Katz Files: My Weekly TNA Notebook!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

My Weekly TNA Notebook

The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analytical report on the 9/4 installment of TNA iMPACT

iMPACT’s opening video showed Sting chastising the younger wrestlers for their ingratitude.

The Kingfish Comments: This is the right way to orient an old-versus-young feud in today’s wrestling. The audience has shifted younger, though it’s far from a kiddie corps, and the crowd’s sympathies would naturally go to other young men. The logical identification is between young fans and young wrestlers who are being oppressed by their elders.

This feud, and it is a common angle, almost always casts the old guys as the heroes and the young ones as arrogant punks. We can see this right on RAW with Rhodes & DiBiase. (WCQW also made the old guys the heroes, but that was appropriate in that case, and EECW also let CM Punk ally himself with the veterans.)

As Kurt Angle’s entrance package hit, Mike Tenay reminded fans of last week’s qualifying match in which he low-blowed Kevin Nash and earned the right to participate in “Four Roads to Glory” at No Surrender.

After Booker T and Sharmell joined him, Angle told fans that the two men in the ring were the very picture of what a champion should be. They carried the title with dignity, honor and respect. He made it plain that he didn’t think Samoa Joe lived up to his standard.

Booker T called today’s wrestlers, “a bunch of spoiled brats.” He went on to observe that the title should be “contested in the old-fashioned way,” him and Angle, man against man.

Kurt outlined the strategy for “Four Roads to Glory.” It boiled down to the two heels combining to eliminate the other challengers and then go after Joe together.

Christian Cage appeared on the upper stage to tell Angle and Booker that they didn’t have to worry about facing AJ Styles, because he planned to beat The Phenomenal One in the qualifying match later in the card.

Cage emphasized that he and Styles have moved past their problems. The match won’t be personal; it’s simply that only one man can advance to the main event at No Surrender>/I>.

Booker tried to entice Christian to side with the veterans.

Angle charged out of the ring to confront Christian Cage. The Instant Classic quickly knocked him down and zipped into the ring to assault Booker. Angle recovered quickly, though, and soon joined Booker in the attack on Cage.

AJ Styles rushed to the ring and put the heels to flight. Styles and Cage shook hands.

The Kingfish Comments: This seems to pave the way for a tag team showdown between the heels and the babyfaces. I’d expect it on iMPACT rather than on the October pay per view.

Jim Cornette came out to inform Booker and Angle that if either interfered in the Styles-Cage contest, both would be removed from the No Surrender main event.

Jeremy Borash asked Samoa Joe about the disintegration of his relationship with Kevin Nash.

Joe chided Nash for losing his temper and promised that, the next time they meet, the champ will put ,I>his hands all over Kev.

Samoa Joe also had harsh words for Sting. He claimed that the Icon took money out of the mouths of those who work much harder.

The Kingfish Comments: Samoa Joe’s comments about Nash and Sting hit pretty close to the bone. The two all-time greats are not exactly phoning it in, but they aren’t throwing themselves into the show the way some of the younger guys do. (I don’t think you could make that criticism about veterans Angle and Booker, though.)

A “rough cut” video spotlighted Austin “Consequences” Creed. The video showed Creed as a sincere guy who has struggled to get an education and pursue a pro wrestling career.

The Kingfish Comments: This video really made Creed “live” as a person, not just a cartoon in red white and blue. I would like to see the writers tone down the stereotype a little and let him step forward as an articulate babyface. This guy could be a main eventer if handled correctly.

Lauren interviewed Sheik Abdul Bashir. He termed himself “a victim of the USA>” He claimed to have reached ungodly levels of success due to his own efforts and claimed to be the victim of 9-11 backlash.

“Thee Lady America that I don’t love her any more,” he told the announcer.

The Kingfish Comments: This short interview came across much better than Bashir’s voiceover comments on the videos previously shown. It’s still the same message, but he has made it a little more individual and personal.

Consequences Creed d. Sheik Abdul Bashir</B<
X Division Number-One Contender Match.

Creed started strong, working a Wristlock and breakdown down his foe with a well-placed kick to the midsection. Bashir broke illegally and launched a punch-and-kick attack in the corner.

Creed broke out of a Sleeper Hold and applied one of his own. He fired Bashir into the ropes and decked him with a Back Elbow.

