The iMPACT (7/9) Insight

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The TNA Impact (7/9) Insight!
On a very busy night of wrestling (four solid hours), TNA put on a show to equal the two hours presented by the WWE. One of TNA titles changed hands. The question is…which one?

The show began with a video package about the shift in power in TNA. Samoa Joe stabbed everyone in the back when he took a huge paycheck from the Main Event Mafia to join their ranks. Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett are faced with joining forces to battle the upstart group of former and current champions. Jeff and Mick were set to meet face to face. Sting was also back to make a statement regarding the Main Event Mafia, either by word or action.

This Week’s Episode: “Foley’s Last Stand?”

Mike talked quickly about the power struggle situation before Mick Foley arrived. Foley was in full-on Cactus Jack arrire. Foley had his nose bandaged, probably from the guitar shot, last week. Foley admitted that he looked like an idiot with his nose bandaged. Foley decided that the front office just couldn’t have two men in charge. Foley wanted to propose that one of the two (either Foley or Jarrett) step down from their decision making position.

Jeff Jarrett came from the back to answer Foley’s suggestion. Jeff wanted to know if Foley ever thought about what he says before he says it. Foley said no. The crowd started a “Foley” chant. A few people threw in “Sucks” after “Foley”. Jeff pushed Foley’s TNA World title win. Jeff said Foley put TNA in danger with his actions. Jeff called Foley a “true Legend in this business”. Jeff wanted Foley to start thinking about why he came to TNA and to start thinking about “the boys in the back”. Jeff wanted Foley to unite with him to take TNA to new heights, undreamed of. Jeff didn’t know if TNA could survive if the Mafia took all the belts at Victory Road. Foley understood what Jeff was talking about. Foley admitted that his decision to defend the World title only once a year was dumb. Foley felt that he and Jeff were now even Steven. Foley said that he did have something left to prove, not to the fans or Kurt Angle, but to himself. Foley needed to prove his World title win wasn’t a fluke. Foley started sounding like a three year old crying for his favorite toy as he called for the return of his belt. Foley suggested that Jeff face Kurt in a non-title match, later in the night. Jeff accepted the match, after a huge crowd reaction. Jeff decided to tweak the match. Jeff put Foley in the match, making it a Three Way Dance. Foley accepted it and then suggested that Kurt could pick a special guest ref. Jeff agreed but adjusted it, slightly, by saying the special ref couldn’t be a Mafia member or Matt Morgan. Foley called for Jeff Jarrett’s music as they sent it to Lauren.

Lauren talked with the British Invasion. She talked about the Feast or Fired case being up for grabs in a Ladder Match. Doug Williams grumbled about the case being his, not Homicide’s. Brutus Magnus pushed the three members of the British Invasion. Brutus said that they were in TNA to make the big money. They didn’t care for the American fans. They want to be the best in the World and will go through “Blubber Ray” and “Devon Custard” to get there.

The music of the British Invasion heralded the arrival of Doug Williams. He had Brutus Magnus and Rob Terry at his side. Doug had the mic. Doug said he would face anyone to come out and try to “steal” his case. Doug called for a “real” wrestler. He got…Homicide! Mike talked about Hernandez being out, due to neck surgery, and Homicide taking time off after the death of his father. My best wishes to Hernandez for a speedy recovery and my condolences, albeit a little later, to Homicide on the loss of his father.

Homicide d Doug Williams
Ladder Match for the Feast or Fired X-Division title shot briefcase

The two men started throwing wild punches as the bell sounded. Doug reversed an Irish Whip but Homicide dropped him with a Spiral Elbow to the chest. Homicide kicked Doug in the ribs and then whipped him to the ropes. Homicide dropped the bigger Brit with a Clothesline. homicide Monkey Flipped Doug to the corner and then went out to get the ladder. Homicide blasted Doug with the ladder and set up the ladder. Homicide started to climb, only to have Doug hit a Flying Clothesline to ground the Latino star. Doug set the ladder in the corner and whipped homicide into it. Homicide fell and the ladder collapsed on top of him. Doug climbed the ladder and almost got the case. Homicide tipped over the ladder and sent Doug into his Brit Brothers. Team 3D ran out and held Doug Williams outside the ring so Homicide could climb the ladder and get back his case.

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m so happy to see Homicide back in TNA. The X-Division is ramping up and I couldn’t be happier. With Amazing Red, Homicide, Suicide (Kaz), Daniels, Styles, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Bashir and Kiyoshi in the division, the X-Division could actually over-shadow the “big boys”. Homicide hasn’t lost a step during his time off. Welcome back, Homicide.

