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HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The Impact (7/16) Insight
Our resident philosopher looks at this week’s TNA Impact.

Two new Knockouts made their TNA debut. TNA also presented a star-studded six-man elimination tag match, as well as a Steel Cage battle to settle the score between Kurt Angle and Sting. Samoa Joe’s secret adviser was all but revealed, too. Also, another title change went down. Which title would go, this week?

The show opened with a look back at the situation between Mick Foley and Kurt Angle. Jeff and Mick created a Triple Threat match where Kurt picked the special guest ref. He couldn’t choose Matt Morgan or a Main Event Mafia member. Kurt went with Eric Young. Eric screwed over Jeff and Mick by calling for a submission, when there wasn’t one. Jeff took out Eric, while the Mafia jumped Foley.

This Week’s Episode: “On the Road to Victory”.

Mick Foley came out after Mike Tenay talked about Mick’s battle with Kurt, this Sunday. Foley said he felt naked without the TNA championship belt. Foley was determined to get his title belt back. Foley mentioned that whoever has the belt, has TNA. Foley wanted to ask a couple of favors of Kurt Angle. Foley asked Kurt to come out, by himself, to talk to Foley. Kurt then came from the back, carrying his World title.

Foley talked about crying when he lost the TNA World title. Foley said he let it slide when the Mafia laughed at him. Last week, Foley was wrapped in barbed wire. Foley let that slide. What he wouldn’t let slide was Eric Young screwing him over. Foley said that he only tapped out once, against Dory Funk Jr., in Japan. Foley swore then that he’d never tap again. Foley doubted that he was better than Kurt but he was sure that “If you thinking about me tappin’, it just won’t happen”. The crowd erupted. Foley then asked his second favor: “Face me, one on one”. Foley didn’t want the Mafia involved and he’d leave Foley Security in the back. Kurt said he ran with the Mafia because it’s a “man’s game”. Kurt said the younger guys were spoiled. Kurt said it wasn’t just about money.

They were cut off by the arrival of Sting. Sting questioned Kurt’s motivation, calling it “bull”. Sting said that the Mafia was about back-stabbing. Sting said he would take Samoa Joe and his handler up one side of the Impact Zone and down the other. Sting asked Mick to make the match: Kurt v Sting. Foley started to say something but Kurt answered for him, with a yes and a tweak. Kurt made the match in the Six Sides of Steel! Foley stared at Kurt in disbelief.

Mike and Don then ran down the rest of the night’s card. Backstage, Samoa Joe was attacking Amazing Red. Joe threw Red into all kinds of storage crates and such as TNA went to break.

As TNA returned, Joe hit a Thrust Kick that send Red tumbling down the entrance ramp. Joe kicked away as Don trash talked the TNA Original. Joe used a Clothesline to flip Red a full 360. Joe rolled Red into the ring.

Amazing Red d Samoa Joe (by DQ)

Joe stomped on Red in the corner until the ref pulled Joe back. Joe shoved the ref aside, who immediately called for the bell.. Joe planted Red with the Muscle Buster and began to drive his fist into Red’s skull until Mike Davis and the rest of security rushed to the ring. Joe started to attack the trio of security guards, but when they drew night sticks, Joe backed off and left the ring and headed to the back.

Grade: D

Jay’s Thoughts: This match could have been awesome. Red is one of the best of little guys. Joe is, obviously, one of the toughest men on the roster. Having Joe drop this DQ match really didn’t help either man. Joe being a ref-beating jerk just weakens him. Joe joining the Mafia was a horrible idea. I can only hope that Joe will feud with Bobby Lashley, who signed an official contract, earlier in the week.

TNA ran a Samoa Joe “I Will Become” video piece. Lauren then interviewed Sarita. Lauren mentioned that Alissa Flash would be her opponent. Flash was making her debut. Sarita then talked in Spanish to her fans. Thanks to 27 years of living in a Hispanic neighborhood, as a kid, I could pick up that she told the fans “nothing is impossible”. Sarita is incredibly cute and should do really well with the fans. She reminds me of Faby Apache from AAA, one of the cutest girls in wrestling.

TNA then focused on the situation between Jenna and Sharmell. They ran a video package of the meltdown between the two. Sharmell and Jenna was square off at Victory Road. SoJo Bolt has been training Sharmell. Jenna used her money to enlist the help of Kong to train her.

