The TNA Impact *9/10) Insight

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon

The Impact (8/10) Insight
Our resident philosopher looks at one of the most shocking Impact’s in recent history.

TNA moved another step closer to their next Pay-per-view. A legendary figure returned to the ring, as did a former Knockout. The World title situation got muddier than ever. Also, the Knockout Tag Team Tournament continued. TNA pulled one of the biggest swerves in their entire 7+ year history. Be sure to keep reading to the very end.

This Week’s Episode: Breakdown!

Brother Ray tore into the British Invasion as the show opened. TNA was already in the middle of a Tag Team Gauntlet match, so…

The British Invasion d Team 3D, Beer Money, Inc. and Scott Steiner/Booker T
Four Team Gauntlet Match

The Finish:

Storm launched Williams with the Eye of the Storm. Booker came in and hit the Superkick. Williams tried for the pin but only got two. Steiner tagged in and rammed Storm into the corner. Steiner hit his trademark Rolling Belly to Belly. Kurt Angle was watching the match, in the back. Storm Floated Over a Scoop Slam and hit a modified Back Stabber. Roode tagged in and went after everyone. Steiner whipped Roode into the corner but Roode came back with the Buffbuster. The Brits made the save. Brother Devon tagged in and dropped Steiner with a Flying Clothesline. Booker made the save. It all broke down as Team 3D hit the 3D on Steiner. Devon tried for the pin but Booker broke it up. Brutus Magnus dropped onto Steiner and stole the win.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: What a great way to kick off the show. These four teams are really becoming the backbone of tag team wrestling. TNA should just give New Japan back their IWGP belts and shift all the focus on the TNA World titles. Toss the Motor City Machine Guns, Lethal Consequences and Daniels/Styles in the mix and the tag team division is going to embarrass WWE’s pathetic tag team offerings.

Kurt was livid, in the back. Booker and Steiner were totally confused. TNA went to break.

Kurt screamed at the World Elite. Eric Young yelled at Kurt, who said he would take care of them, later on. Mike Tenay and Tazz ran down the night’s card.

Kurt Angle came out to the ring. Kurt asked Matt Morgan to join him in the ring. The Blueprint didn’t need to be asked twice. Kurt talked about their bumpy ride, over the past few months. Kurt blamed Matt for the issues, due to Morgan’s immaturity. Kurt said Morgan was on the cusp of being in the Mafia. Kurt said the entire Mafia was in agreement as to the future with Morgan.

Suddenly, Sting and A.J. Styles arrived in the Impact Zone. Sting talked directly to Morgan. Sting couldn’t believe that Morgan would believe that Angle would have his back. Sting instructed Morgan on how he should be getting into Angle’s face. Sting had Morgan give his taglines. Sting got in Angle’s face, acting like Morgan, and saying that at No Surrender he (Morgan) would tear Kurt apart. Sting wanted to know why Morgan wouldn’t be thinking like that. Sting tried to explain to Morgan that the Mafia needed him but he didn’t need the Mafia. Kurt told Sting to shut up. Kurt got a shot in on Styles, calling him “the quitter”. Kurt told Styles that Sting didn’t want to “pass the torch” to A.J., he wanted to burn him with it. Kurt told Styles that Sting was using him to get one last shot at glory. Kurt admitted that he planned to keep his TNA World title. Styles called him on the comment. Morgan then grabbed the stick and thanked Angle for finally admitting that he has been using Morgan. Morgan wanted to know what use Kurt would have for Morgan, if he kept the title after No Surrender. Morgan offered to be in Kurt’s corner in the main event. He begged Kurt to use him, like he would use him at No Surrender.

Jay’s Thoughts: Sounds like the perfect “blueprint” for a face turn to me.

Lauren talked with Earl Hebner about the decision that he made to disqualify Hernandez. She wanted to know why Earl DQ’d Hernandez. Earl got cranky at Lauren for daring to question him. He told her to trust no one.

JB and Mick Foley watched Foley’s kids wrestle on the fold-out couch. JB talked about Foley facing Kevin Nash in a rematch, next week, for the Legends title.

Dr. Stevie arrived in Foley’s office. Stevie was offended when Foley called him “Stevie Richards”. Stevie started to rant about his medical credentials but Foley shut him down and informed him that he would be trying to collect him own bounty on Abyss, later tonight. Stevie tried to back out of the match, whining that Abyss was a monster. Foley wouldn’t back down and told Stevie that he would have to fight. Foley said that the “old” Mick Foley would continue, next week.

It was time for another first round contest in the Knockout Tag Team Tournament. Alissa Flash joined forces with “Zombie Hot”, Daffney. This was, technically, Flash’s second time to battle in the tourney. She also fought as Raisha Saeed, alongside Awesome Kong. They faced off against Sarita and Taylor Wilde. Even though Sarita is actually Canadian, she is billed from Mexico City.

