“Morgan Wooooos the Nature Boy.” That’s the actual title of the show this week.

Because he is contractually obligated to dominate everything when Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan aren’t on tv, We open with Ric Flair coming to the ring. Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living makes SoCal Val open the ring ropes for his entrance. Just like the Pope has done from Day One with the referees. Hmmm. Flair informs us that he will be the special guest referee in the main event World Heavyweight Championship title match at the “Final Resolution” pay-per-view between Matt Morgan and Jeff Hardy. Great. Another overbooked and completely improperly focused world title ppv match. Flair calls out Morgan. Morgan used to call Flair “Naitch.” Morgan’s “Naitch” privileges have been revoked. Only Flair’s friends can call him that. Ok, that part was kind of funny. Flair babbles for an eternity about being God, yelling at Morgan for looking at the crowd instead of keeping his eyes on God, and so on. The ultimate point of all of this extraneous camera-hogging is that  Flair challenges Morgan to a match tonight, and Morgan accepts. If Morgan wins, he gets to choose the special guest referee (Grilled Cheesus, enough with the special guest referees!!!) for his World Heavyweight Championship title match against Jeff Hardy at the ppv. If Flair wins, Morgan loses his title shot. Did everyone catch all of that? There will be a short quiz at the end of the show. Morgan accepted the challenge, saying that beating Flair in a wrestling match was #1 on his bucket list. Flair went mental, and said something about when Morgan is in the back, and his “nuts start to shrivel up,” it’s because he’s about to wrestle God. Seriously, with Flair’s God complex and Hardy being the Antichrist of professional wrestling, why can’t one of the babyfaces cut a promo about being an atheist? Morgan says that he’ll do his talking during the match.

To the back! Generation Me heads to the ring for their match. Tara wishes them luck and tells them that she’ll be watching them very closely. She slaps both brothers on the backside. Max and Jeremy Buck are pleased. This is a total rip-off of Vickie Guerrero’s “cougar” gimmick, and Tara does not need to be saddled with it. She’s a legitimate wrestler, and deserves better. At least build to it, but showing Tara and Gen Me interacting backstage for a few weeks BEFORE she turns up in a “cougar” shirt and smacking butt. I know, I ask for far too much.

Generation Me, Robbie E, and Cookie vs. the Motor City Machine Guns, Jay Lethal, and Velvet Sky: The announce team informs us that Chris Sabin and Velvet Sky have been dating behind the scenes for several months now. Hey, I told you that I was cool with it, and I meant it! This is another thing that would have worked better had the audience been given some form of build, and I don’t mean that completely random game of catch that the Guns played backstage while Velvet Sky stood around and shoved a cupcake in the face of either Max or Jeremy Buck. The easiest thing in the world to show us is a couple interested in one another. I digress. This match did not get the time that a six-person tag team match requires. Everything was too rushed. Cookie continued to interfere, but bailed when she would actually have to wrestle. Velvet Sky did a spinning head scissors on one of the Generation Me guys, but it came off as more of a “Dancing with the Stars” move than a wrestling move. She’s getting much better than she was before, but she isn’t there yet. The X-Division title feud was completely lost in the shenanigans. Gen Me got a hold of Cookie’s hairspray or perfume bottle, whatever it is, and sprayed Sabin in the eyes with it. Gen Me gets the pin with a roll-up, and the heels bail.

Winners: Generation Me, Robbie E, and Cookie

To the back! Jeff Jarrett does an MMA warm-up. Yeah.

To the back! Generation Me finds their post-match celebration ruined by two very angry Motor City Machine Guns. Alex Shelley says that Gen Me didn’t defeat anybody, that the Guns are so good that they don’t have to cheat to win, and that the Guns want to face Gen Me in a tag team match on “Reaction.” Empty arena. No fans, no referees, no rules. Gen Me accepts. How much do you want to bet that the match ends “Reaction,” just to force me to sit through a ridiculous amount of Hogan/Bischoff/Flair talking?

To the back! Jeff Jarrett orders Gunner and Murphy (who will now be known collectively as The Goon Squad) to keep Kurt Angle out of the building during his MMA exhibition. Jarrett grabs Jeremy Borash, yells at him a lot over ring introductions, and slaps him.

To the ring! Jeff Jarrett brings his six MMA students to the ring. LOTS of name-dropping of MMA guys as Jarrett uses his students as crash test dummies. Look, I understand what TNA is trying to do here, but it is not garnering heel heat. It’s garnering “Go away forever and remove yourself from my tv” heat. Thankfully, we only have to watch Jarrett submit four students before Samoa Joe has likewise had enough. Joe calls Jarrett a “silly, sad son of a bitch,” and challenges Jarrett to spar with him. Jarrett offers up his last two students to the Samoan Submission Machine, saying that if Joe can tap both of them, Jarrett will face him in a submissions match that night. Joe makes short order of the students, but Jarrett bails, refusing to fight Joe now. One student recovered enough to get in Joe’s face about the previous submission. This is a move henceforth to be known as Mistake #1. Joe beats the daylights out of the guy, and drops him with a Muscle Buster. The end.

