And we’re back for another edition of Impact Wrestling for 9/1/11. Tonight, TNA goes out of the comfort of the Impact Zone and will be taping (known as “going live” in Dixie Carter’s world) tonight’s show in Huntsville, Alabama. Next week’s show will be “live” from there, too. Before we get into the recap, there are two things I’d like to address.
The first of the two subjects is Hulk Hogan’s recent comments during an interview with website GoTriad.com. For those that don’t know, Hogan was interviewed by the site recently, specifically discussing TNA. When discussing why TNA is an alternative to WWE, Hogan had the following remarks:
“We’ve got a lot of young guys who are pushing hard,” he said. “And we’re trying to take our own course of destiny and make wrestling matter again. We’re not really focused on skits and entertainment and backstage antics. We’re more focused on keeping the action as much as we can in the ring.”
This immediately begs the question ‘Does Hogan even watch the show he stars on?’ For starters, he talks about all the young guys pushing hard to get noticed. That’s true, but a lot of fat good it does them when the top three stars on the show-Hogan, Sting and Flair-are all well over 50 years old. In Flair’s case, he’s over 60! Second, Hogan says that TNA is not focused on skits and entertainment and backstage antics, and keeping focus on actual wrestling instead. As an example, let’s take a look at last week’s show. I went through and looked at each segment (because I have that kind of time), and the show broke down as follows: 3 long-winded in-ring promos, 10 backstage segments, 1 skit and 5 matches. To top that off, those 5 matches took up roughly 30 minutes of a 2-hour show. And this is just one example. Look at any other episode of Impact over the last 2 or 3 years (if not further back), and you’ll wind up with similar results. Well, at least Hogan’s definitely got the “not focused on entertainment” part right.
Honestly, this is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen a wrestler do. It boils down to this-Matt Hardy was bummed because no one was paying attention to him anymore, did this to get people talking, then claimed it wasn’t what everyone thought it was. Twitter user @Evil_Mr_McMahon (check him out, BTW. He posts some really funny stuff) said it best when he posted a picture of a Matt Hardy figure hanging from a noose, holding a sign that said “Am I trending yet?”
Matt, if I had any respect left for you at all, it’s completely gone. You are a worthless piece of garbage. You have have brought pain and suffering to your friends and family, and even the fans who have been following you for years. No one gives a damn about you anymore, and you have no one to blame but yourself. Now, you claim you’ve announced your retirement. Good. Maybe people will stop talking about you and trying to make you relevant.
Speaking of things no one talks about, let’s get into the Impact recap!
Much to the surprise of no one, Hulk Hogan starts the show off. Hogan’s got a new Affliction knock-off t-shirt for Immortal. Am I the only one who has noticed that practically ever t-shirt TNA comes out with is an Affliction knockoff? Hogan says the power of Immortal is running wild tonight, brother. He says he’s been in business meetings all week long, and “The Network” is standing behind the offer Sting made to Ric Flair for a match for September 15th. He reminds us that if Flair wins, Sting retires, but if Sting wins, he gets a match with Hogan and we all die a little inside. Hogan says Sting’s only wanted Hogan in the ring for the past 10 years. He says he can make decisions on the spot like “The Network”, and that it’s time that Immortal stops bowing down to them, and they bow down to him instead. Hogan says Sting will only get Hogan in the ring when Hogan is good and ready.
Battle Dome Champion Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring for whatever reason. I noticed practically the entire upper deck of this arena is tarped off. Angle gets in the ring and hugs Hogan before getting a microphone. Hogan says that, before they get to business tonight, he has some bad news. He’s sorry that Dixie Carter used and manipulated Angle, and that she can never run the company again. I lose track of how many times the word “brother” has been used. Hogan calls Angle “Dr. Angle”, and says he wants Angle to drag Sting to the ring, perform life-saving surgery and cut the cancer that is Sting from the company.
Angle says Hogan’s enemies are now his. He wants to add a veteran to the young talent he wants to cut out of TNA, and wants that to be Sting. Angle says Sting will get his title re-match tonight, and if Angle wins, he guarantees Sting won’t walk out of here under his own power.
