The recap for TNA Impact 6.2.2011, taped from the Impact Zone in Orlando, FL.
If there was a title to this show, I missed it. Let's see if TNA can rebound from their 2-week horrendous show streak.
The show opens with Bischoff getting served with a legal notice. Bischoff's throwaway line about not signing autographs to the man serving him with the notice was kind of cool.
We go inside where Velvet Sky and ODB are brawling around. Velvet for some reason is in a shirt and panties, but I'm not complaining. ODB douses her with some water, so no one is left in any doubt about what the purpose of this is. ODB strips her to her bra and panties, then pins her and makes her own three count, with grinding, until Tessmacher makes a save. This was pure T&A, but I didn't mind so much. (Surprise, surprise!)
Sting's music marks the entrance of Mr. Anderson, once again in face paint and colorful robe. Why they continue doing this is beyond me. Anderson promises to take things to a whole new level. He says he will face one of Sting's legendary opponents later tonight. The only *good* payoff would be Muta, but I know that's not happening. 0 for 1. You harp and harp about how Wrestling Matters(tm), then your show opens with Bischoff, a T&A brawl, Mr. Anderson's meaningless promo, and more Bischoff. Where's the wrestling?
Bischoff is backstage, complaining about the papers served to him when Brian Kendrick walks up to him and asks for redemption in the form of another match against Abyss this week. Bischoff wonders aloud if he's a "glutton for punishment," and makes a #1 contender's match tonight between Kendrick and Kaz. The winner gets Abyss at Slammiversary. Bischoff heads to the ring, where he calls out Beer Money. The doctor's reports are in and Roode will not be healthy in 30 days, which is the allotted time for a title defense. He says to forfeit the titles and save themselves the embarrassment, but Alex Shelley interrupts (and gets a nice reaction in the process) to inform us that Sabin is out with a torn ACL until 2012 and he has nothing to do. Shelley remembers the best-of-five series and offers to take Roode's place to form "Gun Money." Shouldn't it be "Gun Beer"? Minor details. Storm is ok with that but Bischoff tells Shelley he just made his "shit list", but Shelley has the network's approval so Bischoff can do nothing about it. 1 for 2. Decent promo work and that British Invasion v Storm/Shelley match has all the potential in the world. I'll give it a pass, but still no sign of wrestling.
Match 1: Crimson v Matt Hardy: Fina-damn-lly! Crimson is announced as undefeated. It's a very rudimentary match here as Crimson uses power to dominate early but Matt uses his experience to get himself back and works the neck to set up his finisher. Clothesline and elbow get 2 for Matt. Yodelling Legdrop gets 2 more and that's the cue for Crimson's comeback, which is a whole lot of clotheslines and a DDT for 2 as the crowd loses patience with this match and stops paying attention. Crimson manages to avoid the Twist of Hate and nails the Sky High (which I'm sure was called something else last week) for the pin in 6 minutes. 1 for 3. Boring, plodding match, for which the crowd appropriately sat on their hands. Samoa Joe enters the ring postmatch but Crimson spears him, so he retreats. Way to set up that PPV match, TNA!
Anderson gets a hold of Eric Young backstage, who's now wearing two belts. Anderson wants Young to perform as the Great Muta tonight, but Young is not buying into it. EY states that people worldwide are clamoring for him to hold seminars to showcase how to have matches like the one he had with Gunner last week. Right then. EY says it's a trick, but Anderson sells him the old "it's all about respect, not disrespect" line and Young buys it. Well, he *is* insane, so it's OK. Young winks to the camera as Anderson walks away.
Winter is less than pleased about her treatment at the hands of Velvet Sky. Angelina Love speaks for the first time in weeks, saying she remembers a better time when they were loved and left alone. It will begin again tonight with Tessmacher. Winter's mood is brightened.
Eric Bischoff addresses Immortal, which includes the Jarretts for once. Bischoff says he's been down this road before, but the Network holds the aces because they write the paychecks. He admits that the Network's idea of a wrestling company is different than his or Hogan's vision and says he didn't think "it would end like this." Jarrett promises him that it's not over. Bischoff says Hogan will be there to explain later and they will not forget what each member of Immortal has done. 1 for 4. A lot of promo all at once, and only the Winter/Angie thing even advanced a storyline. This Network issue is not going to lead to any actual wrestling, so I have little interest in it, while the Anderson thing is pretty much pointless because it involves Eric Young.
Match 2: Angelina Love v Ms. Tessmacher: No one, including the crowd, announcers, and performers, cares for this match. Well, possibly Tessmacher does, but she's not good enough to matter. Angelina brings her spotty selling, where in one moment she's the Undertaker, and in the next, Shawn Michaels. Tessmacher takes forever and more setting up a Victory Roll which gets countered. Something resembling the old Kobashi Backbreaker (reverse DDT to side backbreaker) finishes this abomination in about 4 minutes for Angelina. 1 for 5. No one cared. There's a reason why.
