The opening segment between Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett is
extremely good. Unfortunately, Jarrett seemed a bit weak in his response. In
fact, he didn’t directly respond to the element of Kurt’s promo that brought
him back to the ring. Wouldn’t it have been really easy for him to tell Angle
that he’s never allowed to talk about his children again?
Rock and Rave Infection vs. Matt Morgan and Abyss:
Once again Christy Hemme physically interferes with a male
wrestler. TNA goes to the same several wells on a weekly basis. I feel badly
that Jimmy Rave is always on the losing end of matches. He should have a solid
future as a top X Division guy but he’s always getting buried. Meanwhile, Lance
Rock has no discernible skills other than being tall but probably loses 1/5 of
the matches Rave does.
Team 3D does a great job putting themselves over. Abyss also
has a great response to finding out the invitational match will be a Monster’s
Ball match. It works well considering his character transformation. Nice
Roxxi gets another Rough Cut. Very nice.
Lauren interview Beer Money and James Storm is really
impassioned about how valuable Jackie is. He talks proudly about Jackie and
seems ultra confident. Jackie and Roode recognize the seriousness of the match stipulation.
Awesome Kong vs. Mercedes Steele:
Kong looks physically dominant and the fans respond
extremely well. It won’t take much for Kong to become a fan favorite. Of
course, I hope that doesn’t happen for a very long time because she’s such a
Kong gets leveled by ‘Raisha Saeed’ who is actually Roxxi.
Roxxi gets and keeps the mount position and just wails on Kong. Great segment
that will help push Roxxi to the top.
Karen’s Angle features Christian Cage. Karen directly asks
Cage which side he’s on. Cage does an excellent job here. Karen, of course,
sucks. Shouldn’t this be a Mike Tenay program? Please? Cage specifically talks
of himself as an unrestricted free agent. He also asks if there are definitive
sides that have been chosen. Karen is, at least, more insistent in interviews
than Katie Couric. I suppose that’s a start.
Lauren interviews LAX. I hope this is the excuse to get rid
of Hector as a mouthpiece. Hernandez and Homicide speak well enough that they
don’t need him. Hector, how about ‘blood is thicker than beer’? Y’know, connect a couple dots once in a
Booker T is interviewed by JB. Booker is from Africa now?
What happened to H-Town? I wonder who told the wrestlers to keep bringing up
ratings? It seems very peculiar.
LAX and Hector Guerrero vs. Beer Money (c) and Jacqueline
(the losing team’s manager is forced to vacate that position):
Hector’s dropkick barely landed above the belt. He pulls out
the Three Amigos and it looks (and feels) very nice. Then a ridiculous commercial
break about 3 minutes into the match. It’s simply insulting.
Homicide drops Storm with an amazing top rope DDT. It
actually looked more like an Impaler than a traditional DDT. Beer Money is
getting better and better at incorporating smooth double team action. Tenay is
attempting to sell STING as a bad guy by saying fans will get an autograph and
a lecture on respect at the same time.
Hernandez’ flying leap is stunning every time I see it.
Undertaker’s leap is the only similar move I’ve seen. Jacqueline is clearly the
difference make in this entire match. She plays her role beautifully.
Unfortunately, it appears that when Roode hit Hernandez with the football
helmet, he really cracked him.
The Love In? Sonjay and Val lying in bed. Now, some explanation
of Sonjay’s manipulations. His dad is the richest man in India and Sonjay will
inherit his money. Val has consistently been portrayed as stupid so this works
pretty well. Finally! Lauren calls her Yoko and has been doing a much better
STING hangs out in the ring and talks about the ‘real’ Jeff
Jarrett and claims the young guys have been swerved. STING portrays Jarrett as
the guy who needs and has needed STING. He’s the reason Spike TV picked up TNA.
STING reminds fans that he could have signed with WWE. PWI photos of Tully and
Arn, Dusty Rhodes, Hulk Hogan (boos and an “overrated” chant), Ric Flair are
presented by STING as people who taught him important wrestling lessons. STING
gives an impressive, MEGA intense promo. Samoa Joe and STING are contrasted as
guys who don’t and do know how to be World champions.
Abyss and Morgan are backstage talking about Monster’s Ball
and Abyss’ therapy. Morgan plays therapist and goes over the top in his efforts
to convince Abyss to wrestle in the tag match. This may be the most personality
I’ve ever seen from him.
A nice video package about the Steel Asylum X Division
Samoa Joe is interviewed by JB. It’s a calmer, refreshed Joe
speaking calmly and wisely. He transforms STING’s motivation from respect to
fear. The contrast between the two is pretty stark. Creed and Lethal show up to
thank Joe and show their support and respect. I was thinking that it felt like
a Godfather moment then one of the commercials was for the new Godfather package.
Is Kaz really Suicide? They’re putting so much into this
character I’d like to see it go to someone who needs a big rub. Kaz was already
over and would be over if he just showed up next week. I don’t get it.
Sheik Abdul Bashir (c) vs. Samoa Joe (c) in a non-title
This is exactly what TNA should do more often. Joe wrestles
the X Division style really well and needs to have more time on TV in the ring
wrestling. After all, that’s his primary strength.
I have to say, it’s amazing for me to see a Samoan and an
Iranian-American as TNA’s champions wrestling each other. (I would prefer this
to be the main event but that’s just because I’m old school and think titles
should matter most.) After all, this is the same company that has all its roots
in Tennessee, the same state whose Senate contest in 2006 was almost certainly
decided by a television commercial that attempted to portray the Black
candidate as a horndog for White women. How far TNA has come!
The match itself is decent but too short to give Bashir any
real credibility. Joe’s post-match attack is reminiscent of Flair in the 80s
when he’d send messages to future opponents by making them responsible for the
beatings he was about to inflict.
AJ Styles has a nice interview with JB. He’s become more
polished and confident, specifically since he stopped being presented as a
Booker T vs. AJ Styles:
I would like to see this presented as a #1 contender’s match,
maybe at Bound for Glory. AJ and Booker are the two guys who should be in line
for title shots after BfG. Booker because he was in the match last month but
couldn’t make it. AJ because he was screwed out of his title opportunity. Their
match could help set up Genesis in November and further the Old/Young story
Booker and AJ work very nicely together. Booker can hang
with AJ athletically and AJ is physical enough that the size disadvantage feels
neutralized. These guys could do great work in a 20 minute match. Booker wins
with some misdirection in a reasonably clever ending that pushes forward a
couple different storylines. The match outcome makes me wonder if Booker will
be Joe’s Genesis opponent. He can claim that this would be the rubber match of
their series and pretend it’s a series of the same level as Joe/Angle.
I wonder if Jarrett’s the one who decided Booker should
carry a briefcase. Unfortunately it always makes me think about Mongo McMichael
and I should never associated Booker T with Mongo. Wait a minute, my computer recognizes ‘Mongo’ but not ‘McMichael’?
How bizarre, how bizarre.