First things first I have to apologise for not getting a Sacrifice review up. Blame falls solely on a busy week at work meaning I had no time to watch the PPV before the other day so I saw it the day before this week’s Impact. Anyway that aside this week is the first Impact Wrestling show under the “new” direction of “Wrestling Matters” that Mick Foley promised us last week. Time will tell if that really ends up being totally true but let’s not be cynical and hope for the best.
We’re treated to a new intro and colour scheme which appears to be blue and grey/silver. It;s pretty snazzy looking with jets of blue fire and lots of posing from the roster. The Impact Zone (assuming it’s still called that) has had a bit of a makeover and the ring ropes are now blue and there’s lots of blue Impact Wrestling logos plastered everywhere. The cynical among you may suggest that it looks eerily similar to Smackdown and I agree. I would have preferred maybe to go with white or silver ring ropes or even the old red, white and blue ropes of yesteryear.
Here’s Immortal to open the show (no Jarrett or Hogan) and Bischoff says he and Hogan should be credited for all of the changes. He runs down Foley, saying if it had been his decision it would have been Thumbtacks Matter instead of Wrestling. Hogan and Foley are in New York apparently having meetings with the network execs. Immortal (or more specifically Bischoff) is in charge tonight and they’ll take care of anyone that gets in their way tonight.
Out come Kendrick, Gen Me and Amazing Red (X division is a little thin on the ground then). Kendrick says that it’s odd to see a non-wrestler complaining about wrestlers get in his way. Kendrick runs Bischoff down, talking about how he’s leeched off the business forever through backstabbing and phony friends. Bischoff meets them in the aisle and says that he is going to destroy the X Division. Kazarian is going to defend against Abyss. Medium to Mediocre Red is going to get Samoa Joe and Generation Me get Matt Hardy….and himself! He even calls them vanilla midgets (ironically this was bleeped on my feed because midgets is apparently now a dirty word!). Kendrick says all of that is great but what does he get so Bischoff slaps him in the head and the brawl is on.
Fortune (minus AJ) comes out and it’s the big brawl of the week. The good guys seem to stand tall but the fight continues in the aisle. They’re not done yet as Flair throws the jacket and they start it up again. The X Guys hit dives on Immortal and the brawl keeps on around the ring. This has been going for a few minutes now so it’s a rather extended brawl with ebbs and flows in who is on top which feels more realistic than your usual brawls. They get split up and Flair says he is going to call out Roode later tonight and “when God calls you answer”. I was into this, Impact has usually started with an immortal promo but the massive extended brawl was different enough as well as furthering the X div storyline.
Sting has apparently turned up dressed in his 80’s gear…. yeah, ok we believe that because…. nope, I can’t believe anyone is fooled into thinking that’s Sting.
If you could swallow this then you’ve probably missed your calling in the world of pornography
Sarita/Rosita/Madison Rayne vs. Mickie James/Miss Tessmacher/Tara
Mexican America (Hernandez and Anarquia) comes out for commentary for this. Tenay comments on Tara gaining her freedom from Maddison at Sacrifice saying that Tara calls Maddison “the old ball and chain” which means Maddison was here wife? Anyway, Rosita and Mickie to start us off as we go split screen to see the commentators because “wrestling matters”. Anyway the evildoers take over with some triple teaming and tagging but Mickie manages to make the hot tag to Tara to fight Madison. Instead Madison runs and tags in Sarita.
Tessmacher comes in and every hope in me dies. For some reason she runs into the corner of Mexican America to hit the ropes so she gets tripled teamed instead. Tessmacher apparently being the German for retard. Maddison runs from Tara some more so Tara beats up Rosita a bit. Everything breaks down and Tara almost gets to Maddison, only to send Rosita into Tara who ends Rosita with a sweet looking chokebomb. At least one of the girls is there because of how she looks as she takes off her clothes. We’re setting up Maddison vs. Tara which is only sensible and the rest of the match was unremarkable but given in the ring I’d only rate Tara and Mickie it wasn’t offensively bad except the bits with Tessmacher.
