Source: James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch
TNA Impact on Spike TV
October 23, 2008
Live at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, Nevada
Report by James Caldwell, Torch columnist
The show started with a new propaganda video on TNA growing into a worldwide phenomenon after critics called it a foolish endeavor six years ago.
Live in the building, the camera panned around the building to get everyone in attendance on camera. Looks like a very small sound studio. To start the show, the Beautiful People’s music hit and out walked Angelina Love, Velvet Sky, and Cute Kip. Don West suggested the ladies were being requested for personal services last night in Vegas that otherwise would be illegal in other states. Christy Hemme then came out to face Angelina and Tenay suggested there is “real heat” between them. Ugh.
1 — VELVET SKY (w/Angelina Love and Cute Kip) vs. CHRISTY HEMME
Very small-time look to the ringside area. Things became graphic at 2:00 when Velvet mounted Christy in the corner and rammed Christy’s head into the turnbuckles while thrusting. Christy had enough and fired back after kinda ducking a clothesline. She then wanted the top rope fire crotch drop and connected for the pin and the win. Afterward, Christy smartly bailed from the ring to avoid a post-match attack.
WINNER: Velvet Sky in 3:00. OK opener. Christy gets her revenge, but the Beautiful People will easily get their heat back in Orlando. (1/2*)
Backstage: Jeremy Borash was sitting down with Kurt Angle to discuss matters. Borash said he received an urgent call from Angle at midnight with Angle vowing to top the announcement from Foley and Jarrett due up tonight. Angle paused and said he had to do something drastic tonight by changing the face of pro wrestling. He said that after making some calls, the deal is done. The camera then swung over to reveal Booker T and Sharmell, who was holding the briefcase. Booker said back in Africa, the lion runs in packs. The camera then swung wider to reveal Kevin Nash, who said the biz has always been about money, power, and respect. Nash said there is a Proverb in the Bible that with gray hair comes wisdom. He tried to share that with Samoa Joe, but he turned it down.
Borash then brought it all together and said there seems to be an uprising from the Joes, Styles, and Machineguns of TNA. He asked them what they’re going to do about the uprising. Angle said three of the greatest wrestlers of all-time are assembled here, but there is one more. Sting…er…Steve Borden then walked in sporting a suit. He said they tried doing things the nice way, but all they wanted was a little respect. Sting said combined is 75 years of combined history in wrestling. Not particularly flattering. Sting said they’re done asking. It’s time to demand. Sting fixed his suit, then walked off. Angle said that since Sting does not want to stay for the party, they shall make a salute. He said they are the Main Event Mafia. Born tonight. Amen.
Outside: Lauren was outside of the hotel awaiting the arrival of Mick Foley. A cab swung around in the background advertising for pizza or something. Lauren kept talking, then a limo and a green VW-looking bug pulled up. Foley stepped out of the car, then Lauren asked him to explain. Foley said he gets 40 miles to the gallon and gave an economic speech. He said he won’t give the announcement until he’s inside. Foley said it’s big; real big. Lauren was just totally exasperated, as if she expected Foley to blow the announcement in the parking lot outside of the hotel.
In-ring: Booker T and Sharmell walked out holding the briefcase. Booker quieted down the catcalls as Booker said now is the time to share the one ting (what he said) to change the landscape of TNA. He asked his queen to hold open the briefcase, then Booker pulled out a black bag that usually holds a title belt. Booker then opened the bag and pulled out a new TNA title belt. Crowd randomly went wild, as if they were instructed to without knowing why they were cheering. Booker called it the TNA Legends Championship. He said the title belongs to him and him only. Where’s Eric Bischoff to hand it over to Hunter?
On cue, Christian Cage’s music hit and Christian walked out to interrupt. Christian said that when he hears the word “legend,” it’s usually not related to some Lil’ John impersonator who speaks with a ridiculous accent. He said a legend is someone whose career and track record is so great that he commands respect. Christian said Booker has the career, but on the word “respect” that he keeps throwing around – does he have that right now? He said Booker just kinda invented a title, stands here with a straight face, and somehow expects the wrestlers and TNA fans to respect him?
Booker said he came out here not to make trouble, but to celebrate. He said he wanted to ask Christian a question. Christian kept interrupting with Lil’ John references, so Booker threatened to bust a cap in him. He paused, apologized, and said tonight is about Christian tonight. Booker said Christian is a legend in his country, so tonight should be about Christian joining the Main Event Mafia tonight. Christian said he’s really not interested, but he is interested in Booker actually wrestling someone for this title. More specifically, him… at Turning Point. The audience was with him, then didn’t like that last part. He said that’s called a challenge. Christian left the ring, then Booker said that’s funny. He booked a Legends Title match for Turning Point, but if Christian loses, he joins the MEM.
