TNA (6/25) iMPACT Insight

HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
TNA (6/25) iMPACT Insight
Our resident philosopher takes a look at the Slammiversary Aftermath!.

Thursday was a day filled with surprises. Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson both died on Thursday. Farrah was the inspiration for an entire generation of beauties, including several female wrestling personalities. Jackson gave Michael Hayes the Moonwalk, the tag team division the PYTs (Pretty Young Things), and his music served as entrance themes to several stars. I send out my deepest, most heart-felt sympathies to the families, friends and fans of these two entertainment icons. May their souls drift gently to the next reality. Peace.

TNA also supplied their own share of surprises. The Main Event Mafia welcomed a new member and removed another. Kurt Angle had an all-new look, a more rugged one. Victory Road began to take shape in the aftermath of Slammiversary. Let’s take a look.

The how opened with a look back at Slammiversary. It was filled with more twists than a pretzel factory. Kurt Angle took the World title, when it was handed to him by Samoa Joe!

Tonight’s Episode: “Say it ain’t so, Joe”.

Brutus Magnus came out for a NYC Street Fight. He got jumped, from behind, by Brother Ray before the match even started.

Brother Ray v Brutus Magnus (No Contest)
NYC Street Fight

The Finish:

Ray hit Knife Edge Chop and rolled the Brit back into the ring. Ray brought out a trademark table. Brutus clutched his chest in agony. The rest of the British Invasion, along with Kiyoshi and Bashir ran down. Terry hit a Chokebomb on Ray. Devon rushed in with a steel chair to clear the ring. Team 3D sent Kiyoshi through the table. The ref called it a No Contest. Brutus’ chest was blood-red from the brutality.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: How can a no-DQ match end in a No Contest? Brutus really needs to give it up and go back to being a British Gladiator. He hasn’t done squat since arriving in the States. The British Invasion, a cheap rip-off of the British Bulldogs, just don’t seem to mesh with the other top-notch tag teams in TNA. This is like Doug’s 4th or 5th go around in TNA and he’s yet to do a thing. Team 3D deserve all the respect in the world for trying to get this bunch of less-talented kids over.

Lauren tried to talk with the newly-bearded World Champion about the alliance with Samoa Joe. Joe ignored her questions. When Joe came up, they hugged and both men completely ignored Lauren’s question. She wanted to know if Sting was aware of Joe becoming a part of the Mafia.

The Mafia’s music rang out as TNA continued. Kurt brandished his World Title. TNA ran photos of Kurt being given the title by Joe. Kurt got a mixed reaction when he introduced himself. Kurt invited out the newest member of the Main Event Mafia…Samoa Joe! The crowd was rabid in their displeasure of Joe’s treachery. Joe and Kurt hugged as the rest of the Mafia clapped. Joe and Nash hugged. Joe then hugged the rest of the Mafia. Kurt said he helped Joe create the Nation of Violence. Kurt admitted that Jenna’s investment was the necessary ingredient to entice Joe to join them. Kurt said that Joe’s attack on the Mafia was all a ruse to throw off the fans. Kurt mentioned that the entire Mafia celebrated at Slammiversary.

Kurt then turned his attention to Sting. He apologized to Sting for keeping him out of the loop on the whole Samoa Joe situation. Mick Foley then stormed down the ramp with Rocco and Sally Boy. Foley sent his security force to the back. Foley said that Angle owed him a rematch at Victory Road. Kurt talked about Foley crying after losing the title. Kurt mocked the crying. Kurt called Foley a disgrace. Kurt said that he had the option to pick his opponent for Victory Road. Foley said that he did pin Angle at Slammiversary. Kurt asked if Foley thought he could beat him, one on one. Foley said “This crybaby’s gonna kick your *ss”. Kurt said that if you want something from the Mafia, you have to give something back. Kurt invited Foley to go to the office and work out an agreement. Kurt said that they had a lot to talk about.

Jay’s Thoughts: That has to be the biggest swerve in wrestling since Hulk Hogan created the nWo with Nash and Hall. All reports had Joe going onto the sidelines with an injury. I guess that was all a work to throw off the fans. Go figure. I like Kurt’s new look. He looks more mature and vicious. Just the look that a World champ needs.

Lauren talked to A.J. Styles about the Samoa Joe situation. Styles asked Kip James if he’d seen Joe. When Kip mentioned Joe was with the Mafia, Styles stormed off. TNA went to break.

