“Impact” Impressions 2/12/09By Drowgoddess · · Leave a Comment
We open with highlights from Sunday’s “Against All Odds” pay-per-view. As Mike Tenay and Don West run down the evening’s card, they inform us that the first match of the night will be – pretty much the main event from the previous Sunday’s pay-per-view? Now that everyone who paid money to see “Against All Odds” feels like a complete idiot, and may well have just decided never to spend another cent on a TNA ppv, the announcers tout the wisdom of booking this match in light of the “controversy.” What controversy? Sting won the match and kept the title, clean as a whistle. Angle was mad afterwards. There was no controversy of any kind. Even so, on we go to:
Match #1: Kurt Angle & Sting vs. Team 3D: This match was all about furthering the tension between Kurt Angle and Sting. Sting’s World Heavyweight title was not on the line. Angle and Sting had separate ring entrances. Now that you mention it, there hasn’t been much of the Main Event Mafia music playing recently at all. Angle and Sting argue, but Angle ends up taking the brunt of a Team 3D assault. Sting tries to tag in, but Angle won’t tag him. Eventually, Angle is forced to exit the ring, where Sting confronts him. We go to a commercial break.
When we return, Sting has managed to get tagged into the match. When he tries to tag Angle back in, Angle hops down to the floor from the ring apron. The rest of the Main Event Mafia appears to be hanging around ringside, for some reason. Why are they allowed to be there? Angle refuses to let Sting tag him in a few more times, but when he gets back up on the ring apron to argue with Sting, Sting slaps Angle on the shoulder and slingshots him over the ropes to get him in the match. Angle and Sting continue to argue as Brother D-Von takes advantage of the situation to roll Angle up and score the pin. Winner by pinfall: Team 3D
Nash and Steiner try to hold back Sting and Angle. As we return from a commercial break, Angle has the mic. He tells Sting that Sting is “a fake, a phony, a hypocrite, and a disgrace to the family.” Angle was supposed to win the World Heavyweight title at “Against All Odds” and keep it in the family. As group leader, he could kick Sting to the curb, but he won’t, because Sting and the MEM need each other. Later tonight, Angle continues, they will both come to the ring dressed to wrestle, and Sting will lay down and let Angle pin him for the title. Cue Jeff Jarrett, who comes to the ring with a guitar and a mic. He refers to himself more than once as “the founder of TNA.” Jarrett says that he won’t let Sting lay down for Angle. Angle says that this is Mafia business, and Jarrett has nothing to say about it. Sting cuts in, telling Jarrett that, with all due respect, he will deal with this himself. Sting leaves the ring.
Tenay and West recap the events of the evening thus far, pushing the “Angle/Sting Showdown” later on as a huge deal.
To the back! Jeremy Borash is with Booker T and Sharmell outside of their fancy locker room. JB asks Booker about the Angle/Sting situation. Booker points out that Angle is the boss, and Sting has no choice. JB then asks Booker about the confrontation with AJ Styles, and the fact that Booker’s “Legends” title is in AJ’s possession. Booker and Sharmell intend to prosecute AJ to the fullest extent of the law for theft. They even have the FBI on the case. They end the interview and enter their locker room, only to have Booker assaulted in no uncertain terms by AJ Styles. AJ beats the holy hell out of Booker before standing over him with the “Legends” title. AJ’s parting shot? “I am Legend!” Hopefully the original book version.
To the back! Lauren is with Scott Steiner. Steiner is not afraid of Samoa Joe just because Joe got a haircut and started wearing face paint. Joe is, in fact, a fat, out of shape, half-breed Samoan. Hmm. Isn’t Steiner doing precisely what younger guys get griped at for in regard to burying an opponent in that manner?
