HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The Impact (6/12) Insight
Our resident philosopher recaps all the action and adventure in this week’s edition of TNA !mpact!
The final spot for the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary was granted after Kurt Angle and Sting fought. Samoa Joe continued his crusade to eliminate the Main Event Mafia with two “First Blood” matches. Also, Mick Foley had an announcement regarding Jeff Jarrett’s assault on Earl Hebner (and, no, it wasn’t giving him a medal).
Impact opened with a preview of Kurt Angle v Sting. It suggested that this match could change the landscape of TNA.
Tonight’s Episode: “Foley Fires Up Founder.”
Mike Tenay ran down the night’s card before sending it to the TNA World Champ, Mick Foley. Foley had his Goon Squad with him. Tenay mentioned that Mick has granted Shane Douglas a chance to prove himself, later tonight. Foley talked about people gunning for his title. Foley suggested that he would defend 1 to 4 times a year. Foley accused Jarrett of “taking away his (Foley’s) smile”. Foley then called out Jarrett for a “hard decision”.
Jeff came out in his official Slammiversary shirt. Don West told everyone that Earl Hebner’s jaw was wired shut, thanks to Jarrett. Foley showed Jarrett that he was wearing Jeff’s T-shirt as a sign of respect. Foley mentioned giving Jarrett a “second chance” but when he assaulted a senior citizen, Foley had to put his foot down. Foley fined and suspended, without pay, Jarrett. Jeff refused to allow Foley to make a mockery of TNA> He said the comedy act was over. Foley lost his cool with Jeff. Foley told Jeff it was “time to pay the band”. Jeff told Foley that he went too far. Foley said it was Jeff that “crossed the line”. Foley said that they could do this the easy way or the hard way. Jeff said he would do it the hard way. Jeff went to attack Foley but Sal and Rocco blocked him. Big Sally and Rocco beat on Jeff, as Foley slid a chair in the ring. Foley wanted to issue some “tough Love”. Jarrett hit a double Clothesline on the goons. Jarrett grabbed the chair and cleaned the clocks of Sal and Rocco. Jeff motioned for Foley to return to the ring. Foley said that he would, single-handedly, throw Jeff out of the Impact Zone, once he had recovered.
Lauren talked with Team 3D. She announced that they would battle Alex Shelley and Jay Lethal. She wanted to know why they saved Beer Money, last week. Devon said that they have an issue with “the foreigners”. Devon told the British Invasion that they had no idea who they were messin’ with. The camera panned over to a seated Raven. Ray said she should be concerned, but not right now. Ray then called Beer Money “The Tag Team of the Future” but Team 3D wasn’t ready to give up the straps, just yet.
JB chatted with Jeff Jarrett about Mick’s threat of throwing him out of the Impact Zone. Jeff said that he is supposed to set a good example and he did lose his cool. Jeff said that he would have left the arena, if Foley hadn’t threatened to throw him out. Jeff issued the challenge to come and throw him out.
Alex Shelley came out for the opening match, a non-title tag team match. His partner was not Chris Sabin, it was Jay Lethal. Jay was wearing a Randy Savage silver cape/robe. Even his trunks were the red with silver stars look that Randy often wore. Remember, the Macho Madness DVD did come out this week. Brother Devon and Brother Ray then came out holding the two sets of tag championship belts that they own.
Alex Shelley & Jay Lethal d Team 3D
Devon came in and attacked both of his opponents. He launched Lethal with a Back Body Drop and then used a Necktie Neckbreaker on Shelley. Devon then Clotheslined Lethal and then planted Shelley with a Side Slam. Shelley kicked out of the pin at two. Shelley reversed an Irish Whip but missed a charge. Devon bounced off the ropes and nailed a Flying Shoulder Tackle. Lethal made the save. Ray rushed in and threw Lethal to the outside. Ray Bodyslammed Shelley. Sabin and Creed came in to help their partners. They were tossed out of the ring. Team 3D then delivered the Wazzup! on Shelley. The British Invasion ran out to get involved. Ray and Devon knocked Brutus, Doug and Rob off the apron. Ray went out to battle as Devon turned to attack Shelley, still in the ring. Doug Williams slid in the ring and blasted Devon in the back with the Feast or Fired briefcase that the Brits stole from LAX. Shelley grabbed Devon’s legs and flipped over into a Jackknife pin to take the win for his team.