Cue Sting’s music. Caesar Romero and Heath Ledger are both rolling over in their graves right now. Sting’s got his own microphone now, too. Hogan says no one wants to see Sting out here. Sting’s honored he’s on Angle’s list of people to destroy, and gives him the “heebie-jeebies”. He says it makes him think Angle likes him a lot. He likes Angle so much, he accepts Angle’s challenge right away. Sting will wrestle Angle tonight. He says it starts with taking the gold from Angle, then it’s on to Ric Flair, then onto Hulkamania. He’s circling Hogan as he says this. Sting says when he signs that contract, Hogan’s power will be gone. That must be some magical contract.
Sting starts to leave, but Hogan stops him. Hogan wants to know who Sting thinks he is. He reminds Sting he calls the shots, and announces he’ll be the special enforcer in the Angle/Sting match tonight. Sting laughs as Hogan tries to act 40 years younger by strutting around the ring.
We get a recap of Samoa Joe beating up Crimson last week. Back “live”, Matt Morgan is at the commentary table again.
We get a recap of the BFG series. Bully Ray, Bobby Roode, James Storm each talk about how they’ll win. Bully Ray is in the lead with 49 points. Crimson, Devon, Matt Morgan and D’Angelo Dinero are all out with injuries, while Samoa Joe has -10 points.
MATCH 1-BFG Series Match: Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
This match hasn’t even started and Gunner’s already putting me to sleep. Taz says that whoever wins here will be in the final four of the series. Tie-up to start. Gunner elbows out of a waistlock. Samoa Joe makes his way to ringside as RVD hits a spinning heel kick for 2. I don’t know what’s going on in the match because the camera is focused on Joe and Morgan, who has come down to intercept Joe. Joe kicks Morgan below the belt before indy security sends him to the back. Back in the ring, RVD has a side headlock on Gunner. Great camera work here, TNA. Gunner elbows out of a waistlock before RVD hits 2 more spinning heel kicks for 2. RVD gets a shoulder in the corner, but Gunner boots off a charge. Outside the ring, Gunner hits a bodyslam on the floor. Back in the ring, Gunner gets 2 as “security” is still trying to get rid of Joe. Gunner with some shots before hitting an atrocious slingshot suplex. He misses a clothesline and walks into a superkick. RVD gets 2 of a couple of clotheslines. RVD with a bodyslam and Rolling Thunder for 2. RVD goes for a corner whip and gets an elbow off a reversal, but runs right into a clothesline for 2. Now Jerry Lynn is walking down to the ring. RVD hits another pair of kicks before exiting the ring and telling Lynn to get out of here. Lynn storms off angry. Back in the ring, RVD goes for the Five-Star, but changes his mind. Gunner gets a small package for 2. RVD with a body scissors for 2. Gunner with some shots now. RVD catches a kick in the corner before botching a top rope side kick that gets 2. RVD with a another spin kick variation for 2. He goes up top for the Five-Star, but Gunner’s holding the ref. Behind the ref’s back, Lynn comes back down and shoves RVD off the top rope. Gunner hits a running knee to get 3.
WINNER: Gunner. Gunner gets 7 more points. RVD has a goose egg on his head.
Later tonight, A.J. Styles will face Christopher Daniels, and we get the World title match.
The entire knockouts division is heading to the ring. Supposedly, Eric Bischoff has a big announcement concerning all of them. Commercials.
Back from the break, Bisch is coming down with Scarecrow from “Batman: The Animated Series”. Hmmm? That’s Traci Brooks? Oh. That would explain Ebenezer’s boobs being much bigger than I remember. Bischoff says he’s never had the pleasure of working with such a tremendous group of individuals. I’m guessing he means the knockouts. He calls the knockouts the heart and soul of the company, and one of the keys to success for TNA. However, this doesn’t change the fact they’re still women, and as women, they don’t know how to shut up or keep focus. He says all the female crap is driving him up a wall, which is why when Traci convinced him only a woman knows how to manage another woman and provide leadership to the division, and after Traci proved she would do anything to help the division, he said what the hell. He then announces the next V.P. of the knockouts division (he sends Traci to a corner), then announces Karen Jarrett as the new V.P. Oddly enough, Karen Jarrett comes out to Traci’s old entrance music, with Jeff Jarrett’s music spliced in.Jeff comes out with her. What is with this company and horse-faced broads?
