HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The Impact Insight: Special 200th episode analysis
Our resident philosopher celebrates all the action and adventure of the special 200th episode of TNA Impact.
TNA reached a milestone, this week. They celebrated their 200th episode of !mpact!. Multiple titles were on the line and a former tag team specialist took his first big step towards singles super-stardom.
TNA had a new “Cross the Line” intro.
Kurt Angle was grumbling about things being unacceptable. Angle said the Mafia would take control and take things out. TNA then went to a special opening credits package that showcased some of the best action over the past 200 shows.
The Orlando crowd was at max volume as the fireworks exploded. Mike Tenay and Don West welcomed the home audience and explained how the Mafia were offended by the rejection from Bobby Lashley, last week. That led to the entire Mafia coming to the ring. Everyone was dressed in black. Kurt got on the mic. Kurt grumbled about Lashley trying to make a name by crossing the Mafia. Kurt talked about how bad a decision that was. The crowd cut loose with a “Bob-by Lash-Ley” sing-song chant. Kurt ignored them and talked about Lashley having to “pay the price”. Kurt said that Lashley had struck a deal with the Mafia, only to “take a dump on it”. Kurt didn’t know why Lashley made the choice to diss the Mafia. Kurt then called out Lashley.
Kurt didn’t have to ask twice. Lashley, carrying a black bat, came out onto the ramp. Lashley walked to the ring,while Joe and others grinned. Lashley said that he did, indeed, have an agreement with the Mafia. He pushed the members of the Mafia. Lashley admitted that he did want to be a part of the group, until he realized that the Mafia lost their hunger. Lashley told the Mafia that he was hungry. Lashley said that, unlike Joe and Taz, he couldn’t be bought. Kurt called Lashley “young and stupid”. Kurt said that the Mafia used and abused everyone to get what they want. Lashley said he had an offer for Kurt that he couldn’t refuse.
Before he could make the offer, Mick Foley limped to the ring. Foley said that he was there to talk about the offer. Foley thanked Lashley for saving his butt, last week. Foley talked about the Board of Directors watching the show to see the ratings go up. Foley suggested a tag team battle: Lashley and Foley v Kurt and Kevin Nash. Foley tweaked it so that if either Kurt or Kevin were to be pinned, their title would be lost. Nash would put up his Legends belt and Kurt would risk the World title. Foley pushed Kurt for an answer. Kurt accepted, while the other Mafia members tried to calm Kurt down.
Mike and Don ran down the rest of the night’s card.
Hernandez came out to new music, wearing a new shirt. Samoa Joe and Taz were waiting in the ring. Their battle would go down, next.
Hernandez d Samoa Joe
Joe punched away in the corner. Hernandez reversed an Irish Whip but Joe flipped Hernandez over the ropes and onto the apron. Joe went to bounce off the opposite ropes and Hernandez flattened him with the Springboard Shoulder Tackle. Hernandez hit a pair of somewhat weak Clotheslines and then whipped Joe to the corner. Hernandez hit a huge Splash on Joe, in the corner. Hernandez used a modified Uranage Chokeslam to plant Joe. Joe was dazed. Hernandez set for the Border Toss but allowed Taz to distract him. Joe converted the move into a Back Body Drop. Joe hit a Running Back Elbow into an Enziguri combo that rocked Hernandez. Hernandez kicked up at Joe from the canvas and then rolled up the turnbuckles to sit on the top rope. Joe kicked Hernandez in the head and then climbed the ropes. Joe went for a Superplex but Hernandez blocked it and pushed him off. Hernandez flew off the ropes with a Top Rope Splash. 1–2–3! Yes, Hernandez defeated Samoa Joe!
Jay’s Thoughts: Seeing Hernandez get the push just warms my heart. Hernandez was a fantastic singles star in the Texas indies, before he joined TNA. While I love LAX (I even have one of their shirts around here somewhere), it’s time for him to get a good solid run on his own. I doubt that he will end up as the World champion, at least at this point. If he were to take the title, this early in his push, he might end up as this generation’s Tommy Rich. He deserves better than that.
