Full Credit: Jeff Hamlin, F4WOnline.com
4.17 TNA Impact
By Jeff Hamlin
The Big News: More good matches, solid angles and a pay per view that has some genuine intrigue. In other words, everything the WWE isn’t right now.
The show started with A.J. Styles calling out Jeff Jarrett for costing him the match two weeks ago against Scott Steiner. He wasn’t angry, but wanted to ask Jarrett about the rumors of him joining the Main Event Mafia. Jarrett came out and Styles said he understood how much pressure he was under. But he wondered how much he could trust Jarrett in Sunday’s Lethal Lockdown match. Jarrett said he was insulted about being asked such a question since he appointed Styles as team captain before Styles declined it. Jarrett was pissed his loyalty was being questioned. Styles tried to apologize, but Jarrett tried to come across as the bad ass who would hear nothing of it. Jarrett said the fourth partner of Team Jarrett would wrestle Kevin Nash tonight, and he was a former TNA champion. The Mafia came out without Sting. Kurt Angle announced Nash wouldn’t wrestle tonight because of a staph infection in his elbow and wouldn’t be cleared until Sunday. Angle asked Jarrett if he could replace Nash in tonight’s match. Styles acted like Team Angle would have to forfeit the match, so Team Jarrett would win the man advantage. Angle said he didn’t know Styles was in charge of the company, and Jarrett intervened and allowed Angle to replace Nash, then walked off before Styles could confront him.
Sheik Abdul Bashir did a promo about his new group with Kiyoshi and No Limit. He denied being an Anti-American team, and said they were coming for blood this weekend at Lockdown.
1. Homicide won a three-way match against Chris Sabin and Naito in 4:54. Great, though rushed. I’m sure that’s no surprise to you. Chris Sabin worked as a heel, joining Naito in double-teaming Homicide. Naturally, Sabin got the biggest response from the crowd. Sabin blocked an early tornado DDT attempt by Homicide and delivered a seated dropkick, then turned on Naito with a clothesline. Naito did a spectacular flying shoulder block on Sabin. Homicide ducked a Sabin clothesline, then flew totally out of control with a tope con hilo on Kiyoshi and Yojiro, and his momentum carried him past the fans into the wall. That looked like a designed spot, and Homicide sold it great. Sabin and Naito carried on in the ring while Homicide was kept at bay. Naito did a german suplex for a near fall. Homicide hit both men with a missile dropkick, and did a monkey flip on Sabin, who walked into a Naito clothesline. Homicide did a Tiger Bomb on Sabin for a two count. Sabin did a tremendous tornado DDT on Naito while giving Homicide an enzuigiri. Finish saw Sabin go for a flying huracanrana on Naito, but Homicide pushed him off and gave him a diamond cutter, called a 5150, off the top for a pin. ***
Backstage, Balls Mahoney and Brother Runt (Spike Dudley) were shown getting out of a taxi.
Abyss was in Jim Cornette’s office when ODB and Cody Deaner walked in. He wanted a match tonight. ODB was mad about being in a three-way cage match on Sunday. ODB wanted a match tonight. Cornette was funny as usual, mentioning the first time he saw ODB naked, he canceled his donation to fight blindness. Cornette ordered both of them to each find a partner tonight for a mixed tag match. ODB wanted to know why Deaner was still hanging around her when they were supposed to be together one night. Deaner carried her off over his shoulder.
Jarrett did a sit-down interview with Mike Tenay. They aired clips from a match from around 1989 with Jarrett wrestling Cactus Jack in the old Continental territory from Alabama. Jarrett said he was unsure who was going to show up on Sunday night, the Foley who is the executive shareholder of TNA or the man from 20 years ago. Jarrett then talked about his relationship with Scott Steiner, talking about how Steiner was tight with his family. Jarrett made a cryptic comment that whenever he looks at his three daughters, he knows he has to do what’s best for Jeff Jarrett, again teasing that joining the mafia isn’t as farfetched as one would think.
