Last weeks show was really awful so this week I’ve been more critical of the product overall because I think it’s time that TNA really upped their game and proved they can do quality programming and not spastically book like a monkey flinging poo at it’s own reflection. Kaz/Kendrick last week showed they have the weapons capable of building a great wrestling program but they seemed determined to try and take on the big boys at their own game instead of doing what they do best. However as you’ll see there was a genreal improvement to a lot of the show this week.
Show starts with recap of Mick Foley’s firing from last week by Hogan/The Network.
Hogan/Bischoff out to the ring to boos from the crowd. Hogan is wearing a blue bandana making him look like muscley smurf. Hogan says he convinced the network that he and Eric were the best people to run Impact wrestling. Bischoff says that despite Foley being fired the network said some of his ideas were ok. He says the Network liked the name change to Impact Wrestling and the “Wrestling Matters” and so do they which the crowd pop to. Eric says that network believe the X division is integral to TNA and that it will be getting a fair and balanced treatment from now on. Bischoff calls out Sting and Anderson. Anderson out first in normal gear followed by The Stinger.
The smurf looked was dropped when the censors kept bleeping the word Smurfing, Smurfed and Smurfed up the ass…
Hogan says there will be no run ins or any interference in the title match at Slammer as he promised The Network. Hogan says if there are any issues with anything he says to say now. Anderson takes the mic and runs down Sting saying he’s past it and that he’s going to win the belt. Anderson proffers the mic to Sting but drops it. Sting says that he can’t lose the belt because as long as he has the title he can mess with Hogan and Bischoff plans. Says one of two things needs to happen before he leaves TNA. Either he makes Hogan’s life a misery until they leave or that the real Hulk Hogan stands up and gets rid of Bischoff who he says he’s a cancer and Hogan needs to cut him out.
Weird segment, Hogan was his usual self and Bischoff basically ended up having the crowd pop with him saying all the “good” things about Foley’s changes were stuff he likes. Anderson comes out and does a great heel promo and then Sting basically brushes that off and paints Hogan out as being possibly the good guy and Bischoff as bad.
Winter/Love V Tara/Mickie James – Tara and Mickie work Winter’s arm for a bit, Winter hits the jawbreaker on Tara and tags Angelina. Love wants James but Tara hoists her up and hits a spinning sidewalk slam and tags in James, they hit quite a sweet Wheelbarrow/Splash combo for a two count. Love immediately takes over and tags back in Winter. Tara for some reason comes into the ring allowing Love to interject and help Winter hit a sort for power bomb thing. Series of tags from Love and Winter and Winter goads Tara into the ring to allow Angeline to choke Mickie in the corner. Mickie fights out and hits a neckbreaker/dropkick combo on Winter/Love respectively which looked really sweet. James goes for the tag but Maddison pulls Tara off the apron and throws her into the steps. Love hits her ugly reverse chancery/lung blower thing for the win and chokes out Mickie after the bell.
Amazingly this match was ok but looking back it’s because 90% of the actually wrestling was done by Mickie and Tara who are both clearly head and shoulders above anyone else in their division. Love is at least being built well as a credible threat to Mickie James but I can’t see Mickie dropping the title to her. Tara/Maddison is on a slower burn thankfully because I think that is going to be more entertaining than pretty much any other knockout feud going.
Wrestling talent directly proportional to the height from the floor of the belt of their trousers.
Miss Tessmacher trips up a lot….
We go backstage to Roode/Storm/Shelley. Roode is all anxious and stuff as he can’t take part. Storm says it’s all good and not to worry.
Hernandez says that the “Gringos” are always taking stuff away from them and only giving them a non-title shot against Beer money… or Gun Money…or Beer Guns. Anarquia (or Chavo Guerreo’s less charismatic cousin as I’ve come to think of him) says they won’t rest till they have the belts on their waists. Please…no.
Now the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen a wrestling company try and pull off. We’re shown grainy mobile footage of Samoa Joe and Crimson supposedly legitimately brawling in a bar. You ever seen anyone every pick someone up repeatedly when they are having a bar fight? No, neither have I. Apparently everyone has been talking about this and its gone “viral”… why even lie about something like that when every fan and his dog is actually on that there internet and has never seen this.
Backstage interviewer of Doom backstage *(duh) asking Jarrett how Karen is but he just walks off.