As for Samoa Joe, he’s in transition. It’s going to take a few weeks/months to mold him into the machine that Taz will likely turn him into. Taz needs to help Joe harness his anger into a positive direction.
Taz and Joe were irate at the loss. Hernandez drank in the love from the Impact Zone crowd. JB talked with Hernandez after the match. Hernandez said he was back and healthy. He said he would be the first Latino TNA World Champion. Joe seethed in the ring as TNA went to break.
Mike and Don looked back at the upset match of the year. During the commercial break, Taz tore into Samoa Joe for beating himself. TNA then went to a new “Revolution” video piece.
Lauren talked with Matt Morgan. Morgan pushed how he crawled, clawed and worked for everything. Morgan was confident that he would become a member of the Mafia after he dominated A.J. Styles. He walked off, as Lauren threw it to JB. JB pushed the text service that TNA offered, as well as Twitter. JB then brought in Styles. JB talked about his issues with Kevin Nash and Eric Young. Styles admitted that he under-estimated Nash, which is why Nash wears the red belt. Styles then threatened Eric Young, telling him that he will wish he was never born. Styles called Morgan “a bully”. Styles said if Morgan wanted a fight, he found one.
JB interviewed Mick Foley and Bobby Lashley. JB wanted to know why Lashley turned on the Mafia. Lashley said he had a fight already set with Bob Sapp. Lashley was set to join the Mafia, until he saw Foley fighting for TNA. Lashley said Kurt’s money just didn’t matter. Lashley wanted to be part of TNA, thanks to Mick Foley. Foley talked about him and Bobby doing a lot of thinking about taking gold from the Mafia.
TNA ran a promo for the “DNA of TNA”, Matt Morgan. They actually pushed Matt Morgan’s short time on American Gladiators. Morgan came out in the Helix robe. The crowd was quite hostile to Morgan. TNA then ran a video package for A.J. Styles. It talked about Styles’ history in the company. That led to the arrival of Styles, through his shower of sparks.
A.J. Styles d Matt Morgan
Best of Three Series — Match 1
Styles threw Knife Edge Chops. Fore-arm Smashes and a Dropkick to rock the Blueprint. Styles ducked a Decapitation Clothesline and came back with another huge Dropkick. Styles hit a Flying Clothesline in the corner. Styles used the Springboard Flying Fore-arm to send Morgan to the mat. Styles almost got the pin, but not quite. Morgan reversed an Irish Whip into a Kneelift. Morgan went for the Side Slam but Styles countered into the Pele. Styles went to the apron and nailed a beautiful Springboard 450 Splash to take the first match of the triad.
Jay’s Thoughts: While I’m not the biggest Matt Morgan fan but he gets credit for a great match. A.J. is probably the best all-around wrestling in TNA, if not in wrestling. Styles could make a piece of wood give a decent match. This series is a great idea. It worked really well, back in the 80s. Styles pulling out the surprise finisher took the battle to another level.
Lauren talked with Tracy Brooks about her return, last week, to take the Battle Royal to become the Main Event Mafia’s Chosen One (Knockout Division). Lauren accused Tracy of duping the fans and other wrestlers. Tracy took offense to the accusation. Tracy said that she did what she had to do to survive. Tracy was tired of TNA constantly telling her that they had nothing for her to do. Tracy said that she came to the fans in H-Double D. Tracy then started screaming about life and how it mistreated her until Lauren gave her a verbal smack. Tracy said TNA wasn’t doing enough, so now she’s property of the Main Event Mafia.
Taylor Wilde came out and ripped into Tracy for turning her back on everyone. Tracy said the business wasn’t for soft girls like Taylor, it was for b*tches, like her. Tracy stormed off as Lauren comforted a crest-fallen Taylor. TNA headed for break.
