Katz Files: My Weekly TNA Notebook!

The Katz Files – Arnie Katz

My Weekly TNA Notebook

The Kingfish Arnie Katz presents his analysis of topics raised by the 9/25 episode of iMPACT

After an opening video that focused on the confrontation between Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett, announcers Mike Tenay and Don West ran down the card for the show.

Jeff Jarrett came to the ring with a lot on his mind. Tenay recapped Jarrett’s appearance last week in great delay.

Jarrett, speaking from center ring, called Mick Foley the greatest acquisition in TNA history and promised that Foley will be on the next iMPACT.

A well-dressed Kurt Angle came to the ring to object the Jeff Jarrett’s comments. “Mick Foley is yesterday’s news and so are you,” Angle accused.

Jarrett apologized for some unspecified things he said last week. He claimed that he returned to working on front of the cameras, because things hadn’t been going right.

Double J presented himself as a man trying to call it down the middle. He deplored the theft of Angle’s Olympic medal and said that, after a conference with Jim Cornette, AJ Styles had been instructed to return the medal.

Angle ordered Jarrett to “get out of my ring,” and then berated him for actually starting to leave.

As Jarrett walked up the ramp, Angle poured on the vitriol. He labeled Jeff’s father as a has-been loser and told Jarrett to talk to his kids about what a failure he is.

That brought Jeff Jarrett back to the ring, where he accepted a match against Kurt Angle at Bound for Glory in Chicago.

The Kingfish Comments: This qualified as perhaps the longest non-wrestling segment in TNA history. Of course, it was squarely aimed at setting up the second-most-important match on Bound for Glory/

What bothered me is that it seemed like a rerun of what they’d done last week. It was as thought someone shouted, “Take two!” and they’d started all over again! The encounter between Angle and Jarrett really suffered from this, since both acted out motivation that had already aired on the previous episode.

Abyss & Matt Morgan d. The Rock & Rave Infection

Abyss started the match for his team, but Matt Morgan made the flasher entrance, zooming into the ring over the top rope with a Cross Body Block on Lance Rock.

Abyss gave Jimmy Rave a Black Hole Slam and the Shock Treatment. It didn’t even lead to a cover.

Matt Morgan finished off Rave with the Hellevator.

<Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: Christy Hemme is getting very good in her role as a third-rate rock diva, but she is attached to an act that just hasn’t caught on very well with the fans. Jimmy Rave and the recently re-christened Lance Rock are good enough in the ring, but their part of the gimmick hasn’t worked nearly as well as Hemme’s part of the act.

Team 3D came out to tell Abyss and Morgan that they were a fluke. Devon led the verbal assault. He also went through the 20 tag team titles that Team 3D now claims.

Brother Ray said the match at the pay per view would involve Team 3D and the team of Abyss and Matt Morgan – and any other teams that wanted to be part of what has now been designated as a Monsters Ball match.

Abyss freaked out when he heard that last piece of news Matt Morgan tried to calm down the troubled giant.

The Kingfish Comments: Talk about slipshod booking! It makes little sense to announce a match like a Monsters Ball and then not tell fans who’ll be involved. It’s not like they’re going to bring in some superstar team that has waited in the wings for just this introduction.

Traci Brooks was the main personality on a “Rough Cut” video that examined the idea of hardcore women’s wrestling.

Brooks acknowledged that hardcore women’s wrestling might scare some fans at first, but she believes they will soon embrace it.

The Kingfish Comments: They don’t make these videos for fun, so it’s now likely that there will be some hardcore action involving the Knockout Division. Most likely, it’ll be Roxxi as the face. Who’ll be the heel? I’d use Awesome Kong, because the addition of weapons would make it more believable that one of those slim, petite women can beat Kong.

Beer Money and Miss Jackie did an interview about their upcoming skirmish with LAX in which the careers of the managers are at stake.

Storm raised a few of Jacqueline’s hackles with a remark that they didn’t want a pretty girl as manager so they hired her.

The Kingfish Comments: TNA sure does a lot of sexist female-bashing, even for a wrestling promotion. Nasty side comments about any woman in any scene have become an expectable, if shameful, part of the show. There’s no reason why women should be exempt from verbal barbs, but the gratuitousness and irrelevancy of a lot of the things said needs to be addressed by TNA management.

