TNA “Impact” Review & Thoughts – 12/11/08By Drowgoddess · · Leave a Comment
Let’s cross the line, people!
Tonight’s “Impact” opens with a video package recap of the “Final Resolution” pay-per-view. The Main Event Mafia makes their grand entrance, and they have something to say! Angle informs us all that things went down exactly as the MEM had planned. His working for TNA was great, he continues, until his boss got jealous of him due to all the press he received. Jarrett’s envy, and attempts to keep Angle down, are what caused this situation to end up here. Hate you, hate you, hate you? Check. Threats against three young daughters? Check. Last week, it was “I’m obsessed with Jeff Jarrett, I think about him morning, noon, and night.” This week, it’s “You’re jealous of me, I hate you?” Who writes this junior high, vaguely homoerotic drivel? Pro wrestling is not a “Twilight” novel, for Pete’s sake! Whoever Pete is.
We are saved by the Phenomenal One! AJ Styles comes to the ring and calls out Sting for accepting a cheap, tainted victory (Nash hitting Joe in the balls) after preaching about honor and respect for the past six months. Tell him, AJ! Angle interrupts, and tells AJ to meet Sting in the ring like a man, face to face. Ye gods, stop making the Front Line fall for this! It doesn’t make the fans get behind the fearless, never-say-die hero. It makes them roll their eyes in frustration at what morons the Front Line is for dancing to that tune every week. Will someone please call out the MEM on this tactic? If the audience can see it, acknowledge it. AJ sows more of a clue than anyone else thus far in this regard, and demands that the rest of the MEM leave the ring. This is between him and Sting, no one else. The MEM obliges, but they stay at ringside. AJ goes off on Sting, who takes it until deciding that the suitable retort is to punch AJ in the face. The MEM joins the AJ beatdown, as you all know. The Front Line hits the ring, and the MEM scatter.
To the back! Jarrett can’t function as the founder/owner of TNA and an active wrestler at the same time. Good. He hands over “the stroke” of running TNA to Mick Foley. For the time being. Hmm.
Tenay and West recap the reason for the X-Division tournament. They send it to the back, where Lauren is with the Motor City Machine Guns. She says that they are the guys everyone has been talking about, and that they may even have made themselves targets. Alex Shelley takes over, and tells her that she has a talent for stating the obvious. It’s crystal clear that they’re targets, because they tell the truth. Hey, if he’s lyin’, he’s dyin’, and he’s not dead yet! They called out Mick Foley on his lack of relevance and style. Now they’re getting attacked by a video game character! How do they prepare for that? Do they get a good cheat code? The Guns may have gotten screwed at “Final Resolution,” but they’re making the best of the situation. Shelley will concentrate on getting the X-Division title around his waist because Detroit needs heroes. Shelley and Sabin exit with great enthusiasm.
Match #1: Eric Young defeats Sheik Abdul Bashir (X-Division title qualifying match): It’s a definite that we’re getting a new champion now, but the assumption is that it has to be Eric Young. He has won the belt twice, only to have decisions reversed and lose it. It pretty much has to be him at this point, but Eric Young as X-Division champion just doesn’t ring true. As was discussed on a different thread, Eric Young is a completely likeable guy and a good performer. I saw him live at a local indy promotion, and the man can play to a live crowd like nobody’s business and have them eating out of his hand. He just doesn’t seem to be the guy to turn to in order to elevate the status and dignity of the X-Division title to what it was several years ago.
To the back! Another Brother Ray rallying talk. It’s good stuff, but are the Front Line so demoralized and incompetent that they need several of these in a broadcast? Ray gagging on whatever was in ODB’s flask was funny. HE announces that they aren’t going to sit around and wait for the MEM to take out one of them. He’s off to the ring to make Angle an offer he can’t refuse.
To the back! JB pimps the now-free TNA Mobile service. He is about to knock on the MEM’s door when it opens and out spills Mick Foley, laughing and roughhousing with the MEM like a group of schoolboys. Foley tells JB that he had forgotten just what a great group of guys the MEM is, and how much he enjoys being around them after all the time they’ve known each other and been on the road. They’re just misunderstood. Hmm. Teaser? Foreshadowing? A heel Foley would be interesting, if the MEM storyline weren’t already so lopsided and top-heavy.
Video package. Brutus Magnus is coming soon. That sounds like porn.
Match #2: Alex Shelley defeats “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal (X-Division title qualifying match): This match MIGHT have gone two minutes, which is pathetic. The match itself was quite good, with lots of interference from Chris Sabin. Lethal lost focus on Shelley, and got hit with the Air Raid Crash, which the announcers couldn’t (or didn’t even bother to) name. Every announcer should know and call every finishing move. Period. After a post-match celebration with Alex Shelley, Chris Sabin grabs the mic and calls out Mick Foley. The future Mr. Drowgoddess tells Foley that he has to give him props for succeeding in doing what the Knockouts have been trying and failing to do for months – screw the Motor City Machine Guns! Rawr. The Guns, he continues, gave Foley a chance to fix the tag team title situation, to give them the title shot that they won and deserve, but Foley didn’t do it. Because they are such fine gentlemen, they’ll give him another chance. Don’t make them come back there and get him, because if they do, Foley won’t like what’s going to happen. All personal bias aside, this is by far the best promo Chris Sabin has done. The delivery was perfect. This is also the moment that the lights go out, Suicide enters on the zip line, and proceeds to take out both Sabin and Shelley. Again. Look, the beatdowns aren’t the problem here. It’s the same WWE problem of having one guy, singlehandedly and with minimal effort, destroying a tag team that’s supposed to be one of the best ones anywhere. The first time, sure, there was the element of surprise. After that, it shouldn’t even be close. The Suicide entrance is cool, but if he does it every time, it’s going to get old really fast. I’m curious to see what they do with the Suicide character. Keeping him around as is may not work in the long term, but if Suicide is just a device to bring in someone else, that could work.
