“Impact” Impressions 4/9/092 Comments
Better late than never, right?
Oh, just go with it, people!
This past week’s “Impact” just so happened to fall on my birthday, which was pretty cool. What was not in the least bit cool was my lack of internet connection, preventing me from joining in the combination “Impact”/birthday thread, and getting a review for this site posted in a timely manner. Hey, it could be worse. At least this isn’t a site that waits almost a full week to post a review of the previous week’s show. But I digress.
Let’s cross that line, people! Assuming that you’re sober enough to find it in the first place.
We open with a video package detailing several of the ongoing storylines. Foley’s “First Blood” match is pushed heavily. This week’s “Dragonball Z”-esque title is “Who’s Calling the Shots?” Mike Tenay and Don West talk up the Booker T vs. Samoa Joe match later in the program that determines which team gets the advantage in the “Lethal Lockdown” match. As closely as I follow this, I’m still not clear on what precisely that advantage is. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
To the ring! It’s the Main Event Mafia. And their group entrance music. Kurt Angle leads, flanked by his personal security team. Booker T and Sharmell are not amongst the group. Sting is last in line. Sting asks Jeff Jarrett to join him in the ring. Somehow, we know he will. Jarrett’s music plays, and The Founder of TNA (drink) hits the ring. The TNA World Heavyweight Champion is not happy. Sting complains that Mick Foley pulled rank over Jeff Jarrett last week by booking Sting in a “warm-up” match against Samoa Joe. Since Sting is facing Foley at the upcoming “Lockdown” ppv, that’s hardly fair. Jarrett has business to conduct, and really doesn’t need Sting getting up in his face about this. Jarret tries to leave the ring, but Sting stops him. Sting just wants to hear from Jarrett’s own lips whether or not Foley is calling the shots now. Jarret tells Sting that Foley is not calling the shots, that The King of the Mountain is running the show. Sting is pleased, and says that he’s glad to know that he’s dealing with the man in charge. If he had to have a warm-up match for the ppv booked by Foley, it’s only right that this week, Sting gets to book Foley in a warm-up match as well. Scott Steiner tells Jarrett that he could take another road, the joining the MEM road. Jarrett says that such a thought is not even an option. Steiner wants to go backstage and discuss it. However, before Jarrett can say anything to such a proposition, the MEM is interrupted by-
THE MOTOR CITY MACHINE GUNS!!!!! (birthday present #1)
The Guns are sporting thier IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship title belts. The ones that get almost no mention or focus? Yes, those belts. Alex Shelley has a mic. Shelley tells Sting and Jarrett that they were in the back, busily playing “Resident Evil V” and “Street Fighter IV” on the X-box, when they heard that Sting wanted someone to fight Mick Foley. Shelley is pretty sure that Foley runs TNA, and says so. He offers up the services of the MCMG for hire, and challenges Foley to a handicap match against himself and Chris Sabin. Shelley brings up the Turkey Bowl from last November, and calls it the worst, most humiliating day of his career. Because of Mick Foley, he was forced to wear a turkey suit that smelled like burnt hair on national television. He has thought about that moment every day since, and has quietly bided his time for a chance to get even with Foley. This is that chance.
Side note: Why didn’t we see a replay of Alex Shelley being forced into the turkey suit? Some people watching probably never even saw it. We all know that we’re watching a show. It’s not as if it’s a suspension of disbelief that the video footage of such a thing would be available to air at a moment’s notice. Shelley and Sabin could even have (gasp) been allowed enough promo time to introduce the clip themselves, and react to seeing it again appropriately.
In any case, Sting approves, and Jarrett grants the match. Regardless of the circumstances, the MCMG are in the main event against Mick Foley! (birthday present #2) Shocking and miraculous as it may seem, Kurt Angle did not talk during this entire thing! A trend? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Yeah, I know, but still!
To the back! Jeremy Borash asks Mick Foley his thoughts on the handicap match. Foley laughs about the whole thing, and refers to the MCMG as “white meat babyfaces.” Um, ok. He goes on to talk about “tweaking” the match, but leaves before JB can get an explanation out of him.