Awesome King d. Mercedes Steele

Kong tossed her opponent around with little effort right from the opening bell.

Awesome Kong Splashed her in the corner and uncorked an Awesome Bomb to pave the way for the pin.

Grade: D

The Kingfish Comments: I don’t know why you’d take a brand new person and make her act like a tackling dummy in her first TV match. I don’t know if Mercedes Steele has talent – they didn’t let her show any — but this kind of booking reduces her immediately to bottom-of-the-card enhancement wrestler status. And it’s not easy undoing that first impression, either.

If Mercedes Steele is to stay in the show as an enhancement wrestler, she should have taken her debut loss in a much more competitive match against someone like Velvet Sky. That way, fans would see her ability and, when she started losing to bigger names, would feel that she is a more credible opponent.

Raisha Saeed brought chair to the ring after the match. The mysterious assistant entered and, to the amazement of the fans, clouted Kong with a couple of ring-rattling chairshots!

Off came that enveloping black garment and mask! Underneath, it was Roxxi!

Almost immediately, a tightly bound Raisha Saeed – the real one, this time – hobbled to the top of the ramp.

The Kingfish Comments: Nicely done. It looked great on TV. It looks like Roxxi and Saeed will now work a program. Presumably, Roxxi will beat her and move on to lose to Awesome Kong in a regular match and then beat her in a hardcore one.

Christian Cage, on “Karen’s Angle,” talked about the veterans-versus-young stars feud. He positioned himself in the middle, not wedded to either side.

Cage also minimized his outburst toward AJ Styles on last week’s iMPACT.

The Kingfish Comments: As previously predicted, Cage is moving toward a position, with regard to the feud, in which both sides will woo him and he may prove false to some who think of him as a friend. That suggests that Christian Cage will turn on AJ Styles and wrestle a program against him.

Something needs to be done about “Karen’s Angle.” She was fairly lively and did at least some good work before she signed that long-term deal. Now the segment has no fire at all. She is too laid-back, too distant and cool. They need to bring Karen Angle back into the show if they want her to do effective interview segments.

LAX talked with Lauren about the match coming up against Beer Money. Hector Guerrero talked to the Latino audience and, in general, expressed confidence that it wouldn’t be his managerial career that ended as a result of this contest.

Jeremy Borash met with Booker T and Sharmell in the “lovely locker room.”

Booker stated that he had done more in his first six minutes in TNA than Styles had done in six years.

When Borash expressed interest in the briefcase, Sharmell slapped his hand away from the metal case.

The Kingfish Comments: Well, last week, I begged Booker T to give up the phony high-toned accent and, what do you know, he did it! Unfortunately, he has replaced it with what he fancies is an African accent!

Please, Booker, please, just talk normally and concentrate on what you are trying to say. This weird accent stuff is not plain creepy.

Beer Money d. LAX
Loser Gives Up Manager

Jacqueline contributed some timely interference from ringside, Hector Guerrero chased her up the ramp and out of the arena.

While the show went into commercial, Beer Money got off some tremendous offensive moves and took control of the match.

Robert Roode absorbed a ,I>lot of punishment at Hernandez’s hands. His Fall-away Slam might have won the match if James Storm hadn’t broken up the attempted pin in time.

Hernandez put Homicide on his shoulder and prepared to deliver him as a human missile. The Pride of Tennessee timed her strike perfectly and knocked down both members of LAX at the same time!

Robert Roode smashed Hernandez in the head with James Storm’s beer helmet. The pin followed immediately.

Grade: B+

The Kingfish Comments: This is a graceful way for Hector Guerrero to return to the announce table. He’ll probably be back around the ring again before too long, but it was time to separate him from LAX.

Lauren covered The Love-In, with Sonjay Dutt and SoCal Val as the couple who have spent the last 10 days in bed.

Val showed a less pleasant side of her personality when she pumped the Guru about the size of his inheritance between kisses.

The happy couple sang “Give Peace a Chance,” but they didn’t sing it very well.

The Kingfish Comments; I wonder if even half of TNA’s fans will get this antique reference to the antics of John Lennon and Yoko Ono from three decades ago or so. This needed a much better set up than it got on the show if they wanted to get it over to fans.

SoCal Val is going to be a heel along with Sonjay for the next period of time. That suggests that there may be one more turn of the wheel in the Dutt-Lethal feud. If the Happy Couple are the villains, then fans should want to see them get their just desserts. That would figure to be at the hands of the Wronged Fiancé.