Match #2: Scott Steiner vs. Petey Williams in a No DQ “Headdress on a Pole” match: Uh, yeah. You read that correctly. I’m ashamed to say, I did type that. Petey was completely bitchified in this match. It goes beyond the idea of him simply being out-powered and outclassed by Steiner. Any match involving climbing something should have made Petey look much more like a threat. It didn’t. Yes, Steiner did bust out with a Frankensteiner, but as part of the Main Event Mafia, just how much better does Steiner need to look? It doesn’t help that there was no build-up whatsoever to this match. What possible reason could Petey have for wanting to continue looking like a clone of a guy who not only beat him up rather badly, but is a member of the very group that Petey’s group should be out to destroy? Even if the reason were a poor one, something should have come from, Petey himself. So many people point out that Petey is a bad talker, but when has he really had much of a chance to try? The little bit that he got to talk at the start of the “Maple Leaf Muscle” gimmick, when he was annoying Jim Cornette with gems like, “Come on, Jimmy! Look at these lats! You HAVE to make the match!” was hilarious. If Petey saw himself as the second coming of Steiner, he should have been allowed to speak on that. Steiner suplexes Petey from the top rope, climbs up to get the headdress, and the fiasco ends. Winner by grabbing the headdress from the pole: Scott Steiner
Samoa Joe’s music plays. Yay! No, really, that was a sincere “Yay!” Joe is up on the screen, telling Steiner that Steiner won’t know where he is or when he’s coming, but when he does, “Joe’s gonna kill you!” I’m in the minority, but me likey.
To the back! JB talks with Mick Foley. Mick says that he knows Sting well enough to know that Sting won’t lay down for Angle. There was no controversy at the ppv, Sting won fair and square. Uh, then why was the opening match even made? Why did the announcers tell us otherwise? Does Mick’s power over matches ebb and flow, like it did with Jim Cornette? Mick does reference “The Wrestler.” Not so sure what he meant, though.
Match #3: 9-Knockout Gauntlet match for #1 Contender spot against Awesome Kong’s Knockouts title: Two Knockouts began, and every minute, another one was added. This match gets nine minutes, at least, then. Angelina Love is the first one out. Hurrah! Cue Kip is with her. Not hurrah. Taylor Wilde enters second. Those two fight until Velvet Sky enters at #3. The Beautiful People double team Taylor Wilde, but can’t eliminate her by the time Sojourner Bolt entered at #4. Bolt actually attacks The Beautiful People. Roxxi enters at #5, and eliminates Velvet Sky over the top rope, but Cute Kip catches Velvet and prevents her from being properly eliminated. COMPLAINT: Roxxi should not be constantly referred to as “the Hardcore Knockout” the way that Tenay and West do it. I can’t quite explain how it’s wrong, but the frequency and manner in which they say it comes off like they know that the fans haven’t seen enough lately to know the characters, and they’re telling us themselves to make sure that we figure it out. Don’t tell me, show me! Meanwhile, back in Story A, Madison Rayne enters at #6. She wrestles the indy scene as Ashley Lane, and even did some ROH shows. She wasn’t very good. I’d hoped she had improved. I had hoped in vain. Raisha Saeed and her awesome ninja outfit entered at #7. No eliminations yet. Angelina Love was tossed over the top rope, but, just like with her tag team partner, Cute Kip caught Love and kept her from being properly eliminated. Rhaka Khan entered at #8. Aside from Kurt Angle, no one cared. The audience was deader than Chris Brown’s career. ODB enters last, and eliminated both Raisha Saeed and Rhaka Khan in short order. ODB tries to eliminate Angelina Love again, but Cute Kip is batting a thousand with his catching of Beautiful People. Taylor Wilde and Angelina Love eliminated each other, as did Roxxi and Velvet Sky. Sojourner Bolt eliminates ODB with a dropkick from the apron. The last two are Sojourner Bolt and Madison Rayne. Despite Don West telling us that the match would not be decided by a pinfall or submission, Bolt rolls up Rayne for the win and a shot at Awesome Kong’s Knockouts title. Now the Kongtourage and the Main Event Mafia are imploding, and neither have anything at all to do with the Front Line. Winner and #1 Contender to the Knockouts Championship title: Sojourner Bolt
To the back. Kurt Angle is dressed and warming up. He smashes a picture of Sting, in case we forgot what was happening.
