Friday, March 18, 2011

TNA iMPACT! 3/17/11

TNA iMPACT! 3/17/11
March 17th, 2011
TNA Impact! Zone, Orlando, Florida
Attendance: ???

So we’re four days removed from one of the biggest PPV main event debacles in pro wrestling history. For those that are unaware, the main event of the Victory Road PPV was booked to be Sting vs. Jeff Hardy for the world title, which is technically what we got. A whopping 1:28 is how long is lasted, because a certain Jeff Hardy was apparently so high that he could barely stand on his own, let alone wrestle a match. He stumbled to the ring, Sting gave him the Scorpion Death Drop, and the match was over. Yes, TNA knew that Jeff was wasted out of his mind all night long, and they still let him go out there for the main event, giving their fans one of the biggest “Fuck You”s in wrestling history. This is the first show since then, so let’s see how this post-Victory Road TNA reacts to the situation they put themselves in.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz

We open the show with Sting coming out to the ring with a brand new TNA World title design. Glad to see they finally got rid of the awful joke of a title design that they had made for Hardy, which resembled the WWE’s Divas title if anything. Sting grabs a mic and calls out Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff, who promptly come out to answer. They come to the ring and Sting hands them Jeff’s old title belt, saying “This is all that’s left of Jeff Hardy. You can do what you want with it Hulk”. There’s a sign in the background that reads “Controversy Creates Cash”, Bischoff’s motto, which makes me want to kick that fan in the face for being such a jackass. Sting asks Hogan how it feels to destroy somebody’s career, which shit if anyone knows the answer to, it’s Hulk Hogan. Sting basically blames Jeff’s behavior on Hogan here, saying Hulk led him down a dark road that leads to a dead end. They don’t actually acknowledge the reality of what happened with Jeff, just kind of dance around it with vague statements. We get a TNA chant, and I almost implode instantly from the irony and stupidity. Hulk says Jeff let Immortal down, not the other way around, claiming Jeff just couldn’t hack it in Hogan’s shadow. Suddenly Bully Ray’s music hits and he makes his way out to the ring. Seriously, Bully fucking Ray? He grabs a mic and kisses Hogan’s ass, saying there would be no wrestling business without Hulk (*cough*bullshit*cough*). Bully says Sting could never beat Hogan, which instills me with a deep and horrifying feeling that this is all leading to Hogan vs. Sting (in 20-fucking-11). Ray says he wants to beat Sting for the World title. Wow, that’s right folks, TNA’s big answer to the Victory Road debacle is Bubba Ray Dudley in the main event. Suddenly Fortune’s music hits (new music?) and out comes AJ Styles, Kaz, and Beer Money as we take a quick commercial break. When we return AJ has a mic and says that Fortune has Sting’s back 100%. So you can basically book the Lethal Lockdown match at the next PPV right here with Fortune and Immortal, and I guess Bully Ray thrown in. AJ insults Ray, saying he can’t hack it as a singles wrestler. Ray actually has the balls to say that AJ is nothing compared to him and his 23 Tag team title reigns. Pretty sure AJ’s 4 World title reigns trumps that Ray. AJ slaps Ray in the face after he asks for a title shot again, and the word “title shot” has been said more than 3 times so of course that cues Mr. Anderson’s music and out he comes to do his weekly whining for a title shot segment. Hulk calls him an asshole. Wow, what an insult Hulk. Anderson calls Hulk “Terrence”, which I don’t think I’ve ever heard before. Bischoff yaps about ratings again and sets up a four-way number one contender’s match tonight with Anderson, AJ, Ray, and RVD. So I guess we’re just going to ignore the number one contender’s match from Victory Road where Anderson and RVD had a double countout.

Backstage Kurt Angle is carrying around a giant present for Jeff and Karen Jarrett as we cut to commercial.

When we return AJ is backstage with RVD, where he propositions RVD to do a “I watch your back”, “You watch my back” thing for the match tonight, which RVD quickly shoots down.