In the mafia dressing room, Jenna Morasca was locking eyes with Nash again. Considering how storyline relationships in wrestling usually wind up in reality, I think Nash has to love this direction. Angle acted like he had no idea who his opponent was tonight. He guaranteed a victory tonight anyway.
2. Raisha Saeed, Awesome Kong and Taylor Wilde defeated Angelina Love, Velvet Sky and Madison Rayne in 1:00. They brawled six-way at the opening bell. Awesome Kong ducked a clothesline by Angelina Love and followed with an implant buster for the pin. Postmarch, Kong went for the scissors, but was jumped by all three heels. Saaed and Wilde got laid out with hot shots into the Knockouts championship belt. Love sprayed something in Kong’s eyes, and knocked her out with the championship belt. Love then finally cut off the blond braids of Kong and left her laying. The announcing of the angle was clumsy, as Don West abruptly brought up how Jarrett was waffling during the Tenay interview while Kong was having her hair cut. They had been playing up the Kong her hair for a full month before they finally delivered, but West almost no sold it at the end. Fortunately, they showed replays after a commercial. DUD.
Backstage, Kong was incensed backstage throwing around everything that wasn’t nailed down while Saeed tried to calm her down.
Rough Cut: Team 3-D concluded with Brother Ray talking about being only the second set of Americans this decade to hold the IWGP tag team belts, which is true. The other team was Tomko and Giant Bernard. By the way, in retrospect, how dumb does Tomko’s decision to skip a TNA autograph signing in exchange for a New Japan booking look now? He’ll never be more over in this country again than he was in late 2007. Ray talked about how wrestling in Japan was taken seriously, which would have come off so much better as a statement in 1999 than now.
They shifted to a backstage interview with Team 3-D, where Runt and Mahoney walked in. Runt was clean shaven with short hair. Runt and Mahoney said they were just passing through, and acted like 3-D was representing ECW, though those initials were never mentioned. Mahoney started talking about how 3-D was representing the old guard this weekend like Sandman, Sabu, and Taz. When Ray brought up Paul Heyman, they just laughed it off. Mahoney and Runt said they would just hang out tonight.
3. Abyss and Daffney defeated Cody Deaner and ODB in a mixed tag at 3:52. Watching Daffney throw chops to ODB’s implants made for nice unintentional comedy. And that was the peak of their dual. Then Deaner and Abyss provided intentional comedy with Abyss no selling Deaner’s forearms. Deaner acted mad and turned his baseball cap backwards, then got knocked flat with one Abyss slap. Abyss got the pin with a black hole slam. Then Matt Morgan ran in to jump Abyss, and laid him out with the carbon footprint. Decent comedy. ¼*
Backstage, Steiner told Jeremy Borash his conversations with Jarrett would remain private. However, he said by the end of tonight, he felt Jarrett’s actions would speak louder than anything, then walked off.
Mick Foley came out for his special interview with Cactus Jack. It was basically Foley morphing into Cactus Jack mode, letting it be known that only one persona could face Sting this weekend. Foley sat down and introduced Jack, but Foley stayed in his seat. Foley basically talked to himself, alternating between his Foley and Jack personas, with Jack shouting the light-hearted Foley down in a lower, gruff voice. Jack told the story of Foley being at a book signing in 2007 when two youths who had just robbed a store ran past him, and Foley did nothing because he no longer had the guts or killer instinct to do anything about it. Jack said he was tired of Foley cashing in the checks that Cactus Jack’s body wrote, and this weekend the Foley sneakers would be out, and the Cactus leopard skin boots would be in. The sweatpants would be gone, and the old Cactus black pants would be back. When Foley tried to get a word in, Cactus began hitting himself in the head repeatedly until his juiced above his right eye. Sting came out and thought Foley had lost his mind. Foley brought up that Sting was his greatest rival, and 20 years ago when everyone else was afraid of Cactus Jack, Sting never was. But there was one time when the fans got behind Cactus when crowds began chanting “Cactus Jack,” and that was the only time when Sting showed concern. Suddenly, the mafia music hit. When Sting turned his back, Foley jumped him. Foley had set the entire music up, and for proof he asked for the music of Curry Man and Shark Boy while he put the boots to Sting. Cactus pulled out the barbed wire baseball bat, then asked for Sting’s music. He didn’t hit him with the bat, but said he’s in charge of the company so he can do what he wants, and this weekend he wants to destroy Sting. I thought this was a very compelling angle, though the crowd seemed confused because some were chanting for Foley, even though he was clearly trying to be a heel. Not many people could even attempt this concept at any point in wrestling history, and you can bet in this current age of scripted interviews no one in the future will be able to pull it off. To me, it was intriguing television, but I’m not sure if the crowd caught on. But it was a great way to build for the PPV.