Rough Cuts segment. This time, it isn’t on a person. It’s on the Ultimate X match. THAT is a good idea. AJ Styles, Alex Shelley, Brother D-Von, Chris Sabin, Homicide, and Hernandez all speak about the unique and challenging aspects of Ultimate X. Clips from past matches are shown. Honestly, it makes you want to cry! Here’s how great we used to be! And should still be.
Match #4: the Motor City Machine Guns vs. Lethal Consequences: The shoulder injury to Consequences Creed was played up. This match went almost five minutes. Seriously, there weren’t a few spare minutes that could have been pulled from some of the other things on this show and added here? Not many, just another four or so. Short, with some good action. Jay Lethal pins Alex Shelley for the win. Winners by pinfall: Lethal Consequences
Post-match, Alex Shelley lays down his X-Division title and the MCMG hold out their hands to Lethal Consequences. The announcers decide that the Guns may not actually be the Antichrist after all, when the Guns kick Lethal Consequences square in the junk and give them the finger. The sad thing is, you can see and hear cheering when they do, because Lethal Consequences is not over at all, and people didn’t want to boo the Guns in the first place. Tenay and West are appalled and disgusted. Because, you know, no one else in TNA is doing anything even coming close to this level of evilness….
“ODB’s Angle” is back. Aww, godtopus! This one, though, could become the most hilarious thing in the history of things, or be cause for the annihilation of the human race. ODB gets so much fan mail asking if she has a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband, all that sort of thing. She’s totally single, and you can win a “Night with ODB” by sending in a video to her contest. Seriously, even you, Fritz! ODB’s guest at this time is Brutus Magnus, whom she mistakenly calls “Brutus Maximus.” He corrects her, and addresses his open challenge. After ODB makes some crude jokes at his expense, Magnus says that this is why he was reluctant to come to America. He knew that he would be confronted with disgusting, filthy American pigs like her. She takes it in stride, and makes some kind of “deez nuts” joke that has something to do with an IHOP. Magnus walks out, leaving ODB looking after him and saying, “He wants me.” Could be fun. Could be horrid. Wait and see.
To the back! Lauren interviews Kevin Nash about the Angle/Sting situation. Nash talks about the real mafia, and mafia movies, and how great living that life would be. Kevin Nash is his own hitman, and doesn’t even realize it. Nash agrees that Kurt is the boss, and that Sting gets what’s coming to him.
To Abyss’s therapy session! No, really. TNA got permission to sit in on Abyss’s therapy session. With a camera. So much for the Monsterfication of Abyss into something cool. We’re back to goofy rambling and cackling laughter. “Dr. Stevie.” Jeebus, couldn’t you at least have used his last name? Then it could have been him, or possibly the guy from the Fantastic Four. The comics, not the dreadful movies.
Match #5: Beer Money vs. Rhino and Abyss for the Tag Team Championship titles: Another out of nowhere match. What on Earth did Rhino or Abyss, let alone the pair of them, do to get a shot at tag team gold? Absolutely no one thought this would be a truly competitive match. Jackie Moore looked smokin’! I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look that good before. Keep that look, Jackie. THIS tag team match got around seven minutes or so. Sure, title matches should be longer than non-title matches, but this wasn’t a real tag team match. The announcers prove this by continuing to talk about the Angle/Sting showdown. To be fair, though, they do that during every match. Abyss hits Robert Roode with the Shock Treatment. Storm spits beer in Abyss’s face. Jackie gives Storm a beer bottle. Abyss tries to Black Hole Slam Storm on the bottle, but Matt Morgan comes out with a chair and smashes Abyss with a stiff chair shot to the head. Morgan hides down by the ring. Beer Money gets the win, and repays the favor by holding back Rhino as Morgan gives Abyss a second chair shot to the head. I’m really not crazy about the unprotected chair shots to the head. Winners by pinfall and still Tag Team Champions: Beer Money
To the split screen! Kurt Angle and Sting prepare to enter the Impact Zone again.
