HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The iMPACT (5/21) Insight
Our resident philosopher looks at the lead-in to Sacrifice edition of TNA Impact.
Sacrifice is just days away. The four men involved in the title match saw ring time. Also Daniels and Suicide joined forces for the night. Mick Foley sank to the deepest of lows, this week. You have been warned. Let’s get to the action.
The show kicked off with a look at the rising feud between Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley. Mick has slipped back and forth between himself and his alter-ego, Cactus Jack. Mick/Jack attacked Jeff, last week, in the old TNA Asylum. Mick further injured Jeff’s hamstring in the attack.
Tonight’s Episode: Double J in Jeopardy
Jeff Jarrett came out to address the Impact Zone and home crowds. The in-house crowd was solidly behind the TNA Founder. Jeff was limping as he got in the ring. Jeff thought for some time before speaking. Jeff addresses Mick directly. Jeff learned a long time ago that an action requires a reaction. Jeff put himself in the title match at Sacrifice. Jeff blamed himself for putting Mick where he is. Jeff said Mick wasn’t fit to be World champ.
Mick came out when Jeff uttered “Have a Nice Day”. Mick was hot about Jeff going into the match. Mick accused Jeff of “screaming like a woman” when he was attacked by Mick, last week. Mick heard Jeff’s hamstring rip away from the bone. Mick talked about hating Jeff and his old man. Mick wanted to know what Jeff was putting up in the Sacrifice match. Mick asked Jeff to put up his voting shares in TNA. Mick was determined to make Jeff “voiceless” in TNA. Mick offered Jeff a “Deal or No Deal” situation. When Jeff didn’t answer, right away, Mick said “I didn’t think so” and started to walk off.
Jeff told Mick to “turn your big *ss around”. He said he was “all in” on Sunday. Jeff’s voting shares are now on the line. Mick congratulated Jeff for “growing a set”. Mick got in the ring and started making matches. He placed Eric Young against Sting. Then, he set Matt Morgan against Kurt Angle, so Matt could prove himself to the Godfather of the Main Event Mafia. Mick placed Jeff against…Samoa Joe! Mick then claimed he was going to face a former World Heavyweight Champion. (Don’t get too excited on that one).
JB talked with Scott and Kurt. Kurt was looking for Sting. Kurt went through the hallway, screaming for The Icon. Kurt wanted to make sure that Sting knows his role on Sunday.
TNA looked back at the attack on Suicide, last week. Lethal Consequences and the Motor City Machine Guns were determined to reveal Suicide as Daniels, only to have Daniels show up to make the save. Daniels told Suicide that he owed him one. Tenay then sent it to Lauren. She announced that Daniels would face Suicide for the X-Division title at Sacrifice. Tonight, Suicide and Daniels would join forces in a 3-way. Daniels walked off. Lauren asked Suicide who he was. Suicide said “I Am…Suicide”. Ok.
In the arena, Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed danced their way to the ring for the opening bout. They were followed by the IWGP Jr. Tag Team champs, Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley aka the Motor City Machine Guns. Don West continued to whine about who Suicide was. He was stopped by the arrival of Daniels. The sixth member of the battle, Suicide, showed up in the crowd after the lights went out.
Daniels & Suicide d Lethal Consequences & Motor City Machine Guns
Three Way non-title Tag Team Match
Sabin hit a Uranage on Suicide and Shelley nailed the Frog Splash. Suicide still managed to escape, thanks to Daniels. Creed blasted Daniels with a Step-up Enziguri. Sabin swept the legs of Creed but fell victim to the Lethal Combination from Jay. Daniels Clotheslined Lethal out of the ring. Daniels hit a Springboard Split-Legged Moonsault onto Lethal…on the floor! The crowd was chanting “That was Awesome!” They were correct. In the ring, Shelley tried for Sliced Bread but Suicide blocked it. Suicide used his modified Bulldog to slam Shelley’s face into the turnbuckle. Suicide hit his Super Code Breaker off the ropes on Shelley to take the win. That move so needs a name. Call it…The Autopsy (because it sure cracks the chest).
Jay’s Thoughts: This match was much better than most of the main events, as of late. Lethal got a little lost in the mix, but only a little. The six men really should all focus on the X-Division title. A Super Six-Pack match for the X-Title would steal any show that it’s booked on. I’m still convinced that Kaz is back under the skull mask and that explains the change in move set. Daniels took over Suicide, I think, when Kaz got hurt. I’m wondering if TNA is about to unmask the mysterious one. I certainlyhope not. I like the strange character. The match between Daniels and Suicide should be amazing on Sunday.