Karen assures Eric he’s made the right decision, and that she’s proud of every woman in the division, but they all have a long way to go. She says the difference between them and her is she’s a lady, and the rest of them are not. My ears are bleeding. The crowd starts a “She’s a ho” chant. Karen says she’ll take care of her first piece of business now, addressing ODB and Jackie. She announces they’re full-time members of the roster now. She then addresses Traci. She says she knows Traci is disappointed, as she REALLY put herself out there on this one, but there’s still a place for her in TNA, and that’s beneath Karen. So…Karen’s a lesbian now? Oh. She wants Traci to be her executive assistant. Got it. She wants Traci to bow at her feet. As for the rest of the knockouts, if they look at her the wrong way, they’ll all be back at Larry’s Cabaret where they belong. Her voice cracked like a teenager during this promo. My ears bled even more. She says she looks forward to all the knockouts serving her. Me, too. I go to that same Village Inn all the time.
During the last commercial break, Mickie James knocked Winter down in the ring. It was amazing. No, really. Groundbreaking stuff.
MATCH 2: Austin Aries and Kid Kash vs. World X-Division Champion Brian Kendrick and Jesse Sorensen
Kendrick’s new music is horrible, and the nickname “The Wizard of Odd” will never get over, Tenay. Kendrick and Aries start off. Aries immediately tags in Kash. Kash goes for the legs, but Kendrick’s too quick. Tie-up, but Kash throws him down. Kendrick with an arm drag, a hip toss and another arm drag. Sorensen tags in and hits a dropkick and an arm drag. Kash with some knees in the ropes. Tenay tries to say that there is nothing like the X-division in all of wrestling, except for, you know, the fact that it’s a glorified cruiserweight division now and those exist all over the world. Kash tags in Aries before hitting a bodyslam. Aries with a jumping elbow for 2, followed by a face stomp. He throws Sorensen into Kash’s boot before hitting a chop. Kash back in with some more chops and kicks. Aries back with more chops. Sorensen punches his way out of the corner. He shoves Aries into Kash before hitting a double dropkick to both men. Sorensen tags in Kendrick. Typical “hot tag” offense here. He gets 2 on Kash after a leg lariat, but Aries breaks it up. More kicks. Kendrick tags in Sorensen, and they are going for some type of Doomsday Device-like move, but Aries slides off Kendrick’s shoulders and shoves him into Sorensen in the corner. Aries up to the middle rope, looking for a superplex. Kendrick climbs up and gets under Aries’ legs. Kash gets into the corner under Kendrick in powerbomb position. I’m sure you can guess what this leads to. Yes, the stupid “Tower of Doom” spot, except it looks pretty heavily botched. Sorensen back drops Kash over the top rope, but Aries trips him up on a run attempt, pulling him to the outside and into the guardrail. Aries with a suicide dive, but Kendrick hits his own. They’re brawling to the back. Kash up top with a flying clothesline. He hits a release rotating suplex and then goes for a powerbomb, but Sorensen rolls through into a sunset flip for 3.
WINNERS: Brian Kendrick and Jesse Sorensen.
Direct Auto Insurance: We have wrestlers pretending to fight in our commercials. How can you afford NOT to trust us?
We get an awful video package of the relationship between Winter and Angelina Love. Seeing these two broads try to act is like having a root canal.
Backstage, Angelina Love is stroking her leg. Winter says there have been so many incarnations before this, some she has shared with her “beautiful baby”. She says there will be more to come, but this one is the most precious to her. She says if Mickie James tries to take the moment away from her, she will suck the life force from her rotting bones. Then they drink fake blood. Has Dixie Carter been playing a lot of D&D lately or something? Perhaps she’s just become obsessed with “Twilight”.
