STING and Jarrett were directly involved (ish) in the main
event of the PPV Sunday. Will they both explain what’s happening with them
tonight? Will they both attempt to be faces? Where does Foley fit in and won’t
he have to be a face? How does TNA plan to move their big old vs. young angle
forward with three of their biggest stars being multiple time World champion 40
somethings who’ve been wrestling for 20 years… as faces? Oh mercy, God bless us
Hopefully the advertised matches will a) last more than five
minutes and b) have clean finishes. They have the potential to be solid
Samoa Joe is doing a good job of painting STING as too
spoiled by success. He’s also drawing some cheap, but effective, heat by
promoting how wonderful the company and fans are. I’m curious to see how the
Impact Zone crowd reacts when Joe and STING are in the ring talking to each
Motor City Machine Guns vs. Christian Cage and AJ Styles:
I think it interesting that although Cage was in the World
title main event Sunday, he gets introduced first and AJ gets the honor. Don
West references AJ as a Triple Crown champion. Finally a (vague) mention of AJ
as a World champ. The MCMG look great tonight. They’re using more impactful
looking offense which helps tremendously. Cage and Styles look good too.
Particularly AJ who can keep up with MCMG move for move. I wonder if MCMG’s
disdain for Cage will be predicated on his age or his WWE background? That will
probably help us figure out where this overarching ‘Respect’ storyline will
A nice ad for Booker T in the ‘Cross the Line’ campaign.
Although I still think they should use the phrase ‘World champion’ everywhere
he’s been. Hello, this is wrestling?!? We know that Kip James, Eric Young and
Kaz have all been champions. That’s not a particularly special distinction in
this sport. World champion? Yeah, that’s the ticket.
Booker T is interviewed by Jeremiah. Booker attempts to
align himself with STING and calls out Jay Lethal as a Macho Man imitator. This
week Booker is refusing to use the letter ‘h’ as part of his accent du jour. He
Sheik Abdul Bashir is interviewed by Lauren. He gives a very
intense promo. I wonder if he’s speaking any actual language or simply throwing
Petey Williams, Johnny Devine and Jimmy Rave vs. the Prince
These X Division multiple wrestler matches are usually
pretty fun and filled with amusing high spots. Another slap by a woman onto a
man. Christy Hemme seems to do this every other week. For some reason, Petey
Williams takes the loss here. Wait a minute, they’re turning Petey? Maple Leaf
Muscle as a face? That might be a really nice change of pace. I wonder if that
means Scott Steiner will be out for longer than expected or if Williams and
Steiner will have a program when Steiner returns.
Matt Morgan’s DNA going into space. Super.
Matt Morgan and Abyss are interviewed by Lauren. Morgan
actually talks about reviewing the match and realizing that he made a mistake.
Abyss gives Morgan hair from his head- nice. A tag team tournament at Bound for
Glory. There is some good potential for making star teams. Morgan speaks pretty
well but then he gets verbally creamed by Brother Ray including being called a
mental midget. Ray is really good in this segment.
Jackie goes after Hector Guerrero (including slaps of
course) and again, Beer Money beats him up. Isn’t this a reprise of 2 months
ago? Just ridiculous. The end of the segment with Traci Brooks’ cleavage
filling the screen is the only ‘redeeming’ element here.
A Rough Cut on Roxxi is featured. I’m glad that they’re
utilizing Roxxi’s willingness to be brutalized for a good point. She talks
about ‘more intense’ than the other girls in TNA and she means it. The visuals
work to great effect here.
JC and TB? Cornette and Brooks are being nice and cute with
each other. Beer Money and Jackie vs. LAX and Hector next week are scheduled.
Very nice, especially if it means that Hector gets dismissed from his role as
STING is out at the top of the hour and I’ll be very
interested to see if his ratings are higher than Awesome Kong’s were last week.
He lashes out nicely at Samoa Joe. Both Joe and STING are making valid,
thoughtful points. Again this week STING is breaking out the NWA legend roll
call. New names this week, excepting Flair. I wonder if they’re trying to bring
Flair into TNA. They’re working hard at keeping his name on their program.
STING finishes by referencing his previous World championship wins at Bound for
Glory in the last two years. I hope they’ll produce a video package
illuminating his successes at that event. I hope they also highlight Joe’s
string of victories at the event. Clearly three years of success isn’t an
Undertaker kind of streak but starting to tease Joe’s invincibility at BfG
might help promote the idea that he’s a long term top guy in TNA. He’s had high
quality wins too. I’m pretty sure it was Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger the first year
then the Monster’s ball match and last year, he beat Cage. Retaining the World
title against STING is another key component in that definition.
Who is Suicide? Kinda ridiculous isn’t it? Let’s hope
there’s a nice payoff.
