The Katz Files – Arnie Katz
My Weekly TNA Notebook
The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his report on the 8/7 installment of TNA iMPACT
The show before a pay per view always packs special interest and offers plenty of scope for my comments. Let’s look at what happened – and what it might mean.
The opening video heralded the eight-man tag team match and the eight-man gauntlet match scheduled for this episode of iMPACT.
The Kingfish Comments: TNA makes this mistake over and over. The eight-man gauntlet weapons match with all those stars should’ve been a ratings grabber, except that they didn’t tell fans about it in advance! If they’re going to do this kind of match, they need to build up to it. At the very least, this should’ve been billed, along with the eight-man tag, as the twin main events in last week’s preview.
Mike Tenay greeted fans from the middle of the ring and reviewed the Hard Justice card.
Tenay threw it to Jeremy Borash, who stood among the ringsiders. He previewed the card on this episode of iMPACT and then threw it to Lauren Brooks and JG James. They whipped up the fans a little and then James hyped the eight-man gauntlet weapons match.
The Kingfish Comments: I liked this opening especially well , because it doesn’t say “warmed-over RAW.” The ore TNA finds its own style, the more it will offer an alternative to WWE. There enough room for two distinct national promotions – and that sounds a lot better to me than one promotion and a copycat.
Roxxi d. Jacqueline
Bimbo Brawl Weapons Match
Special Guest Referee: Traci Brooks
Jacqueline used a broiler tray to batter Roxxi repeatedly. Roxxi relieved some of the pressure by dishing out a Side Slam, but Jacqueline immediately paid her back with a Snap Suplex!
Roxxi hit her version of the Sit-out Powerbomb and pinned Miss Tennessee.
The Kingfish Comments: Traci Brooks didn’t really do much as the ref – and there isn’t much to do in a no DQ weapons match. On the other hand, she certainly has a magnificent body.
When Lauren interviewed Rhino and Christian Cage, the Instant Classic said he will never forget going through the glass table. Revenge was uppermost in his mind.
Rhino did some tough talking, too.
The Kingfish Comments: It wasn’t any one major thing, but I got a feeling as I watched this scene that Rhino and Cage are going to turn heel before too long. Maybe they were trying to sound tough and only accidentally sounded mean. It beats watching.
Lauren Brooks had just started talking to SoCal Val when Super Eric arrived to report a break in the case of the missing ring.
He charged that Sonjay Dutt was the guilty party. SoCal Val refused to believe it.
The Katz Files: It’s nice that TNA finally figured out that they need to promote Sonjay Dutt as a heel in this feud if they want to sustain heat.
Sonjay Dutt d. Curry Man
Curry Man looked like he had the match in hand before the guru poked him in the eyes! While the masked man was disoriented, Sonjay Dutt laid him out with a Cross Body Block and notched the victory.
SoCal Val wanted to talk to Sonjay after the match, but he backed away from her, moving slowly up the ramp. He didn’t count on Sharkboy coming up from behind and forcing him back inside the ropes.
The Guru eventually fought off Sharkboy, but he proved no match for Super Eric. The costumed babyface jolted him with a military press!
Super Eric then grabbed the ring out of Dutt’s tights and gave it to a shocked Val.
Sonjay had a convoluted explanation that only an idiot could believe, but it was not clear whether or not it satisfied SoCal Val.
The Kingfish Comments: It would have been a plus if Val had summarily rejected the explanation. Her dithering just makes her look like a woman who really doesn’t care who she marries.
When Lauren asked Brother Ray why the upcoming match was No Disqualification, he replied that no one wants just a regular match. He said it would belike going to bed with Lauren.
Ray said that Team 3D aren’t the greatest wrestlers in the world, but they “want to beat the dog crap” out of the babyfaces.
Ray warned that Rhino has an “x” on his back and that the X is going through a glass table.
Another video ran in support of newcomer Sheik Abdul Bashir. He continued to charge Americans with being arrogant, greedy pigs.
Black Machismo & Consequences Creed d. Motor City Machine Guns
Mike Tenay brought out the fact that SoCal Val didn’t accompany her fiancé to the ring. Tenay also referred to some “final contractual obligations” that Kaz will have to discharge before he leaves TNA.
The Kingfish Comments: Sounds like Kaz is going to have a short retirement. Surely, something will happen in the course of fulfilling those obligations that will send him back into the thick of the action.
