TNA (5/28) Insight

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The !mpact</i (5/28) Insight
Our resident philosopher looks at all the action and drama of TNA’s !mpact.

After an above average Sacrifice Pay Per View, TNA looked at all the fallout. The first two King of the Mountain Qualifying matches were held. Several familiar faces debuted or returned to TNA. The place got just a little Extreme, this week.

TNA kicked off the night with a look at Sacrifice. Sting won the main event to become the leader of the Main Event Mafia. Kevin Nash ended up a bloody mess at the hands of Samoa Joe. Jenna threw in the towel during the Booker T/A.J. Styles match for the Legends title. Beer Money surprised a lot of critics by besting the British Invasion to earn $100,000, a trophy and a title shot against Team 3D.

Tonight’s Episode: “Shake-up Within the Ranks”

The X-Division title was on the line in the opening match. The Amazing Red came out to a fantastic pop from the crowd. The lights went out and Suicide showed up in the crowd. He got a mixed reaction from the crowd, mostly positive.

Suicide d Amazing Red
X-Division Title Match

The Finish:

The two men stood toe to toe. Red threw hard fists and a 720 Enziguri. Suicide stumbled to the corner and Red hit a Dropkick to the back.Red hit a Jumping Spin Kick and almost pinned Suicide. Red tried some kind of move off Suicide’s back, only to have Suicide convert it into an Inverted Suplex. Red surprised everyone when he kicked out. Suicide “cocked the Gun” to signal the end. Red caught Suicide with a Rolling Small Package for a two. Suicide kicked in and brought back his Suicide Solution (Inverted Playmaker) to hold onto his title.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m so excited about the X-Division. TNA is really starting to build up the smaller, faster division. Unlike the WWE, TNA doesn’t just focus on the big guys. It’s great to see Red back in action. His name suits him perfectly, he is Amazing. Suicide (Kaz) is also showing why he is, indeed, The Future. I hope TNA keeps the push going on the X-Division and doesn’t destroy it like they have with the limping Knockouts division. More on that, later.

The Main Event Mafia were in the back. They didn’t look happy. The girls were yelling and Kurt looked like he’s lost his favorite toy. The Mafia’s new Godfather, Sting, would address the Impact Zone in the next segment.

The music of the Mafia brought a suited Sting to the ring. He was followed by Steiner, Sharmell, Booker, Nash and Jenna and finally Kurt and the Mafia Security team. Sting said he had changes for “the family”. Sting said that there was a need for some changes. Sting felt that some members had forgotten that the group came first, egos second. Sting talked about honor and dignity. Sting felt that he had lived up to his end of the deal, but wasn’t sure if the others had.

Sting told Kevin and Booker that they have allowed their respective women to get in the way. Sting banned Jenna and Sharmell from the Mafia. Sharmell and Jenna had a fit. Sting said he was just getting started. Sting talked about Kurt’s private security force. Sting mentioned that Sally Boy and Rocco were hired without the agreement of the Mafia. Sting fired both men. Kurt jumped up and down, screaming. The crowd were hostile with their “You got Fired!” chant towards the Security Squad. Sting wanted to know if anyone had anything to say…

Samoa Joe walked from the back. Joe suggested that his Nation was ordered to eliminate the Mafia, one by one, until only Kurt was left. Joe said that he was ordered to kill Kurt. Who was the mastermind? I can only think of a couple of people that could have that kind of influence on Joe. One is inside the Mafia and the other was once married to a member of the Mafia.

Segment Grade: B

Jay’s Thoughts: The Mafia seems to be crumbling. I smell a nWo Wolfpac/Hollywood split of the Mafia brewing. Sting might ger Steiner and Bobby Lashley, while Kurt gets Nash and Booker. It would open the door for Mafia expansion. Matt Morgan might join Kurt’s group.

JB talked with Mick Foley in his office. Foley wanted JB to put the sign “TNA — Jeff Jarrett, Founder” up for action on Twitter to earn money for a good cause. Foley felt TNA didn’t need the relic, anymore. Foley said he was talking with Jarrett and the other TNA shareholders. Foley said things didn’t go well and Foley wanted to talk to his lawyers. Foley made the matches for the King of the Mountain Qualifying Matches as: Jeff Jarrett v Eric Young and A.J. Styles v Daniels. JB then tried to question Foley about what went down at the big meeting, but Foley blew him off and walked out of the office.