I still don’t understand how Karen Angle can possibly be the
end voice of the Cross the Line promos. Just absurd.
AJ and Cage have a contentious interview with JB. These
twenty minute sections of no wrestling simply have no place on the show.
Balance people, balance.
Jay Lethal does a good job of looking and sounding
incredibly pissed. He goes from Val to Booker T nicely. He gives the best promo
I’ve seen from him in months. He beat Angle last year but I have no confidence
that he’ll get a win over Booker tonight.
Well, even if Lethal doesn’t win, he gets in lots of
credible offense. Tenay and West talk about his victory over Angle last year.
The crowd chants for Booker T. a very good sign of how over he is. Booker also
gets the crowd to boo him during the course of the match. Such a good wrestler.
I hope he continues to wrestler for a few more years. He’ll do a great job of
building stars and will be an effective tag wrestler even five years from now.
Booker finishes Lethal with the axe kick after interference but this is the
kind of match that will help both guys.
The Beautiful People (and Cute Kip) are interviewed by
Lauren. ‘Idiot Hole’?!? What a great phrase. A fairly silly promo but as the
commercial break ends, the new BfG promo airs and I have to say I love the
gangster look these guys are rocking. Some really interesting styles and TNA may
want to consider using this look for LAX. The Scarface imagery may help them
sell some posters and T shirts.
Velvet Sky and Cute Kip vs. Taylor Wilde and Rhino:
Mercy, it feels odd to see Rhino so thoroughly entrenched in
the midcard. Hopefully he will find a partner for the BfG tag tournament. I
mean, he won the World title at the first BfG and was being groomed as their
biggest star. Now he’s the muscle for the Knockout champ. Damn. Don West is an
idiot. He thinks Velvet’s spray is about Rhino’s smell. Rhino’s also selling
for her. It makes her look great but it makes Rhino look like Disco Inferno.
(By the way, I’d love to see him back in TNA. He’s a legitimate talent.) It’s a
Flair flop from Kip! Yeah, they’re trying to reel the Nature Boy in for some
kind of role. Great variation of a roll up from Taylor. She really does wrestle
well. Sadly (notice a theme?) for Rhino, he’s layed out at the end of the match
with two women (and Kip) hovering over him.
Awesome Kong comes out and Kip scurries away. I feel kinda
shocked. Four women and Kip are out and Taylor and Rhino get the paper bag
treatment. Who did Rhino piss off? Will he get some increase in credibility by
gaining revenge against Kip and the heel women? C’mon now.
The Jarrett promo would have been so much better had they
shown another 30 seconds of championship victories. TNA seems to think he has
built in credibility but it’s just not true for most of the folks who are
Jarrett’s return promo feels like a big deal and I’m happy to
hear the Impact Zone fans treating it as such. They chant wonderfully for him.
It’s a bit odd to hear Jarrett talking about being an underdog but let’s roll
with it. ‘Giving hope to all who believe’ is a sign someone’s brought in. I
love that sentiment. It feels like it still has the potential to be true for me
in a certain sense. I want to believe that wrestling can be about great
performances, interesting characters and stories, then fun extras. In that
order! TNA has stretches wherein they pull that off. I’m a greedy fan though
and want it to happen as a matter of course.
The fans chant ‘thank you, Jeff’ and he says no but should
have said, ‘no, thank you fans’. That would have been a much better route to
Jarrett calls out STING and challenges his perspective on
the young guys. He talks through this promo as a shoot. Helpfully, he calls him
‘Stinger’ instead of ‘Steve’. That always seems contrived.
As does Angle coming out and saying ‘this is a shoot’. Hello
red flags! Angle and Jarrett have a nice verbal confrontation. I find it
interesting that almost all the talent has talked about Joe and AJ in the same
breath tonight. Angle’s challenge to Jarrett is intense and meaningful. Jarrett’s
response of bringing Foley in works pretty well. (It’s a little odd visually to
see Jarrett is as tall as Angle. Who knew?)
Immediately, there’s a ‘Foley’ chant. Smart fans and a great
graphic. That shirt is gonna sell like crazy. Hell, I want one myself…
This was a much better show than recent ones have been. The
featured matches were tremendous and Lethal/Booker may be a nice BfG match. I’d
love to see MCMG get a rematch too.
Okay, let’s see if I can figure this out. The old guys will
be Angle, Booker, Team 3D and eventually Cage and STING. Hmmm. If this gets to
be a company wide event folks like Steiner, Jarrett, Tomko, Rhino (if he’ll
even be involved…) and Nash.
The young guys will be represented by Joe, AJ, MCMGs and
Foley. Other possibilities include Morgan and Abyss, LAX, Williams, Lethal and
Creed. I hope they get a really good plan to work through this for the next
several months. This could become revolutionary or revolting.