Daniels and Suicide stood in the ring. Daniels went to speak to Suicide but the lights went out. Suicide disappeared and TNA went to break.
When TNA returned, Kurt Angle was still looking for Sting. Kurt was ready to go search the rafters for Sting. Scott didn’t like the idea of going up top. Kurt screamed for Sting.
Mike and Don ran down the Sacrifice card. I’m looking forward to Beer Money v The British Invasion and the X-Division match. Tenay then sent it to a video package about Sting. It talked about Sting walking away from the industry, only to return. Sting said his soul called for him to return.
Earlier, Kevin and Booker were training. They talked about their matches on Sunday. Both sounded ready to take out A.J. Styles (Booker) and Samoa Joe (Nash).
The music of Team 3D heralded the arrival of Brother Ray and Brother Devon. Last week, the British Invasion attacked Team 3D. Kiyoshi and Bashir were with the Brits. Ray talked about wanting to give back to tag team wrestling. Ray pushed the TNA World Tag titles as being the most prestigious in the industry. Ray mentioned that when he and Devon retired, they wanted to leave a legacy. Ray said the British Invasion “crapped in the hand that has been trying to feed them”. Ray tore into the British Invasion for their actions. Ray told the Brits to show some class and dignity. He said that even Beer Money had class and dignity. Ray told the Brits that they wouldn’t show up Team 3D, ever again.
The trio of Brutus Magnus, Big Rob Terry and Doug Williams came out. Brutus had the stick. The Brits got in the ring and confronted Team 3D. When Brutus started questioning Team 3D’s standing in the business, Ray and Devon attacked. Rob Terry used the briefcase to crack both 3Ders in the head. They caught Ray with the Flying European Uppercut of Williams, while Brutus held Ray aloft. Call that one, Rule Brittania! Rob Terry hit the British Bulldog Running Powerslam on Devon. The Brits slid a table in the ring Before the Brits could put Ray and Devon through the table, Beer Money rushed down to protect Team 3D. Storm and Roode helped Team 3D to their feet. Roode told British Invasion to have the balls to fight fair. Roode showed major respect to Team 3D, but did state that they were coming after Team 3D’s tag titles.
Jay’s Thoughts: I’d just about bet the farm that the Brits are going to come out on top in the tag tourney on Sunday. The attacks on Team 3D in the last two weeks are foreshadowing a feud to come. The Brits are a decent team but they just don’t have the ring time together to be a top team, yet. They will get there.
In the back, Eric and Jeff were yelling at each other. Jeff told Eric to be a man, for once. Jeff said that Eric was a prelim wrestler in the indies of Canada. Eric told Jeff that he would regret talking to him like he did.
Kurt and Sting talked in the rafters. Kurt was hot that Sting hasn’t been answering his calls. Sting said he got screwed at Lockdown and he wanted revenge against Mick Foley. Sting wanted to bring the title and respect back to the Mafia. Kurt thought that Sting was working some kind of angle to bring the title to Mafia. Clueless.
Eric Young came out with a new look of anger on his face. Sting then walked from the back.
Sting d Eric Young
Sting slammed Eric off the top rope. Sting then Clotheslined Eric out of the ring, over the top rope. Eric rolled into the ring and was almost pinned. Sting did the Carousel Irish Whip and sent Eric flying over the top rope, again. Eric was livid. He slid under Sting’s legs an hit the Inverted Atomic Drop, followed by the Flying Fore-arm. Eric Snap Mared Sting to the mat and hit a series of Running Elbow Drops. Eric tried for a Missile Dropkick but missed. Sting cinched in the Scorpion Death Drop. Eric couldn’t reach the ropes and had to tap out.
Jay’s Thoughts: I was hoping that Eric would return with a new look and character after spending time in the trunk of Samoa Joe’s car, last week. Eric is definitely on his way to a heel turn. I foresee a Jeff Jarrett v Eric Young battle. I could even see the outside chance that Eric would cost Jeff the win on Sunday to exact revenge. Sting is Sting. He’s a solid performer who does his best to make both himself and his opponent look good. Sting’s getting close to the end of his career, but he’ll keep going, full force, until the last match. Very solid match.
Angelina Love was surrounded by security as she walked backstage. She would sing the match against Kong, next.
