Sorry it’s so late, peeps. Between the job hunt showing no sign of ending, Veteran’s Day (my dad is a veteran), and my friends having their first baby Veteran’s Day morning, I’ve been stretched a bit thin. Benjamin Barker Edgecomb has now joined the world of pro wrestling fans (Hey, both parents are wrestling fans, so this kid isn’t getting away from it!), and if you catch the reference there, you win. At life. 😛

“Night of the Immortals.” Anyone want to guess where this is heading?

In what many others have observed to be an almost exact recreation of the classic nWo entrance, Immortal comes to the ring. Eric Bischoff revels in the adoration of the audience, which is, in fact, booing. Immortal loves each and every one of us. And by “loves,” he of course means “looks down upon and despises.” AJ Styles, about whom no one cares, accepted the challenge from Stevie Richards that was made last week, and announces that he will break Richards’s neck. Bischoff introduces Jeff Hardy, who comes out to his own music rather than to anything associated with Immortal Fortune. Given the circumstances, this actually works well for Hardy. Hogan enters to his own music. Given the circumstances, this does not work well at all. He should enter to Immortal’s music, period. Everyone hugs and kisses up to one another. Hogan has a surprise for Hardy. Is it a kitten? Is it dead? A new World Heavyweight Championship title belt is lowered from the ceiling. Yes, it looks like the WWE Divas purple butterfly belt. Yes, it has multiple versions of Jeff Hardy’s face on it. Yes, it’s awful as the most important title in the company. That said, a group like Immortal Fortune WOULD customize a new title belt for their chosen World Champion. If anyone were going to have his own belt, it WOULD be Jeff Hardy. Just imagine the reaction, say, six months from now, when someone like Mr. Anderson, Matt Morgan, Samoa Joe, or Rob Van Dam finally defeats Hardy, takes his personalized title belt, throws it away, and brings out the original TNA World Heavyweight Championship title belt as the sign of a new era in champions. It’s going to be huge. It has to start somewhere, so in that sense, I actually like it.

In his usual overly long and rambling promos that take five minutes to say what could be said in five sentences, Hogan announces that this change of title belt represents throwing out everything about the old TNA, including Dixie Carter. He defies anyone in the back who disagrees with his actions to do anything about it, and says that they should just get down on their knees and … and … and do what is not made very clear. It sounds naughty. Cue “The Pope” D’Angelo Dinero! An irate-looking Pope stands amidst the audience. Seriously, I can’t remember seeing someone who looked that legitimately upset on wrestling tv in a very long time. Pope has a casket intended for Abyss, but tonight, he’s going to put Bischoff in it, push it over the edge of the ramp, and watch it burn. Cue Samoa Joe! Joe enters from the side of the ramp, and says that Pope is not Immortal Fortune’s only problem tonight. Joe thinks that it’s so adorable how Jeff Jarrett is going around calling himself an MMA specialist and a submissions expert. Joe challenges Jarrett to get in the ring with him, and says that after Joe finished choking him out and making him tap, that it will take a lot more than Jarrett’s two new hillbilly girlfriends Gunner and Murphy to wake his punk ass up again. BURN! Nice one, Joe! Cue Rob Van Dam! RVD praises EV 2.0 as the family that he had always thought that it was, and says that only Jeff Hardy would stoop so low as to sell him out for Immortal Fortune. RVD had something that Hardy wanted, and Hardy clearly knew that he could never beat RVD for the World Heavyweight Championship title on his own. RVD points out that he never lost the title, and that Hardy never beat him for it. True. RVD will get the title back as soon as he gets his title shot. Cue Matt Morgan! Morgan tells RVD that he means no disrespect, but that RVD doesn’t get a title shot until after Morgan gets his. Morgan points out that he did pin Hardy for a three-count in the middle of the ring at “Turning Point.” He really had already won the title, but because of the referee situation, things didn’t work out. He can beat Hardy at any time, and will. After some unnecessary butt-kissing of Hogan, Morgan calls Hogan out as the puppet master. Morgan asks Hogan where his balls are. Didn’t the world see a YouTube video recently that answered that question? Immortal Fortune will decide what to do about all this. Honestly, once the babyfaces started coming out and establishing specific rivalries, this segment picked up very nicely. We need to start seeing who is willing to lead the charge in standing up to Immortal Fortune, and this is a good way to do it.

To the back! Hogan, Bischoff, and Flair eat up still more tv time. Hogan books Samoa Joe in a handicapped match against Gunner and Murphy, RVD against Kazarian, and Matt Morgan against the team of Beer Money and Douglas Williams. Yes, we get it. The bad guys in power are using that power to do very bad things.

