Thursday, March 3, 2011

TNA iMPACT! 3/3/11

TNA iMPACT! 3/3/11
March 3rd, 2011
Cumberland County Crown Coliseum, Fayetteville, North Carolina
Attendance: 3,500+

This is a big show for TNA here as they've gone on the road for iMPACT! for the first time in several years, drawing over 3500 in Fayetteville, North Carolina in the midst of Flair/Hardy country, which you'd think might be an issue for the taping since Flair and the Hardys are all heels, but it's probably the main reason they drew so well tonight here. Tonight we get the answer to the Dixie Carter-Hulk Hogan legal battle for control of the company, as well as the Jeff and Karen Jarrett wedding vows renewal ceremony which Kurt has to attend. Not exactly a thrilling sounding show for such an important iMPACT!, but let's just get to it.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay and Taz

We open the show with Dixie Carter coming out to the ring, of course. Can't have our show opening with one of those pesky wrestler guys. Dixie gets all choked up saying Thank You to the fans, but the look on her face just makes you want to slap some sense into her head. Show looks great with such a big audience who are actually excited to be there unlike at the iMPACT Zone. Before Dixie can get much further Immortal interrupts and comes down to the ring with Ric Flair. Crowd pops big for Flair, letting the trademark "Woo!"s sound out, completely killing the point of this entire segment and angle. Flair introduces Hogan, who gets a nice pop himself as he limps down the ramp to the ring. Hogan announces that TNA is 100% in his control now and plays up to the crowd, who continue to cheer him as this entire angle has fallen flat on it's face at the payoff time, because nobody cares even slightly about Dixie Carter, her loss, or her crying. Fortune's music hits suddenly and they play up to the crowd a bit, dissing Hogan and Immortal. They hit the ring and security has to break them all up as we go to commercial.

When we return Immortal is backstage greeting Bart Scott, linebacker for the New York Jets. Fortune runs into them and Kaz cracks a funny joke, asking if Bart is the long lost brother of Jeff and Matt, Jermaine Hardy and they all end up brawling, Bart Scott included.

After another quick break we return to see Bischoff and Hogan talking in the back. Eric says "The Network" (ripoff ECW much guys?) called and told him that Jeff Hardy will defend his TNA World title tonight.

TNA World Tag Team Title Match
Robert Roode/James Storm (C) vs. Gunner/Murphy

Mike Tenay actually has the balls to say that Gunner & Murphy are getting this shot because of an "impressive victory" over comedy jobbers Eric Young and Orlando Jordan. I have no clue how he was able to say that with a straight face. The fact that Gunner and Murphy are even getting a title shot is pretty ridiculous to begin with, but whatever, let's just go with it. All four men brawl to start as the bell rings. Gunner and Murphy gang up on James Storm for a bit but Storm hits a codebreaker and gets the hot tag to Roode. That may have been the shortest tag heat segment I've ever seen. Roode cleans house and then hits the big spinebuster on Gunner for a quick two count. Tag rules are alredy out the window as Beer Money hits a double suplex on Murphy nd then finishes Gunner off with the DWI at 3:11. Well that wasn't very good to be kind, Gunner and Murphy never looked like a threat and Beer Money just hit a few signature moves and squashed them in a couple of minutes. What was the point to this? ½*

After the match Ink Inc of all people come out and welcome Beer Money to North Carolina, which makes a bit of sense since Moore is from around here. He calls this "his house", which is just downright hilarious. Ink Inc challenges them to a match for the tag titles at Victory Road, and they accept. So Gunner and Murphy get a title shot after dispatching of some jobbers while Ink Inc gets to just come out after doing nothing for the last 3 months and get a title shot at the PPV? Sure, whatever.

Backstage Jeff and Karen are interrupted by Eric Young, who begs to be a part of the wedding. We cut to Angelina from the MTV reality show Jersey Shore arriving at the arena as we cut to commercial.

Velvet Sky vs. Sarita

The stipulation here is that if Velvet loses, she has to retire. So I guess Sarita is ripping off Madison Rayne's old shtick now? No sexy entrance makes this even more of a piss-break chance. Sarita has Rosita in her corner while Angelina Love is in Velvet's. Velvet hits an armdrag to start and then Sarita delivers a slingshot atomic drop, which is certainly unique. Angelina and Rosita start fighting it out in the ring as well and Earl Hebner sends them both to the back. Sarita drives her knee into Velvet's back a few times but then gets planted with a DDT and Velvet wins at 2:01. So Velvet gets to keep her job. Yay! Usual short yawnfest here. ¼*

After the match Cookie, Robbie E, and Angelina from Jersey Shore make their way to the ring. Cookie gives Angelina the mic and she calls the Beautiful People and JWowww (how many fucking W's do you need in your name?) sluts and challenges them to a six woman tag match next week. Just another waste of TNA's money on pseudo-celebrities that absolutely no one cares about, something they've been doing all the way back to their very first weekly PPV show.