JB talked with Mick Foley about which former World champ that Foley would face. Before he did that, he promo’d TNA Mobile with talk of firings and hirings. The former World Champ has never stepped foot in the ring. JB played a bit of “you know who” with the identity of the champion. Foley wouldn’t reveal the identity. He dismissed JB and told him to grab a chair for him (Foley).
TNA ran a promo for the awakened monster, Awesome Kong. Kong didn’t want the title…she wanted to hurt Angelina Love. Jim Cornette was in the ring for the contract signing. This was your Hour Turner moment of the evening. Angelina Love same out first to sign the contract. She had numerous security guards with her. Love looked over her shoulder the whole way down. Cornette dismissed the security force and called out Kong. Kong had Raesha Saeed with her. Love looked frightened by the appearance of the former champion.
The refs had to hold Kong back. Cornette asked Saeed to keep Kong in check. Cornette had Love sign first. Cornette then asked Saeed to sign as proxy for Kong. Love had something to say. She tried to ask Kong to set aside their differences on Sunday. Love gave one of the fakest sounding apologies, ever. Love tried to do the cheerleader bit but Kong wasn’t buying it. Love said she would treat Kong to a makeover, after the match. Love made fun of Kong’s hair and makeup. I personally think Kong has a more realistic beauty than Love. Love pushed it too far when she suggested sending Kong to a “fat farm”. Love said that she was determined to turn Kong into a member of the Beautiful People. Kong and Love shook hands, but Kong wouldn’t let go. Kong lifted Love and choked her. Rudy Charles screamed at Kong, which was a huge mistake. Kong Awesome Bombed him through the table,
set in the middle of the ring.
Jay’s Thoughts: I like the new “face” Kong. TNA actually got it right, so far, with the change. With so many heels, they are watered down to nothing (see Abyss). Kong is still the same vicious bruiserette that she’s always been but now she’s hearing the cheers, as she should. Love just plain annoys me. She might be a nice person behind the scenes, but her character is one of the most annoying in the history of wrestling. The “I’m better than you” attitude ticked me off back in school and 25 years later it still does.
TNA showed the situation between Kong and Love, again. Love was really tacky with her insults about Kong’s looks. She actually called Kong “a hideous beast”.
Lauren was demanding to see Dr. Stevie. Abyss tried to stop her. Lauren was livid that Taylor Wilde was going to have to fight Daffney in the Monster’s Ball match. Stevie was out of town until Monday (well, probably Sunday).
TNA ran a video package for Kurt Angle. Angle has put up his leadership role in the Main Event Mafia on Sunday against Mick Foley’s TNA title.
Mike and Don ran down the updated Sacrifice card. It’s looking a lot stronger than Judgment Day was. Don then ran down some upcoming cards. They’re working the West Coast, but missing Reno.
Lauren chatted with A.J. Styles about the “I Quit” match on Sunday. Styles said the match was more important than just the Legends title. It was about his pride and the fact that he has never quit, anything. Styles said he simply would never say the words. Lauren also wanted to know about the situation with Samoa Joe. Styles said that there was no longer anything between them.
After a break, Lauren talked with Matt Morgan. She talked about how Morgan has been trying to impress the Main Event Mafia, on his way to becoming a member. My question is simple: Don’t the members have to have been former World Champions? I checked on Morgan and he’s held the OVW title and a regional title (FNW) but nothing in the major two groups.
Morgan said he needed to make a “big time business decision”. Morgan said he wanted to play for a winning team. Morgan said that he was going to prove himself to Kurt, later in the night. Morgan was determined to beat Kurt. He hoped that Kurt didn’t take it personally.
The Blueprint, Matt Morgan, came out for his match. Morgan stepped over the ropes and looked ready. Kurt then rose from the bowels of the Impact Zone for his match. Kurt was wearing the new Mafia t-shirt. Kurt also carried the red rose with him.
Kurt Angle d Matt Morgan
Kurt hit the Hat Trick German Suplexes. Kurt went for the AngleSlam but Morgan Floated Over. Morgan nailed the Carbon Footprint but couldn’t pin Kurt. Morgan went for the Chokeslam but Kurt spun into the AngleLock. Morgan rolled over and kicked out. Angle flew off the ropes…right into the Fallaway Slam. Morgan went for the Hell-a-Vator but Kurt shifted his weight and rolled up Morgan with the Small Package.