TNA Knockouts Title Match
Madison Rayne © vs. Alissa Flash

So we haven’t seen Alissa AKA Cheerleader Melissa AKA Raisha Saeed in many, many months so this comes right out of nowhere. Of course, Alissa being an incredibly talented wrestler that means she’ll obviously have to job to Madison in 20 seconds. Can’t have talented female wrestlers in our female wrestling division, no sir. Madison jumps Alissa before she can even make her way to the ring. Inside the ring Madison hits a few weak forearms and then hits her finisher, and that’s enough to put Alissa away at 0:18. Look at that, LESS than 20 seconds. After the match Mickie James makes the save and this sets up a title match at Lockdown, with Mickie’s hair on the line apparently. Holy shit, WE GET IT, Madison is legit, can we PLEASE just have Mickie beat her for the damn title already and end this bullshit? Normally I’m not sure I’d even rate a match this short, but considering how sad it is that someone as talented as Alissa is being jobbed out in literally 20 seconds I’m feeling nasty so let’s call this a DUD.

Backstage the Pope is with an obese woman, a blind man, and a guy in a wheelchair who gets up and dances almost immediately. I don’t even want to know man, I don’t even want to know. After a quick commercial break we return to see Mr. Anderson, yet AGAIN, bitching to Hulk Hogan about his title shot.

The Pope makes his way out to the ring, with the same three people in the ring. Pope looks pretty pimpin’ for once actually in a clean white suit. Pope does a whole pseudo-evangelical thing where he pretends to heal these people of their ailments like Jesus Christ. First he has the blind man kiss his ring, then he takes off his glasses, spits in his hands, and touches the man’s eyes, and alas! It’s a miracle! He can SEE! He tells the man to give Pope an “Amen”, and the guy says “Hallelujah” instead. Next up is the “paraplegic”. Pope just kind of touches his legs and then slaps his forehead, and the man gets up and starts dancing goofily. This is pretty bad. Next up is the obese woman, who is CLEARLY in a giant fat suit. Pope grabs two handfuls of fat while Taz makes fat jokes, but Pope can’t help her apparently. Cue Samoa Joe’s music, thank God, accompanied by Okato. Joe hits the ring and Pope grabs Okato and PULLS OUT A FUCKING KNIFE AND HOLDS IT TO HIS THROAT. Holy shit man, going a bit overboard here aren’t we? He’s literally threatening to murder Okato right here in the Impact Zone. I’m not sure if I should be laughing hysterically or shaking my head in shame. Seriously, why does your company have security guards if they do nothing for things like this? Pope throws Okato into a ditch (?), and shows that the knife was fake all along as we cut to commercial. Bad segment all around, the idea was actually quite good with Pope doing the fake-healing thing, but wow the execution was bad.

When we return from commercial Okato is strung up like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon as the Pope slaps him around, insulting him. Okada is actually a damn fine wrestler, but as usual, TNA treats whoever New Japan sends them like total fucking jobber trash. Atleast this isn’t as bad as when they treated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura (main event heavyweight players in Japan) like jobbers. This beatdown goes on for a painfully long time before FINALLY Joe finds them and saves Okato as Pope runs off. Elsewhere backstage RVD accuses Mr. Anderson of joining Immortal. What?

After a quick commercial break we return to see Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, and Winter in their locker room, all three looking damn fine. Apparently Winter has replaced Velvet as her partner tonight for the street fight against Sarita and Rosita. Angelina is torn between the two but says absolutely nothing as she walks away with Winter. I’d just like to point out that we are officially one hour into this show, and we have had a grand total of 18 seconds of wrestling. Eighteen. Seconds.

