The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analysis of topics raised by the 1/17 episode of iMPACT
Mike Tenay narrated the opening video, a recap of Genesis. The thrust of his comments was that, though Frontline lost the battles, it won the war.
The Kingfish comments: TNA evidently decided that, in light of the disappointing pay per view, the best strategy was to honor the Pro Wrestling Maxim: All pay per views are glorious in retrospect.” TNA skimmed the cream and forgot about the rest.
Still, trying to sell Genesis as a Frontline victory is overreaching. Letha; Consequences lost the tag team title, Sting destroyed Rhino and Kurt Angle sidelined Jeff Garrett. Frontline won a meaningless three-on-three against a team missing Kevin Nash. If that’s winning the war, then I don’t think Frontline can afford the price of victory.
Kurt Angle led the Main Event Mafia to the ring to crow over their victories at Genesis. The leader of the Main Event Mafia attributed the loss in the six-man match to the absence of Kevin Nash and the presence of Mick Foley. He vowed that the war would end on this edition of iMPACT.
Kurt announced that, on this card, he would fight AJ Styles with Mick Foley as the Special Guest Enforcer. He claimed that having Foley officiate would be an advantage, since it would give the MEM a chance for a “double hit.”
The Kingfish comments: Despite some excellent mic work by Kurt Angle, this was a real head-scratcher. Kurt should’ve announced the match and then Cornette or Foley should’ve added the stip. Then Kurt’s claim that he liked Foley getting involved would’ve sounded like false bravado.
LAX came to the upper stage where he challenged Sting for the TNA Heavyweight Championship based on possession of the “Feast or Fired” suitcase.
Hernandez d. Sting via DQ
TNA World Heavyweight Championship
Hernandez displayed both his power and agility moves and gained several near falls against the champion showed he could take Hernandez’s worst and still keep coming back for more.
A turning point in the match occurred when Hernandez set up for a Delayed Vertical Suplex. Sting not only blocked the move, but turned it into a DDT!
After getting some help from his MEM teammates, Sting stomped Hernandez and pounded away at him in the corner. Hernandez came back with a couple of Clotheslines and then put Sting on his shoulders for a Border Toss.
That’s when referee Shane Sewell called for the bell.
Unfortunately, Sewell couldn’t do anything to make the Main Event Mafia obey his commands. Finally, the fiery ref grabbed the Legends belt form Booker T, who wanted to use it as a weapon. Sewell Clotheslined Booker T over the top rope to the floor.
Homicide rushed the ring. At first, he took out all the heels, but the numbers finally told the inevitable story.
AJ Styles helped even the fight, but what really made a difference was Team 3D> Brother Ray returned to action with Devon at his side and they got some big payback on the MEM.
Kurt Angle took the most punishment. Team 3D set up a table and Powerbombed the former Olympian through it.
The Kingfish comments: I downgraded the match a little for the hackneyed finish, but then restored what I’d taken away due to the post-match. The return of Brother Ray definitely qualified as a big dramatic moment.
Back from commercials, Brother Devon said that he and Ray had won every tag team title they could, but now he wanted to try to hand at singles competition. Specifically, he wanted to fight Kurt Angle.
Brother Ray ridiculed the Main Event Mafia. He said that if Devon was going to fight Angle, he wanted a shot at Sting.
Brother Ray pointed out that Sting is worse than the rest of the Main Event Mafia. He claimed that Sting knows better, but just stands aside while the Main Event Mafia does despicable things.
The Kingfish comments: Brother Ray is now scheduled to meet Sting at Against All Odds. And you thought his last title defense seemed spur-of-the-moment? It doesn’t seem reason to expect fans to buy Brother Ray as a legitimate challenger for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship when he hasn’t beaten anyone in singles matches.
The Beautiful People continued to be wild about the woman whom they believe is the Governor of Alaska. Despite Kip’s attempt to enlighten them, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky didn’t believe that it was all a hoax. Kip walked away in disgust.
A video reminded fans of what happened at Genesis when Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett met in the ring.
After the clip, Don West read a list of Jarrett’s injuries.
Backstage, Scott Steiner told a worse-for-wear Kurt Angle that he’d substitute for him in the match.
After a video recapitulated the Beautiful People’s misadventures, they appeared “live” with the governor.
The fake Palin got them to sign a paper she said would make them part of her cabinet.
Taylor Wilde and Roxxi came to the top of the stage and revealed that they had set up the whole governor scam to embarrass and humiliate the Beautiful People.
Taylor announced that it was time for the Beautiful People to get “mucked.” Muck obligingly dropped form the ceiling to ooze over them.
The Kingfish comments: This story line was brutal, even by TNA’s low standards. It hinged on the Beautiful People knowing Sara Palin, but not knowing that Obama won the election. I’m sure someone at TNA thought this was funny. Too bad they didn’t get out-voted.
When Lauren interviewed the Kong-tourage, Sojourner Bolt objected to the use of the nickname “Sojo.”
A “Rough Cut” segment outlined the background of Sojourner Bolt. She said she had been wrestling for about six years.