Match 3: Mr. Anderson as Sting v Eric Young as "The Not-so-Great Muta": Young's name is probably Anderson's idea of humor. This match is basically Anderson pulling Sting's signature moves in slow motion while EY kind of stands around. EY eventually begins to leave, but Anderson stops him and the match becomes competitive all of a sudden. Young gets a nearfall off a forearm and a crucifix but gets neckbreakered. Moonsault connects for EY but it gets only 2. Gunner comes out to distract, but Anderson can't take advantage as he gets GREEN MISTED~! and gets rolled up in 4 minutes. Haha, take that, Anderson! 1 for 6. The Green Mist nearly made this match, and EY had the Muta mannerisms down pretty well - even though he looked more like Darth Maul. It still doesn't cover for the horrible idea and even more horrible booking, where the #1 contender for the world heavyweight title eats a clean pin to a comedy midcarder a week before his title shot on PPV. Postmatch, Gunner and Anderson kick EY's ass but real Sting makes the save.
Match 4: Kazarian v Brian Kendrick: They shake hands to begin and trade quick nearfalls off a variety of rollups. Kaz misses a springboard legdrop, so BK goes to dive on him but splats instead. He takes over with a backbreaker and a suplex for 2, but gets sent into the turnbuckle. BK comes back with a superkick and a missile dropkick for 2, but wastes time and the Sliced Bread #2 gets countered to a neckbreaker for 2. Kaz can't get the Fade to Black, so Kendrick kicks his head off but eats knee on a Frog Splash. That sets up a SWANK~ Shining Wizard but it can't finish. They trade rollups until Kendrick winds up outside the ring and the time limit expires at 8 minutes. WTF, mate? Really? REALLY? They demand 5 more minutes and hit crossbodies on each other at the same time. And then it all ceases to matter because Abyss interferes and beats on both of them for the Sportz Entertainment Finish(tm) in 9 minutes. 2 for 7. Good match, but the awful time-limit draw stunt and the following nonsensical finish is reflective of how pathetic TNA is as a whole.
AJ Styles heads out for his confrontation with Bully Ray. He calls the Impact Zone "his house," so Ray is out to take exception. He points out that Styles and Daniels beat Dreamer last week, not him. Dreamer was just another weak tag partner. Ray says AJ's everything he hates in a modern pro wrestler. He basically calls him a geek and points out that instead of playing on his laptop, AJ should be out drinking and getting a lap dance. Ray claims to see the fear in AJ's eyes - "If God was a bully, he'd be me!" Styles has a theory about why Ray changed his name from Brother to Bully and it leads to a dickchat. Styles compares him to a balloon and says he only has to pop him once. A Last Man Standing match is made for Slammiversary. Ray wonders if Styles knows what he's getting himself into, but Styles turns the question on him to end this promo. 3 for 8. Nice enough for what it was. I could've done without the random penis references, though.
Match 5: Jeff Jarrett and Scott Steiner v Matt Morgan and Kurt Angle: Big match intros for this one. Karen gets ejected from ringside before the match starts. They do quick tags so as to prevent this match from having any flow. Angle nails a belly-to-belly about a minute in, but it doesn't mean anything. They go to a picture-in-picture of Hogan arriving and the match is relegated to about 30% of the screen space. The heels do quick tags to avoid fighting their rivals, so Morgan catches Jarrett with a chokeslam. Steiner eats a sidewalk slam for 2 as Angle and JJ takes their issues to the ramp, where Jarrett gets caught in an Ankle Lock. Karen runs out for the save as we completely ignore the action in the ring. The cameraman misses where someone pushes Karen off the stairs, and all of a sudden both JJ and Angle are calling for paramedics and calling each other stupid. Why should Angle care? Then they COMPLETELY MISS the finish of the match (which must've been Steiner's low blow on Morgan), because all we see if Steiner with the pin in about 6 minutes. 3 for 9. This is your TNA main event: it's six-minutes long, some of which is obscured by Hogan arriving, and the finish of which is missed by cameras too busy with a fucking Karen Jarrett storyline. Because Wrestling Matters(tm)!
Bischoff and Hogan are out, and Bischoff talks about how Foley sucks for a while, without getting to a fucking point. Hogan also joins the party as he says Bischoff is his partner and that's all that matters. Eric finally hands Hogan the letter, and he reads it and blabbers a bit, before revealing that Foley is fired! Not Hogan and Bischoff. Wow. Bischoff must be a gigantic tool because he's been reading that letter all this time and managed to miss that part. On that note, we end this show.
Wrestling Counter: 29 minutes.
Score: 3 for 9: It was better paced than last week. That doesn't save it from being a raging shitstorm, though. I almost get the feeling that TNA are actively *trying* to turn their viewers away.
Because nothing says "wrestling" like Hogan blathering on for 15 minutes to end the show. THIS is WCW Impact Wrestling! And how many times are they going to play this game where Foley goes away, then comes back, then goes away again, and now...what? We're going to wait for him to come back again? What the hell's the point?
Ok, I'll throw the logical question out there, just because I've been on and off for a few weeks. Did they turn Steiner heel again? Why is he teaming with Jarrett when he and Kurt were all tight and what not a few weeks ago? Is anyone even keeping track of this?