Jay’s Thoughts: The tag team division so eclipses anything that WWE tries to showcase. There are several decent teams, headed by Team 3D. I recently did a guest spot on OWW Radio and we talked about tag teams. I stated then (and repeat now) that Team 3D is the greatest tag team in the history of wrestling. I give all the respect in the world to The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express, Rock and Roll Express, D-X, Four Horsemen and dozens more, but Team 3D has performed at the same top level since the early days of ECW. They are closing in on a decade and a half of unity. Most teams don’t last til the water gets hot. The match between Beer Money and Team 3D is going to steal the show at Slammiversary.
The Brits ran away as the Guns and Lethal Consequences celebrated. Tenay wanted to know why Beer Money didn’t come out to help Team 3D.
To the back, JB watched as Foley ranted about Jarrett taking out Cindy Margolis, Beetlejuice and others. JB asked about the big guys near the wall. Foley said it was his security force. Foley went onto a bizarre rant about how dangerous Jarrett was. Foley went back for his title belt and then went after Jarrett. Foley gets stranger by the week.
Foley and his goons came into Jarrett’s locker room area. Jarrett mocked Foley for bringing his people to do the job he couldn’t do, on his own. Foley said that the Seniors and Italians were hot at Jarrett. Foley asked Jarrett to walk away before someone gets hurt. Jarrett said he was leaving before he did something he would regret. Jarrett told Foley to examine his role in TNA.
Tenay and West looked at the rest of the night’s card. Tara (Victoria) and Shane Douglas would be in action. Joe would have to bloody both Scott and Booker, tonight, to win.
JB talked with Booker and Scott. Booker rambled in a full babble about Joe. Scott said that he wanted more than Joe’s blood. He wanted to break Joe’s legs and would also take out “Joe’s Friend”, as well.
The Sycho Sirens heralded the arrival of Scott Steiner. Believe or not, I’m writing this while wearing a Steiner T-Shirt. Scott looked a little more muscular than he has in recent months. The drums and spooky music brought the Samoan Submission Machine to the ring.
Samoa Joe d Scott Steiner
First Blood Match, Part I
The two fought on the floor. Scott hit Joe in the head with a bell but didn’t bust him open. Scott cracked Joe with the ring hammer. Scott then ran Joe into the ring posts, twice. Scott threw Joe in the ring. Scott pounded on Joe’s hard head and Irish Whipped him to the corner. Joe caught Scott with the Side Chokeslam. Joe pounded away and then hit a Running Back Elbow and Enziguri. West said he would reveal Joe’s adviser, next week. Joe kept pounding on Scott’s skull. Scott came back with a modified Face Plant. Scott took the pad off the turnbuckle. Joe blocked the run to the corner. Joe ran Scott’s head into the exposed steel. Joe then threw a flurry of fists to Scott’s skull but didn’t break him open. Scott reversed Joe into the exposed steel. Scott went to the floor to get his steel pipe from under the ring. Joe hit a Tope with an Elbow Smash. Joe put a trash can over Scott’s head and then cracked it, several times, with Scott’s steel pipe. Scott’s head was shredded.
Grade: B (for bloody)
Samoa Joe d Booker T
First Blood match, Part II
Booker and Sharmell talked on the ramp. She tried to talk him out of going to the ring. After a quick break, Joe ran Booker into the ring post. Joe pounded on the forehead of Book and chased him around the ringside area. Booker and Joe exchanged Knife Edge Chops. Booker kicked the ribs and sent Joe into the barrier. Booker ran Joe into the ring post. Booker threw Elbow Smashes to Joe’s face. Joe came back and threw Booker into the railing. Joe dragged Booker around and ran him into the ringpost. Booker Elbowed free and slammed him face into the steel steps. The ref checked Joe but the towel came up lean. Booker hit several Knees to the head with little effect. Joe picked up Steienr’s pipe and cracked Booker in the ribs. Booker spat up blood, thus losing the match.
Grade: C (for Cruel)
Jay’s Thoughts: Joe’s about to be shelved, thanks to an injury. I can only imagine that Angle will get the position of taking out the big Samoan. I expect that to happen at Slammiversary. Joe’s cut back on his in-ring action, leading up to Slammiversary. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, is revealed as Joe’s “friend”. I’m still leaning towards either Sting or Karen Angle. Time will tell.
