“Impact” Impressions 2/5/09 and “Against All Odds” PredictionsBy Drowgoddess · · Leave a Comment
Seriously. There really is a pay-per-view on Sunday. Tonight’s “Impact” is the go-home show. The question is, is it a home we want to go to? Let’s find out!
A Main Event Mafia promo opens the show. Shocker, that. Mike Tenay and Don West make a huge deal over the fact that Kurt Angle always enters first, the TNA World Heavyweight Champion Sting always enters last, and the rest of the MEM acts as a buffer between them. They have tension, you know. Technically, though, shouldn’t the champion always enter last? Kevin Nash starts off by bragging about his backstage politicking in his career, and how Samoa Joe is the first guy that he has ever wanted gone from a company that managed to stay around. Perhaps this was intended to put over Joe in some way, but it came off as the most back-handed of compliments if that were the case. At least people are booing Nash. However, Nash threatening to “kick Joe’s ass” seems out of place when neither man is booked on the ppv. Are we supposed to want to see ‘Against All Odds” because of the possibility that Joe might turn up and he and Nash will fight? If so, a last-second passing mention is not good enough. Angle then talks to Sting. The World Heavyweight title will stay in the Main Event Mafia no matter what Angle has to do.
To the back! See the rules of the Official TNA “Impact” Drinking Game. Lauren interviews Team 3D, who cut the worst promo of recent memory. Both guys, particularly Brother Ray, are much better than this. Babbling on about Mafia jokes and suddenly supporting Sting and hating on Angle. Whaa? Um, ok. They vow to do what good tag teams do, which is to cut off the ring and keep Angle in the ring for the entire match. They won’t let him tag to Sting. If either member of Team 3D really wanted to win the title, one would think that they would be fine with allowing two of their opponents to destroy each other. Shifting the focus from Brother Ray going after Sting makes sense from the perspective of booking, as Sting is a total babyface despite the MEM association, but in a way, it cheapens the belt that the title match isn’t really about it.
Really nice “Rough Cuts” package on Kiyoshi. Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin, the Great Muta, Sting, and Kiyoshi himself all spoke. This particular “Rough Cuts” package would have been put to better use airing it BEFORE Kiyoshi turned up. The MCMG spoke very respectfully of both Kiyoshi and the Great Muta, which seemed at odds with the match that followed.
To the back! Lauren interviews Consequences Creed and Black Machismo. They were angry because last week, when the MEM was beating down Petey Williams, they ran out to make the save on Petey, and were beat down themselves. Oh, they aren’t angry with the Main Event Mafia for that. Oh, no. They’re angry with the Motor City Machine Guns. The MCMG did not come out and help them during the beatdown. What, are you five? Lots of other people were in the building that night who did not come help them. Why aren’t Lethal Consequences angry at all those other people also? Suicide, for one. Isn’t he the Savior of the Outnumbered and Unfairly Attacked? If the character is going to be used (and he should not be), why not go for the obvious? Additionally, the short backstage segment that was apparently taped for last week’s “Impact” that actually showed the MCMG telling Lauren that they didn’t leave the locker room to go help because they just couldn’t pull themselves away from the HD tv was cut from the show. I never saw it, and I review every “Impact.” No one else who reviewed the show mentioned it. The spoiler live reports did. So in essence, tonight’s show is all about follow-up to something that the tv audience never actually saw. Cross the line. Black Machismo babbles in near-incoherence. Just take this character out behind the woodshed and shoot it! This team really does nothing for me in terms of ring work, mic work, or general charisma. And THEY are getting a tag team title shot? After they held the belts for all of three days on tv? Nice one.
