The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analysis of topics raised by the 11/20 episode of iMPACT
The opening video focused on Christian Cage’s encounter with the Main Event Mafia on the previous episode.
Kurt Angle, appearing with the MEM, said that tonight the group would “bury” Christian Cage.
The Main Event Mafia rolled a casket to the ring.
Kurt Angle, speaking for the group, said that the Main Event Mafia had no choice but instead had to beat Cage within an inch of his life and send him to WWE in an ambulance.
An irate Rhino came to the top of the ramp. He defended his absent friend, saying that anyone who had a problem with Christian Cage’s decision should confront him face-to-face.
Rhino also allied himself with the TNA Originals when he charged that the MEM was just a bunch of guys afraid of losing their spots. The War Machines main target was Booker T, who fired back verbally.
Booker goaded Rhino into rushing to the ring to make a one-against-five attack, which ended up about the way you’d expect. Booker T clobbered Rhino with the Legends belt and then the beatdown began in earnest. Finally, they rolled Rhino into the casket and closed the lid!
Angle announced two proposed main events for the pay per view. One was him versus Jeff Jarrett. The other was a four-against-four tag team match between the Main Event Mafia and the TNA Originals.
The Kingfish Comments: TNA has shown a good degree of cleverness in handling the tickling situation surrounding Christian Cage. Whether he leaves for WWE, as many consider likely, or not, TNA is ready. If he goes, they’re positioned to get as much out of the departure as possible. If he stays, the plotlines are there, waiting for him.
It’s easy to understand why Cage might be heading back to WWE. The money differential has got to be huge and it’s hard to resist the chance to perform on the biggest wrestling stage in the world. The other side of the coin , though, is that TNA has done well by Christian Cage and kept him in the main event picture during his years with the company. He could well find himself a mid-carder in WWE, where Vince McMahon is said not to be a fan of the Instant Classic.
When Booker T responded to Rhino’s rant, he did so in what sounded like his normal voice. Even better, he didn’t force-feed us the bullsh*t about “his country” pulled from Lion King.
Jeff Jarrett told Mick Foley that he hadn’t agreed to a match. Mick worried about the commotion in TNA.
Lauren took fans to the TNA Originals’ dressing room, where AJ Styles was wishing Consequences Creed and Black Machismo good luck in their upcoming match.
The Motor City Machine Guns waltzed into the dressing room, laugh and joking about being late. Samoa Joe told them what he thought of their attitude in no uncertain terms.
The Machine Guns said that Samoa Joe and AJ Styles didn’t have the right to make a match involving the two tag teams. Mick Foley entered the room and confirmed this – and then made the match anyway!
The Kingfish Comments: TNA started building to this tag match several weeks ago as part of the Machine Guns’ controversial position. Note well that the Guns didn’t help Styles and Joe in the post-match fighting, later on in the show.
Tanahashi wanted to Suplex Jay Lethal. Not only did he escape, but his kick sent the Japanese star to the canvas.
Sonjay Dutt came off the top rope, aiming at a DDT, but Consequences Creed hit the TKO and covered for the pin and the win.
The Kingfish Comments: Both teams worked hard to make this a fast, exciting match. They could have a better one if they got 20 minutes and a green light, but this contest displayed the talents of two excellent tag teams.
The Dutt-Tanahashi duo is probably not destined for a long life, unless TNA institutes an X Division Tag Team Championship. Lethal-Creed, on the other hand, is bound for tag title matches. The interesting question at this moment is whether they’ll fight Beer Money or a post-heel-turn Motor City Machine Guns.
In terms of the Respect Feud, it would make more sense for Creed and Lethal to target a turncoat Machine Guns. Beer Money is not really part of that storyline, so it would be better to let them mix it up with the likes of LAX, Team 3D and Abyss-Matt Morgan.
When Lauren told The Beautiful People about a new TNA Knockout named Sojourner Bolt, they did not seem very impressed.
A video hyped the mystery of Suicide’s identity.
The Kingfish Comments: A lot of the push for Suicide is wasted effort. The fans won’t care about him until he does something. TNA has gone about as far as they can with the tease; now it’s time to deliver the goods.
Sheik Abdul Bashir, Eric Young and Shane Sewell took a reaming from a screaming Jim Cornette. He ordered Sewell to take the X Division Championship belt from Young and give it to Bashir; he reluctantly complied.