After a quick commercial break we return to see Mr. Anderson walking backstage, where he says that he's going to be the one to get the title shot tonight against Jeff. Elsewhere we see Eric Young gabbing to Orlando Jordan about how excited he is to be helping out at the wedding. Eric accuses Jordan of stealing their wedding ring and starts choking him, but the ring is in his shoe, obviously. Eric Young might just be the most useless character in wrestling today.

Elsewhere Jeff Jarrett and Ric Flair are in the men's bathroom, talking about the vows ceremony. Jeff says he's going to bring Karen and all his kids to Harry Potter World in Universal Studios for their honeymoon. Uhhh...what? What is with TNA and men's bathrooms? We see Kurt talking to his son Cody while he's taping up his fist, dressed up formally for the wedding ceremony which I guess is next.

When we return Hogan is on the phone with "the Network" talking about Jeff's match tonight, trying to find out who his opponent will be.

And now it's time for the Wedding ceremony. Oh, joy. You can tell how excited I am, can't you? Eric Young and Orlando Jordan comes out first with the ring and some flowers I guess. Jeff is out next and gets some nice heat, but before he can make it to the ring Kurt Angle runs out behind him and attacks him. Kurt tries to throw Jeff into the wedding cake, but Karen runs out and jumps on Kurt's back. So he pushes her into the wedding cake instead. Yay, all is right in the world.

Backstage Hogan tells Jeff Hardy about his title match tonight.

When we return from the break Jeff and Karen are FREAKING OUT to Bischoff and Flair, who both have just a hilarious look on their face the whole time. Hogan shows up and asks if Bischoff has any idea about who Jeff's opponent will be tonight.

Scott Steiner vs. Rob Terry

And the hits just keep coming tonight. This is a bonafide battle of the roided-up freaks, so I guess it's interesting in that way. Still have no idea why they brought Steiner back just to feud with Rob Terry of all people. Terry dominates to start with big right hands but Steiner comes back with an elbow and then a big T-Bone suplex. He clotheslines Terry to the floor. Terry slams Steiner's head into the steel ringpost and then slides him back into the ring and gives him a big powerslam for a two count. Steiner comes back with a big belly-to-belly suplex and then a reverse STO. Samoan drop off the top rope from Steiner and then he locks in the Steiner Recliner and Terry submits at 3:18. This was actually FAR better than it looked with Steiner basically just tossing Terry around for a few minutes with some of his signature suplexes, which is always fun to watch.

Backstage Kurt Angle comes up to Bart Scott and claims to be a big fan, but Flair and Scott basically just tell him to fuck off as Flair reveals that Bart Scott is apparently his new enforcer. So are we going to get ANY reasoning for this? Because last week Taz kept talking about how he personally invited Scott to this show, yet they haven't interacted once and Scott is apparently a heel all of a sudden? Whatever, shouldn't be too hard for a New York Jet to get some heat.

When we return from the break Joe Warren, the current Bellator (MMA) Feathweight Champion is at the commentary table plugging Bellator's next event. Umm...okay? Why?

Hernandez vs. Matt Morgan

So this has been a year in the making if you can believe it, going back to these two men holding the tag titles briefly last year before splitting up. If you remember correctly Morgan was the one who broke Hernandez's neck and made a fool out of him as the mega-heel, but now with Hernandez back and with Immortal now, the roles have reversed with absolutely no explanation as to why the fuck we should be cheering for Morgan when he was the one in the wrong in this whole feud. This angle makes my head hurt. Big lariat from Morgan as the bell rings. Sidewalk slam gets Morgan a two count, and this Joe Warren fella actually sounds happy to be here, so I guess I can live with him as a guest commentator. Morgan and Hernandez begin brawling up the stage now and then Hernandez gets tossed back into the ring. Hernandez begs for mercy but Morgan just gives him a big boot. Morgan tosses Hernandez across the ring with his own shirt tied around his neck and then starts laying in those big elbows in the corner. Clothesline to the floor sends Hernandez out again and this has been all Morgan so far. Morgan gets tossed into the steel steps a few times and Hebner calls for the bell at 4:23? We're supposed to assume Hernandez was DQed for repeatedly slamming Morgan into the steps, but no announcement of why the match was stopped or who won is made, so whatever. Decent brawl for a few minutes but I have no interest in seeing this feud continue.

Backstage Hogan is on the phone again, yelling at someone from the Network trying to find out Jeff's opponent tonight. Mr. Anderson walks in and they both tell each other they hate each other. That's nice. Hogan says the Network isn't giving Anderson the title shot, and Anderson flips out.