Mike talked about Tara‘s issues with The Beautiful People. Tara tricked Angelina Love into putting up the Knockout title. Love then used a crooked ref, Slick Johnson, to help her regain the belt. Don West then talked with Tara. Tara showed respect to the WWE but admitted that it was time for things to come to an end with the WWE. Tara said that she wanted to go out on a positive note, so she could tell her future kids that there mom was the best. Tara then talked about watching Awesome Kong before she (Tara) came to TNA. She called Kong one of the best. West then pushed the Beautiful People. West then got offended when Tara talked about the Beautiful People trading sexual favors with Slick Johnson to get the title back. West talked about Tara’s spider, which ticked off Tara. She said she would introduce Poison to West and let him take a bite out of him.
Back to live action, ODB and Cody Deaner arrived for the six-woman tag battle. The Trailer Park Twosome were joined by Raisha Saeed and Awesome Kong. The third part of the face triad was Tara. On the heel side, Madison Rayne, Angelina Love and Velvet Sky arrived together.
Tara, ODB and Awesome Kong d Madison Rayne, Velvet Sky and Angelina Love
Kong tagged in and Rayner just about wet herself. Kong threw a Knife Edge Chop and beat her down. Kong slapped Tara to make a tag. The Motor City Machine Guns were in the crowd with signs, asking why they haven’t been seen much lately. Tara and Kong got into a brutal fight. The two ended up on the floor, battling each other. Kong sent Tara to-the steel ring post. ODB kept fighting the trio of the Beautiful People . The three worked over the Trailer Park Barbie. Sky Snap Mared ODB and Love came off the ropes with the In-tight Dropkick to the face. ODB kicked out at two. Love beat on the head and face of ODB. Love choked Love on the ropes. West got really upset when ODB called Love a “dirty wh*re”. Love hit the Spinning Neckbreaker. Love flirted with Deaner. Deaner wasn’t buying the hoochie-mama routine. Deaner got on the apron to give Love a piece of his mind. Deaner spun the hat around. She called Deaner a Loser. Deaner kissed Love. That allowed ODB to roll up the stunned Angeline Love.
Jay’s Thoughts: The Knockout Division needs a major over-haul. It’s grown boring and predictable. ODB has been lost in the shuffle, which is a darn shame. Kong v Tara makes only marginal sense. It would be better if one of the women held the Knockout strap. I also wonder if Tracy Brooks is going to end up holding the Knockout title for the Main Event Mafia.
Angelina Love freaked out in the ring. ODB and Deaner laughed at the silliness. In the back, Eric Young and the rest of the World Elite walked towards the entrance ramp. The British Invasion were set to battle Team 3D for the IWGP tag belts, later in the night.
Don West ran down several upcoming shows. Mike sent it to a video package about the creation of the World Elite. Eric turned on the other TNA Originals and joined the foreign competitors. The entire World Elite faction came to the ring. They even have a group graphic and entrance music. Eric had hair clippers in his hand. Brutus Magnus had the stick. He introduced the World Elite’s leader, Eric Young. Eric mocked the fans for always expecting him to play the clown. Eric, a Canadian, ripped into the US. That, of course, got a “U-S-A” chant going. Eric said he had to become a US citizen to become a success. Eric said that he is living his dream, thanks to his own doing. The crowd chanted “Shut the Hell up”. Eric dissed the US. He talked about every other country hating the corrupt politics. Eric said that the Americans are what make America so bad. The crowd busted loose with a “Go Home, Eric” chant. Eric said the World Elite would start taking back from America. Eric said the World Elite would be what they wanted to be. Eric then sheared off parts of his blonde hair. Eric called out Team 3D.
Brother Ray and Brother Devon came out. Ray told the World Elite: “This is America, love it or leave it”. Ray started a “U-S-A” chant and rushed the ring. Ray and Devon took all the members of the World Elite to task.
The British Invasion d Team 3D
IWGP Tag Team Tables Title match
Rob Terry tried to attack Devon, on the outside, but missed a Clothesline. After Team 3D set up the table, the Brits hit Dual Clotheslines to drop the champs. The Brits went to Double Suplex Ray into the table but Devon moved it. Brutus and Devon got into it. Earl Hebner got Splashed in the corner. Rob Terry came in and took out both Ray and Devon. The Brits set the table in center-ring. Devon Powerbombed Brutus Magnus through the table. The ref was still down. Eric rushed in and blasted Devon in the head with the title. Eric rolled Brutus off the table and out of the ring. Devon was left in the midst of the broken table. The confused ref thought Devon went through the table and gave the win, and titles, to the British Invasion.
Your Winners and New IWGP Tag Champions: British Invasion (Doug Williams and Brutus Magnus)
Jay’s Thoughts: I realize that this win was to help show the World Elite as cheating, sneaky heels. That doesn’t make me like the ending of this match. The dazed ref making a bad call is older than dirt. The World Elite will likely have a dominance run, for awhile. This cheap win was absolutely needed, even though I hate how Team 3D lost. The tag scene is really rather exciting but it needs a little tweaking.
TNA ran a piece about TNA at ComicCon.
Lauren was talking about the training of Jesse Neal. Dr. Stevie rushed out and put a $50,000 bounty on Abyss’ head. Dr. Stevie ranted as TNA went to a training session with Jesse Neal and Rhino. The video was stopped by an attack by the Main Event Mafia on Foley and Lashley in Foley’s office. A security guard screamed “Lashley’s out cold!” and called for a medic.
In the office area, James Storm and Robert Roode jumped Booker T and Scott Steiner. The fight went through several offices.
Kurt Angle rose from the depths of the Impact Zone. He was joined by Kevin Nash for the main event. The two men tapped their individual title belts together. Mike didn’t know if there would even be a main event, since Lashley and Foley were down, in the back. The music for Bobby Lashley revved through the speakers. Bobby didn’t come out when his music sounded. The music switched to Mick Foley’s. Foley also didn’t come out when his theme played. Nash and Kurt played it up, as if they didn’t know what was going on. Foley’s music rang out again and Mick limped down the ramp.
Mick Foley and Bobby Lashley d Kevin Nash and Kurt Angle
War of Champions tag team match
Rules: If Lashley or Foley win…they get the title from the man they pin.
Nash beat on Foley as Kurt held Foley. Nash threw several rapid-fire Kneelifts in the corner. Nash choked Foley with the boot. Nash threw a hard Back Elbow and many punches. Nash tagged to Angle. Kurt punched Foley, who fell to the canvas. Foley was running on fumes. Foley blocked the German Suplex and then managed to drill Kurt with the Double Arm DDT. Foley brought out the Sock o Doom. He slapped on the Mandible Claw. Nash hit a Big Boot to dropped Foley. Foley’s eyes were as glazed as a dozen of Dunkin’ Donuts’ finest. Kurt locked in the AngleLock. Foley refused to submit. He crawled towards the ropes. Kurt dragged Foley back and Grapevined the leg. Foley would not submit. The lights went out and Sting‘s music sounded. Sting was in the crowd as the lights came back up. The lights went out, a second time, and Bobby Lashley were in the ring as the lights came back up. Lashley, with a bandaged head, tore into Kurt and Nash. Lashley threw wild fists. He Clotheslined Kurt over the top rope and then hit a Spear on Nash. Foley slid across the ring and covered Nash!
i>Mick Foley is your New Legends Champions!
Jay’s Thoughts: Putting the Legends belt on Foley made me just sit and roll my eyes. I hate to see Nash end up as a transitiion champ. Foley might be a decent champ, only time will tell. What Lashley’s role in the company will be is still in question. I’m wondering if he’s going to go for the strap at Bound for Glory. I foresee a Lashley taking over Samoa Joe’s campaign to eliminate the Main Event Mafia.
Final Grade: A-
Final Thoughs: The show wasn’t perfect but definitely a great show. There were several great surprises (Hernandez’ upset win, Tara and Kong fighting it out, etc…). Eric’s rant was a bit long-winded and boring. Rehashing the whole “UnAmericans” storyline from years back was lame. Cheap heat is such a cop-out. I’ve never liked the guys who go to Dallas and trash talk the Cowboys or go to Las Vegas and bad-mouth gamblers. That, to me, comes across as someone who just doesn’t have the ability to be creative. TNA is in transition, so just be patient. I’m saying that to myself as much as to each of you.