TNA ran a video package about the relationship between Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett. They have been friends for over 20 years. Foley’s alter-ego, Cactus Jack, kept invading into Mick’s twisted mind. Jarrett said he kept Foley around out of sympathy. The two had a huge battle at Slammiversary. Jarrett said it just wouldn’t work between the two of them, anymore. Foley said that he needed to re-evaluate his relationship with TNA.

Mike Tenay and Don West ran down the rest of the night’s card. Jeff was on the phone with Don and Mike. Jeff said he and Foley would resolve their differences, next week. West wasn’t convinced.

TNA then ran a cool video for Sarita, who will arrive in TNA in 3 weeks. She looks a lot like Melina.

Abyss came out for the next match. Don and Mike talked about the Mixed Monster’s Ball match at Slammiversary. Kevin Nash then arrived for the battle against the somewhat neutered Monster.

Kevin Nash d Abyss

The Finish:

Abyss rolled Nash in the ring and then threw the chair in the ring. Abyss wedged the chair in the corner and then pointed at Nash. Nash hit a Kneelift and Big Boot. Nash removed the chair from the corner. Dr. Stevie rushed into the ring and used a taser to shock Abyss. The guys in the back did manage to mistime the sound effects, ever so slightly. Stevie then hopped out of the ring before the ref could see him. Nash dropped the chair and then walked over to the twitching Abyss. Nash dropped the strap and took the easiest pin since the legendary Finger Poke O’ Doom.

Grade: C

Jay’s Thoughts: Abyss needs to go to the WWE. He is being massively wasted as cannon fodder for the latest pushed wrestler. Having to job to a washed-up has-been like Nash is the ultimate insult. Nash never impressed me in his prime, now he’s just ridiculous. This match was an insult to fans of both men.

Lauren rushed out to check on Abyss. The camera switched to the back, where Beer Money made their way through the backstage area. The new tag champs had something to say…next.

James Storm and Robert Roode were in the ring. Storm was happy to be the champs. Roode bragged about being the greatest tag team in the world. Roode gave credit to Brother Ray and Brother Devon. He called the two men “Legends”. Roode said Ray made a mistake at Slammiversary and Beer Money used that mistake to become the three-time tag champs. Beer Money wanted to grant the rematch clause, anytime, anywhere, any place.

Instead of Ray and Devon, they got Booker T and Scott Steiner. Booker was grinning like a ‘possum as he made his way down the ramp. Booker wanted to give Beer Money a history lesson. He talked about the Steiner Brothers and Harlem Heat. Steiner took the stick and said Kurt was making all the rules. Scott said that Kurt made the deal with Mick Foley so that Foley would face Kurt, Nash would get a shot at Styles’ Legends title and Booker and Scott would face Beer Money for the tag belts. All of the battles would happen at Victory Road.

Storm dissed Booker, big time, as he called Scott and Booker “Neil and Bob”. If you don’t know the joke, I won’t go there. Booker said that Storm and Roode would have singles matches against Booker and Steiner, tonight. Before the ring could clear, Team 3D waltzed out from the back. Ray made fun of Booker and Scott’s mic skills. Team 3D said that they already have Beer Money in a title match at Victory Road. Scott ripped into Team 3D for being fat. Ray mocked Scott’s talking. Ray said that they would go to Mick and make him an offer he can’t refuse.

The Beautiful People were chatting, backstage. The Match of 10,000 Thumbtacks between Daffney and Taylor Wilde was set to go as your Hour Turner match of the night. That vicious battle was next.

TNA ran a video package about the Thumbtacks match. They showed Abyss getting tons of steel tacks jammed into his scarred body. Daffney and Taylor would be the first females to take part in this insanity. Daffney arrived, looking lovely, in a Morticia Adams-kind of way. Taylor Wilde then bounced from the back.

Taylor Wilde d Daffney
Match of 10,000 Thumbtacks

The Finish:

Taylor hit a Roundhouse Kick as Daffney jumped off the ropes with the bag of tacks. Taylor began to untie the bag, only to be jumped by Daffney. Daffney blasted Taylor in the face with the bag. Daffney then spread out the Silver Doom onto the mat. Taylor fought back. Taylor tried to Back Suplex Daffney into the tacks. Daffney hit a Uppercut that almost caused Taylor to fall into the tacks. Taylor then picked up Daffney and Back Slammed the Goth Princess into the sea of silver pain.

Grade: B-

Jay’s Thoughts: The new Taylor is a refreshing change. She had shrugged off the Barbie Doll/Diva look to take over Roxxi, sort of. Daffney, well…she’s Daffney. I find her rather lovely but I’ve never been attracted to the cheerleader type. Daffney has learned well, over the years, and is probably the number three women in wrestling, behind Kong and Beth Phoenix.

