Thursday, February 17, 2011

TNA iMPACT! 2/17/11

TNA iMPACT! 2/17/11
February 17th, 2011
Impact Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: ???

"The Boy is Back in Town"

We're four days removed from the Against All Odds PPV and the big story is that we've got a new TNA World champion in Jeff Hardy, who defeated Mr. Anderson in a ladder match. Tonight Hardy has to defend that title against Rob Van Dam however, so he has no time to rest. lso at Against All Odds Jeff Jarrett defeated Kurt Angle, forcing him to have to walk his ex-wife Karen down the aisle in a few weeks.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz

We open up the show with Eric Bischoff and the rest of the members of Immortal (minus Jeff Jarrett and Jeff Hardy) coming to the ring. Bischoff does a big introduction for Jeff Hardy and he comes out to join them, rainbow-colored title-belt in tow. Jeff looks like he just came out of a weeklong meth binge, but that's nothing new. Bischoff says that despite Fortune turning on them, Immortal is still in power and back in control. Bischoff lets us know Jarrett is off working on his wedding vows while Hulk Hogan won't be back until March 3rd. Bischoff calls out Ric Flair, demanding to know what he was thinking when Fortune turned on Immortal. Bischoff gives Flair a week to explain himself, but Flair's music hits and he comes down to the ring to join us. He tells Immortal that they all grew up on Ric Flair and that no one tells him what to do. Flair reminds us he's a wrestling god, and that wraps up our opening segment.

Via satellite we see Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle recieving massages, talking about their plans for the big renewal of their wedding vows and how they're going to humiliate Kurt Angle further.

When we return from the commercial break AJ Styles and Matt Hardy are brawling in the backstage area, and members of both Fortune and Immortal join in. It's not an episode of iMPACT! without some tedious backstage brawling after all, now is it?

We cut to Hernandez, who made his big return to TNA last week, where he shares a few words in Spanish with both Sarita and her "cousin" Rosita.

Doug Williams vs. Hernandez

Hernandez attacks Williams from behind before he can even make it to the ring. Inside the ring now the bell rings and Hernandez starts choking Williams with his T-shirt. Suddenly Velvet Sky appears from the back and starts brawling with Sarita and Rosita at ringside. Angelina Love comes down to help out, meanwhile Hernandez just continues to choke Williams with his shirt. Hernandez gives Williams the Border Toss and wins it at 1:59. Just your basic squash match to get the newly returned Hernandez over, but why did Williams have to do the job? ½*

Backstage Bischoff is on the phone with some of the Spike TV network executives, who he complains to about the big Jeff Hardy-RVD title match tonight to no avail.

When we return from the commercial break the Pope D'Angelo Dinero is in the ring surrounded by a whole luau setup, with tiki torches, a cooked pig on a table and other various island-themed decorations. He calls the pig on the table a "Sloppy Joe", obviously referring to Samoa Joe, whom he lost to last Sunday. Pope starts recounting the tale of Jesus Christ feeding thousands with a single loaf of bread, and then he says he's going to feed everyone in attendance. Did he just compare himself to Jesus Christ of Nazareth? Apparently Jesus texted Pope, so it's all cool. Joe's music hits but Okato (formerly Okada) comes up from behind while the Pope is distracted, and Joe hits the ring and gives Pope the Muscle Buster right through the buffet table in the ring! Nice little spot there.

Back from the commercial break Robbie E is in the ring with Cookie, where he complains about how he wasn't prepared to face Kaz last Sunday, but tonight he is ready for the rematch. Backstage we see Kazarian making out with Traci Brooks, his real life wife. Well that's odd, we haven't seen Traci in well over a year and neither Tenay or Taz seem particularly surprised that she's here tonight.

TNA X-Division Title Match
Kazarian (C) vs. Robbie E

These two had an incredibly mediocre match last Sunday at the PPV, so hopefully this will be better. Before the match Kaz gets on the mic and says he's going to bring the X-Diision back to the forefront of TNA. Cookie gets sent to the back and we're off. Robbie starts laying in shots on Kaz in the corner, then hits a modified Russian leg sweep for only a one count. Big boot and Robbie tries to get a dirty pin with his foot on the ropes, but the ref sees it and refuses the count. Springboard back elbow gets Kaz a quick two. Kaz counters a suplex attempt and gives Robbie a spinning heel kick. Kaz sets up for the Omori Driver, but Cookie runs back down to the ring and attacks Kaz with her purse, which is the size of a trash can, to get Robbie DQed at 1:58. After the match Traci Brooks hits the ring and makes the save for her husband. I guess this means the Kaz-Robbie E feud isn't over, the prospects of which aren't exactly thrilling news. ½*

Backstage Ric Flair catches up with the members of Fortune. He says he's got "presents" for all of them, which turns out to be a gym-bag full of Smirnoff Ice. All of Fortune has been iced! The horror! They all chug some Smirnoff Ices like a bunch of fourteen year old girls and then we cut to commercial. Is Smirnoff Ice paying them for this constant product placement or what?

