HeadLocker — Jay Shannon
TNA Impact (9/24) Insight
Our resident philosopher looks at a mediocre edition of Impact
The aftermath of No Surrender was in full force on this week’s episode of TNA. Bobby Lashley made his Impact debut. Also, the tag team scene got seriously Extreme. This was an action-filled two hours of fun and excitement. Let’s get to it.
The show opened with all the excitement from No Surrender. A.J. Styles took the gold from Kurt Angle, thanks to an assist from Sting. ODB finally won the Knockout championship. Samoa Joe dominated Daniels. Taylor Wilde and Sarita became the first Knockout tag team champs. Hernandez cashed in his Feast or Fired case, only to have his dreams shattered by Eric Young.
This Week’s Episode: The One about the Broken Picture.
TNA showed the arrival of the World Elite. They were attacked by Hernandez.
The Main Event Mafia was in the ring. Kurt had the stick. Kurt pushed that the Mafia kept most of their gold at the PPV. The crowd laughed when Kurt talked about being ripped off for his World title. Kurt blamed Matt Morgan for “screwing him” out of the title. Kurt said Morgan kicked him in the face, despite Kurt trying to “protect” The Blueprint. Kurt announced that he would face Morgan at Bound For Glory.
Kurt called the Mafia “The Most Dominant Force in the history of the business”. That brought out the World Elite, in full force. Booker T was irate at the disrespect by Eric Young and his crew. Eric was carrying a nightstick. Eric said that Kurt’s statement raised some questions. Eric said that Kurt didn’t look dominant when Hernandez was beating the stuffing out of the former Olympian. Eric told Kurt that he (Eric) saved Kurt’s delicate little neck at No Surrender. Eric demanded that Kurt repay the favor. Eric talked about facing Hernandez in a one-on-one match, later. Eric demanded that Kurt join him for a tag team battle against Hernandez and a partner of Hernandez’s choice. Eric wanted to take out Hernandez.
Booker jumped in the middle of it. Booker rambled about Mafia Rule of TNA. Booker told Eric that he never liked his “punk *ss”. Booker called the World Elite a “Romper Room Group”. Booker told the World Elite to pack up and take off. Eric got right in Booker’s face. Eric said that he could care less what Booker thought. It took most of the Mafia to hold Booker back. Kurt tried to calm Booker down. Kurt said that he would return the favor because the Main Event Mafia does things the right way. Booker was still livid as Kurt and Eric shook hands.
Mike Tenay and Tazz began to push Bound For Glory and then ran down the rest of the night’s card. In the back, Bobby Lashley laced up his boots.
Suicide came out for a No-Disqualification, Anything Goes Street Fight. He faced off against his latest nemesis, “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero.
Suicide v D’Angelo Dinero
No-Disqualification, Anything Goes, Street Fight
Dinero punished the ribs with the can lid and then rolled Suicide back in the ring. Dinero cracked Suicide in the back with the can. Dinero then alternated with a can lid and the tambourine, smashing Suicide in the face. Dinero then grabbed a hockey stick (which the fans voted for) and bashed Suicide with it. Suicide came back with an Inverted Atomic Drop and then sprang off the ropes to hit another kendo stick, which was across the seat of an upright folding chair. The stick then made a Slap Shot of Dinero’s…well, you get the idea. It was a case of “Yam Bam Yahtzee” (I love the name, Tazz). Suicide hit the Running Dropkick and then planted a trash can into Dinero’s chest. Suicide then decided to go…Coast to Coast! He didn’t make it, thanks to a detour somewhere around Cleveland. Dinero came up and bounced off the steel chair in the middle of the ring to Spear Suicide! It was like RVD v Sabu 2009. Both men were laid out as the crowd exploded. Dinero almost got the pin. Dinero sent for a Suplex but Suicide nailed the Suicide Solution, sending Dinero through a trash can to take the win.
Jay’s Thoughts: Wow. That’s the first word that came to mind. I’m really starting to like the “new” Dinero/Elijah Burke. Was it me, or was Suicide doing a ton of Rob Van Dam moves? Could there have been a little switch under the skull mask? I haven’t had the chance to find out where RVD is these days, but that Van Terminator tease was interesting.
Lauren talked with Team 3D. Brother Ray was p*ssed off at Rhino but felt it should be all put aside. Brother Devon wasn’t ready to listen. Rhino took a cheap shot on him, last week, and Devon wanted blood. Devon said that they were going to do it “Old School” and Devon planned on knocking Rhino clean out. “Oh, My Brother….Testify!”
