HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
The TNA (8/27) impact! insight!
Our resident philosopher looks at a historic episode of TNA.
Dixie Carter made her first on-screen appearance on this week’s show. She had a few big announcements that will definitely affect the Thursday night program. In addition, the Knockout tag team tournament got underway. Speaking of women, a new next generation star made her Impact debut.
The show opened with a look at the rocky relationship between Kurt Angle and Matt Morgan. The tag tourney was announced, last week, as well. The video piece also looked at the issues between Angle and Bobby Lashley.
This Week’s Episode: Mind Games
Lauren rushed out to talk with A.J. Styles and Sting, who drove up, together, in a sweet yellow and black ride. She wanted to know if Styles was still planning to retire. Styles showed her his gear and said he was there to work. Sting said he smelled success. Kip James came up and offered to park Sting’s car. Sting told Kip that he didn’t have to park cars. Kip said (to Lauren) that he used to have one of “those cars”, when he was over.
Mike Tenay ran down the night’s card. Mike was joined by Daniels, as well as Taz for the opening contest. The masked gladiator, Suicide, rushed down to the ring as his Thrash Metal-like intro rang out. His opponent was the Samoan Submission Machine, Samoa Joe.
Suicide v Samoa Joe (No Contest)
Non-title X-Division match
Suicide hit the Running Bulldog into the corner, which stunned the current X-champion. Suicide Dropkicked Joe but couldn’t get a pin. D’Angelo Dinero waltzed out to watch the match. Joe caught a distracted Suicide with a Running Boot. Suicide went to the floor and Dinero attacked. Daniels jumped into the middle of the fray. All four men went tooth and nail.
Jay’s Thoughts: This was just a set-up for later in the night. It was a major disappointment that TNA took the cheap way out of this match. The match had great potential.
It was announced that the four men would return later for a tag team match. Suicide and Daniels would face Dinero and Joe.
Lauren talked with Eric Young about him trying to recruit Hernandez into the World Elite. Eric spouted his anti-American sentiments and then said he would open Hernandez’s eyes, later in the night.
Eric Young was in the ring with the rest of the World Elite. He gave the microphone to Sheik Abdul Bashir. Bashir took off his headwrap so that the fans wouldn’t have any preconceived notions about him. Bashir started talking about the war in Iraq. He started dissing President Bush for claiming the war was over, 6 years ago. Bashir talked about the innocents that were being killed.
I absolutely refuse to comment on his rant. I will simply report his comments.
Bashir said that “The King of Pop” gets more publicity than a dead Iraqi child. Bashir said the Americans were junkies for middle eastern oil. Bashir was actually beeped for obscene language. He finally shut up and handed the stick back to Eric.
Eric then talked about the handcuffed Hernandez. He said that he was handcuffed by his morals. The new music of SuperMex brought the Texican to the ring. Hernandez told Eric to say what he had to say…to his face. Eric called Hernandez “brother” and tried to play on Hernandez’s respect for his Mexican background. Eric said that Hernandez will always be treated as “a foreigner”. Eric said people would see him (Hernandez) as a “street thug” and “a common criminal”. Eric said that Hernandez should come home to the World Elite. The crowd busted loose with a “Kick His *ss!” chant. Hernandez told Eric that he “Was Home”. Hernandez said the fans were “Mi Familia” (my family). Hernandez said that this was our country. He told the World Elite to either “Love it (the US) or don’t let the door hit you in the *ss on the way out”.
In the back, Lauren talked with Traci and Sharmell of The Main Event Mafia. Lauren informed the Mafia ladies that they were going to face Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed. Sharmell started talking big as she called their opponents “the elephant trainer and her elephant”. Traci said that they didn’t sweat Kong and Saeed. The first tournament match was up next.
When the show continued, Alex Shelley was on the camera. He zoomed in on Lauren’s cleavage as she tried to discuss the Knockout tag team tourney. She got irritated at the blatant sexist behavior of Shelley. Chris Sabin was trying to flirt with Lauren, when Dr. Stevie walked in and offered the Motor City Machine Guns 50 Grand to take out Abyss. Stevie offered them cash to destroy The Monster. They agreed, in mere seconds.
Kong and Saeed arrived for their match against the Mafia. I have to wonder if Saeed is going to pull a Three Faces of Foley angle and also take part in the tourney as Cheerleader Melissa and Alissa Flash? Sharmell and Traci then came out to the Mafia’s music. They were both dressed in black for the battle.
Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed d Traci (Brooks) and Sharmell
Knockout Tag Team Tournament — Round One
Traci reversed the Irish Whip and Sharmell caught Saeed by her headdress. Saeed spun around and decked Mrs. Booker T. Traci then Clotheslined Saeed. Saeed wouldn’t be pinned. Traci choked Saeed on the middle ropes. Traci drove her knees into Saeed’s back, which drove the neck into the ropes. Saeed made it to her corner and brought in Kong. Kong nailed a pair of Clotheslines and a big Splash, in the corner. Kong tried to set for the Awesome Bomb but Traci dropped to her knees and scooted under Kong. Traci rushed into the brick wall that was Kong. Kong went to the middle ropes and hit a MONSTER splash. Sharmell made the save and then took off running. Saeed tagged herself in as Kong rushed after Sharmell. Saeed took the pin as Kong looked seriously offended.
Jay’s Thoughts: I’m not into the whole Knockout tag team title thing. I consider it a bad idea to take a weak division and throw another set of titles at it. You know it’s bad when one person has to do double (or triple) duty just to flesh out the tournament (see below). That being said, I sense major problems brewing between Saeed and Kong. Did you notice the evil glare that Kong gave to Saeed after she took the pin?
TNA ran a promo piece on Matt Morgan. It focused on sending his DNA to space and his time on the short-lived American Gladiators remake. It led into the situation between Angle and Morgan.
Morgan stormed into the Main Event Mafia locker room. They were surprised by his audacity to invade their inner sanctum. Kurt admitted that he did screw up last week, by trusting Morgan to be able to climb a turnbuckle in less than 3 minutes. Morgan figured that Kurt wanted to teach him by tagging him with Steiner and Booker. Morgan wanted to know if he talked with Dixie (Carter). Morgan pitched himself to Dixie, as part of the Four Way Match at No Surrender in the World title match. Morgan stormed off as the other Mafia members tried to talk to Kurt. Kurt asked Scott and Booker if they had his back with the Morgan situation. They acknowledged that they would take care of Morgan.
Tenay talked about Homicide getting a write-up in The Source. From there, it went to a look at the issues between Rhino and Jesse Neal. Rhino was Jesse’s trainer and came unglued when Jesse embarrassed him. Neal was in the ring, waiting for Rhino. Rhino hit the ring at a dead run.
Jesse Neal d Rhino (Reverse Decision)
Rhino and Jesse walked up to each other. Rhino offered his hand but it was a trick. Rhino kicked and stomped on his former student. Rhino choked Jesse with his boot and then shoved his throat into the ropes. Rhino pounded the face of Jesse and choked again. Rhino risked disqualification, several times. Jesse tried to fight back but Rhino was too much for him. Rhino hit a Running Kick to the face of Jesse. Jesse tried for an Irish Whip but Rhino converted it into an Anderson Spinebuster to bring the massacre to an end. After the match, Rhino Gored! Jesse. The ref reversed the decision and gave the win to Jesse. Rhino was ready to annihilate Jesse, until Brother Devon rushed out to make the save.
Jay’s Thoughts: This feud just leaves me cold. I didn’t care for Jesse Neal from day one. I really can’t get behind his underdog character. I hate to see Devon get bogged down with a feud with Rhino. Nothing good can come of that.
Mick Foley was wearing a British Judge’s wig as he held court to decide the fate of the Knockout title, currently held by Cody Deaner. ODB claimed that Deaner was only there to help her win and since he was a guy, he couldn’t hold the title. Before everything got started, Abyss came in to return Barbie, the baseball bat. Foley gave Abyss some groceries and asked him to attack Deaner. He laughed and called him off.
Foley gave both people the chance to plead their case. Deaner said that he knocked out Mike Tyson and Chuck Norris in the past. Ok, sure he did. Foley decided to hold up the title, until No Surrender. He placed ODB against Deaner for the title at the PPV. JB wanted to know if Foley was ok. Foley said that he had to take a step back to prepare to return with a vengeance.
Jay’s Thoughts: I remember predicting that TNA wouldn’t be stupid enough to put the belt on Deaner. I forgot that Russo wrote this and he put the WCW belt on David Arquette. TNA needs new writers.
Abyss started towards his confrontation against the Motor City Machine Guns.
The Guns and Dr. Stevie came out for the Bounty Match. The three locked confident. Abyss then arrived in his new biker-like outfit.
Abyss v Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin
$50,000 Bounty Match, handicap rules
Shelley came off the top rope and into Abyss’s arms. Sabin hit a Springboard Dropkick to drive Abyss to the mat. The Guns hit a Double Superkick and Shelley prepared for Sliced Bread #2. Abyss shoved out of the move and hoisted Shelley up into the Torture Rack. Sabin rushed at Abyss, only to take a boot to the face. Abyss dropped a leg on Sabin, while hitting the Shock Treatment, at the same time, on Shelley. How cool was that? Dr. Stevie rushed in and attacked Abyss. Abyss Goozled Stevie but released him as he saw Sabin climb the ropes. He caught Sabin, on the fly, and finished him off with the Black Hole Slam.