To the back! What’s left of EV 2.0 fires up Raven for his match against Jeff Hardy. If Raven loses, he’s fired. If Hardy loses, … nothing, really. Brian Kendrick and his White Robe of Truth talk about birds. Raven says that somebody has to give the bird to Immortal. He flips off the camera with both hands. Said flipping is blurred out.

Raven vs. Jeff Hardy: In a complete rehash of the nWo “Souled Out” ppv, and we all know what a great success those were, Jeff Hardy gets a hugely elaborate introduction by Jeremy Borash. Raven gets his name said, nothing more. This was a much better match than I had thought that it would be. Raven looked better in the ring than he has in a while. Hardy reverses an Evenflow DDT into a Twist of Hate, then lands a Swanton Bomb for the win. This could almost be seen as a passing of the torch moment, as Hardy’s latest persona strongly calls to mind the Raven character. Well, aside from the fact that Hardy isn’t much of a talker when live. His video packages are very well-done, but in the ring with a mic in his hand, he’s no Raven. Hogan, in yet another instance of contractually-mandated camera-hogging, comes out to mock Raven and officially fire him. You know, because nobody knew that that was the stipulation of the match. Stevie Richards, Tommy Dreamer, and Brian Kendrick come out to comfort Raven, but he’s out.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

Still in the ring! Tommy Dreamer calls out Rhino. What follows is a rather painful and overly-lengthy promo exchange, where Rhino explains that he turned on EV 2.0 to keep his job and Dreamer says that Rhino just plain quit while the other guys went down fighting. Rhino yanks Dreamer’s injured wrist and clotheslines him flat. RVD makes the save, but gets a Gore for his efforts.

To the back! Abyss rolls a casket down the hallway. He has a casket match against Shannon Moore tonight. For some reason.

To the back! Matt Morgan says that he won’t make the same mistake that most guys do when they wrestle Ric Flair. He won’t get starry-eyed and overwhelmed and mushy. Morgan means to win the world title, and if he has to go through Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living, then so be it. Good for Morgan!

Abyss vs. Shannon Moore: This was a casket match. For some reason. Moore entered alone. Despite the verbal bashing that I have occasionally visited upon him, Moore is a good wrestler. He just seems to be missing that “something.” He has done better since the formation of Ink, Inc. Only two things stand out about this match anyway. Moore did an Asai moonsault over the casket to hit Abyss on the floor. Very cool. After opening the casket several times to put Abyss inside it, the lid is opened again, and the Pope is inside the casket! Also very cool. Don’t judge me. Pope attacks Abyss, and the referee rings the bell, throwing out the match. This obsession for casket matches isn’t helping anyone, and feels like a blatant WWE rip-off.

Winner: no contest

To the back! Angelina Love claims to be the leader of the Knockouts locker room. While Mickie James is a great wrestler, she won’t come waltzing into TNA and get the Knockouts title handed to her. If only that were true. I loves me some Mickie James, and she should most definitely win the title, but she should have to work harder for it. TNA did the same thing with Tara that it is doing now with Mickie James, and it’s purely because they used to work for WWE. They came in, completely dominated the entire division with little effort, got title shots right away, and won the title much faster than they should have. A legitimate title chase would be much more entertaining to watch. Instead of letting wrestlers who got famous in your competition’s company steamroll your own talent, and essentially belittle them in the process, prove that you have the better wrestlers by actually making the ship-jumpers have to work for their title shots and title reigns.

Angelina Love vs. Mickie James: This match was to determine the Number One Contender to Madison Rayne’s Knockouts title. Wow. Double wow! This match was great. The actual in-ring wrestling was great. The simple focus on wanting to be the Number One Contender to a title belt was great. This is the sort of match that should be happening regularly. It could have and should have main evented the show. With actual build over a few weeks, this could have really meant something. That a match of this importance and quality went only six minutes and was completely overshadowed by the announcers talking about either Ric Flair or which chick was hotter, it honestly comes across that the men in charge of the show don’t want the women to outshine them like the Knockouts used to do regularly. Hogan said that none of the Knockouts knew how to work and that womens’ wrestling doesn’t draw, so what do I know? If you get a chance to see this match, do, because it is very good. Mickie James wins with a DDT, and will face Madison Rayne for the Knockouts title.

Winner (and #1 Contender to the Knockouts title): Mickie James

To the back! Brother Ray walks.

To the back! Angelina Love has a fit and destroys the backstage area. She actually breaks things, and throws things that break. Slumping in a chair in frustration, Winter arrives to comfort Love. Winter says that everything that has happened so far has been destiny. It’s time for the two of them to get to know one another. Know one another? In the biblical sense???