To the video package! Mick Foley’s “Hardcore 101.” Mick will tell stories about his career and the things that have happened to him. Tonight’s special feature is a match against Terry Funk that he had in Japan. The story itself was rather graphic, as any story about barbed wire being caught in the fingertips and the meat being ripped out would have to be. This just doesn’t look promising as a segment. I loved Mick Foley as much as anyone back in the day, but I’m really starting to fear that this partnership between Mick and TNA is not working.
Kurt Angle vs. Sting Showdown: Both wrestlers come to the ring. Angle talks first. Again. Sting gave him no choice in doing this, he said. Sting broke the code. Sting had to pay the price. Why does no one else, wrestlers, announcers, founders, majority shareholders, anyone at all, point out that Kurt Angle is now absolutely BATSHIT INSANE??? If the point is that Angle is losing it, that point has to be made plainly. Don’t carry on like he has a reason. Sting responds with the best promo he has ever made in his entire career. I mean that most sincerely. Sting asks Angle where Angle’s integrity is. What happened to a man losing like a man? If Angle had lost in the ’96 Olympics, would Angle have asked the winner to lie down and give him the gold medal? Sting is the one who earned the title at “Against All Odds,” not Angle. Where is your honor, Kurt? Honor is when you can look at your opponent after a loss and say that the opponent is the better man. Can you do that, Kurt? Sting knows that Angle can’t do that, so he’ll lie down and hand over the belt.
Sting isn’t finished. The loss at “Against All Odds” is nothing compared to Angle’s loss of his wife, his family, his honor, and his respect. No one respects Angle anymore, even if they say that they do. The rest of the Main Event Mafia know that Angle would cut their legs out from under them in a second if it would benefit him. The MEM was always all about Kurt Angle, nothing else. Angle has tarnished everything that he has ever earned, from his Olympic gold medal to his dignity. There’s nothing left. Nothing left to do, but lie down. Sting lies down and essentially dares Angle to cover him. Go ahead, steal the title, Kurt. Angle gets more and more furious before shouting that he’ll take Sting’s title and take his ass at the same time. They brawl. Steiner and Nash separate them, but chants of “Let them fight! Let them fight!” ring out. Nash gives up at one point. Angle challenges Sting to a match next week on “Impact” with no one but the two of them and a referee. He’s goingto win Sting’s career. They brawl again as the show ends.
Final Thoughts: AJ Styles and Samoa Joe are in full badass mode, and the intrigue factor is definitely there. The build to actual matches for them both is good so far. Beer Money had the same match that they’ve had for months. That they never win clean wouldn’t be so bad if an opposing team would stick around long enough in a feud against them to make that mean something. The Knockouts don’t have much going for them right now. The two best actual wrestlers in the division are Angelina Love and Raisha Saeed, and there’s no way to make them feud right now. Madison Rayne is not a good addition, as there are already too many Knockouts who are a steaming pile of meh in the ring. The biggest problem with this show is that the Main Event Mafia implosion had zero to do with the Front Line. The only time that the Front Line was even mentioned was when Tenay and West berated the MCMG for being Front Line members in name only. Sting started the war for respect. He attacked Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. He is now going to be welcomed back into the fold without question? The Front Line seems to consist of Rhino, Jeff Jarrett, Mick Foley, Team 3D, and probably soon enough, Sting. Who benefits at all from this who wasn’t already over as a big name? Who was elevated? What new main event-caliber stars were created? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller? Honestly, the idea that the only thing in TNA that could take down the Main Event Mafia was the Main Event Mafia is disheartening and disgusting. If the Angle/Sting split serves as the chink in the MEM armor that allows the Front Line to decimate the MEM and take all their gold and power and status, then that would be one thing. I just don’t think that it will play out that way. I hope I’m wrong.
Tune in next week for more “Impact” Impressions!
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