Backstage: Lauren was with Matt Morgan and Abyss or Chris Parks or whatever. Lauren hyped the text tag match while Abyss grunted and held his stomach as if he were having stomach craps from a bad trip to the Vegas buffet line. Morgan told – more like shoUTED at – Abyss tha he’s not going to be in the match tonight because of the pain he’s in. He said Abyss is lucky to be living, breathing, and talking after what happened at the PPV. Morgan said he’s the worst friend on the planet.
Parks cut him off and said he’s his dearest friend. Ever. I mean it, man! Abyss said a special session was called by his therapist, who told him to make his own decisions now. He said the puss and bleeding hurt. But, it’ll be OK. Abyss said it will heal, but they need to worry about this tag team gauntlet and unsettled business with Kurt Angle. Morgan screamed back that he’s going nowhere near the ring. He said he’s got it, bro. LAX, Beer, 3D, and Angle will all be handled. Morgan stormed off, then Abyss grunted and said he needs to do something about Kurt. Promo eval = Morgan ugh. Abyss = pretty good.
Oh, and by the way, 30 minutes of TV and we’ve had 3 minutes of wrestling.
Backstage: How about another talking segment? Borash was with Jeff Jarrett to discuss tonight’s happenings. Jarrett smiled it up as Borash asked about the big announcement. Jarrett said it’s Foley’s announcement to make. Borash asked if Angle will get his wish of a re-match. Jarrett said he has business to take care of in TNA these days, so Angle will just get over it and move on. Because that’s life.
In-ring: Jay Lethal came out 35 minutes into the show for the second match of the show, with a challenge for the X Division Title. Sheik Abdul Bashir then came out to defend the belt.
2 — X Division champion SHEIK ABDUL BASHIR vs. JAY LETHAL — X Division Title match
Match started with Lethal nailing a suicide dive on the floor. Back in the ring, Lethal wanted a top rope elbow smash, but Bashir moved in time. Bashir then grappled Lethal and gave him an implant DDT. That was good enough for three, giving Bashir a quick win.
WINNER: Bashir in 2:00. That’s it? Two minutes to an X Division Title match. Well, no reason to be shocked, actually. X Division hasn’t meant anything in a few years. (n/a)
Backstage: Lauren brought in A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe for an interview. Joe was pacing back and forth in the background while Styles talked about the veterans making it about them, not about TNA. He said they were brought in to mentor the younger wrestlers, but it’s completely broken apart. Styles with a decent promo here. Joe then stepped in and grabbed the camera after shoving the cameraman and Lauren away. He screamed into the camera that he hopes Nash is watching because he’s going to end Nash’s career tonight. And if any of his new friends wants to get in the mix, he’ll do the same. Joe stormed off, then Styles left.
Something going down! They showed a clip of Bashir completely dried off and with his headgear back on being confronted by Rhino while Lauren watched. Rhino said he’s tired of listening to Bashir and he’s tired of Bashir talking about his open challenge tonight. Um… Bashir has said nothing about this tonight. Rhino said he’s going to deport Bashir tonight. How do you deport a U.S. citizen? Yeah, let’s cheer the xenophobic guy! Rhino started to walk off, but Bashir jumped him and choked him out with his headgear. Rhino was left KO’ed while Lauren called for help.
In-ring: James Storm came out first for the text tag match, having gained the fewest votes. Let’s get another commercial.
In-ring: Brother Ray came out second as the second-least vote-getter to start the match.
3 — TEXT TAG TEAM GAUNTLET BRAWL
Ray and Storm battled, then Roode came out third to help Storm double up on Ray. Now, viewers can text their vote for what weapon – tables, ladders, or chairs – should be used in the match. Devon came out fourth, meaning Team 3D and Beer Money received the fewest votes. Hernandez came out fifth and accepted a 3D for good measure. Homicide then came out sixth, bringing three complete teams into the match. No eliminations thus far, as three teams exchanged blows. After another countdown, Matt Morgan came out seventh. The distance from the entrance ramp to the ring must be like 10 feet total.
Morgan came in hot and started eliminating folks left and right. LAX was done. Abyss then came out as the final participant. He was waving his arm toward Morgan, who told him to stay back. Suddenly, in super-slow-motion, Morgan was dumped over the top rope and he gingerly landed on the floor. Penzer said the fans have vote for tables as being legal now. Ray and Devon’s eyes lit up, but Devon was already eliminated. In any event, 3D set up a table in the ring and pulled out the lighter fluid. Sure, just water down the flaming table gimmick while we’re at it. Abyss then snuck into the ring and knocked down both men to draw boos. He picked up the lighter fluid, though, and surveyed the crowd. He took too long to think and Devon low-blowed him from behind. 3D then dumped Abyss over the top rope for an elimination.