After the match, Kiyoshi and Bashir ran down to assist the Brits in a 5-on-3 beat down. The Brits hit their Morningstar (Flying European Uppercut from a clutched position) finisher on Devon. That name represents a vicious weapon that knights used back during the crusades (picked up that bit of trivia from Deadliest Warriors, Season 1). Rob Terry hit the Sit-out Powerbomb on Ray. The five foreign invaders stood triumphant over the broken bodies of their victims.

TNA went to a video piece about Mick Foley. Foley mentioned that there was no “Can’t or Won’t” on his path. It finished with “I Will Become.” TNA then went to a series of commercials, including that awful Bruno movie.

Mike and Don ran down the rest of the night’s card. Don then talked about a few upcoming shows on the East coast.

Mike Tenay then talked with Suicide. Tenay mentioned that Suicide wrote his own lyrics to his entrance theme. Mike read the lyrics, which sounding like something Ozzy would sing. Suicide, with his voice digitally altered, talked about his painful past. He said he had to chose between life and death. Tenay wanted to know how Suicide could come alive. Suicide said the light brought him back. He called himself the Dark Savior. Suicide said he represents The Beginning, not The End. Ok, that was odd.

TNA ran a promo for the Bound For Glory PPV coming to Los Angeles, California.

Tenay sent it to a history lesson of Sting’s association with the Main Event Mafia. It was at the big Las Vegas show back in 2008 where the Mafia was born. It had problems that came to a head when Samoa Joe was made a member. Sting threw up his objection, and got beat down and expelled from the group. Sting came back to heist the TNA World title belt.

Sting came out, carrying the World title belt. Sting was wearing his new T-Shirt. Sting called out to Kurt Angle. He taunted Kurt with the world title belt. He told Kurt to come get the belt. Sting then said he wanted to have a chat with Samoa Joe. Joe came out alone to face The Icon. Sting told Joe that he (Joe) was the reason that wrestling is in the sorry state it’s in. He accused Joe of taking a pay-off to get a quick road to the top. Sting said he didn’t need four guys to provide back up. Sting said that Joe “p*ssed” him off. Sting wanted to know who was pulling Joe’s strings. Joe said he was told to keep his temper in check, for now. Sting demanded to know who the puppet master is. Joe said he would find out at Victory Road. Sting said he would find out, tonight.

Jay’s Thoughts: I’ve been running through the possibilities of Joe’s adviser in my head. I’m thinking Tazz, Karen Angle, or James Mitchell as the top three candidates. Mitchell would be the most likely choice, if he is re-signed with TNA. He and Sting have had issues in the past. That could also ignite a nasty little Abyss v Joe feud.

Lauren talked with Jenna about her match against Sharmell. Lauren told Jenna that SoJo has been training Sharmell. Jenna said that she went out and bought herself a trainer…Kong! Too cool.

The Mafia music rang out. Booker T and Scott Steiner walked from the back. The two men joined Mike and Don at the announce table. Mike threw major respect to Scott and Booker as tag team specialists, extraordinaire.

The Motor City Machine Guns, the former IWGP Jr. Tag champs, came out for the Hour Turner match. The Guns dropped the straps during a recent tour of Japan. Their opponents were the tag champs, Beer Money. Storm had the Boozer Cruizer! I love that thing. Booker mumbled about all the tag championships that he and Scott held. Storm stared at both Mafia members.

Robert Roode & James Storm (Beer Money) d Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley (Motor City Machine Guns)
TNA World Tag Team Title Match

The Finish:

Roode came in and threw wild Haymakers at both Sabin and Shelley. Roode sent Shelley to the ropes and dropped him with a Back Elbow. Sabin reversed an Irish Whip but Roode Leap Frogged him and hit a Running Dropkick. Roode planted Shelley with the Anderson Spinebuster. Sabin made the save. Storm rushed in and thing broke down. The Guns took control after ducking Clotheslines and hitting Stereo Splashes on the tag champs. Shelley grabbed Roode in a Uranage position. Sabin hit a Springboard Dropkick to Roode’s back, turning the move into a PowerDDT. Roode kicked out at two. The Guns then went for a double team on Storm but the Cowboy nailed Sabin with the Last Call (Superkick). Storm reversed a Go Behind into the Back Stabber (Lung Blower). Roode and Storm combined to deliver the D-U-I finisher to Shelley.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: Now that the Guns have dropped the IWGP Jr. tag belts, over in Japan, they can focus on TNA. While they are a great team, I want to see them set their sights back on the X-Division. As for Beer Money, I feel that they will someday be compared to teams like Team 3D, the Road Warriors, Midnight Express and the New Age Outlaws, assuming that they stay together, long term. I have this feeling of dread when it comes to the future match between Beer Money and Steiner/Booker. I think TNA is about to set up a Mafia domination of the gold. I’ve even had the bizarre idea that Sharmell will take the Knockouts title from the women’s champ. Ok, maybe that’s going a tad too far.

