It’s the last Impact before we head into Sacrifice and well its not been the easiest of roads so far but with three, yes THREE, reveals this week I’m confident that at least the non-wrestling bits should prove to be exciting. There’s the Network Exec, Angle’s mysterious business partner and who exactly will Matt Hardy be tagging with at Sacrifice against Beer Money? I know because I watched the show but read on to find out exactly what went down, what it means and how TNA could be significantly different after Sacrifice this Sunday!
The start of the show is Hogan waiting for the Exec with The Pipe. Bischoff appears from the back and says there is a time and place for a pipe. Unkind people might say that’s the two hours Impact is on but it’s hard enough to write this blog some days without your webcam trying to talk to you.
Then we are into a recap from last week of Kurt saying ‘the Chosen One’ is coming this week and then we cut to Sting saying the Network Exec is coming this week as well. Ok bit much but at least we’re making these things important from the get go.
Show proper starts with…. great, another segment of Karen and Jeff going on and on about something we don’t care about and haven’t cared about for the last 6 weeks. Tenay tries to make Angle out to be a good guy since he won’t personally lay a hand on Karen… No, he pays someone else to do it for him, that’s the American Way. Anyway Jeff basically makes a long speech about offering a truce but with all the nice heel touches of how Jeff has beaten Kurt so many times and with no help from Karen etc. Big “we want Angle” chant starts up, I agree anything to get this whole thing moving. Karen takes the mic and basically repeats what Jeff says and asks Kurt to come out. Tazz says “I thought it would never end”, you read my mind Tazz.
Kurt does come out and gives his bitter ex husband routine and teases that Jeff knows who his business partner is. Now I didn’t put two and two together here so I think you’d have to have a pretty good memory to work out who it was without reading spoilers. Again this 5 minutes could and should have been used to put over someone else. There are more than 3 matches on the Sacrifice card but from the airtime they get you wouldn’t know it.
Miss Tessmacher/Mickie James vs. Tara/Madison Rayne – Madison comes out screeching at Tara all the way, she does do a great job of being thoroughly annoying and dislikeable. Disappointingly we cut to a split screen replay of the Sacrifice stips for the women’s title match and we miss Tessmacher taking off her clothes which is really the only thing she does well. Tara and Mickie kick it off with a nice little arm wringer sequence, Tara does a nice straight armed arm drag I’ve not seen done before and they both go for the dropkicks at the same time. Show of respect from Mickie and she shakes Tara’s hand as Tara mouths “Thank You” to her and tags Maddison in. Quick exchange with Mickie who tags in Tessmacher. Maddison laughs at her but gets a forearm in the mouth. What the..? Did Tessmacher really just win with a victory roll? A really sh*tty looking victory roll she spent 30 seconds setting up? Oh do f*ck off TNA and treat the Knockouts better than having this kind of thing going on. Maddison must have been mainlining drain cleaner with some Satanists whilst burning the American flag to have to do this kind of jobbing.
Miss Tessmacher used Botch. It was super effective.
Backstage we go and Flair is looking all happy and woo-ing his way to Hogan’s office which is clearly close to the stage as we can still hear Maddison shouting! Hogan calls him and S.O.B and accuses him of being the network exec person. Eventually it all settles down and they all agree to find out who the exec is. Despite not really going anywhere the segment worked for me, it’s the kind of thing that should happen, Hogan should be that rattled to accuse his friends. Shame they left that until the last week before the PPV and didn’t have this every week with a different member of Immortal.
Backstage with Tara saying she’s sick of Maddison who over hears and says she’ll make Tara’s life hell after the PPV when she wins. Since it’s pretty clear this isn’t going to happen it seems a waste, should have done this the week after the PPV and then at least they could have built away from Mickie obviously winning.
Now we’re with the backstage interviewer of DOOM who ask Tommy Dreamer why he piledrived AJ Styles last week. Tommy says he’s on the phone and it’s his time but the interviewer persists, Tommy says a lot goes on after the show we don’t know about. I’m guessing that’s the draincleaner and flag burning. AJ explodes from a trailer (appropriate) and asks what the deal is. Tommy says hes too young and innocent to understand because clearly AJ styles is 6 and in a frilly dress. AJ disagrees says is it the EV.02 thing again? Tommy says no and that Styles doesn’t understand. AJ asks for Tommy at Sacrifice and…. did Dreamer except? He seems to be backing away so AJ says that’s not the Dreamer he knows and Dreamer says maybe no one knew who Dreamer was. Toooooooooo long and felt really awkward, no real chemistry between them and the actual match seems pretty crappy with literally one week of build from out of nowhere.
