questionable move putting down both your previous and presumably your next opponent).
How awesome will it be if they get Jannetty next week to kick Ray's ass? I always thought he was underrated.
It's already 10:56+ when we get back for Flair vs. Morgan.
(6) RIC FLAIR vs. MATT MORGAN
The crowd's behind Morgan, who shoves Flair down and halfway across the ring to start. Flair kicks out Morgan's thigh, then chops him to the corner. Morgan switches spots and slaps Flair a couple times, Back Body Drops him, and Batista/Ultimate Warrior Ups a bit. He charges Flair in the corner and hits his series of back elbows. Flair flops. Morgan looks to do it again, but Flair shoves him out of the corner and into the referee. Flair nails a low blow, then lays in with some stomps. Morgan gets to his knees, where Flair chops and punches the hell out of him. Flair tries to come off the ropes, but Morgan goozles him. Flair pokes the eyes to get out, then flings Morgan from the ring. He follows him out and chops him against the barricade. He hits a punch to the kidneys and some more chops. He tries to drive Morgan into the barricade, but Morgan reverses Flair into the metal. Morgan hits some headlock punches, and Flair is busted open. Morgan bites the wound, then slugs it. He hits a headbutt as Flair rolls into the ring and begs off.
Morgan knocks Flair down to start Reaction. Flair stands up in the corner, where Morgan punches his bloody face. Flair flops out again. Morgan hits a Side Slam, but there's still no referee. Morgan signals for a Choke Slam, which he nails. Fortune run down to the ring. AJ, Kaz and Beer Money swamp Morgan as Williams just sort of stands by. AJ gets annoyed at Williams. He tries to drag Williams, but Williams loses it and slugs him. He tosses Kaz and Storm from the ring. Roode grabs him, but by now Morgan's up. Morgan clotheslines everyone right out of the ring. Flair tries to attack, but Morgan no-sells the punches. Morgan sort of hits a Carbon Footprint (it was off by a good six inches, but that might just mean Flair was bleeding more than expected). The ref rolls back in to make the count. Williams nods happily at the top of the ramp.
WINNER: Matt Morgan in eight minutes. It's good to see Flair get in some non-jokey offense, but still to put Morgan over. If you're going to use Flair on free-TV, this was as good a way as any.
Where We're Going: After making it perfectly clear well in advance that there was no way short of an asteroid hit that Jeff Hardy was going to lose the title at Turning Point, they're pulling out all the stops to make him look vulnerable at Final Resolution. That's probably a good call, but I'm still not buying that that belt gets taken off him before the Hardy—RVD money feud.
Star of the Night: Mickie James. An honorable mention goes to Raven—if this was his last match, it's definitely nice that he went out keeping pace with the champ.
Overall: I liked this show. This the matches were short, but mostly really good. People who were clearly put in jobber-roles—Moore, Raven, and Love—were still given opportunities to shine. Morgan looked plausible fighting off all of Fortune, which is what they needed from him. The Rhino heel turn was explained in a perfectly plausible manner. The Brother Ray heel turn was less well motivated, but Ray sold the hell out of it anyway. I thought the Jarrett—Joe interaction was mostly good this week, and Hogan & Bischoff were kept to minimal, appropriate roles. The major problem was that the match finishes all seemed to be a hair off this week. I don't know why the ref called for the bell for interference in a casket match, it would have been nice if they'd had a more creative way to get Jarrett out of his match than just his sort of wandering off, and the finish to the opening contest was the usual lame fare. Even Mickie's Impaler DDT and Morgan's Carbon Footprint were literally a bit off, though slight issues with execution are of course far more understandable than inane booking. Overall I enjoyed most of the show, and didn't actively dislike any of it, but the bizarre profusion of odd finishes kept it from being more than just pretty good. B+
Daniel is a graduate fellow at The Ohio State University. I feel bad ripping on Robbie E, so if anyone has a good defense of why his possession of the X Division Championship is anything other than mind-bogglingly stupid it'd be nice if he or she sent it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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