“Impact” Impressions 7/2/09By Drowgoddess · · 2 Comments
It’s line-crossing time!
To the ring! Main Event Mafia promo time. Kurt Angle and his World Heavyweight title belt, Samoa Joe, Booker T and Sharmell, Kevin Nash and Jenna Morasca, and Scott Steiner and his pipe (the metal one, you sick freak!) come to the ring. Angle tells Sting, who is “at home licking his wounds,” that the beatdown and expulsion from the MEM wasn’t personal. It was just business. Mick Foley, however, needs to come out and face The Boss like a man. Foley comes out, flanked by Rocco and Sally Boy. When Foley enters the ring and starts to speak, Angle cuts him off. Last week, Foley committed the cardinal sin when he “crossed the boss” and went back on his word. Foley told Team 3D that they had a chance to face Beer Money at “Victory Road” if they could beat Booker T and Scott Steiner tonight, after an agreement had already been made for Booker and Steiner to get the ppv title shot. Foley had to know there would be consequences. Steiner takes out Rocco and Sally Boy with the pipe. Foley says that if they’re going to beat him up, just do it, but leave enough of him so that he can recover and face Angle for the World Heavyweight title at “Victory Road.” Angle offers Foley a choice. Behind Door #1, Angle can beat up Foley. Behind Door #2, Booker T can beat up Foley. Behind Door #3, Kevin Nash can beat up Foley. Behind the curtain, Samoa Joe will be unleashed on Foley. Foley says he’ll take Door #1, and simultaneously hits Angle in the face. MEM beatdown ensues.Jeff Jarrett and his guitar rush the ring, and the MEM bails. Jarret looks to smash the guitar over a MEMber’s head, but changes his mind and smashes it over Foley’s head before walking up the ramp. The MEM rejoices.
Drowgoddess Thoughts (DGT): Some people are saying that this was a strong opening segment that helped set up the ppv. Not so much. Foley was entirely too wussy here. The MEM can look strong without the other side being an embarrassment. The security bit was completely unnecessary. Why does Foley have to admit that his tag team title shot decision was a mistake? Additionally, how many WWE references is Angle going to make? Is Randy Couture going to sue him for unlicensed use of Couture’s image? What stipulation did I miss in the World Heavyweight title match at “Slammiversary?” Once Angle won the title, he took the MEM over again, and seems to have more power in TNA than either the Founder or the Executive Shareholder, and everyone on the TNA roster is simply accepting it. Does this happen every time someone wins the World Heavyweight title? Jarrett’s actions do NOT signal his joining the MEM.
To the back! Foley refuses medical help. Foley attacks Jarrett in Jarrett’s office, but The Founder has real security remove Foley from the building. They shout at each other a lot.
To the Mike Tenay sit-down interview! He talks to Kevin Nash at great length about WCW, the Outsiders, and jumping ship from WWE over money. Money, money, money. Nash closes by pointing out that winning the Legends title from AJ translates into more cash on the autograph circuit because everyone, especially kids, loves to get pictures taken with a championship belt. For a price.
DGT: What a prick! Good. It’s about time that Nash came off as completely unlikeable. The Main Event Mafia are supposed to be the BAD guys whom we DO NOT LIKE. Nash has a match (I refuse to dignify it by calling it a fight)against AJ Styles for the Legends title (which I have a sinking feeling he’s going to win), so he has to be hated.
To the back! Abyss is screaming and trashing the backstage area in a hunt for Dr. Stevie. Lauren tries to stop him, to no avail.
DGT: Acting coach. I repeat, each wrestling company should hire an acting coach.
Match #1: Amazing Red defeats Cody Deaner (w/ ODB): Red hits a twisting dive over the top rope onto Deaner on the floor. Back in the ring, Red lands some kicks. Deaner overpowers Red. Red goes to the top rope, but Deaner knocks him down. Deaner puts on his cap, goes to the top rope, but Red knocks him down. Red plants Deaner with the Red Eye DDT for the win. ODB is not pleased.