Roxxi, Taylor Wilde & ODB d. Raisha Saeed, Rhaka Khan & Sojourner Bolt
With the four other women fighting all over the ringside area, Roxxi found herself isolated with Rhaka Khan in the ring. Khan tried for a Chokeslam. Roxxi resisted successfully and then put away the bodybuilder with the Voodoo Drop!
The Kingfish comments: The Kong-tourage is one of the poorest uses of resources that I have seen in TNA, which is saying something. There really aren’t enough active women in the Knockout division, so why take three of them and put them into this kind of nothing group?
The post-match sequence suggests that the next challenger for Booker T’s Legends Championship will be Shane Sewell. If that’s true, it’s not a good idea. Sewell is an interesting enough character, but he is more of an unknown than a legend. It would be better to have someone like Brother Devon fight Booker for the strap.
Booker T talked tough to Kurt Angle. He denigrated the Frontline, especially Styles and Foley.
Lethal Consequences d. Abyss & Matt Morgan
Number-One Contenders Match
Matt Morgan and Abyss repeatedly demonstrated their size and strength, but the duo lacked something in the teamwork department.
Creed and Lethal used well-placed Dropkicks to take the larger men off their feet, but it wasn’t easy to keep them there. When Consequences Creed did his showy Drop-down Punch, Matt Morgan, the Blueprint immediately made him pay with the Carbon Footprint!
Abyss positioned Jay Lethal for the Powerbomb, but Matt Morgan’s attack on Creed put him in the wrong place at the wrong time. The Masked Man Powerbombed Lethal right onto his own partner! The referee counted the victory for Lethal Consequences, now the number-one contenders for the TNA World Tag Team Championship.
The Kingfish comments: Well, this should make the simmering hostilities between Morgan and Abyss into an outright war. Everyone had to know that there’d be a misunderstanding between the erstwhile friends, but this was certainly an unusual and unexpected version of it.
After the match, Morgan and Abyss had a pull-apart brawl.
The other Main Event Mafia members tried to convince shaky Kurt Angle to let one of them take his match against AJ Styles.
Both Scott Steiner and Booker T offered and the discussion degenerated into an argument between the two of them. Jim Cornette stepped in and designated Big Poppa Pump as Styles’ adversary for the evening.
A newcomer, Brutus Magnus, was the subject of a video.
Mick Foley worked up a good deal of anger at the Main Event Mafia during an interview conducted by Jeremy Borash. He was incensed about the Main Event Mafia’s cavalier attitude toward things like Jeff Jarrett’s multiple injuries.
AJ Styles d. Scott Steiner
Special Guest Enforcer: Mick Foley
Mick Foley came to the ring with a chair.
Scott Steiner tried to intimidate AJ Style at the opening bell. He used his wrestling skills to ground the Phenomenal One and disdainfully Paintbrushed him repeatedly. Styles finally bailed to the ringside area, where Mick Foley gave him a peptalk.
AJ seized a Side Headlock. Steiner threw him into the ropes, but AJ ducked a Clothesline and nailed Big Poppa Pump with a Dropkick! Steiner left the ring to regroup, but Styles floored him with a Flying Cross-body Block.
Steiner used his muscle to force Style into the corner, where the Phenomenal One took a pretty good pounding. Steiner shot him into the ropes and, on the rebound, delivered a crushing Belly-to-Belly Suplex! After some Chops and another Belly-to-Belly Suplex, Steiner tried for a pin, but Styles squirmed out in time.
AJ elbowed his way out of a Rear Chinlock, but he immediately got trapped in a Bearhug. That led to a Release Suplex.
Steiner went outside to get a chair, but Foley alerted referee Earl Hebner. The Genetic Freak got into a row with Hebner about the chair. He forgot about Styles, who made him pay by stampeding him into the chair, positioned between ropes in the corner.
AJ surprised Steiner with a Corner Splash. When he tried it again, though, Hebner got in the way and took the damage. As Styles bent over the official to check his condition, Steiner came up behind him and Suplexed him halfway across the ring!
As Foley checked on Hebner, Steiner creamed him with a steel pipe! Shortly after that, Steiner gave Styles the same dose of bitter medicine. Scott decided to try for the pin, but by the time he had Styles’ shoulders on the mat and Hebner had regained consciousness, it was too late to get the pin.
Big Poppa Pump poured on the pain with the Steiner Recliner. AJ made the ropes, but Steiner dragged him back toward the middle of the ring and clamped it on, again.
Mick Foley paraded around the ringside area, brandishing Mr. Socko.
While all eyes were on him, from out of nowhere came… Petey Williams! He blasted his former mentor (and recent tormentor) Scott Steiner with a Dropkick!
AJ Styles scored with the Pele and covered for the pin.
The Kingfish comments: Having Foley as Special Guest Enforcer was a nice bit of miss-direction. When Foley donned Mr. Socko, most fans thought they knew what was coming next. Instead, we got the exciting return of Petey Williams. Now let’s hope that TNA can come up with something more imaginative for Maple Leaf Muscle than having him squashed by Steiner.
The show ended with Mike Tenay asking the question: “How will the Main Event Mafia respond/”
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