Don West then talked with Sharmell, Jenna, SoJo, Raisha and Kong. Don accused Sharmell of causing this problem. Sharmell claimed that she was the one and only female member of the Mafia. Sharmell got a slightly racist shot in at Jenna. Sharmell said that the skinny little white girl dissed her. Jenna said she conducted herself like a lady but she wasn’t dealing with a lady. Don talked about Sharmell’s background in wrestling. Jenna kept throwing shots at Sharmell as Don tried to talk about Sharmell’s training. Jenna called Sharmell a “cheap ho”. Sharmell stated to tear her a new one. I don’t like Jenna, personally. I want to see Sharmell shred Jenna. Jenna said that Kong would help her destroy Sharmell. All the Knockouts, except Kong, got into a screaming and shoving match. Kong just sat silently in the corner. TNA went to break as Suicide prepared for his match.

TNA ran a big promo for Bound For Glory. That lead to JB and Kurt Angle. JB talked about knowing Kurt, pretty well. JB couldn’t understand Kurt’s thought process of challenging Sting to a cage match, three days before Victory Road. Kurt said that he wanted to prove he was the “real Icon”, not Sting. Kurt said he had to whip Sting’s *ss to prove it. Kurt agreed with Mick Foley that Victory Road would be where the Mafia would take all the gold. Kurt said that, next week, JB would be calling him “Boss”.

Chris Sabin came out for the match against Suicide. Alex Shelley was with his long-time tag partner. The X-Champ, Suicide, then came from the crowd to face the former X-champ, Sabin.

Suicide d Chris Sabin
Non-title Match

The Finish:

Sabin fought from the apron. Suicide used the Slingshot to send Sabin into a Diamond Cutter. Sabin kicked out at two. Suicide tried to “Go Ozzy” on Sabin with the Suicide Solution but Sabin powered free. Sabin rocked Suicide with a Windmill Enziguri. Suicide caught Sabin in a Fireman’s Carry into the Front Roll. Suicide then flew over the top rope to Crossbody Shelley, on the outside. Sabin caught Suicide on his re-entry to the ring and placed him on the top rope. Sabin hit the Power Spin Face Plant off the top rope but only got a two count. Suicide blocked Sabin’s Cradle Shock but Sabin then Back Rushed Suicide to the corner. Sabin hit a Running Boot to the face. Sabin placed Suicide in the Sullivan Tree of Woe but didn’t lock the ankle. Suicide was able to lift himself up and grab Sabin. Suicide drove Sabin’s face into the middle turnbuckle and then finished him off with the Suicide Solution.

Grade: A

After the match, Shelley came up and sprayed Suicide in the face. Shelley trapped the legs and arms of Suicide. Sabin slid a chair under Suicide’s face and then hit a Guillotine Leg Drop off the top rope, driving Suicide’s face into the chair. Homicide rushed out and cleared the ring with his Feast or Fired Briefcase. Homicide got that back, last week, with a win over Doug Williams, who stole it from Homicide, months ago. Sabin and Shelley took off for the hills. Homicide tossed aside the chair and looked at the X-Division title and his Feast or Fired briefcase. Homicide cashed in his briefcase and the match was on…

Homicide d Suicide
X-Division Title Match

Homicide went for what he thought was a “gimme” pin. Suicide still had a little left and kicked out at two. Homicide couldn’t believe it. Suicide fought back but collapsed in the middle of the ring. Homicide locked Suicide in the Gringo Killa and scored the pin.

Your New X-Division Champion: Homicide!

Grade: A (well booked, guys)

Jay’s Thoughts: To me, this was really one match, split into two parts. I got a note from a friend who tipped me off that Homicide had taken the X-title, so this didn’t surprise me. I’m hoping that the Suicide character will now wind down and the man under the mask will get to be himself again. Sadly, I doubt seriously that it’s going to happen. Suicide will hang on as long as TNA can milk a few bucks out of the one-sided character. Homicide v Red is just waiting in the wings. That’s a Match of the Year contender, for me.

In the back, Angelina Love was dressed like a cross between a bee keeper and a moon landing astronaut. She was coming to the ring with something to say. I hope we will be able to hear her through all that gear.

Spike ran the promo for the new G.I.Joe movie. It’s using Undertaker’s old “American Bad-*ss” theme music.

Lauren talked with the new X-Division champion, Homicide. Lauren questioned Homicide about choosing to take the title from an injured Suicide. Homicide reminded her that he followed the rules by cashing in at any time. Homicide then celebrated his win. Homicide then accused Lauren of not dating Latinos when he asked her to come party with him and she refused. He ended up dragging her off as TNA went back to the Impact Zone.

