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(NOTE: This report was originally published 10 years ago this week on PWTorch.com.)
KELLER’S TNA IMPACT REPORT
AUGUST 19, 2010
TAPED IN FROM ORLANDO, FLA.
-They show opened with Abyss beating up Jeff Hardy backstage and then brawling to the ring. Mike Tenay and Taz commented on what was happening, saying they were caught off guard but were trying to capture this on camera. Taz asked the truck to turn on their monitors. Hardy’s plumber’s crack was exposed so they blurred it during the entire brawl. That proves it wasn’t planned! The arena was partially filled with VIP ticket holders let in early to give the impression it was something happening unplanned. The TNA theme music played softly in the background throughout. It was certainly the most candid view of the Impact Zone minus the camera tricks to make it look bigger than it really is. They showed TNA workers and security scurrying around to try to shuffle the fans out of the way of the brawl. After five minutes, security separated them. Then they cut “live” to the Impact Zone, filled with the full crowd of fans.
-Eric Bischoff walked out to the ring without his music or middle-age crisis arm candy. He sounded shaken up as he said never in all of his years associated with the business had he seen anything like what he saw last week in the Impact Zone. Bischoff said they were going to hold him responsible for his attack on EV2. Bischoff apologized to Dixie Carter over what happened and assured her they will hold Flair accountable. He said words cannot describe what they did to Abyss. He said it was “borderline homicidal.” He said Hardy tried to get his revenge earlier, but he said Abyss has no idea what’s coming his way courtesy of Hogan and Bischoff.
He said RVD’s condition is “far worse than we weared.” He said he was being held together by staples, stitches, and pins. He said he has over 117 stitches starting at the base of his neck and down to his ankle. They spaced them out by a 3/4ths in each, apparently. Bischoff said he may have head trauma. He assured RVD he will always have a home in TNA.
He said there’s an old saying in this business that the show must go on. He said after he, Dixie Carter, Hulk Hogan, and Mike Tenay met with his doctor, they have decided to strip RVD of his TNA World Hvt. Title and hold a tournament culminating in TWO MONTHS at Bound for Glory on Oct. 10. He said the new champion will be determined by a tournament.
The segment was well-played, and the idea of doing a partially filled arena for the brawl as Hardy sought revenge was well-produced. Stripping RVD of the title seemed crass. UFC has set a good example by having an Interim Championship used when a sitting champion gets injured but it’s not a career-ender. Even worse, though, is TNA’s arbitrary decision to have the tournament last two months. The title should be portrayed as too important to be vacated for two months. Just have the top four contenders have a one-night tournament and get on with it. Or have a two week tournament with the top eight. It’s not like they don’t throw top wrestlers out there against one another every week anyway. So storyline-wise, it just comes across as unnecessarily drawn out. [c]
1 — ROB TERRY vs. JEFF HARDY — TNA Title Tournament Match
As Terry came out, Tenay made it out to be this big deal that Terry was deemed a top eight contender. First of all, he’s been in the TNA Top Ten Rankings, so that alone means it’s no surprise he’s in the top eight. Also, he is a former Global Champion. What does it say about that title that it’s shocking a former Global Champ would be deemed a fringe contender? Hardy attacked Terry at the bell. Taz noted Hardy wasn’t even wearing wrestling gear. Terry made a comeback at 2:00 when he caught Hardy with a clothesline coming off the ropes. I know, it’s hard to believe Terry threw a clothesline. Terry hit two jump spin wheel kicks to Hardy’s head. Taz called Hardy the favorite, but said his mindset may not be right. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate as Taz said that. He then ripped off his shirt (Hardy, not Taz) and hit a Swanton (although he came up a big shorter than usual) and scored the pin. There goes their chance to enact my plan to make Rob Terry the “Hottest Star in the Industry” by giving him a Goldberg-like winning streak on his way to a World Title.
WINNER: Hardy in 3:00.
-They showed Flair shaking hands with Fortune as they walked out of the limo including Douglas Williams but not Matt Morgan.
-A video package aired on the big Fortune attack of EV2 at the end of last week’s show, with Tommy Dreamer telling Dixie Carter to “make things right.”