Cornette put Sewell on probation and tried to appease Eric Young with a shot at Booker T’s Legends Championship.
The Kingfish Comments: If TNA made wrestlers hand back the belts every time they won on a screwjob finish, the championships might never change hands. This looks like TNA giving itself an option in a possible post-Christian Cage world. Young would be able to pick up the program against Booker that was probably intended for Christian Cage.
Cornette made several disparaging comments about Sewell’s ring career, so you might see the fiery Sewell getting into matches against the Sheik.
The Beautiful People d. Christy Hemme & Sojourner Bolt d.
Christy Hemme worked hard against the blonde heels and even got in a shot at Cute Kip, a long-time antagonist.
Unfortunately, Femme continued to stare at Kip a moment too long. That gave Angelina Love an opening to execute the Lights Out and end the match.
The Kingfish Comments: Sojourner Bolt didn’t embarrass herself during her stint in the ring, but we haven’t yet seen enough to rate her ring ability. Her look is not great; she doesn’t have a shapely body and is thick-waisted. She’ll have to be very good to keep a spot.
A “Rough Cut” video spotlighted LAX. This time, the focus was on Homicide.
The two women got into a heated argument. Sharmell said, among other things, that she would cut ODB. The Trailer Park Princess asked Sharmell “how the Spinneroonie really feels.”
They will fight at Final Resolution.
The Kingfish Comments: I don’t know what kind of match Sharmell will be able to wrestle, but this turned into an amazing dramatic scene. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a woman threaten to knife another as part of a promo. (The closest was when Hollywood and Vine threatened the babyfaces in Glow, vowing that she would “get our friends on you.”)
Kurt Angle, sitting with the other members of his group, told Jeremy Borash that Matt Morgan and Abyss were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Angle “announced” two main events for Final Resolution. One was him versus Jarrett. The other was a four-on-four tag team match that would pit the other four MEM members again the team that wins the Styles-Joe versus the Machine Guns match and two more TNA Originals of their choosing.
The Kingfish Comments: The four-on-four match needs some fine-tuning if it is really going to take place. It’s a cinch that Jarrett will ultimately face Angle at Final Resolution.
AJ Styles * Samoa Joe d. The Motor City Machine Guns
Chris Sabin uncorked the match’s first big move, a Suicide Dive that nailed Samoa Joe in the ringside area. Then Style did a Hilo over the top rope and took out both of the Machine Funs!
Both teams showed great coordination. They worked some very impressive spots as control seesawed between the two teams.
AJ Styles broke out of Chris Sabin’s attempted Cradle Shock and immediately scored with a Pele! The Phenomenal One subject Alex Shelley to the Styles Clash and pinned him.
MEM stormed into the ring after the bell to assault the victors. Both fan favorites took finishers from the Main Event Mafia members until Consequences Creed, Black Machismo and other TNA Originals came to their rescue.
Sting watched from the ramp.
The Kingfish Comments: They’re certainly selling the Main Event Mafia as heels now. Sting standing aloof from the carnage opened intriguing possibilities of a future turn.
Brooks said that no one wanted to fight the champion. Saeed replied that Kong would have no choice but to attack civilians.
The Kingfish Comments: I’m not sure TNA considered the ramifications of Brooks’ comments. If all the babyfaces are afraid to fight Kong, what does that say about the Knockout Division?
After shoving the Machine Guns to the floor, Rhino ignited the TNA Originals with a passionate speech in which he praised AJ Styles and Samoa Joe.
The War Machine said he would fight to his last drop of blood for the TNA Originals if they would have him.
The Kingfish Comments: It’s good to see Rhino stepping out a little. His career has marked time for a couple of years. This may not be hi big break, but he is certainly making the most of his opportunity with searing promos.
After an early stalemate, Booker T and Eric Young exchanged Hammerlocks. Booker T blocked a Clothesline, but Young whipped him to the mat with an Armdrag. Showtime tried to assert an Armbar, but the Legends Champion kicked his way out of the predicament.
Booker T Front Suplexed Young across the top rope and then flattened him with a Superkick. Somehow, Young raised his shoulder before the referee could make the final count.