The Shore (X-Division Champion Robbie E and Cookie) vs. Jay Lethal and Taylor Wilde: Prior to the start of the match, Cookie said that she wasn’t a wrestler, but that she was from Jersey, and knew how to fight. The match and the X-Division title barely mattered. This was all about Cookie interfering excessively and refusing to get in the ring and wrestle Taylor Wilde, and about Wilde losing her mind over Cookie’s antics and costing her team the match. The match ended with Lethal grabbing Cookie’s foot when she tried to kick him, Cookie wriggling out of the boot to escape, and Robbie E hitting Lethal with said boot. Lethal would later speak at length on “Reaction” about needing someone to help him cancel out Cookie, as he couldn’t hit her himself, and needing someone who did not think that she was perfect (because there are no perfect people) and who was able to get dirty in a match. Considering who he gets next week, this is pretty funny in an ironic sort of way.

Winners: The Shore

To the ring! Team 3D enters to great applause and cheering. They discuss their loss to the Motor City Machine Guns at “Turning Point,” their long careers, and their future plans. It’s actually quite nice. After hugging and raising each other’s hands, Brother Ray jumps Brother Devon from behind and lays him out. Mike Tenay then acts like no one on planet Earth could ever have possibly thought that this might happen.

To the back! Bischoff loudly berates the rookie referee Jackson James (who is, in real life, one Garrett Bischoff, son of Eric Bischoff, and has been training with Brian Knobbs) for messing up the count at “Turning Point” in the main event match. He wants to fire the young man, but Matt Morgan enters the office, as calmly as you please. He tells Bischoff to lay off the kid, that everyone screws up, that Bischoff himself is a walking screw-up, and that if anyone should be upset about the outcome of the main event match at “Turning Point,” it should be Morgan himself. All true. I wondered if anyone was actually going to point out to Bischoff that he was throwing a tantrum and firing a referee because the referee messed up the count in a match that KEPT THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE ON JEFF HARDY AND NOT ON MATT MORGAN. Do I even need to point out how little sense this makes? Morgan says that things happen, the kid is a rookie, and he won’t make the same mistake again. Morgan wants Jackson James to referee his match against Fortune tonight so that the kid can redeem himself. Bischoff agrees, but yells at Jackson James to do his job. Already, Jackson James, a non-wrestler and rookie referee, has had more tv time and is involved in a more significant and important storyline than Hamada, Daffney, Amazing Red, Brian Kendrick, Jay Lethal, and Desmond Wolfe. Draw your own conclusion, dear readers.

Samoa Joe vs. Gunner and Murphy: This was a handicapped match. Joe makes short work of the security team duo, hitting a Muscle Buster on Murphy in short order. Post-match, Joe takes out Gunner, but Jeff Jarrett rushes Joe from behind, using the night stick that he used on Joe before. Jarrett slaps an ankle lock on Joe. Hey, look, it’s Kurt Angle! Your Olympic Hero rushes the ring and drops Gunner and Murphy with a set of Angle Slams. Angle goes for Jarrett, but Jarrett bails up the ramp. Angle tries to check on Joe.

Winner: Samoa Joe

To the back! Hogan/Flair/Bischoff announce that Gunner and Murphy are done, and out of Immortal Fortune, because they let the group down. Angle has to be removed from the property at once. Flair says that Angle is a dead man. That’s funny, coming from Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living.

To the mens’ room! Bischoff tells at least one cameraman to follow him everywhere so that they can have evidence against Angle for lawsuit purposes if Angle attacks him. Angle proves to be the least of Bischoff’s worries, as the person who attacks him and Abyss in the mens’ room is, in fact, The Pope. The one-sided brawl that ensues is one of the stiffer and more intense brawls in some time. Seriously, it looked just like some of the bathroom brawls that I’ve seen in public schools, and Pope looked like he was pounding Bischoff into oblivion. The cameramen did exactly as Bischoff had instructed them, and made no effort to stop this or help him whatsoever. Pope drags Bischoff away as Abyss starts to recover.