Mickie James says she’s tired of all of this with Winter, and tonight, she’ll wrestle her ass off and Winter needs to bring her A-game. It doesn’t really matter, as Winter’s A-game is a level Z-game for most wrestlers.
Back from commercial, we get a bunch of wrestlers talking about Jeff Hardy in a video package. Jeff Hardy speaks “live” next week. Wonderful.
Backstage, Kurt Angle says he’ll eliminate Sting before he eliminates the other wrestlers. Hogan walks into the locker room and says that Angle needs to go to New York and take “The Network” out since they’ve approved of Jeff Hardy coming back next week. He wants Kurt Angle to kill “The Network”. Angle couldn’t have said “all right” any more casually. He very angrily slams his paper coffee cup on the floor. It’s all the cup’s fault!
We get a bunch of crowd shots as Mike Tenay is rambling on about Jeff Hardy.
MATCH 3-Knockouts Championship: Mickie James vs. Knockouts Champion Winter (w/Angelina Love)
Mickie James’ singing voice sounds a hell of a lot like a dying burro. What prison does Angelina Love go to for her tattoo work, anyway? James attacks Winter in the corner. They tie up. James with a snapmare. They trade wristlocks. James with a la magistral for 2. James is working the left arm. Winter bites her way out into an arm wringer. James fights out and hits some forearms and a dragon screw. James goes for a leglock, but can’t seem to figure out how to put it on as Winter immediately gets to the ropes. Winter backs James into a corner with some shoulder thrusts. James comes back with the Taco Twister and a neckbreaker. James up top while Winter has the ref distracted. Love tries to get on the apron, but James knocks her off and hits a Thesz Press from the top on Winter. Love is back up, but James knocks her back down. Love tries to throw the Knockouts belt into the ring, but Earl Hebner catches it and throws it right at Love’s stupid face. Okay, he actually just threw it to the corner like a piece of trash. Winter hits some forearms as Hebner sends Love to the locker room. Winter with some knees to the back. She goes for a double chicken wing, but James fights out. Winter hits her back down. James trips her up and goes for the leglock she forgot how to do earlier. She momentarily forgets again before going for a sloppy half Boston Crab. Winter gets to the ropes, but James slingshots her off. James with some clotheslines and a flapjack. James goes for the standing tornado DDT, but Winter casually pushes her off. They simultaneously facebust each other. Winter goes for her swinging side slam, but James slides out into a roll-up for 2. Winter reverses into a roll-up for 2. James hits the standing tornado DDT, but Winter gets her foot in the ropes. Winter hits a step-up enziguri for 2. Winter takes her wrist band off and looks to choke James with it, but Hebner gets it away. James hits the Mick Kick to win the match and the title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Mickie James. Mickie James pretends to cry after the match. So much for Mickie James never taking that moment away from her.
We get a highlight package of the relationship between A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels.
Matt Morgan is coming back out to the ring. He randomly takes his shirt off as he makes his way ringside. He says that we’ve had to see Samoa Joe put out half the roster with injuries over the past few weeks, and trying to take on “The Blueprint” is suicidal. He wants Joe to face him man-to-man for an “Alabama ass whipping”. He wants Joe’s “fat, dumpy ass” right now. Here comes Joe’s fat, dumpy ass. He’s staring at Morgan in the ring. He throws the ref to the guardrail before climbing in the ring. Joe and Morgan brawl. You can tell this is just a brawl because they’re wearing street clothes. This only happens in nonsense brawls or street fights, you know. Joe picks Morgan up on his shoulder, but Morgan fights out with some punches and a discuss clothesline. Matt’s selling his chest injury. He hits the barking back elbow thing in the corner and a running hip bump. These are the exact kinds of things I do when I get into fights, too. Joe slides out to the floor and pulls Morgan down with him. More brawling. Morgan throws Joe into the ring post before hitting some punches. Joe’s trying to grow a faux hawk. Morgan goes for the Carbon Footprint, but referee Jackson James (aka Bischoff’s kid) jumps in front of him. Morgan picks him up and throws him, but Joe kicks Morgan in the testes again. Joe gets a chair and hits Morgan over the back. Morgan can’t decide whether to sell the nut shot or the chair shot. Morgan climbs up the ring post, where Joe hits him with a chair again, this time on the arm. He goes for another chair shot, but the Hebners come out to squash that, because two undersized referees are far too terrifying for a fat Samoan with a chair. Joe rambles nonsensically to the camera.