Sarita and Taylor Wilde d Alissa Flash and Daffney
Knockouts Tag Team Tournament — Round 1

The Finish:

Daffney tagged back in and pounded and kicked Wilde. Daffney hit a Running Knee Strike to the face. Tazz said that Daffney called the move, Daff-Knees. Sarita and Flash both tagged in. Sarita clotheslined Daffney. Sarita went for a Double Crossbody on her opponents. The heel team tried for a Double Fallaway Slam but Sarita converted into a Tornado DDT on Daffney. Wilde rushed in and took out Flash. Sarita lifted Wilde into a Stratisfaction-like move, where Wilde kicked out at Flash. Sarita then hit a Back Suplex on her partner, to drop her on Flash. Flash kicked out but Sarita went for a pin. Daffney made the save. Wilde went Daffney to the outside. Wilde and Daffney fought on the floor, while Sarita caught Flash with a High and Tight Belly to Belly Suplex to help her team advance.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: Before Angelina Love got released, I would have bet the farm that the Beautiful People would have take the belts. Now, I’m torn between Sarita/Wilde and Tara/Hemme. Since Tara is about to get into a nasty little feud with Kong, I’m thinking that Sarita/Wilde just might pull off the win.

JB talked with World Elite. Eric Young wasn’t worried about Kurt Angle’s threats. Eric invited Kurt to “come by and have a chat, anytime”.

Lauren talked with Suicide about his issues with D’Angelo Dinero. Dinero is now being pushed as some kind of street preacher. Suicide mentioned that the Dark Savior would arrive to cleanse the evil in TNA.

Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin came out to the ringside area. They were showing off their tissue holder. They removed the red tarp to reveal…their own announce table with fancy monitors. The Motor City Machine Guns began to talk about the arrival of Jay Lethal. Lethal faced off against D’Angelo Dinero.

D’Angelo Dinero d Jay Lethal

The Finish:

Lethal caught Dinero with a Flying Fore-arm after ducking a Clothesline. Lethal then hit a pair of Clotheslines and the Muta Backspring Elbow off the ropes. Dinero kicked out at two. Lethal Irish Whipped Dinero to the ropes but dropped his head. Dinero kicked Lethal in the face and went for a Clothesline. Lethal ducked the move and Hip Tossed Dinero to the canvas. Lethal flowed through the Hip Toss to deliver the Low Dropkick to the face. Lethal hit a Sunset Flip as Tazz grumbled about Lethal calling him (Don) Muraco. Lethal ducked a Clothesline and School Boy’d Dinero for a two. Lethal then tried for a Side Roll Pin but only got a two. Dinero Power Whipped Lethal to the corner. but Lethal kicked him in the chest. Dinero shrugged it off and spun Lethal around. He hit a Funk Neckbreaker, off the ropes. Dinero then scooted to the far corner and dropped the kneepads. He took out Jay Lethal with what is now called the D-D-E (D’Angelo Dinero Express). It is the same Flying Double Knees that he used in ECW.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: So Dinero’s now a Street Preacher? Hmmm…that should make for some interesting promos. Dinero just never got the right push in ECW/WWE. He is obviously being set up as a replacement for Ron “The Truth” Killings in TNA. I hope Creative gives him the chance to run with some decent promos. Otherwise, he’s just going to fall into the cracks.

In the back, Kurt and Eric got into a yelling match. Kurt told Eric that he needed to make a decision where he loyalties lie. Eric said he already decided. Eric told Kurt to know his role and be part of the bigger team. Eric offered his hand. The two shook hands. Eric tried to shake hands with the others but they refused. Scott had some nasty comments for the non-Americans. The Beautiful People were walking towards the entrance ramp. They would make their big for the Knockouts Tag Titles, next.

Angelina Love and Velvet Sky arrived for the next bout. This was taped before Love was released for problems with her work visa. Love and Sky shook their moneymakers as they entered the ring. Madison Rayne then came out in a steaming hot white lace outfit. Madison then called out her partner…Roxxi! Roxxi has grown her hair back. The two rushed the ring as Sky freaked out.

Angelina Love and Velvet Sky d Madison Rayne and Roxxi
Knockout Tag Team Tournament — Round 1

The Finish:

Rayne fought out of the enemy corner and rolled to her own. Sky and Rayne both tagged out. Roxxi rocked both members of the Beautiful People with hard Fore-arm shots to the chests. Roxxi Booted Love and launched Sky with the Fallaway Slam. Love came back with a Big Boot of her own and sent Roxxi to the corner. Roxxi dodged a Running Boot. Roxxi nailed the Voodoo Drop but only got a two. Rayne tagged in and the faces tried to double team Love. Sky tripped Roxxi as the faces bounced off the ropes. Love then used a Roll-up that nearly exposed all of Rayne’s backside, thanks to pulled tights. The Beautiful People advance, maybe.