To the back! JB is with Foley and Jarrett. Foley is in bizarro mode, and thanks Jarrett for the match, but wants to “tweak” it a little. He continues to annoy Jarrett before leaving. JB asks Jarrett if something is bothering him, but Scott Steiner enters, and Jarrett kicks JB out. Hmm.
Match #1: Sheik Abdul Bashir (w/ Kiyoshi and Team No Limit) defeats Suicide [non-title match]: When did this happen? Did Bashir and the entire Japanese contingent get thrown together simply because they’re all brown, and would therefore naturally want to hang out? The only one who has clearly and consistently been a heel is Bashir. Could we at least get some kind of explanation? It’s already been established that the Japanese guys don’t speak English (thank you , Kurt Angle), so how would Bashir be able to talk to them? I’m just sayin’. The match itself went about four minutes. Not that it mattered, as Tenay and West talked about the Main Event Mafia the whole time. Can’t we hook them up to shock collars and zap them when they do that? Please? Nice tactics of No Limit attacking Suicide on the floor while the ref was distracted, and Kiyoshi sneaking into the ring to kick Suicide. Bashir DDTs Suicide onto the X-Division title belt for the win, which was nice. The lights go out, and Suicide vanishes by the time they come up again. Suicide appears to be getting a much bigger reaction than he was, so many question the wisdom of having him lose matches right now. It wasn’t a clean one-on-one loss, though. The super hero video game character has a chink in the armor, and if a group of guys can take him down, it makes the X-scape match at “Lockdown” more compelling because they’ve established the possibility that he CAN lose.
To the back! The Beautiful People and Madison Rayne (I refuse to call them by their sorority name of “Mi Pi Sexy”) are walking. With scissors. Ah, the jokes write themselves, don’t they?
To the back! Navy veteran Jesse Neal is with Rhino. Rhino does most of the talking. From everything that I’ve read, the story is true, and not a pathetic attempt by TNA creative to play the emotional patriotism card. Neal was on the USS Cole when it was attacked by terrorists in Yemen. That was how he lost a close friend who had shared his love of wrestling. He wants to wrestle, and every match will be in memory of his friend. Rhino says that he’ll be honored to train him. In real life, Neal trains at Team 3D’s school. Either way, he’s a former Navy guy who is legitimately training to wrestle. Good for him. Unfortunately, does anyone else see a collision course between Neal and Rhino and Bashir and the Japanese contingent? As much as I hope they don’t….
To the announce table! Tenay and West talk about upcoming events. For some reason, they think that anyone will actually give two tugs of a dead dog’s cock that “Survivor: Amazon” winner Jenna Moresca will be at the “Lockdown” fan convention. More importantly, The Beautiful People and Madison Rayne jump Raisha Saeed in the back, pull off her head covering, and cut off some of her hair. Saeed’s back stays turned to the camera at all times, so her face is never shown. I guess Kong and Saeed are official faces now.
To the “Rough Cuts” segment! Team 3D talks about their wrestling academy. They congratulate themselves profusely for passing the torch to the next generation and training new guys when lots of veterans won’t. It was a nice package, but I’m sorry, do you want a cookie? There’s quite a lot of self-congratulation going on in TNA amongst the “veteran” crowd about how they put over the younger guys, bring up the next generation, and so on, and that’s just not true. Yes, Team 3D and Beer Money are doing very well. Yes, Mick Foley seems to be keen on working with the Motor City Machine Guns, to a degree. Not much else can be said. Team 3D and the rest of the “veteran” crew will truly be worthy of the accolades they bestow upon themselves when they are no longer the focus of the show. The end.
To the Mike Tenay sit-down interview! Sting tells the story of Mick Foley losing an ear in Germany. He goes on to say that there would be no coming back for him from a major injury this time, and plays up Foley’s unpredictability. This was long, but one of the better Sting promos. He never was a good talker, but his recent TNA work has been the best of his career.
To the back! Lauren rips Abyss a new one for taking the abuse heaped upon him last week by Dr. Stevie. Is she really his girlfriend now? She finally agrees not to report Dr. Stevie, but next week, she’s attending Abyss’s therapy session with him, and Dr. Stevie is going to know everything! Is anyone else uncertain as to what that means?