DGT: This was bad. No amount of announcer hype can hide the fact that Amazing Red is not amazing at all. He was always sloppy in the ring, and while this gets said every week here, he does nothing that hasn’t been done before and better by others on (or who used to be on) the TNA roster. Oh, his speed is beyond amazing! Sonjay Dutt, Alex Shelley, and Chris Sabin are all faster. Oh, look at these insane, reckless moves! AJ, Daniels, Kaz, Sonjay, Petey, Homicide, Shelley, Sabin, Lethal, Low Ki, … need I continue? Deaner is painful. A joke with a lousy punchline. He needs to go away.
To the Booker T video package for “Victory Road.”
DGT: This sort of video package would be great for the guys who actually need them.
To the back! Abyss continues to trash the backstage area and shout, hunting for Dr. Stevie. Real security, who actually look like they could and would hurt you, surround him and put a stop to it.
DGT: Real security? Awesome!!!
To the back! Jeremy Borash is in Jeff Jarrett’s locker room asking questions, but the Main Event Mafia enters, applauding Jarrett’s actions against Foley earlier. Sit down, Jarrett, Angle just wants to talk. With Jarrett’s power in TNA combined with the MEM, they would rule the business for the next decade. Jarrett’s response? “Screw your offer!” He makes a main event tag team match where Angle and Samoa Joe will face Jarrett and AJ Styles. If Joe or Angle get the pin or submission, Angle retains the World Heavyweight title. If Jarrett or AJ get the pin or submission, whoever gets the win also wins the title. The MEM gets mad and leaves, with Booker T spewing forth incomprehensible babble.
DGT: Before jumping on the bandwagon of criticizing the match that Jarrett made, keep in mind that he was angry, flustered, and frustrated when he made it. In other words, he wasn’t thinking clearly. It really came off as a spur-of-the-moment thing that would not have happened if Jarrett hadn’t been overcome by personal passions. Under those conditions, booking a “stupid” match isn’t so bad. If one person should be having none of Angle’s dripping condescension from the very beginning, it’s the Founder of TNA. Sitting down like a good little boy when he was told to do so did not look good. Still, that somebody is making the slightest attempt to not be pussified by the MEM is nice. Someone please get some piano wire and garrote Booker T with it. Anything to ensure that he never speaks again.
To the back! Lauren interviews Jenna Morasca about her upcoming ppv match against Sharmell. As a non-wrestler, what is she going to do to get out of it? She isn’t, she’s going to fight her! If Sharmell thinks that it’s intimidating to raise her voice, get in her face, and wave her finger around, she’s wrong. Sojourner Bolt turns up and interrupts, telling Morasca that Sharmell is her girl and questioning Morasca’s street cred. Bolt calls her a “pale, anorexic, pancake-ass white girl.” Bolt will make sure that Sharmell is ready for the match, and if Morasca has a problem with Sharmell, she also has a problem with her.
DGT: Yaay, racism! Some people don’t even know who Sojourner Bolt is, due to her dropping off the face of tv. Two untrained non-wrestlers getting a ppv match, and the tv time to set it up. Hurrah. I bet the X-Division guys are thrilled about that. This is insulting to the highest degree. Get Survivor Skank off my tv. No one cares about her anyway, it’s not as if she’s a ratings factory or a real-life publicity magnet.
To the back! JB and the MEM are in the MEM dressing room. Angle speaks. Again. Unstoppable team, signed your own death warrant, are they ready for it, the world is the MEM’s to take, blah blah blah. Booker T sends Sharmell to get Matt Morgan. She protests, and tells him that he has to feet, he can do it. They bicker, and she leaves.
DGT: Oooo, another MEM promo. Because they just don’t get enough tv time to get themselves over.
Match #2: Eric Young defeats Rhino (w/ Jesse Neal): Young takes it to Rhino straight away, and it’s a pretty even back-and-forth match. Young and Neal exchange words, and Young punches Neal on the outside, knocking him into the rail and looking very proud of himself for doing so. Young and Rhino continue the back-and-forth action in the ring. Rhino goes for a pin, but the referee is distracted by Neal, who has hopped up on the ring apron and is trying to enter the ring. Rhino walks over to verbally rip into Neal, and Young rolls him up from behind for the pin and three-count, putting his feet on the ropes in the process.
DGT: What the hell is going on with Jesse Neal’s hair? Will super-patriot Rhino be a heel for feuding with a former serviceman?Another solid week for Eric Young, who is doing the best work of his career, both in and out of the ring.