Grade: B (for bare backside)

Jay’s Thoughts:Well, where does this leave poor Velvet Sky? Her partner gets the boot because she can’t keep her work visa updated. The team is scheduled to move on to the next round in the tourney. I have 2 possible scenarios that work for me:

1. A review of the tape shows the tight pulling (I’m voting for TNA to show it again, thank you very much). The ref then reverses the decision and Rayne/Roxxi move on.

or…

2. Velvet is allowed to find another partner. She would then turn to…Cheerleader Melissa. That would allow Melissa/Alissa/Raisha to pull a full Foley and compete as three different personas. I like that one best.

Cody Deaner was complaining to Mick Foley about not having experience against fighting women. He asked for a tune-up match. Foley liked the idea. He wanted a Muscle Shoals Mama-Jam Aah (MMA) match, whatever the heck that is. Foley grinned as he decided which Knockout that Deaner would face.

Mick Foley joined the announce team for the next match. Abyss, dressed in the blue flannel vest, came out first. He was jumped behind by Dr. Stevie.

Abyss d Dr. Stevie (Richards)
Bounty Match

Highlights:

Stevie battled Abyss down the ramp. Stevie slammed Abyss into the barrier and then ran his back into the ring. Stevie rolled into the ring and called for Abyss to join him in the ring. Stevie was already rubbing his surgically repaired neck. Stevie stomped oat Abyss. Abyss “Hulked Up” and slowly removed his leather jacket, as Stevie Knife Edge Chopped him. The Knife Edges had no effect. Stevie bounced off the ropes and Abyss clubbed him like a caveman. Stevie hit the mat with a serious thud. Abyss hit a Running Splash in the corner. Abyss planted Stevie with the Black Hole Slam to take the win.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: Is it just me, or is this the most boring “Bounty” situation ever placed in wrestling? I’m glad to see Abyss stay in the spotlight, but there just isn’t anyone big and bad enough to take out Abyss. Kevin Nash is a joke as a threat to Abyss. He’s so past his prime that it’s pathetic to see him fight, these days.

Kevin Nash slinked down to the ring. Nash oozed into the ring and waited for Abyss to turn around. He Clothesline “The Monster”. Nash moved Abyss to the corner and hit hard Kneelifts. Stevie jumped on Abyss, which set off Foley. Foley sounded like Popeye as he talked “I can’t stand no more”. Foley rushed into the ring, grabbed Dr. Stevie, and tossed him over the top rope. Stevie landed badly on the outside. Nash slid out of the ring to avoid Foley. Foley invited Nash back into the ring.

The World Elite were in the ring, in full force. Eric had the stick. Eric loved the controversy that they’ve created. Eric was determined to recruit Hernandez. He spouted his rhetoric to try and convince Hernandez to turn his back on the US. The crowd yelled “Shut the Hell Up”.

Some Latino music played but Hernandez didn’t come out. It was Hector Guerrero that strolled to the ring. Once he got Ianthe ring, Hector said that Hernandez wouldn’t come out. Hector used the word “ese” about two dozen times during his rant. Hector cursed Eric in Spanish. Hector said Hernandez wanted to give back to the fans…ese. Hector said that they weren’t Americans but this was their country. That got a “U-S-A” chant going. hector told Eric to stop the madness before it got out of hand. Eric said that he didn’t start it, it was the fans. Eric said the fans p*ssed on them. Eric said Hector wasn’t an American and never would be. (I thought the Guerreros were born near El Paso, Texas?) Eric said that his respect for Hector was the only reason that Guerrero was still standing. Eric told Hector to pay close attention to the show tonight, because he was going to give him a reason to come to the ring, later tonight.

Tara was in her Mixed Martial Arts gear. It looked as if she was going to sink her fangs into Cody Deaner.

TNA ran a video package about Tara. It talked about her turning from Diva to Knockout. It also showcased Poison, her tarantula. It brought up the growing issues with Awesome Kong.

Tara came out for the Mixed Martial Arts battle. The Guns wanted to call the match. Her opponent was Cody “Cooter” Deaner. Cody was wearing Zubaz pants, amateur boxing headgear and about six rolls of duct tape. It would take about 3 dozen more, after this match.

Cody Deaner d Tara
Muscle Shoals, Mama-jam Ah Match (MMA)

Tara wasn’t impressed with Deaner. He acted a fool with his arm up. Tara took off her hat and took an opening stance. Tara popped Cody in the face. he went to town with fists and a Thrust Kick. Cody missed a Spear. Tara with the Double Leg Takedown. Tara pranced around the ring. Cody went for the Crane stance. Tara dropped him with a Spin Kick. Tara slapped on the Fujiwara Arm Breaker. Cody reached the ropes. Tara tore into Cody with fists. Cody Clotheslined the ref. Tara hit a series of Standing Rights. Kong slid in the ring and hit a Splash in the corner. Kong hit the Implant Buster, while the ref was still down. The ref saw Tara laid out and figured that Cody knocked her out. He gave the match to Deaner.