“You don’t have me swerved, Jeff,” Sting declared. The Icon claimed that Jarrett begged him to come out of retirement to join TNA. Sting claimed he also had a pending offer from WWE and had deliberately chosen to go with TNA.

Sting pointed out that, since he chose TNA, no one should accuse him of being concerned only with money. He wondered aloud if Jarrett ad simply decided that he had no further use for Sting.

Sting used the JumboTron to show photos of some of the greats of yesteryear. With each photo – Arn & Tully, Dusty, Hulk and Ric Flair – When the screen flashed a photo of Samoa Joe, Sting said that this was someone who needed to learn how to be a champion. Then he showed a picture of himself and said that this was the man who would teach him at Bound for Glory.

The Kingfish Comments: This was one of the year’s greatest interviews, perhaps the best mic job the Icon has done since he came out of retirement. He presented a strong, personal view that was opposite to the one Samoa Joe, Jeff Jarrett and AJ Styles hold, but it definitely had the power to rouse the fans just as much.>N?

Backstage, Abyss and Matt Morgan argued about the Monsters Ball. Abyss expressed worry and fear about going into such a hostile environment, but The Blueprint encouraged him to face his fears.

The Kingfish Comments: TNA is sailing into deep psychological waters in a boat with several large holes in the bottom and missing paddles. The idea that Abyss should “face his fears” by participating in a match that is clearly beyond the level of violence that that is now his comfort zone, Facing his fears would probably involve walking out of the ring without using any of those weapons.

Still, it is not entirely clear if Morgan actually has Abyss’ interests at heart. He claimed to have spoken to Abyss’ doctor, but he said it in a way that suggests either that he was insincere or that the writing staff dropped the ball.

They showed a video of Kaz’s thrilling victory in the Steel Asylum.

JB asked Samoa Joe why he hadn’t confronted Sting earlier n the program. The champion maintained an icy calm as he explained that the time for shouting and threats had passed. He will make his statement in the ring.

At the end of the interview, Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed stopped by to thank Joe for what he is doing for them.

The Kingfish Comments: This is an example of good dramatic sense. Sting did a rave-up, so Joe took the opposite tack with an intense, understated statement. Great stuff!

A short video teased the coming of Suicide.

The Kingfish Comments: Jay Shannon did a great column at the end of last week about Suicide. Check it out.

Sheik Abdul Bashir d. Samoa Joe via DQ
Non-Title

Samoa Joe’s strength gave him an early edge and he exploited it to the maximum.

He quickly destroyed Bashir with the Musclebuster, followed by the inevitable one-two-three.

Grade: D

After the match, Samoa Joe applied the Rear Naked Choke and shouted that he had ‘your respect right here!}

Referee Rudy Charles needed the help of three other officials to pull Joe off his prey. The Charles reversed the decision and awarded the match to the X Division Champion.

The Kingfish Comments: What a mess! The booking on this match was almost criminally stupid. Who wants to see a champion after that champion has looked like a jabrone? This was a lazy job and it hurt the show and the promotion.

AJ Styles spoke up for small town America in general and his hometown of Gainesville, GA, in particular.

The Phenomenal One also zinged booker for the ludicrous accent.

Booker T (with Sharmell) d. AJ Styles

Christian Cage came to ringside to observe. He maintained a neutral demeanor through most of the match.

The finish was a slam-bang affairs.

AJ Styles accidentally knocked down referee Earl Hebner. Sharmell wanted to take advantage of the situation and got on the apron, prepared to use the metal suitcase.

Christian grabbed the briefcase out of her hands, but Booker plowed into him from behind! That sent Cage and the case right into Styles! Styles had seen the briefcase in Cage’s hands and may have jumped to the wrong conclusion.

With Hebner still half way out of it, Booker T took possession of the briefcase. When Styles stood, Booker let him have it!

Booker T covered the semi-unconscious Styles and Hebner made the count.

Grade: B+

The Kingfish Comments: Booker T needed the win and this one won’t hurt AJ Styles too much.

Overall Grade for the show: B-

The Kingfish’s Final Comments: The show did a very good job of hyping Bound for Glory, but at a price. That price was one of the poorest groups of matches we’ve seen on iMPACT in recent months.

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]
(9/30/08)