Full Credit: Jeff Hamlin, F4WOnline.com
The Big News: Mostly a comedy go-home show. Rhino got some credibility by pinning Sting in a non-title main event match. Aside from that, it was lame skits with a fake Sarah Palin that went nowhere and Abyss being portrayed as the ultimate fool.
Team 3-D met the front line in the locker room, where Brother Ray gave them a pep talk.
The Main Event Mafia came out, where Kevin Nash complimented them for putting one over on them last week. Nash gave 3-D sixty seconds to come to the ring and reconsider, or else. 3-D came out to the ramp and said they would team with Samoa Joe and A.J. Styles for the eight man tag this weekend. Ray did some inside references about how all five of the members of the Main Event Mafia raped every company they ever worked for, and if that keeps up there’ll be no more TNA. While I’m not holding my breath, 3-D should get votes for Best on Interviews this year, because they’ve ranged from top heels to kick ass faces and get over regardless. Each member of the Front Line came out in the crowd to celebrate with the fans. Rhino cut a promo on Kurt Angle saying he would put him on the unemployment line, and said he would gore Sting in a match tonight.
The Beautiful People, Jeremy Borash and Lauren were waiting backstage for Sarah Palin to show up. Borash said the text messaging service is now free, which should tell you how much business they were getting before. Velvet Sky told Angelina Love and Kip James they had business to take care of before they meet with Palin. Bet they were going to get a crash course on the duties of the vice president.
The theme of the show was this could be the final TNA appearance of Kurt Angle. They ran the top five Angle TNA moments, starting with the PPV from August 12, 2006 when he defeated Samoa Joe to win every TNA championship. If you’ll recall, that was the show where Karen Angle (who was shown hugging Kurt) turned on Joe, and he hasn’t been nearly as over since.
Booker T and Sharmell were in their dressing room. Borash mentioned Booker’s Legends championship was created because he thought of the championship and paid for the belt. It’s TNA’s version of WAMMA. Booker said his match tonight would be a street fight, then transformed from his Last King of Scotland accent to old school Harlem Heat.
1. Booker T defeated Samoa Joe to retain the Legends Championship. They had a hot start brawling around the ring trading stiff chops, followed by the requisite commercial three minutes in. There’s a better way to pace this show when two headliners are fighting twenty minutes in. Mostly stiff shots throughout the match, with Booker gaining the advantage after posting Joe outside the ring. Booker hit the savate kick and knee drop. Later, Booker missed an ax kick and Joe hooked the Kokina clutch. Sharmell distracted referee Earl Hebner as Booker tapped. This led to Sky and Love doing a run-in and putting hairspray in Joe’s eyes. Booker then got the pin with an ax kick. Good match, but another job for Joe? **1/2
The Main Event Mafia celebrated backstage, where Scott Steiner did another promo on the Front Line, which appeared to be a takeoff on his promo from last month. Angle said he had something to say to Jeff Jarrett in the ring.
Angle moment #4 was his match against Yuji Nagata from last year in the Tokyo Dome, which was one of the few times I’ve seen TNA as a true major company.
3-D burst into Joe’s locker room and brought up how Joe can’t win every match. He brought up how Ric Flair lost the world title 16 times, but he was still a 17-time champion.
Beer Money met Abyss backstage. I hope Abyss is turning heel, because he sure came across as a naïve babyface here. Three weeks after James Storm cracked him over the head with a beer bottle, Abyss was talked into drinking a beer (It was explained that Matt Morgan was at the gym. Isn’t he missing a payday?) Of course, after one bottle, it led to Abyss asking for whiskey.
Angle’s TNA moment #3 was his debut in November 2003.
A woman who had barely a passing resemblance to Sarah Palin got out of the limousine to meat the Beautiful People. Of course, everyone sold it like it was the real thing. She spoke with this horribly fake accent. Everyone followed her into the Impact Zone. It reminded me of when the WWF would bring in a fake Bill Clinton during the mid-90s, but it was done for momentary comedy instead of cheap pub that makes you feel ripped off and makes the announcers look like fools.
Christy Hemme and A.J. Styles defeated Awesome Kong and Scott Steiner in a mixed tag. In a pre-match video package, they showed Hemme and Styles training together. It remains to be seen if they go any further with that partnership. Styles did a good job carrying Stiener, who moves like a shorter Hulk Hogan in 1999. He’s muscular and was back wrestling without a tank top, but also barely mobile. Rules were only the same sexes could face each other, but Kong kept going after Styles, most notably tripping him outside the ring. Styles took a nasty bump from that too. Finish was the usual silliness. Hemme couldn’t take Kong 1-on-1. Kong gave Styles a running splash in the corner and set up Hemme for the Awesome bomb. But Hemme reversed into a sunset flip and Styles pushed Kong over. Yes, two faces against one heel (A monster heel, but still one heel). Styles then assisted Hemme is giving her a swinging DDT for the pin. *1/2
Angle confronted Mick Foley in the back. He warned Foley to stay out of his business against Rhino this Sunday, or else he wouldn’t walk again. Foley didn’t back down and promised to call it right down the middle. Angle again teased someone would be watching Foley, and it wasn’t a member of the Main Event Mafia. Foley looked confused. Too bad he didn’t hear Borash’s test message tease earlier in the show which promised to reveal a mystery person that would show up this Sunday. Foley could have found out, for free no less.