To the back! Lauren interviews Sharmell, who complains about being sent on errands like a carrier pigeon. They find Matt Morgan in the back, talking on his cell phone. When she tells him that Kurt wants to see him, he immediately hangs up, grabs her, spins her around, and gushes like a Twi-hard at a Robert Pattinson autograph session over finally joining the MEM and asking how many zeros will be at the end of his check. He grabs Sharmell’s arm after putting her down and drags her off to meet Kurt.
DGT: Funny stuff here. Good comic timing between Sharmell and Morgan.
To the back! JB is with Angle, holding court in the MEM locker room. Angle tells an overly-excited Morgan that he isn’t in the MEM yet, that he is being taken under very serious consideration, and that he still has a few things that he needs to do. Morgan questions this. Angle hints that he wants Morgan to take out Daniels so that Daniels can’t help AJ Styles during the main event match. Morgan agrees, but tells Angle that his patience is wearing thin, and that Angle had better make the right decision and make it soon. Morgan leaves, and the rest of the MEM express outrage at his insolence.
DGT: I like Morgan better when he’s as much of a jerk to the MEM as he is to everyone else. The best part is that he says and does all of the same things that they do, but he does it to them, and they can’t see it and get mad about it. Every word he says could come straight out of Angle’s mouth (and probably did).
To the video package! Sarita debuts in two weeks. Yaay!!!
Match #3: Awesome Kong (w/ Raisha Saeed) and Tara defeat The Beautiful People: No tension or issues between Kong and Tara, which is actually good. One thing at a time. Their feud is going to happen, but there’s enough going on with The Beautiful People and the title hunt right now that anything else needs to wait. This was a fun match, though not as technically sound as it could have been. Kong hits Velvet Sky with the Implant Buster for the win, and Tara puts the live tarantula on Sky’s stomach. Angelina Love and Madison Rayne run screaming to the back.
DGT: Tara did not wear much or heavy make-up this time. I actually like that choice. Kong’s facial expression when she saw the real tarantula was priceless! I’m not crazy about the live tarantula gimmick, simply because Tara doesn’t NEED it and it seems like a bit much for no reason, but I’m riding with it for now. Mike Tenay needs to not speak.
To the back! Lauren is with a hysterical Angelina Love. Love doesn’t care as much about Velvet Sky getting the tarantula put on her as she does the possibility that it could end up crawling on her. Lauren asks Love what’s on her shoulder, and Love runs away screaming as Lauren smiles.
To the Team 3D video package for “Victory Road.”
DGT: This sort of video package would be great for the guys who actually need them.
Match #4: Booker T (w/ Sharmell) and Scott Steiner defeat Team 3D: The winners of this match face Beer Money at “Victory Road” for the tag team titles. Beer Money came out first to join the commentary table. Total respectful faces the entire time. For the first time (that I can recall), the faces get annoyed with Don West’s comments and blatant kissing up, which was kind of funny. In-ring, this was not a good match. Booker and Steiner are particularly bad. No one in the match demonstrated why they should be tag team champions. If you saw identical ring work on an indy guy, you’d say that he was worthless. Sheik Abdul Bashir and Kiyoshi (in street clothes and no face paint) come down to the announce table and attack Beer Money. They fight out of the area. The British Invasion interferes when Rob Terry stops Devon from getting the tables. Brutus Magnus smashes Brother Ray in the head with the stolen “Feast or Fired” briefcase and lays Booker T’s prone body across Ray before bailing out of the ring.
DGT: In one sense, this wasn’t so bad because Booker and Steiner didn’t actually win anything. The British Invasion interfered and handed them the win on a silver platter. That makes it ok. It’s not just having tag team experience, it’s with whom you’re teaming. How often have Booker and Steiner teamed WITH EACH OTHER? In any case, this set-up just adds to the ever-growing fear that the MEM is going to get the World Heavyweight title, the Legends title, and the Tag Team titles at “Victory Road.” Are there words enough to explain how bad that is? If there were multiple factions between whom titles and power shifted, that would be great, and one group having everything would actually be intriguing. Unfortuantely, there is no such set-up here.