The finish saw Black Machismo take out Alex Shelly with an out-of-ring Dive. Consequences Creed then fired Chris Sabin into a turnbuckle, caught him on the rebound and rolled him up for the pinning cover.
Both teams conducted themselves like babyfaces during the match and they shook hands at its completion. Alex Shelley gave Creed a small shove just before he turned to leave,
The Kingfish Comments: A tag match between two babyface teams doesn’t seem like the right thing to run on a TV card dedicated to extreme matches before a pay per view with the same thrust.
Could it be that the Guns are going to become heels? If so, the little shove makes it seem like that turn, when it comes, will be after Labor Day.
Karen Angle interviewed Frank Trigg on her talk segment “Karen’s Angle.” She tried to talk about tings like his MMA career and decision to train for pro wrestling, but all he wanted to do was insult her and cast aspersions on her character. He even referred to her “banging AJ in Kurt’s bed.”
Trigg loomed over Karen, threatening her, before he stalked out of the set.
A video, recapping Angle-Styles, stated that AJ’s “schoolboy crush” on Karen Angle had split up the friends and turned them into enemies.
Kurt Angle told Jeremy Borash that he won’t be responsible for what he’ll do to AJ Styles in their Last Man Standing match at Hard Justice.
“At Hard Justice, I’m going to come at you like I never came at anyone before,” he warned.
The Kingfish Comments: The interview segments could be a lot better if the wrestlers had more material. Kurt Angle got plenty of intensity into his comments, but they seemed pretty much “old news.”
Angelina Love took the mic out of Lauren’s hands and berated her. Velvet Sky forced the announcer to leave the scene as the Beautiful People explained that they have “bigger sluts to fry.”
The Beautiful People pushed the power of Awesome Kong, their partner at Hard Justice.
LAX, Rhino & Christian Cage d. Team 3D & Beer Money
Eight Man Match
Rhine displayed his power by blasting each of the four heels with a Gore shortly after the start of the match.
Brother Ray Superplexed Hernandez, but Christian rolled back in the ring to attack Ray the second he hit the canvas! Christian gave Ray a Huracanrana from the top rope and Cage added an Elbow Drop!
Brother Ray Scoop Slammed Hernandez and got him ready for a Wassup, but Rhino knocked Devon off his perch before he could execute his part of the maneuver.
Storm rushed Christian, he bashed him in the face with a mirror! Hernandez applied the Gringo Cutter and the babyfaces won this chaotic and exciting cluster schmazz!
After the match, Johnny Devine gave Brother Ray a kendo stick and he used it to clobber every babyface he could reach! Hernandez took a wicked 3D as Beer Money gave Cage what they call the DUI, a Suplex-Powerbomb combo move.
Beer Money powered Homicide through the glass table before 3D could make good on their threat to do that to Rhino.
A “Wilde Ride” segment focused on Taylor Wilde’s attitude of fighting up from the bottom.
The Kingfish Comments: This segment was all right in itself, but it came off almost exactly the same as the last “Wilde Ride” video. She needs to talk about something — anything — else besides fighting from the bottom.
Before the next match, the announcers relayed the information that Homicide had gone to the hospital for treatment of his injuries.
Awesome Kong d. Salinas
The match was short and decisive, with Kong putting away the lovely Latina with an Awesome Bomb.
The Beautiful People hovered over Salinas’ prone body and taunted her. Then they decided that Awesome Kong should deal out more punishment. The former champion obliged by slammed Salinas into the mat with an Implant Buster. *No, they didn’t bust 00 and that’s quite a bust Salinas has, too.)
Love and Sky egged on Awesome Kong to do it again, this time on a chair. Gail Kim, Taylor Wilde and ODB confronted the three heels and the six women got into a melee.
Taylor Wilde came off the top turnbuckle, but Awesome Kong swatted her out of the air. She was about to give the champion the Awesome Bomb onto the chair, when Abyss came to the ring!
Kong and Abyss stood almost nose to nose. They would’ve clashed if Raisha Saeed hadn’t stepped between them. She pushed Kong back and got her to leave, but Saeed slapped Abyss in the face!
Even Awesome Kong didn’t want to tangle with him. He picked up a chair, but he didn’t use it.
After Awesome Kong left the ring, a security guy came through the ropes. Abyss gave him a Black Hole Slam.
The Kingfish Comments: Abyss’ role, though reminiscent of a similar gimmick in the old ECW, has proven interesting, especially his attempts to resist resorting to violence. Evidently, lust for blood will gradually overcome him.
Putting his finisher on a security guard is ok, but it would’ve been better if they’d worked out a way for him to do it to someone who wasn’t so clearly an innocent bystander. It also looked pretty bogus when one guy came out alone – and after the incident ended, at that!
Jeremy Borash talked to Booker T and Sharmell in his dressing room. He kept his nose in the air and toasted himself with champagne. He told JB that Sting would put in an appearance, too.
The Kingfish Comments: Memo to Booker T, even rich people don’t pronounce “shadow” as if it had a “t” in the middle.
When Lauren told Samoa Joe that Sting would be in the arena, the champion demanded to know why Sting hadn’t come forward during the last three weeks.
“You’re not an icon, Sting, you’re a coward,” Samoa Joe stated. “When I get my hands on you, I’m going to turn that white clown make-up red!”
A series of videos showed Booker T, Sting and Samoa Joe.
AJ styles complained to Jeremy Borash that Kurt Angle has conveniently forgotten The Phenomenal One’s illustrious achievements in TNA. AJ claimed that Angle only hopped on the bandwagon.
Styles told Angle to bring Tomko, Trigg and anyone else he had to the pay per view.
The Kingfish Comments: The more intense Styles is an improvement over the dithering, schoolboy character they gave him for about the last year, He’s great in the ring and, despite his somewhat small stature, is worth more as a serious competitor than as a comedy act.
Eight-Man Gauntlet Match
Jeremy Borash took the ring mic to explain the rules. The main difference this time is that wrestlers will enter in pairs at two-minute intervals. Each man also had the right to bring a weapon with him to the ring.
Kurt Angle (trash can) and AJ Styles (ladder) started the match with am exciting preview of their PPV confrontation. They both hit the mat in a mid-0ring collision just as the next two joined the action.
Matt Morgan brought a chair to the ring, while Tomko toted a kendo stick. The chair proved mightier than the kendo stick as Morgan chased Tomko out of the ring and, possibly, out of the arena.
Kurt Angle and AJ Styles were still going at it. The former Olympian blocked a Styles Clash, but he couldn’t defend against a Cross Body Block from the top! AJ wedged a chair between the ropes in a corner, but it was Kurt Angle who catapulted him into it, face-first!
BG James (chair) and Kip James (street sign) entered next. They didn’t even make it to the ring. They met in the ringside area and brawled furiously. GV got the sign and flattened his former ring-brother!
As Kurt bounced off the ropes, AJ threw the ladder at him and split open his head! The Phenomenal One tried to continue the attack, but it was Angle who pulled off a Belly-to-Belly Suplex with a release that sent the victim sailing across the ring.
Samoa Joe (security baton) and Booker T (a black bat) rounded out the match. Joe used the baton to good effect on Booker’s midsection.
During the commercial break, Matt Morgan eliminated Kip James and then sent Kurt Angle over the top rope, too. Booker T did the same to AJ Styles. Kurt Angle continued his fight against Styles even after both had been eliminated. Kurt tried to cripple AJ with an Anklelock.
Tomko hit Samoa Joe with a chair. The champion fell out of the ring. That didn’t eliminate him, because he went under the ropes instead of over the top.
Matt Morgan went after Tomko again. He prepared to deliver the Hellavator, but Booker T attacked from behind! The two heels threw him out of the match.
When Samoa Joe returned to the ring, Booker T and Tomko combined against him. Tomko’s kick to the face flattened the champion.
Booker T tried to kick Joe, who ducked and shoved Tomko into him so hard that Booker sailed over the top strand.
Samoa Joe used the Musclebuster to finish off Tomko and win the match.
The Kingfish Comments: What atrocious video editing! Having all those guys eliminated during the commercial break really hurt the presentation, even though they showed “instant replay” clips. Better to leave out one of the undercard contests and show the main event in its entirety.
Sting did appear. He was in the rafters, safely out of reach of any who might want to confront him.
Overall Grade for this show: B
The Kingfish’s Final Comments: The two big matches were good, but probably didn’t belong on the same show. That’s one too many cluster schmazzes, even by TNA standards.
I’ll be back later today with my preview and predictions for Hard Justice.
— Arnie Katz