Shot of the old school “Sting” again and Tenay proceeds to say the next match is what Immortal hope is the last X division match ever.
X-Division Title: Abyss vs. Kazarian
Bischoff gives Abyss a little motivational speech before the match saying “remember what Sun Tzu says”. The match is your typical Power vs. Speed with Kaz flying off the ropes every chance he gets. Kaz gets a springboard dropkick to take Abyss down. Kaz cranks things up with a huricanrana, an elbow and a legdrop, all off the ropes and resulting in a two count. Chokeslam is countered into a victory roll for two but Kaz gets caught in Shock Treatment backbreaker to shift back to Abyss. Vader Bomb totally misses and Abyss holds his knee like he’s injured it. Kaz charges into a big boot as Abyss was apparently faking and the Black Hole Slam gives Abyss the only title he’s never won. Tazz says the internet is burning up because of that. Abyss quotes Sun Tzu post match saying “the best way to win a war is not to fight in the first place”…. wait so him faking an injury is him not fighting? That makes no sense!
Now I know that realistically this is going to piss off everyone who likes the X Division with a super heavyweight holding the belt. I am choosing however to see if they can turn it round with a decent angle. If abyss is champ after Slammiversary then all bets are off and TNA will have once again screwed the pooch.
Gunner wants his belt back from Eric Young. I don’t give a monkeys about Gunner but I’m all for Eric Young getting more screen time.
Samoa Joe vs. Amazing Red.
Is there any point in pretending this lasted long enough to be reviewed? Joe kills red in about 30 seconds with a Muscle Buster (Red sells this by nearly bouncing to his feet which was quite amusing). Joe beats on Red post match until Crimson comes down for the save. Tenay and Tazz remind us that Crimson is Reds little brother. No points for guessing how this would have gone done as soon as the match was announced. At least Joe is going back to his killing people heel side which I prefer to him being a face but he’s really being wasted on Crimson who needs time to really hone his craft before he’ll be the next big thing. A side note is that Tenay said that doctors were saying Kaz has a back injury. Whether that’s legit or not who knows.
Jesus take the wheel!!
Here’s AJ who wearing a neck brace and wants to talk to Tommy Dreamer. Here’s Dreamer wearing a pair of sunglasses, blue not being his favourite colour I guess. Apparently Storm has a concussion from the brawl earlier so that’s Storm and Kazarian out? AJ is going to be in the brace for a few weeks because of the Piledriver on Sunday from Tommy. AJ says that he knows that Dreamer was threatened about his contract and how he’s there against his will. Dreamer interprets this as AJ saying without the motivation he couldn’t beat him and that he’s better than Dreamer.
Dreamer talks about how he’s a veteran that doesn’t have anything handed to him and drills AJ. Crowd start a “you sold out” chant and Dreamer says he never sold out and that AJ is as worthless as all these fans that always want more and will turn on him eventually. The two brawl but Tommy works on AJ’s neck again until Daniels comes out for the save. Dreamer and Daniels brawl but Bully Ray comes out and drills AJ with the chain to the back of the neck and Daniels is taken down by a low blow from Dreamer and a big boot from Ray. AJ takes another Piledriver from Dreamer and we cut to ads. Now Dreamer is not a lot of peoples favourites but he did a great job on the mic for this segment
A fan says he’s excited and can’t stop shaking his head. Seriously this guy needs to see a doctor or something, that isn’t natural.
We cut backstage and Sting says his focus is Hogan and Bischoff still. Oh look he’s dressed in his “new” getup.