Sting is getting his pic taken with the title belt, he gets asked about RVD and he basically says that hard situations bring out the best and worst in him. Also that the exec is here and we’ll find out shortly who it is.
Sting: Doctor, Doctor! I feel like a pair of curtains!
Doctor: You f*cking look like them too.
Sting: I’d like to see your qualifications please.
Beer Money out to the ring. Roode looks pretty dapper, Storm looks like Randy Savage if he was down on his luck. you may ask how much more down on his luck Savage could be of course. Roode reminds us that Matt Hardy said he’d have a mystery partner for Sacrifice and that we already know it’s Jeff so just come out and announce it. Hardy comes out and says he was impressed with Roode last week for growing a set and berating Hogan. He then says that Storm makes him sick and because he was one half of the “greatest tag teams” ever he can say so. Says Storm was raised to be a drunk cowboy and Roode was raised an annoying Canadian. Storm gets on the mic says he may be a long haired redneck but he doesn’t go around disrespecting people. Roode and Storm out the ring. Storm says he’s the kind of man who would have gone into a bar punch you in the mouth and steal your girlfriend and make you watch him pleasure her. Nice guy, assault and battery and kidnap are clearly the American Way too.
Hardy says his partner isn’t his brother but someone who knows Storm inside out…. Hardy’s partner is Braden Walker… I mean Chris Harris. Wow, that was pretty predictable all in all. Harris was at least a good choice for a partner but the “surprise” of it not being Jeff was predictable.
Sangriento vs. Suicide – Rematch from last week. It was pretty much the same match and as much as it’s a good thing that someone from the x-division is being given something to do the whole pretending he’s from Mexico thing is so stupid. Also when Sangriento pins and keeps flicking himself up and down like an epileptic vibrator surely he’s taking himself off his opponent so the ref should stop counting? I like the Suicide character, I think it’s different than anything else that’s really out there in the mainstream but he’s being buried… Ohh, out come Immortal and Flair kicks Suicide in the balls and demands the network exec comes out….. It’s Foley, consider my under totally whelmed.
Foley sounds like he’s going to die but the content of his promo is good. He makes a big thing of saying wrestling matters and then changes the name from TNA Wrestling to Impact Wrestling, sounds like an E-fed name to me but it’s not the usual moniker like WWE or ROH so I can live with it. He also makes a 25 man Battle Royal for the main event tonight, now that’s pretty cool.
Can’t read my, can’t read my, no you can’t read my poker face. I am smuggling two dwarves though…
Foley then reveals who Kurt Angles ‘Business Partner’ is and….. It’s Chyna!! Wow, she actually looks in pretty good shape, not sure what she’ll be like in the ring or on the mic but the crowd went mental for her for sure. We get an ad break followed by a quick recap of everything that just went down, usually that would be overkill but in a way it helps to emphasise everything that was important about what happened. We eventually cut backstage to Foley and Chyna. Mick says he realised why his sports jacket was so cheap as he’s sweating buckets. Foley seems to be indicating he can fire Hogan et al which seems a bit weird. Anyway he says that he wants Chyna to be wherever Karen Jarrett is… He He, Foley says there’s always been some vague sexual tension between them. Probably who has the bigger penis.
Oh God, it’s the return of Ken Anderson. He makes some kind of point about Foley being fake and being the guy who has screwed him but that he’ll win the battle royal and go after Sting or RVD. I mean if he was a heel this would work really well but you know he’s still supposed to be face who’s basically just pissing on Foley who’s just come back as the opposition to Immortal who are the top heels. I give up really, I’m tired of trying to make Anderson’s promos and actions work.
Crimson vs. Abyss vs. Samoa Joe – What the heel is wrong with Christy Hemme? Why can’t she says people’s names with our adding an ‘Arrrr’ on the end? Joe-arrrrr, Gunner-arrrr…. Christ, Abyss has no lower front teeth!
Abyss now flosses with industrial strength steel cable.
