Well, my festivities are wrapped up (Lego Rock Band!), so let's power up the tape machine and take a look at the last wrestling show of 2009. This is a four-hour (!!!) Impact, which includes the three top matches of the year and an all-Knockout tournament to determine the #1 Contender. I got through it in about an hour and a half, but I skipped the three "best of the year" matches and the Hogan recaps, which were legion.
Hamada vs. Madison Rayne: Hamada goes heavy on the headbutts and kicks as is her wont; Rayne tries to keep up but is clearly outclassed here. Hamada beats her with the Hamada Driver and advances.
ODB vs. Traci Brooks: Story here is ODB going after Traci's birth defect-affected arm. Mike Tenay seems to think that Traci's opponents should be nicer to her and not touch her arm, which is idiotic. ODB wins with the TKO.
Note that Traci is involved in the tournament, but not Lacey von Erich, and think about what that tells you.
Christy Hemme is with the Beautiful People, who say that they got Lauren fired because Lauren dared "assault" Lacey.
Roxxi vs. Velvet Sky: Decent match, actually; Velvet looks pretty competent tonight -- Tenay compares her to Antonio Inoki ("except for the tights," says Taz). Roxxi never really loses the upper hand, though, and destroys Sky with the Voodoo Drop.
After the match, von Erich attacks Roxxi and beats her down with the Ugly Stick.
We see a Match of the Year, as voted by YOU, the FANS: Desmond Wolfe vs. Kurt Angle from Turning Point.
Awesome Kong vs. Daffney: Daffney gets wrecked. Implant Buster for the mercy kill.
April Hunter and Lorelei vs. Sarita and Taylor Wilde: This is non-title, as Hamada and Kong get the next title shot. Also, the British Invasion are out to do commentary, and Tenay is INCREDIBLY put out by this, pouting and squawking and glaring at the camera. The Brits says that since they've beat all the other teams in TNA, they're out here scouting Sarita and Wilde, who may be their next opponents. Heh!
Lorelei is Lorelei Lee, a blonde with a perpetually sour expression. She often does a cowgirl gimmick, but there's no trace of that here. April Hunter has been around the indies for a decade or so, and showed up in TNA in the early days, feuding with Bruce (Alan Funk) over the Miss TNA title. Wow, she's taller and more built than I remember. Here's a pic of the two of them from tonight's show.
Anyway, they are mostly punching bags here, although they hit a nice double team move (Hunter pulling a prone Wilde back by her wrists, crossed in front of her face, and Lorelei planting her face-first with a one-handed bulldog), but it ultimately doesn't do them any good. Sarita and Wilde put them away, with Sarita picking up Wilde and using her to kick Lorelei down, and then flipping Wilde in a moonsault on top of Lorelei for the pin.
Hunter looked good here, and has the size to go toe-to-toe with Tara and ODB. I wouldn't mind seeing her back.
Another Match of the Year, as voted by YOU, the FANS: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles vs. Daniels, also from Turning Point.
Hemme is backstage with ODB, who is drinking Jack Daniels from the bottle instead of her usual flask; this is FORESHADOWING, folks.
We're in the semifinals of the tournament.
Roxxi vs. Hamada: Match of the night here (minus the Best-of-the-Years, of course), with some neat submission reversals and back-and-forth stuff. Roxxi's ribs are taped up after the ambush from Lacey von Erich and Hamada goes after them all match, with kicks, headbutts, and a double-footstomp off the top; Roxxi's story here is that she simply will not go down. Roxxi gets Hamada in a sort of rack -- it looks like a sideways Gory Special -- and drops Hamada face-first. She goes for the Voodoo Drop, but Hamada drops behind and schoolboys Roxxi for the pin.
This is the match where, as Dixie Carter Twittered, Roxxi broke her ankle -- when exactly was hard to see. When she was rolled up, her ankle sort of folded awkwardly, so I guess that must've been it -- she never clutched at it or anything, but she was never favoring it beforehand, either.
Also, Roxxi should stop doing the sitout spinebuster if Tenay can't stop calling it the Voodoo Drop -- it makes her finisher seem weak if the audience thinks that people keep kicking out of it.
Awesome Kong vs. ODB: Power match which sees Kong actually on the ropes, which doesn't happen very often. Kong goes for a splash in the corner but ODB pulls the ref into the line of fire. ODB grabs her empty Jack Daniels bottle (see?) and, when Kong hoists her up for an Awesomebomb, ODB cracks Kong over the head with the bottle, shattering it. Kong is out and ODB gets the pin.
Here's one more Match of the Year, as voted by YOU, the FANS: AJ Styles vs. Sting from Bound for Glory.
Hamada vs. ODB: Man, Hamada may be the AJ Styles of the Knockout Division, having three good matches in one night (or two nights? I'm not sure what the taping schedule was) with three vastly different opponents. She is very hard-hitting here, with headbutts galore.
Kong comes out with a table -- she is very PO'd about ODB's earlier shenanigans. Kong sets up the table but some refs come out and somehow get her to leave. Predictably, Hamada and ODB end up on the outside, where Hamada hits the Brian Clarke senton off the apron onto ODB.
Hamada lays ODB out on the table and goes up top -- she goes for the moonsault, but ODB moves and Hamada goes through the table SOLO and MAN did that look painful. Hamada is OUT; ODB pulls her back in the ring, hits a superfluous TKO, and gets the pin.
ODB is your #1 contender and will get her title shot LIVE on the January 4th show. Tara comes out and the two of them catfight, and we're out.
I am very tired and I'm not going to proofread this very well at all.
(edited by Karlos the Jackal on 1.1.10 0411) Last 5 movies seen: 9 *** - Fantastic Mr. Fox ****1/2 - District 9 **** - Extract *** - (500) Days of Summer ***
BigDaddyLoco: You are right about this version of Austin being better in a lot of ways than the Austin we all know and love. He was just a pissed off dude, not a guy playing a pissed off dude and Funk was money in the old man rambling drunk mode.