10 YRS AGO – KELLER’S TNA IMPACT TV REPORT (8-12-2010): Kurt Angle vs. A.J. Styles, Motor City Machine Gunns vs. Beer Money, plus Hogan, Bischoff, RVD, Jeff Hardy, Rayne

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Eric Bischoff (art credit Travis Beaven © PWTorch)

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

(NOTE: This report was originally published 10 years ago this week on PWTorch.com.)


KELLER’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
AUGUST 12, 2010
TAPED IN ORLANDO, FLA.

[Q1]

-Mike Tenay introduced a special Impact “unlike anything you’ve ever seen.” Plus he promised a special announcement from Hulk Hogan.

1 — KURT ANGLE vs. A.J. STYLES

Styles jump-started the match. When it went to ringside, Angle caught Styles with a released belly-to-belly suplex. Back in the ring Styles charged at Angle again, but Angle caught him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker leading to a near fall. Tenay and Taz worked to set up the backstory to this match in the opening minutes since they went right to the action after the show intro. Styles took over control and settled into a chinlock at 3:00. Angle came back with an unreleased German suplex series. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” early. Styles fired back with a flying forearm for a near fall at 5:00. Styles signaled for the Styles Clash, but Angle backdropped out of it. Styles landed a Pele kick for a two count. Angle hit a top rope moonsault press for a near fall at 6:00. Angle then applied an anklelock. Styles springboard backflipped into a reverse DDT for a near fall. Styles confronted the ref over the pace of his count. Angle surprised Styles with an Angle slam for a near fall at 8:00. Angle recovered from the pace of the action in the preceding minutes and went for a back suplex. Styles tried to mule kick out of it, but Angle cleverly turned it into an anklelock. Styles tapped almost immediately.

WINNER: Angle in 8:00.

STAR RATING: **1/2 — Good pace. Again felt a little rushed as you would expect these two to last longer than eight minutes, and you could sense they went into the closing minutes pacing quite early, leaving out some of the story could have told in a 12-22 minute match. [c]

[Q2]

2 — MADISON RAYNE vs. ANGELINA LOVE

Taz wanted to know, during Rayne’s ring entrance, “Where do I sign up to become a second rope? I want to know. Is there a resume I put in?” This show shouldn’t have been called “The Whole F’n Show,” but rather “The False Choice,” because they’ve done to such an extreme of just presenting matches without the promos or video packages to set the stage. It’s as if you have to do one extreme or the other and there’s no middle ground (not to mention that that the quality of the execution means more than the concept or philosophy itself). Rayne beat Love to the mat early, but missed with a clothesline seconds later. At 2:00 Rayne headscissored Love and rammed her head face-down into the mat leading to a near fall. She yelled at the ref. Let’s see if that’s a theme of the night, since agents and bookers often get something like that in their head and then overdo it throughout a show. At 3:00 the “mysterious figure,” as Tenay called her, showed up dressed as a black female half-alien/half-insect on a motor cycle. Velvet Sky hit her from behind with a chair. Then she tried to unmask her. Meanwhile, Rane hit Love with the Knockouts Title belt. Rayne scored a two count just as Sky yanked the helmet off of the mystery women. She had a mask on underneath and fled to the back. Love then finished Rayne off in the ring.

WINNER: Love in 4:00 to capture the TNA Knockouts Title.

STAR RATING: 3/4* — On an all-wrestling show, they can’t even find a way to let a women’s title match go six or seven minutes?

-Tenay hyped Hogan’s surprise and the three-way match up next. [c]

3 — MR. ANDERSON vs. “THE POPE” D’ANGELO DINERO vs. MATT MORGAN

Morgan and The Pope were in the ring after the break. Mr. Anderson stepped out last and said on the stage, “Good evening assholes and gentlemen.” Some fans chanted, “We are assholes!” Anderson introduced himself.

[Q3]

Crazy rapid-fire action early including about a half dozen near falls on Morgan with Anderson and Pope yanking each other of of Morgan, as if the match was far enough long for it to be even slightly believable that Morgan would hurt enough to get pinned. Tenay said the new rankings will be revealed next week. He didn’t stress enough that the PPV performance is a big factor in the final rankings, and this Impact is a substitute for the usual PPV. After a top rope crotch, Pope knocked Morgan to the mat. Anderson and Pope then battled. Anderson hit a mic check at 3:00. Morgan re-entered the ring and knocked Anderson off of Pope and then made the cover himself and stole the win.