Velvet talked about Tara being short for TARAntula. Velvet commented that Tara just wanted more legs to spread. Rayne shrieked as a tarantula was placed on her shoulder. TNA went to break as the screams echoed off the walls.

Team 3D got in Mick Foley’s face in the office. Devon talked about playing “Let’s Make a Deal” with the Mafia. Foley said Team 3D didn’t give a damn about Foley’s loss, so he didn’t give a damn about them. Foley put Team 3D against Steiner/Booker, next week, with the winner getting Beer Money at Victory Road. Ray wasn’t willing to accept the match. Foley begged Team 3D to take the match. Ray and Devon agreed to take the match but warned Foley not to play Mind Games with them. JB asked Foley what he thought Kurt would think. Foley said that he just didn’t care.

Scott Steiner made his way down the ramp for his single’s match against Robert Roode. Roode came out without James Storm.

Scott Steiner d Robert Roode
Special Challenge Match #1

The Finish:

Scott reversed an Irish Whip but Roode threw a Flying Fore-arm. Roode Knife Edged Scott in the corner. Big Poppa Pump whipped Roode to the corner but took a Back Elbow to the face. Roode went to the middle rope and hit an Inverted Buff (Bagwell) Buster. Scott kicked out, just in time. Roode tried for the Pay-off but Scott blocked it. Scott planted Roode with the Clutch DDT. Roode kicked out. Roode called for the Seiner Recliner. Roode rolled over and used the trunks to send Steiner to the corner. Scott did his best Kerry Von Erich impression when he spun Roode around and used the Backslide to take the win.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts: I’m not sure if I like the combo team of Booker/Steiner. Both were half of fantastic tag teams, inthe past. Of course, Storm was too, before he partnered with Roode. I think that throwing Booker/Steiner in the mix does nothing but muddy the waters. I smell a little backstage politics going on. I would love to see Team 3D and/or Beer Money send the Mafia Boys back to the Mafia with their tails between their legs.

JB talked with Kurt Angle. JB congratulated Kurt on his win. JB talked about the change to the tag match at Victory Road. Kurt said he would take care of Mick Foley, next week, for the double cross. JB asked Kurt if he told Sting about what went down with Samoa Joe. JB said that Sting was the “Godfather”. Kurt said that Kurt didn’t answer to anyone, even Sting. Kurt made it clear that Sting was/is/never was the “Godfather” of the Main Event Mafia.

JB told Mick that Jeff was coming back, next week, to “bury the hatchet”. Foley was open for an apology. Foley said Jeff implied that he would apologize, next week. Mick told his security force to “Sharpie out” the MEM logo on their uniform. JB let Mick know that Kurt was upset with Foley’s “tweaking” of the tag match. Foley lost his cool about Kurt questioning him. Foley told Kurt to “deal with it”.

TNA then ran a piece on Eric Young. Eric is ticked off at being misused by the company that made him a star. Eric said that everyone would be forced to take notice of him. Eric walked out of the Pre-Show match at Slammiversary. Lauren then talked with Eric. She told Eric that his friends are concerned about Eric’s new attitude. Eric said that he was tired of being the Court Jester of TNA. Eric didn’t care about his so-called friends. Rhino walked up and told Eric that they had a problem. Eric said that he and Rhino could sort this out, next week. Rhino said that they didn’t have to wait. Eric Headbutted Rhino and walked off. Jesse Neal walked up and tried to talk about getting Eric on “our time”. Rhino took exception to Jesse setting himself up as the teacher. Rhino shoved Jesse aside and walked off.

Jay’s Thoughts: So, Rhino gets to feud with his student in the biggest “Who cares?” feud in wrestling history. Eric, meanwhile, needs cheese to go along with that whine. Sad. Rhino was the final ECW champion and yet he’s reduced to “curtain jerker” status.

Lauren talked with Booker T about his match against James Storm. Booker rambled on about his tag team success. It was almost impossible to understand Booker’s rant. Sharmell walked up and said that she got the match against Jenna, at Victory Road. Sharmell said that there was only room for one woman in the Mafia.

Booker and Sharmell came from the back for the next match. James Storm then rode out on the Boozer Cruizer! The crowd cheered wildly for the Tennessee Cowboy.

