We open with the bulk of the male TNA roster on the entrance ramp and near the ring. Jim Cornette announces to the talent, as well as the audience, that the main event at the upcoming “Lockdown” pay-per-view has been signed, and Mick Foley will challenge Sting. Presumably for the World Heavyweight Championship title. The other major match will be the “Lethal Lockdown” match between two teams of four. Does that mean that Black Machismo will be in the match by default? I’m just sayin’. His Corniness informs everyone that a 20-man gauntlet match will take place tonight to determine the captains of the two teams. All of them are in it. The rules are very simple. Then an explanation is given that would cause Professor Stephen Hawking to request Excedrin and several shot glasses. Basically, pinfalls and submissions eliminate wrestlers. The final two will be the team captains. The one who gets the last pinfall or submission goes into the “Lethal Lockdown” match with a particular advantage. Cue the Main Event Mafia music. Kurt Angle says that the Main Event Mafia had already designated him team captain, and that his team would consist of Booker T, Scott Steiner, and Kevin Nash. He calls the rest of the roster “jabronies” several times, and remarks on how thoroughly the MEM has dominated TNA since October. He promises that they will continue to do so for the rest of this year and the next. Cue Jeff Jarrett’s entrance music. Jarrett comes down to the ring and announces that he has put himself into the gauntlet match specifically to keep Angle from becoming a team captain. He tells Angle to “choke on that, slapnut,” and attacks him. Jarrett and Angle are pulled apart by others.

NOTE: The concept of this match is actually pretty good, provided that enough time is given to it. Twenty guys? Thirty minutes at the absolute minimum, preferably closer to forty-five minutes.

To the back! In the Main Event Mafia’s locker room, Kevin Nash is with Jenna Morasca. For some reason. This is the second time she’s even been seen, and she goes from hanging with Foley to hanging on Nash. Sharmell takes great issue with the presence of the Peanut Butter Playboy Girl, and throws quite the hissy fit. There is only one queen in the Main Event Mafia, after all. Booker yells at Kevin to get that “yak” out of here. Nash complies, making comments as he exits. Steiner calls out that if Nash is going to hit that, save a piece for him. Angle tells Steiner to give him his pipe, which Steiner does. Steiner’s face is completely uncovered and completely normal this week, so whatever reason he had for hiding under a masked hoodie last week seems to have vanished like the X-Division. Jeremy Borash asks Angle what he intends to do with the pipe. Angle can’t believe that JB asked that question, but to clarify, he’s going to go to Jeff Jarrett’s office, beat him almost to death with it, and shove it up his ass. Ok….

Match #1: Suicide defeats Kiyoshi to retain the X-Division Championship: Mike Tenay and Don West talked about everything but the match actually taking place in the ring. A title match, no less. So much for a renewed focus on the X-Division. I wish that Dixie Carter and the powers-that-be of TNA weren’t such dirty, sorry liars. Shame on you, Tenay and West! Both of you know perfectly well that you’re helping to completely devalue what should be a major title. Not that anyone cares. Kiyoshi hasn’t won a match yet, and has had multiple title shots at the X-Division belt. Why? Once TNA aired those really nice “Rough Cuts” segments on him, they never acknowledged him again. What few good X-Division guys are left in TNA can actually have non-title matches, you know. Oh. Clearly you don’t know. Massive numbers of Suicide t-shirts in the audience. I don’t know if it was a group travelling together or what, but nowhere at any wrestling event ever have I seen that many t-shirts for one wrestler in the same place. I really hope TNA wasn’t passing them out just to make Suicide look more popular than he really is. Team No Limit was at ringside, interfering on Kiyoshi’s behalf. We know even less about them than we do about Kiyoshi, so little wonder that no one cares. Kiyoshi managed a lot of offense, getting a two-count twice. Then he missed a splash. Suicide hits him with several kicks and a DDT, but only gets a two-count. Kiyoshi hit his Lightening Flash, but only got a two-count. He went for a moonsault, but Suicide caught him, and ran him into one of the No Limit guys. Suicide hit the Suicide Solution for the win. This match went five minutes, and had really solid action. Too bad that the announcers couldn’t be bothered to call it.

To the back! Angle walks to Jarrett’s office with the pipe. LAX, Lethal Consequences, and Eric Young are in there to stop him. Uh, guys, it’s Angle. You don’t have a chance.