WINNER: Morgan in 3:00.

STAR RATING: * — Just totally rushed. I did not think on the “Whole F’n Show” full of “PPV quality matches” that I’d be complaining about all of the wrestling seeming rushed and the matches being too short, but here we are. That was crazy to have a three-way end that quickly. [c]

4 — JEFF HARDY vs. SHANNON MOORE

Moore stepped out as Hardy’s mystery opponent. Moore said Hardy looked shocked, but he felt it was a good time to prove he can hold his own the stage with him. He added that no matter what happens, they’ll still be brothers. Tenay said they’re two of the closest friends in TNA. Tenay said he saw Hardy and Moore arrive at the Impact Zone in the same car. Taz said the spirit of competition triumphs friendship. Moore flipped over the top rope onto Hardy at ringside at 2:00.

[Q4]

At 5:00 Moore charged at Hardy at ringside and head scissored him to the floor. Tenay and Taz analyzed how Moore was just dominating so far. Hardy caught Moore with a boot as he charged and then flipped onto him for a near fall. He followed with a Twist of Fate at 6:00. He followed with a Swanton attempt, but Moore lifted his knees and scored a two count. Taz said when you go to for your finishing move, you’re making a statement to your opponent because you can win with other moves, too, and that message was sent to Moore. Hardy came back a minute later and did hit the Swanton for the win. Moore raised Hardy’s arm after the break.

WINNER: Hardy in 7:00.

STAR RATING: **

5 — THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS vs. BEER MONEY — Match 5 in Best of 5 Series for the TNA Tag Team Titles

Tenay said Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley won match four and got to pick the stip for this. They chose two-out-of-three falls. So in essence this has become a Best of Seven series, with matches 5, 6, and 7 all in a row. Nobody who saw the first four matches is sad about this. The match began with five minutes left in the first hour. Tenay said the crowd is dying to see these two teams settle it once and for all. Tenay said this may be the best series of matches he’s ever seen – “tag or singles, period.” It’s too bad that this hasn’t gotten the focus that, say, the memorable Magnum T.A. vs Magnum T.A. series received by the NWA 25 years ago. It’s so tough for TNA to realize the “less is more” concept when it comes to this type of special series of matches, as there’s been such a whirlwind of one big thing after another on almost every segment that this hasn’t felt like a featured segment short of the admirable job the announcers have done trying to tell us how great this series has been. At 3:00 Beer Money settled into offense against Sabin with frequent tags. Tenay said there is no rest period between falls so no chance to recharge batteries, with strategically could work to the Guns’ advantage if they feel they’ve got better endurance.

[Q5]

The Guns made a comeback at 7:00 and knocked Beer Money to the floor and then did cross-dives from two angles onto Roode and Storm at ringside. Cool spot. Shelley went for a top rope move, but Storm moved. Roode, meanwhile, dropped Sabin head-first onto the ring apron. Beer Money then double-teamed Shelley with a sequence of moves ending with a neckbreaker leading to the three count.

FALL ONE: Beer Money in 8:00.

The second fall began immediately. We’ll keep the clock rolling as a grand total counter. At 10:00 The Gunns made a full comeback and finished Roode with a double kick to the head and their splash/neckbreaker combo for the win.

FALL TWO: Machine Guns in 10:00.

The third fall began immediately. Roode dropped Sabin face-first on the ring apron, then backdropped his own partner onto Sabin at ringside. Roode then battled Shelley in the ring, but Shelley dove through the ropes onto Storm at ringside. Roode then flip-dove onto all three at ringside. It has been weeks and weeks since this happened, but TNA cut to a break mid-match. [c]

Back from the break, the Guns were on offense. Roode scored a near fall on Shelley after a double-team move. Sabin hot-tagged at 17:00 and hit some flying forearms. Sabin nailed a spike DDT off the ropes for a very near fall. Sabin slapped himself in the face to try to recover from the exhausting flurry that lead to a near fall. Roode tagged in Storm, but he fought both Roode and Storm off. Together they gave Storm one of their cool double-team moves for a believable near fall.

