HeadLocker — Jay Shannon The New and Improved Impact Insight
Our resident philosopher, Jay Shannon, rolls out a all-new format for his weekly look at the happenings on Thursday nights.
I decided to restructure my weekly column to something similar to what I was doing when both Raw and Impact were on Mondays. This week’s TNA set more pieces into place for June’s Slammiversary show.
This Week’s Episode: The Enigma and the A-H***
The Opening Segment:
Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson worked the first segment. Anderson is well on his way to a face turn, maybe. Anderson absolutely drove the censors bananas with using the “A” word about a dozen times in a row. Anderson said he liked Hardy because both of them were “A**H****”. He started picking out people in the crowd and calling them the same name and even did a hilarious take-off on the old Dr. Pepper tune, singing “Wouldn’t you like to be an A-H (spoken out) too”.
Ric Flair and his troops came out to confront Anderson and Hardy. A.J. Styles talked about how the man who challenged him tonight was not worthy to even watch him, let alone battle him. Jeff Hardy said he never asked to fight Styles, tonight. Styles informed Jeff that he was talking to Anderson, not him.
Kurt Angle sat at the announce desk during the Wolfe v Hardy match and talked about his life and why he wanted to prove himself. After the match, Matt Morgan came out and did his “Royal We” thing. He asked Kurt to be his tag partner. Morgan insulted Angle by basically treating him like some green rookie kid. Angle tore into Morgan. Samoa Joe then stomped to the ring. Morgan bailed out and Joe and Angle stared each other down.
Puppet, the annoying midget wrestling from Spike’s new Reality Show, was at ringside to push his new show. He got in the ring and danced with the Beautiful People. He went a little too far when he slapped Velvet Sky on her rather cute backside. She and Madison took serious offense and laid him out with a DDT. Lacey rushed over and (hold your stomachs) made out with the obnoxious dwarf.
Hogan’s only real appearance was to question Mr. Anderson about his behaviorial change. Anderson said his attitude change was legit.
Rob Van Dam came out during the Hour Turner segment to call out Sting. Sting and RVD chatted with Rob in the ring and Sting in the rafters. Sting said he was going to go “Showtime” on RVD at Slammiversary.
It was announced that Madison Rayne would be putting her Knockout title against Roxxi. Roxxi was thrilled about getting her title shot.
The Finish: It was a very short match with Lacey, surprisingly, taking the win for the Beautiful People with her Claw Chokeslam.
Match Grade: C
INK, Inc d Team 3D and The Band TNA World Tag Team Non-Title Match
The Finish: The Band all but sat this one out. Jesse Neal Speared Brother Ray to take the win. After the match, Ray challenged Neal to a singles match at Slammiversary. Brother Devon tried to calm Ray but it wasn’t working.
Match Grade: B-
Kazarian d Jay Lethal
The Finish: Ric Flair wanted Kazarian to humiliate and injure Lethal. The two went back and forth and Lethal was actually getting the upper hand. Flair came out and distracted Lethal. That allowed Kazarian to roll-up Lethal for the win. After the match, A.J. Styles ran out to try and one-up Kazarian by beating on Lethal.
Match Grade: B
Orlando Jordan v Abyss (No Contest)
The Finish: Jordan focused on the bad arm of Abyss throughout the match. At one point, Jordan threw Abyss into Chelsea, who was with Abyss for this match. Desmond Wolfe rushed down to double team Abyss. Rob Terry then hobbled his way down to even the scote.
Match Grade: C
This week, there were two main events.
Desmond Wolfe d Jeff Hardy
The Finish: This was a pretty even match, until Hardy accidentally took out the ref, Brian Hebner, with a move off the top rope. Hardy did nail the Twist of Fate but Hebner was still down and out. Wolfe slithered across the ring and pulled out a slapjack. Wolfe blasted Hardy in the face and a groggy Hebner counted out the knocked out Jeff Hardy
Match Grade; A-
A.J. Styles d Mr. Anderson
The Finish: This match went short due to time restraints. Anderson hit a Flying Crossbody but Styles rolled through and used the ropes and Anderson’s tights to steal the win. After the match, Andeson grinned at Styles and said that A.j> had beaten him with one of his own tricks. Styles joked with Anderson, a little, until Anderson laid Styles out.
Match Grade: A-
Final Grade: B+
Final Thoughts: TNA is back in their comfort zone. There wasn’t a lot of Hogan/Bischoff interference, this week. The matches were pretty solid, even if the endings were a bit lame. Lethal’s evolution from “Black Machismo” to the “Nature Bro” Jay Lethal.