SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
The following report was originally published on PWTorch.com ten years ago this week…
KELLER’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
JULY 24, 2008
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.
AIRED ON SPIKE TV
-The show opened with clips of the Booker T-Samoa Joe storyline. I still say if you close your eyes and listen Joe sounds a lot like Tim Duncan.
-Mike Tenay introduced the show, alongside Don West, as Joe and Kevin Nash walked to the ring. Nash and a suit-wearing Joe, with mic in hand, entered a cage set up around the ring. Tenay said it looks like Nash and Joe are on the same page tonight. West said a lot of questions will be answered tonight. Joe said he comes to the ring tonight with a proposition. He said they should throw out the rules and referees and it should just be he and Booker and six sides of steel. Booker’s music promptly interrupted and he walked out onto the stage with Sharmell. He held Joe’s title belt.
Booker said he can’t believe Joe. He said he was relaxing backstage on the best couch sipping the best champaign and he hears him “flapping his fat-ass gums” challenging him for Hard Justice. Booker said Joe hopping out of the back of an ambulance just shows how scared he is. Booker said he used to be a drum major in high school, so how about we add a few more instruments to the party. He suggested they add tables, ladders, and chairs. He said he’d back with a contract later. He closed, “Be afraid of the dark.” West wondered if that meant they’d finally see Sting at the Impact Zone.
-Jeremy Borash interviewed A.J. Styles, Christian Cage, and Rhino backstage. Borash said their opponents said Sting would be in their corner. Styles expressed skepticism. He said he doesn’t know why Sting laid out Joe, but he’s sure there’s a reason. (He laid him out because Joe disrespected him by running back to the ring, and he laid him out because he felt it was best to stop Joe before he continued his beatdown of the referees and Booker to the point of being suspended. Isn’t that obvious?) Styles said he trusts and believes in Sting. Christian said if Sting shows up tonight, he’s the first one who’s going to go through a table. He said it’s not about winning or losing, it’s about who’s going to end who’s livelihood first. Rhino looked at Styles and told him, “Don’t get sucked in.”
-Tenay and West were shown on camera. They hyped the rest of the “loaded edition” of TNA Impact including the tables elimination match six-man main event. A video package aired asking questions about whether Sting has been seduced by an inner-demon.
1 — JIMMY WAVE (w/Lance Rock) vs. JOHNNY DEVINE vs. CONSEQUENCES CREED vs. ERIC YOUNG
At 2:00 Rock tried to interfere, but Creed countered it and knocked him to the floor, then he dove onto Rave and Devine on the floor. West complimented how smooth he is. “You can just see the potential oozing all over Consequences Creed. At 3:00 Young broke up a pin attempt by Rave on Creed after his cool Rock the World move. Devine broke up Young’s subsequent pin on Rave. Creed then broke up Devine’s pin on Young. Creed and Devine went into a series of pin attempts and reversals, with Creed coming out on top. Afterward, Devine and Rave attacked Creed. As Devine was going to hit Creed with a chair, the lights faded and Abyss walked out. He beat up the heels, including giving Rock a Black Hole Slam. Abyss picked up a chair, but then thought twice and dropped it. West said he doesn’t know what’s on Abyss’s mind, but he does know that lately anytime he thinks of using a weapon, he drops it.
WINNERS: Creed in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2 — Good variety of moves and pacing. Also nice to see Creed get a win after his loss to Booker last week. I also like what they’re doing with Abyss’s character.
-Backstage Team 3D and Kurt Angle laid Borash on a table. He wanted assurances it was just for demonstration purposes. Brother Ray laughed and said he has a “purty mouth.” Ray said they’re ready to face “those punks.” He then bragged about how they are scumbags; he told a smiling Angle that he is the biggest scumbag of them all and he’d win an Olympic Gold in that category. Devon assured Borash that Sting will shock the world. They wouldn’t let Borash get up from the table. Angle said all he’s going to imagine when he faces Styles is him lying in bed with his wife. He’s going put him through a table, and then ask him through blood-soaked face if it was worth it. (What if he says “yes” with a big smile? Imagine the crowd pop for that.)
-A video feature aired on Kaz, including last year’s Fight for the Right victory at Genesis to earn a World Title shot against Kurt Angle. But after his failure against Angle, he worked his way back to another chance at the World Title in a triple threat, but he again fell short. It documented his failures to beat Petey Williams for the X Title and his loss in the World X Cup finals. This is a compelling storyline because it’s rare that wrestling bookers create a storyline built around a contender continually coming up just short in big matches. It’s a storyline that Peyton Manning endured, and it was a compelling aspect of his career for years.
-In the debut of Karen’s Angle, she interviewed Kaz. He talked about training with Killer Kowalski and said he loved him like a wrestler. Kaz said his favorite wrestler was Bret Hart. He was drawn to smaller wrestlers who didn’t have to say much, but went out there and had the best match of the night. Karen said people may not know Kaz was part of TNA from day one. Kaz said everyone thought they were just going to last a couple of week, but here they are today. He said he’s made a lot of friends who helped him develop as a person and a wrestler. He said he soon learned about the ugliness and politics of the business. He said he despises it. He said he was walking on egg shells. He said he was more passionate about wrestling than anything, but it took just a few months and he no longer enjoyed wrestling and looked forward to going to work.
-Back at ringside, Tenay plugged that part two of the Karen’s Angle with Kaz would air next week. Karen didn’t do much, but that’s fine. Kaz was good in that setting. Tenay plugged the rest of Impact.
2 — “THE BLUEPRINT” MATT MORGAN vs. KORY CHAVIS
West said if you’d build a wrestler from scratch, Morgan is what you’d want to end up. Tenay talked about Morgan’s dominance in his debut on “American Gladiators.” Morgan gave Chavis a guillotine legdrop. When Morgan kicked Chavis in the head again, West said Chavis is lucky to still have a head. There’s the bright side for Chavis, I guess. Morgan finished Chavis with the Hellivator finisher. West said Chavis just joined Morgan’s “Mile High Club.”
WINNER: Morgan in 2:00.
-Lauren interviewed Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley. Sabin said, “They have a complete lack of self-awareness… They’re nothing but a dumb chubby cowboy and a stock market prick with a pony table.”Sabin asked Shelley if “he would” in regards to Jackie. Shelley said in his humble abode, but not in front of the locker room. Sabin agreed. (There’s a little inside line meant to draw chuckles from three generations of wrestlers.) Sabin concluded that their tag team is named after a made-for-TV movie starring Zach Morris. Sabin added, “As opposed to the blank DVD you get when you buy ‘Best of James Storm.'” He mocked Roode’s pony tail and said, “Get with the times.” 10-4 to that. Shelley bragged about growing up in the murder capital and said they’re proud to represent Detroit. He said their weapons aren’t straps. Man, that low-key delivery with eyed locked on the cameras was great. If Joe followed that approach to interviews, he’d be a much more compelling character than the guy who yells and screams at the top of his lungs constantly. The Guns are the coolest act TNA has, by a good distance. Leave it to TNA to not recognize that, though.
-Lauren interviewed Curry Man, Super Eric, and Shark Boy. Curry couldn’t pronounce L’s. Shark was obsessed with merchandise slogans for t-shirts. They tried to come up with a catch phrase. Super Eric suggested, “We come in piece, they leave in pieces.” Curry said, “I rike it.” Shark Boy said, “It’s not as catchy as ‘shell yeah,’ but it’ll do.”
-Ring intros took place for Beer Money vs. Motor City Machine Guns.
3 — BEER MONEY (James Storm & Robert Roode) vs. ALEX SHELLEY & CHRIS SABIN – Strap Match
During the Guns early offense, West complimented them as being poetry in motion. West is underrated as a color commentator due this overwhelming quirkiness in certain ways, but he “gets” what is good about a lot of the acts TNA has and worked harder than any color commentator today to get them over. JBL worked in a similar way. The Guns put the strap between the legs of Storm and Roode and yanked them up and down several times. Jackie yanked Shelley off balance on the top rope. That let the heels takeover control. Shelley and Sabin came back at 6:00 and ran around the heels, wrapping the straps around them in the process, then kicked them. They went into an old-style row boat spot. Jackie tried to interfere, but she ended up yanked in the middle, kicking and flailing her legs and arms on her back. Storm knocked Shelley into the ref, who tumbled to the floor. Jackie gave handcuffs to Storm, who KO’d Sabin with them. Roode then scored a pin. Storm gave Shelley “Last Call” KO kick. The post-match beatdown continued until LAX made the save.
WINNERS: Beer Money in 8:00.
STAR RATING: **1/4 – It’s never a bad idea to give the Guns some TV time to show off what they can do in the ring that is unmatched otherwise in TNA.
-Tenay plugged the Velvet Sky vs. Taylor Wilde match up next.
4 — TAYLOR WILDE vs. VELVET SKY (w/Angelina Love) — TNA Knockouts Title match
Tenay talked about Wilde scoring the biggest upset in TNA history when she beat Awesome Kong the first time, then proved it wasn’t a fluke by winning her rematch. Wilde then surprised Sky with a schoolgirl from behind at the start of the match. It was announced as a new TNA record of five seconds. It was barely four seconds.
WINNER: Taylor in 0:05 to retain the title.
-Afterward, Sky complained she wasn’t ready and didn’t even hear a bell ring. Tenay needlessly heavy-handedly interjected, “You talk about revising history.” Sky taunted Taylor into giving her an immediate rematch. “What, are you scared?” she said. Taylor agreed.
5 — TAYLOR WILDE vs. VELVET SKY (w/Angelina Love) — TNA Knockouts Title match
Taylor won almost immediately again. Angelina Love got in the ring and said, “That was bullcrap! That was not supposed to happen!”
WINNER: Sky in 0:20.
-Afterward, Love said she doesn’t know who Taylor is dating, but she should return to the ring again. She offered her $5,000. Taylor accepted.
6 — TAYLOR WILDE vs. VELVET SKY (w/Angelina Love) — TNA Knockouts Title match
This went longer, with Sky getting the early advantage with some help from Love at ringside. At 2:00 Sky bit Taylor’s arm. West said Love has always been seen as the stronger of the two, but Sky has put in a good showing in this third attempt to beat Taylor. Taylor came back with a bridge suplex for a near fall, broken up by Love. The ref called for the DQ. As the Beautiful People double-teamed Taylor, the crowd chanted “ODB, ODB.” The heels put their brown paper bag over Taylor’s head as the chant continued. ODB and Gail Kim charged to the ring to clear out the heels.
WINNER: Taylor in 5:00 via DQ to retain the title.
STAR RATING: *1/4
-Tenay threw to a feature on the former Daivari, who is now asking to be known by his royal native Arabic name, Sheik Abdul Bashir . He said he’s come to America and had to work harder than he ever had back home. He said the average American earns 30, 35 thousand a year. He said that wouldn’t cover the down payment on one of his cars. He said he never wanted any charity so he doesn’t have any for anyone else. He said he has overcome the impossible by surviving in the most slanted society in the world. “You invite us here with your arms wide open, but in reality, things couldn’t be further from the truth.” He said instead of complimenting him on his style of clothes and congratulating him for making it, he gets checked for weapons at airports. He said he has won, though, and through his success, he’s more American than everyone else. Good promo. Daivari has always been a very good talker, and he showed why here as his delivery hit all the right notes without actually going overboard on cliches and cheap inflammatory racist language. It’s the promo he probably wishes he could have cut back when he did a variation on this in WWE with Muhammad Hassan.
-They plugged upcoming house show dates and Bound for Glory in October.
-Borash accompanied So Cal Val consoling Sonjay Dutt at a hospital. He was saying crazy things. Dutt asked her if she saw the replay. She said, “You know I hate violence.” Nice try, but gosh, does she not like communication with people, either? Didn’t Borash or a family member who saw the show or anyone clue her in on the reality of what happened on camera last week. Dutt said she is the only person on his mind. Borash expressed skepticism. Val told him to have some sympathy. Dutt said he will apologize for how he feels if he must. She said there’s no need. The doctor walked into the room, so Val left. Dutt produced a ring and smiled and smelled it. You can tell Dutt is having a blast being able to play this role, the first time he’s had a chance to really show his acting ability range since being in TNA.
-Ring intros took place for the six-man tables match. Tenay touted it as a PPV quality match-up.
-A video aired promoting Hard Justice hyping FILTHEE, a/k/a Brickman Raw, Ice-T, and Grandmaster Caz performing live at the event.