After a quick commercial break we get a preview of the new Spike TV show "Roy Meets Girl", on next after iMPACT! tonight. It basically appears to be a guido walking around on a beach, asking women lewd questions. Groundbreaking stuff Spike.

The wedding music starts up again as I gues we ARE going to be having the Karen and Jeff vows ceremony...again. Christ wasn't once enough? Jeff comes out and actually makes it to the ring this time, and then Karen comes out with Kurt ecorting her down the aisle. Uh, why is Kurt suddenly all-smiles about this now? Karen still has some cake on her face and in her hair. I'm seriously tempted to fast forward through this bullshit, but because I love you, the readers, so much I'll sit through it. They exchange vows and this shit goes on for what seems like FOREVER, despite the crowd shitting all over it. We can't have a single match go over 4 minutes long, but we've got time to waste 15-20 minutes all night on TWO Wedding segments? Ugh. Things start getting creepy as they start talking about their sex lives, calling each other "Princess" and "Daddy". They kiss and mercifully, finally, it's over. Kurt then pulls out a freaking AXE and starts destroying the wedding set. So someone should probably take the deadly weapon out of the angry ex-husband's hand security. Flair and Bart Scott come out now and Flair sends Scott down to the ring and he gets up in Kurt's face. He pushes him a few times and Kurt takes him down and gives him the ankle lock. Good thing for Scott we're probably not going to be having a football season this year. Tenay makes a hilarious jab at the Jets, saying this is nothing new for Bart as the Jets have been tapping out since 1969! As a Patriots fan, that remark may have just been the highlight of the night so far.

We return from commercial and it's time for Jeff Hardy to defend the world title against a mystery opponent. TNA of course pretty much gave away who the opponent is going to be at the end of last week's iMPACT! with their little 3-3-11 promo, but whatever. We get a fancy little 3-3-11 video on the Dixie-tron, which is a total rip-off of the 2-21-11 promos WWE was running last month for the Undertaker's return. Always the innovator, TNA. Anyways his opponent is...STING! Nice pop for Sting as he used to regularly work this area with Flair for many years in WCW.

TNA World Title Match
Jeff Hardy (C) vs. Sting

Sting attacks immediately and Jeff bails quickly, taking a breather at ringside as we're now pass 11:00 and into the overrun at this point. Back inside Jeff gets a cheap shot and starts laying in kicks into Sting in the corner. Suplex attempt by Jeff is countered and Sting locks in the Scorpion Death Lock! Jeff gets the rope break though and takes another breather outside the ring. He teases walking out but Sting follows him out to the ramp and gives him a suplex right there on the rampway. Sting slams him into the steel guardrail and goes for the Stinger splash but Hardy moves and Sting hits the steel rail. Back inside Jeff Hardy is on top, dropping the leg on Sting and slapping on a chinlock. Jeff tries for the Twist of Hate but Sting shrugs him off and starts laying in big right hands. Sting hits the Scorpion Death Drop! 1-2--NOO! Jeff kicks out. He misses another Stinger splash but then Hardy gets caught on the top rope and Sting gives him the Scorpion Death Drop off the top rope! He drags Hardy to the middle of the ring and gives him ANOTHER Scorpion Death Drop and that's enough for the 3 as we have a NEW World champion at 6:15! I'll get to the whole Sting winning the title thing in a minute. As for the match itself, this was better than I was expecting and had a nice finish to boot, but it still wasn't as good as last week's main event. **½

So, Sting is the new world champion. WHY? The man has done NOTHING for TNA over the last few years and you just bring him back and immediately put the title on him over guys like Jeff Hardy and Mr. Anderson? Why? What is this going to accomplish? Sting yet again is the TNA World champion for the 5000th time, and just like almost every one of those reigns after the first one, it will accomplish nothing whatsoever. Fuck pushing our young talent, we've got ANOTHER middle aged star of the 90s! Give him the title, immediately! Ugh.

Bottom Line: Pretty awful show for the most part. The opening segment completely failed and made the entire months-long build for tonight pointless as Hogan and Flair were endlessly cheered while nobody gave a fuck about Dixie. We get more Jersey Shore bullshit, because I guess the fact that ratings massively and instantly plummeted the moment JWowww was on iMPACT! months ago wasn't enough of an indication that this shit is stupid. The Angle/Jarrett wedding shit went on WAY too long and took up probably about 3-4 times as much time as any of our actual wrestling matches tonight, which is nothing new for this show. The main event was actually decent wrestling-wise, but the decision to put the belt on Sting just confuses and angers me, like most things this company does these days. Terrible booking and shit wrestling everywhere on this show, so an easy and emphatic Thumbs Down for tonight's iMPACT!

Score: 3/10

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