-They showed Hogan talking on his cell phone. He said he’s been dragged through the mud by the media and held up, but he’s actually thinking of quitting over this. Hogan scoffed at holding a tournament to replace RVD as champ. He said what Fortune did is akin to killing the President because he’s so important to TNA. Hogan closed with, “I love you, too.” Man, he’s really sucking up to Dixie now.
2 — JAY LETHAL vs. MR. ANDERSON – TNA Title Tournament Match
Taz wondered if Lethal was kissing Hogan’s butt by wearing his colors. Anderson introduced himself as the “head asshole himself.” Back and forth fast-paced action early including some near falls. Anderson finished Lethal with a Mic Check.
WINNER: Anderson in 3:00. There’s no reason to drag this tournament out for seven weeks if they a get through two tournament matches in six minutes of in-ring time. I mean, it’s pretty ridiculous, actually.
-Christy Hemme interviewed Angelina Love. She said Madison Rayne invoked her rematch clause tonight. Love called her a “prissy mini-me.” She said Rayne will have to pry her title from her cold dead hands. She, ironically, said she’s not a five-time TNA Knockouts Champion for nothing. Ironic, because that means she’s lost it four times, so she’s almost as good at losing the title as she is at winning it. [c]
-A video package aired of the Motor City Machine Guns winning the TNA Tag Team Title match last week and celebrating afterward including their promo talking about what this means to them. The said they set the bar so high that every other tag team has a lot to live up to, and it’s great to be in the promotion that puts the most stress on the tag team division. Nice video package, and exactly what you do if you want something to mean something a week later.
-Ring intros took place for the TNA Knockouts Title. Madison Rayne came out on the back of the motor cycle of the mystery lady in black. Love brought her secret weapon with her – Velvet Sky.
3 — ANGELINA LOVE vs. MADISON RAYNE — TNA Knockouts Title Match
Rayne and Love brawled into the ring. Love powerslammed Rayne at 1:00. Taz credited her “strong pecs.” Sky jumped the Lady in Black at ringside, then distracted Rayne leading to Love hitting a knockout kick for the win.
WINNER: Love in 2:00 to retain the TNA Knockouts Title. Good luck selling title matches in the future now that they’re establishing they last 2-3 minutes.
-Afterward Sky and Love reunited by raising their arms together. Rayne and The Lady in Black attacked them from behind. [c]
-More clips aired of last week’s attack of EV2 by Fortune.
-Flair stood mid-ring with Beer Money, A.J. Styles, Kaz, Douglas Williams, and Matt Morgan. Flair said, “This is what you call Impact with power.” He touted his assembly of talent, with Big Bad Doug (Williams) and Matt Morgan, his 6-11 insurance policy warning everyone not to mess around with him. He said get used to Fortune because “it ain’t goin’ anywhere soon.” He called EV2 a bunch of undisciplined animals. He said they’re sick and don’t belong in the business. “The marquee says pro wrestling, not garbage cans, not kendo sticks, not tables.” He said he can crash in an airplane and live to walk around talking about it.
Styles said EV2 couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to come to TNA to get that “one last glory shot.” He said they wanted a hardcore finale. “Well, ask and you shall receive,” he declared. He said nobody has wrestled more in that TNA ring than he has. “TNA is A.J. Styles and A.J. Styles is TNA,” he said. “This is the house that A.J. Styles built.” Dixie Carter walked out onto the stage and interrupted. She said he may have helped build the house, “but make no mistake, I own it.” She said, “This is my house, and if this is my house, then this is their house.” She waved her hand toward the stage entrance. Out walked EV2 led by Tommy Dreamer. Mick Foley, Rhino, Stevie Richards, Guido, Sandman, and Sabu.
Dixie told Flair that Hulk and Eric tried to warn her about him and he didn’t listen, but they were right. He said as a result of their actions last week, she had given the entire EV2 crew contracts. Flair asked, “What on my resume says I take any crap from women.” Dreamer said if Dixie told them it was okay, they’d hit the ring and kick their asses right now. Dreamer shot “whoos” back at Flair.