The “original” Sting is seen from the back. Thanks guys I couldn’t have worked that out if you hadn’t of had Tenay explain it minutely…
Here’s Kurt who says he’s in a much better mood because Karen (or bitch as he constantly calls her) is gone thanks to Chyna. Karen has a broken ankle apparently but Chyna isn’t here tonight but Angle thanks her for her help. Kurt says he spoke to Foley and it’s Angle vs. Jarrett again at Slammiversary in a #1 contenders match, once more I find that all of my whelm is on the under side. Here comes Jeff who wants to know why Kurt gets the shot at all since he’s beaten Kurt every other time. Karen shouldn’t be blamed apparently and it should all be on Kurt to admit Jeff is better than Kurt. So Jeff makes a stipulation that since he has everything else Kurt had if Jeff wins, he gets Angle’s Olympic gold medal. They shake on it but Jeff’s music hits again. Karen pops up through the stage like Angle does in a wheelchair. She runs her mouth and Velvet Sky pops up behind her and waits a full 10-15 seconds before doing anything which looks really stupid. Velvet “shoves” Karen down the ramp and she crashes into Jeff, falling out of the chair. Now when I say shove what I really mean is she holds on to the back of the chair for half the length of the ramp stopping it from going too fast and only then letting go. Velvet Sky can’t even sell pushing a wheelchair down a ramp…
“Ha ha I’m pushing you down this ramp by digging in my heels and leaning back… Ha Ha!”
Gen Me are in the locker room and Jeremy says there is still tension between them. Max says to forget about that for now and the X division is the most important thing. Well, at least they mentioned the past actions instead of just forgetting about it like before. Given what they are dropping to focus on instead I think that’s a shame.
Bischoff gets a call from Hogan and tells him about his match later on tonight against those vanilla m****ts (I’m thinking of the children here. they don’t need to know these filthy words). Apparently Hogan has bested Foley in New York whatever that really mean.
Errrr we cut to The Jarretts complain some more. Apparently Jeff is on the phone to Bischoff. The Impact Zone is some kind of Bermuda Triangle then. Velvet faces Winter and Angelina tonight though….. sh*t. Jeff does walk off without Karen which is quite funny though.
Generation Me vs. Matt Hardy/Eric Bischoff
No entrance for Gen Me because whilst “wrestling matters” clearly certain wrestlers do not. Hardy and Bischoff get their own entrances though….. sheesh. Matt vs. Jeremy to start us off and Matt uses his size advantage to take over. Gen Me speeds things up as is their custom and work on Matt’s arm. Matt takes over for a bit but since it’s more or less a handicap match, Gen Me takes over again with some slick tagging and double teaming. Poetry in Motion to Matt and Jeremy takes him down with a spear. Matt fights back but both guys go down. Matt wants a tag Bischoff but he freaks out, allowing Jeremy to hit a frog splash to Matt’s back for a two count. Jeremy goes for a 450 attempt but eats knees as we’re told that Foley and Hogan will be here next week (yay apparently). Jeremy manages to tag in Max but Matt catches him in The Icepick submission and chokes him out but lets go before the ref can check. Bischoff tags in for some silly looking kicks and a given pin fall.
So really this was pointless and it would have been better to have had a 3 on 2 handicap match or something where if they were desperate to get Bischoff the pin then at least the wrestling would have been smoother. Hardy didn’t come out looking great since he essentially ate up an ass kicking most of the match and despite Gen Me looking a good team the end result is they lost to Bischoff. Again, if they can follow up this wholesale destruction of the X division then it’s all academic. Do I trust that they will pull it off…. well that’s another question.
Right up there with genital surgery and Anne Widicome in fishnets and a basque is the 3rd least appealing thing on TV; Angelina Love and Winter. Do you care what happened here? No, good…..
Angelina Love/Winter vs. Velvet Sky
This match was the drizzling sh*ts. I would rather chew my own fingers off than watch this again so I’m afraid there is no review of it. Sky wins improbably with a small package on Love. It comes to something that the most bearable person in the ring is the one playing a drugged up lesbian who doesn’t have to sell anything.
Post match ODB returns and beats up Velvet. There’s no real reason given but hopefully it’s just because she’s f*cking awful.