The only thing this company seems to be doing right is AJ. Poor AJ. He's the only constant in this company, much like Sting was to WCW.
EDIT: Just for the sake of comparison...
This week's Raw: 30 minutes of wrestling This week's Impact: 29 minutes of wrestling
Just narrowly, the show that refuses to admit it's wrestling had more wrestling than the show that's supposedly ALL ABOUT WRESTLING! That's some hilarity.
To be fair to Bully Ray, TNA has done such a piss poor job with their talent that it is amazing he has somewhat of a breakout year as a singles star. TNA has been stuck in this weird nuetral position since February that you would think the name change would do something for them, but it really hasn't. Hogan and Bischoff still somehow believe their WCW '98 schtick is relevant in 2011.
Hopefully after Slammiversary they will move away Kurt/Jarrets and Sting/RVD/Anderson. The only thing that interests me is ODB and Velvet besides obvious, its nice to have a female brawl feud. I have no desire to see Crimson run through Joe and others to be Goldberg 2011. I have no faith in them to actually do the X-Division storyline right. I also wouldn't mind if Foley somehow got involved in the Rock/Cena storyline. So, as much as I enjoy TNA, this is not a good time to be a fan of them.
Originally posted by used2bcoolShelley remembers the best-of-five series and offers to take Roode's place to form "Gun Money." Shouldn't it be "Gun Beer"?
Beer Gunny, surely?!
Originally posted by It's FalseDid they turn Steiner heel again?
If they did, I also missed it, although granted this show doesn't exactly engage anything approaching full attention. He started doing heelish stuff (if you count attacking Morgan) but I don't remember a defining heel-turn moment.
Originally posted by lotjxTo be fair to Bully Ray, TNA has done such a piss poor job with their talent that it is amazing he has somewhat of a breakout year as a singles star.
"Breakout year" is a little hyperbolic, but he's been considerably better than I think anyone could reasonably have expected.
Less positively, the Angelina Love/Winter stuff makes me grateful I don't watch this show in company. Deeply embarrassing shit.
Bully Ray is a breakout star in the same sense that JBL was a breakout star in '04. He cuts great promos, is a decent brawler and is certainly better than anyone would've expected, but it's still an over-the-hill tag specialist in an overpushed position.
Originally posted by Amos CochranBully Ray is a breakout star in the same sense that JBL was a breakout star in '04. He cuts great promos, is a decent brawler and is certainly better than anyone would've expected, but it's still an over-the-hill tag specialist in an overpushed position.
And is it me, or has he gotten himself into pretty good shape? He looks like he's lost a lot of his gut.
I'm still not shutting the door on Chris Harris being James Storm's eventual partner ...
Chyna says she's fired from TNA over her newest (her third, if you can believe that!) porno "Back Door to Chyna".
Man, if you're not classy enough for a promotion booked by Vince Russo, you're really not classy.
In other news, yesterday was Velvet Sky's 30th birthday and Vince Russo was nice enough to let us all celebrate by watching her get stripped to bra and panties and get choked out while ODB called her a whore 10,000 times.
Originally posted by John OrquiolaIn other news, yesterday was Velvet Sky's 30th birthday and Vince Russo was nice enough to let us all celebrate by watching her get stripped to bra and panties and get choked out while ODB called her a whore 10,000 times.
I'm still confused on you can become a Born Again Christian *and* regret the angles that you did during the Attitude era while also continuing them in TNA.
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoWhy is AJ slumming with the ECW guys?
-Where is Samoa Joe?
Samoa Joe appeared - for a second - after the Crimson match and got no offence in before being chased off.
Originally posted by Scottyflamingo-Where is the Pope?
Being underused, like always?
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoIf Foley doesn't want to stay, why bring him BACK for a major angle?
Because TNA has no sense of long-term planning.
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoIs there any reason that Crimson is getting a push other than his size?
I'm going to imagine that the only reason Crimson has any sort of push is because he looks, acts, and wrestles like Goldberg and it's cheaper then bringing in the real one.
Originally posted by ScottyflamingoHow long will it take for TNA to put on a PPV main event that doesn't consist of some combination of RVD, Anderson, and Sting?
About as long as it takes for TNA to realize that Bischoff and Hogan were a bad investment and Vince Russo isn't working at all. So, never.
As for the show, I can't comment on the second half since it put me to sleep once again but, man, do I miss the days when the Knockouts division was actually competitive instead of just a poor-mans excuse for Cinemax type porn. Does every promo have to use the word "w*ore" or "b*tch" every five seconds?
And don't even get me started on the clustermess that is the Winter/Angelina storyline. I think it would be amusing to go though the entire storyline and document exactly how many twists, turns, and dimensions travelled happened since the start of the angle.
"Rene Dupree d. Patrick Rizer (or Glazer, or something -- same guy who had Masters last night): Holy shit, not only does Dupree have the cheezy new heel mustache, he's dyed his hair jet black! (What would Fifi say??)