Lauren checked on Steiner and Booker but they were still waiting for the medics to make a diagnosis. Raven sat silently in the corner and watched it all go past. West and Tenay talked about the main event. Shane Douglas came out to a Rainbow-esque theme. Douglas’ opponent was A.J. Styles.
A.J. Styles d Shane Douglas
Shane taunted the crowd, which allowed Styles to fight up from the floor. Douglas blasted Styles in the back of the head. The two exchanged fists, all around the ring. Styles caught Douglas with the Pele. Douglas got his foot on the ropes to prevent the pin. Douglas flipped Styles over onto the apron. Styles went for the Sunset Flip but couldn’t get him over. Douglas tried to hit his finisher, The Franchiser (Belly to Belly Suplex) but Styles blocked it. Styles hit a Rolling Fujiwara Arm Bar to force the submission.
Jay’s Thoughts: I swear Styles could take a mannequin and pull off a decent match. Douglas just isn’t quite the same superstar that threw down the NWA title to help create ECW. The Douglas/Daniels feud has good potential. As you’ll learn, later on, Creative is going to do something really stupid with the feud. The growing ECW Alliance is starting to feel so right. I’m wondering when Taz and RVD will make the scene. The rumors are running wild that the two have been in negotiations with TNA. Douglas, Stevie, Raven, Taz, RVD, Balls Mahoney, Team 3D…it’s all starting to add up. There is a certain Share Holder who just happens to be a founding member of ECW. The Mafia seems to be crumbling, so maybe The Extreme Team might be getting ready to take over. I’m not saying…I’m just saying (credit to Don West).
After the match, Douglas caught Styles with the Franchiser. He beat on Douglas until Daniels rushed down to help his friend and tag partner. Douglas grabbed his towel and blasted Daniels with it. Inside the towel, Douglas had hid a pair of handcuffs. He handcuffed Daniels to the ropes and went back to work on Styles. Samoa Joe then rushed out to clear the ring. Douglas took off like a scared rabbit.
TNA then ran a fantastic promo for Slammiversary. That show is going to be amazing.
Lauren was being chased in the back. Raven ran her into the ladies room, where she was attacked by an unseen force. The screeching made it clear it was Daffney. Daffney then came out with a blank stare on her face. Lauren was left on the bathroom floor, dazed and confused. Break time.
Taylor and Daffney fought brutally in the background, as Daffney screeched “You Traitor!” Dr. Stevie walked up to call off Daffney and tell Taylor that that was all the time they had for this week. Raven sat and looked at the carnage. West then talked about upcoming shows. TNA will be doing a Midwest Tour, leading up to Slammiversary.
JB talked with the members of Mi Pi Sexy/Beautiful People. Angelina Love wanted to know where their set was at. Love wanted her throne and such. JB flirted, poorly, with Love. Velvet acted so seriously blonde as she talked about nouns, instead of adjectives. The Beautiful People were offended by the arrival of Tara. Rayne said that she would take care of Tara, tonight. JB tried to get “hip” with the girls, only to have Love call him “icky”. Too funny.
ODB continued the training of her squeeze, Cody “Cooter” Deaner. She had him chasing a duck, lifting paint cans and kegs, and pulling on a logging chain. There were so many jokes about ODB’s chest that the censors had to be going crazy. She threw him in the pond.
JB caught up to Kurt Angle, who was ticked off at Samoa Joe for taking out Nash, Steiner and Booker. Kurt told JB that he had a surprise waiting for Joe. When JB tried to ask about Kurt’s match against Sting, Kurt slammed the door in JB’s face.
Madison Rayne, along with her Mi Pi Sexy “sisters”, came out to battle Tara. Tara, formerly Victoria, looked a lot like Chyna as she arrived.
Tara d Madison Rayne
Tara hit a Slingshot Legdrop. Tara got in Love’s face. Tara went back to Rayne, only to get caught in a Front Face Lock. Rayne threw a knee and hit the Neckbreaker. Rayne just couldn’t hold Tara down for the pin. Rayne went to the Penthouse but missed the Missile Dropkick. Tara blasted Rayne with Clotheslines and nailed a Power Snap Power. Tara Bodyslammed Rayne and then kicked dirt on her. She hit the Evan Bourne Standing Moonsault. Tara set Rayne and unleashed the Widow’s Peak for the win.