Considering there’s only about a half an hour of show left, expect the Styles/Daniels and Angle/Sting matches to be incredibly short.
We see Rob Terry working out in a gym before Robbie E comes in, pretending to lift weights. He asks Terry again if he’d like to be Robbie E’s bodyguard before we hear someone yelling. It’s Eric Young as he nonsensically lifts one of the gym benches in his underwear. Glad to see he’s doing stuff like this, which is very important, and not at all defending the TV title he won a few months ago, which is completely meaningless. Although, to be fair, the TV IS pretty meaningless, so I guess it all works out. Eric Young calls Robbie E “Johnny D”, then challenges him to a TV title match next week. Robbie E accepts. Robbie E says that, when people hang with him, big things happen. Rob Terry goes back to alternating bicep curls. Good to know that, in TNA, you don’t have to do a damn thing or beat anyone to qualify for title matches. As long as you are a parody of Dixie Carter’s favorite show, you’ll have a job in TNA forever. Just ask Cookie! Oh, wait…maybe it’s only if you’re a man.
Backstage, Styles and Daniels are talking about their match. Styles says he’s coming at Daniels, and Daniels says he wouldn’t want it any other way. Styles says it’s no problem, but this is the last time they’re wrestling. Styles asks Daniels if he knows who’s coming back. Daniels very astutely responds with “Again?” Styles responds even more astutely with “And again, and again. I guess life’s full of third and fourth chances.” God, even the TNA wrestlers are making fun of Jeff Hardy coming back. Ditsy Carter still must’ve not gotten that memo. I hear she’s also been having problems with her TPS reports.
Backstage, Hogan is yelling to the Goblins about Jeff Hardy. Then he turns to Sting. There’s seven of them and only one of him, and with him as special enforcer tonight, he feeds off their energy. They need to keep their eyes and ears open because they could be needed at any moment. He says this is “one more mountain we need to mow down”. Since when does anyone mow mountains? They all shake hands as Abyss looks on in the background. I guess he’s the loser of the group. Every group has one person they make fun of. Like us with Elaine.
MATCH 4: Christopher Daniels vs. A.J. Styles
Normally, a match between two of my favorite wrestlers would be something I’d greatly enjoy. However, they’ve maybe got 10 minutes here, maybe, which just isn’t enough time for these two to show off their talents. They shake hands to start the match before tying up. They do a quick exchange and Styles gets a 1-count off a school boy. Daniels is frustrated already. Daniels with a side headlock. Styles tries to throw him off, but Daniels holds on. Shoulder block by Daniels and a roll-up variation for 2. Styles hits a nice dropkick. Daniels backs Styles into the corner and goes back to the headlock. Styles throws him off and catches a bodyslam followed by the jumping knee for 2. Mike Tenay says that, after the show, it’s the “world series of beer pong”. Apparently, Spike TV will show any crap that someone is willing to film. Styles slams Daniels head-first into the corner, then gets a few shots in. Styles hits a delayed vertical suplex for 1. Daniels reverses an Irish whip and hits a jumping side kick, sending Styles to the floor. Daniels tries for a dive but misses. Styles gets to the apron and hits a hurricanrana to the floor. Back in, Styles gets 2 before going for the inverted STF variation. Daniels gets to the ropes. Daniels gets some gut shots in, but walks right into a backbreaker/rib breaker combo for 2. Styles hits a corner whip and a jumping corner clothesline. Daniels lands on his feet out of a suplex, and Styles runs right into a boot in the corner. Daniels hits a quick STO. Daniels with several shots and a step-up enziguri, but Styles comes back with a Superman for 2. Daniels hits some palm strikes to the chest before they trade chops. Styles hits a Pele, sending Daniels to the corner. Styles charges in, but Daniels catches a kick to the head. Styles goes for the Lionsault into the inverted DDT, but Daniels holds onto the ropes and hits a split-legged moonsault. Styles back up with a powerbomb attempt. Daniels reverses into the Angel’s Wings, but Styles reverses that into a back body drop. Styles trips Daniels up in the corner and goes for Superman again, but botches it and hot shots himself gut-first on the top rope. Daniels immediately pins him.