Matt Hardy vs. AJ Styles

This was set up earlier tonight and while it sounds good on paper, knowing TNA this will get about 2 minutes before an Immortal run-in. AJ hits the ring fast and the crowd is chanting for him already. He tosses Matt to the outside and then follows him out with a beautiful somersault senton! Back inside Matt hits the Side Effect for a two count. Suddenly Ric Flair comes down to ringside while Matt applies a weak chinlock. Styles Clash attempt by AJ gets blocked, and Matt nearly trips over himself bouncing off the ropes. AJ goes to springboard but Flair suddenly knocks him off the top rope. SWERVE! Twist of Hate wins it for Matt Hardy at 3:25. After the match Flair and Hardy beat down on AJ until Fortune makes the save. AJ hit a few of his usual fun spots, but Matt looked lost out there and the idea of yet ANOTHER swerve involving Ric Flair is just foolish. *

Back from the commercial break we cut to Jarrett and Karen again via satellite, where they're eating strawberries in a hot tub. Atleast Karen looks great in a bikini.

Mr. Anderson's music hits and comes down to the ring with an angry look on his face, grabbing a mic and skipping his usual entrance antics. He calls out Bischoff and Eric obliges. Anderson complains to Bischoff about RVD getting the first shot at Jeff Hardy's title (which prompts the crowd to chant "Triple Threat!", but when has TNA ever cared about what their fans want?). Bischoff explains to Anderson that this is the television business, and that if the network wants to see an RVD-Jeff Hardy match, they have to do it. Bischoff tells Anderson that maybe he wasn't picked for the match tonight because of his coarse language and constant use of the word "asshole". Anderson just starts screaming the word asshole into Bischoff's face like a madman on amphetamines, which I guess is TNA's idea of edgy television in opposition to the WWE's PG rules. Bischoff says the best he can do is make Anderson the special guest referee for the title match, which Anderson accepts. He shakes Bischoff's hand then gives him a Mic Check.

Backstage Velvet Sky tells Winter (Katie Lea Burchill) that she better stay away from ringside tonight during her match. Winter grabs a pair of scissors while Velvet looks at herself in the mirror, possibly contemplating murdering Velvet right then and there. Angelina Love walks in and we get more lesbian innuendo between the two before cutting to commercial.

When we return from commercial AJ Styles is pissed off backstage, trying to understand why Flair would betray him. He challenges Flair to a match next week on iMPACT!

Angelina Love/Velvet Sky vs. Sarita/Rosita

Rosita is Thea Trinidad, a recently signed Knockout who was introduced last week as Sarita's kayfabe cousin. The Beautiful People attack them before the bell even rings and we're off. Velvet tries choking Sarita in the corner with her boot for a bit, then follows it with a bulldog. Back elbow from Sarita and Rosita tags in now. Angelina tags in as well and she delivers an astoundingly bad-looking dropkick for a two count. Flying forearm and a body slam from Angelina, which brings Sarita in with the tag. Reverse DDT/backbreaker combo gets Angelina a two count. Velvet tags back in and Taz nearly loses control as Sarita shakes her hips. Sloppy headscissors from Velvet sends Sarita out, and Rosita hits a jawbreaker on her. Sarita gets the reluctant tag back in and now all four women are fighting both in and out of the ring. Another sloppy headscissors from Velvet on Sarita, but Rosita trips her up and holds her legs down from the outside and Sarita gets the cheating win at 3:49. After the match Velvet challenges Sarita to a match and Sarita accepts on the condition that Velvet puts her career on the line. It boggles my mind that these Knockouts matches routinely get more time than the males do on TV. Very sloppy stuff. ¼*

We cut to Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle (or I guess it would be Karen Jarrett now) in a limosuine, kissing eachother on their way to a fancy dinner Jarrett has arranged for them. Suddenly we cut to the middle of nowhere, where a random cameraman catches up with Kurt Angle who says he's on his way to crash Karen and Jeff's dinner party. Who are these random camera-men TNA apparently hire to roam the country at all times in case they see a TNA wrestler? Even by kayfabe standards it's silly.

When we return from the commercial break we see Madison Rayne and Tara talking backstage. Rayne says she went to TNA management and got them to get her a new challenger for her Knockouts title.

Cut to Scott Steiner somewhere, responding to a challenge for a posedown from Rob Terry, which he accepts. Glad we brought Scott back for such an Earth-shattering angle guys.

We get a quick video package highlighting the issues between Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam in 2010. Backstage Jeff tells us that tonight the RVD legend ends.

Jeff and Karen Jarrett are at a restaurant now, apparently having already eaten. They toast to Kurt Angle and their big renewal of their vows. Karen bitches at Jeff about how the wine isn't up to par so Jeff brngs the chef out and starts screaming at him, demanding to see the boss. Kurt Angle comes out from the kitchen now with a waiter's coat on and Jeff and Karen bail.

