Impact starts with a helpful recap from last week. JB does a
better job of getting STING to talk at the start of the show. He actually says
“Jeff Jarrett”. Thank goodness.
Samoa Joe comes to the ring with a phalanx of security. He immediately calls out STING but
instead Nash tries to talk Joe down. ‘Ass’ gets bleeped as Nash attempts to
smooth the road between the two. Joe accepts the challenge Nash suggests for
tonight involving three matches. Joe of course is an idiot so invokes defending
the TNA title.
Lauren interviews The Beautiful People and again, they talk
about the 1st Annual Beautiful People beauty contest.
Abyss vs. Christian Cage (in Abyss’ Open Challenge):
This is a shocking pairing. I expected TNA to keep Abyss
newly undefeated for quite some time. Obviously, Christian can’t afford to lose
the match. Hopefully they’ll come up with a clever outcome. Cage and Abyss have
a great series of reversals and escapes. Kurt Angle and Booker T interrupt
Christian’s potential victory over Abyss and attempt a pretty massive beatdown.
Angle tries to solicit Abyss’ assistance but of course, he refuses to use the
chair and takes a beating for it. Predictably, Matt Morgan comes in to save
Abyss from the chair shot. Morgan and Abyss are referred to as partners twice
within about eight seconds. An interesting tag match is scheduled. I expect
another schmozz because none of these guys could take a loss this week without
gumming up their programs.
My hopes for the X Division title match have apparently been realized as it will be a 3-way match. Again though, Cornette should have announced this on the show himself. Turn title matches into a big deal. Simple but helpful.
1st Annual Beautiful People beauty contest-
The PJB have a fun logo now. Angelina Love is accompanied to
the ring by both Velvet Sky and ‘Cute’ Kip James. I still don’t think Taylor
Wilde is particularly attractive but it probably helps to have her broadening
out her persona this way. She doesn’t seem comfortable in her evening gown but
the crowd is buying it.
Sonjay Dutt is interviewed by Lauren. The ‘Guru’ gives a
Karen’s Angle features STING. Sad but true. He presses
strongly for a return to respect as his central theme. Steve Borden takes off
his glasses and has no paint on his face. This may be the first time I’ve ever
seen him look this way for more than a second. Except of course, during long
matches when the paint’s been sweated and beaten off. Karen did a decent job
staying out of the way during the interview.
AJ Styles calls out Frank Trigg and he responds by walking
into the ring. Trigg calls AJ a hillbilly and runs down his pedigree. Trigg and
Styles are to go MMA at No Surrender. Sounds good to me. I wonder if Trigg is
enough of a draw to bring MMA interest into the PPV.
Yet another interview as Cage takes the mike from Lauren. 45
minutes in and one match completed. Welcome to Russoland. Another strong
interview as Cage goes deeply into his past. If this interview had occurred three
weeks ago I might have assumed he’d win the match Sunday. There’s just no build
to that though.
1st Annual Beautiful People beauty contest
continues with the bikini contest. Wilde goes first and looks nice but the
Beautiful People do a great job of mocking her. Since there are three events,
of course, Angelina will win this one. Don West says that she’s done this
before. Tenay goes far enough to say all that’s missing is the stripper pole.
But they bleep the word ‘ass’. The crowd’s chanting ‘Taylor’ but Angelina is a
1 hour. 1 match. I wish TNA could recognize how to play to
I hate the name ‘Bimbo Brawl’ but I’m glad the match is
happening. Awesome Kong vs. ODB in a falls count anywhere match will likely be
a highlight of No Surrender. Tonight though it’s Awesome Kong vs. Roxxi
Kong is so strong that she can toss Roxxi around very
casually. TNA seems to be removing the back-story from Roxxi’s character. They
seem to be deliberately calling her ‘Roxxi’ only. I wonder how long they’ll
stick with the Voodoo drop as her finisher. Kong is so strong that simply by
tossing a chair into Roxxi’s head and face she created a huge gash. Licking
Roxxi’s blood may be a great image to use later on. ODB keeps Roxxi from being
Awesome bombed onto a pair of chairs but as Kong leaves she licks Roxxi’s blood
once more. Whew.
Johnny Devine vs. Samoa Joe:
Devine has so much talent I really expected big things would
happen with him a few months ago. In fact, I’d crafted a fun program for him.
Joe beats him in about 20 seconds.
Samoa Joe vs. Lance Rock:
We’re going from small and fast to super tall. We’re finally
told that it’s a non-title event even though Joe sloppily referenced defending
his title tonight in front of these fans. He needs to spend a lot of time
practicing promos. He’s been champ too long to make stupid mistakes like that.
Randy Orton wouldn’t screw up this way.
Samoa Joe vs. Tomko:
Very nice! I’m glad it’s happening this way. Tomko is
presented as a serious challenge to Joe. Tomko looks impressive tonight. He
uses some atypical offense and appears credible enough that even in a short
match, Joe is made to look really strong here. I’d be excited to see these two
in an Impact main event later this fall. Nash ends the segment by giving Joe
his blessing and benediction. Nash is so good that this ends up being a very
sweet moment. I hope they figure out another way to keep Nash on the microphone
The talent element of the 1st Annual Beautiful
People beauty contest. Angelina is doing an ‘oral presentation’. Both
commentators make jokes about it. Angelina’s poem calls Taylor a whore and West
laughs about it. They’re performance of Row Row Row Your Boat is Jillian level
Taylor Wilde does a sad but not painful drum solo as her
talent presentation. She wins and the Beautiful People are deeply offended. I’m
deeply offended that this pageant took so much TV time. It was fine but
Booker T and Kurt Angle vs. Matt Morgan and Abyss:
Tonight is the first time I’ve ever noticed how clearly
Abyss uses forearms instead of fists when he punches. It’s visually
transparent. Morgan and Angle both need to spend a little cash to get their
cheap back tats updated. Morgan probably gains the most from this match because
he seems comfortable and credible in this match where everyone else is a World
champ. 3D uses a chair to knock out Abyss. Well, that’s probably the best
ending. A little added heat to their upcoming match and Morgan doesn’t take the
STING salutes the fans as he enters the ring and is roundly
cheered. He calls out Jarrett (in an amusingly old school way) and Samoa Joe.
Joe asks if STING is insecure or threatened. The entrance of Jarrett is a big
deal and he’s referred to as a 12-time World champion. A nice visual end to the
show that introduces a new level of intrigue to the PPV. One could make
reasonable arguments to suggest any of the competitors might win the World
title. It all depends on what Bound for Glory is scheduled to look like. Who’ll
be in the main event there? Will TNA go for a gargantuan match to utilize the
tremendous number of potential World champs on their roster? (I’m thinking of
an 8 man challenge match with 7 falls including Samoa Joe, Booker T, Christian
Cage, Kurt Angle, AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, STING and Mick Foley. That match
could be the entire last hour of the event.)
The final promo for No Surrender is a strong one. Overall, I
think a weak first hour that is saved by an excellent hour #2.