After the match, the Guns attacked Dr. Stevie. He was place din the Sullivan Tree of Woe and Sabin hit the hesitation Dropkick. Abyss was thrilled by the attack. Abyss grabbed a chair and started towards the ring. Abyss got in the ring with the chair. Before he could do anything, Kevin Nash came out to confront Abyss. That confrontation would happen…next.
Nash had the stick as TNA returned. He called Dr. Stevie by his last name, Richards. Nash said that he wanted to go after the 50 Grand. Nash said that he wanted revenge for Hard Justice. He said that he would take out Abyss on general principle. The two would face off at No Surrender.
Jay’s Thoughts: The Nash v Abyss match should be interesting to watch. On paper, Abyss should seriously destroy Big Sexy, but you just never know. The whole 50K bounty gives it an unknown aspect that makes it worth checking out.
Tenay and Taz ran down the rest of the night’s card.Lauren talked with Daffney about having to face Hamada. Daffney went on a bizarre rant that included skinning the sheep in her dreams and wearing them to the local supermarket. Cute, but weird. Daffney said that she didn’t make plans, she just depended on violence. She called herself the Scream Queen.
In the arena, Daffney showed up. I still love the fact that she’s from Sybil, Texas. Taz called her “Zombie Hot”. Yeah, that works for me. Her opponent, Hamada, is the daughter of the legendary Japanese superstar, Gran Hamada. Hamada’s sister is also a wrestler in Japan.
Hamada v Daffney
No Disqualification Knockout Match
Daffney beat on Hamada’s back and went after a steel chair. Daffney missed a chair shot and struck the ring post. Hamada hit a Thrust Kick and draped the steel chair around Daffney’s neck. Hamada ran the chair (and Daffney) into the ring post. Hamada screamed “Table” as she pointed as a table that was set up near the ring apron. Hamada scooped up Daffney and placed her on the table. She signed to the crowd that she was going to hit a spinning move. Hamada went to the top rope and nailed a Moonsault, driving herself and Daffney through the table! Taz compared Hamada to Sabu as the crowd chanted “This is Awesome!”. Hamada dragged Daffney back into the ring and finished her off with the family’s finisher…The Hamada Driver! (a variation of the Michinoku Driver)
Jay’s Thoughts: After so many months of the Plastic People. it’s nice to see a great match between two female wrestlers. They really tore it up. I hope both women keep getting pushed. They are two of the best women in wrestling.
Angelina Love and Velvet Sky were looking for Madison Rayne, backstage.
JB tried to stop The Beautiful People from attacking Rayne. They found her in a dressing room. They gave her grief for costing Love her Knockout title. Rayne had a mystery partner to face The Beautiful People, in the first round. They didn’t really care who the partner was. The Beautiful People attacked Rayne in the locker room and sprayed her in the face, as JB tried to protect her.
Tenay and Taz announced the full eight team line-up for the tag tourney:
1. Traci and Sharmell (already eliminated)
2. Kong and Saeed (moving on to round two)
3. Taylor Wilde and Sarita
4. Daffney and Alissa Flash (yep, they’re going for a Foley)
5. The Beautiful People
6. Madison and a mystery partner (I’m thinking either Rhaka Khan, Cheerleader Melissa or a returning Mickie “Moose” Knuckles)
7. Hamada and Sojo Bolt
8. Tara and Christy Hemme
D’Angelo Dinero came out for the tag team match that was made earlier in the night. He was joined by Samoa Joe. Joe carried his X-division title over his shoulder. Next to arrive was the masked mystery man, Suicide. He ran down and slid in the ring. The final man to arrive was Daniels.
Suicide and Daniels d Samoa Joe and D’Angelo Dinero
Joe punched away at Daniels and went to the ropes. Daniels rocked Joe with an Enziguri and used the Inverted version of the Leg Sweep/Clothesline that Dinero used in the last segment. Daniels reached for his partner. He got the tag, as did Joe. Dinero reversed an Irish Whip but Suicide flew into him and dropped him like a bad habit. Suicide came off the ropes with his Spinning Bulldog. Dinero was starting to kick out when Joe rushed in. Suicide lifted Dinero onto his shoulder and Barrel Rolled him, driving him into the canvas. The match started to break down as all four men were in the ring. The faces tried for the Double Irish Whip but Dinero reversed his side of the equation and Joe nearly decapitated Suicide with a Running Clothesline. Joe caught Daniels with a Thrust Kick and Dinero hit a German Suplex. Joe went for a Tope Suicida but botched the move. He landed awkwardly on his left ankle. Daniels Back Kicked him and turned to face Dinero. Daniels popped Dinero in the face and then hit the Split Moonsault onto Joe…on the floor! In the ring, Suicide missed a Crossbody. Dinero dropped the kneepads for his finisher. Suicide dodged the move and Dinero crashed and burned in the corner. Suicide hit a Springboard La Magistral to roll up Dinero for the win.