JB chatted with the British Invasion. JB was blocked be the big body of Rob Terry. Brutus was offended when JB suggested that the Brits “stole” the Feast or Fired” briefcases. The Brits put the X-Division title briefcase up in a Ladder match. JB wanted to know about the Brits alliance with Kiyoshi and Bashir. The Brits feigned ignorance of the two men.

Don and Mike ran down the rest of the night’s card. Lauren then talked with Jenna about what she did at Sacrifice. Lauren said Sharmell was correct in being upset. When Jenna said Sharmell was “blinded by hr own ignorance”, Sharmell rushed in and choked out the reality starlette. I’m with Sharmell in this feud. TNA went to break.

TNA promo’d their new Video Vault website to see every TNA PPV match ever taped.

Lauren waited to talk with Sojo Bolt, when Dr. Stevie showed up. Stevie said he was there to invade “her office”. Lauren called Stevie “a joke”. Stevie said he had a live therapy session for Abyss, int he ring, tonight. Stevie said he was going to use mind control to own Abyss. Stevie said Lauren should make an appointment with his secretary to learn mind control. Lauren told Stevie not to wait for the call.

Doug Williams came out for the special challenge match for the X-Division title. A black ladder was waiting in the center of the ring. Cody Deaner, along with ODB, came out to accept the match.

Doug Williams d Cody Deaner
X-Division title shot Ladder Match

The Finish:

Doug ran Cody into the ladder. Doug taunted Cody and then dropped a knee. Doug locked in an odd twisting Neck Vice. Doug then hit a European Uppercut. Doug lifted Cody and trapped him in the ropes. As Doug started to climb, Cody flew into the ladder, knocking Doug to the mat. Doug pounded on Cody and hit a hard Headbutt. Doug dropped the ladder on Cody’s ankle. Doug Bodyslammed Cody onto the ladder. Doug missed a Kneedrop and struck the ladder. Doug grabbed the ladder and went to set it up. Doug hit a Crossbody Block onto the ladder, driving Cody into the mat. Cody hit a Back Body Drop on Doug, sending him onto the ladder. The other Brits pulled the ladder out of the ring. Doug charged at Cody, as the Trailer Park Prince argued with the Brits. Cody ducked and Doug flew over the ropes and into the ladder. ODB grabbed the ladder and slid it into her sweetie. Cody fought to set up the ladder and began to climb. Cody almost had the ladder until the Brits rolled Doug back in the ring. Doug tipped over the ladder. Cody took a seriously nasty fall to the arena floor. Doug climbed the ladder and grabbed the case.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: I really dislike the Cody Deaner character. He reminds me of my girlfriend’s ex-son-in-law, Danny. Same attitude and same look. That’s why he’s the ex. I like the Brits but they really need to focus on where they are going in TNA. Brutus flopped in his first gimmick and I’m just not sure if a British Bulldogs meet the Blue Bloods set of characters will work, long term.

Kiyoshi and Bashir came to the ring to congratulate the Brits. Kiyoshi was not wearing his Muta-like facepaint.

JB talked with Jeff Jarrett. Jeff was hot that Mick Foley still had the title belt. JB wondered about the issues between Eric and Jeff. Jeff admitted that maybe he had over-looked Eric, in the past. Jeff said that since Eric wanted a chance to prove himself. Jeff said that he wanted to have a great match and then the two could start over.

Dr. Stevie (Richards) was in the ring. He asked Abyss, his friend and patient, to come to the ring. Abyss looked puzzled by Stevie’s request. Stevie started the therapy session in a public forum. He began to talk about their addiction…to pain, violence and blood flow. Stevie talked about bleeding at Sacrifice. Stevie was Chokeslammed into thumbtacks at the PPV. Stevie was upset about the incident but claimed he was civilized. Stevie said Abyss was unfit for society, so the therapy session would have to start over from the beginning. Stevie asked Abyss to put the strait jacket back on. Abyss refused. Stevie lost it and shrieked at Abyss to put on the strait jacket. Abyss started putting his arms in the jacket. The crowd was bored with this nonsense. Stevie pulled the old “hurt me more than it hurts you” thing. Stevie got the kendo stick from the corner.