Foley stepped forward and said on Dec. 26 he got a late night drunken phone call from him. He said he called Flair back out of respect for who he is. Foley said he may be a hell of a man, but that night he was a man down on his luck. Flair tried to interrupt over and over. Foley told them to cut his mic. Foley said he told him how great it was to be part of TNA and forget about what everyone else thought, he needed to make the move that was right for him. He said shortly thereafter he joined TNA. Foley said he’s had a lifetime of regret, and if he could take back one thing it’d be that phone call. Flair invited him to roll in the thumb tacks again. Foley said he doesn’t take orders from Flair, he works for Dixie. Flair said he works for himself. Flair told Foley to go home to his kids, but he’s kicking ass and taking names.
Dreamer said Abyss is on their list for what he did to TNA. He said they will get him how they know how. Dreamer agreed with Styles that they have nothing but respect for him until last week. He said they may be sore and tired and beat up, but tonight he’s going to make it extreme later with him in the ring. Tenay hyped Dreamer’s first match under his new contract would be a match against Styles later on Impact. Good follow up on last week’s big angle. It needs this type of attention to sink in further and be positioned for TNA to capitalize on it. Flair was a little too intense and distracted from what Dreamer and Foley were trying to communicate, and they may have been getting legitimately agitated (especially Foley). Dreamer is nothing if not ernest in how he presents himself on interviews. [c]
-Kurt Angle talked about his match tonight in the title tournament, and said he is used to the single-elimination format.
4 — KURT ANGLE vs. DOUGLAS WILLIAMS — TNA Title Tournament Match
Taz wondered if this is the last time they’ll see Angle, reminding viewers of TNA’s continued attempt to define down the “retirement” stip when applied to Hall of Famers such as Angle by nonchalantly presenting them week after week without any pre-match hype worthy of a potential final match in a career of Angle’s stature. Back and forth match paced with increasing speed and intensity over the whole five minutes, ending with Angle countering Williams’s Rolling Chaos Theory into an anklelock for a quick tapout. Taz called it an awesome match. There is no such thing – seriously – as an awesome match that goes just five minutes. Pro wrestling just isn’t booked in a serious enough way where a match just five minutes long between two top ten contenders feels like anything but a rushed match on an overbooked TV show.
WINNER: Angle via submission in 5:00.
STAR RATING: *1/2
-Taz hyped Styles vs. Dreamer. Dreamer is wearing MMA gloves. That’s too much.
-They showed Kevin Nash and Sting walking backstage toward the entrance tunnel. [c]
-They went backstage to Mr. Anderson “out of character” talking about what happened to RVD last week while looking in the mirror backstage. He said RVD is injured, but the show must go on. He turned on the faucet of the sink as the segment ended.
-Sting and Nash walked out to Sting’s music. Tenay said what brought Sting and Nash together again after all of these years were their differences with Bischoff, Jarrett, and Hogan. Tenay said what that issue is remains a mystery. Doesn’t it have something to do with a turd in the punch bowl. Nash said he respects nobody more than Sting. He said he’s been called a cancer and many other things. He said after 20 years and 28 operations, he’s out there for more than the money. “I’m out here because I love to do what I do,” he said. “I’ll be damned if I’ll listen to somebody when to step aside.” He yelled that if you want his spot, come take it. He said they’re very close to turning this company and really making it happen. He said Sting says he’s wasting his time. nash vowed to deliver the truth.
Jarrett interrupted and said he’ll tell him the truth. He said if anyone is full of b.s. tonight, it’s him. “A leopard doesn’t change his spots,” said Jarrett. “It’s always been about Big Sexy Kevin Nash.” He said he never gave a damn about anybody and that’s never going to change. He said they can talk about all of Sting’s skeletons “and you know exactly what I’m talking about.” Never mind that nobody else does and nobody else cares. Jarrett said there’s a locker room full of guys who are sick of their games. He said he founded the company and he knows who has made the company a better place. Jarrett said he’s going to do something in honor of a 20 year television executive and producer and the single greatest box office attraction this business has seen and ever will see. He said he’s going to grab the closest chair he can find and beat both of their asses.
Hogan then walked out and said if Jarrett goes to the ring, he’s not going alone. Hogan said Jarrett built the company from the ground up, and he and Bischoff came in to help him finish it. He said at the end of the day, everybody in the building knows what those two are about. He said they’re jealous because the spotlight is shining on the young guys now and not those two (except for the fact that this is one of the longest segments of the show, and the other long segment featured more of the sixtysomething Ric Flair shouting and the fortyish Tommy Dreamer and Mick Foley shouting back, so I’m not quite sure when the spotlight has had time to shine on anyone else, but back to regularly scheduled b.s….)