Jay’s Thoughts: These four men can really push TNA to new levels of greatness. There isn’t a lemon in the bunch. Kudos for a excellent match.
JB talked with Dixie and Bobby. Dixie announced a new 3-year deal with Spike TV. They talked about the growth of TNA, including the arrival of Lashley. Lashley talked about working in wrestling and MMA, at the same time. Lashley wanted to excel in both. He refused to do either “Half-*ssed”. Dixie pushed Bobby as the next top star in TNA, as well as in MMA. JB asked Bobby what his goals were. Bobby said he wanted to make an impact in the company. Bobby set his focus on Kurt and the world title. Dixie wanted to see Bobby with the TNA World title on one shoulder and an MMA title on the other. Dixie announced that Bobby Lashley would face Rhino at No Surrender.
Kurt Angle was announced to the Impact crowd. he came out in a suit and tie. Kurt joined Tenay and Taz for the main event. After Kurt got seated, Matt Morgan arrived for the six man match. he got a huge pop from the Orlando crowd. Tenay asked Kurt about plans for Morgan and the Mafia. Kurt said he was still scouting “The Rookie”. Morgan’s partners, the World tag champions, arrived. Booker and Steiner looked stone-faced as they walked to the ring.
Hernandez was the next to arrive for the battle. He was listed as being from Houston, Texas. That would put a Houstonian on either side. The lights went out and A.J. Styles came out to the biggest shower of sparks in recent history. The final arrival for the battle was “The Icon” Sting.
Sting, A.J. Styles and Hernandez d Matt Morgan, Scott Steiner and Booker T
Six-man tag team match
Steiner and Styles were back in the ring as the show moved into it’s final segment. Steiner had a Rear Chin Lock on but Styles got to his feet and Elbowed free. Steiner launched Styles with a Release Belly to Belly Over-head Suplex. Morgan tagged back in and powered down Styles. Styles slipped off Morgan’s shoulders and rolled to his corner. He tagged in Hernandez, who dropped Morgan with the Slingshot Shoulder Tackle. Hernandez took out everyone in sight with Clotheslines and a Spinebuster. Morgan went to Hernandez’s eyes to stop his momentum. Morgan threw Hernandez into the corner and went for his Running Boot. Hernandez Tackled the Blueprint on the run-in. Steiner made the save. The match broke down into total chaos as all six men hit the ring. Booker, Steiner, Styles and Sting all went to the floor. Hernandez went for a Corner Splash on Morgan, but missed. Morgan called for the Hell-a-vator. Steiner came in with a chair, which distracted Morgan. Hernandez was able to shove Morgan into Steiner’s chair. Styles tagged in and hit a Springboard Crossbody to take down The Blueprint.
Jay’s Thoughts: I’m just not sure what TNA is going to do with Morgan. He is so riding the fence, right now. He’s wearing about the greyest hat that I’ve seen in the longest of times. Styles is working into a decent push, as is Hernandez. Sting is just biding his time, until retirement. Steiner and Booker are just there for the ride.
Kurt was livid at Morgan’s mistake. Sting stood over and Morgan and the three faces left the ring. Steiner and Booker came in and talked with Morgan. Morgan was hot at Scott for having the chair in the ring. Booker tried to read the riot act to Morgan. Morgan attacked both Booker and Steiner and then pointed at Kurt.
Final Grade: B+
Final Thoughts: Dixie’s big announcement didn’t amount to much of anything. She announced that Lashley was going to wrestle, like anyone didn’t already know that. The new 3-year deal with Spike wasn’t all that big of a surprise. She totally ignored the issues with Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett. I’ve had several people write me to ask what I’ve heard. That would be…exactly what everyone else has heard…not much. Jarrett is due back “sooner than later”. That’s the last that I heard about the whole situation.
While Hernandez has rejected the World Elite’s offer, I have a funny feeling that his partner, Homicide, just might take them up on their offer. The landscape in TNA is in a constant state of flux. The Knockout Division is at a crossroads. Pushing the tag team thing will either succeed or flop. There will be no in-between. I hope it flies.
— Jay Shannon