Lauren rushed out and got between Abyss and Stevie. Stevie threatened to strike Lauren. Out of nowhere, Raven showed up! Raven got in Stevie’s face. Stevie back tracked and then took the kendo stick…to strike Abyss, over and over. Raven struck Abyss in the head and then made the full-on Raven Pose. Stevie apologized for running out of time for this week. Stevie and Stevie hugged as Lauren checked on Abyss.

Segment Grade: C (for Stevie) A (for surprises)

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m so glad to see Raven back in TNA. He’s always been one of my favorite personas. So much better than Scotty Flamingo or Johnny Polo. This just might be the catalyst to bring the old Abyss back from the dead. Abyss really suffered with the whole angle with Sting and Matt Morgan. His character needs the motivation to unleash his inner Monster. This could just work. I still hate the whole “Dr. Stevie” character. Give me The Flock, or whatever name is going to be used. I’m still hoping for a rebirth of the bWo. Anyone got Blue Meanie’s and Nova’s phone numbers to give to Raven?

The full force of the Beautiful People walked backstage. Madison had that Joan Rivers/Catlady eye thing going. Even Kip was back in the fold for Angelina’s title match against SoJo Bolt. That title match was due up next.

JB talked with Stevie and Raven. Daffney was with them. Raven talked in circles when he was asked why he did what he did. He finally admitted he did it…because he can. “Quoth the Raven…Nevermore”. Welcome back, Raven!

Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, Madison Rayne and Kute Kip strolled from the back. They were all smiles going into this Hour Turner match of the night. Don West said that he was involved with the whole strategy to beat Kong. SoJo Bolt looked ready to take the strap from the Knockout champ.

Angelina Love d Sojo Bolt
Knockouts Title match

The Finish:

Love went to the face but Bolt came back with a Samoan Drop. Both were wiped by the move. Bolt and Love exchanged Fore-arm shots, which Bolt got the better of. Bolt hit a Flapjack. Rayne distracted the ref so Love could spray the eyes with perfume. Love hit her finisher, the Uranage Faceplant, on the blinded Bolt to keep her title.

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: Yes, alert the media, Jay gave a Knockout Match this high of a rating. Bolt is one of the better female talents in the business. She is so lost in the shuffle, right now. Losing Rhaka Khan was a big blow to her career, but she looks to be on the way to recovery. Love has some decent skills in the ring. I still don’t care for her character. That “Snooty Bimbo” persona irritated me in high school and college and it hasn’t diminished as I reach my mid-40s. Love really needs some fresh opponents…and she sure got one…read on.

The Beautiful People partied in the ring. Love called for the microphone. Love bragged on her abilities. The others oohed and aahed all over her. Love had unfinished business to deal with. She turned on Kip and asked why he was still hanging around. Love said she fired him, a month ago. Love whined about Kong putting Kip on a stretcher. Love said that the Beautiful People were done with Kip. She called him a disappointment to TNA and the fans. She called Kip a “stalker”. Kip lost his cool and ripped off his Beautiful People shirt. He had a wicked grin on his face as he left the ring.

Love then wanted to know how long she’s have to keep beating the same people, over and over. She called out for anyone, new, to face her. From the back, Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon), came to the ring. The Black Widow took out all of the Beautiful People. She hit a wild Spinning Side Slam on Madison Rayne. Victoria and Love then started going to town. Victoria nailed the Widow’s Peak on Love, leaving an unconscious Love to be dragged from the ring. Victoria said that she accepted Love’s challenge, now.

JB talked with Eric Young. Eric looked really moody. JB stoked the fires of Eric’s discontent. JB wanted to know if Eric felt his was a little too tough on Jeff. Eric said that he took nothing and made something out of it, several times over. I think that was a shot on Danny Bonaduce. Eric told Jeff that it would be “a night you will never forget”. Cut to Mick Foley, who was walking towards the ring, to make some announcements.