Hogan told Sting to put the back to the side and do it like a real man for a change. Sting, going against Heel 101, threw the bat to Hogan. What a coward! Hogan and Jarrett headed to the ring. The lights went dark when they entered the ring. When the lights came back on, Fortune were beating up all four of the bickering vets. Hogan was out. Morgan was choking Nash with his boot. They all held up four fingers, but including the thumb and not the ring finger. Ouch, that hurts. [c]
-Backstage Raven told Dreamer, “We should’ve killed ’em.” Dreamer said he shouldn’t be telling him what to do. He told him not to be a rebel and instead listen to him “and finally be with him.” He said this is all part of a plan. It’s good to see Raven and Dreamer could quickly recover from their Fight to the Death and deeply personal issues years in the making over Dreamer stealing the women who was supposed to have his kids from him. It’s still part of TNA’s booking approach which is setting up point A and point C and getting there doing whatever it takes to get there, no matter how many matches have to rushed and how much logic needs to be trampled along the way. Stevie chimed in and said they need to wait a small amount of time to get them if they listen to Dixie. He said they can go after them and after them until they’re done. Raven said they always made mistakes and always will.
5 — MATT MORGAN vs. “THE POPE” D’ANGELO DINERO
Taz said it’s been “a hell of a tournament so far.” Yeah all 11 minutes of it. Pope dominated early including a swinging twisting elbow drop in the corner. Morgan came back with power moves. Pope caught Morgan with a boot as he charged in the corner. Morgan blocked a Pope sunset flip attempt and then release chokeslammed him. He trash-talked Pope. Morgan attempted to give Pope a big boot at ringside, but Pope moved and Morgan kicked the ringpost. Pope hit a running knee to Morgan’s ribcage from behind, then rolled him into the ring and scored the pin. Good sequence leading to the finish, with a wrestler capitalizing in a believable way on a downed opponent different from just rolling him in the ring and going into some pre-ordained predictable signature finishing sequence.
WINNER: Pope in 4:00.
STAR RATING: *1/4 — Still way too short. This is again two shows shoved into one.
-A promo aired with Foley saying he saw what happened to EV2. He said he didn’t see it happen because one shot knocked him out and he was blissfully unaware. He said he has to decide whether discretion is the better part of valor. He said he has to decide whether he’ll be smart and wait until he’s healed or be courageously stupid and join his fellow EV2ers in going after Fortune sooner than that. There’s something so subtle now about Foley’s delivery that is just far enough removed from his days as Mankind and Cactus Jack where there was that edge of violence and threat and has been replaced with that “I’m a best selling author and I can wink and nod after my own insider jokes” Muppet persona. It’s just not possible, I don’t think, at this stage for him to get past that and be seen as threatening anymore, despite his wishes to be able to flip back and forth between personas. If he got himself in a modicum of shape, maybe, but he seems too beaten up to carry himself in any way that seems threatening at this point. It’s frustrating for him, but it’s the bed he made for himself and his fighting it is sometimes sad to watch.
6 — TOMMY DREAMER vs. A.J. STYLES
Dreamer is wearing MMA gloves, a black shirt, and semi-loose-fitting wrestling tights with strangely marked boots. It’s an odd package overall. Styles kicked Dreamer’s leg early MMA fight style. At 2:00 Dreamer chopped Styles in the corner and then pump-handle suplexed him overhead. Taz said that’s a page out of his book. Styles came back with a high leaping round kick to Dreamer’s forehead. Dreamer went down. Styles pounced. “Just because it’s your house doesn’t mean you get to poop on everybody who comes in it, you know?” said Taz. Tenay didn’t reply and just called the action. Styles springboard leaped at Dreamer, but countered with a mid-air DDT. He was slow to make the cover. The rest of Fortune walked toward the ring. EV2 cut them off and brawled on the stage. Abyss came out from under the ring and attacked Dreamer from behind as the ref was distracted. he delivered a Black Hole Slam, then rolled back out of the ring. Styles seized the moment with a cover and a pin.
WINNER: Styles in 5:00.
STAR RATING: * — Styles can have a passable match with anyone.
-The show ended with Abyss retreating through the stands as a brawl at ringside continued.