TNA Impact CALDWELL'S TNA IMPACT WRESTLING REPORT - FLAIR VS. STING 9/15: Blog on this week's TV main event
Sep 15, 2011 - 10:05:06 PM
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TNA Impact Wrestling blog - Flair vs. Sting
September 15, 2011
Taped 9/12 in Orlando, Fla.
Report by James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
It's one of the most anticipated TNA main events of the year, not because of expectations for a stellar bout, but to see what Ric Flair vs. Sting looks like ten years after their previous encounter on the final WCW Nitro in 2001.
Talking to people in TNA since the match was taped Monday, one camp has been focused on Flair's health scare during the match. The other camp has been focused on the poor match quality.
So, with that backdrop, it will be interesting to see what editing touches TNA puts on the match that was pre-scripted to include numerous bells and whistles. It's unfortunate that both wrestlers's careers have come to this point where TNA has over-exposed Sting in the ring and under-utilized Flair when he should be in a Respected Elder position, not a sideshow comedy act.
The final 30 minutes of Impact started with the second-half of Robert Roode vs. Kazarian, with Roode picking up a nice, clean win via submission to continue his quest for Kurt Angle's TNA World Title at Bound for Glory. TNA "staying in the moment" rather than abruptly cutting away to something else was a good decision to keep Roode in the spotlight heading to break.
They returned from break with Kurt Angle plugging his role in "Warrior" before they continued to stay in the moment with Roode and Kazarian backstage talking about the match and Roode's title quest.
Elsewhere backstage, Austin Aries plugged his first X Division Title defense next week, Tenay ran down next week's line-up, and "crazy" Jerry Lynn and Bully Ray cut a promo on Rob Van Dam.
Impact Zone: Ric Flair's music played 16 minutes before the top of the hour to bring out Flair for the main event. Flair took his time entering the ring and posed for the crowd before Sting's music played. Tenay went back to their first match in the late '80s, making this sound even more like a Legends of Wrestling match. The point was Flair has a chance to end Sting's match, just like he helped make it. After Jeremy Borash handled formal ring introductions, the bell sounded 13 minutes before the top of the hour.
STING vs. RIC FLAIR -- Sting's career on the line vs. Sting receiving a match against Hulk Hogan at Bound for Glory
Very, very basic start to the match to cut a slow pace. They cut to break 2:10 in after a shoving match put Flair on his back.
Back from break at 6:10, Sting cleared Flair to the outside, allowing Flair to catch a breather on the floor. Some reference incompetence from Earl Hebner gave Flair control via a low-blow and an opening to catch his breath again. They did the classic figure-four spot with Flair holding onto the ropes for additional leverage while Hebner was occupied with Sting.
With Flair in control, the match continued to the top of the hour into the over-run. Sting started no-selling, so Flair begged off, then Sting executed a superplex from the top turnbuckle. At this point, Immortal stormed the ring and Sting fought them off one by one. Hogan was the last one to the ring, then Mr. Anderson's music hit and he chased off Bully Ray.
In the confusion, Hogan handed brass knucks to Flair, who popped Sting. Flair clutched his arm, then made the cover, but Sting lifted an arm to "kick out." Hogan gave them a cue to take it home as confusion ensued. Sting then hit the Scorpion Splash and slapped on the Scorpion Deathlock. Sting pointed toward Hogan as Flair tapped, giving Sting the win at 15:00.
Impact then closed with Tenay plugging Sting vs. Hulk Hogan at Bound for Glory. Hogan and Sting had a stare down from a distance to close the show three minutes past the top of the hour.
WINNER: Sting via submission at 15:00. Thanks to editing and a very methodical pace, this wasn't as bad as it came across live on Monday, but the match still shouldn't have happened. They stuck to the tried-and-true Flair sequences and leaned on the usual TNA outside interference to stretch this out to 15 minutes. Hogan doesn't look like he can have a match, so it remains to be seen if that Hogan-Sting match actually happens, even after TNA promoted it at the end of this week's show.
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