Source: James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch
TNA Impact Report on Spike TV
February 11, 2010
Taped Jan. 19 in Orlando, Fla.
Tonight’s Impact leading to the Against All Odds PPV started with a video package on last week’s Impact with The Band
splitting up when Pac and Scott Hall turned on Kevin Nash. It’s not For Life. Tonight’s show: “Hulk’s Moment of Truth.”
Announcers: Mike Tenay said they’re going to fill the final slots in the #1 contender tournament for the PPV.
Impact Zone: Hulk Hogan’s music hit to begin the show featuring Hogan. Hogan slowly walked out doing his “shuffle” to mask the pain he said he feels walking down the ramp. Hogan did a light jog once he hit the ring before posing for the audience. Man, you would think Hogan opening the show would be reason for heavy pre-show promotion from TNA and Spike TV. Hogan welcomed the audience to their Impact Zone before saying he made the right decision coming to TNA where it’s crackalacking. He said when he’s getting his pump on, everyone’s talking TNA. Even his “brothers up North” are talking TNA. Ah, the classic TNA regionalizing promo limiting their audience to the Southern market.
Hogan said he feels cool again and the fans are making this the #1 place to be. Hogan said there’s a couple of guys who aren’t “in” and the Impact Zone is on full lockdown tonight. No one is getting in and no one is getting out. He said he could go on and on about his brothers for life, but they crossed the line. He said he could take Hall or Pac out, but the way it’s going is the Impact Zone is on full lockdown and if somehow or another Hall and Pac sneak through the cracks, they’re going to have to deal with him. He vowed to put the clown outfit of the red and yellow on if he needed to.
Eric Young’s music then interrupted and Young came out sporting a leather jacket over a white t-shirt and jeans. Young stepped into the ring to face Hogan as some “smart fans” chanted, “Underrated.” Young said he and Kevin are “boys.” He said good friends are hard to find, so what he needs is a favor. Young needs Pac and Hall in the building so they can get what’s coming to them. Young said after tonight, the first thing Hogan is going to learn is that he doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.
Hogan said he might be new, but Dixie Carter has been trying to get him in here for a while. Hogan said he knows about him from Team Canada, World Elite, and him being the Global champion. (Taped pre-Rob Terry title change.) Hogan said he came here for guys like Young and he’s here to support him. Hogan said he gave The Band their last warning and it’s a done deal. Young said out of respect for Hogan, he won’t take them out because he has a deep, deep respect for Hogan, so he’s going to have to do what Nash and the people would do: go to them. Hogan said if he’s going to do it, then take it outside and off the property and bust ’em up real bad. They shook hands and Hogan slid out of the ring with Young standing in the ring. JC: Okay, they gave Young a little rub here, but my goodness, this dragged forever. It could have been accomplished in about five minutes rather than the first 12 minutes of the show.
Backstage: Mick Foley asked a stagehand if Eric Bischoff is here. She said he is. Foley thanked her and they cut to break.
Outside: Hall and Pac were shown walking around the building pretending to be sneaking around. So, how did the cameraman get out of the building to document this if the building is on lockdown? Ugh.
Impact Zone: Orlando Jordan came out for the first of two Eight-Card Stud qualifying matches tonight. Jordan, wearing a bathrobe, shouted at the cameraman on the way to the ring that he’s the greatest in TNA. The Pope D’Angelo Dinero then came out as the opponent.
1 — THE POPE D’ANGELO DINERO vs. ORLANDO JORDAN
The announcers talked up Pope’s victory over A.J. Styles last week as a confidence boost for him. Tenay and Taz talked about the new ranking system being established with the tournament at Against All Odds and these qualifying matches. The announcers speculated on who will get the other two spots in the tournament with 4 in + 2 tonight = 6 and not 8. Jordan took control early and the audience chanted, “You still suck.” Jordan taunted Pope before doing some jabs. Pope absorbed, then made a comeback with a flying forearm smash. Pope then went for the Coronation running splash across the neck as Jordan was flat on the middle rope. Jordan came back with a blow to the throat before taunting Pope that he’s the man. The taunting didn’t do Jordan any favors, as Pope nailed the Express double knee smash in the corner for the pin and the win. Pope joins Wolfe, Angle, Anderson, and Hernandez in the #1 contender tournament.