Match #1: (Black Machismo Jay Lethal and Eric Young [replacing Consequences Creed] defeat the Motor City Machine Guns): Beer Money ran out and attacked Lethal Consequences before they even got to the ring. As the MCMG had entered first (looking rather spiffy in the pea coats that were apparently debuted on the U.K. tour by Alex Shelley), they hung out in the ring and watched. Creed eventually had his left elbow smashed with a chair by Robert Roode. The Guns continued to chill in the ring, with Sabin kicking it on the ropes Eddie Guerro-style. Tenay and West constantly ran down Shelley and Sabin for not getting involved, for only caring about themselves, for apathy, and for generally being the vilest, most wretched, most reprehensible creatures ever to draw breath. At one point, Tenay even claimed that the MCMG should have asked not to have the match at all, in light of the injury to a supposedly fellow Front Line member. Uh, excuse me? Jim Cornette would have a seizure if the talent took it upon themselves to cancel a booked and advertised match. They most certainly should NOT have asked for the match not to happen. That would have been stupid. With all the anti-MCMG ranting going on, the fact that the announcers practically excuse Beer Money for attacking Lethal Consequences before the ppv match nearly slips by. Yeah, it’s understandable why Beer Money would try to incapacitate their opponents before a ppv, and they aren’t associated with the MEM in any way, but they aren’t expected to play nice with the Front Line? Must. Have. Excedrin. In any case it’s a handicap match for a time, and then Eric Young comes running out to tag in. No announcement was made, so apparently Eric Young can interfere in a match for which he is not scheduled, the referee and Jim Cornette (and all the other authority figures) have no issues at all with this, and he can even get the win! Oh, you didn’t see that coming. Eric Cena hit BOTH of the Guns with a Death Valley Driver. Yeah, as in both of them at the same time. Super Eric is alive and well.
Rant: This was a case of drastic overkill by the announce team. Tenay and West tried so hard to label the Guns as total villains for not helping out a team that nobody really cares about, and yet, at the same time that all this is going on, loud chants of “Motor City! Motor City!” can be heard from the audience. Look, the Guns would be great heels, I have no problem with that. The problem is that, as overwhelmingly popular as they’ve been with the fans, they’ve never had a proper babyface run in TNA. Interestingly, last year’s “Against All Odds” was where they got completely buried with no explanation after apparently not wanting to blade during a match against Team 3D. They’ve never really gotten past that. There’s a basic saying in theatre, “Don’t tell me, show me.” We’ve seen very little to make us hate the Guns, in terms of serious heel heat. If TNA really wants the viewing audience to jump on the “Hate the MCMG” bandwagon, having the announcers go overly ballistic with real and imagined offenses in a few minutes on the last show before a ppv is not the way to do it! It really came off as “You aren’t reacting how we want you to! Hate these people! Hate them now! They are responsible for the Holocaust, the economy, and Matt Hardy’s heel turn!” The Guns actually did try to help the Front Line, and think of people other than themselves. It didn’t work and they were strongly rebuffed. Not all that long ago, they challenged the leadership of Samoa Joe and AJ Styles, saying that the Front Line should follow their lead and take on the MEM “by any means necessary.” They used the same tactics that the MEM has successfully utilized, and tried to help Jay Lethal win the World Heavyweight title from Sting. This would have been a tremendous moment for the Front Line. Lethal refused their help, and Sting was able to retain the title. Joe and AJ came down to the ring, took issue with the actions of the Guns, and beat them in a tag match the following week. Several weeks later, when Team 3D joined the Front Line and said the exact same thing about “by any means necessary,” Joe and AJ and the rest of the Front Line were only too happy to oblige. No wonder the Guns don’t care about the Front Line. If you tried to help someone, got slapped down, and then saw your advice being taken when it was offered by someone else, you’d keep to yourself too. Why does this make Shelley and Sabin evil?
After the match, Alex Shelley is not happy, and tells Eric Young that if he wants to step up to the king, he had better be ready. He wants Eric in an X-Division title match at “Against All Odds.” Eric responds that he’ll do it if Shelley’s “life partner” isn’t at ringside. The X-Division and Alex Shelley deserve so much better than this sort of throwaway title booking. Aside from not being announced until the last second, there was little, if any, prior build to this. Alex Shelley is usually one of the most articulate, intelligent, and creative promo guys on the roster. His exchange with Eric Young was not so great. Did someone try to script Alex Shelley? You just don’t do that.