JB chatted with the Motor City Machine Guns and Lethal Consequences. Lethal said that all four had untied to try and figure out who Suicide was. Creed stepped in to explain that the mystery would soon be solved.

Mick Foley held his title high as he entered the Impact Zone. Mick wasn’t his normal grinning self as he got in the ring. Foley said that he had a tough week. Foley stated that, next week, Samoa Joe would face Kevin Nash in a King of the Mountain Qualifying match, in a Lethal Lockdown match. Foley then talked about overcoming the odds to keep his title. Foley grumbled about the King of the Mountain match at Slammiversary. Foley said he was only human and couldn’t fight, month after month, in PPV matches. Foley said that he wasn’t able to keep doing the PPV matches, so often. Foley said that he had to insure himself of being able to keep the belt, he chose not to defend the belt, so often. Foley said that, after Slammiversary, he would defend his title…once a year.

Jay’s Thoughts: Once a year? Who’s brilliant idea was that? I can only imagine that this might be leading to some kind of change in TNA, where Mick gets to keep the TNA title, but it won’t be worth anything. I’m wondering if TNA is about to merge with another group or realign itself with the NWA? Having Jethro Holliday show up from TNA was a big shock. Maybe it was just testing the waters for future plans.

JB talked with Daniels and Styles. Styles said both men considered themselves professionals. Daniels agreed. Daniels said that he wanted to show that he was one of the best in the business. Samoa Joe walked up to interrupt. Styles started to leave, but Joe was there to apologize. Joe said that he was back on board with the Frontline. Styles said that he and Joe would talk, after the match between Daniels and himself. TNA sent it to break.

It was time for the first of two King of the Mountain Qualifying matches. Eric Young came out to the ring with a vicious scowl on his face. The crowd was mixed for him. They were solidly behind his opponent, Jeff Jarrett. Jeff was still limping, slightly, as he walked down the ramp.

Jeff Jarrett d Eric Young
King of the Mountain Qualifying Match

The Finish:

Eric slammed Jeff’s face into the ropes. Jeff reversed an Irish Whip and sent Eric to the corner. Eric waited on the ropes. He then hit the Christian Spinning Sunset Flip to try and roll-up Jeff. Jeff shifted his weight and nearly pinned Eric. Jeff went for a Crucifix Backslide but couldn’t hold Eric in place. Jeff whipped Eric to the corner, where EY did the Flair Flip. Eric Shouldered Jeff from the apron and slid between Jeff’s legs. Eric went for an Enziguri but Jeff caught the one leg and swept the other. Jeff tried for the Figure Four Leglock but Eric turned it into a Small Package. Jeff kicked out at two. Eric blasted Jeff, several times. That seemed to wake up Jeff. Jeff sent Eric to the ropes but EY ducked a Clothesline and Back Elbow. Jeff tried for a Hurancanrana but Eric turned the move into a Sit-out Powerbomb! Eric Bodyslammed Jeff but missed the Moonsault off the top rope. Jeff hit the Stroke on Eric but Eric was able to get his foot on the bottom rope. Eric went for the Wheelbarrow Faceplant but Jeff countered into the Small Package to advance to the King of the Mountain match.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: Eric needed a new attitude change. A heel turn just might work for him. He started out as a heel in Team Canada but became a weak, comic attraction, over the past year or so. Eric needs to do something big, like cheat his way to the X-Division title. He could benefit for a good feud with Jarrett or one of Jarrett’s hand-picked charges. Jeff gets to move onto the K-o-t-M match at Slammiversary, no big surprise there.

Eric looked dejected after the match. Jeff applauded Eric for his efforts. Jeff started to leave the ring but stopped when Eric extended the hand. Jeff was apprehensive but shook the hand. Eric left the ring but Jeff called for him to stop and come back in the ring. Jeff then hugged Eric and lifted his hand. Out of nowhere, Eric clipped the leg of Jeff. Eric stomped the leg and then slammed the knee into the mat. Eric stomped on Jeff and slammed the knee into the match, a second time. Eric went to the top rope and nailed a Savage Elbow to Jeff’s lower back. The crowd was brutally hostile towards Eric. Eric had an odd grin on his face as he left the ringside area. Did the car ride in the black car of Samoa Joe’s new “friend” lead to this change? TNA went to break without the answer.