WINNER: Christopher Daniels. Good match, but the ending was bizarre. Not sure why they’d end a match on a botch like that, intentional or accidental. After the match, Styles offers a handshake, but Daniels blows him off.
Up next, ANOTHER Angle/Sting match. For variety, Hogan will limp around the ring, pretending to be a referee.
MATCH 5-World Championship: Sting vs. World Champion Kurt Angle (special enforcer: Hulk Hogan)
Man, my left middle finger is stiff from getting tattooed today. Just saying. Hulk Hogan gets his own entrance, because why the hell not? He couldn’t even wear the sleeveless referee shirt? That’s lazy. Granted, he’s only the “enforcer”, but come on. Hogan’s arms kind of look like sausages hanging in a deli window. Just saying. Hogan gets his own introduction here, even before the wrestlers. Shows how they rank. Kurt Angle weighs 225, my ass. 190 at best. Tie-up to start. Sting gets the side headlock. Angle backs him into the corner. Another tie-up, another headlock by Sting. Shoulder block off the ropes by Sting. Sting reverses a hip toss into one of his own, followed by an arm drag that sends Angle to the floor. Why can’t Taz pronounce “frustrated” properly? Angle back in with some shots, backing Sting into the corner. Sting reverses a corner whip and hits a clothesline, sending Kurt back out. Sting follows and slams Angle into the guardrail and the steps. I just noticed the back of Hogan’s shirt says “I Am That I Am”. What the hell does that mean? Back in the ring, Angle tries to climb to the middle turnbuckle as Sting hits a Stinger Splash. Angle holds on and turns it into an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Angle with a front facelock now. Taz mentions that Angle is training for the Olympics still, and says he’s in the best shape he’s ever seen Angle in. Not even close, on both accounts. Sting fights out, but Angle gets a sleeper. Sting turns the sleeper into a back suplex. Angle runs into a back elbow and a pair of clotheslines. Angle elbows out of the corner, but Sting kicks him in the stomach and hits a DDT. Sting misses a clothesline, and Angle turns it into the triple German suplexes he learned from that dead guy for 2. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Sting counters into the Scorpion Death Drop for 2. Sting’s going for the Scorpion Death Lock, but Angle turns it into the ankle lock. Sting rolls through and kicks him off. Angle misses a shoulder charge in the corner. Sting goes for the Death Drop again, but Angle throws him off and hits the Angle Slam for 2. Sting hits a clothesline off a corner charge and goes for the Death Lock again. Sting gets it on this time, but he’s not sitting down far enough. Hogan gets on the apron as Gunner runs down to the ring with a chair. He goes for a head shot, but referee Brian Hebner gets the chair away from him. Sting back drops Gunner as Hogan gets in the ring. Angle is tapping behind the ref’s back as Hogan hits Sting in the chest with a chair. Sting no-sells it, but then gets Angle Slammed onto the chair for the 3.
End of show.
The sub-main event was good, but short (as I predicted). And, as I said, the ending was just strange. As for the main event, I felt like I had seen the match before. Probably because I have seen it every single time Sting and Angle wrestle. Probably.
TNA Impact Wrestling September 1, 2011 Results…
Gunner defeated Rob Van Dam in a Bound for Glory match
Brian Kendrick and Jesse Sorrensen beat Kid Kash and Austin Arie
Mickie James defeated Winter to become TNA Knockouts champion
Christopher Daniels defeated AJ Styles
Kurt Angle defeated Sting
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.