“Impact” Impressions 3/5/09By Drowgoddess · · 2 Comments
Jeff Jarrett, who is no longer an active wrestler, but is, in fact, the founder of TNA and an officer of the organization, announces that Kurt Angle has been suspended without pay for a week for his attacks on Jarrett and Mick Foley, and is banned from the building. Angle has been fined, and his salary has been donated to a very worthy cause. Jarrett doesn’t tell us which cause, but judging by that smirk, it’s probably not to the educational fund of those two kids who started in “Slumdog Millionaire.”
To the announce table! Don West begins to apologize as Mike Tenay looks on with the most absurdly fake angry face of all time. Paris Hilton looks Oscar-worthy next to Tenay. West stops short of a full apology, however, and announces that he would not change a thing from last week if he had to do it all over again, and that he will be a part of this announce team until he is told otherwise. Regardless of what Don West says, he totally comes off as the face, and people are getting behind him. Everyone hates Tenay.
NOTE: Yes, the whole Tenay/West bit was probably an inside joke for the amusement of the writers themselves. There’s that “actorbation” at work again. Lance Storm was right when he said that it won’t draw anything, and that the focus should be on what’s in the ring. However, West is coming off as the more likeable, credible, and enjoyable commentator of the two. Clearly, West is supposed to be the heel, but no one is reacting to him as such. Tenay is a complete ass, and it shows. Trust TNA to try to force natural cheers into boos. Hey, it didn’t work with the wrestlers, why not try it on the announcers? By the way, lots of commentaries are referring to this whole thing as a rip-off of the NWO having a heel referee, heel announcer, and so on. Look, people, everything that the NWO did was not the first time that thing was ever done, and even if it were, their having done it does not mean that someone else trying it is automatically bad! Yes, that faction was groundbreaking in many ways. Stop talking as if everything they touched turned to gold, and that everything anyone tries to do in wrestling is a watered-down version of NWO greatness. It simply isn’t so. Almost nothing original exists in art, performance and otherwise. Things from times past get recycled and reinterpreted. Wrestling is no different.
To the ring! Mick Foley enters, and introduces “the Icon” Sting. Foley talks about how Sting saved him back in the day. Apparently Mick’s career was made by dropping an elbow on Sting. Foley hopes that after “Destination X,” Sting will be out of the Main Event Mafia. The fans and the company both need Sting back in TNA. Sting points out that he has no problem with Nash, Booker, or Steiner. Foley says that the MEM uses Sting. Nash, Booker, and Steiner, along with Sharmell, come to the ring. Nash talks at great length about how Foley isn’t one of them, he’s office now. The Main Event Mafia is so very close to winning their war for respect. They all know that Angle is a hothead, but he’s THEIR hothead. Sting can either stay in the MEM and keep the title belt in the family, or he can try to leave, and no one will be able to deal with that. LOTS of talking.
NOTE: What war? The Front Line hasn’t even been mentioned, let alone shown, unless it’s in the context of how evil the Motor City Machine Guns are for not getting involved when Front Line members (Lethal Consequences, Petey Williams, Eric Young) get beaten up. There is no war for respect in TNA! Not if you actually watch the show. Even Samoa Joe and AJ Styles aren’t mentioned as part of the Front Line faction anymore. They’re just two crazed vigilantes. No more Front Line t-shirts, no more Front Line entrance music and video, no nothing. None of the Front Line are anywhere near something important. One would assume that the only story going on is the war for respect within the Main Event Mafia. Then what was the point?
To the back! The supposedly suspended and banned Kurt Angle is, of course, walking freely through the back of the building.
To the video package! Another “Rough Cuts” package on the Ultimate X match. This one covers the most death-defying thing someone has done in an Ultimate X match. Kaz legdropping Bashir from the top of the truss was mentioned, as was Christopher Daniels jumping to the center X from the top of a truss. Another good package to push the Ultimate X match, for those who have never seen one. More focus on the individual guys would help, but since TNA seems bound and determined to keep the exact participants a secret for now, that won’t happen.
NOTE: Several people have a problem with Chris Sabin talking about the X-Division title being taped to the ropes with electrical tape, and not coming off the ropes when he pulled on it, because it makes the company look bush league to talk about taping a belt up because it fell down during the first Ultimate X match. The company looks more bush league when the first person to speak (no picture was shown, it sounded like Brother D-Von) talks about a great moment being when “somebody came along and” dropkicked AJ Styles from the ropes, causing him to flip and fall. The video footage of that “somebody” was shown while this was being said. Why air it like that? The moment came off as though the person speaking (again, it seemed to be D-Von) couldn’t be bothered to know the name of the person who works in the same company as he does. It cheapened the moment, like whoever did the dropkick wasn’t important. All the other guys, the true X-Division guys, used names to refer to everyone, both aggressor and victim, in their memorable moments. It’s a very minor thing, and probably shouldn’t be annoying, but I’ve got a bigger problem with that than admitting that a belt was taped up.
