TNA iMPACT! 3/24/11
March 24th, 2011
TNA Impact! Zone, Orlando, Florida
“Do the Math”
March 24th, 2011
TNA Impact! Zone, Orlando, Florida
“Do the Math”
It's Thursday again so that means it's TNA time, or as some of my detractors would have you think, my weekly two hours of self-torture and abuse. In a way they're right, the last few Impacts have been so bad they could probably be considered torture by some third world countries. Contrary to what you may think though, I don't hate TNA. I just want the best for them long-term, and unfortunately I see nothing but warning signs and red alerts with how their current product is being booked. Anyways, enough preambling, let's get to the show.
Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz
We open with a video package showing Mr. Anderson's mounting annoyance at his re-match not being booked yet, with, and I kid you not, everyone's voice being fed through the Auto-Tune effect. I'm not sure if this is funny, or incredibly stupid. Probably both.
Anderson opens the show in the ring alongside who he claims is a professor at the University of Wisconsin, but is clearly just some fat guy they found at a hot dog stand and put a suit and tie on. He has a big whiteboard in the middle of the ring and goes over the scenarios surrounding the latest rash of number one contender's dusty finish matches, figuratively “doing the math” to try and prove he deserves his title rematch. The professor agrees with him, but then Anderson brings up some bullshit about how the professor cock-blocked him in college or something, I don't know, I really don't give a fuck about this imaginary sordid past with this two-bit “actor”. Anderson gives him a Mic Check for his troubles. I was hoping that would be the end of this, but of course Bischoff and Hogan's music hits and they make their way out to the ring. Bischoff says probably the truest thing I've ever heard about Anderson, saying he's a shitty comedian who's jokes aren't funny and who's rants have no direction. Which is true I'm afraid, Anderson has some sort of talent on the mic, but man, he can't cut a promo for shit 99% of the time, he just talks loud and fast and abrasively but I'm afraid that's not charisma Ken, that's just being loud. Hogan sets up our weekly number one contender's match with Anderson against Rob Van Dam. Oh, joy, because we haven't seen that 30 times in the last three months. So glad to know I can just skip on buying future PPVs with contendership matches on them because, hey, I can get them for free every week on Impact. I'm going to go out on a wild limb and predict yet another bullshit finish as well to this match tonight (shocking, I know). Anderson says RVD isn't in his league and we take a quick commercial break. When we return RVD is out in the ring to confront Anderson. They talk a lot, saying absolutely nothing in the process. Blah blah blah, number one contenders match, I want my shot, I'm an asshole, blah blah blah. RVD says he came to TNA because he was sick of the politics. I almost choked on my own tongue hearing that, how stoned is Rob right now to be able to say that with a straight face? Send some of that shit my way bro. Sting's music hits and he has a mic as well alongside his sweet new Michael Jackson-esque bedazzled jacket. Sting says “The Network” called him earlier and made him the special guest referee for the match with RVD and Anderson tonight. So Hogan and Bischoff winning the lawsuit for control of this company served what purpose again? I mean if they still have no control over the booking, what the fuck was the point of that entire angle?
Mickie James vs. Tara
Yay the womens feud that never ends. Tara makes a “Winning! Duh!” Sheen reference before the match, instilling me with a deep desire to smack the everloving shit out of her. Mickie throws her into the ring to start and hits a weak Lou Thesz press. Mickie does a kip-up, but we're all of 20 seconds into this match so I'm not sure if that's supposed to impress us or something? My, what endurance you have Ms. James! This is the unofficial battle of the best booty in TNA in my eyes, with Velvet Sky being the only girl to give these two a run for their money in that department. Tara hits a standing moonsault for a quick two count and then eats an elbow. Mickie tries a hurricanrana but Tara counters with a powerbomb for another near fall. Tara goes to the top but get's crotched and Mickie tries for a top-rope hurricanrana. They tussle for control on the turnbuckle and then Tara drops her down almost in a modified half-assed version of the Styles Clash, segueing right into a Boston Crab in the process. Mickie gets the ropes eventually and Tara tries for a powerbomb, but Mickie counters with a big DDT and that's enough for the pin at 3:18. Mickie and Tara continue to be the only watchable members of the Knockouts Division, this was light-years ahead of the usual weekly Knockouts botchfest. Give 'em a few more minutes and we may have actually had ourselves a good TV match for once out of this division. *½
Backstage Anderson accuses Sting of “stealing” his title. Holy FUCK man we GET IT. YOU WANT A TITLE SHOT. WE. FUCKING. GET. IT. Please stop ranting NONSTOP about it 24/7 on every single TNA broadcast for the love of Christ Anderson, PLEASE. Commercial break.