Lauren chatted with Kevin Nash about how he cheated Abyss (Chris) on Sunday. Nash flirted with Lauren and wanted to know why she was attracted to “that freak”. Nash offered to get “freaky” with Lauren. Nash changed gears when a couple of BBWs (Big, Beautiful Women) came strolling in. Big Sexy told Lauren and the fans to “Stay Wet, my friends”.
Rhino stormed from the back for the next bout. As he started to rush to the ring, he was blind-sided by Devon.
Brother Devon v Rhino (Double Countout)
Devon beat on Rhino and then threw him in the ring. The two went fist and fire in the center of the ring. Rhino threw Devon over the ropes and they started fighting on the floor. Rhino ran Devon into the steel steps. The crowd was hostile to the War Machine. Rhino kicked the now-bloody Devon. Neither man paid attention to the count. Rhino went for Gore! but Devon side-stepped him. The ref reached the count of 10 and called for the bell.
Jay’s Thoughts: What the heck was that mess? A major feud begins and the opening match is less than 2 minutes? That bites.
Security rushed out to try and break the two former friends apart. When they failed, Brother Ray rushed down and read the riot act to both men. Ray screamed at both men and then dismissed the entire security force. It was like dealing with a couple of kids. Ray reminded them about being next to each other in the Frontline. Ray said the fans would rather see them fight together, instead of each other. Ray demanded that the two shake hands and end this. The two shook and Ray said that it was over. Rhino broke free and hit The Gore! on Ray. Rhino then bailed out of the ring and screamed at his newest enemies.
Lauren talked with Hernandez about the upcoming tag match. Hernandez said that he didn’t need a partner. Matt Morgan walked up and offered to go after Kurt, while Hernandez took out Eric. Morgan said that he just beat Kurt to the punch. Morgan said he was ready to enjoy himself. Hernandez said he would cost Eric the ability to walk.
Mick Foley and JB were in Mick’s office. Mick was livid that the shattered frame and Twitter photo that was on the wall. Mick and JB turned it into a “Who Done It?” situation.
Tenay and Tazz sent it to a highlight package of A.J. Styles’ career. It was filled with over a dozen clips from his entire TNA career. He is the one and only Grand Slam winner in TNA. Styles was walking backstage. He had a few things to say after the break.
The house rocked as A.J. Styles made his appearance in the Impact Zone. The crowd broke loose with a deafening “A-J” chant. When Styles mentioned winning the title, the crowd rocked the rafters with a “You Deserve It” chant. Styles dedicated his title to the fans…and Sting. Styles asked Sting to join him in the ring to share the celebration. Sting, in street clothes, walked from the back. Sting also got a great pop from the Orlando crowd. Sting told Styles that this was about A.J., not Sting. Sting said Styles didn’t need to share the spotlight with anyone. Sting introduced the New TNA World Champion, A.J. Styles! Sting started to leave but Styles called him back. Styles said that he knew what Sting did. Sting tried to deny it. Styles said Sting chose to take out Matt Morgan, instead of pinning Kurt Angle. Sting said that he gave Styles nothing, Styles earned the World title. Styles said that Sting handed him the torch and the title. Styles then offered a repayment for the kind gesture…a World Title Shot at Bound For Glory! (ok, I’m calling the satellite company). The two men shook hands to seal the deal. Styles wanted to ask Sting to join him in bringing the fans something that they would never forget. Tenay thought it was a great idea. Tazz said it was cool, but it might be a mistake. TNA went to break.
Segment Grade: A
Jay’s Thoughts: Ok, it was a little syrupy but I liked the segment. Styles v Sting at Bound For Glory? I am so there for that one. TNA worked their magic, at least with me, to interest me in their big PPV of the year.
The new Knockout tag team champions, Sarita and Taylor Wilde, came out for their first defense. They faced off against the makeshift team of ODB and Tara
Sarita and Taylor Wilde d ODB and Tara
Knockout Tag Team Title Match
Out of nowhere, Awesome Kong stormed to the ringside area. The distraction allowed Wilde to slip free and use a Double Heel Trip to send ODB crashing down onto her ample chest. Tara attacked Kong on the floor, as Sarita made the in-ring tag. Tara and Kong fought to the back. ODB Steam Rolled over Sarita. Sarita got to her feet and went for a Crossbody. ODB caught her and prepped for the Fallaway Slam. She didn’t get it, as Wilde flew off the ropes with a Missile Dropkick. Wilde used a Jackknife Pin to get a two count. The crowd chanted for “O-D-B” as Tazz talked about ODB’s “bloomers”. (I have to admit, I was noticing them too). The tag champs tried to double team the Trailer Park Princess but she ducked and dropped them both with a Stereo Clothesline. ODB lifted Sarita into a Fireman’s Carry. Sarita elbowed her way free. Sarita rolled under a Clothesline and tagged out to Wilde. Wilde grabbed ODB for the Bridging Back Suplex. Sarita Dropkicked ODB to send her over with even more force. The ref counted the three.