To the ring! It’s Mick Foley. “To tweak or not to tweak? That is the question.” Ah, Mickles, you kill me! He holds up the work in progress that is his next book, “Crossing the Line.” He decided to tweak the match tonight because of what was in this notebook. Two of his sons, Dewey and Huey (please tell me that someone else thought, “Where’s Louie?”), wanted to look like the Motor City Machine Guns, specifically with haircuts like Alex Shelley. A birthday card with drawings of the MCMG and birthday messages is shown. Foley shows a picture of his younger son with long, golden hair. He says that he went away on the road for a few days, and he came back to see his son sporting an Alex Shelley haircut. A photo confirming this is shown. Foley makes the main event match a “First Blood” match because he wants to make sure that no child ever wants to look anything like Alex Shelley ever again. Tonight, he’s going to carve that kid up like a Thanksgiving turkey. He has tried to keep his home a “Machine Gun-free zone,” and Ted Nugent wouldn’t even want these Guns around. The whole promo was very effective and well-done. Foley came off as angry that his kids idolized someone other than him, and the idea of slaughtering your kids’ heroes because they’re your kids’ heroes is rather heelish. Hopefully, that’s the point they’re going for.
To the back! JB asks the MEM about Sharmell. In case anyone forgot, Samoa Joe walked out of the arena with Sharmell slung over his shoulder. Booker T sits mournfully in a chair, his voice taking a serious tone and nearly breaking. After his very public admission that he uses his TNA television time as free audition time for Hollywood, taking anything that he says on the show seriously is impossible. Today, Mr. BT Huffman (thanks SABUISGOD!) is going for the bereaved parent/spouse role, possibly along the lines of Sean Penn in “Mystic River.” Sharmell hasn’t been the same since Joe took her out of the arena. She hasn’t said a word, and he has no idea what happened. Tonight, what Booker T does to Joe will be left up to Joe’s imagination. Booker leaves, appropriately distressed. Kurt Angle speaks for the first time tonight (GASP!). He says that the match won’t be about the advantage for the “Lethal Lockdown” match. He’s going to the ring with Booker, and if Joe wants to unleash the Nation of Violence, he can unleash it on Angle.
To the back! AJ Styles offers to come to the ring with Joe to balance out Angle. Joe tells AJ that, as far as AJ is concerned, his Nation of Violence is a Nation of One. Joe walks away, but AJ’s sarcastic response of “Oh, really?” rings out loud and clear.
Match #2: Samoa Joe defeats Booker T: This match didn’t even go two minutes. I’m perfectly ok with that. Booker is distracted and distraught. Joe is psychopathic. Why shouldn’t it go like that? Angle trips up Joe and hands Booker a chair, but AJ runs in and pulls the chair away from Angle before attacking him. Joe looked not at all pleased that AJ had shown up. Team Angle and TEam Jarrett are now tied at 1-1 for the “Lethal Lockdown” advantage. Whatever that is.
To the amusement park! Cody Deaner and ODB are on a date. Painfully horrible stuff. They meet a guy in a Woody Woodpecker costume. They played with balls. Yes, all this for some “pecker and balls” jokes. ODB kisses Deaner on the cheek at the end, and he completely flips out. Please end this now.
To the “Rough Cuts” segment! Another look at Team 3D. They talk about the greatest tag teams in history, and the titles that they’ve won in other companies.
To the back! Kevin Nash hits on Jenna Moresca. Again. Ok, wait. So you’re telling me that if I win a reality tv show by getting naked for snack food, pose naked in a magazine, and claim to be a lifelong wrestling fan, I’ll get signed to a contract where I get paid more than real wrestlers to train to actually wrestle in the ring, and get put in a romantic storyline with my favorite wrestler? Where do I sign up???
To the back! Speaking of, Lauren interviews the MCMG. More talk of video games. Shelley announces that they’re so confident that they’ll walk out of this match victorious, that they’ll put their IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship title belts on the line. Foley can have them if he beats them. Shelley knows that Mick can barely get out of bed in the morning, and they aren’t at all concerned. Chris Sabin gets the mic, and the future Mr. Drowgoddess says that they are going to do what they do best, make a name for themselves. Yes.
