“Impact” Impressions 3/19/09By Drowgoddess · · 2 Comments
Sting… Whose Side is He On?
After the opening pyro, Mike Tenay promises that we’ll be seeing all the fallout from the “Destination X” pay-per-view last Sunday night. Will Kurt Angle and Sting be able to coexist? And how will the Main Event Mafia react? Because that’s the only possible fallout from an entire ppv. Nothing else could actually be of any interest to anyone.
As per contractual obligation, the first segment involves the Main Event Mafia and microphones. Kurt Angle enters first, flanked by fat security guy Rocco and not-so-fat security guy. Behind Angle are Scott Steiner (completely hidden in a masked hoodie due to the actions of Samoa Joe), Sharmell, Booker T, Kevin Nash, and lastly, Sting, who carries the TNA World Heavyweight title over his shoulder. Angle announces that everything that he predicted came true at the ppv. His match happened just like he had said that it would. Jeff Jarrett screwed him in the biggest screwjob since Montreal. (The first thing I would do if I got total booking power over TNA would be to ban, under threat of removal from the shows and a heavy fine, any references to any other company in promos. Unless, of course, it were part of something we were doing, like the IWGP tag team titles [both sets].)This reference got no reaction from the audience at all, presumably because most people, including those involved in it, have let it go. Angle continues. Sting tried to cover up being in cahoots with Jarrett and Foley by having Foley hit him with a chair. Angle is too smart for that, though, because “you can’t work a worker, and I’m the best worker there ever was!” Uh, yeah. Angle gives Sting precisely ten seconds to explain himself, and then the Mafia has to do what the Mafia has to do.
Sting interrupts Angle’s countdown, saying that Angle has accused him of disloyalty for the last time. Sting has been true to the MEM from the beginning, it’s Angle personally with whom he has a problem. He owes Angle nothing, he repeats, nothing, and if Angle wants to continue their little story, Sting is still all in. Nash gestures for the mic. Sting hands it over. Nash says that he agrees that Sting owes Angle nothing. Loud crowd chants of “Nothing! Nothing!” kick in. Funny! Nash continues to say that Sting does owe the rest of the MEM something, as for two ppvs in a row, Foley has raised Sting’s hand, and things smell fishy. It’s probably just Sharmell. Sting asks Nash what he has to do to prove himself. Angle snatches the mic away and tells Sting to be his partner tonight in a tag team match against Mick Foley and Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett enters at this, mic in hand. He tells Angle that he’s just a wrestler, albeit the greatest one he has ever seen, and doesn’t have the authority to make matches. Only TNA management can make matches. Angle responds that that means Jarrett and Foley, right? Jarrett insists that the match won’t happen. Angle calls Sting a liar, and says that “Kurt Angle may be a lot of things, but if I’m gonna screw you, I’m gonna screw you to your face!” The laughs from the audience were not intentional, methinks. Sting says that Foley has wrestled his last match, and is on the inactive list. This, of course, brings Foley down to the ring, where Foley wants to accept the match. Jarrett does not, and tries to dissuade him. Angle butts in and challenges Jarrett to “Man up!” Somewhere, Jay and Mark Briscoe are getting ready for a road trip to kick some ass. After Angle’s trash-talking, Jarrett accepts the match.
NOTE: That this was well-done cannot be argued. All the mic work was very strong, and the main event was set up very well. However, does it take 23 minutes to rehash the same old same old? Angle is crazy. Angle hates Sting. Angle hates Jarrett and Foley. Sting hates Angle. Jarrett hates Angle. Jarrett and Foley aren’t supposed to wrestle. Jarrett is the founder of TNA. The rest of the MEM like Sting. If any other stories featuring any other wrestlers were handled like this one is being handled, TNA would be the best show out there. This is the only real storyline on the whole show, and one would think that the entire TNA roster consisted of the Main Event Mafia, Jarrett, Foley, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe. Apply this treatment to everybody else, and you’ve got a license to print money.