Jeff Jarrett’s music hits and he comes out to the ring with his wife Karen. Apparently Jeff wants to bury the hatchet with Kurt Angle, atleast that’s what he was claiming at Victory Road during one of their many bizarre segments at Disney World. Jeff grabs a mic and says the “Ultra-Male” has something to say. He says he has nothing left to prove and that for the good of his kids, he can no longer do this to their “second father” Kurt. He says Kurt should come out and beg for forgiveness, and of course Angle’s music hits. He makes his way down to the ring with that giant present, which I can only hope holds another axe since Kurt is so fond of those. Kurt does the whole insincere apology bit, saying Jeff is the better man, husband, and father. He claims his gift is a peace offering, and Jeff is skeptical about his sincerity. Jarrett opens the present and it’s an American flag painted guitar. Jeff has this look on his face like a kid at Christmas, but of course Angle just grabs the guitar and smashes it over Jeff’s head. Karen tries for a low-blow, but Angle is wearing a cup. Wow that guitar seemed to legit bust Jeff open as he’s bleeding pretty badly from the back of his head. Angle challenges him to a cage match at Lockdown and Jarrett accepts. Hopefully this will finally be the blow-off to this feud.

Backstage Eric Bischoff gives a pep talk to Rob Terry, Gunner, and Murphy, telling them to win the TV title tonight as finally Abyss has been stripped of the title, after only what 3 months of inactivity? The fact that these three scrubs are going to be in a TV title match is a joke in and of itself. After a quick commercial break we see Karen and Jeff backstage, Karen frantically calling the police on her cell phone. We get an incredibly lame little video package for the upcoming TV title threeway, I guess to somehow try and convince the viewers that these three men are credible.

TV Title Match
Rob Terry vs. Gunner vs. Murphy

So this looks like a match of the year candidate, doesn’t it? Gunner (or Murphy, I can’t tell these two yokels apart). Apparently Hulk Hogan’s wife and daughter (who are about the same age) are in the front row. Why? Hogan is a heel, is this supposed to get them heat or something? Gunner and Murphy double team Terry for a bit, but end up fighting each other for who gets to get the pinfall. Rob poses for a bit and gets speared by Gunner. Gunner gives Murphy a sloppy F5 and that’s enough for the pin and the title at 1:46. Afterwards Bischoff comes out to congratulate Gunner. In 3 months we’ve gone from AJ Styles to freaking Gunner as our TV champ. When Rob Terry is the most charismatic and personable person in the ring, you know you have a problem. Obviously a nothing match. ¼*

Backstage AJ shares a few words with the cameraman before Ric Flair confronts him and AJ quickly knocks him out with one punch. Mmmkay. After a commercial break we return to see Karen freaking out to some police officers, demanding that Kurt be arrested. Not even going to touch the logic on that one.

Six Person Street Fight Match
Hernandez/Sarita/Rosita vs. Matt Morgan/Angelina Love/Winter

And the awful Hernandez-Morgan feud continues. Atleast we have the women to gawk at. Before the match Hernandez gets on the mic and claims that the US is now Mexico America or something. Winter’s music hits, which is some really creepy lullaby sounding song and is actually pretty rad. Good god Angelina is skinny, it’s almost grotesque. Morgan comes out and all six of them begin brawling in and out of the ring. Hernandez chokes Morgan with his boot in the corner while Sarita and Rosita get pulled off the apron. Good, we really don’t need tags in a street fight. Morgan hits the discus lariat and Sarita and Rosita jump on his back to try and stop him, but he easily tosses them off. Angelina spears Sarita while Winter hits a sweet twisting backbreaker, and that’s enough to give her the pin at 1:22. Could we maybe have just one match go longer than 90 seconds? After the match the same fan who attacked Morgan at the PPV last Sunday (so I guess it was a work) hits the ring and attacks Morgan. The fan is Matt Barella by the way, a former OVW World champ. As usual, the match was absolutely nothing. ½*

TNA World Title #1 Contender’s Match
AJ Styles vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Bully Ray vs. Mr. Anderson