Angle moment #2 was Angle’s victory at Slammiversary in a King of the Hill match to win the TNA World Championship.
Backstage, Abyss was totally hammered. They made it out like Abyss had never been drunk or had sex before. Abyss asked Storm if he was still thought of as a top guy anymore. Not until he junks that mental house gown. Beer Money threw Jacqueline in Abyss’s lap. She acted all repulsed, but Storm and Roode made her kiss him. Then Abyss asked if that kiss meant if he was no longer a virgin, then looked at Lauren and said the kiss doesn’t change anything between them. Lame stuff.
Consequences Creed, Eric Young and Black Machismo defeated Sheik Abdul Bashir, Jimmy Rave and Sonjay Dutt. Shouldn’t Rave be a face now that Hemme turned? Shane Sewell was the referee again, giving Bashir the evil eye. So we had three faces against two heels again. Unreal. Bashir refused to wrestle because of Sewell and did commentary with Mike Tenay and Don West instead. Machismo and Dutt’s program must be history because they started against each other and their program was barely mentioned. Machismo did a tope on Dutt as he and So Cal Val were kissing. Dutt’s added some old school heel tactics like choking Young with his tape. Creed got the hot tag and the pin with the TKO on Rave. Afterwards, Bashir attacked Young, who made his own comeback finishing him with a hip toss on the ramp. **
There was a promo piece for Feast or Fired this weekend. Great idea for a promotion. But here are the following names who did soundbites for the match: Chris Sabin, Jimmy Rave, Homicide, Black Machismo and Alex Shelley. In other words, mostly guys the company has been telling us not to waste any emotional investment in for the past year. So who the hell cares if they get fired, especially when it’s probably worked anyway?
“Palin” and the Beautiful People visited Booker’s locker room. Palin mentioned something about being able to see Russia from there. Booker came out of the shower, and Palin marveled at how large he was. Well, he had a towel on. Anyway, she said something about the wrestlers in TNA being as large as some of the moose she hunts in Alaska. I guess that passes for comedy with Russo. Booker asked Cute Kip to escort them out of the room.
TNA Rough Cut: LAX finished about how they wanted to be a hero to the Latin people. They mentioned they wanted to go down as the greatest Latin American tag team of all time. Good luck.
More comedy as Abyss and Beer Money were still drinking. His cell phone rang and Morgan told him he was on his way back to the Impact Zone from the gym. Beer Money broke a bottle over Abyss’ head and told him he and Morgan would never win this weekend. Abyss came off so stupid drinking with the guys he’s feuding with.
Angle did an interview in the ring that was pretty much the highlight of the show. Angle called out Jarrett, who watched from the ramp. With a crazed look on his face, Angle spoke of how focused he was when he won Olympic gold in 1996. But even that couldn’t compare to how focused he is on beating Jeff Jarrett. He acknowledged this may be the final Impact he appears on, but said if it isn’t, he’s going to make sure he not only beats Jeff Jarrett in the ring, but he beats him in life. He threatened to own his company and own Jarrett himself. Unfortunately, he also brought up Jill Jarrett again. How sick does Jeff Jarrett look when his own wife’s death is used a part of a fake wrestling storyline? Jarrett said the only way Angle was going to take his company was over his dead body. Angle had great facials in this segment and it built up the match pretty well. But the match they built up won’t be until next month, and they have a PPV Sunday.
Rhino cut a promo on Angle from the back saying he had gone over the line regarding constantly bringing up Jarrett’s family.
Suicide is still coming. His character seems to be patterned off the movie and comic book character Darkman.
Styles, 3-D and Joe did a promo about the Front Line.
Rhino defeated Sting in a non-title match. Can’t say they didn’t go out of their way to make Rhino look like a viable challenger for Angle. Rhino got all of the early offense until he went for the gore outside the ring, but Sting sidestepped him and ran head first into the railing. Rhino juiced. After a commercial, Rhino’s face was covered in blood. After a flying clothesline by Rhino, Angle ran out to cheer on Sting. This brought out Styles. Rhino hit a shoulder block, causing Angle to jump up on the apron, but Rhino nailed him. As Angle went after Rhino, Sting clotheslined Rhino and put him in the scorpion death lock. Styles started fighting with Angle while the referee tried to break them up. Meanwhile, Sting released the scorpion, allowing Rhino to get up and hit the gore for the pin. Sting didn’t look happy with Angle afterwards. *1/2
SUMMARY: Pretty bad comedy skits everywhere on the show, which killed any good wrestling. Not much of a buildup for the PPV, though Rhino got some much needed help. People won’t buy him as a viable challenger against Angle, and even if they did it won’t do business during a crowded sports weekend.