Tom Hicks: Blair = not funny
Blair: Uhhh… sorry, Tom. I guess. I’m not really, but I don’t know what else I’m supposed to do with that.
Swayze: Awesome job as usual, Blair. Who do you think will challenge Eric Young for the TNA championship now that Eric Young is the TNA champion?
Blair: My man SwayzeÂ LOVES him some Eric Young. Well, if WWE keeps snapping up everyone in TNA that people actually care about, they won’t have too many people forÂ Eric Young to defend against. But I am looking forward to him main-eventing a PPV with Rob Terry if / when that happens.
Welcome to my third recap of TNA Impact. Thanks very much for the nice comments once again. I was going to cover off my thoughts on WWE during this intro, but with the Royal Rumble on Sunday and all that happened there, I wanted to say a quick thing about that.
I haven’t watched a full WWE PPV in a very, very long time. The Rumble really capsulizes my opinion on WWE right now. Everything except the Rumble match itself was RIDICULOUS boring. And those wereÂ all WORLD Title matches.Â I know I’ve seen some reports out there that say that Edge and Ziggler was good. Nothing could be further from the truth. And that’s what most WWE PPV’s are right now. They’re the first half of Royal Rumble. The bad part. The Rumble match itself is ALWAYS fun, and I thought that WWE did a great job with it this year – especially given the array of mostly new guys they had to work with.
Punk was Rumble MVP for the second year in a row. CM Punk is tremendous. What they’re doing with him right now is great. I thought that Danielson, Kofi and Morrison all did a great job. Watching Booker come back was great,Â one-time deal or not. I’ve always had a big soft spotÂ for Kevin Nash, just because he seems to be one of the only wrestlers in the world who’s not completely self-deluded, and was pleasantly surprised that with how young the WWE viewing audience seems these days, that THAT many people remembered him and were so into him. I’m pretty sure he got the biggest reaction all night. They were chanting for him AFTER he left the ring. It was very cool to see.Â I didn’t even mind the Hornswaggle stuff, people bitch about stuff like that, but man… it’s WWE. And they do comedy bits during the Rumble, like… every year. It’s a break in the action. They need to do stuff like that. As for Mexican JBL… I find him bland and un-interesting, like every WWE foreign heel… ever. BUT… his win was a surprise, at least it was to me, especially when he was in there at the end with Cena and Orton. So SuperMarine and BatViper DIDN’T win even though they were both in the final four. Also a surprise. Good stuff.
Anyway,Â speaking ofÂ Big SexyÂ Kenny Rogers (credit to Wheeler) and Booker T… word was that Nash and Booker wereÂ all but in for this new Main Event Mafia thing. But being that MEM is a small stable of important guys to begin with, I’m not sure what TNA has planned for this Mafia stable now. It sounds like Sting is going to WWE too, so… it’s pretty much just Angle and Steiner.Â Man, did WWE do this on purpose? If they did, good for them, and if they didn’t, then
MEM is a terrible idea to combat Immortal anyway. MEM was basically a smallerÂ ImmortalÂ thatÂ ALSO failed to get over younger and TNA homegrown talent. So MEM .vs. ImmortalÂ would have beenÂ like a bowl of shit staring in the mirror at itself. For the record, TNA didn’t need Nash, Booker or Sting to get the Immortal angle over. But TNA convinced themselves and us that they did, and that this was coming, so inevitably, whatever they’ve come up with, even if it’s actuallyÂ good *CHORTLE* is just going to feel like a budget back-up plan anyways. I really don’t see how they can possibly make this work.
Will TNA have a good back-up plan to their plan that was terrible to begin with? Of course not. But I’m sure it will beÂ hilarious to watch. I’ve stayed spoiler-free all week, for the record, so this will be new to me. The only thing worse than watching TNA screw up an angleÂ that they actually had time to think aboutÂ (Immortal) is watching what they come up with when they have NO time to think. I refused to rob myself of the pleasure ofÂ seeingÂ that kind of thingÂ “live”. I’m seriouslyÂ expecting some “Rise And Fall Of TNA” DVD material right here.
LET’S CROSS THE LINE!!!
“Expect The Unexpected”
Bischoff and Immortal are in the ring. People are chanting for Flair. He’s not there. He’s probably still recovering from last week’s multiple strokes. Bischoff calls out Steiner. Steiner comes out. Bischoff says they’ve known each other way too long. Bischoff said he found out that the judge Dixie paid off were successful in getting a continuance. So Hulk Hogan will not be there tonight. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. He’s never coming back. Is he? He’s not.Â Oh, that’s hilarious. That’sÂ SO hilarious. The only thing that TNA should have done before fire Hogan was to not ever hire him in the first place. The fact that he continues to let them down is just hilarious and they don’t get rid of him just shows what a joke this place is. Hulk Hogan does commercials for Rent-A-Center. But he won’t show up to TNA.
Anyway, Bischoff tells Steiner that there is no “they”. Bischoff says that Kevin Nash called him, and that Bischoff told Nash he was too old and offered him some cash to not come to TNA, and told Nash to die hisÂ hair and go to WWE,Â soÂ Nash did it. Then Bischoff says that Sting isn’t coming back and he has no idea what Booker T is doing. Wow. Seriously? Wow. That’s amazing. Good work, TNA. Way to handle a major loss with class.Â Just brilliant.