To the back! The Kongtourage is in Jim Cornette’s office. Yuppers, all of them. Cornette tellsKong that her title match against ODB at the ppv is a one-on-one matter, and that the rest of the Kongtourage will not be involved in any way. In fact, they’re all banned from ringside. Raisha Saeed yells “Silence!” Cornette cuts her off and tells her he’s sick of hearing that from her. He tells them all off, and Sojourner Bolt gets in his face over it. She calls Borash a cracker, and talks like Borash somehow keeps Cornette from getting a beatdown. Cornette throws the Kongtourage out of his office, and has JB take his blood pressure. No such luck, as Booker T and Sharmell enter. Booker wants to be e referee tonight, particularly in Shane Sewell’s match. Cornette says no.
To the back! The Beautiful people, in all their pre-Palin glory, are seriously unhappy. They intend to destroy Taylor Wilde and Roxxi. Lots of bleeping here. I like it when they mean business. Not in the same way my comrades on the Thursday night threads do, but who cares?
Match #2: Shane Sewell defeats Sheik Abdul Bashir by DQ: Ye gods! Is Sewell a wrestler or a referee or both? How can he even be both, as he got fired for getting physical with wrestlers when he was a referee. Fired as a referee. Hired back as a wrestler. That would have been fine. But hired back as a wrestler who is also a referee sometimes, even though that’s what got him fired in the first place? I need a drink. Too bad “Impact” is on Thursdays so I can’t participate in the Official TNA “Impact” Drinking Game. We have the obligatory ref bump, which gives Booker T a reason to come to the ring with a ref shirt. Two other refs try to make him leave, but he ignores them. He can, after all. Booker kicked Sewell in the head, and the overly-done pull-apart brawl ensues.
To the back! JB asks Sting about his title match involving Kurt Angle. Sting says that if anyone other than he holds the World Heavyweight title, it will be tarnished. JB asks if that includes Angle. Sting won’t answer.
Match #3: The Beautiful People defeat Taylor Wilde and Roxxi: Good. They needed to. There was much brawling and knocking out of Roxxi outside the ring so that Taylor Wilde could be demolished in the ring. Taylor Wilde does nothing for me at all. Sure, for some people, there’s the bangability factor, but in terms of both wrestling and speaking, she’s just not there. Not-Palin makes the save, sans shoes. It goes without saying that she should have been introduced as another name as soon as the “prank” was over, but to still not have an identity for her is absurd. If she can’t be called Daffney, call her something else that has no connection whatever to the words “governor,” “Sarah,” or “Palin.”
Kiyoshi “Rough Cuts” segment, part two. Very well done, but it would have had more effect to use it to actually introduce him.
Match #4: Brutus Magnus defeats Shark Boy: Stone Cold Shark Boy. I had really hoped that gimmick had died. Shark Boy does not perform nearly as well as he did when he was teaming with D-Ray 3000, and that’s a fact. Sad, but fact. Meh. Despite the lousy name, Magnus has a decent look, and a decent voice. Screaming at the end of his first promo didn’t work very well, and the in-ring work was pretty bad. Note to Tenay and West – if you’re going to pimp a new finisher, make sure that the move in question is in fact new (sort of) and is capable of actually finishing a match. Magnus wasn’t done any favors by having a weak finishing move after the announcers built it up.
To the back! Kurt Angle insists that the Main Event Mafia is just fine, and that there is no tension, dissension, or anything else.