To the back! Lauren catches Jay Lethal (in full “Black Machismo” mode) and Consequences Creed as they sport rather spiffy new suits. Jeff Jarrett has given them bonuses (read: Kurt Angle’s money) for being the future of wrestling. Lethal drops the Macho Man persona, only to give us a Ric Flair. Jeebus. The impressions are good, but for the love of Cthulu, stop it!!! It’s stale as hell and nobody cares! When Consequences Creed is the better promo, you need to change something. Lethal reverts to his Macho Man gimmick, acknowledging the situation with a “wrong guy” comment. He babbles something about the Motor City Machine Guns and disloyalty and having ladders to climb. Finally, the cacophony ends.
Match #1: Alex Shelley defeats Kiyoshi to retain the X-Division Championship: The match itself was good. Kiyoshi looked cooler with the black and silver paint than in the red and gold paint, but that’s as may be. The fact that a title match went barely four minutes is criminal. We’re what, half an hour into the show, and this is all we get? Why is there no time for good wrestling on a wrestling program titled “Total Nonstop Action?” Kiyoshi and Shelley did well with what they had. Why does Kiyoshi, who hasn’t been seen or heard of since the two very nice “Rough Cut” segments on him, have an X-Division title shot in the first place? Why has Shelley constantly defended his title on tv? A short promo or segment would have fixed all that. Why? Why is any of this happening? Let someone not in the MEM or the Jarrett/Foley contingent have some talk time to explain things! Anyway, Shelley won clean, and Sabin did not interfere. Except for a middle finger to Kiyoshi, this was a face match for the Guns. The audience was solidly behind Shelley. Sure, it may have been because he was fighting a Japanese guy that almost no one knows. All the same, the fans don’t seem to know how to react to the Guns anymore. They want to cheer, but they only hear how terrible the Guns are. Tweeners never work. The Guns can be great heels, but no one wants to hate them right now. Just go with it! Don West was talking up the match, which was a TITLE match, and Tenay changes the subject to the Main Event Mafia and the Angle/Sting/Jarrett situation. He almost forces the issue, and probably three of the four minutes of this match is taken up by the commentators talking about the MEM. Then Tenay has the nerve to tell West to focus on the match at hand, when Tenay is the one who stole that focus! And West is supposed to be the bad guy? In any case, Suicide hits the ring after the match, takes out both Shelley and Sabin, and picks up the X-Division title again. West very accurately points out that Suicide needs to get in a proper match instead of blindsiding people after they’ve had a tiring match.
NOTE: Several other things were left out that should not have been. Brief mentions were made that Kiyoshi was accompanied by a tag team called “No Limit,” that No Limit had fought the Guns on the Global Impact II tour, and that the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship titles exist. That’s it. We don’t know who the guys in No Limit are, or why we should be impressed, or why they are here. Only the most rabid of fans know that the Guns actually won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship titles in Japan on the Global Impact II tour, and that No Limit just recently won Number One Contendership status to those titles. If you have Team 3D bring their IWGP titles on the air and talk about winning them, why in the blue hell don’t the Guns get that same privilege? The idea that a Japanese team has come to TNA just to challenge the Guns for those tag team titles practically writes itself. The level of stupidity on this front is staggering.
To the back! Angle is advised to leave by the MEM, but he won’t. He’s just here for fun. When he hears that Jarrett gave his money to the Front Line, who bought new suits with it, he decides to go reclaim his property. Just for fun.
To the back! Lauren interviews Beer Money. Storm and Roode trash the wrestlers who have been forced to leave TNA after losing to them, although names are not given. They promise to do the same to LAX later tonight.
To the ring! LAX enters, with full music and everything. Hernandez cuts a promo of about four sentences, saying that they won’t lose tonight. It took LAX longer to get out to the ring and start talking than to do the actual talking.
To the back! Booker T’s locker room. He’s on the phone with someone, plotting to jump AJ Styles and have him arrested. Strangely, AJ does not know this from watching the show.
To the contest! “Win a Night with ODB” has come down to three people. Assuming that more than that ever actually entered. The indy guy who may be debuting as ODB’s man is still in. Another guy was the second finalist. Shark Boy was the third. I know it’s lame, but if laughing hysterically when Shark Boy said, “Have you ever been eaten by a shark?” in his date video is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
To the back! Kurt Angle jumps Consequences Creed and tears off his suit. That looks really bad to read it.
Match #2: The Beautiful People defeat Raisha Saeed & Awesome Kong, Taylor Wilde & Roxxi, and Sojourner Bolt & Rhaka Khan: This match went between three and four minutes. What? A four-corners tag team match, and it can’t even go four minutes? Sad doesn’t even begin to describe it. The Governor came out with Taylor Wilde and Roxxi. Madison Rayne came down to the ring, in a new bad-girl look. Rayne interfered, allowing Angelina Love to pin Roxxi. Looks like there’s a new Beautiful Person in town.
To the back! TNA Founder Jeff Jarrett says that Kurt Angle will pay for showing up tonight. Technically, didn’t Angle already pay?
To the ring! Booker T and Steiner tell AJ Styles that if he gives back Booker’s Legends title, Booker won’t press charges against him. AJ’s music and pyro kick in, but AJ himself rushes Booker from behind. AJ gets in some offense, but Booker and Steiner doubleteam him before allowing a SWAT team to grab him and drag him away. Booker follows them out, yelling and laughing at AJ. Steiner is left in the ring with one SWAT team member, who unmasks as Samoa Joe. Joe pulls his “Samoan tribal knife” and holds it to Steiner’s throat. Tenay says that he can’t blame Joe. West freaks out and trashes Tenay for saying so. I know thatlots of people have a problem with Joe’s knife bit. While I generally agree that guns and knives have no place in wrestling, I like spree-killer Joe. I probably shouldn’t, but I do. I’m giving him a pass for the machete at the moment.
To the back! AJ Styles gets arrested for stealing Booker T’s Legends title. Samoa Joe does not get arrested for attempting to slash Steiner’s throat on national tv. I think it’s racial profiling.
To the announce table! Tenay and West argue. West leaves. I’m stunned that I’m typing this, but when West left the table, any hope of decent announcing left with him. Some say that Tenay did better with West gone. In the words of Tony Stark, I respectfully disagree. Since Tenay no longer calls moves, he’s of little use. As West departs, Kurt Angle throws Jay Lethal out from the back, apparently trying to “reclaim” Lethal’s suits as well. Ripping the clothes off of two strapping young men in one night? Check that jungle fever, Angle. Lethal briefly fights back, but an Angle Slam takes him out. Jeff Jarrett watches from the back. After allowing Lethal to get beaten down, Jarrett announces that he’s coming out there “to kick Angle’s ass.”
To Abyss’s therapy session! Bad. Just bad. It doesn’t matter what they talked about.
Match #3: Matt Morgan defeated Shane Sewell: This match went about four minutes. What. The. Hell. If any match on tonight’s card needed to be a squash, it would have been this one, but come on. I don’t personally care much for the Shane Sewell character, but the guy was over. Now he’s nothing. Morgan dispatches Sewell with the Hellevator. Tenay announces during this match that Jim Cornette had “taken back” the Legends title from Booker T. Taken back? Uh, Booker invented it. For himself. It actually does belong to him. Please don’t try to make this a legit title! Post-match, Morgan addresses Abyss, and challenges him to a “10,000 Thumbtacks” match at “Destination X.” What if there are only 9,999 thumbtacks? So much for Abyss’s claims earlier tonight that his therapy has cured him, and he no longer desires weapons and violence.
To the back! Eric Young is with Lauren. He sports a suit as well, but says that he got his suit at Goodwill. They have sales on Wednesday, you know. He spent his “bonus” of Kurt Angle’s money on speakers for his game room. He quotes song lyrics until Angle jumps him and beats him up. Security tries to separate them as Lauren screams for help. Lauren should leave the screaming to Daffney.
To the back! Jim Cornette tries to talk Jeff Jarrett out of fighting Kurt Angle. Mick Foley says that once you’re a wrestler, you’re always a wrestler. Sting comes in and tells Jarrett to leave it alone. Jarrett says he’ll leave a piece of Angle for Sting at the ppv.
Match #4: LAX defeats Beer Money via DQ in an “Off the Wagon Challenge” Tag Team title match: This match went about six minutes. So the titles don’t change hands on a disqualification, allowing Beer Money to remain champions. Since the match resulted in a DQ, LAX does not have to leave TNA. Ok. Hernandez tries to Border Toss James Storm, but gets a chair shot from Roode, causing the DQ. Homicide gets a chair shot to the head as well. Team 3D makes the save. Yes. LAX, the vatos locos, 5150, barrio gangsta thugs, have to be saved by two fat guys. Team 3D challenges Beer Money to an “Off the Wagon Challenge” Tag Team title match at “Destination X.” NOOOOOOOO!!! That’s the one thing they can’t do! A team of the position that 3D has can’t be involved in this. Nobody is going to believe for a minute that Team 3D is going to leave. That a Beer Money disqualification means the opposing team doesn’t have to leave TNA was established tonight. Essentially, the entire “Off the Wagon Challenge” has just been killed.
To the ring! Kurt Angle sallies forth and proceeds to run down Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett and Angle brawl through the audience, with lots of cheers and chants for Jarrett. Jarrett throws Angle out of the Impact Zone through an “Exit” door, then celebrates in the ring with Team 3D and Mick Foley.
Final Thoughts: About 18 minutes of wrestling on a two-hour program? Appalling. There’s one more “Impact” before the “Destination X” ppv, and one would think that Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Jarrett, Mick Foley, and the rest of the Main Event Mafia were the only people in the company. On paper, the card for “Destination X” thus far could be their most solid yet. Sting/Angle has been handled very well. Now if only the other matches could be treated the same way.
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