[Q5 — second hour]
Fans chanted for fire as it was Beer Money vs. 3D doing battle now. 3D took Roode through the gas-soaked table with a 3D, and Devon had the pin, but Jacqueline yanked the ref out of the ring. Are the belts on the line, by the way? In the confusion, Storm spewed alcohol in Devon’s eyes and Devon dropped to the mat. Storm then made the cover for the win.
WINNERS: Beer Money in 11:00. Just a messy gimmick tag match. Too much happening at once and they managed to book an unintentional boo-fest for Abyss after completely wasting the sympathy effect for Abyss selling injuries from the flaming table spot at the PPV. (BAD)
In-ring: After Tenay and West hyped the happenings tonight, Kurt Angle’s music hit and Angle walked out to the ring. They went to a camera shot of Dave Penzer, who was sitting in the dark. They kept the shot forever with the intent of showing Penzer’s bruises from Angle’s attack last week, but he was still in the dark. Angle took the mic in the ring and said it’s historical tonight because of the formation of the Main Event Mafia.
Angle said he’s here for a different reason tonight. Jeff Jarrett. He said he doesn’t care about Mick Foley’s announcement, but getting his hands on Jarrett. Angle said he’s not kidding about paying Jarrett’s kids a visit. The censor man then mis-timed Angle saying, “I don’t give a s—” before Jarrett’s music interrupted. Jarrett walked out on stage and said he’s going to tell him this for the last time. It’s over. Done. He said they have the best talent roster assembled ever in TNA, so there’s no reason for him to be in the ring. Jarrett said he’s going to pass the torch to guys like Styles, Joe, Lethal (with two minutes in the ring), and Machineguns.
Angle cut him off and screamed, “It’s about me!” He said he doesn’t care about Jarrett or his damn company. He just cares about whopping Jarrett’s ass tonight. Jarrett said Angle will just have to take “no” for an answer, as there’s a locker room full of guys who want to get a piece of him. Suddenly, Abyss was standing in the ring behind Angle. Jarrett told him one guy is standing right behind him. Angle slowly turned around and started a fight with Abyss, who tried a Black Hole Slam, but Angle kinda slipped out? Very awkward spot. Angle then bailed to the floor to escape while Jarrett smiled on stage.
West hyped live events. Kurt Angle told us to cross the line. Awesome Kong was profiled along with Taylor Wilde to hype the Women’s Title match tonight.
Backstage: Lauren brought in Raisha Saeed and Awesome Kong. Raisha said Kong is sick and tired of having to go through that fair-haired swine, Taylor Wilde. Tonight, Kong gets the Knockouts Title back and she’ll be done with Taylor. She vowed that it will be Taylor’s last match. Period.
Elsewhere backstage: Borash brought in Taylor Wilde for her comments. Taylor said she’s just going to do exactly what she always does – beat Kong. Taylor said that if Kong is going to beat her, then she’ll need to end her career to do it.
4 — Knockouts champion TAYLOR WILDE vs. AWESOME KONG (w/Raisha Saeed)
Fast-paced start with Kong brick-walling Taylor off the ropes, then missing with a big splash. Taylor tried a top rope dive, but Kong smashed her in mid-air with a clothesline. Kong started to dominate while the fans had a dueling chant of “Let’s go Taylor” and “Let’s go Kong.” Taylor tried to fight back, but Kong dropped her with a chokeslam for a nearfall. Kong tried to end it with an Awesomebomb, but Taylor slipped out and nailed a series of dropkicks that rocked Kong. She then went up top for a missile dropkick that took Kong off her feet for a close two count. Taylor suddenly nailed a huracanrana, then Raisha yanked Taylor’s foot from the floor. Taylor unloaded on Raisha, but that distraction allowed Kong to grab her and nail a huge Awesomebomb. Kong with the pin and the win to capture the belt.
WINNER: Kong in 4:00 to capture the Knockouts Title. You could tell from the start this was going to be a very fast match. TNA did them an injustice with only four minutes allotted, as the match was very good and could have been even better. (*1/2)
Backstage: Angle and Booker talked to Sting and Nash in the dark as they were preparing for the main event.
Ringside: Nick Bockwinkel was shown on the front row watching earnestly. Let’s get a Bockwinkle promo in honor.
In-ring: Sting and Kevin Nash came out to Sting’s entrance music first for the TV main event. Samoa Joe’s music hit, then Joe walked out by himself. Joe quickly stormed the ring and tossed his towel down at Nash, who was on the floor. A.J. Styles then came out to his individual theme music. Subtle difference between the two teams here.