Match #5: Jethro Holliday vs. “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal never happened. Holliday came to the ring, but Lethal was beaten up backstage by Abyss in the latter’s hunt for Dr. Stevie. Consequences Creed tried to help, but Abyss beat him up too. Abyss comes out to the ring and takes out Holliday before grabbing a mic. Between the screaming, the spit flying, and the near-tears sounds, it was rough. Abyss announces that he’s through with therapy, and that when he finds Dr. Stevie, he’ll administer his own shock treatment. Dr. Stevie comes on the TNA-tron, in nightvision, and holding Lauren captive somewhere. He tells Abyss that he WILL show up to his office next week, or something bad mighthappen to Lauren.
DGT: Creepy, and not necessarily in the right way. Suspension of disbelief only goes so far. Terrible overacting from Lauren. The same people who had fits over Samoa Joe “kidnapping” people shouldn’t like this either.
Match #6: Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe defeat AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett: JB introduced everyone individually. Angle and Jarrett start, and proceed to ruin a perfectly good Joe/AJ match by putting the viewers to sleep. When Joe and AJ were in the ring, it was fine. This was a pretty bad World Heavyweight title match, period. Angle gets Jarrett in the Angle Lock, and Jarrett passes out rather than tap out. The rest of the MEM comes to the ring to celebrate. AJ grabs his Legends title and uses it to chase the MEM out of the ring, but Joe gets back in and takes AJ down. The MEM beats AJ down while Nash holds the Legends title belt. Matt Morgan is seen destroying Daniels in the back, as Angle instructed earlier. Nash is about to smash the Legends title belt into AJ’s head while the MEM holds him down, but the lights go out! Sting appears in the ring, and takes out each MEMber with baseball bat shots. In the pandemonium, Angle’s World Heavyweight title belt was left in the ring, and Sting holds it up over his own head. The lights go out again, and when they come back on, Sting and the World Heavyweight title belt have vanished!
DGT: Angle retains his title. Wow, who knew? JB is a great ring announcer, honestly. Having him introduce main events makes them feel more important, somehow. Joe coming out to the MEM music, but not wearing anything even remotely associated with the MEM was nice. Even Don West pointed out that this wasn’t a good idea for a match, and that Jarrett had let his emotions get the best of him when he made it. Sting’s appearance at the end was cool, but baseball bat shots are like sledgehammer shots. They’re pointless because they look so fake. If you’re going to hit someone with a baseball bat, you’re going to swing it like Steiner swings the steel pipe.
FINAL THOUGHTS: The point of this, and any, episode of “iMPACT” is to build to the next ppv and make fans want to see it. On paper, this show did that. Beer Money now knows they’re facing Booker and Steiner, who used their MEM power to “cut in line” for a tag team title shot at the ppv. The British Invasion cost Team 3D a win and a title shot, so that feud continues on in a good direction. The Foley/Angle rematch is about as interesting as it can be, and with Foley’s heelishness suddenly played down (as it would have to be against Angle), one wonders just what he’s going to do. Nash gets a shot at AJ’s Legends title, and the “love of the buisiness” versus “for the money” set-up could be good. COULD be. Morgan continues to do whatever will get him in the MEM, but does anyone else smell a Morgan face turn? He’s been positioned as a future main eventer for a reason. If the MEM keeps stringing him along, making him do things that benefit them and never intending to actually let him be a MEMber, and Morgan eventually realizes this and snaps, he’d be perfectly set up to go after Samoa Joe for being the young guy in the MEM and stealing his spot, essentially. Morgan could then decide that he can be a main eventer, legend, and top money guy simply because he is that good, and he would be in a leadership position for a Frontline/Originals type of group. Hey, it’s a thought. The Knockouts title scene looks good, with Tara gunning for a now-terrified Angelina Love, and a Tara/Kong program setting up for the future. On paper, this show looked good. Watching it, however, it was rather boring. Too much talking, too many segments, too much MEM, not enough wrestling, not enough GOOD wrestling, and a complete lack of Daffney. Blasphemy! TNA, you have deprived me of Chris Sabin for two weeks in a row. Don’t make me come over there! Soulless Philistines!
Check back next week for more “Impact” Impressions, and sooner than that for BWF’s review of “Smackdown,” ThinkSoJoe’s Thoughts, and more Random Randomness from JT!
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