Rob Van Dam vs. Kazarian: This should have been a better and longer match than it was, but the point was, again, a side story. Mike Tenay and Taz explained at the start of the match that Sabu had been fired at “Turning Point,” and that Rhino’s contract had expired, and that Immortal Fortune had not renewed it. Gosh, I wonder what’s going to happen here, then? Senior referee Earl Hebner takes his contractually-obligated ref bump as RVD starts to gain the upper hand. Flair brings a chair to the ring. Rhino runs down and knocks the chair away from Flair. Rhino enters the ring, sets up to Gore Kazarian, but turns and Gores RVD instead. Kazarian gets the pin and the three-count. Post-match, Rhino grabs the chair and moves behind a prone RVD. Tommy Dreamer runs down to see to RVD. Rhino starts to leave the ring, but smashes the chair across Dreamer’s back instead. Wouldn’t you?

Winner: Kazarian

To the back! Pope slaps Bischoff around and yells at him. I heart Pope so very much right now. Pope says that if Bischoff wants to lead the Congregation and be Pope, he needs to dress like him. Pope forces a do-rag and glasses onto Bischoff’s head, and demands that Bischoff rap. You read that correctly. It’s painfully bad, and somewhat cathartic, to watch. Bischoff is all the pathetic coward and full of apology as Pope slaps him around even more.

To the office! Hogan is furious with Abyss for losing Bischoff to Pope. Abyss apologizes, but Hogan is having none of it. Hogan tells Abyss to go get Bischoff and tear off Pope’s head in the process. Don’t bother coming back without Bischoff. The response of the 6’8″ 300-pound monster? “Yes, sir!”

AJ Styles vs. Stevie Richards: This match was for the Television title. The one that has almost never been defended since it was created? The one that was actually a good idea, and could have led to some compelling matches and tv, but has been completely ignored? Yes, that one. Richards rushes AJ from behind to start the match, which was the best match of the night. Yes, Stevie Richards had the best match of the night. Some really solid wrestling from both guys. AJ gets the win with the Styles Clash, but Richards was facing up rather than down, and landed on the back of his neck. Mike Tenay and Taz carried on as though Richards had actually broken his neck again. If doing the Styles Clash this was was supposed to make AJ seem more villainous, I don’t think it was worth it. AJ may have said that he was going to break Richards’s neck tonight, but I really don’t want to see this again.

Winner (and STILL Television Champion): AJ Styles

Pope throws Bischoff into the casket that he just happened to have standing by to use on Abyss. Pope rolls the casket out to the ring and prepares to push it off the top of the ramp. Abyss makes the save, and they brawl. Man, Pope is brawling like he hates somebody! Bischoff exits the casket, low-blows Pope, and has Abyss put Pope in the casket. They roll the casket into the ramp platform wall. Bischoff kicks the casket. This segment started strongly, and ended LAME.

Matt Morgan vs. Beer Money and Douglas Williams (w/ Ric Flair): Bischoff came out to do commentary, and proceeded to distract completely from everything that was going on around him. Good Lord, how much tv time is this non-wrestler in his twilight years going to get??? I’m utterly sick of his presence on my tv now. Bischoff and Tenay screaming at and over each other is not how I want to watch my wrestling matches, particularly when said matches actually have something to do with the overall programming. Morgan uses clotheslines, elbows, and a Carbon Footprint to overcome Fortune, who take turns trying to work Morgan’s knee. Morgan double-suplexes Beer Money. Flair jumps up on the ring apron, but Morgan drops him. This match spills over into “Reaction.” Again. Flair and Beer Money bail up the ramp, leaving Douglas Williams to eat a Carbon Footprint and get pinned cleanly by Morgan. Post-match, Bischoff yells about firing the referee.

Winner: Matt Morgan

Overall, there were a few good moments. The Pope’s brawls in the mens’ room and down to ringside looked completely real. The portion of the opening segment that established the four main babyfaces in opposition to Immortal Fortune, followed by the surprise return of Kurt Angle, were needed, and nicely done. The AJ/Stevie Richards match was very good, though the ending bothered me. Otherwise, far too much Bischoff, Hogan, and Flair. Far too much talking and segment. Not enough wrestling. The wrestling that did happen wasn’t that great. I can’t be the only one not looking forward to an actual program involving the rookie referee. It’s not Garrett Bischoff’s fault that he is Eric Bischoff’s son, but it is his fault that he believes that “training” by Brian Knobbs is good enough to let him dominate TNA programming when so many other more talented wrestlers aren’t getting any tv time at all. Hey, at least Lacey Von Erich has left. She announced her departure this week, and while I certainly won’t be sorry to see her leave a wrestling show, if she truly is self-aware enough to realize that she can’t wrestle, and wants to find something else to do, more power to her, and I sincerely hope that she’s happy with it.

Peace out,


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