The Guns continued on offense and hit another double-team move off the ropes for another high-drama believable near fall. They followed up with a repeat of the top rope splash / neckbreaker combo and that led to the pin. Taz called it a Match of the Year. Pyro blasted as the Guns celebrated. “That was the best damn series in the history of wrestling,” said Tenay.

WINNERS: The Machine Guns in 21:00.

STAR RATING: ****1/2 — That’s a great match for that type of high-impact, innovative, athletic, video-game pacing. To really have the full impact possible, it should have been the last match on the show, but I suppose it’s better is wasn’t since the finish wasn’t telegraphed by the end of the show approaching. I really hope the reasons TNA’s old curmudgeons have for not pushing the Guns (for some individually valid reasons, but collectively not worth not pushing them) are put aside and TNA realizes they have something here that WWE doesn’t and Spike’s target audience can get behind as long as they’re pushed as real stars and a real asset and not just early-card monkey-bar wrestlers.

[Q6] [c]

6 — ROB VAN DAM vs. “THE MONSTER” ABYSS — TNA Heavyweight Championship Match

First, Eric Bischoff walked out to play the role of Special Referee. They showed a close-up of the nail-studded board “Janice” hanging above the ring. As RVD made his ring entrance, Abyss climbed the ladder to get the weapon. RVD charged to the ring and dropkicked the ladder to stop Abyss. He mounted Abyss in the corner and punched him repeatedly. He bulldogged him onto the ladder a minute in and then went for Rolling Thunder, but Abyss moved and RVD landed on the ladder. Ouch. [c]

[Q7]

Back from an early break, Abyss rammed the ladder into RVD’s mid-section. They cut to TNA President Dixie Carter watching the match from the sidelines. TNA talent relations director Terry Taylor stood in front of her. Taz acknowledged both. At 8:00 RVD made a comeback and moonsaulted Abyss as he lay on a ladder mid-ring. They both climbed the ladder and punched each other. Abyss shoved RVD down and then chokeslammed him. He poured a bag of thumb tacks onto the mat. He retrieved another bag and poured out more tacks and then some broken glass. Abyss lifted RVD onto the top turnbuckle, but RVD blocked a suplex attempt and he sunset flipped Abyss onto the glass and tacks. Abyss poured the tacks and glass too close to the corner where even if he hit the suplex, he would have landed on them, not RVD who would have landed closer to mid-ring. Then, killing his own gimmick, Abyss got up from the tacks and glass seconds later and caught a charging RVD with a boot to the face.

Abss then pulled out a barbed wire wide board from under the ring. Taz said, “He knows what kind of party it is and he brought his goodies.” It’s hard to take any of this seriously when nobody’s selling the brutality for long and Taz is calling these dangerous gory weapons and apparatus “goodies.” I mean, his announcing is in-step with the tone of the match, but that’s the problem. RVD kicked the board Abyss was nice enough to hold up for him into his head, and then he hit Rolling Thunder on the barbed wire board with the barbed wire facing down on Abyss at 14:00. They cut to Dixie Carter applauding from the sidelines. Abyss was bleeding. RVD climbed the ladder. Abyss tipped it over. RVD fell awkwardly and caught the top rope as he fell, then rammed his head into the bridged ladder at ringside. Crazy. Abyss climbed the ladder and pulled down “Janice.” They cut a couple more times to reaction shots from Dixie and Taylor.

Abyss moved toward RVD in the corner and swung Janice at him. RVD moved and the nails got stuck in the turnbuckle. RVD grabbed a chair and whacked Abyss in the back with it. RVD hit the Van Daminator jump reverse side kick into a chair he threw at Abyss. Next he placed the barbed wire board against Abyss in the corner, then looked to the crowd for cheers as he set up a Shane McMahon Special. RVD leaped off the top rope and dropkicked the chair into the board which smooshed Abyss’s face in the corner. They showed Dixie applauding as Taylor looked on stoically and objectively. RVD then hit the Five-Star Frogsplash and Bischoff counted to three. Dixie and Taylor were shown applauding.

WINNER: RVD in 18:00.

STAR RATING: **1/2 — Some good action for sure, but also a lot of contrived spots and gimmick-damaging short-term selling.

-The went to Taz and Tenay at ringside raving about the show so far and then hyping that Hulk Hogan was up next with a special surprise. Tenay hyped the premiere of Reaction. He said the show picks up where Impact leaves off. Taz said it sets the table for where Impact is heading next week.