James Storm d Booker T (by Disqualification)
Special Challenge Match #2

The Finish:

Storm hit a Snap Suplex on Booker and stared at Sharmell. (Isn’t it about time that Jacqueline returned to neutralize Sharmell?) Storm hit the Beer Money pose to the adoration of the crowd. Storm climbed the corner to rain down punches to Booker’s head. Storm kicked the downed Booker. Sharmell slipped the beer bottle to Booker, who smashed it into Storm’s skull. The ref saw it and called for the bell. Earl Hebner took some glass in the face from the shattered bottle.

Grade: B+

Jay’s Thoughts:TNA needs to bring back Jacqueline. They need someone to counter Sharmell. Other than that, just read Scott v Roode for my comments on this whole tag situation.

Sting walked backstage to prepare to confront Kurt Angle and the rest of his Mafia buddies.

A.J Styles was in the ring with a microphone. Styles was barely able to talk. He called out Mr. Nation of Violence. Joe came out, draped in the black towel. There was a huge sign that read “Why Joe Why?” Joe got right in Styles’ face. Styles couldn’t believe that Joe would do it for the money. Styles said that he and Joe had a pact for Sunday. The crowd started a brutal “You Sold Out!” chant. Styles said Joe screwed the company and the fans, as well as him. Styles then said that Joe screwed himself. Styles said he should take Joe’s head off. Joe just grinned. Styles wanted to know who got to Joe. Joe said that Styles could ask him…at Victory Road.

Styles told Joe that the Samoan Submission Machine shouldn’t leave because he (Styles) wasn’t done. Joe calmly stated that he was done and started to leave. Styles jumped Joe and the two started slugging it out. Matt Morgan, still trying to impress the Mafia, rushed out and attacked Styles. Morgan and Joe double teamed Styles. No one rushed out, at first, to help. Daniels did run out and took the fight to both men. The rest of the Main Event Mafia rushed out as Daniels hit a Code Breaker on Morgan. The entire Mafia went after Daniels and Styles. Sting walked slowly to the ring. The rest of the Mafia bailed to the floor. Sting called for a microphone as TNA took it’s last break of the night.

Sting set his focus on Kurt as TNA returned. Sting said he expected it from Angle, but not the others. Sting said that the Mafia was formed because of punks like Joe. Sting was upset with Kurt for his under-handed antics. Sting called Kurt “pathetic”. Kurt said he had nothing to do with Matt Morgan challenging Sting. Morgan said Kurt had everything to do with Morgan’s actions.

Sting asked Nash about where he stood. Sting told Booker to pay attention. Sting called Scott a “brainless jockhead”. Sting wasn’t surprised that Scott and Booker followed Kurt. Sting said Sharmell was the same. Sting said he expected more from Kevin. He brought up the Wolfpac. Nash then talked about standing up for Sting when Kurt didn’t want Sting in the Mafia. Kevin aid he believed in Sting’s call for respect. Nash thought it was a damn good idea for Morgan to take him out because Sting’s plan ain’t working. Nash said the honor and dignity thing was “bull**it”. Nash said it was all about the money. Nash said that they bought Joe because they couldn’t beat him. Nash said he wouldn’t join Sting against the rest of the Mafia.

Sting started to bring up Nash’s son, Tristan. Nash was ticked off at Sting using Tristan to prove a point. Sting brought up Nash’s personas versus the real Kevin Nash. Sting asked Nash to prove him wrong. Sting offered Nash the black bat to take him out. Sting slipped out a second bat and stood ready. Nash started to go after Sting but Sting got the drop on him. Samoa Joe picked up the other bat and took out Sting. Joe and Nash used the two bat to beat down on Sting. Angle kicked Sting. Scott picked up the bat and he and Joe kept beating on Sting as the show faded.

Segment Grade: B

Segment Thoughts: Sting leaves, Joe enters. Can we say Mafia Wolfpac v Mafia Hollywood?This is such an nWo flashback. The whole segment, while good for storyline purposes, ran way too long. The whole thing between Nash and Sting just had me ready to fall asleep in my chair. Expect Sting to make an alliance with Styles, Jarrett, Foley and whoever else wants to jump on the bandwagon.

Final Grade: B-

Final Thoughts: Someone forgot to tell the writers that it’s TNA Wrestling. The matches that were presented were decent, but there was way too much talking. I can’t say that I’m surprised to see Sting get booted out of the Mafia. He just didn’t fit into their devious mold. I was hoping that the Mafia would splinter with each side taking people. Sting will likely build his army, over time. It’s bad when, on week one, I’m already bored with the Sting v Mafia war.

Peace

— Jay Shannon
[email protected]
(6/26/09)