Consequences did his Big Punch, but the follow-up cover fell short. He executed his somersault to a Clothesline, but again, no pin. When Creed missed a corner charge, Bashir rolled up the popular young wrestler for the pin and the win.

Creed, back by the fans, protested that Bashir had his feet on the ropes when he made the cover. The official re-started the match!

Creed catapulted over the top rope into a Sunset Flip that led to a winning cover.

Grade: B

After the match, Bashir argued with referee Sean Sewell and slapped him. The official counter-attacked and got a little pay-back from the striped shirt.

The Kingfish Comments: It has been a while since any major promotion had a referee-based character. This might be an attempt to introduce one, though we won’t know until the striped shirt gets into another fracas with an unruly wrestler.

A somewhat dejected Kevin Nash talked to Jeremy Borash. He admitted that he hadn’t followed his own advice about keeping cool.

Beer Money told Lauren that they are really excited about being the final two characters added to the TNA wrestling game.

The three members of the Prince Justice Brotherhood crashed the celebration and got beaten up for their trouble.

The Kingfish Comments: This is getting a bit repetitive. It’s amazing that TNA would so readily write off three wrestlers like this.

A video chronicled the story of Abyss with emphasis on his rehabilitation and his new role as a rescuer.

The Beautiful People announced that Angelina Love will compete against Taylor Wilde in a beauty contest on next week’s show. Velvet Sky assured fans that there will be a full range of competiti0on, from talent to swim suit.

A video extolled the merits of the Knockouts, comparing the Divas to them in a less-than-flattering way.

They played the theme for Curry Man, but he didn’t come out. It turned out that he was in the back, messing around with Christy Hemme.

Beer Money d. Sharkboy & Super Eric<

Beer Money pulled off a Stereo Suplex on Sharkboy after he failed to make a needed tag to Super Eric.

The champions hit The Last Call and then the Pay Off on Sharkboy to seal the victory.

Grade: B-

Hernandez came out after the match. Beer Money started to escape up the ramp, only to have Homicide come up behind them! Homicide threw each of the heels into the ring for Hernandez to dismember. Then LAX threw both members of Veer Money out of the ring again!

The Kingfish Comments: Of course, the while reason for this match was the after-match appearance by LAX, including the return of Homicide. The match itself wasn’t much, butthe confrontation with LAX redeemed it to some extent.

Team 3D, with Johnny Devine, came out to the upper stage to accept Abyss’ challenge. Ray and Devon surprised everyone, including their acolyte, by announcing that Johnny Devine would be the one accepting the match.

Abyss d. Johnny Devine

Devine bashed Abyss with a sign, but Chris Park knocked him down as if the blow hadn’t happened!

Brother Ray distracted Abyss so that Johnny Devine could whack him with a garbage can. That didn’t seem to do much, so the heels worked the same gimmick a second time. Devine smashed Abyss in the face with a chair, but went he wound up for a second one, Abyss knocked it back into Devine’s face!

Abyss added a Chokeslam.

A kneeling Devine begged Abyss not to hot him with a chair. Abyss stayed his hand, but his reward was a sneak attack by Team 3D! Matt Morgan decked Team 3D and Johnny Devine. He tossed Abyss a chair, but the recipient ultimately decided not to use it.

The Kingfish Comments: Looks like Morgan and Abyss will be a new team to oppose Team 3D.

Lauren followed a queasy ODB into the bathroom and tried to interview her through a stall door as the Trailer Park Knockout puked out her guts.

Lauren met Sting in the parking lot, but the Icon wouldn’t say anything.

ODB d. Raisha Saeed

ODB pulled Raisha Saeed out of the ring by her feet and began pounding her in the ringside area. The Trailer Park Princess whipped Saeed into the outer guardrail, but then suffered the same fate after a reverse.

The Masked Maiden got back in the ring first and, when ODB tried to enter, sent her back to the arena floor with a Baseball Slide! When ODB finally did make it inside the ropes, the two women exchanged hammer-like punches until Raisha Saeed tried to break the stalemate with a Bodyslam. She pressed her advantage with a Moonsault, but the flashy move hit nothing but mat.

ODB ducked Saeed’s attempted Clothesline and blasted her rival with three of her own! ODB hit a Fallaway Slam and, a few seconds later, a Running Powerslam to sew up the match.