We recap The Pope and Okato's kinky sex games last week. Backstage Okato tells Samoa Joe something in Japanese. Because, you know, most people watching Spike TV can speak Japanese.
Pope D'Angelo Dinero vs. Okato
Now here we go, this is more like it. Simple booking to continue the Pope and Joe feud without having them interact physically, let's see if they can get this right. Okato hits a big dropkick to start and lays in some forearms and kicks into the Pope in the corner and follows it up with a big roundhouse kick. He misses a senton attempt off the top though and Pope begins choking him over the second rope. Pope lays in some stiff knee strikes while Okato is draped over the ring apron and then hits an Orton-esque punt back inside the ring. Pope takes off his boot and slams it over Okato's head right in front of the ref. Well it isn't 1986 anymore, so I guess the old boot doesn't get you disqualified these days. Pope takes off his glove and reveals some brass knucks though, and that's enough to get him DQed at 2:21. I guess that works, but it would have been better to just have Pope destroy and beat Okato clean to add some heat to his match with Joe at Lockdown. It's not like another jobbing is going to hurt Okato's career or something. Nothing match, obviously. ¼*
We get a pair of very long video packages, both of which we've already seen, highlighting Sting's return to TNA and the Angle-Jarrett feud. They air these two video packages, which we've already seen, and then cut to commercial. Seriously, that's how they use their valuable TV time. I hate when WWE does this shit and I hate when TNA does it. We don't need a highlight package for every single thing that happens on every episode ever.
When we return Hogan has a heart-to-heart talk with RVD. Hogan is coming off as the total babyface here, which, as usual, makes no sense at all. Hogan says he's 100% behind RVD and is pulling for him tonight, saying he's “his guy”. Sorry, wasn't it like 4 months ago he was sending out Abyss TO FUCKING MURDER HIM WITH A BOARD FULL OF RUSTY NAILS?! Yeah, I seem to remember that, and I'm guessing Rob does too.
Ric Flair's music hits and he comes out with Bully Ray and Matt Hardy. Yes ladies and gentlemen, quite the ELITE faction of wrestlers Flair is running with these days, isn't it? Doesn't get much better than Bubba Ray Dudley and Matt Hardy. Excuse me while I vomit out of my nose from a scary mixture of laughter, pity, and wild-eyed bemusement. Matt and Ray both call out Fortune and AJ Styles. Allow me to just take the time to point out how absolutely godawful Matt Hardy looks with dreadlocks. Nice little “AJ!” chant starts up as Ray challenges Fortune at Lockdown. Fortune comes out immediately and just attacks all three of them, beating them senseless. Flair does the ol' Flair flop but suddenly the lights go all red and out comes the returning ABYSS to the ring, where he cleans house. He's wearing what looks like an updated mask as well as some new ring gear. Abyss, Ray, Hardy, and Flair continue the beatdown while the Impact Zone stares on in apathy. After a commercial break we cut to Abyss backstage, cutting his usual “I'm a monster, RAAWWRRR” promo. I appreciate what Abyss brings to the table, but I really don't think right now was the best time to re-introduce him.
Hernandez's music hits and he comes out with Sarita, Rosita, and his new pal, the fan that interfered in the Morgan-Hernandez match at Victory Road, who KB tells me is a former OVW champion apparently. So just so I have this straight, you broke up LAX, got rid of Homicide, and sent Hernandez to AAA for a year to return as the triumphant babyface...only to bring Hernandez back to be heel muscle for another Latin American stable. Ground-breaking booking guys, really. Half their promo is in Spanish and my high-school Spanish classes can only help me so much, so excuse me for not being too thrilled with this promo. They do some cheap heat tactics, draping the American flag with a much larger Mexican flag. Who are they paying off backstage to set up this shit for them? They throw out another challenge to Morgan for another street fight (because it's not like we literally had a street fight last week or anything), and out comes Morgan alongside Brother Devon. Oh look, Devon ISN'T dead! This leads us right into our next match...