Eric landed a series of haymakers, but Booker cut him off with a poke to the eyes. Young did a Clothesline to a Bodyslam, but it added up to only a near fall. Booker squirmed out of Young’s grasp when the blond tried to joist him onto his broad shoulders, but Young evaded an Axkick and shook the ring with a Death Valley Driver! The count stopped at “two.”
Sharmell snagged Young’s leg from the outside, which let Booker get back into the match with an Ax Kick!
The Kingfish Comments: And another match ends with a tainted victory. You can justify this one a little more than most, because it preserved Eric Young as a viable challenger for Booker’s Legends belt.
Mick Foley and Jeff Garrett discussed an announcement that Mick was about to make. He seemed dubious and Jeff promised he would rush to the ring if it looked like Foley was in danger.
Brother Devon took the lead as Team 3D told Jeremy Borash about their troubles with Beer Money.
Brother Ray complained about the Main Event Mafia calling itself the greatest group even though it lacks the greatest tag team of all time. Ray expressed some sympathy for the MEM’s cause, but he indicated that there’s a lot of friction.
The Kingfish Comments: It looks like Team3D will be positioned outside the Respect Feud for a program against Beer Money. There’s so much talk about the number of championships, so Ray and Devon might get to briefly hold the belts to give them 21 tag championships.
Hermie Sadler told Lauren about a new video feed on the TNA web site called “Herm’s Hot Seat.” Awesome Kong barged into the interview and shoved Sadler to the floor.
The Kingfish Comments: This was a nice way to tell fans about the new Internet show. It looks like both TNA and WWE are going to put a lot more emphasis on using the Internet for programming, especially after the proven success of the feud between Cryme Tyme and The Miz & John Morrison.
Kurt Angle & Kevin Nash d. Matt Morgan & Abyss
Abyss and Kurt Angle started the match. It didn’t take the former Olympian long to discover that the Masked Monster was almost impervious to his blows. He bailed into the ringside area.
When Angle returned to the ring, Abyss Clotheslined him and bulled him into the corner for some bone-jarring punches. Abyss gave Angle the Shock Treatment, but the cover fell short.
Matt Morgan replaced Abyss. He gave Angle the Carbon Footprint and came within an eyelash of victory.
Morgan and Nash got into an exchange of punches. Kurt Angle gave his partner a helping hand, which allowed the one-time collegiate basketball star the opening to Clothesline him to the canvas! Big Kev put Morgan into the corner for punches, Shoulder Blocks and a choking foot across the windpipe.
When Matt Morgan replaced Abyss, Angle went to work on his knee and grounded the big man. Angle failed to cinch in the Anklelock and took a Morgan Clothesline.
Beer Money came down to the ring.
Abyss roared into the ring and gave each heel a pair of Clotheslines. He capped it with a Black Hole Slam on Nash, but Angle made the save. Morgan threw angle out of the ring, but Nash raked his eyes. Abyss had a brush with Beer Money in the ringside area, but he quickly forced Kurt back inside the ropes.
Beer Money’s James Storm smashed a bottle over Abyss’ head. The big man walked right into Nash’s boot and got pinned.
The Kingfish Comments: The inclusion of Beer Money in the booking of this match seemed like a mistake. Not only did it give a good match a very weak ending, but shouldn’t Beer Money be pointed squarely as Team 3D at this point? It would be a mistake to put Veer Money in the MEM and Team 3D in the TNA Originals. Both groups have to be limited to have any true impact and a population explosion would only undercut that.
Mick Foley seemed to be in a rather conciliatory mood as he took the mic at center-ring to announce two matches for Final Resolution.
He made the four-on-four match between the MEM and the TNA Originals. He added the stipulation that possession of the TNA World Championship will go to Sting if MEM wins and to Styles if the TNA Originals win..
Mick then announced that the other main event will be Kurt Angle versus Rhino.
Kurt Angle came to the ring to protest the match. He said that if he couldn’t have Jarrett, he wanted to fight Foley! He slapped Mick and, as promised, that brought Double J to the ring.
He told Angle that, as founder of TNA, he makes the rules. He said that if Kurt beats Rhino, he will get to fight Jarrett again. If he loses, he’s out of TNA.
When Kurt Angle started to attack Jeff Jarrett, Rhino Speared him to the mat!
Overall Grade for This Show: B-
That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with another installment of the Internet’s fastest-rising daily wrestling column. I hope you’ll come back to join me – and bring your friends.
— Arnie Katz