WINNER: Pope in 6:00. Basic, formula match that was ultimately forgettable. Pope got his revenge on Jordan and the right man won to be in the tournament, as Pope has much more upside as a character. (*1/4)
Bischoff office: Jeff Jarrett walked in and asked Bischoff if he caught his match against Ken Anderson two weeks ago. Jarrett took a deep breath and said they go way back. Why does every promo exchange have to start with “we’re old, we’ve done a lot, and here goes…?” Bischoff said he took an emotional investment in the match and perhaps he underestimated Jarrett’s potential contribution. Hard to tell if Bischoff was being serious, cerebral, or sarcastic. Jarrett said he wants one of the spots in the tournament. Bischoff said Jarrett is such a valuable asset to TNA and he has to protect the wrestlers, so he’s not sure if Jarrett is really ready. He said if Jarrett wins three matches at the PPV, he becomes #1 contender and that just doesn’t sound right. Bischoff said he needs to see Jarrett work hard and be an exemplary employee. “Nah, don’t think so,” Bischoff said. Jarrett lowered his head like a castrated dog and said, “okay.” He walked off and Bischoff mockingly said, “See ya!”
Impact Zone: Next up is Suicide vs. Matt Morgan in the Eight-Card Stud tournament. How did Suicide get in this? This should be a squash. Like no more than five seconds. Suicide came to the ring first and did his little pose routine. Matt Morgan then came out sporting one half of the tag title belts.
2 — TNA tag champion MATT MORGAN vs. SUICIDE
The bell sounded and they locked up with Morgan driving Suicide to the corner. Already five seconds. A graphic reminded the audience of Epics featuring Sting coming up after Impact. Morgan then landed big elbow strikes in the corner as Tenay plugged the first four Stud qualifiers in a tag match tonight. Morgan continued the assault, getting in his signature moves like a good squash match. Morgan, of course, had to show a slight weakness by missing with a corner splash before Suicide took him off his feet with a dropkick. No way Morgan should have left his feet at any point in this match. Morgan then missed with a chokeslam and Suicide dropkicked Morgan into the ropes. Morgan came back with a Carbon Footprint, though, for the pin and the win. Morgan, Pope, Wolfe, Hernandez, Angle, and Anderson have qualified.
WINNER: Morgan in 3:00. No no no no no no way Morgan should have sold anything for Suicide here, much less been taken off his feet at any point in the match. (n/a)
Backstage: Mick Foley was shown lightly tapping on Bischoff’s door before walking in. Foley came in like Jarrett left. He dejectedly said he’s willing to climb on board to do whatever’s needed to make sure Jeremy Borash and Abyss are protected. Bischoff said he’s thrilled that Foley’s come to this decision. He’s a man of his word and as far as he’s concerned, JB and Abyss are fine. As far as Abyss goes, he gets one of the slots in the Eight-Card tournament. Bischoff said he has the perfect opponent in mind. Yep, it’s going to be Abyss against…Mick Foley at Against All Odds. Foley dejectedly said he’ll start getting ready for the match. Bischoff said the look needs to change, too. He said they’ve seen the last of the Cactus Jack flannel thing. Foley said it’s ’80s, ’90s… (It’s not today.) Bischoff said one more thing that if there are any shenanigans with Abyss at the PPV, then Abyss’s mask will be coming off the next Impact. Foley dejectedly said thanks as Bischoff talked himself up for his decision-making. JC: What is the definition of shenanigans? Last time Abyss and Foley had a match on PPV at Bound for Glory, it was one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen, so that has to qualify, doesn’t it?
So, the field is set: Kurt Angle, Desmond Wolfe, Mr. Anderson, Hernandez, Matt Morgan, The Pope, Mick Foley, and Abyss. Foley vs. Abyss is a First Round match.