Backstage, Beer Money jumped Runt and Mahoney, then they came out in front of the camera. Mahoney juiced and Runt was getting thrown everywhere by James Storm. Runt juiced as well after a high angle DDT by Storm on a chair. Mahoney took a sick chair shot from Robert Roode. Runt was tied upside down on the top rope, where Storm clocked him with a chair. It ended with Roode giving Runt a super bomb through a table. It took forever for 3-D to make the save. After a commercial, Brother Ray announced their match on Sunday would be a Philadelphia Street Fight. Since the match was supposed to be in a cage, I guess that means they can leave the cage at will. But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the cage?
Styles was interviewed backstage and said he didn’t know who Angle’s mystery opponent was, and also said he didn’t know what Jarrett was thinking going into Sunday’s match.
Kurt Angle awaited his opponent in the ring. Jarrett came out first and said the decision about the mystery partner wasn’t about him, but it was about Styles, Samoa Joe, the entire Front Line and all the fans. Jarrett said this was an easy decision, and the fourth member of Team Jarrett was Christopher Daniels. Styles was elated backstage. Daniels mouthed to the camera “I never left,” which was the truth. I guess Jarrett was telling the truth in saying Daniels was a former TNA champion, because he never said “TNA World Heavyweight champion,” which Daniels has never held.
4. Kurt Angle defeated Christopher Daniels in 8:08. So Team Angle wins the Lethal Lockdown challenge two matches to one, and will get the man advantage for this Sunday’s match. Daniels got a big reaction and fans chanted “Let’s go Daniels.” First big spot was Daniels doing a split-legged plancha. Angle delivered a belly-to-belly suplex over the top to the floor, and another belly-to-belly after a commercial. The two men gave each other clotheslines. Daniels hit a series of clotheslines and a STO, followed by a blue thunder bomb for a two count. Angle countered a slam with a DDT, then teased the Olympic slam. Daniels escaped and hit a enzuigiri. Daniels got a fisherman’s suplex for another near fall. Daniels went for the best moonsault ever, but Angle rolled up and got three German suplexes for a two count. Angle got the Olympic slam, but Daniels kicked out to the surprise of everyone. Angle got the ankle lock, but Daniels rolled out and got a rolling ¾ nelson for what appeared to be the pin, but both men’s shoulders were down. Styles ran in to celebrate with Daniels while Angle attacked referee Rudy Charles. Cornette came out to intervene while Angle demanded that the decision be reversed. Cornette started to say he saw Daniels’ shoulders down, but Angle said insulted him, so Cornette changed his mind, called Angle a loser and said the decision stands. Angle tried to strangle Cornette, and demanded Jarrett come out. Jarrett came out from the truck, said he watched the replay from several different angles, then showed the replay on the screen. It showed that Angle got the shoulder up while Daniels’ shoulders were still down. So Jarrett ruled Angle the winner. Immediately, Daniels and Styles jumped in the ring furious at Jarrett, and even Cornette got in his face. Joe came out to argue also as the show went off the air. ***1/2