Grade: B-

After the match, ODB decided to try to remove Saeed’s mask. She tried repeatedly, and unsuccessfully until her quarry slipped off the ramp and into the darkness. Moments later, ODB emerged into the arena and held up the mask!

Her joy was short-lived, however, because Awesome Kong attacked her. With help from Raisha Saeed, Kong lined up ODB for an Implant Buster that left the fan favorite lying motionless on the canvas.

Just as Saeed brought chairs into the ring to continue the mugging, Roxxi rushed into the ring to make the save. She advanced on Kong, chair in hand, but Saeed attacked from behind, Roxxi suffered an Awesome Bomb.

The Kingfish Comments: Awesome Kong lays waste to two top Knockouts… what else is new? This type of booking is killing what had been a very exciting and popular aspect of TNA. And if you think the beauty contest is a good idea, I’d recommend watching Smackdown instead of iMPACT; you’ll find a lot more of the same stupid stuff.

Lauren again joined the Beautiful People for more talk of the beauty contest. This time, Velvet Sky asked her partner to give them a preview. Angelina Love, her back to the camera, opened her black silk robe for the benefit of Velvet, Kip and Lauren. They were suitably impressed, though fans will have to wait until next week for an eyeful.

AJ Styles expressed rage at Sting’s actions and comments. He told Jeremy Borash that it was the younger guys who had given their all to make TNA a success. He said that while he had worked hard, Sting just stayed at home collecting a paycheck.

The Phenomenal One said that the man he respected is Christian Cage.

Christian Cage d, AJ Styles

The announcers put a lot of effort into selling AJ Styles’ point of view toward Sting to the fans.

Both men proved themselves very proficient chain wrestlers who knew what to expect from their opponent. As a result, the early portion of the match featured holds and counter-holds. There were a couple of near falls, but it was your basic ring stalemate.

The break came when Styles tried to do a top-rope springboard from the apron to the ring. Cage kicked the rope. AJ fell to the arena floor, where Cage blasted him with an out-of-ring Dive!

In the ringside area, Christian Cage tried to hurl AJ Styles into the ring post. The Phenomenal One blocked that and uncorked a Huracanrana!

When Styles went for an Inverted DDTY, Christian Cage went down to one knee to block it. Styles went right back to the same move, though, and this time it worked. It was only worth a two-count.

After an exchange of punches, Styles hit a Dropkick, , a Clothesline and a Back Elbow. When his Corner Charge misfired, Christian clipped him with a Clothesline! When Cage missed on his Frogsplash, AJ tried to do a Styles Clash! Cage blocked that and went for the Unprettier, but the intended victim got out of that jam with the Pele!

Styles missed a top-rope move and Cage made him pay with a Corkscrew Elbow! Christian went to the top, but Styles froze him with a right to the jaw and Back Body Dropped him to the canvas. Styles attempted the Spiral Tap, but Cage rolled out of harm’s way.

When Cage again attempted an Unprettier, The Phenomenal One shot him off and Cage collided with referee Rudy Charles! With them in a tangle, neither saw Frank Trigg zip into the ring and assault AJ with a kendo stick!

Still not knowing that someone had interfered in the match, Christian Cage pulled off an Unprettier that led to the pin and the win.

Grade: B+

The Kingfish Comments: One can only hope that this is not the opening salvo in another feud between Cage and Styles. The right way to handle it would be to have Styles watch the video of the match and see that Christian Cage didn’t know anything about it. I fear that they may be aligning Cage with Sting, which will only make the angle even shakier than it already is.

A video promoted Jeff Jarrett,

After a video that emphasized his recent bad behavior, Sting came to the ring to talk to the fans.

He praised and thanked them for supporting his remarks on the previous week’s show about the lack of respect by younger wrestlers such as Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. He added that there were some who really wanted to see Booker T and Kurt Angle get beaten and he wasn’t nearly as fond of those fans.

Samoa Joe came to the ring to answer Sting’s allegation. The two men looked like they were going to fight, which brought out Kevin Nash.

As he tried to talk them out of using weapons, Sting hit Joe with his baseball bat and jolted him with the Scorpion Death Drop!

As the show went off the air, the sounds of Jeff Jarrett’s theme music filled the arena.

Mike Tenay promised fans they’d get Double J’s reaction next week.

The Kingfish Comments: And the winner for the most ineffectual and ludicrous heel turn goes to… Sting!

Overall Grade for this episode: 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
[email protected]
(9/9/08)