Jay’s Thoughts: I still think the Knockout tag belts are unneeded. There just aren’t enough teams to warrant such a title. I know TNA was trying to be unique but this seems like over-kill to me. The Tara-Kong feud is starting to pique my curiosity. Plus (if you read below), Tara made have more than one feud on her hands.
Tara strolled back to the ring. ODB wasn’t happy that her tag partner abandoned her. Tara tried to explain about Kong. ODB wasn’t happy about the whole situation. TNA went to break.
Foley and JB interviewed Jay Lethal and Consequences Creed about selling the Twitter photos. It was like a really bad episode of Law and Order. Creed said that had better things to do than deal with this. (The fans felt the same way). Lethal said he was “getting his freak on with Liz” at the time of the picture breaking. Lethal and Creed left and Foley called for Alex Shelley to be brought in for questioning.
Daniels made his way out for the next bout. It was a Triple Threat for the X-Division title. The second person to arrive was Homicide. Homicide was hostile to the Impact crowd. The final member of this dance was, of course, Samoa Joe.
Samoa Joe v Homicide v Daniels
X-Division Triple Threat Match
Homicide rushed back into the ring, only to be Proto-Bombed by Daniels. Daniels hit a Flying Fore-arm to Joe’s face and then went to grab Homicide. Daniels threw Homicide, head first, into Joe’s ribs. Daniels then hit the Back Sweep Clothesline. Daniels followed up with the Split-Legged Moonsault. Joe scooted out to the floor. Daniels tried for the Split-Legged Moonsault to the outside but missed his target. Joe Chopped the chest of Daniels. Homicide then dropped Joe with a full-on Tope Suicida. Homicide then took the fight to Daniels. Homicide called for a steel chair but the ref took it away from him. Daniels jumped Homicide and rolled him back into the ring. Homicide caught Daniels as he entered the ring and hit a Double Thrust. Homicide sat Daniels on the top rope and climbed to the middle one. Daniels shoved Homicide off the ropes. Joe came out of the blind spot and nailed the Enziguri. Joe Muscle Bustered Daniels and looked to have the win…until Homicide grabbed the ref’s arm. Joe and Homicide stared, face to face. Homicide Pie-Faced Joe. Bad move, sport. Joe punched Homicide. Homicide caught Joe with a Funk Neckbreaker. homicide screamed at Joe but didn’t noticed Joe get up. Joe nailed an Inverted Exploder Suplex and slapped on the Kokina Clutch to retain.
Jay’s Thoughts: I’m torn on the Homicide heel turn. It’s great for his career to bust out of the LAX team and go solo. My problem is that his character is turning into such a stereotype that I’m annoyed and offended. Joe seems lost with the X-title. He should be going after Styles not wasting his time with “second best”. As for Daniels, he just hasn’t been the same since he did his stint as Curry Man.
Eric Young waited in the ring. Abdul Bashir and Kiyoshi joined the announce team. Kurt Angle then rose from the bowels of the Impact Zone. Kurt left the other Mafia members in the back. Hernandez then came out as Bashir suggested that the Mafia knew what was best to do, follow the World Elite. Matt Morgan then joined the party.
Hernandez and Matt Morgan d Eric Young and Kurt Angle
Kurt and Hernandez teased a tie-up but Kurt went to the outside. When he returned, he grabbed a Headlock. Bashir threw in all kinds of tacky, racial slurs as the match progressed. Hernandez lifted Kurt and tossed him away. Kurt was impressed. Hernandez Pounced Kurt after an Irish Whip. Hernandez tore off his shirt and used it to help Biel Kurt to the outside. Kurt was limping badly. The crowd chanted “We Want Morgan!” Hernandez launched Eric with a Back Body Drop. Hernandez then planted Kurt with a Sit-out Powerbomb. Hernandez sent both of his opponents to the same corner and Splashed them. The crowd exploded when Morgan made the tag. He nailed Eric with the Carbon Footprint to take the quick win.
