My views on Pro Wrestling from the East and West

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Spoiling the Illusion - TNA Impact 1/04/2010

OK, so I decided to give my thoughts on the “groundbreaking Monday night live” edition of TNA impact, and see what they have to offer someone like me who gave up on them years ago and hasn’t watched anything by them in almost 2 years.

I have already watched Bret Hart’s return to RAW, and the Hitman looked like he was in great shape, and he didn’t flub any of his lines either. Overall, I thought RAW was passable since the big angle of the show revolved around Vince McMahon and Bret Hart. Elsewhere on the show, Bret buried the hatchet with HBK, Maryse continues to show how lousy a worker she is along with almost all of the other Divas, Chris Jericho kicks Hornswoggle in the helmet, but got booted off RAW, Evan Bourne stepped up to WWE Champion Sheamus only to have his finisher no-sold and get squashed, and Legacy showed some balls when they threatened to kick Randy Orton out of the group if he couldn’t beat Kofi Kingston. Orton wins, so I guess next week Dibiase & Rhodes are back to being his whipping boys. Don’t the 2 of them realize they actually out-number Orton and that leaving him laying in a pool of his own blood would further their careers far more and following him around and getting beat up all the time to try and protect him?

On to IMPACT!!!

Interesting package to open the show. We then go to Bubba the Love Sponge outside the Impact Zone earlier in the day getting comments from fans about what they want to see. The majority say they want wrestling like in the old days when Hogan was king. And a possible ring rat says she wants to see the hot sweaty men. You either love trailer park thrash, or you don’t.

Steel Asylum Match: Alex Shelley VS Chris Sabin VS Homicide VS Kiyoshi VS “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal VS Consequences Creed VS Suicide VS Amazing Red.
- So Akira Raijin (Kiyoshi) dropped the Great Muta gimmick and Jay Lethal goes from imitating 1990’s Randy Savage to imitating 1980’s Randy Savage. Say what you want about Suicide, but I actually like the superhero gimmick. And kudos to Amazing Red on changing his look, but not bulking up like a certain other masked wrestler in WWE.
- So they kinda stole this gimmick match from AAA in Mexico, steel cage with a small hole on top that you have to escape through to win. But in AAA, the hole is bigger, so it isn’t so difficult that even a 300lbs guy like Super Porky could get out. Many of these young fit guys actually had difficulty getting out once they reach the ceiling of the cage.
- I remember when Lethal used the Lethal Consequences as a finisher. He used it against Suicide here and both Tenay & Taz called like any other move.
- And now we come to one of the many reasons I stopped following TNA. Homicide brings in a baton and beats up everyone else, leading to the referees stopping the match as a No Contest. And they deservedly get “This is BULLSHIT” chant from the audience that SPIKE TV have to silence the audio out every to censor it. Bet that guy who tattooed TNA on his forearm is glad he “crossed the line”.
- Like I commented earlier on the design of the cage, Homicide can’t seem to climb out of that hole at the top of the cage cause they made it too difficult. So he drops back into the ring and leaves via the door I guess. Then the biggest free agent (and soon to be jailbird) Jeff Hardy shows up out of the crowd with entrance music and all, and he beats up Homicide with a sick chair shot followed by the Twist of Fate on the rampway before climbing up and sitting on the roof of the cage.

We see Hogan’s limo on the way to the show. Guess the new boss couldn’t be bothered to be at the show on time since he already got the company’s money. Skipped the interview with Nash.

TNA Knockouts Title: Tara [C] VS ODB
Short but better than the Divas match on RAW at least, mostly thanks to the former Victoria, who also added Tajiri’s tarantula move to her arsenal. But ODB with a roll-up pulling the tights to win back the title. Tara lays out ODB with the Widow’s Peak and puts her little tarantula friend on the new champion as she poses with the belt.

Ric Flair shows up wearing the watch Shawn Michaels gave him for his retirement and shakes hands with Beer Money and a few other backstage hands before entering the building.

Video from earlier in the day when security wouldn’t let Mick Foley into the building since he’s been deemed a destructive influence by the higher ups, forgetting that he’s supposed to be a big share holder of the company.

Mr & Mrs Bobby Lashley come out to announce they want out of the company. That’s right, on a night where potential new fans might tune in to watch the show, they get to see one of the ex-WWE guys and top performers of the company wanting to quit and pursue other ventures.

Strip poker with the Beautiful People. They censored out the fans chanting bullshit, and they cut away when Tara’s butt crack came out when ODB pulled her tights earlier. Do you really expect to see anything here that you could see endless amounts of on the internet with hotter women?

Fat Scott Hall and Sean Waltman show up but are denied entry to the Zone. One commercial break later and they are already inside as Hogan’s limo pulls up to the place. Here comes the Hulkster to his old NWO theme, painted fake sideburns and all. Hogan says he’s been in the back all day, which is total BS since he just arrived. Nice going TNA script writers. Hogan basically sings the same old song about how TNA is the best and they are going to be No.1. Too bad Hogan himself doesn’t sound too convinced about it.
Hall and Waltman show up and Hogan invites into the ring, and pretty soon we get the whole original NWO reunion as Kevin Nash and Eric Bischoff join in. Easy E and Hogan lay down the law that everyone is going to have to earn their spot from here on. Another broken record basically. This whole segment went on way too long and didn’t seem as convincing as TNA would like us to believe it to be.