Jay’s Thoughts: Give Morgan credit. He’s really starting to make his imprint on the company. He survived the horrible feud with Abyss and is now poised to head to the next level. I’m hoping that the writers will have the sense to go with a Rejection angle. Kurt and the Mafia won’t take Morgan, because he has never held a top title. Morgan then goes on a crusade to take the TNA World title. Along the way, he has to battle the Mafia, who have taken the strap from Foley.
Kurt, as always, worked well in the match. He may have a train wreck of a personal life, but he’s still amazing in the ring. He could wrestle a mop and make the match work.
After the match, the two shook hands. Kurt showed major respect to The Blueprint.
TNA ran the Jeff Jarrett Sacrifice video package. Lauren then tried to talk Jeff out of his match against Samoa Joe. Jeff said he could not let Mick Foley win by quitting. Lauren was worried that Joe might injure Jeff, even more. Jeff said that he understood. He said that someone, other than Mick Foley, would leave Sacrifice the new TNA World champion and things would be back to normal. That seemed to be a foreshadowing of bad things to come.
Tenay sent it to Lauren to talk with Jenna. Jenna was ready to finance the Main Event Mafia, but wouldn’t do it until Sharmell apologized. Jenna gave Sharmell until Sunday to apologize, or else.
TNA ran Mick Foley’s Sacrifice video package.
Samoa Joe came out for the next match. He was still draped in the black towel. He looked dead serious as he waited for the King of the Mountain. Jarrett came out with his silver guitar and shook out his hamstring.
Jeff Jarrett d Samoa Joe (by disqualification)
The two started fighting on the floor. Joe sent Jeff into the crowd and punched away. Joe threw Jeff into the retaining wall and then worked up the stairs, pounding away. The two fought back and forth. Jeff threw Joe into the wall, only to have Joe throw him in. Don West made fun of Jeff’s hamstring injury. Joe threw Jeff back into the ringside area and kicked the hamstring, over and over. The ref tried to stop the assault but Joe attacked Slick Johnson and threw him into the railing. Joe was disqualified for failing to listen to the ref.
Jay’s Thoughts: Ok, I get it. Joe works over Jeff’s damaged leg to make him an easy target on Sunday for Foley. What I don’t understand is where TNA is going with Joe. Is he a heel, a face or a tweener? This new viciousness just doesn’t work, for me. It’s like trying to convert Yogi Bear into a raging grizzly.
A.J. Styles ran out to try and protect Jeff. Joe and A.J. got into a shoving match that broke down into a fist fight. Jeff clutched his leg as the refs tried to pull Joe and Styles apart. TNA went to break.
TNA looked back at Mick Foley’s booking of the four main events. He still claimed to be facing a former World Champion. Mick Foley then came from the back in full Cactus Jack clothing. He was carrying a chair, his World title belt and a microphone. Mick was ready to announce his opponent. Get ready to be completely insulted. Mick called out…ROCKY BALBOA!
It wasn’t Sly Stallone that came out…it was a cardboard poster! West really sold the stupidity of this. They had a old guy who was dressed like Mickey. Someone forgot to tell Russo that Mickie died in the third movie. I just can’t recap this one. I’ll just say…
Mick Foley d the Rocky Balboa Cardboard Poster
Jay’s Thoughts: I have watched wrestling for 37 years, as of July. In those years, I’ve seen pig nappings, love affairs with mannequins, Robocop, and even a fake Undertaker, Diesel, Razor Ramon and Sting but this takes the cake for stupidity. TNA really needs fresh writers if this is the best that they could come up with. I was expecting Foley to battle someone like the World Midget Champion or someone of that level. Seeing them trot out the cardboard cut-off made me actually yell at my TV.
Mick did some lines from the Rocky movies until Jeff Jarrett came out to shut down Foley’s foolishness. Jeff popped Foley. Kurt rushed in and hit the AngleSlam and grabbed the AngleLock on Jeff. Sting came in and tried to talk to Kurt. Foley then surprised Foley with the chair. Jeff hit The Stroke on Kurt. Foley nailed Jeff with the chair. Foley stood over his downed victims. Foley then left the ring and went up the ramp as TNA faded out.
Final Grade: C
Final Thoughts: I’ll be back, later this week-end, with my predictions for Sacrifice. I hope like all get out that it’s better than this mess. The tag team triple threat was the only true shining moment of the night. The four main events ranged from semi-decent (EY v Sting) to the absurd (Foley). Matt and Kurt did a good job of working the crowd but they just didn’t get the kind of exposure that they desrved. I am starting to have really bad feelings for the future of TNA.
– Jay Shannon