TP’s TNA Blog 14August2008

Well okay, Samoa Joe and Kevin Nash start the show off looking cool and
important. They were helpfully nebulous and Lauren seemed more serious than she
typically does. Good intro.

Rock 'n' Rave Infection vs. Christian Cage and Rhino:

Cage and Rhino really seem like they’re becoming a permanent team and a good
one. Their styles complement each other nicely. Jimmy Rave looked good in this
match but Lance Rock seemed uncomfortable wrestling. He was fine while dancing,
strutting and preening but none of that confidence was in evidence while being
physically engaged in the wrestling. The finish was nice as Rhino gores then
Cage frog splashes but it worked so well only because Rave did a great job
rolling out of the Gore into perfect position for Cage to splash him. Again,
well done by Rave.

 

Kurt Angle cuts a strong promo and encourages us to pay
attention to his wrestling and his neck.

 

AJ Styles does a great job of putting himself over from Hard
Justice. He balances his intensity, voice and physical motions better than
usual and comes across as super credible. This is the AJ Styles we’ve been
hoping to see heading back into World title contention and main event status.

 

3 promos in between matches? Well, I’d normally complain but
Matt Morgan makes it a hat trick of good promos. Morgan does a good promo,
hitting all the critical elements and again, working to make himself seem more
credible.

 

Matt Morgan vs. Johnny Devine: 

The physical stature
difference is wonderfully apparent here. My wife’s jaw dropped when she saw how
big Morgan is. She also noticed that he doesn’t look ’roided up. She was
impressed. Again, Morgan uses the squash to appear very impressive. The crowd
is responding and the Hellevator made my wife’s jaw drop again.

 

The run-in by Team 3D made more sense than Don West’s
commentary (a shame because West and Tenay have done a great job putting him
over lately). They’ve been working with Devine for months. I might have liked
to see Morgan fight 3D off without Abyss’ help but this really does make more
sense.

 

As usual, the Beautiful People were excellent during Karen’s
Angle.
  Karen Angle as Oprah just
doesn’t work, but Kip James as the Diva manager is likely to be really funny.
My hope is that the ‘ass cam’ doesn’t re-appear but there’s definite comic potential.

 

Jay Lethal appropriately chastises Lauren for her stupid
question. He does a nice job of making sense out of the mess of the love
triangle. Excellent intensity. (I wonder who’s helping with promos? Thanks to
whoever it is.)

 

Sheik Abdul Bashir delivers another intense promo although I
never think the word ‘rape’ should be introduced into a wrestling program. It’s
too serious a reality for such casual usage.

 

Jay Lethal vs. Sheik Abdul Bashir:

Solid but too short match that helpfully establishes Bashir
as the kind of heel fans want to see lose but think may win. He may be a great
X Division champ sooner rather than later. I wanted the Dutt/Lethal scenario to
wind down at Hard Justice but it will be nice to see it come full circle and
end up with Val and Sonjay in a relationship. She’d be a great manager for him;
she’s beautiful, she’s stupid and she’s all about peace even though she works
for a wrestling company. Doesn’t a guru need disciples like that?

 

Booker T does a nice job connecting the dots surrounding
him. He maintains his composure even though he doesn’t want to do so. Excellent
promo.

 

The Hard Justice bonus between STING and Nash is great
because it starts with STING mishearing Nash and thinking he’s being asked
about ‘being confused’ while Nash actually told him he’d ‘lit the fuse’. That’s
exactly how real conversations happen! The idea of a wrestler’s clock ticking
makes perfect sense too particularly as Nash has mentioned multiple times he’s
known STING since 1990.

 

(Wouldn’t it be nice if TNA created a Detroit Rock City
stable? Nash, MCMG, Rhino, Steiner and Williams {from just across the border in
Windsor, Ontario} would make a tremendously interesting and fun group.)

 

3D vs. Kevin Nash and Samoa Joe (c):

So, all is well
with Joe and Nash? I don’t want Joe to continue being hyper paranoid but I do
want to know why he’s apparently sane again.

 

Nash has not wrestled this well in quite some time. He’s not
usually this comfortable selling. Finally, the World champion wrestling and
demonstrating on Impact! why he’s been so lauded by the fans.

 

Okay, nice. Joe isn’t quite sane. Very nice to see. The
reversal of the decision is just ludicrous considering how much interference
there is in TNA but it helps forward the angle.

 

Traci Brooks may have my favorite referee outfit ever. May?
Who am I kidding; I love it.

 

Christy Hemme vs. Taylor Wilde(c) in a non-title match:

West
is doing an excellent job putting over Wilde and the division itself. This is
the best I’ve seen Hemme look in a match. Not excellent but she’s solid. Much,
much better than most of the Divas in WWE at least. And she’s what, the 9
th
best female wrestler in TNA? At best? What great depth?

 

Taylor Wilde continues to grow and impress. She has
a great variety of moves and uses her lack of size well.
   wow, the elevating kicks into
Hemme’s Matrix duck was just great. The German suplex bridged into a win? Wow.
I wanna see William Regal break that one back out. This is a great way to
showcase Hemme and Wilde.

 

Wow. Awesome Kong really is just that, awesome. She tosses
Brooks with an almost unbelievably casual air.
  Gail Kim is still fabulous and has been so good for so long
that she really does look like she can give Kong a match. That being said, she gave Kong a ridiculous chair shot. That just isn't necessary. Ish.

 

I like the way this segment played out because Kim/Kong is a
match that would sell and makes sense while giving Wilde a chance to have
another challenger come at her.

 

Consequences Creed Rough Cut-

 

It’s great that no one makes pretense that his ‘real’ name
is Consequences. He looks like he’s being groomed to be an X

 

LAX still has Hector Guerrero as their spokesman. Just not
good. Hernandez is good enough that he doesn’t need the help. Super Mex has
World champ potential. Really, I think he’d be a fine transitional champ. If
there’s an unanticipated injury or it’s determined that TNA needs to promote
interest with a swerve or upset or even if there’s a tour in Mexico or the
Southwest that needs a boost in attendance.

 

James Storm vs. Hernandez:

Here’s a solid but non-descript match. Both guys are quite
good in their own particular ways but this match had the formulaic double
interference by both Roode and Jackie. That doesn’t help anything but it worked
well enough.

 

Wasn’t there a gold medal challenge (in format at least)
just a few months ago? Okay, whatever. I’m fine with embracing Angle’s
wrestling background and the Olympic tie-in is probably gonna help. Whatever
happened to that vaunted TNA originality?

Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles: 

Never mind. This is a very solidly wrestled contest thus
far. The scoring makes perfect sense and both guys do a great job with the
physical and emotional elements. Of course, now there’s a ref bump. In an
amateur style match. Ish. Never mind, #2. As a set up for STING to ‘interfere’
along with Jeff Jarrett, it all works well. Again, I’m not a fan of ref bumps,
guitar shots (that did not look worked at all), black outs or refs that wake up
as soon as they need to for a finish but this worked really well. Jarrett and
STING are both wild cards and fans buy this zany interference when it comes
from them. TNA has also done an interesting job of planting doubt as to which
side either guy will be on. That’s simply not common. It’s good stuff though. For AJ Styles to get back to back victories over Kurt Angle and win his gold medal, TNA must be (appropriately) hitching their wagon to AJ's star. Very good choice.  

 

 TP

 

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