Hoo boy! Over the past few weeks, I’ve realized that I am one of the few that will actually go out of his way to try and defend a company like TNA. Heck, even the other contributors on this very site lampoon the second tier wrasslin’ outfit, as they rightly should on some occasions. But Dixie Carter, Eric Bischoff, Dutch Mantell…throw me a frickin’ bone here! Last night’s episode of Impact was riddled with so many flaws, hang-ups, and cheesy promos I almost considered just giving up on the brand. However, I’ll consider this a fluke, hope for a solid campaign into the Sacrifice PPV and break this down with my Good, Bad, and Ugly.
GUNNER (AND SORTA CHRISTOPHER DANIELS)
Out of the five matches last night this one was the lone star to write home about. I trashed Gunner my last time out, but I think I may have unfairly grouped him in with the B-Team meatheads of Immortal. In reality, the guy has taken the Television title, created a rabid dog persona and had one of the better matches against Chris Daniels I’ve seen on the show in a while. Gunner is still a bit green in the ring, and his sidewalk faceplant finisher feels awkward, but he’s still got the look for a successful push in the midcard. The best part of the match was that it was lengthy without being drawn out and had a clean finish. Daniels went for his Best Moonsault Ever when Gunner escaped and hit him with his finisher for the pin.
Sure she’s pretty, but does she deserve a ten minute long opening segment on the mic? Last week, Kurt Angle promised Karen would come face to face with Kurt’s mistress, so to open the show Karen wrangled up several Knockouts and female employees to find out who was in cahoots with Angle.
Wait, wait. Now Karen Jarrett has that kind of authority? Not only could they all have just left, but several of her “culprits” included heel Knockouts. A lot of this made no sense, but was later inflamed when Karen began making corny jokes toward the women and never really broke her screaming, flat tone. It ended up being one of the least interesting things on Impact in a while…and they opened with it. Yikes.
The only redeeming quality of the segment and really, the only thing salvaging it from landing in the Ugly scrap was Karen’s infinity for Hispanic stereotyping. She referred to Rosita and Sarita as “rice and beans” and even told the caterer that “her Taco Tuesdays sucked.” The cherry on top was Rosita and Sarita defending the caterer by exclaiming “me gusta Taco Tuesdays!” Overall, the segment was far too long and seemed like a backdoor way of continuing the Madison Rayne and Tara squabble, both of which were also grilled by Karen.
ANOTHER WORLD TITLE MATCH?
Is anyone else getting the feeling that even the writers don’t know what to do with the Heavyweight title program? I almost feel like they’ve thrown their pens down and just given into including every high paid wrestler in on the action. In an earlier promo, Hulk Hogan announced that Sting would be defending his Heavyweight title in a triple threat match against Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson.
Mind you, this is the second straight Impact that Sting will have defended the belt, in light of TNA already promoting the Sting-RVD main event at Sacrifice. If this is their only way to get a true heel into the championship picture, it’s too late, TNA. You guys lollygagged around with teasing heel turns and confusing stipulations long enough. Now you want to pretend that Sting is actually going to lose to one of these guys?
In a nutshell, the ref goes down while Bully Ray takes advantage and lead pipes Sting, which prompts AJ Styles to rush the ring and destroy Ray for the whole “you put me through a table and tried to end my career” thing. Sting, the ample opportunist, sees Ray’s motionless body and pins him as a second ref comes down. As Sting celebrates, Mr. Anderson reemerges from his catatonic state and pokes his head up over the ring mat, with a deranged look in his eye. They cut to commercial, promising to stick with the action…and return with their end of show reactions from various characters. Wait, what?! Empty promises are sure fire ways to piss off wrestling fans.
CHRIS SABIN, HIS KNEE GO POP
Mexican America is back again, this time throwing their newest member, Anarquia, into battle against Chris Sabin. There was some great psychology here as Sabin looked generally concerned and very much antsy with Hernandez and the girls on the outside, constantly checking his back. Neither of these guys had great chemistry (it may be that Anarquia sucks at all things not related to calling people “gringos”) but the match ended abruptly as Sabin jammed his knee coming off the top rope and went down in pain. Anarquia quickly rolled him up in a small package for the win. And look, just our luck, that’s Alex Shelley’s cue to storm the ring and help his Motor City teammate. In what easily could be a ligament tear, it now appears that the Motor City Machine Guns are far from returning as a healthy tag team. I sure hope TNA pays for his surgery and rehabilitation.
MICKIE JAMES DOES NOTHING
To remind us fans that the Knockouts Champ is still getting paid but laid up with an injury, Mickie came out and cut a truly awful promo about thanking the fans and her quest to be the best women’s wrestler ever.
Come again? Wait, are you retiring?! Don’t thank us, just go out there and do something zany. Steal Madison’s car…write Tara an angry note but address it from Madison…sing one of your country songs. Anything except chumming it up for the company whose employees don’t hate you. And seriously, the greatest women’s wrestler ever?! The Fabulous Moolah held a single women’s title for three decades straight, while you’ve been…an obsessive fanatic and had cake shoved in your face. You know how you can thank us, Mickie? Wrestling. I know it sucks, but drop the belt until you can come back and be useful.
CRIMSON AND SAMOA JOE WRESTLE, ALMOST
Remember when one-hour shows of WCW Nitro used to fit four matches into their program? We only got five matches tonight; two of them were cut dreadfully short and one made little to no linear sense. All of the promos, interviews, reactions did nothing for me. Scott Steiner is usually pretty entertaining, but his back and forth segment with Matt Morgan took entirely way too long, with most of it featuring uninteresting brawling in the backstage area. Spike, just what the heck are you doing guys? Impact is by far your highest rated show—rethink your strategy and extend it an hour. I’ve mentioned this idea before; allot three hours to an Impact taping and let the show portion flow over into the third hour, with the rest being interviews and reactions.
Make it happen, Dixie Carter. I want to believe in a nationally broadcast product that is an alternative to the watered down, “I’ll kick your butt” circus that is the current WWE format. But please, tidy up your main events, never let Karen Jarrett unattended with a mic, and give guys like Gunner a chance to shine. This time, I can’t turn a blind eye to the madness. 2/10.
Official Impact Match Results
Angelina Love def. Velvet Sky, submission
Anarquia def. Chris Sabin, pinfall
Gunner def. Christopher Daniels, pinfall
Crimson def. Samoa Joe, DQ interference
Sting def. Bully Ray and Mr. Anderson in a 3-way for the TNA World Title, pinfall