Jay’s Thoughts: Tara/Victoria has just too hard of a look in TNA. She’s definitely got the Chyna appearance, which is not a good thing. I look forward to Tara challenging for the title, winning it and then giving Kong a run for her money. The Beautiful People continue to annoy me, but at least Rayne doesn’t look quite as “plastic” as the other two.
JB talked with Eric Young. Eric was pushing his new moody character. JB asked Eric what has gotten into him. Eric said that he has been used and taken advantage of. JB told Eric to quit feeling sorry for himself. Eric slapped JB, who fell to the floor. Guess that ride in the back of Samoa Joe’s black car had a major effect on Eric. Not a good effect, either.
SoCalVal was back as an interview girl. Daniels ran in and screamed at Shane Douglas. Daniels challenged Shane to a match at Slammiversary. If Shane beats Daniels, Shane gets Daniels’ spot in TNA> If Douglas loses, he has to leave TNA, for good. Interesting.
Kurt Angle rose from the depths for the final King of the Mountain Qualifying Match. Kurt was wearing the new Mafia Rose shirt and Snow Cap. Sting then came out in his Sgt. Pepper jacket (Happy Birthday to Sir Paul, next week).
Kurt Angle d Sting
King of the Mountain Qualifying Match
After a long grueling match that spanned two commercial breaks, Sting and Kurt threw punches. Sting connected with a group of Running Clotheslines. Sting hit a pair of Stinger Splashes and a Suplex. Sting couldn’t get the pin. Kurt nailed the Three Amigos German Suplexes. Kurt dropped the straps and called for the AngleSlam. Sting reversed it into a try for the Scorpion Death Lock. Kurt reversed that into the AngleLock. Sting rolled through to send Kurt to the corner. Sting hit a Powerslam and fell onto Kurt for a two count. Sting tried for the Scorpion Death Drop but Kurt turned and Bum Rushed Sting to the corner. Kurt charged Sting, only to hit the steel post. Matt Morgan rushed out as Sting nailed the Scorpion Death Drop. The ref was distracted by Morgan. Sting got in Morgan’s face. Kurt jumped Sting and sent him to the ropes. Sting ran into Morgan, who had gotten back on the apron. Kurt nailed the AngleSlam on a dazed Sting to take the win and move on to the King of the Mountain match.
Jay’s Thoughts: A really good match, despite that goof Morgan sticking his nose in.. Kurt really needed this win to get back on track. He’s been in a mongo-slump for months. I’m already thinking that Kurt might have an actual shot at winning the World title at Slammiversary. I hope Creative isn’t going to run with Foley’s insane 4 defenses a year scenario. That would cripple the company. I want to see Angle take back the title and stand tall until Joe can return from his injury.
Kurt was livid that Morgan got involved. Kurt shoved Morgan. Morgan then shoved Kurt back. Kurt was screaming at Morgan as TNA faded out.
Final Grade: B+
Final Thoughts: Losing Samoa Joe is going to have a huge negative impact (no pun intended) for TNA. He was just in the middle of his crusade to destroy the Mafia, when imjury took him down. The whole Mafia/Frontline storyline seriously fizzled, to be honest. Maybe it was the fans’ apathy or just crummy writing, but the War of the Century turned into not much more than a slightly-heated disagreement. I hope the writers can do better with the pending Extreme Reunion. If done properly, this could work so much better than WWE’s attempt at a WCW/ECW Invasion angle from a few years back.
I don’t like the fact that Shane Douglas strolls in and Daniels might end up ousted, yet again. That’s just bad booking. Daniels is fast, agile and exciting. Shane is a bitter, out-of-shape veteran who really hasn’t been in the spotlight since ECW closed shop. Yes, he did manage The Naturals, for awhile, but they didn’t go anywhere under his watch. I think it’s time for Styles to retire that silly Legends belt and join Daniels for a run after the tag belts. Heck, that could push Team 3D to join the Extreme Team. Just give me six months on the TNA Writing Team. That’s all I ask.
– Jay Shannon