Crimson and Abyss hammer on each other as Joe stands off…. and never mind as Joe hammers on both of them to take over. Big boot and backsplash to Abyss but Crimson takes Joe down and gives a neckbreaker to Abyss. Crimson and Joe hammer away on each other and Crimson grabs a cravate and fires in some knees. Joe hits a powerslam but walks into the Black Hole Slam. Crimson spears Abyss and steals the pin on Joe. Joe gets ready to jump Crimson but Abyss jumps Crimson before Joe does anything. BHS from Abyss and we get a good look at those missing gnashers which at least gets put over by Tazz and Tenay regarding RVD’s kick to the face last week. Joe wandered off by the way like he did before and who could blame him. There’s nothing wrong with Crimson per say but Abyss and Joe looked in a different class in that match.
Little tease of a queue of guys waiting to get to the ring for the battle royal for the number one contender spot. Cuts to RVD saying he’s just getting info on who his first opponent will be when he wins the title. We cut back to the ring, there’s about 10 people already in the ring and then Fortune come out and they are followed by Immortal. Anderson gets his own entrance so that’s a pretty big indication on who will win…. Angle is last out and then the match kicks off.
Ok so this is a Battle Royal, I love Battle Royals so basically only the winner of the match can possibly be a downer. Also I won’t go through every elimination because I’ll miss half the match, I’ll just give the main points as I see them.
It appears that Mr Anderson gets his hair done by the same guy who does Abyss’s teeth.
Morgan eliminates like 4 guys in a row and Hernandez eliminates both of Ink Inc. Eric Young has been doing his usual manic stuff but he eliminates Gunner and then eliminates himself and takes the TV title assuming he’s won it by beating Gunner. The actual TV champ chases off after him though, I’d be behind an Eric Young angle on TV, the guy seems charismatic enough to make up for Gunner’s lack of personality.
Kaz eliminated by Flair but did he hurt himself on the landing? Storm and Hardy eliminate each other and go at it on the floor and when the ref’s break it up Hardy pulls Roode out the ring. That was a nicely done spot. A few more eliminations go by; Daniels, Pope, D-von, Morgan ousts Hernandez, Steiner ousts Morgan and Bully ousts Steiner.
The final six are Jarrett, AJ, Ray, Angle, Anderson and Dreamer. Dreamer puts out AJ but then is immediately put out by Bully Ray (which really when you think about it is moronic since along with Jarrett they’d be 3 V 2). Anderson and Bully Ray end up on the apron but not eliminated leaving Jarrett and Kurt in the ring. Karen gets involved and in the end Kurt is eliminated. Jarrett thinks he’s won and gets Karen in the ring but chyna comes out and eliminates him and then looks too choke Karen but Jeff pulls her out of harm’s way.
So that leaves Anderson and Bully Ray and surprise surprise its Anderson who manages to eliminate Bubba for the win. Great. Anderson compares himself to the U.S SEALS who took out Bin Laden, righty ho then.
Shown: A living representation of an stray anchovy on a pepperoni pizza
Sting says bring on Anderson. RVD pops up and says not so fast as he’ll be facing Anderson. Anderson pops up and says it can be either of them at Slammiversary. Is that not a bit odd to start promoting the next PPV before the last one has even been on?
This week was a big improvement on the last couple of weeks but being that this was a week of massive reveals it is hard not to have been more action packed and entertaining. Foley as I said underwhelms me as the net exec although obviously he’s good on the mic, has done the role plenty of times before and the crowd like him so not a bad choice just not all that exciting. Chyna reportedly wasn’t the first choice for this role and in fact the giant girl from NXT was but was so awful in the ring she was dangerous and at the last minute Chyna was drafted in. Now that doesn’t for certain mean she’ll be rusty as a bear trap but she wasn’t exactly Chris Benoit in the ring to start with. Chris Harris was at least nicely played even if the fact it was never going to be Jeff wasn’t that hard to guess. The Wildcat doesn’t look in the greatest shape but looking back on his past work hopefully that can come in time. We did get a near 30 minute wrestling match so that’s always good and as I said I’m a sucker for Battle Royals. I didn’t really get the sense that the PPV was just around the corner though and I think we really could have used the time between Lockdown and Sacrifice much better. The only angles I’m getting any feel for is the title match, the Jarrett/Angle match and the women’s title match (which has had the best build really of all of them.
Apparently Kazarian is taking on Max Buck for the X division title but have we heard anything about that? No. AJ/Dreamer and Mexican America/Ink inc got one spot really. Is anyone really interested in Abyss/Crimson at all yet that has had 3 times as much air time and even dragged Joe in to make it look important. Still if the change to Impact Wrestling and the emphasis on wrestling is true then things could be looking a whole lot brighter past this PPV.