Match #5: Matt Morgan defeats Rhino by DQ: Back on jobbing duty already? Harsh. Morgan countered the Gore! Gore! I Voted for Gore! with the Carbon Footprint. On the positive side, Abyss came out with two bags of thumbtacks. He gave Morgan a Black Hole Slam, poured out the thumbtacks, and teased a chokeslam onto the aforementioned thumbtacks. Morgan bailed first. Abyss then gives what could very well be the best promo of his TNA career. He says that his true best friend’s name isn’t Chris, it’s Abyss. He’s endured a great deal, including abusive fathers, shock therapy, and storylines more messed up than Chinese scoliosis. Ok, that last one wasn’t actually mentioned, but we all know that he was thinking it. He punches the thumbtacks, embedding them in his knuckles and bleeding profusely. He says that he’ll prove it’s true that you always hurt the ones you care for most this weekend when he faces Morgan at the ppv. The one thing that would havemade it better would have been if Morgan had shown some kind of uncertainty about a full-on hardcore Monster Abyss coming back. Like when Triple H (I can’t believe that I’m giving credit here, but it’s true) reacted to Mick Foley’s announcement that Cactus Jack would be the one facing him at their match. It was like he had seen a ghost. A big, nasty, horrific ghost. It would have been a nice touch here.
Speaking of Mick Foley, to the back! He basically announces that Jeff Jarrett will be returning to “Impact” next week. Somehow, I think not telling us would have made for a better show. The occasional (good) surprise makes for a “must-see” program.
Match #6: Team 3D defeats Kurt Angle and Sting by DQ: How many DQ finishes do you really need in one night??? Particularly when you’re trying to make people shell out money for a pay-per-view? Jeebus. Angle refused to tag in Sting, flipping him off twice when he reached out to be tagged. Steiner gets involved first, but the actual DQ results from Booker T’s interference. More MEM infighting as we get a recap of the ppv card.
Final Thoughts: Too many DQ finishes across the board. The announcement of a last-second X-Division title defense and the Abyss promo were the only things that might have made people want to pay for the show if they hadn’t wanted to earlier. Better than last week’s show by far, but so is a monkey with an upset stomach.
“Against All Odds” Predictions:
TNA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Kurt Angle vs. Brother Ray vs. Brother Devon vs. champion Sting
Angle pins Sting and takes the title. Neither member of Team 3D is going to win it, and if Angle and Jarrett’s final encounter is going to be over the title, Angle has to win it here. Even if that weren’t true, it’s Angle. Do you need to ask? Samoa Joe and/or AJ Styles may make an appearance, and whether Kevin Nash gets involved or not, those appearances may have an effect on this match.
TNA WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
“Black Machismo” Jay Lethal & Consequences Creed vs. champions Beer Money
If there is any form of god at all, Beer Money retains. I just have a sinking feeling that Lethal Consequences is going to win in an ill-conceived attempt to shake up the tag team division. Please let me be wrong.
TNA X DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Eric Young vs. champion Alex Shelley
KNOCKOUTS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
ODB vs. champion Awesome Kong
Kong retains. There’s no reason at all to put the belt on ODB. The entire Knockouts division has been a non-entity, and the title means nothing. If Kong gets a win without her Kongtourage, perhaps she’ll kick them to the curb, make a face turn, and then the abundance of female heels can go up against her. Or something.
Legends Champion Booker T vs. Shane Sewell
Booker wins this one. Sewell beat Bashir, and that was fine, but no way is a referee, even if he was/is a wrestler, going over a Legend and MEM member.
Abyss vs. “The Blueprint” Matt Morgan
Abyss needs the win here. If he’s reverting back to his old Monster ways, getting beaten here won’t help at all. If he loses, he needs to obliterate Morgan post-match. Brutally.
“Maple Leaf Muscle” Petey Williams vs. “Big Poppa Pump” Scott Steiner
If the Front Line is coming back better, stronger, and faster, Petey has to win here. He needs the vengeance, and the MEM needs some losses. Steiner can barely move. Please let Petey use this as an excuse to change his look!
I’ll be back either Sunday night or Monday evening with my review of “Against All Odds.” Hey, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.
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