The Beautiful People came out in her Space Bee-Girl outfit. She shook her backside, which almost seemed comical, in all that clothing. Love whined that she filed a complaint with Peter (that should be PETA) about Tara threatening her with a spider. Love called Tara a “big, ugly freak show”. Love said Tara did not deserve to be in TNA. Love said the Beautiful People did not recognize Tara’s win, last week. She called it a fluke. Love said the match was not an official match, so she considered herself the champ. Love said that she would battle Tara at Victory Road for the Knockout title.

Tara then came from the back. Tara had the stick. She told the Princess that she was the official champion. Tara said she would confirm it on Sunday. Tara told Love that she didn’t have to worry about Poison (the tarantula). He just liked dark, warm places. Tara said Poison was taking a nap in Love’s bee keeper outfit. She mentioned “I bark, he bites”. Love freaked out in the ring. Tara slipped into the ring and lifted Love up into the Widow’s Peak. TNA then pushed the arrival of Sarita, which would happen…next.

Alissa, who looks a lot like Raisha Saeed/Cheerleader Melissa, came out for her debut. She stopped to tell Dave Penzar that she wished to be called “The Future Legend”. Sarita then came out to a great pop. She was glowing in a near-neon blue and red outfit. (it almost hurt my eyes to look at it).

Sarita d Alissa Flash

The Finish:

Flash Curb Stomped Sarita. Sarita tried for several moves but they were blocked. Flash hit a Spinning Bodyslam to rock Sarita. Sarita came back with hard kicks and went for the Wheelbarrow Face Plant. Flash blocked it and turned it into a modified Back Suplex, slamming Sarita into the corner. Sarita, somehow, kicked out. Flash went for a Michinoku Driver but Sarita turned it into a Victory Roll for a surprise win.

Grade: A

Jay’s Thoughts: Finally, a decent Knockout match. Sarita would do well to join up with Homicide and Hernandez and reform the full LAX contingent. Flash should be a good challenge for Tara. She’ll lose to the Black Widow but will give a good show. It’s about time that TNA got serious about the Knockout division. Either push it or scrap it…period.

Flash offered her hand in friendship, but it was a trick. Flash lifted Sarita and planted her with a variation of the Michinoku Driver. TNA went to break.

Don ran down a few upcoming shows and then they sent it to Lauren. Lauren talked about his issues with Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash. She also talked how Styles really couldn’t trust Beer Money in the six-man match. Styles agreed but said he would just bring his “A Game”. Styles mocked Nash’s comments about changing the business. Styles said wrestling was better without Nash. Styles said it wasn’t about the money, for him. Styles warned Nash that he (Nash) will cash his last paycheck on Sunday.

Kevin Nash, Jenna, Scott Steiner, Booker T and Sharmell came to the ring for the co-main event. Beer Money then came from the back, Storm was on his infamous Boozer Cruizer. A.J. Styles then came through the shower of sparks to join the party.

Booker T, Kevin Nash and Scott Steiner d A.J. Styles, Robert Roode and James Storm
Six-Man Elimination Tag match

The Eliminations and the Finish:

Styles threw a hard Knife Edge to Nash’s chest. Styles threw fists to the face of Nash, who answered with a thumb to the eyes. Nash planted Styles with the Jackknife Powerbomb to send him to the showers.

A.J. Styles–Eliminated

Storm climbed to the top rope but Booker tripped him. Storm landed awkwardly. Steiner grabbed Storm and used the Powerdrive DDT to eliminate the Tennessee Cowboy.

James Storm–Eliminated

Nash set for the Jackknife. Roode dropped to his knees and Low Blowed Nash. The ref was turned to say something to Booker/Steiner. The ref turned and made the count.

Kevin Nash — Eliminated

Roode threw fists on both men. Steiner Clotheslined Booker, by accident. This allowed Roode to use the Inverted Atomic Drop on Steiner, followed by a high Dropkick. Booker reversed an Irish Whip but Roode came off the ropes with a Flying Fore-arm. Roode caught Steiner with the Spinning Neckbreaker. Roode planted Booker with the Anderson Spinebuster. Steiner made the save. Scott placed Roode on the rope rope. Roode fought back with a Headbutt. Roode hit the Buff-Buster on Steiner. Booker then kicked Roode in the ribs. Booker missed the Ax Kick. Roode went for the Pay-off (Perfectplex) but Sharmell distracted the ref. Roode released the hold and went over to confront Sharmell. That was his fatal mistake. Scott gripped Roode in a Doomsday hold, while Booker hit a Flying Ax Kick to drop Roode.

Robert Roode — Eliminated

Grade: A-

Jay’s Thoughts: TNA really showcased the Mafia in this one. It really makes me think that the Mafia are going to have a sweep on Sunday.

After the match, Jenna and Sharmell went after each other. Nash lifted Jenna and dragged her away.

JB talked with Team 3D. JB pushed his Twitter thing. JB then asked Ray and Devon about the British Invasion. Devon said that they thought the Brits had “it”, but they didn’t have dignity and class. Devon said it was time to take the Brits to class. Ray talked about the tag team dynasty known as Team 3D. Ray blamed the Brits for costing them the TNA World tag belts. Ray saw they wanted revenge against the Brits.

The British Invasion came in to tell Team 3D that the IWGP tag belts were know on the line. Ray and Devon then jumped Brutus Magnus, Doug Williams and Rob Terry. Don and Mike then ran down the updated card for Victory Road.

TNA ran another “I Will Become” video, this time featuring Sting.

Lauren tried to talk to Abyss. He apologized for all that has happened in the past. He swore no one would hurt her again. He then focused on Dr. Stevie. He talked about the animalistic way that Stevie had treated him. Abyss admitted that he was a “P*ssed off, 300 pound monster”. Abyss talked about how Stevie had taught him to avoid the pain and lust. Abyss said Stevie failed. Abyss brought out the black bag of tacks and began to drive them into his arm. Abyss said he didn’t need Stevie, the therapy or “the whites” (his outfits) anymore. Abyss said he wrote Stevie a prescription for a major *ss kicking with no refills. Abyss said that they would have one final therapy session, on Sunday.

Jay’s Thoughts: Thank the stars. This disturbing feud may just be coming to an end. I’m also happy to hear that Abyss is going to undergo another costume change. Maybe, this time, Abyss will get to climb out of the depths of mid-card Hell.

Jeff Jarrett came out for commentary. He immediately put Don West in his place when the rotund announcer tried to suck up. Jeff would rip into Don, several times, during the main event.

Kurt Angle rose from the depths of the Impact Zone for this micro-main event. TNA gave this less than 10 minutes. Kurt stared down as Jeff as he passed the announce desk. The scorpion then crawled across the Tron, as Sting made his entrance.

Sting v Kurt Angle (No Contest)
Six-Sides of Steel Non-Title Match

The Finish:

Out of nowhere, Samoa Joe attacked Jeff Jarrett and then Rudy Charles. Joe took the key to the cage from Rudy and unlocked it. Joe got in and relocked the cage. Sting came over and attacked Joe. Sting locked in the Scorpion Death Lock on Joe. Joe screamed in anger. The lights went out and an “F-T-W” symbol came on the screen. We’re talking Taz! He didn’t come out, but that leaves No Doubt who the mystery adviser is. When the lights came back up, Joe had Sting trapped in the Kokina Clutch. There was a nightstick in the ring, which Angle must have used. Jarrett tried to scale the cage to help Sting. Foley also tried to help Sting. Kurt used the nightstick to beat both men off the cage. Nash came out to attack Jeff. Booker and Steiner then came down to jump Foley. The Main Event Mafia annihilated everyone in sight.

Grade: C+

Jay’s Thoughts: Taz held the F-T-W title for years. That intro absolutely has to be his. As for the cage match, it stunk worse than milk than was six weeks past it’s expiration date. Giving the match such a short time was strike one. Having Joe do the run-in was strike two. The third and final strike was the Mafia hobbling down to the ring to beat the minimal help force. I have no doubt in my mind that Kurt will keep his strap on Sunday. Kurt will hang onto it until beyond Bound For Glory. He’ll likely face Sting, defeating him and breaking Sting’s streak. Kurt will drop the belt, eventually, to Bobby Lashley or Samoa Joe (who came into the Mafia to get inside Kurt’s head).

Final Grade: B+

Final Thoughts: This week was a mixed bag. Beer Money and Styles should get bonuses for being able to make the Mafia look passable. Sarita and Flash really showed that Knockout wrestling isn’t a lost cause. Joe’s match was pathetic, as was the main event. Sunday should be either amazing or horrid. There will be no middle ground. Instead of wasting my time with the show, I’m taking my girlfriend to the local mega-cine-plex to catch Harry Potter VI.


— Jay Shannon
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