“And you seriously need to get your f*cking roots done!”
Tessmacher is doing a photo shoot but Eric Young is the “photographer” and doesn’t have a camera. Young says he’ll show her how it’s done by stripping down to his boxers and posing. Gunner pops up and Eric wants to talk about respect. Gunner hammers on him and takes Eric’s other belt and Eric thinks it’s a good idea since he has the TV title that Gunner looks after his belt.
Flair comes out and calls out Robert Roode. Flair is ticked off about giving up to end Lethal Lockdown. Roode says that was a war, not a wrestling match and that Flair would have done the same thing as him. Flair says if the shoe was on the other foot, Roode would have been put out of wrestling for good. Flair rants about mentoring Beer Money and how to be a man outside the ring also when it comes to getting drunk and getting laid. Roode says he is going to be a man long after Flair leaves and that it’s now his time, not Flair’s. Flair says that people have been saying that for 25 years.. They were right Ric.
Flair wants Roode to break his shoulder again right now and Roode says it’s over. Flair says it isn’t and slaps Roode across the face. Roode grabs him and throws on the fujiwara armbar again but here comes Immortal. Ahh, now it makes sense with them saying Storm and Kaz are injured because no one is left to come out and make the save now. They get him down with relative ease and Ray whips him with the chain. Ray tells Abyss to get two chairs and Bully holds one on Bobby’s shoulder and hardy drills the top of the chair with the other one. Good spot actually and really the whole segement worked despite being a bit long.
Sting and Old Sting are up next.
Here comes Sting, as in the real Sting not the Sting who isn’t Sting. He says that he praises RVD and says that he got by on the skin of his teeth last Sunday. He reiterates that his focus is still on Hogan and Bischoff and taking power from them. He mentions that less than sixty seconds after he won on Sunday there was Anderson to jump him. There go the lights and well obviously it’s Anderson in the old school attire. He gets a bat shot in on Sting and a Scorpion Death Drop to end the show.
“Aha! Didn’t expect me did you!”
“You aren’t the Spanish Inquisition you know Ken….”
Now as with these blogs I do tend to point out the negatives of the show which can make it look like I just have it in for TNA. However despite it’s shortcomings this week I was genuinely entertained by most of the action. We got a lot more smaller promos and backstage action in between the matches. the matches themselves may not have been 5 star classics but the first week after a PPV what I expect to see is more “stuff” happening and then once we’re settled into the angles and who is who and who hates who then the matches can tell more of a story.
The burying the X Division has Russo stamped all over it. It’s an angle designed to annoy smarks the trouble is I don’t think they’ve thought past the fact that the state of the X Division is a IWC hot topic and decided to play on that fact. It could go somewhere but my suspicion is that it’ll just end up being something that fizzles out and then they’ll put the belt on Kendrick. It could springboard into a big deal and resurrect the division but I don’t know if it will.
Roode continues to be made into a break out star from Fortune and that really needs to built on. TNA tend to squander their natural resources and Roode is looking as good as anyone at the moment. Maddison V Tara should be solid enough. As a Tara/Victoria mark anything that allows Tara to just flat out kill the smaller knockouts works for me and can cover up the clear deficiencies in the latent pool there. Anderson seems to be fully heel now and as long as that continues then Sting V Anderson at the very least won’t feel as forced as it has been. Again it relies on TNA following the right path and not thinking that they need Anderson to be the face of the company. The Love triangle needs to get somewhere fast and then get the f*ck off my screen. ODB coming just further confuses an already horrific angle but if she can work (I’ve not seen her in the ring before) then she brings something that the other knockouts don’t.
Let’s not ask for miracles on the first show of the Impact Wrestling era. Nothing ever gets better overnight and if the supposed “major changes” are a directional change it’s not necessarily something they are going to snap introduce. Maybe we won’t get a really big spike in the quality of the program until after Slammiversary once all the angles currently running have a chance to finish. Here’s hoping anyway….