To the ring! Brother Ray will give an explanation for his actions because he’s in a good mood tonight. Fifteen years ago, he created the most devastating finishing move in all of wrestling. No one has ever kicked out of it before. He lists all the names of people, in several companies, who have fallen to the 3D. Until Chris Sabin. Yes! Hey, just because he’s taken doesn’t mean that I can’t cheer for him. So there. Ray informs Sabin that he didn’t kick out of the 3D because he was tougher or better. He could do it because Devon was weak. Devon has always been weak. Ray is Shawn Michaels, and Devon is Marty Jannetty. If you’re asking yourself, “Who is Marty Jannetty,” Ray says, exactly. Devon is nothing more than a sidekick, and always has been. Ray would have been as successful with any of his brothers as a tag team partner. Devon was just the guy who got Ray’s tables. Ouch.

Matt Morgan vs. Ric Flair: The people who bought in to Flair’s WWE retirement, myself included, have to be furious beyond belief. Still, after Flair did what he did to ROH, he was clearly a despicable person. Morgan goes for his corner elbows early on, but Flair shoves him into the referee. Cue Ref Bump #237. This allows Flair to low-blow Morgan. This is also where “Impact” ends and “Reaction” begins. This overrun thing has gotten very old. Morgan and Flair fight on the floor, and Flair begins his contractually obligated used tampon impression. Fortune rushes the ring to beat down Morgan, completely unnoticed by the comatose referee. Douglas Williams stands back as AJ Styles, Kazarian, Robert Roode, and James Storm attack Morgan. Lo and behold, Williams attacks Storm and Styles instead. Roode escapes Williams’s attack, but falls to Morgan, along with Kazarian. With Fortune cleared from the ring, Morgan flattens Flair with a Carbon Footprint. Yes, Virginia, there is a referee who wakes up just in time to count this. Williams grins at Fortune from a safe distance while Morgan smears Flair’s blood across his own chest. Is that at all hygienic? All that you have to remember is that Morgan gets to choose the special guest referee in his world title match at the ppv against Jeff Hardy, and that Douglas Williams is out of Fortune.

Winner: Matt Morgan

Reaction: The one other thing on “Reaction” that is not a waste of time is the tag team match between the MCMG and Generation Me. Words do not do this match justice. Intense, brutal, hard-hitting, nasty, and filled with OMG! moments. Find it. Watch it. You won’t be sorry. This should have been on an “Impact,” not passed off on “Reaction,” where no one will see it. Absolutely blistering, and fantastic. You don’t want to see this sort of thing every week, but powerful as all get out when used sparingly.

Final Rant: This has been said before, but I must continue to protest. Wrestlers should not scream at each other that “I’m going to kill you!!!” Whether you associate such a statement with the Chris Benoit murders or not, it has no place in wrestling for very different reasons. Samoa Joe yelled it at Jeff Jarrett. Both Generation Me and the Motor City Machine Guns yelled it at each other repeatedly. It’s bad for storytelling because it cannot be followed through with. Anyone who says that he will kill his opponent ruins the disbelief, as fans know that murder will not happen in the ring. A babyface should not say that anyway, but even a heel has better options. Let Samoa Joe go into graphic detail about what his submission holds will do to Jeff Jarrett’s body. Let the Guns and Gen Me threaten specific, crippling acts of violence that might actually happen in the ring. Let the fans chant, “Joe’s gonna kill you!” The fans can do that. The wrestlers shouldn’t go there. They don’t need to.

Peace out,



  1. "The people who bought in to Flair’s WWE retirement, myself included, have to be furious beyond belief." This may be the catalyst for another "How to get over…" edition of ThinkSoJoE's Thoughts. Believe me, having been in Orlando for Flair's last WWE match with Shawn Michaels, I was absolutely furious when Flair wrestled his first TNA match. But despite how gracefully the WWE handled Flair's "retirement," who really stays retired from this business, anyway?

    • Granted, and I suppose to think otherwise was unrealistic. It's just that few people had the sort of send-off that he had, and he should not be in the ring as an active competitor for reasons outside of that send-off. He's become a parody of himself, and watching him wrestle is embarrassing. The people who insist that every match he wrestles is fantastic and every word out of his mouth is the best promo of all time are blinded by past glory to present deficiencies. I think that's why it bothers me so much, though I wasn't present for his retirement. It bothers me that someone who heavily influenced so many wrestlers, and was actually respected by so many wrestlers, unlike Hogan, has essentially given all that up for pitiful recreations of his past achievements. An "Oh, how the mighty have fallen" kind of thing. It's sad, and I wish that he would stop.

      • True, that. Also, how the hell do you have a casket match end in a no contest? This company makes some bizarre decisions sometimes…

  2. I don't mind if Flair has the occasional match. As much as we all enjoyed the WWE send off, if what Ric often says about it being pushed on him is true, I'd side with him making his own conscious choice. However, I would like to see both Flair and TNA realize that these matches should be far and few in between, and should be made to be something special It's Ric Flair, afterall, the debatable greatest of all time. If these are given away on crash TV, these need to mean something. That is my beef here. Otherwise, Flair's shortcomings should be protected by putting him in tag matches, or whatnot. I love that you refer to the Thundercats in relation to Flair.

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