Mexican America vs. Alex Shelley/James Storm – The British Invasion (well Magnus) are on commentary here. The champs come out to Beer Money’s music with Roode in tow. Anarquia and Shelley start it off and Gun Money take control with a nice mixture of Beer Money and MCMG moves looking quite slick as a team. Shelley gets caught coming off the top and Hernandez hits his slingshot shoulder to take Shelley down. We keep cutting to Magnus talking so it’s hard to see exactly what is going on. Mexican American take control until Hernandez misses a splash. Magnus is gold on commentary; he’s owning Taz all over the shop its quite brilliant except that Taz is the heel commentator who’s bigging the BI up! Storm has Anarquia covered but the Sarita and Rosita distract the referee. Sarita gets beer to the face from Storm but Shelley accidently kicks Storm in the face instead of Anarquia allowing Anarquia to get the pin on Storm. Did Taz just future endeavour The British Invasion at the end of the match? Good match anyway, bit odd having Storm and Shelley look amazing through 90% of the match only to have the miscommunication finish but if TNA are thinking of making them the new Beer Money then it’s looking good.
Gunner comes in to see Anderson and Anderson asks for help hurting Sting, saying he can be his best friend or worst nightmare. Gunner seriously looks like Chad Kroeger from the side but agrees possibly because he never made it as a wise man…
Sorry dude, I’m more of a Creed kind of guy really…
Angle is wandering about backstage and apparently will be having words with Jarrett later ahead of their match. Woohoo…
Mexican America go to Hogan saying they aren’t getting a title shot because they are Mexican. Hogan says not call him racist or he’ll turn into the Terminator and play Hogan says with the girls (Using Sex as a weapon is a war crime isn’t it?) Mexican America say they’ll surprise Hogan when he least expects it. So that really does seem like Hogan is priming himself to be the good guy that Foley was going to be in future.
Something I’m really not happy about is how often TNA do these “announced confrontations” every week. They always take too long and the set up of having people come out to their music like it’s a match is another waste of time. Jeff says Kurt is going to listen tonight rather than it being them going back and forth. Karen is gone apparently and won’t be at the PPV. Jeff has had to think about that for seven days now and the first thing he did was panic. He panicked over what Kurt will do to him when it’s one on one. Jeff reminds everyone that he brought Kurt in and Kurt is the best in history.
However, Kurt never thanked Jeff for bringing him in. Kurt wasn’t happy about being the best in the company and the real star. It was always about making people forget about Jeff. Then Jarrett wanted to take everything dear to Kurt, so he took his wife and kids. Now he wants to take away Kurt’s place on top and he won’t sleep until he owns it.
Kurt finally gets to talk and thanks Jeff for taking Karen out of his life for good. All he’s ever wanted was Jeff one on one but Jeff had to keep bringing Karen into it. Kurt isn’t wasting any more words on him because on Sunday, his wrestling will do the talking. What a waste of time.
ODB is backstage saying that Velvet was just the first skinny bitch to get in her way. Apparently wrestling is about ODB’s chest. Who am I to argue…
Kaz and Kendrick have Janice and are looking for Abyss. Kaz goes over all the weird stuff Abyss does. Kendrick says Abyss is his type of guy… Ok, then. They’re quite a funny duo though.
The New Shaggy and Scooby
Bully Ray out and basically runs down AJ saying how he’s a man and AJ’s not because he’s going to be the last man standing at Slammer. Open Challenge issued to anyone but Devon and out comes RVD. Bully slams RVD whilst he’s doing his RVD thing. Bully… well he just kinds of hits RVD a lot, there’s no real wrestling until RVD comes back with a kick but Bully block a monkey flip. AJ is in the audience and Bully spots him allowing RVD to quickly counter and hit the frog splash for the win.
Velvet Sky comments on having fake eyelashes, fake tits being her character but ODB is all about slapping her tits and cooch. You know it makes no sense to even pretend that Velvet represents some kind of female wrestling star because she can’t back that up in the ring. So I’m already backing ODB who at least doesn’t look like a whore.
Kaz and Kendrick wandering about backstage looking for Abyss, they’re quite a funny duo with Kaz playing more of a straight man and Kendrick being the weirdo. Abyss pops out of somewhere reading the art of war again. Abyss says he no longer needs Janice and that the X division is dead and the title is now the extreme title. Says he’s not there to fight tonight but they can have a 3 way at Slammer before walking off. Kaz calls him and idiot and Kendrick says Kaz doesn’t get “the meaning behind the meaning”. I felt two things here the first being sad that Abyss is really no longer a monster but the actual segment was entertaining so I enjoyed it. I wonder if they will attempt to rebrand the X division the extreme division? Could be a way to move away from the idea of it being more like a weight class which they tried with the whole “not weight limits, it’s no limits”.