To the back! Matt Morgan is bitching out Abyss for his unbelievable stupidity last week in drinking with Beer Money. If they are such best friends, why is it only now that the subject is being mentioned? Despite Morgan’s demands for his return, “the Monster” is dead, buried, and decomposing. Abyss thinks that “The Family Guy” is real? WTF??? Abyss is no longer Kane. He’s Kane’s retarded brother who not only rode the short bus to school, he had to be handcuffed to the luggage rack! Oh, make it stop. Please.
A very well-done “Rough Cuts” segment. On James Storm. He comes off as a genuine, humble, self-sacrificing, devoted guy who overcame serious obstacles to get where he is today. This would be great, if not for the fact that in the match that is supposed to immediately follow this touching segment, HE’S A HEEL!!! He cheats to win matches by smashing beer bottles over people’s heads and hitting them in the faces with brass knuckles. Fans aren’t supposed to relate to the heels, they’re supposed to want to see them get their backsides handed to them. How hard can this concept be to grasp?
Match #3: James Storm defeats Abyss (Beer Bottle on a Pole match): I wish to God I could say that I was making that part up. Nope! It was actually a bucket of beer bottles, with a paper sign on it. No match involving the words “on a pole” can result in anything positive. Beer Money versus Abyss and Matt Morgan does nothing for me, mostly because the latter do nothing for me as a tag team. Beer Money has been great, but if they aren’t fighting LAX or the MCMGs, they’re being wasted.
To the back! More MEM interview time. Is this why the Shelley/Lethal match only got two minutes? What does Sting think about the earlier comments of AJ Styles? Nash interrupts and speaks for him, saying that the Front Line stood back and let their friend get hit in the balls, so it’s their fault. If he hadn’t done that, one of the Front Line guys would have done it to them. The MEM starts to close in on JB, accusing him of being part of the Front Line, which JB vehemently denies. When your interviewer/ring announcer denies being associated with you, your faction is not doing well. Angle makes everyone shut up and watch the tv, as Brother Ray has come out to the ring.
To the ring! Brother Ray challenges Angle to a one-on-one match. Angle comes out. The MEM has to leave the building. The Front Line has to leave the building. Just them. Angle accepts, and they shake hands.
To the back! In the Front Line locker room, no one believes that the MEM will actually leave and stay gone. Brother Ray essentially admits that they are right, but he gave his word. He has to be able to trust the handshake of an Olympic gold medalist. Brother Ray looks like an idiot now. He made the challenge. He had to know it would probably be accepted. He had to know that the MEM would come back and jump him. Why is he acting like he just now realized this? Ray tells the Front Line to leave the building. The Motor City Machine Guns jump up at once and comply, wishing him luck as they leave. The rest are more reluctant, but they all go. Even Devon.
To the back! The MEM locker room. Angle tells the MEM to leave, and that he’ll be done soon. As the MEM exit, Booker drops the god-awful accent and warns Angle about Brother Ray. Angle says that he’s got it.
More fake Sarah Palin-ness! The Beautiful People are still totally buying into the fake Palin. Kip almost reveals her as a fake, but Angelina stops him from talking. Yes, it’s painfully bad and already out-of-date. However, the fact that the Beautiful People are the only two who believe that this is the actual Palin makes it funny. A little.
Time for the “Feast or Fired” cases to be opened! As many people predicted, Hernandez got the World Heavyweight title shot. Homicide got the X-Division title shot. Curry Man got fired. It was sad and funny at the same time because Curry Man’s English was not good enough for him to understand that he was fired and being taken away at once. He thought he was signing another contract. The farewell video package covered mostly one match, but was well-done.
Match #4: Christy Hemme defeats Sojourner Bolt: IS the Rock and Rave Infection no more? Hemme has her own music, and is totally babyface now. She’s better now than she was, but she’s no MsChif. After scoring the victory, Hemme goes to hug Bolt, who slaps her, and they fight. Once again, security has to do a pull-apart.
Match #5: Brother Ray vs. Kurt Angle goes to a double countout: Although it did not seem to be said when the challenge was made, apparently if Brother Ray won, the Main Event Mafia was disbanded and if Kurt Angle won, the Front Line was disbanded. Talk about WAAAY too early to be having a stipulation like this. In any case, they brawl all over the place, and ignore all referee attempts to get the match back in the ring. After a ten-count, both men are counted out and the match is thrown out. They continue to fight to the outside of the building, and this is where the Main Event Mafia attacks Brother Ray with, among other things, a 2×4. The Front Line should have turned up here to take on the MEM, and all levels of hell broke loose. That would have made them look cool. Instead, the Front Line once again look like complete and total smegheads (“Red Dwarf” in the house!) for not anticipating this. Remember the promos a few weeks back, before Rhino and Team 3D took over the Front Line? The promos where the Motor City Machine Guns favored the “by any means necessary” approach, and Joe and AJ would not go for it? Remember when the Guns tried to help Jay Lethal beat Sting for the World title and Lethal refused, costing himself the title? Had this difference of opinion actually been given more focus before, the Front Line having to collectively decide what path they wanted to take would be much more compelling than simply being destroyed every week due to stupidity. In any case the Main Event Mafia beat Brother Ray senseless and leave him in a dumpster, while Sting does not participate and walks away.
That’s it for this week. Peace out,
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