[Commercial Break. Cut-in: Eric Young was pacing backstage.]
Lockdown plug: Everything will be settled inside the cage in April. No word on what will be settled at the Destination X PPV the month before.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz broke down the bracket. Here we go. Pope vs. Wolfe. Hernandez vs. Morgan. Abyss vs. Foley. Anderson vs. Angle.
Backstage: Christy Hemme was with Angle and Anderson to talk about their tag match later tonight against Hernandez and Wolfe. Anderson told “Kristen” that he’s been in the ring with so many people he’s had to carry because he’s broken his neck five times that it doesn’t matter who he has to face. Anderson talked and talked while Angle just stood there with arms folded waiting for Anderson to stop. Angle stood in Anderson’s face and said he doesn’t know what his intentions are, but he’s going to have eyes in the back of his head and snap Anderson’s head if he tries to screw him like Hogan did. Angle walked off, then walked back into the shot and did a “snap” motion with his hands. Anderson stood there and waited for a random mic to drop from the ceiling to do his “Mister Anderson…Anderson” routine” with part two being whispered in Hemme’s ear.
Backstage: Kurt Angle approached Eric Young about trying to confront Pac and Hall. Angle said Hulk Hogan could be lurking in the shadows for all they know. Young said he’s not worried about his future in TNA. Angle yelled at Young to stay here and not get involved.
Impact Zone: We have a random X Division Title match coming up. Exhibit #1 on why the audience tunes out for these matches because there’s zero build-up. All of the TV time has been on Bischoff, Jarrett, Foley, Angle, and Hogan. Anyways, Amazing Red came out for his re-match. X Division champ Doug Williams then came out to defend.
3 — X Division champion DOUG WILLIAMS vs. AMAZING RED — X Division Title match
They had a fast-paced start with some choreographed moves before Williams settled things down with a wheelbarrow smash followed by an inside-out clothesline. Williams then grounded Red on the mat and smashed Red’s head into the mat repeatedly. Williams got caught on the outside moments later and Red hit a flying corkcrew splash. Back in the ring, Red hit a double foot stomp from the top rope for a close two count. Red followed with a spin kick for a two count. Red with another close nearfall before hitting an enziguri kick to the back of the head. He then went up top and did a tumble before Williams rammed him head first into the ringpost. Williams followed with his awesome rolling German suplex with a bridge for the pin and the win. Old-school ROH right there.
WINNER: Williams in 6:00 to retain the X Division Title. Good title match that could have been a little more special if given proper TV build. Good match to get over Williams as a big man in the X Division who could dominate if given a nice opportunity. (*3/4)
Video package: Can KO champion Tara and Angelina Love co-exist against the Beautiful People? Up next is a tag match against the Beautiful People in a handicap match.
By the way, are A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe having a match for the TNA Title on Sunday? TNA should air the entire Before the Bell deal on Impact, as that made Joe vs. Styles seem epic unlike tonight’s show.
[Q5 — second hour]
Backstage: Christy Hemme brought in Angelina and Tara for a promo to talk up the tag match coming up. They timed this out right at the top of the second hour. Back in the Impact Zone, the Beautiful People did their usual ring intro before Angelina and Tara came out separately to face them.
4 — BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE (VELVET SKY & MADISON RAYNE & LACEY VON ERICH) vs. Knockouts champion TARA & ANGELINA LOVE — Handicap match
There was a standard pre-match insult exchange going back and forth to start things off. After some back-and-forth action, Angelina and Tara stood tall in the ring and slapped hands going to break.
Back from break, the BPs were working over Tara to build to that hot tag to Angelina looking for revenge on her former team. The action broke down momentarily, which led to the finish with the Beautiful People doing their usual distractions to allow Lacey to use the ugly stick on Angelina for the win. Afterward, Tara took a three-on-one beating for good measure. The BPs then stood tall and got their curtain call in the ring to celebrate the victory.