-They cut to the ring where RVD was celebrating on top of the ladder mid-ring. Hulk Hogan’s music played and he walked out as pyro blasted. [c]

-Hogan said what fans just saw proves why RVD is their leader. Hogan said he’s seen many, but he’s never seen an athlete or champion like him. He said he’s the hood ornament of TNA and taking TNA all the way to the top. RVD smiled broadly. Hogan said he’s had goose bumps from head to toe watching RVD face Sabu on Sunday. He said he considers Sabu the “most dangerous man in our business.” He said RVD showed he has all the bases covered “and that’s why this is the no. 1 company in the wrestling business today.” He said Hardcore Justice made the whole TNA world raise the bar. He thanked Dixie Carter “for taking me somewhere I’ve never be before.” She blew Hogan a kiss. He said when he saw RVD in the ring all of those great athletes of EV2 and saw Tommy Dreamer turn it on and Rhino “Gore the world” and the whole motley crew teach him for what hardcore is about, his respect level went through the roof. He said RVD “and his band of gypsies” gave TNA the shot in the arm and adrenaline rush it needed to go to the next level.

Hogan said: “Dixie Carter, our beautiful number one lady of TNA, invited your friends here tonight.” He said they sat in the back and watched his title match. Hogan said he was inviting his friends in the ring and he wanted to bow down to them. Out walked Tommy Dreamer and Stevie Richards, then Team 3D, Rhino, Mick Foley, Tony (Mama)Luke, Guido, Sabu, and Bill Alfonso. Taz called it a great nostalgic moment. Tenay said it’s great that Hogan is giving EV2 one last curtain call.

Hogan said when he came to TNA, he told Dixie they can go somewhere where TNA has never gone before. He said Dreamer and his band of misfits took them to a place they need to function on full time. He said he bows down to EV2 and gives his respect to each of them. Tenay said that’s the stamp of approval from Hulk Hogan.

Dreamer took the mic. He had a black mark under his left eye a forehead bandage over his right eye. He said tonight shows what they tried to prove on Sunday – and the bar has been raised even more. He said when he came up with the master plan it was to create a positive buzz for TNA. He said without Dixie they could have never done this. “Thanks you Dixie!” chanted the fans. Dreamer said it was an honor to bleed and sweat with each and every one of them. He said they are his family and he thanked them for the show they put on. He said for Sunday night at Hardcore Justice, from the bottom of his heart he thanks the fans. He said without them, he couldn’t have done it. He said he loved them. The lights went dark. Tenay and Taz said they’ve seen this before. Taz said, “We knew he was missing.” When the lights came back on, Foley was on his back. Then suddenly Fortune and some other TNA wrestlers attacked the ECW crew. Storm guarded the ring as Raven ran out. Sandman walked through the crowd with his cane. Matt Morgan choked Sabu and the camera zoomed in as he yelled, “My company!” Sandman was no hurry (or maybe that’s him moving fast these days), but he was attacked by Douglas Wililams. Styles, Kaz, and Storm bashed the EV2 wrestlers with canes. Abys came to ringside and attacked RVD. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” which is a sign of poor booking. The fans should be upset with a beatdown because their emotions are into more than random acts of violence.

Ric Flair walked to the ring with a big smile on his face. They cut to Abyss backstage and RVD lying in a pool of blood and drenched in blood. Abyss snorted. Flair told Dixie, “This is all your fault!” He said she brought it on. He threatened to step over the barrier and go after her. The camera showed a close-up of a bloodied Devon. Tenay said for an update on RVD, stay tuned.

[End Impact]

-Without a commercial break, they showed the continued beatdown as part of Reaction. He said they just witnessed a vicious, violent attack. He said it had to be a pre-meditated orchestrated attack. Tenay said this must be the “they” he was referencing in recent weeks. He said they’d try to give everyone a update on the extent of the injuries before the end of the hour.

-They cut to RVD being stretchered out with an oxygen mask on. Simon Diamond talked to RVD and said he was taking him to the hospital. Dixie had her hand on RVD’s thigh as he was pushed into the ambulance. The shaky camera work gave a sense of chaos. The narrator then spoke about emotions being on edge in the locker room. He then threw to a preview of reaction with an “all-access pass” to backstage in TNA.


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