TNA Knockouts Tag Titles: Taylor Wilde & Sarita [C] VS Awesome Kong & Hamada
- This was a good match, though it looked like Taylor had trouble keeping up with everyone else. Hamada also looked like her leg was hurting but she worked through it and together with Kong won the titles with a tandem missile dropkick – powerbomb combination.

Back to the Beautiful People poker game, and they are joined by Sean “don’t call him Val Venis or WWE will sue them” Morley. He’s using the Venis gimmick, but they haven’t given him a name yet.

Mick Foley still can’t get it and the Nasty Boys show up, looking to get in too.

Raven & Dr. Stevie with Daffney VS Matt Morgan & Hernandez
- A quick squash match victory for Morgan & Hernandez as Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint on Stevie. Damn Daffney is hot.

“Pope” D’Angelo Dinero being interviewed by Christy Hemme, and I am officially SICK of him. I never liked Elijah Burke, but this Pope gimmick slap the screen. If you played a drinking game where you had to down a shot everytime he said “Pope”, you probably die of alcohol poisoning by the end of the promo. To top it all off, Orlando “lost so many times to Chris Benoit in under a minute” Jordan shows up. What? He gets invited by Hogan and has no trouble getting, but Nasty Boys get locked out?

Desmond Wolfe VS “The Pope” D’angelo Dinero
- Nice to see Nigel shaved off that stupid hair do from his ROH days.
- Remember when Nigel first debuted and he went after Kurt Angle? How everyone said that feud alone would make him a future main even star in the company? Well, after losing 2 matches in a row on PPV to Angle, he’s now jobbing to the regular roster as well. You could even see the shock and disappointment of some of the fans in the crowd that Nigel would lose so quickly to Dinero of all people after having such competitive matches with Angle and Daniels.

Rhino is found laid out backstage. Bubba the Love Sponge jumps in to steal Jeremy Borash’s job, and from the way he acted, you’d suspect he was one who did the deed.

Bischoff meets up with TNA World Heavyweight champion AJ Styles, and says Styles will defend the title against Kurt Angle tonight, instead of the Genesis PPV.

Jeff Jarrett comes out and cuts a promo about the history of the company. Hogan than appears and tries to paint Jarrett as a heel for almost ruining the company, but the fans don’t buy it and we get our second “bullshit” chant of the night. The end of this segment came off as Jarrett as a face and Hogan as a heel.

Mick Foley manages to get in to the building with help from Jeremy Borash.

Jeff Hardy painting a picture backstage with Shannon Moore. The two go to meet the “big man”.

Abyss VS Samoa Joe
- Joe is subbing for Rhino since he was taken out earlier, and this is no longer a barbed wire massacre match either. They hype this as the first ever meeting of the two.
- Am I the only one that keeps thinking “Eugene” every time Abyss claps his hands and looks like a retard?
- The match was ok, but needed more time, just like every other match on the show so far. Joe wins with the Kokina Clutch.

Krystal Marshall-Lashley meets up with Eric Bischoff backstage wanting an answer to her earlier rant about Lashley wanting out of the company to pursue MMA. Bischoff shrugs her off.

Bubba the Love Sponge sitting over Beer Money who have been laid out. Again, it looks like Bubba is the culprit the way they present the segment.

Nasty Boys still can’t get in, so Bubba the Love Sponge distracts security long enough so they can get in.

Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore run in to a few groupies before leaving.

The Nasty Boys thrash Team 3D’s dressing room.

TNA World Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles [C] VS Kurt Angle
- They delivered a PPV quality match on TV, and give them credit for not pulling off the lame finish when the unknown masked assailant ran in and attacked AJ. I hate to knit-pick, but Styles needed to hit the Styles Clash 3 times and a springboard 450’ splash to put Angle away. Oh, and Ric Flair came out for no reason to watch the match at the rampway for a few minutes before leaving.

Hogan comes out to put them over, but is interrupted by a crewman who tells him about Foley entering the building.

Cut to the back and Foley interrupts the Beautiful People poker game asking where Hogan’s office is. All this time since we last saw them and no one is naked yet? Anyway, Mick finds Hogan’s office but only Eric Bischoff is there. Apparently being an executive stock holder in the company means nothing, so it confirms that their stocks are worthless. Mick is about to pound Bischoff, but he gets attacked by the NWO and Hogan enters to end the show on a dumb cliff hanger.

This was TNA’s golden opportunity, and yet they didn’t change ANYTHING. Despite one good main event match, they just continued down the same old path as always instead of gunning for a home run. It's ridiculous having everyone talk about the young up and coming talent on the roster, but the majority of the show was all about pushing OLD wrestlers appearing on the show and making them a big deal instead. This show was just some ol' bullshit and I'm more interested to see how WWE follows up the Bret/Vince angle rather than watching anymore of this.