WINNERS: Beautiful People in 10:00. Long-form, but not great Knockouts division tag match that should do a strong quarter-hour rating to start the second hour. (*)
Backstage: Desmond Wolfe was interviewed by Christy Hemme about the Eight Card Stud tournament. He said he already showed Kurt Mangled what he can do to him. He told Super Mexipad to go back to South of the border. Wolfe mocked Anderson’s intro and made Hemme giggle, then he got serious and said the other chaps need to understand that he will injure them if they’re not careful. Wolfe then put on his shades and stared down Hemme to wrap.
Outside: Hall and Pac were still lurking in the parking garage area.
Impact Zone: Desmond Wolfe’s music hit to bring out Wolfe for the featured tag match on the show building to the eight-card stud tournament at the PPV. Tenay said it’s a way to create tension courtesy of Bischoff and Hogan. Taz said it’s a great idear. Hernandez then came out as Wolfe’s partner and they didn’t exactly meet eye-to-eye. Mr. Anderson came out first for the other team and he cut his standard promo. Anderson…Anderson. Kurt Angle’s music then hit to bring out Angle through the entrance stage. Angle like a machine with his posture before walking to the ring. Before the match even started, Angle went to the ring apron to say he’s not starting.
4 — KURT ANGLE & MR. ANDERSON vs. TNA tag champ HERNANDEZ & DESMOND WOLFE
The match started with Anderson and Hernandez and Hernandez used his t-shirt as a rope to toss Anderson across the ring. Hernandez teased a Border Toss, but Anderson slipped out and ran over to Angle to make a tag. Angle and Hernandez then locked up and Wolfe landed a cheap shot from the ring apron, which Hernandez wasn’t pleased with. Wolfe then tagged in to work on Angle. Hernandez tagged back in and put Angle in the anklelock. Angle started tapping, but the ref was naturally distracted by Anderson. Angle then made a comeback with a top rope suplex. Even Anderson took a blow off the apron for good measure. Angle then walked into a hammerlock DDT from Wolfe for a two count.
[Q7] Wolfe teased the Tower of London on Angle, but Angle countered with the Angle Slam. Anderson then tagged himself in, smashed Angle in the face, and chucked him to the floor. Anderson made the cover on Wolfe for the win. Post-match: Anderson celebrated on the entrance ramp as Angle stood on the ring apron yelling toward Anderson that he’s going to get him on Sunday.
WINNERS: Anderson & Angle in 7:00. Fine featured tag match to set up the #1 contender tournament at the PPV. Anderson plays a great heel acting like a prick. He was easily the stand-out character of the match. Good build-up for Angle vs. Anderson in a First Round match at the PPV, albeit the build-up was last-minute and felt rushed in the grand scheme of trying to sell the PPV on specific match-ups. (*1/2)
Backstage: A big tourist was shown walking down the hallway. Check that. Samoa Joe was shown walking down the hallway in a regular t-shirt and jeans 90 minutes into the show.
Impact Zone: Samoa Joe walked out to the ring with white towel in hand dressed in street clothes. Still wish he had the blood-stained towel gimmick going. Joe took the mic in the ring and said he came out here to chat with A.J. Styles. Cue up the TNA champ’s theme music to bring out Styles dressed in a suit while sporting shades. Ric Flair brought up the rear as Styles strutted to the ring looking good as a cocky heel in a suit. He looks official this week. Flair took the mic on the ramp and handed it to Styles. Joe said Styles disgusts him because he’s known A.J. a long, long time since back when they were the two hottest wrestling stars on the planet. Joe said they gave everything in the ring for the people and their most epic clashes always involved each other. Joe said Styles used to be a champion and a warrior who earned everything he received. He said Angle came out here last month to find out who’s the best and Styles threw it all away.