To the back! The Beautiful People sit on their golden thrones. Angelina Love chases off Lauren for touching her chair. That looks so naughty when I write it. Anyway, The Beautiful People, or Mi Pi Sexy, will face Raisha Saeed and Awesome Kong in a tag match. Lots of trash-talking Kong and Saeed. The Beautiful People take what they want, and they’ve decided that they want the Knockouts title. Pledge girl Madison Rayne is ordered to cut Kong’s braids off. Is Kong making a face turn? Hmm….

“Rough Cuts” time! Brother Ray of Team 3D is profiled. He talks about being talked into getting trained by a former WWE enhancement talent who did not train him properly, and how he still resented it. He’s in the wrestling business to be one half of the greatest tag team of all time. He and D-Von know how to be successful because they’re happy being a tag team. No one wants to pay to see them wrestle singles matches. People pay to see Team 3D. They share the spotlight and check their egos at the door.

To the back! Beer Money and Team 3D sit down with Mike Tenay. These are usually awful. This one was not awful. It was, in fact, amazing. Beer Money were heelish, but focused. They want to beat Team 3D in Philadelphia in order to get the respect they deserve as the tag team champs of TNA. A win over Team 3D in Philadelphia will make Beer Money greater than the Road Warriors, the Steiner Brothers, and Team 3D. The titles, and the respect of the champions who carry them, were of the highest importance to both teams here. This segment was the total opposite of what is being done with the X-Division title. Team 3D points out that the most violent, rabid fans on Earth are in Philly, and tell Beer Money to “beat us if you can, survive if THEY let you.” This interview segment is what every title feud should be.

To the back! Lauren talks to Sting. Sting doesn’t know where Foley’s head is, but if Foley intends to come to the ring armed, so does he.

To the back! Mick Foley jokes around, but says that there will be no need for violence, and that he will apologize to Sting tonight.

Match #2: The Beautiful People defeated Awesome Kong and Raisha Saeed: Kong dominated TBP, and The Glittery Syrian Raisha Saeed got several two-counts. Angelina Love hit the Lights Out on The Glittery Syrian Raisha Saeed and got the win. Post-match, Madison Rayne jumped on Kong to cut her hair, but Kong fought her off. This match went between three and four minutes, and looked good for the short time that it got, but once again, Tenay and West talked about Sting and Foley the whole time. Call the damn match, you morons! It’s difficult to show much more disrespect to your own product.

To the split screen! Sting and Mick Foley walk to the ring. Separately, of course.

To the ring! Sting enters to great face pop. He calls out Foley, who cheerfully obliges. Foley replays the tape of him hitting Sting with a chair. When pressed for an explanation, Foley claims that he might have been knocked loopy from an Angle Slam on the floor, and that when he had gotten back in the ring, he saw Sting holding the guitar, looking as if he were about to endanger the life of TNA Founder, Jeff Jarrett. With a blatant insincerity that would make Edge jealous, Foley claims that he was merely saving the life of Jeff Jarrett. His delivery was so good (at being bad) that he was actually booed here. Sting is mad now. He was trying to help and protect the nearly-crippled and constantly-in-pain Foley, and he’s losing the respect he had for Foley. He’s actually getting pissed off about it. Foley responded with another promo-of-the-night. His voice took on the psycho Cactus Jack heel tone as he commented on what a humanitarian Sting was, and listed off the kinds of people who weren’t doing well in the current economy who could really use Sting’s help. He, he shouted at Sting, was not one of them. “Who the hell are you to pity me?” People were talking about their match at “Lockdown,” and they wouldn’t be reliving history. They’d be making it. As far as the sick dives from cages, well…he still had a few left. Bang bang! Writing up a Mick Foley promo doesn’t do it justice. The man was ON, and it was good. Very, very good.