Match #1: No Limit defeats the Motor City Machine Guns (non-title match): When we return from the commercial break, Tenay and West (who is totally not being a drunken heel) recap everything that happened before the commercial break. Everything. With video clips. Because we won’t remember what we say five minutes ago. We get a brief video package about Suicide being the new X-Division champion. No real follow-up. We cut straight to the entrance of the Motor City Machine Guns. The greatest tag team in the known universe and beyond are sporting the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship title belts. The belts that they won ten weeks ago in Japan? In the Tokyo Dome, in front of lots and lots of people? On the “Global Impact 2” Tour? The belts that have never once been mentioned or shown on TNA programming until now? The belts that they won from the very same Japanese tag team who has suddenly shown up in TNA? You have no idea what I’m talking about, do you? Neither do most people who rely on actually watching “Impact” to know what’s going on. This is precisely what is meant by treating other stories like the opening segment. There is no excuse whatsoever for this being an afterthought. None. No Limit enters with Kiyoshi, because obviously everyone who is Japanese would hang out together. Honestly, the former champs don’t even get a graphic with their names on it. “No Limit” is all that anything says. Can’t the video production crew spell their names? Did anyone even ask what their names were? How about introducing them to us? A few “Rough Cuts” segments would have been great for this. They come off as random Japanese guys who will be viewed as jobbers by the American audiences. This match gets about five minutes. At least it wasn’t interrupted by a commercial break. Great, solid tag team action on both sides. No Limit is essentially the Japanese version of the MCMG, and stylistically, they’re a tremendous combination. No Limit gets the victory when Chris Sabin hurricanranas one of the No Limit guys (sorry, I’m not sure which one) off the top turnbuckle, but the momentum keeps them rolling over, and the future Mr. Drowgoddess gets pinned for a three-count. Don West makes one or two comments about Alex Shelley losing the X-Division title, and how it may affect his performance here, but that entire thing is generally ignored.
None of this seems to matter anyway, because as soon as the bell rings at the end of the match, Beer Money rushes the ring, attacks No Limit, and throws them out of the ring. The MCMG are nowhere to be seen once the three-count is made. It’s all about the post-match, as Beer Money calls out Team 3D. Beer Money does respect Team 3D and all the titles they’ve won. They apologize for their behavior in walking out on the match at “Destination X.” They’re the current tag team champs, and they can’t get any respect (Rodney Dangerfield rolls over in his grave and kicks the coffin lid). The offer a tag team title shot to Team 3D at “Lockdown.” Because “Lockdown” is in Philadelphia, where Team 3D was made famous, and when they beat them there, they’ll get the respect they deserve. Team 3D agrees, and ups the ante by putting their IWGP Tag Team Championship titles on the line. The tag team belts that THEY won in Japan ten weeks ago at the Tokyo Dome? In front of lots and lots of people? The belts that HAVE been mentioned and shown on TNA programming before now? Those belts. It must be pointed out, though, that the belts held by Team 3D are being referred to as the “New Japan Tag Team titles.” We can’t have any confusion going on about which set of belts matters more. In any case, the winners of the match at “Lockdown” get both sets of tag team titles. This match will not be an “Off the Wagon Challenge,” because Beer Money wants Team 3D to stay around and know that Beer Money is better than them. Good out for that. Nonetheless, anyone with functional brain cells knows that there’s no way in the Seven Levels of Dante’s Easy-Bake that Team 3D is losing. Whatever agreement TNA has with NJPW, do you honestly think that NJPW would let Team 3D lose their titles to Beer Money in the States? No.
To the back! Jeremy Borash pimps the TNA Mobile service with news about a “notorious celebrity” getting involved with TNA. Mick Foley is in the office with him. Jeff Jarrett enters, and is not happy with Foley for basically forcing him to accept the main event tag team match tonight. Neither one of them is supposed to be wrestling, they’re supposed to be office now. Foley cuts a fantastic promo (See what happens when you don’t script everyone and actually let them find their grooves?) about loving pumpkin pie, but only being able to avoid eating it when it isn’t sitting right in front of him. Foley loves roller coasters too, but he’s content to ride once a year or so, unless you stood him in front of one and made him look at it. Wrestling is the same thing. When it’s waved in front of his face like this, he has to do it. He’s a wrestler at heart, and every wrestler has to actually wrestle once in a while. It’ll be fun, and four former World Champions in one match is good for business. Good business makes everybody happy. Jarrett still looks displeased, but ponders Foley’s words.
Recap of the finals of “Win a Night with ODB.” Yup. Again.
Match #2: ODB and Taylor Wilde defeat Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed: Less than four minutes. A better Knockouts match than we’ve had in a while, but that’s not saying much. Taylor Wilde gets the win by hitting Kong with a backslide when Kong went for a press slam on her. After the three-count, Kong smashes Wilde and ODB together, then flattens ODB with an Implant Buster. Cody Deaner comes out of the stands to defend his lady love, and *gasp* turns his baseball cap around backwards! Kong actually backs off. She must fear the Redneck Super Ultra Mullet of Doom! Wouldn’t you?
To the back! Another Angle segment. JB runs down a list of all the things that Angle did to Sting, Jarrett, and Foley during the title match at “Destination X.” Angle freely admits to everything, paints himself as the victim, and says that he had no choice. JB and Angle work well together, but this time could have and should have gone to someone else.
Match #3: Sheik Abdul Bashir gets a win over Samoa Joe via countout: I can’t even say Bashir defeated Joe. Joe attacks Bashir and kicks the daylights out of him. In less than half a minute, he’s dragging Bashir to the back. This isn’t even a match.
To the back! The Beautiful People and Madison Rayne are in full sorority mode. I refuse to call them Mi Pi Sexy. Cute Kip’s absence is addressed by saying that he has been placed on special probation until he figures out that The Beautiful People are not all about him. Madison Rayne is on her knees in full pledge mode, and is not allowed to speak. The whole “initiation” bit is fun, much more so than the Steiner/Petey version. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky bully Madison Rayne about defeating the Governor tonight. “Don’t forget your Versace!” The Versace handbag is going to become the most important prop of all time.
To the ring! Jim Cornette introduces the new Legends Champion, AJ Styles. Booker T and Sharmell come out, disputing AJ’s title victory. Booker, making sure that Hollywood knows that he can do a “street” Brooklyn accent bordering on the unintelligible, babbles nonsense for a while, and gets around to demanding a title shot. AJ refuses, saying that he gives title shots to any deserving wrestlers, not paper champions who invent their own titles. Sharmell gets the last word, and she and Booker leave.
Match #4: The Governor defeats Madison Rayne: Don West has resumed his heel personality. This match went about three minutes, and was not very good. Governor Daffney is certainly better than this. Madison Rayne is the weakest link. Rampant interference from The Beautiful People. Rayne goes for a vertical suplex, but Governor Daffney reverses it into a small package for the win. Post-match, all three members of Mi Pi Sexy jump the Governor and cut off several clumps of hair. THAT’S what the Versace bag was for! Please let this be a sign of a gimmick change for Governor Daffney! Oh, please!
To the back! Samoa Joe’s personal torture chamber. Joe has Bashir tied upside down, hanging from the ceiling. He shoves the “tribal knife” in Bashir’s mouth, and tells him that no one wants him here. Nobody likes his whining and complaining. He needs to “go back where he came from” and tell them about what happens with his Nation of Violence. One person commenting on another message board said that he didn’t get offended over that line because his first thought was that Joe was telling Bashir to go back to the WWE, as opposed to a country of origin. Oddly enough, I thought that too. Joe then goes completely medieval on the near-crying Bashir with a kendo stick, and leaves him there.
NOTE: Most people seem to have been offended or bothered by this segment. Yes, it was somewhat disturbing. My problem with it was the victim. After the reaming that Bashir took from Cornette on the ppv, leaving the arena a broken man near tears, how much of a threat is he to anyone? I would have been more impressed if it had been someone higher up on the TNA food chain and not half Joe’s size. Doing this to Bashir seems more like the Karate Kid bypassing the evil captain of the football team/date rapist and beating the hell out of the whiny emo kid that nobody likes. Pointless in that respect. No satisfaction to be had in that.
To the “Rough Cuts” segment! This one is on Team 3D. Brother D-Von, really. Good stuff, he comes across as an affable, sincere guy.
Match #5: Jeff Jarrett and Mick Foley defeat Kurt Angle and Sting: Less than five minutes on this one, shockingly. Angle’s personal security, Sal and Rocco, got involved. Angle had Foley pinned, after a chair shot to the back and an Angle Slam to the floor, but he pulled him up instead. Sting was not amused. Angle refused to tag in Sting at one point, and shoved him into the barricade at another. Jarrett attacked Angle. Obligatory Ref Bump #8 was used. Angle grabs a chair, but Jarrett takes him out. Jarrett grabs his guitar, but Sting won’t let him use it. Foley wakes up and grabs the chair, smashing Sting with it to get the three-count. Everyone stares and acts shocked. Sting challenges Foley to a cage match at “Lockdown.” JB and Jarrett rip into Foley backstage. Foley responds in a less-than-coherent manner. He may be knocked loopy. One point made clear is that Foley is mad at Sting for telling Angle that “he’s had enough” when Angle went to pin him. HE will decide when he has had enough. Cactus Jack comes out for Foley’s promo accepting Sting’s challenge for “Lockdown.”
NOTE: Nowhere near enough wrestling on this show. People everywhere are gushing about how much better this “Impact” was than previous episodes, and how well the main story is being handled. Perhaps. If TNA acknowledged more than one storyline, and treated them equally, then they’d be on to something.
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How did this get so small? It wasn't like that when I posted it. I give up!
I just replied to your comment on VRWHBG about the same thing, suggesting to type it up in Notepad to keep the styling out of it, then going back and adding in bolds and italics after pasting it into the BWF editor