Roode pointed over at the Mafia members. Scott picked up the tag belt and said the belts would be theirs. Roode and Storm shouted at the Mafia.

Angelina Love rambled on about Tara‘s spider. Velvet read Love the riot act about treating her like a puppet. Sky told Love that if she didn’t have her back tonight, the two of them were done. Love said she knew the spider crawled up Sky’s butt but didn’t know it died up there. I sense a face turn for Velvet.

TNA ran another video for the newest knockout, Sarita. They showed her moves and she looks great. That led to the arrival of the Beautiful People. The cameraman tried to grope Velvet’s tush, which set off Don West. Tara then arrived with her little fuzzy friend in a glass cage. Tara looked a lot like Fran Drescher with her new makeup and dark hair color. That’s a good thing.

Tara d Velvet Sky

Tara ducked a Clothesline and then threw hard Fore-arm shots to the chest of Sky. Tara Shouldered Sky in the corner. Tara Irish Whipped Sky to the opposite corner but ate a boot on the run-in. Sky hit a Flying Clothesline and then pounded the face and head of Tara. Sky then choked Tara. Sky used the hair to slam Tara to the mat. Sky Bieled Tara across the ring. Tara kicked out of the pin at two. Sky Snap Mared Tara over and kicked her in the back. Sky threw Tara on the ropes. Love didn’t come over to help Sky until the ref saw her. Tara fought back with her fists and Clotheslines. Tara hit a Scoop Slam and then lifted her up for the Widow’s Peak. Say goodnight, Gracie.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: Velvet really needs to break free from the Beautiful People. A feud between Love and Sky might be a bit boring but it’s feels right. Love is one of those pushy people that always gets her way. Someone needs to take her down a notch or two. Sky would be a great choice to topple Love from her Ivory Tower.

Tara retrieved her little friend from the box. Love was terrified. Love grabbed the mic. The crowd yelled “Do It!”. Love begged Tara not to put the spider on Sky. Love challenged Tara. Tara accepted, only if the TNA Knockout title was on the line. Love was hesitant to do it, but finally accepted. TNA went to break.

Tara d Angelina Love
Knockout Title Match

The Finish:

Love looked like she was going to take the countout loss, but it was a trick. Rayne got involved and Rudy Charles ejected her. Sky was already gone, due to her injuries from the earlier match. Love whipped Tara into the Guard Rail. Tara got her foot stuck in the rail, only to have a fan help her free. Love put Tara back in the ring and tried for a pin. After failing at that, Love nailed the Botex Injection (Bicycle Kick) to Tara’s chest. Tara kicked out at two. Love had a hissy fit when Tara kicked out. Tara punched away but Love pounded the back. Love whipped Tara to the corner but Tara moved and Love Splashed an empty corner. Tara threw hard closed fists to the face, along with Clotheslines. Tara hit the Spider’s Bite (Spinning Side Slam). Tara let out a primal scream. Tara nailed the Widow’s Peak to take the Knockout title!

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: Tara was a good choice for the new Knockout championette. The Knockout division has gotten seriously stale, in the past year or so. Tara will likely battle the three Beautiful People, before moving on to a brutal feud with Awesome Kong. I’d like to see ODB thrown in the mix but she seems more concerned with “Cooter” Deaner. Tara will take the Knockout division up several notches.

Don West had a git about Love losing. Tara was actually crying as the crowd showed their love to her.

Lauren talked with the new champion. Tara couldn’t believe that she won it. Tara said she thought she couldn’t be happy with her career, until she came to TNA> She thanked Angelina Love and Poison (the Tarantula). Mike and Don then ran down the updated Victory Road card.

It was time for Abyss’ therapy session. Abyss grabbed Stevie by the throat and threatened to kill him. Abyss had some kind of seizure after attacking Stevie. It turned out that he water was drugged with a paralyzing agent. Abyss couldn’t even talk. He was helpless. Stevie then slapped Abyss, over and over.

Segment Grade: F-

Jay’s Thoughts: I have a couple of friends who work as therapists. I showed them this segment and they were outraged. I think the feud will be good for Abyss, in the long run, but TNA is going the wrong direction with this whole therapist garbage.

Matt Morgan came out in a new robe which featured a DNA double helix on it. His trunks had the same double helix pattern. His partner was “Big Sexy” Kevin Nash. Their opponents were the legendary tag team of Daniels and Styles.

A.J. Styles & (Christopher) Daniels d Matt Morgan & Kevin Nash

The Finish:

Styles Springboarded over Morgan and caught Matt with a Dropkick. Morgan put Styles on the apron. Styles came back with the Springboard Elbow. Styles then attacked Nash. Morgan then reversed an Irish Whip, only to have Styles Dropkick the knees. Styles then bounced off Morgan’s back to deliver a unique Baseball Slide, between the top and middle ropes, onto Nash. Morgan then Goozled Styles. Styles flipped free and nailed the Pele. Daniels came in and hit the BME while Styles went to the opposite corner. Styles flew 3/4 of the way across the ring to hit the Frog Splash and take the win.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: I’ve never been a fan of Kevin Nash. I’m even less of a fan of Matt Morgan. Morgan is a glorified Curtain Jerker. If the Mafia actually allows Morgan into the group, then the Mafia might as well close shop. As far as Styles and Daniels, I’d like to see Styles drop the Legends title to Nash, so he and Daniels could go after either Beer Money or Steiner/Booker for the World tag belts.

Nash and Morgan did a post-match beat down on both Daniels and Styles. Nash attacked Styles. Daniels tried to help his friend, only to have Morgan grab him and Chokeslam him. Nash took Styles to the outside and ran him into the steel steps. Nash slid a chair into the ring. Morgan slipped the chair around Daniels’ leg and then Leg Dropped it. Styles slammed Nash’s face into the steps and then slid into the ring to clear out Morgan with the said steel chair.

Lauren tried to talk to Samoa Joe. Joe was waiting for a car to arrive. It wasn’t Joe , it was Sting that went to the car. Joe jumped Sting and choked out Sting before The Icon could reveal the identity of the man or woman in the car that has been in Joe’s head.

TNA then ran a video package for Jeff Jarrett. It was a part of the “I Will Become.” series. That led to the arrival of the special guest ref…Eric Young! Mick Foley then came out in his old Cactus Jack gear. He was joined in the ring by Jeff Jarrett, dressed in fold and white. Finally, Kurt rose from the depths of the Impact Zone to join the battle. He had an evil grin on his face.

Kurt Angle d Jeff Jarrett & Mick Foley
Triple Threat non-title match.

Eric Young — Special Guest Ref

The Finish:

Kurt went for the AngleSlam but Jeff avoided the move and turned it into an Arm Drag. Jeff then Stroked Angle, mid-ring. Eric made a slow-motion count. Foley got in and dropped an elbow on Jeff. Foley then locked in a Sleeper off a weak Irish Whip. Jeff turned it into a Jawbreaker. Jeff went out and got his silver guitar. He threatened Eric with it. Foley caught Jeff with the Mandible Claw. Kurt AngleSlammed Foley but Jeff made the save. Jeff locked in the Figure Four. Foley dropped an Elbow on Jarrett. Kurt reached over and grabbed the AngleLock. Eric asked Foley if he submitted. Foley said “No No NO”. Eric called for the submission loss.

After the match, Jeff Jarrett tore into Eric. He took him to the floor and went after him with a chair. Back in the ring. Foley slapped on the Mandible Claw. The Mafia rushed the ring and attacked Foley. They brought the barbed wire bat and a bunch of barbed wire. Nash and Steiner wrapped Foley in the wire. There was no one to come help Foley. Rocco and Sally Boy tried to help but they got attacked by the barbed wire. Foley was bleeding in several places as TNA went to black.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: This was a great main event match. Eric actually added to the match. Kurt is likely going to survive Foley’s challenge, only to go into a great program with Sting. There is also the outside chance that Samoa Joe might be using the Mafia to get inside Kurt’s head. Kurt, as I mentioned before, was the perfect choice to give the belt. There are so many options while he holds the strap.

Final Grade: B

Final Thoughts: TNA is starting to get things set for Bound For Glory. I expect Sting to battle Kurt for the strap. TNA will likely throw in quite a few twists and turns over the next few weeks. Victory Road is going to be a decent PPV, but it will serve as a set-up for Bound For Glory. I doubt that I will order Victory Road but I’m almost certainly going to spring for Bound for Glory.

Peace

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(7/13/09)