5 — A.J. STYLES & SAMOA JOE vs. TNA World Hvt. champion STING & KEVIN NASH
Nash and Styles started things off with Nash landing a big knee to the gut. Joe then asked for a tag and he was granted a tag. Nash then quickly bailed from the ring to avoid Joe, leading to Sting and Joe having Slapfest 2008. Joe landed a hard elbow smash in the corner, then brushed off Sting in Nash’s direction. Good intensity here. Styles then came in and nailed a leaping scissors knee drop on Sting. He then took a shot at Nash, who answered with a clothesline on Styles from the apron. Heels in control and break time. Dang, we can’t even get two minutes of action before grabbing a break. Unbelievable misappropriation of time tonight.
They returned with the heels in control working over Styles at 5:00. Sting then missed with a clothesline and Styles nailed an awesome Pele soccer kick on an unsuspecting Sting. Great sequence. Nash then took a tag and Joe took the appropriate hot tag to set off Joe vs. Nash. Nash wanted a clothesline, but Joe ducked and nailed a leaping kick and sentaun splash for a nearfall. Sting tried a Stinger Splash on Joe in the corner, but Joe moved and Nash ate the Splash. In the confusion, Nash grabbed the TNA Title belt and smashed Joe in the face when Joe was thinking about a suicide dive on Sting. Nash made the cover on Joe for the win. And the crowd went wild for Nash.
WINNERS: Nash & Sting in 7:00. 3 1/2 minutes of in-ring action 3 1/2 minutes of commercials. And this for a potential PPV main event featuring four of the top stars in TNA. Ridiculous.
Post-match: Styles and Joe tried to attack Nash and Sting, but Booker and Angle made the save. The crowd went wild for them, then Booker smashed Styles in the face with the Legends belt. Styles came up bleeding, then Angle dropped Styles with a European uppercut. Sting simply walked around the ring while Nash smashed Joe across the forehead with elbow smashes. Sting, Booker, Nash, and Angle then stood tall in the ring while Angle’s music played. Exactly who are the heels and who are the faces here? Fans need a reason to care about Styles and Joe before TNA can build heat with a beat down. Right now, there’s no reason for fans to cheer Joe and Styles because no one wants to cheer for losers. Especially with the double whammy of being match and post-match losers.
In-ring: Some generic music hit from like a 1995 car-racing video game at Dave & Busters, then Mick Foley walked out to the ring for his Biggest Announcement Ever. After Foley waited out the “Foley, Foley” chants, he took the mic and started looking around the ring. He said it must be major declaration time. Foley said it’s time to go behind closed doors for the Jarrett meeting last week. He talked about making a lot of money in his career, but there is a rumor that Foley is the cheapest, most frugal wrestler who ever lived. Tenay said that’s fact. Foley patted himself on the back for being modest and humble, then said Jarrett approached him that perhaps he would like to make some sort of investment…
Before Foley could take it where we thought – that he’s buying a piece in TNA – Angle’s music interrupted. He walked out with Nash, Sting, Booker, and Sharmell, but told them to hang back. Angle then walked into the ring to confront Foley by himself. Foley said he’s screwing things up. Angle said that a week ago, he was told Foley would take a Kurt and wipe his Angle. Foley laughed, but Angle smashed him with a sudden-strike headbutt. Foley asked him if he thinks that’s funny now. Foley coughed into the mic, got up, and said it’s kinda funny. See, Jarrett was asking him if he was willing to make a major investment in TNA. A major shareholder in this company, if you will.
Foley said this is where it gets kinda funny because Angle just headbutted his new boss. Tenay and West tried to over-sell this over-hyped announcement, then Foley continued that as Angle’s new boss, the first thing he’s going to do is say, “Kurt Angle, you’re ffffffff…free…to work here if you want.” Foley said he didn’t throw his money away on some pipe dream. He said he loves and believes in his investment. Angle didn’t really care. Foley said he loves this business and believes in the fans. He said he believes in the X Division guys. That makes one person. Foley asked Angle if he remembers what it was like when something major was about to happen in WWE.
Foley said they were fortunate to be there when the business exploded. And now, they can be part of something very, very big. Oh, Mick. One too many chair shots to the head. Foley said his question to Angle is whether he wants to be a part of history or simply be history. He said the choice is up to him. Foley’s music hit, then some confetti flew down into the ring. Angle looked around the ring while Foley extended his arms in the air. Angle pretended to be in deep thought covering his mouth with his hands. And now everyone flash back to Foley as commissioner in WWE. Yipee. Angle rejoined MEM on the stage while Tenay recapped everything that has happened tonight. Over-sell. Over-hype. Over-state. And end one minute before the top of the hour.
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Source: James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch