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 10/16 episode of iMPACT

TNA opened with a video that recapped Bound for Glory.

The episode was called “Foley’s Farewell.”

The announcers reported on the title change and the burning of Abyss. They said that Chris Parks had emerged from the hospital, but would not be at this taping.

The Motor City Machine Guns d. Sonjay Dutt (with SoCal Val) & Sheik Abdul Bashir

SoCal Val continued to develop heel-like ways to go with her skanky new look. She grabbed Alex Shelly’s leg and yanked him down from behind at a crucial point in the match.

Chris Sabin powered Sonjay Dutt into the mat with a Huracanrana and Alex shelly finished him off with a Frogsplash.

Grade: B

The Kingfish Comments: This match encapsulates a couple of TNA’s biggest shortcomings. First, they are turning the Motor City Machine Guns babyface after spending weeks gradually nudging them into the heel column. So, just as they finally get Shelly and Sabin to where fans can perceive them as rulebreakers, they go the opposite way and give them a match against two total heels.

The second problem is that they have Sonjay Dutt working as a heel – and doing a series of incredible moves that drew gasps of admiration from the arena crowd. The mission of the heel is to draw negative heat and anything that compromises that mission undercuts the wrestler’s ability to elicit a strong reaction from fans. Dutt’s style just doesn’t seem to work for a heel.

After the match, Kurt Angle ran into the ring and assaulted Sonjay Dutt in line with his threat to tae out his frustration of on the whole roster.

Angle said that Jeff Jarrett had won their match only with the help of Mick Foley.

The Kingfish Comments: They are starting to give Kurt Angle a serious push. It seems a little funny to see him come out on top in situation after situation, because TNA has seldom done this, but let’s hope it is the first sign of a more realistic booking policy.

The Glass Ceiling, where no one moves up, is not good for the business or for the fans. But Parity Booking is not such a wonderful thing, either. It generates a lot of run-ins, and screwjob endings. It also sabotages the development of stars – and it’s stars who have the mega-matches.

Kevin Nash told Jeremy Borash that his attack on Samoa Joe was payback for things the Samoan said about Scott Hall 10 months ago.

The Kingfish Comments: Nothing like delivering an angle a week after the match. TNA should’ve pointed out this possibility before the match as part of the plan to build up some uncertainty around Nash.

After a video showed the title change at Bound for Glory, Sting came out to glory in his new gold.

Sting surprised everyone by putting over Samoa Joe very strongly. He admitted that Joe is the better wrestler and that the former champ “took him places” that he had never been before.

Sting conceded that Joe could’ve pinned him and kept the title. He said that the reason Joe lost is that he tried to humiliate Sting instead of win the match.

AJ Styles confronted Sting in the ring. The Phenomenal One told The Icon that that he didn’t get respect, because he doesn’t give respect. Styles contrasted his hard work for the company with Sting enjoying semi-retirement while cashing big check.

“The cement that holds TNA together is our blood,” Styles told the Face-Painted Fury.

Sting took the low road with tacky comments about the deficiencies of Styles’ father, so AJ slapped him.

When Sting said he was going to let it go, Styles smacked him again! Sting rushed at Styles and they tussled in the ringside area.

The Kingfish Comments: Both men did well in this in-ring dramati8c scene, which is part of the set up for a big tag team showdown in Las Vegas at the company’s first HD episode of iMPACT.

Since the Veterans versus Originals feud casts neither faction as villains, Sting’s comments about Styles’ dad didn’t seem too appropriate. Granted, they needed to have Styles strike the first blow this time, but they certainly could’ve made Sting seem a little less like an insensitive lout in the process.

The camera abruptly switched to the backstage area, where Kurt Angle was directing his onslaught against Curry Man, Sharkboy and, eventually, Eric Young.

Jeremy Borash interviewed Booker T and Sharmell in their luxurious dressing room. Booker continued to flaunt his phony accent. He didn’t seem very worried about facing Hernandez.

When JB asked about the briefcase, Sharmell revealed that Booker will open it on next week’s iMPACT.

The Kingfish Comments: The grand opening can’t come too soon. Those who thought the “King Booker” shtick got pretty lame in WWE will likely also be thrilled to see Booker T move on to a new chapter. I guess it would be too much to hope for him to go back to using his regular manner of speaking. It’s too bad, because the need to concentrate on the dopey accent really hurts Booker’s acting..

Booker T (with Sharmell) d. Hernandez (with Homicide)

Booker spent the first half of the match trying to wear down Hernandez, first with a Side Headlock and later a Rear Chinlock.

When Booker T missed an Ax Kick, Hernandez went on a run that included both left-handed and right-handed Clotheslines and a Shoulder Block in the corner. It didn’t add up to a pin, though.

Hernandez Bodyslammed Booker and then blasted him with a Springboard Cross Body from the apron. It still wasn’t enough.

Sharmell distracted the referee, while Booker T tried to kick Hernandez’s gonads into next Tuesday. Booker clobbered Super Mex with the briefcase and then laid him low with the Ax Kick. The pin followed quickly.

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: It won’t bring many tears when we see the last of those briefcase shots. This would have been an ideal spot for Booker T to win a hard-fought match against Hernandez with a clean finish. It would’ve been a nice win for Booker and it wouldn’t have hurt Hernandez, primarily a tag team specialist, too much.

Back from a commercial break, Kurt Angle beat up the Rock n Rave Infection.

Lauren interviewed Roxxi, who used some bleeped words in her rant about her coming match with Awesome Kong.

The Kingfish Comments: We will soon see if Roxxi’s fake “tough” act will go over with fans. The bleeps are going to become annoying quickly if TNA sticks to its current language policy. Perhaps the promotion will be more lenient with the language on the pay per view, which would make a lot of sense.

As Christy Hemme ran, shrieking, in the general direction of the hospital, the Beautiful People stopped her and

Velvet Sky taunted Christy, telling her that HD will make her even uglier.

Cute Kip and the Beautiful People put the paper bag on her head.

The Kingfish Comments: If this isn’t a face turn for Christy Hemme (and, by inference, Rave and Rock), it is incredibly bad writing and booking. The guys got beat up by the lead heel (Angle) and Christy looked mighty sympathetic as she voiced great concern for “her boys” and became the butt of the Beautiful Peoples’ bullying.

The flaw in this scene is that it sure took Christy Hemme a long time to leave the arena for the hospital, especially for someone allegedly in a hurry. It reminded me of the way it suddenly becomes so hard for guys to climb the ladder to get whatever is hanging above the ring.

Kurt Angle attacked ring announcer Dave Penzer. He took off Penzer’s shoe and beat him with it.

After referees and security en couldn’t pull Angle off Penzer, Jeff Jarrett came to the ring.

Angle told it that it isn’t over until he says it’s over.

When Kurt threatened Double J’s kids, the former King of the mountain had to be restrained.

Mick Foley gave his farewell speech. He likened life to a theme park and said that he had really enjoyed the ride in TNA.

As Foley walked up the ramp, talking to other such as Consequences Creed, Jeff Jarrett intercepted him and begged for a private meeting. Mick went with him.

The Kingfish Comments: If Mick is “retiring” from TNA, it sure makes you wonder about Jarrett repeatedly calling him the “greatest addition in the history of TNA.” Makes one think that Mick may stay around at least a little longer, perhaps through the next pay per view.

Jim Cornette, speaking by phone, announced Morgan-Angle as the night’s main event.

Roxxi d. Raisha Saeed (with Awesome Kong

Saeed Suplexed Roxxi and then used the surfboard position to smash the Hardcore Knockout’s face into the canvas over and over again.

Said Bodyslammed Roxxi, but when she tried to leap off the top turnbuckle, Roxxi moved out of the way! Roxxi Bodyslammed the Mystery Woman, but then she lost focus and went after Awesome Kong!

The former champion missed the Swinging Backfist and the ring post took the blow meant for Roxxi. While Kong was temporarily occupied with nursing her wounds, Roxxi finished Raisha Saeed with the Voodoo Drop!

Awesome Kong cut the post-match celebration short when she Awesome Bombed the victor.

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: The announcers detracted from the heat in this one. I’m sure they’re given instruction about what should be stressed, but it just kills a match when Tenay and West jabber a mile a minute about something entirely separate from anything that is going on in the ring.

Prior to the match, Matt organ talked to Lauren. The Blueprint was excited about his match, but he was really thinking more about his absent partner, Abyss. He blamed himself

An irate Christy Hemme looked right into the camera lens and vowed that the Beautiful People would not leave Las Vegas able to walk.

Consequences Creed said that fighting Kevin Nash was an opportunity. “Creed’s coming,” he chanted several times.

Team 3D showed no repentance about what happened during the Monster’s Ball. Brother Ray said that they were the most extreme tag team, so what did people think world happen when they became immersed in the world’s most violent match.

Brother Ray said that fans would get to choose the order in which rival teams entered the ring in the forthcoming hardcore match.

They promised to bring “sex, blood and rock n roll” to Las Vegas for the next iMPACT.

Kurt Angle d. Matt Morgan>/B>

After they traded holds on a fairly even basis during the first half of the match, Kurt began to wear down his opponent with a concerted attack on his legs.

Morgan scored with a series of powerful moves, culminating in a Side Slam, but it didn’t lead to a pin. Morgan blocked an Olympic Slam and stopped Angle in his tracks with the Carbon Footprint, but Kurt kept coming. H seized an Anklelock, but Morgan used his superior strength to shake him off the hold.

Even Morgan’s Hellevator didn’t keep Angle’s shoulders to9 the mat for more than a two count. And when Morgan tried it again, Angle reversed it into an Olympic Slam and scored the pin!

After the match, Kurt looked like he might want to attack the wounded Blueprint, but Abyss made a surprise appearance to keep his partner safe.

When Abyss turned his back on Angle, the former Olympian peppered him with punches. The camera cut to the parking lot as Kurt applied the Anklelock.

Grade: B-

The Kingfish Comments: So Kurt Angle has Abyss in the Anklelock – and the cameras cut away. It’s a question of priorities and I think the top one should be winding up the Angle-Abyss confrontation before going to the parking lot for the departure of Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett,

This match certainly wasn’t typical TNA. After protecting Matt Morgan for some time, because he is clearly a potential star, TNA had him take a clean loss from Angle. There’s no shame in losing to Kurt, and the victory certainly helps the major push he is currently getting, but I wonder why they chose Matt Morgan.

Jeremy Borash intercepted Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley as they left “for Las Vegas.”

Foley promised he would be at the 10/23 <IiMPACT. He promised a major announcement.

The Kingfish Comments; Foley went to great lengths to get across the idea that his announcement will be something authentically huge for the pro wrestling business. Color me skeptical.

Overall Grade for the Show: C+

The Kingfish Comments: “Off” shows are going to happen and this was certainly one of them for TNA. It wasn’t such a terrible card, but it also lacked the high spots that lift the show into its usual B/B+ range.

Most likely, they are saving it up for the first HD show, which will be live from Las Vegas.

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]
(10/21/08)