Street Fight Match
Matt Morgan/Brother Devon vs. Hernandez/Nameless Hispanic Male
I went to type in Hernandez's partners name and then I realized we still haven't been told what his name is. So we'll just call him NHM for now (nameless hispanic male). Big brawling to start off, obviously. Devon hits a sideslam on NHM for a quick two count. Tenay calls him what I think sounds like “Anarchia”, but don't quote me on that. I like NHM more so we'll stick with that. Morgan catches Hernandez in the ring and hits the fallaway slam.Sarita and Rosita try to tempt Morgan and Devon with their smoking hot latin bodies, but Velvet Sky runs out and promptly gets her ass handed to her by both of them. Err...okay? Angelina Love comes out next and walks slowly down the ramp with a drugged look on her face. Winter comes out and SCREAMS her name and Angelina turns around and walks back up the ramp like a robot. Stepford Wives all up in this bitch. That was flat out one of the strangest things I've ever seen in a wrestling match. Oh right, this is still a wrestling match (sort-of). El Nameless Hispanico hits Devon from behind with a weak forearm, and somehow that's enough to put away Devon (a man who has been put through more tables than Mae Young) at 3:40. This was actually probably the most entertaining thing tonight, just because of how bad and bizarre the whole thing was. When 90% of your 3 and a half minute long match consists of the camera focusing entirely on some women arguing on the entrance ramp, your match sucks. Really, really badly. DUD
Scott Steiner/Crimson vs. Shannon Moore/Jesse Neal
So I'll be taking bets on when the Ink Inc. break up is going to happen. Can't have an over tag team that wrestles well in our tag team division, that would be lunacy. Crimson I legit thought was Petey Williams for a minute, and I almost marked so hard my face would have melted at a reunited team of the Big and Little Poppa Pump's. Steiner and Neal start us off with a lock-up. Steiner hits a few forearms and then gives Neal a nice overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Big forearm and elbow drop from Steiner, but he'd rather do some push-ups than cover Neal. Crimson tags in and hits a double-shoulderblock with Steiner. Crimson hits a nice Falcon Arrow on Neal that gets a quick two count. Moore tags in but just eats a few forearms for his troubles. Moore tries a leg lariat but Crimson just catches him in mid-air and slams him to the mat. Moore hits a moonsault off the top and looks to tag Neal, but Jesse is apparently injured. Ohhh, the seeds of dissent, you can see them being planted. Crimson hits his unique Red Alert finisher (which is some sort of swinging modified reverse STO) and that finishes off Moore at 3:05. Not bad for a 3 minute match, glad to see Crimson getting some TV time again alongside the always amusing Scott Steiner.After the match Moore tries to hit Steiner with a cheap-shot with his chain while Jesse Neal acts upset. I SO do not care about an Ink Inc. break-up. ¾*
TNA World Title Number One Contender's Match #90000001
Mr. Anderson vs. Rob Van Dam
Sting is our “special enforcer” tonight. I thought he was the ref? Guess that would be too much strain for a man Sting's age. Always a good thing to say about your company's World Champion. Let's pray this is better than their disaster of a match at Victory Road, where they seemed to be wrestling in slow-motion, botched half of their moves, and then had a bullshit finish to cap off that turd. Anderson takes the early advantage with some big right hands in the corner. RVD hits a spinkick and a standing moonsault and we get our first nearfall of the match. They totally botch RVD's Rolling Thunder spot with some ugly miscommunication as Anderson drops to the mat for the usual running-off-the-ropes spot and meets RVD's body halfway on the mat. That was just ugly. Taz tries to sell it as a counter by Anderson. Right. And Sid coming off the rop rope at Sin 2001 was another counter move Taz. Anderson tosses RVD into the corner and gets another near fall as Sting watches on looking almost as bored as I am. Anderson works a headlock for a bit and then we get our first ref bump of the match. RVD superkicks Anderson and Sting comes in to make the count, but it's only a two count. Green Bay Plunge (or whatever he calls it these days) from Anderson gets him a two count on RVD as well. Split-legged moonsault from RVD but Anderson rolls out. RVD follows him out with a slingshot splash and they brawl around ringside. Anderson tosses a chair into the ring but Sting throws it away. Anderson hits the Mic Check on RVD right into the steel post! Nice little spot there. Anderson wants Sting to count RVD out, but he won't do it. Anderson gets in Sting's face and they end up fighting, of course. Bell rings and we've got a no contest (a Dusty Finish? On Impact? Surely you jest!) at 6:39. Not a complete disaster, just the usual mediocre 5 minute match with a bullshit Dusty Finish, or as I like to call it, the TNA House Special. *
After the match referees pull apart Anderson and Sting. We get a commercial break and when we return we don't get a saying on who won the match or who the number one contender is. What a shock.
Bottom Line: Oh boy, another week, another shitty Impact. I keep waiting for this show to turn around so I can show people that I do not hate this company and will gladly give them the thumbs up when they deserve it, but they just have no interest in that I guess. The usual problems with the show here: too many promos/segments that go too long, every match was way too short, and we get our 900000000001st dusty finish to a number one contender's match in the span of six months. I tried this week to be positive, I really did. It didn't work. Thumbs Down.