ODB V Velvet – ODB comes out from the side of the stage because she doesn’t have a contract…. so why is she wrestling? Velvet with the sneak attack… nice facey action from her then. She starts he offence off by spinning ODB around and kicking her in the stomach. Really? You start a brawl with a move where you take at least 2 seconds to set up? Psychology please! ODB whips Velvet into the steps hurting her knee apparently except Velvet stops selling it the moment she gets in the ring. Seriously is Velvet sky’s total offence kicking her opponent in the stomach? Oh my god, ODB stomps away and Velvet actually audibly tells her to stop as she gets close to her face. Someone’s missed a spot because we’ve done ODB in the ref’s face twice already. Velvet fights back with… more kicks to the stomach but as the action spills to the floor ODB slams Velvet back first into the ring post and follows up in ring with a fallaway slam. Velvet hits a DDT…. wait for the win? What the f*ck? This wasn’t really a match more of a brawl except that Velvet can’t brawl to save her life so she looked even more ridiculous than she usually does. ODB clearly has some skills in the ring but there’s no chance to see them because I don’t think anyone could drag a good match out of Velvet Sky.
Backstage with EY and Sting. EY says that should they win then he should face Sting and if he wins become the universal intergalactic champion. Sting gets annoyed and asks him to put the comedy aside and bring the competitor and leaves.
We get a replay of the Pope/Devon stuff that’s happening on Explosion. Seems like Pope saved Devon last week but Devon says he doesn’t want pope bringing in his family to the situation.
Sting/Eric Young V Anderson/Gunner – Sting vs. Anderson to start but we get the traditional fast tag from Anderson to bring in Gunner. Gunner works on the body a bit but Sting gets the splash in the corner and follows up again, both of them to the back. Apparently the second was because a spot was missed as after the first Sting intentionally turned his back to Anderson. He did it again the second time in the same spot and Anderson takes him out from the apron
Anderson tags in and works over Sting in the corner now and makes the tag to Gunner. He works on the ribs a bit and locks in an abdominal stretch facing the wrong way so they have to really awkwardly turn to the hard cam. Gunner then tags Anderson again. Sting gets a clothesline but he manages to tag Eric who cleans a few rooms, adding a flying elbow to Gunner. He fakes blowing mist at Anderson but celebrates too much and is rammed into Sting. That counts as a tag apparently because making sense is for idiots and weaklings. Despite only getting a small bump Sting is dazed and Gunner hits the F5 on Sting for the pin. Young celebrates on the floor for some reason. What the hell was the point of Gunner pinning Sting?
We cut to backstage and Sting is walking away from Eric Young who seems to believe they won.
AJ Styles makes some remarks about Bully backing down and Bully comes out and they have a shouting match over some officials.
Anderson says he barely broke sweat and Gunner beat Sting and then he’s chased off by Sting who catches him in a trailer and beats him down and pours his red face paint all over Anderson after spreading it over his own face. He then chokes him out with a sleeper hold. Sting apparently snapping or some such. I didn’t get exactly why this happened as the go home shot before Slammer.
TNA’s new policy for hiring the handicapped probably shouldn’t have started with the blind make-up artist
This weeks show was a lot better than last week though there was plenty I could have happily skipped and not missed. As the “go home” TV show before the biggest PPV of the year for TNA it really lacked any massive moments that you felt really impacted the PPV in anyway. I guess that does cover up any obvious results but to be honest I’m not particularly looking forward to Slammer as much as I feel I should be. I can’t see Mickie losing the title to Love, I can’t see the new Gun Money dropping the title to the British Invasion, I can’t see Crimson losing his streak to Joe given the massive push he’s got, I have to assume Kurt is going to lose to Jarrett so he can go off and do his Olympics thing. I can’t pick between Bully and AJ but something tells me that AJ is going to win this one. Steiner V Morgan I can’t pick because it’s barely had any time to really show it going one way or the other but probably Morgan going over before his likely push. The world title match could go either way but I’m picking Sting to retain because I just don’t think Anderson has quite the momentum he needs to pull off being the new heel champion. A rough prediction is for him to win next PPV in time to face a guy like Roode or Morgan to kick start something totally new.
And that’s that, I’ll take a look at Slammiversary and hopefully get a review up this week time allowing.