TNA showed Eric’s attack on Jeff, again. JB tried to talk to Eric. Eric said that he warned Jeff not to forget him.

Team 3D were in the ring. The crowd was deafening in their support of Ray and Devon. Ray called out the winners of the Team 3D Invitational Tag Team Tournament…Beer Money. Robert Roode and James Storm came out to an equally loud pop. Storm had grown a full beard. Roode and Storm were all smiles as they entered the ring. Ray lead the crowd in a “Beer Money” chant. Ray said that Roode and Storm gave a Hell of a performance at Sacrifice. Ray said Team 3D and the fans were proud of Beer Money. Ray started pushing the tag team division. That got a “T-N-A” chant going. Ray presented the trophies and check to Storm and Roode. Roode showed the check off to the fans. Ray then reminded Beer Money that they had earned the shot at the tag titles.

Roode thanked Ray and Devon for himself and Storm. Roode said that they were the best tag team on the planet, today. Roode said that they wanted Team 3D at Slammiversary. Ray called for some beer. He shared the beer with Beer Money. Storm poured his beer in the trophy. They all had a Stone Cold moment n the ring. Storm sprayed the beer into the crowd. It was a major respect moment.

Jesse Neal would make his debut, next week. Also, Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash would battle in a cage. Mike sent it to the second King of the Mountain Qualifying match. First, some rap guys were doing A.J.’s new entrance music, live. I didn’t catch the names of the Grammy award-winning guys and I’m just seriously not into rap music. I’ll take Toby Keith, the Ramones or Led Zeppelin, instead.

A.J. Styles d Daniels
King of the Mountain Qualifying Match

The Finish:

Styles hit several Clotheslines and a Spinning Back Kick. Daniels reversed an Irish Whip and sent Styles to the corner. Styles came off the ropes and tried for his Inverted DDT. Daniels countered the move into a Snap Mare and sent Styles to the mat. Styles ducked a Clothesline and came off the ropes. Daniels hit a Rolling Proto-bomb on Styles for a two count. Daniels hit the Uranage Chokeslam and went to the ropes. He missed the BME (Best Moonsault Ever) but Styles didn’t miss the Pele Kick. A.J. tried to lock in the Styles Clash but Daniels dropped to one knee to prevent the move. Styles lifted Daniels and started to put him into the Clash but Daniels flipped through. Daniels grabbed Styles for the Angel’s Wings but Styles shifted, mid-move, into a Hurancanrana with a Bridge Pin. Could be…might be…it is!

Grade: A+ (and then some)

Jay’s Thoughts: What a fantastic match to close the night. Styles and Daniels are, pound for pound, the best two wrestlers in the industry, today. The match was a see-saw battle that could have been won by either, at any point. The good sportsmanship between the two was a really nice change from the back-stabbing that usually happens. I’d prefer to see both Daniels and Styles in the King of the Mountain match, but I’m not disappointed that Styles took the win.

After the match, the two men showed ultimate respect for each other. Daniels told Styles that when he wins the title, Daniels wants the first shot. Out of the crowd, Shane Douglas rushed into the ring. He wrapped a chain around his hand and blasted Daniels in the head. Styles rushed back to the ring and headed out into the crowd. Daniels was spitting up blood. Douglas grinned evilly from his spot in the crowd.

Final Grade: A-

Final Thoughts: 3 surprise appearances (Shane, Raven and Victoria). Eric has a major heel turn. TNA presents a main event match that would steal the show at any PPV, TNA or WWE. Abyss begins his climb back to being his old Monster self. The Mafia gets a major facelift. You just got to love a show like that. The future in TNA is looking brighter than ever. The next few weeks should be really interesting to watch. I’ll be sitting in my new little office, watching all the craziness and bringing to you…each and every week.

Peace

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(5/31/09)