Jay’s Thoughts: Morgan just doesn’t work for me as a face. He has that aura of a heel and, darn it, he should run with it. Eric in charge of anything feels completely wrong. He’s been a follower for far too long to suddenly become the general.
Bashir and Kiyoshi got in Kurt’s face for not helping Eric. Kurt kicked Bashir low and then punched Kiyoshi. The British Invasion then walked down to square off with “the Godfather”. Kurt dropped the straps and got ready to party. Kurt called out Booker T and Scott Steiner to even the sides. The Brits backed down at warp speed. I smell a face turn for the Mafia.
Foley and JB were back with another Law and Order-like skit. This time, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin were being grilled. The Guns were cleared of breaking the picture, but convicted of having the world’s worst intro music. The Guns suggested that Foley check the video of Foley’s office. JB got nervous when he found the office was watched,, constantly.
Tazz and Tenay talked about Traci Brooks‘s Playboy pictures. I’ve seen them and they almost melted my monitor.
Lauren tried to interview Hamada. Alissa Flash took exception to being passed over for foreign wrestlers. Hamada challenged Flash to a match. Flash walked off and then came back to attack Hamada. Flash tossed Hamada down the bleachers, where the interview was being held. Flash also Bodyslammed her before tossing her down. On the floor, Flash continued the assault. A bunch of production guys ran out to pull Flash off. In the back, Bobby Lashley got ready to debut.
Don West came back to TNA to promo the European tour and Bound For Glory.
In the back, Nash was flirting with Daffney. Nash started talking about Daffney’s old man, Dr. Stevie. She said that their relationship was strictly patient/doctor. Daffney then looked prepared to take TNA to an “R” rating. Instead, she blasted Nash in the “jewels” and then continued to assault him on the couch. Stevie then rushed in and attacked Nash. Stevie was ticked that Nash robbed him.
In the ring, Jethro Holliday waited to battle Bobby Lashley.Lashley got a decent pop from the crowd.
Bobby Lashley d Jethro Holliday
Bobby jumped onto the apron skirt and then stepped in the ring. Bobby dropped Jethro and started punching him. Bobby threw a flurry of Fore-arm shots and then launched Jethro with a Back Body Drop. Bobby dropped Crossface Bombs and then lifted Jethro into a Shock Treatment. Bobby got booted in the face but rebounded with a One-Arm Uranage Slam. Bobby slapped on a Dragon Sleeper to take out “The Outlaw”.
Jay’s Thoughts: Let’s recycle the Goldberg angle, one more time.
Mick said that the case was solved and it all made sense.
Lauren chatted with Abyss. She felt that all the issues between Foley and Abyss were cleared up. Lauren pushed that Abyss and Mick would win the tag team belts. Abyss kissed Lauren and went to take Mafia gold.
In the arena, Steiner and Booker, along with Sharmell, came out to defend their tag titles. The Psycho Circus music of Abyss then brought out Mick and Abyss. Mick sat a video tape and the barbed wire bat on the announce table.
Scott Steiner and Booker T d Abyss and Mick Foley
World Tag Team Title Match
Steiner reversed an Irish Whip to send Abyss into Booker’s knee. Scott hit a Running Clothesline and then dropped the elbow. Scott took some time to do push-ups. Scott continued to attack Abyss. Abyss caught Steiner and Booker with a Double Clothesline. Abyss tagged out to Foley. Foley then caught Abyss with the Double Arm DDT and tagged out.Booker hit the Ax Kick to finish off the Monster.
Jay’s Thoughts: Who couldn’t see that coming? Foley v Abyss should be a lame feud, at best. Expect a lot of blood (mostly from Abyss). Just another boring feud to fill the mid-card at Bound For Glory.
Foley grabbed the mic and got back in the ring. Foley said it was Chris that broke the picture. Foley then smashed the video tape into Abyss’s face. Foley cut his hand and bloodied Abyss’s forehead. Foley then continued to attack the weakened Monster. Foley accused Abyss of costing him his most prized possessions. JB tried to call off Foley. Abyss was soaked in blood. Foley grabbed the Barbed wired bat and got back in the ring. He destroyed Abyss with the bat and said “Now, he’s learned his lesson!”. Abyss was a bloody mess. Abyss kept screaming “Why?” as TNA went to black (and red).
Final Grade: B
Final Thoughts: What a mix of good and bad. It stinks when a swerve isn’t a surprise. The saving grace of the whole show was Dinero v Suicide. All the rest really felt forced. TNA really needs some fresh blood (and not fromAbyss’ road map forehead). TNA is feeling more and more like a late 2000/early 2001 WCW.
— Jay Shannon