7 — KURT ANGLE & TEAM 3D vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE & RHINO & A.J. STYLES
Styles and Raw fought in the ring and the other four brawled into the crowd and at ringside. Styles ended up diving onto Ray on the floor. At 4:00 Team 3D tried to bring a table into the ring, but Christian and Styles slidekicked it into them first. A minute later Ray tried to backdrop Styles onto the table, but Rhino moved the table first. Devon rammed Rhino’s head into the ringside steps. Rhino and Christian slammed Devon through a table to eliminate him first at 6:00. Styles springboard clotheslined Ray, then Rhino gave him a Gore. Ray rolled out of the ring. Angle returned to the ring and hit Styles with a chair, then Rhino. They cut to a break as Angle held the chair in the air.
They showed that during the break Rhino tried knocked Angle through a table with a Gore, but Ray yanked Angle out of Rhino’s path at the last second, so Rhino crashed through the table to be eliminated. Christian slid a table into the ring and set it up next to Angle. Angle tried for an Olympic slam, but Christian escaped and knocked Angle onto the table. Christian then climbed to the top rope. Devon gave Christian a low-blow. Then they put Christian through a table with a 3D. Angle distracted the ref by shoving the ref’s head into his crotch in the corner. If that’s what it takes, apparently.
Styles was left to take on both Ray and Angle. He hit Ray with a Pele Kick. Styles slid a table into the ring. West told him he has to be quick. Devine entered the ring as Ray begged of. He tried to throw powder at Styles, but Styles ducked and the powder hit Ray. Ray then powerbombed Devine through a table, thinking it was Styles. Styles dropkicked Ray to the floor at 14:00. Styles threw a charging Angle into Ray, knocking him of the apron and through a table on the floor to eliminate him. Styles then gave Angle an inverted DDT, then looked around for a table to try to finish the match. He located one and slid it into the ring. Styles set Angle on a table in mid-ring. As he climbed to the top rope, Frank Trigg appeared at ringside and hit Styles with a kendo stick. Angle then gave Angle an Olympic Slam through a table. the groggy ref saw Styles on the broken table and awarded the heels the win.
WINNERS: Angle & Team 3D in 16:00.
STAR RATING: **1/2
-They showed Booker with the TNA belt over his shoulder walking backstage. Tenay said they’d find out if Samoa Joe would sign the contract for a title match at Hard Justice.
-Booker T made his full ring intro with Sharmell. Then Samoa Joe, accompanied by Kevin Nash, walked to the ring. Booker said, “I see I have my wife here with me, and I see you have your…” Nash stared down Booker, who stopped mid-sentence. Booker offered Joe the contract. He listed the stipulations he’s added: tables, ladders, chairs. “Anything to mess you up,” he said. He then asked Joe “to tell his little buddy Kevin to get his punk ass out of there.” Joe yelled at Booker to look at him when he’s talking to him. He said since he wants the man carrying around his belt to be comfortable, he’ll send Nash to the back, but he has to send his “wench” to the back, too. Booker asked if Joe was scared of his wife. Booker said fine. He made out with Sharmell, then Sharmell returned to the back. Tenay said now it’s time to see if Joe will sign the contract. Booker said, “If you want to do the same, go right ahead, Joe.” Joe said, “I would, but I heard your wife’s not a good kisser.” Nash liked that and he made a homerun swing motion. Joe shook hands with Nash and Nash left the ring. Booker signed the contract in front of Joe, then handed Joe the contract. As Joe was about to sign it, the lights went dark and Sting’s music played. When the lights came back on, Booker stood over Joe with a bat in hand. West screamed, “Why, Sting, why?” It’s so stupid that they instruct the announcers to say one of the dumbest things possible – which is to gullibly assume it was Sting without a hint of skepticism or doubt that maybe, oh, I don’t know, maybe Sting didn’t hit Joe with the bat, and instead someone tried to make it appear that he did. Talk about playing to a dumb audience at the exclusion of everyone else.
NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS FLASHBACK: 10 YRS AGO – TNA in Winston-Salem, N.C.: Angle limps out and apologizes, Styles vs. Samoa Joe, Main Event Mafia vs. Beef Money, Lethal vs. Sabin