Match #3: James Storm (w/ Robert Roode) defeats Scott Steiner (w/ Kevin Nash) by DQ: Why exactly this match happened is anyone’s guess. Team 3D came out to do commentary. Towards the end of the match, Nash interferes and hits Storm with Steiner’s massive pipe (that looks so wrong when I type it), causing a DQ. Team 3D rushes the ring and chases off the Main Event Mafia. More mutual respect between Team 3D and Beer Money.
To the back! The Beautiful People are on their golden thrones. JB asks them about the match tonight. Angelina Love wants to be the Number One Contender to the Knockouts title. Raisha Saeed won’t make the match tonight, as they left her in a pool of her own blood, hair, and vomit. Hold on, did I miss something? I watched it, and I saw hair. No blood, no vomit. Angelina Love is such a dirty pirate hooker. She says untrue things.
Match #4: Awesome Kong defeats Madison Rayne and Velvet Sky: This was supposed to be a tag team match, and it became a handicap match. Fair enough. Not even two minutes did it go. Kong pins Velvet Sky, but Angelina Love runs down and the trio attempts to cut Kong’s hair. They fail, and Taylor Wilde makes the save. No one, I repeat, NO ONE should have to make a save for Awesome Kong.
To the back! JB asks Jarrett what’s going on with Steiner behind closed doors. Jarrett tells JB that it’s none of his business. However, next week, a former TNA champion will turn up for the deciding match in the “Lethal Lockdown” advantage series. The advantage is to have an extra man in the cage when the match starts. Ah, I see. This unknown personage will face Kevin Nash. Please try to control your hysterical laughter. I know. It’s difficult.
To the ring! Sting gets a full entrance as “Special Enforcer.” Special like the Olympics.
Match #5: The Motor City Machine Guns defeat Mick Foley in a “First Blood” match: Oh. My. God. Not only were they in the main event, they technically got a victory. YES! *”Hallelujah Chorus” plays* Foley brought his barbed-wire baseball bat to the ring, and action started off between Foley and Shelley. They end up on the floor outside, where Sabin hits a sweet missile drop kick from the apron on Foley, causing him to crash most painfully. Beautiful double suicide dive from the Guns, sending Foley into the barricade. We go to a commercial break here. When we return, it’s Foley and Sabin in the ring. Shelley hits Foley with a flying forearm. Another Sabin missile drop kick, and stereo enziguris. Shelley is in. From the apron, Sabin makes the Sting battle cry and pounds his chest like an angry gorilla. Sting is angry at this mockery, and the future Mr. Drowgoddess is yanked from the apron and planted on the floor with a Scorpion Death Drop. Meanwhile, back in the ring, Foley hits Shelley with the double-arm DDT, pulls out Mr. Socko, and shoves it down Shelly’s throat. When Foley pulls the sock back, it has blood on it. The referee tries to call for the bell, but Foley won’t allow it. He grabs the mic and says that this little bit isn’t what he promised, or what he’s going to deliver. “Shelley, I’m going to make you suffer.” Foley goes for his barbed-wire baseball bat, and is about to smash Shelley in the groin with it, but Sting steps up and slams a steel chair into Foley’s head. Foley is busted open, and Sting makes the ref declare the MCMG the winners of the match. This is just before Foley and Sting brawl out on the floor.
Yes, I know that we’re lucky to get what we got. Yes, I know that nothing more should be expected. That the MCMG were really pawns in the Sting/Foley feud is not surprising. It just makes them look incredibly weak that they couldn’t beat Foley without help from Sting, who basically handed them the match victory. Alex Shelley has been singled out from the beginning as the problem child, and the person who has issues with Foley, and Chris Sabin is just kind of there. If the MCMG are going to be treated as a unit, everything can’t be Alex Shelley’s fault. It’s a minor thing, but it needs addressing. The top three matches for “Lockdown” are looking very good. One can’t really fault the build for Sting/Foley, Team 3D/Beer Money, or the “Lethal Lockdown” match. The rest of the card seems haphazard and thrown together. Even if it isn’t, it hasn’t been addressed well on television. There’s one more week to make us want to buy “Lockdown.” Let’s see what TNA comes up with.