Backstage RVD promises to tear Jeff Hardy apart tonight.

When we return from the commercial break Taz and Mike Tenay run down what happened during the Bully Ray-Brother Devon street fight at Against All Odds this past Sunday. Apparently the footage is SO SHOCKING that Spike TV executives won't let them air it. Are you shitting me? How many times have we seen people put through tables on iMPACT? Nine, ten thousand times? Bully Ray comes out to the commentator's table now and starts yelling at them. Taz gets up and tells Ray to go away, and Ray threatens to smack Tenay. Things get heated but eventually Ray leaves to a loud chorus of boos. Atleast this Bully Ray character gets decent heat, even if the whole program he's working with Devon sucks and has given us utter crap like their Street Fight last Sunday.

TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Rob Van Dam

We've got a little less than 20 minutes to go before the show is over, so hopefully this will get some decent time. Mr. Anderson is your special guest referee here. Jeff takes his sweet time getting to the ring, entering through what appears to be a giant egg shrouded in mist on the entrance ramp, apparently in homage to Lady Gaga's entrance at the Grammys last week. Was Hector Guerrero having a yard sale or something? Jeff evades the lockup to start and tries hiding in the corner. Van Dam grabs him and sets him up on the top rope crotch-first and then drills him with a big kick off the top rope. Jeff bails to the outside and Van Dam meets him with a baseball slide. He suplexes Jeff onto the steel guardrail and then jumps off the apron with his signature kick and we cut to a commercial break. When we return RVD drops a leg on Jeff Hardy, draped over the apron. Slingshot legdrop from RVD gets a quick two count. Jeff begs for mercy in the corner but Van Dam will have none of it and he slams him down and then tries for the split-legged moonsault, but Jeff gets his knees up just in time to block it. Front suplex by Jeff gets a two count. Hardy slaps on a chinlock and the crowd starts to rally behind RVD, chanting his name. Whisper in the Wind from Jeff misses, and RVD hits a standing moonsault. Rolling Thunder from Van Dam. 1-2--NOO! Jeff kicks out. Big roundhouse kicks puts Hardy out and Rob goes for the Five Star Frog splash, but Jeff tosses him off the top all the way to the steel guardrail on the floor! Nasty fall there for Rob. Back inside Jeff hits the Swanton Bomb. 1-2--NOO! RVD kicks out, further diminishing the status of finishers in this company. Jawbreaker and a spin kick from RVD and then he hits the Five Star Frog Splash! 1-2--NOO! Jeff gets his foot on the ropes. Why do people even have finishers in this company? Seriously. Twist of Hate from Jeff finishes it at 8:08 (shown). Pretty good TV match between these two, but there was no real point for Anderson to be involved and you know both Jeff and Rob are capable of much more than this. **½

After the match Anderson lays out both Jeff and Van Dam with Mic Checks, just to remind us that he's an edgy tweener that doesn't play by anyone's rules (yawn). And that'll do it for iMPACT! this week.

Bottom Line:
Just your average episode of iMPACT! here, which means we got tons and tons of promos and backstage segments along with a few 2 minute matches and an underwhelming main event. Just another week in TNA. There's nothing here worth seeking out and we didn't even get very much angle progression for the next PPV, so I have to go with the Thumbs Down.

Score: 4/10

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have to disagree on a few points. I do agree that there is definitely a Russo-inspired lack of in-ring excitement, which is replaced by overlong and in some places, not very good, promos.
However, the focus of this iMPACT on the world title situation instead of the wholly moronic Angle/Jarrett feud is a breath of fresh air, and what TNA should have been doing since Genesis, instead of the other way around, which has been the case until Thursday. Is Anderson a Stone Cold-esque "tweener", as you described it? Yes...but at almost forty I have watched a lot of wrestling over the years. The basic archetypes of face, heel and anti-hero(or "tweener") are always there. They are the archetypes upon which one builds compelling storylines, not cheap sexual innuendo and worked shoots of personal affairs like Angle/Jarrett, which many in wrestling have failed to grasp, despite repeated examples for the last fifteen years of such plots being short-term and ultimately uninteresting, and of them doing damage to a company in the long run.
The real point is to have talent put out out front in the archetypical roles. Anderson, in this sense, is the best wrestler to be put in the anti-hero role in either company for ten years or more. He has the intensity and ability to deliver a scathing promo, and while the AAO PPV clean loss to Hardy was a bit mystifying, the payoff is that it allows him to fill out his anti-hero role even more, as he did so brilliantly on iMPACT. I feel that was one of the best matches as far as setting up long-term characters and storylines that TNA has done in a loooong time. Perhaps they're finally considering the fact that you have to really work at getting characters and storylines over with a view for where the characters are going and how they're going to remain interesting.