Flair took the mic and said he wasn’t going to talk, but they need to establish one thing that Styles is the champ, the World champion, and the flagship. Flair said Joe, just like everyone else, is going to learn the word “respect.” Joe addressed Flair, saying he can come over here and strut to the ring to teach him respect, but he’ll be limping to the hospital afterwards. Joe said Styles was the last pure thing left in TNA, but he cheated everyone, especially the fans, out of their pure champ. Styles took the mic and said Joe has turned more coats than the dry cleaners. Nice comeback. He said Joe was with the Frontline, then the Main Event Mafia, then the Nation of Violence. He asked how’s that going, by the way, now that the Mafia’s money has dried up? Styles told Joe to go commentate with Taz. He told Taz to take a raincheck on that, too, because he’s likely to turn on Taz too. Styles asked Joe who he is to question him. (Great promo from Styles. Just great.)
Joe acknowledged that he’s made his mistakes and he’ll have to deal with them, but every time a newcomer came to TNA, he stood up to their faces and told them what’s up. Meanwhile, Styles got on his knees, puckered up, and kissed the ring of his new sugar daddy. Flair did a great “oh no, he didn’t” look toward Joe as Styles slowly removed his jacket and screamed at Joe. Styles charged the ring, but Joe blasted him with right hand blows. Joe then wanted the Musclebuster in the corner, but Flair came up from behind with a classic low blow. Flair then choked Joe while Styles kicked Joe in the crotch again. Refs tried to run in to separate Flair and Styles from Joe as Flair cut a promo on Joe that he needs to learn respect for Styles. “Hey, tough guy, Whooooo!” Flair said as Joe tried to pull himself up to wrap the segment.
JC: Darn good segment to sell the PPV title match. Styles looked much more comfortable and natural in the heel role as opposed to seeming like an artificial heel when he started the heel program with Flair. Styles acknowledging Joe’s constant heel turns was a good comeback, although it was almost too good to where it hurt the sympathy for Joe. After all, Joe handed the TNA Title to Kurt Angle at Slammiversary in June 2009 to turn on the fans. At the end of the day, neither Styles nor Joe is very likable.
Backstage: Styles was cleaned up and heading out the back while on the phone. Eric Bischoff walked up to him and asked if he’s having a good time tonight. Styles said he’s living large and living phenomenally. Bischoff said that’s all good, but they need a special referee for the TNA Title match. Styles said there’s no one to trust here in TNA. Bischoff then booked himself as special ref for the title match. He told Styles to go tell Flair about it. Styles then pulled out his phone and magically had Flair on the other line to tell Flair they have a problem.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz gave us the PPV line-up presented by Bischoff and Hogan. They listed the first round Eight-Stud tournament matches, Team 3D vs. the Nastys, and Joe-Styles with Bischoff as ref.
Backstage: They showed Kurt Angle walking down the hallway, then meeting Hulk Hogan. Angle said he knew he couldn’t trust Hogan and this is exactly what he’s talking about. Hogan said he’s not going to stand in the way if Angle wants to get his ass beat, so he opened the back door. Hogan told Angle to head to the ring if he wants to call out The Band. Angle said he will and he’ll probably see Hogan out there too. Angle stormed off and Hogan attempted a “mysterious pseudo-villain face” with a “good luck” line to close the segment.
Impact Zone: Four minutes before the top of the hour, they returned with Angle calling out Pac and Hall to come get some. Pac stormed the Impact Zone first and walked into the ring. Angle fought him off with a right hand blow and Pac bumped around before Scott Hall showed up and took right hands too. Pretty rough exchange here. Angle put Hall in the Anklelock, then Pac hit Angle from behind with brass knucks. Hall wanted a shot too and he blasted Angle in the face. The Band continued to beat down Angle until Hogan’s music hit. Hogan limped out doing his shuffle as Taz talked dejectedly about Hogan apparently joining The Band. Tenay asked if it’s the ultimate con job by Hogan. Hogan did the Too Sweet with Pac and Hall before taking the knucks as the announcers did their usual jumping to conclusions. Hall held up Angle, then Hogan blasted Hall with the knucks instead. Pac took a knuck shot too and bumped like crazy for the one shot. Hogan surveyed the Impact Zone as Tenay declared Angle can put his trust in Hogan. “Hogan might have an agenda, but his agenda is what’s best for TNA,” Tenay said. End show.
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Source: James Caldwell of the Pro Wrestling Torch