Grade: C

Lauren talked with Deaner about his match against ODB. He claimed to have beaten the “Spider Monkey” from pillar to post. Cody made a bizarre chauvinistic comment about ODB before storming off. Tenay and Tazz then ran down the updated No Surrender card. They sent it to a video of Rhino attacking Bobby Lashley in Lashley’s gym.

Sting led A.J. Styles and Daniels to the ring for the main event. Kurt Angle’s music sounded as he rose from the bowels of the Impact Zone. He was joined by Samoa Joe. The Mafia members both brandished their respective titles. Kurt have re-shaved his head and lost the beard. Matt Morgan came out to serve as the corner man for the Mafia team.

A.J. Styles and Daniels d Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe

The Finish:

Daniels Irish Whipped Kurt to the corner. Kurt dodged the Flying Knee of Daniels. Kurt tried for the AngleSlam, only to have Daniels spin over and Arm Drag Kurt across the ring. Daniels hit a sweet Falling Face Plant and tried to lock in a submission move. Joe rushed in to make the save but missed a Kneedrop. Daniels clocked Joe with the Enziguri. Styles made the tag. Daniels with the Uranage while Styles climbed the ropes. Daniels hit the BME and Styles nailed the Frog Splash. Joe used a Backsplash Senton to prevent the pin. Joe threw Daniels out of the ring and went out after him. Joe grabbed a chair and Sting stepped between Joe and Daniels. Across the ring, Morgan called to Angle. Morgan had his own steel chair. Morgan held the chair so Angle could run Styles into it. It backfired as Styles reversed the Irish Whip and Angle struck the chair. Sting rolled the ref into the ring, just in time to count down Kurt Angle!

Grade: A-

Morgan got in the ring to answer for the screw up. Morgan grinned as he accepted that he messed up. Kurt slapped Morgan in the face. Morgan kicked Kurt in the ribs and planted him with the Hell-a-vator! Morgan stood over the stunned Kurt Angle.

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m just not sure exactly where TNA is going with Morgan. He makes a decent heel but fell flat, before, when they tried to push him as a face. He absolutely does not belong in the Main Event Mafia aka nWo 2009. Morgan is a solid mid-carder but he shouldn’t even be in the corner of Kurt at No Surrender let alone be in the match, itself. I’m only hoping Creative will have the good sense to keep the belt off Morgan. I’d still like to see Kurt survive, only to have Hernandez take it. That looks unlikely for the time being…keep reading and you’ll see why.

In the back, the World Elite attacked Homicide. Rob Terry hoisted Homicide over his shoulder as Eric yelled “the blood is on your hands, Hernandez”. TNA took a final break.

World Elite dropped Homicide in the middle of the ring. Eric addressed Hernandez. He demanded that Hernandez come out and join the World Elite, or Homicide’s blood would be on his hands. Hernandez rushed in and cleared out the entire World Elite. Eric tried for a chair shot but Hernandez caught the chair. Eric jumped down to the floor. Homicide then attacked Hernandez with the chair. The entire World Elite rushed into the ring. The World Elite decimated Hernandez. Bashir hit the WMD. Kiyoshi hit the Benoit Flying Headbutt. Homicide grinned in the corner at all the carnage. Homicide shook hands with Eric and then covered Hernandez with the Mexican flag.

Grade: A+

Jay’s Thoughts: Now that’s how you do a freaking swerve! The signs were there but it was just one of those “never gonna happen” kind of things. The only bad thing with this great swerve is that it’s going to derail Hernandez’s run after the World title. He’s going to spend the next few weeks/months going after the World Elite.

Final Grade: A-

Final Thoughts (on the show): Even without Jeff Jarrett (where the heck IS he?), TNA continues to build. The matches were really good. TNA is getting set with a really solid player base. That final segment swerve has to be one of the best that I’ve seen in a decade (or more). Homicide is going to make a fantastic heel. He’ll cut loose with all kinds of anti-American slurs and may even get in shots about Konnan and some of the other latino stars that have been passed over. He’s going to whine like no other.

A Special Thought before I go:

A few weeks ago, I talked about my friend, Jane, who lives over in England. She was hoping to become a grandma, but the unborn baby was in serious distress. I turned to you all with a request to please keep the baby in your thoughts and prayers. It is with the happiest of hearts that I can now tell you all that my new little “niece”, Chloe Elizabeth Tate, made her way into this wonderfully crazy world on Tuesday. She’s still got some major health problems but the little one made it. Thank you all for your positive thoughts and prayers.

Peace.

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(9/11/09)