Match #3: 20-Man Captain’s Gauntlet Cage Match: They’ve allowed plenty of time for this. What would have been really nice would have been some interview clips or segments with the talent with no reason for being in this match. Guys like Abyss, LAX, the MCMG, Matt Morgan, Sheik Abdul Bashir (shouldn’t he be somewhere else after last week?), and even Eric Young. Why do they want to be team captains for a “Lethal Lockdown” match? Who would they put on their teams? Why would they be better captains that someone else? Just a little bit of that would have really helped. The match starts with Abyss and AJ Styles. AJ has the Legends belt. They fight for about two minutes. Alex Shelley comes in at #3. “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal enters at #4. Good action all around as we go to commercial break. When we return from commercial break, Chris Sabin has already entered at #5 (curse you, TNA!), and the MCMG go to work. Matt Morgan enters at #6. Morgan is also the first elimination after Abyss hits him with the Black Hole Slam. Homicide enters at #7. Scott Steiner enters at #8, and gives everyone in the ring/cage Steinerlines. We go to another commercial break. While we were at this commercial break, Chris Sabin eliminated Homicide with the Cradleshock. Why must you do this to me, TNA??? Twice in the same match? Consequences Creed made his entrance during the commercial break also, as #9. Rhino enters at #10. He goes after Steiner. Jeff Jarrett comes to the ring at #11, but Angle (who is not legally in the match yet) jumps him, throws him over the barricade, and takes a steel chair to Jarrett’s arm before the Founder of TNA can even get to the ring. Jarrett’s arm is now all shades of damaged, and the medics see to him. One of the No Limit guys, Naito (I think), entered at #12. He works with the MCMG to beat up on Creed. Just for fun, one presumes. Jay Lethal hits the Lethal combination on Alex Shelley pinning him and eliminating the former X-Division champion. Kurt Angle enters at #13, stopping on his way to the ring to beat up Jeff Jarrett some more. He enters the cage and single-handedly destroys most of the roster. He eliminates Consequences Creed with an Angle Lock. He eliminates Chris Sabin with a pin following an Angle Slam. He eliminates Jay Lethal with a pin following an Angle Slam. All three guys are eliminated in less than 20 seconds. Think about that. The Angle Slam is a pathetically weak move that should not finish any match or beat anybody, and he takes out three X-Division/tag team guys in less than 20 seconds. Insulting to the highest degree. During the next commercial break, Naito was eliminated by Steiner, and Shane Sewell entered at #14. Shane Sewell was almost immediately eliminated by Kurt Angle. Sheik Abdul Bashir entered at #15, and went straight after Rhino. Booker T entered at #16, and the Main Event Mafia dominates. Even more. Booker eliminated AJ Styles with the Book End. Booker kept trash-talking AJ as he was helped from the ring, and didn’t see Rhino set up and Gore him as soon as he turned around. Rhino eliminated Booker T. AJ and Booker fought to the back area as the other No Limit guy (Yujiro, I think) entered at #17. Basir helped out the MEM, and was rewarded with a handshake, an Angle Slam, and a pin to eliminate him from the match. Eric Young entered at #18. Angle and Steiner hit Abyss with a double Book End to eliminate him. Rhino hit Yujiro with a Gore and eliminated him. Rhino got hit with An Angle Slam and a pin (see a pattern forming here), and was himself eliminated. Hernandez entered at #19, and went to work on Steiner and Angle. To no avail. Hernandez gets an Angle Slam and pin to be eliminated. Angle and Steiner are now alone in the cage. One guy should be left.

Jim Cornette rushes a heavily-bandaged Jeff Jarrett to the ring. Jarrett nearly pins Angle, but only gets a two-count. Jarrett has better luck with Steiner, and eliminates him. Jarrett hit Angle with the Stroke, but Steiner stopped Earl Hebner from making the count, and Angle pinned Jarrett to eliminate him. Angle is the last man standing, and the other team captain will be the injured Jarrett. Or so we thought! Here comes Samoa Joe, the actual #20. Joe completely no-sold the Angle Slam (thank you, Joe!), then hit Angle with a big Muscle Buster to pin and eliminate Angle. It’s Angle and Joe who will captain teams at “Lethal Lockdown,” and Joe’s team will get the advantage.

Post-match: Don West launches into a tirade against Cornette and Jarrett. Cornette tells West off. Angle complains about eliminating Jarrett three times in this match, and shouts about ending both Joe’s and Jarrett’s careers at “Lockdown.” Lauren finds Joe sitting outside the building with his knife. He doesn’t care about being a team captain. He just wants to torture the MEM. He’s bringing his knife with him to “Lockdown.”

NOTE: There was more wrestling on this show than has been on an episode of “Impact” in months, and it was mostly in one match. The gauntlet match was very well done, except for the Kurt Angle Destroys the Roster Single-Handedly bit. Does TNA not understand that if Angle dies in the ring, or having sex with Robin Quivers, that the show will have to go on? You don’t have to constantly decimate and bury most of the roster to make someone look strong! What part of that don’t you understand? All in all, a really solid show that did what it was supposed to do. The announcers actually talking about the match that was happening in the ring would have been nice. But hey, I’m told that my standards are too high. It must apply to wrestling too.

Check back next week for another installment of “Impact” Impressions, and some special Wrestlemania weekend reports!

Peace out,


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