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Inside The Wheelhouse: So I gave TNA Impact a fair chance this week

Eric Bischoff and Hulk HoganThis past Thursday night I decided I was going to watch TNA iMPACT! and put everything I think about TNA Wrestling aside to watch the show fairly. I decided I would give TNA a fair chance coming off of their biggest pay per view of the year and one of their biggest angles of 2010 finally being revealed. It was time for TNA to redeem itself in my eyes.

I probably haven’t watched an entire Impact since the first part of 2010 when the failed Monday Night Wars II was going on so this was their chance to try and get a new fan. Could they follow everything up and give me a solid show to watch to potentially put TNA in my good graces? Sadly they did not.

TNA opened with the “They” group, now referred to as “Immortals” opening the show for the big promo. Immortals were joined by Ric Flair’s group “Fortune” and already half the roster was in the ring & part of stable. The 1998 nWo was reborn in the form of “Immortals” and “Fortune” becoming friends to run TNA wrestling.

In what could be described as a Vince Russo storyline it was revealed that Dixie Carter accidently signed over TNA to Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff last week in what she thought was Abyss’ pink slip from the Impact before. That’s right folks Dixie Carter was so made she doesn’t even read what she is signing. Maybe I could have her sign a piece of paper asking her to fire Vince Russo as the head of your creative team!

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The promo, combined with commercials, went for over 40+ minutes. If thought Triple H was bad in the early 2000s with his long promos to open Raw then you haven’t seen nothing yet in the form of the promo fest that went on to start Impact. The best thing about promo fest was that it was filled with wrestlers who can’t let go of the past.

Instead we had Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Ric Flair, Jeff Jarrett, Sting, Kevin Nash and Jeff Hardy all cut promos during the 40 minute segment that opened the 2 hour show. Because you know, we needed to hear from seven already well established, probably past their time, wrestlers to open up a show that should be focusing on its newer talent. The only talent that got on the mic that isn’t a household name was Abyss and that’s not really saying much when it comes to his potential future star power.

Once the 40 minute promo fest was over we got a backstage segment that spanned over a commercial break with Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Dixie Carter. Just before the segment started we got Kevin Nash and Sting walking out of the door of TNA (the smartest thing they have done this year) before being stopped by D’Angelo Dinero. Cue new wrestler #2 to receive some sort of mic time during all this.

He like most of us watching wanted to know if the Impact Zone was still awake, no I’m just kidding. He wanted to know where they were going and why, because that’s what you normally ask someone when they are unexpectedly walking out of the door. The awesomeness coming from this long drawn out segment continued.

Dixie Carter actually did pretty well in her debut as an actress as she was able to stay with Hogan and Bischoff throughout the segment. I’m sure this isn’t natural for Dixie and that she is spending her father’s money to get acting lessons. None the less the promo fest was finally over close to 10pm.

That’s right, around 9:55pm was the end of this all and the first match happened right before our eyes…in the matter of 3 seconds. As we got “fingerpoke of doom” part 2 – the women’s edition when Madison Rayne became the new TNA Knockout’s Champion over newly crowned Tara. That’s right they used a PPV that people pay for, to crown a new champion and have her drop it in this type of faction on the next show. Good times.

Add another promo with Mickie James, a backstage segment with a reality star on her 14th minute of fame and we head to Kurt Angle explaining to all of us the angle everyone forget at Bound for Glory cause Hogan needed the spotlight. You know that angle that said if Kurt Angle failed to win the TNA World Championship he would retire? Yes now you remember because the bookers at Bound for Glory seemed to forget.

Kurt Angle gave us a promo, Jeff Jarrett came out and threw down some personal jabs at Angle that would have made sense maybe a year ago with this backstage stuff was actually “juicy.” It doesn’t help when Angle and Jarrett can’t say enough good things about one another when they do interviews to promote TNA but now that Jarrett is a heel again he HATES Kurt Angle.

They battle after the promos, setting up that Kurt Angle won’t be retiring after all and that we will see the Jarrett/Angle feud that no one really cares about after all. Jarrett throws Angle in what appeared to be shoulder first into the TNA stage, but the announcers said head first and ultimately hurt the surgically repaired neck of Kurt Angle. Amazing how 7 years later we can still use Angle’s injured neck as a calling card for a feud.

We then got our “2nd alright moment of the night” when Taz showed up to protect Angle from Jarrett and to let him know to “F***in quit it, he has a bad neck” or something like it. Either way Taz cursed and showed everyone that he is still a cool badass. Besides that I could do without the angle overall despite my respect for Kurt Angle as a wrestler.

This is when my mind started to tap out and I decided that I may not be able to take much more. If I needed any other reason to change the channel it’s when I saw the “Jersey Shore” gimmick of Robbie E. and Cookie come to the ring. TNA really knows how to tap into pop culture and give us a gimmick that really pulls on the heartstrings. What’s next a coked out actress who was in Disney movies gimmick will come to TNA to try and win the Knockout’s Championship? God I hope Vince Russo doesn’t steal my idea!

This amazing in-ring promo work from Robbie E. and Cookie (by the way I can’t believe I’m writing that) is interrupted by Lay-Co…er, The Beautiful People and JWoww. Oh no JWoww is in the house! To hear Mike Tenay put over JWoww and a show he probably has no idea about because he enjoys watching headline news was awesome.

Cookie and JWoww have a brief discussion in the ring about the United States economy and it leads us to JWoww’s earrings coming off. You know what they say on the shore…”when the earrings come off, all bets are off!”

JWoww takes Cookie down after a slap from Cookie and it is on like a normal club night in South Jersey. Glow sticks fill the ring and Cookie gets choked out by the Walmart perfume JWoww is wearing. It was such an amazing battle that I decided it was time to stop watching TNA iMPACT!

That’s right folks, around 10:30pm I decided to turn off iMPACT! after giving it a fair shot. I had heard that TNA had high ratings that night and frankly they should because people were interested to see if this was the step in the right direction for the company. It wasn’t and probably will continue to be horrible till the end of the year or till Hogan/Bischoff/Russo is gone.

I haven’t decided yet if I will give TNA another fair chance for this coming week yet. Maybe I will because I alone had a good time writing this blog. It was frankly the most entertainment I got out of anything TNA related this week.

So thank you Vince Russo for bringing comedy back to wrestling with your storylines, you are one of a kind. Keep up the great work!

What are your thoughts on this past week’s iMPACT? Tell us your thoughts on “The Still Real to Us Show” by e-mailing us over at [email protected] and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net to find out if your pick made it to the air!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected].

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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