Look at that, we’ve got 20 minutes left in the show, we might actually get a main event that goes 5 minutes! One of these guys is not like the others. All four men are cautious to start until RVD and Anderson start going at it and Ray and AJ do the same. No tags in this fourway, thankfully. Ray hits what looks like a big belly-slam to AJ’s face, but Styles comes back with a hurricanrana and a flying forearm into the corner. He tries for a monkey flip but Ray just tosses him off. RVD and Ray go at it now while Styles and Anderson fight outside the ring. Rolling Thunder from RVD gets a quick two count. Styles sunset-flips into the ring on Anderson and gets a near fall of his own. Leg lariat from AJ, but he eats a big clothesline from Ray almost immediately. Sidewalk slam from Ray gets another close two count. Big superkick from RVD takes out Ray and he sends Styles over the top to the floor. Van Dam goes for the Five Star frog splash but Anderson moves at the last second, only to be met with a big yuranagi from Ray. Springboard cross-body from Styles and he gets a near fall on Ray as well. Very fast paced stuff here. Thrust-kick off the top from RVD but again Styles kicks out. AJ tries a slingshot crossbody on Ray but ends up hitting the floor instead. Ray grabs a chair but the referee takes it out of his hands and just tosses it in the ring, where Anderson gives RVD a back suplex on the chair and both men’s shoulders are down as we get a double-pin to end the match at 5:54. Oh COME ON! TNA is apparently incapable of having a number one contender’s match end in a clean finish, as this shit has just gotten ridiculous over the past few months. I can’t even remember the last number one contenders match we had that didn’t end in a bullshit Dusty finish. What’s even worse is that the match itself was actually fairly good while it lasted, far and away the best part of this entire show so far. It’s like this company is fucking allergic to clean finishes or something. **

After the match AJ and Ray brawl up the stage. Flair comes up behind Styles and gives him a low blow, giving Ray the opportunity to give him a massive sitdown powerbomb off the stage through a table! Nice spot, too bad it happened after the match. Glad to see the whole Ray-Devon feud has just been completely dropped with no conclusion whatsoever in favor of having Ray feud with AJ freaking Styles. It was bad enough watching him and Devon embarrass themselves in the ring every week, but now you’re dragging Ray into a feud with AJ Styles? Just no. After a commercial break we return to see paramedics working on AJ, putting him in a neck brace and stretchering him out. That does it for this week. No, seriously.

Bottom Line: Another week, another terrible episode of Impact. You can practically expect it like clockwork at this point. They come off of one of the biggest debacles in company history, and they give their fans THIS show? Their solution to that abortion of a PPV is putting BUBBA RAY DUDLEY in the main event title picture? You can’t even make shit this stupid up, honestly. The rest of the show was a joke, with a grand total of EIGHTEEN SECONDS of wrestling in the first hour-plus of the show. Little to no wrestling, constant promos and segments that don’t get over, and Bubba Ray Dudley in the main event. This is what we’re supposed to “Cross the Line” for? There’s nothing here I can even attempt to defend apart from a moderately amusing main event that lasted 5 minutes. You getting started on that Death of TNA book yet Bryan Alvarez? You should be. Thumbs down, obviously.

Score: 2.5/10


Anonymous said...

I hate to break it to you, but TNA isn't in any danger of going out of business. All of the highest-rated episodes of Impact have been since Hogan and Biscoff arrived (especially since last October). TNA made a mistake last year moving Impact to Monday nights, but their ratings have steadily increased since the return to Thursdays. Reportedly, TNA turned the corner a few years ago and now makes a profit. People have been predicting the imminent demise of TNA for nearly 9 years now and have been wrong time and again. Considering that last week's Impact did better ratings than the week before despite going up against the NCAA tournament, I don't think TNA is going anywhere.

xfearbefore said...

"I hate to break it to you, but TNA isn't in any danger of going out of business. All of the highest-rated episodes of Impact have been since Hogan and Biscoff arrived (especially since last October). TNA made a mistake last year moving Impact to Monday nights, but their ratings have steadily increased since the return to Thursdays. Reportedly, TNA turned the corner a few years ago and now makes a profit. People have been predicting the imminent demise of TNA for nearly 9 years now and have been wrong time and again. Considering that last week's Impact did better ratings than the week before despite going up against the NCAA tournament, I don't think TNA is going anywhere."

I never said they were going out of business. If you're referring to my little joke about having Bryan Alvarez start writing the Death of TNA book, it was just that: a joke. Besides, everything you're saying right now was said about WCW as well. It's hard not to compare WCW to TNA when they contain so much of the same talent, writing, and booking staff that was employed by WCW before they collapsed.