So yeah, Bischoff saysÂ that Steiner is alone. He says that Steiner should join Immortal. Steiner says he is going to kick Bischoff’s ass. Steiner says that the first time he met Bischoff, he thought he was a piece of *BOOP* and that nothing has changed. He says Bischoff has to call him “sir”. He says he’s more of a man than all these *BOOPS* in the ring combined. Then he says he is going to snap Bischoff’s neck. Then Kurt Angle’s music hits. He and Crimson come out.
Angle says that Bischoff is a piece of *BOOP* and he says that “They” ARE here. And that this is real. DAMN REAL. *BOOP* JUST GOT REAL!!! Wow. That first segment was awful. Commercial.
Now Hardy is yelling at Bischoff about Hogan not being there and getting his belt back. Bischoff says that he doesn’t control the judges in Dallas and promises that they will get Hogan back. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Now Bischoff is asking where Flair is. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, Flair ditched them too, didn’t he? Nobody in Immortal knows where Flair is. Angle and Steiner show up to taunt them. They shove each other for a while.
Gunner & Murphy .vs. Ink Inc
Seriously? This is the match they open a big show with? I was waiting for something exciting to happen, while listening to Taz and Tenay AMAZED at the fact that Gunner & Murphy worked in a biker bar. The something exciting never happened. This match was dull. Ink Inc. is terrible. Gunner & Murphy I won’t judge by one match, but didn’t do anything that wasn’t totally generic. If you want play-by-play for this match, you need to really re-examine your priorities in life.
Winners: Ink Inc? HAHAHAHAHA.
Angle is in the back with Crimson and Steiner. He says that tonight is their night. He asks if “They'” have touched base and Crimson says no. Angle’s phone rings, and he confirms with whoever he’s talking to that they’re still on. Then he says they’re going over the game plan again and walk off.Â Commerical.
So, let’s recap. No Hogan as promised. No Flair. Bischoff taking credit for Nash, Booker and probably Sting going to WWE. And Ink Inc.Â beating Gunner & Murphy. Huge show so far.
BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE SEQUEL?!?!?!?!
Uh… okay. So Tenay says thatÂ Christy Hemme is inÂ Dallas where she has a report on the Dixie Carter / Hulk Hogan thing.Â So now, Christy Hemme is in front of a courthouse. She says that the injunction has been extended until MARCH 3rd. Then she disappears. She was on camera for maybe 15 seconds, literally. So they sent her to Dallas to talkÂ IN FRONT OF THE COURTHOUSEÂ where they made the decision?
Now Eric Young is here. He’s racing. He tries to be funny. It doesn’t work. Something about him seeing “They”. He races for a while and runs off. For fuck’s sakes.
Now we are in Jeff Jarrett and Karen’s house. Jeff talks about how they fell in love. Karen talks about how much she likes having sex with Jeff Jarrett. Then we look at pictures with Jarrett’s kids and Angle’s kids. One kid says Dixie’s name and Jarrett freaks out and yells at the kid, and makes him apologize. Segment over. Holy f…
… okay, now Ken Anderson is threatening Jeff Hardy. How the fuck am I supposed to keep up with this?Â Commercial.
Now Bully Ray is in the ring with The Pope. He says that he is glad to have a partner that he can depend on. What? When did this happen? WHAT IS GOING ON?!?!?! Am I just stupid now? DidÂ I miss a show or a bunch of news? Nothing makes sense tonight.Â Bully Ray says he likes beating up D-Von and that he was Team 3D. He says Pope is his new brother and that Pope is not weak like D-Von. People chant for D-Von. Pope says something about infidelity and says that Joe asked management for a match against him at Against All Odds. HAHAHAHAHAHA – TNA having management. He continues to threaten Joe. Pope has spoken.
Joe’s music hits. He and D-Von run out. They charge the ring. Joe chases Pope up the ramp. Pope wants to go away, butÂ Oddjob is blocking the way, dressed like he’sÂ ready toÂ hit the Gothic Asshole club. So Pope just runs away in a different direction. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.Â Way to make them look like complete fucking morons. Joe and Oddjob give chase. D-VonÂ and Ray are brawling.Â What the fuck?Â Is thisÂ a match? Do they still have matches or did they decide that nothing could top Ink Inc.’s outting? Anyway, D-Von takes control and kicks Ray’s ass for a while. Security stops D-Von, which they always do, but they never stop Ray. So Ray takes a fan’s drink, and spits beer in the face of two kids, which are apparently D-Von’s. Then he runs off. D-Von swears at officials. Was it a match? They all had gear on. Declare a winner? Ring a bell? Anyone? No. Okay. Commercial.
Wow. Okay, so to recap, so far… ah, fuck it.
BIG MOMMA’S HOUSE SEQUEL?!?!?!?!
X-Division Tournament Something
Jeremy Buck .vs. Jay Lethal .vs. Doug Williams
I still have no idea how this tournament works. Max Buck is on commentary. Doug Williams gets taken out early, so Jeremy and Lethal brawl until he gets back in. Williams takes control. The action is overshadowed by Max Buck talking about how he and his brother are both out for themselves, but truthfully… he’s not that bad a talker. Max says that Jeremy’s shoes are undone so he needs to go to ringside to help his brother. As he gets to the ring, Lethal hits a powerbomb on Williams, but Williams kicks out. Tenay tells us that Suicide and Robbie E are back and will be in a match like this. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Lethal and Williams battle chops and punches. Crowd is really into this, not that they’ve had that much else to get excited about. Lethal tries to hit the Tajiri elbow, but Williams catches him in the Rolling Chaos. I fucking LOVE that move. But after he hits it,Â Max distracts the ref as JeremyÂ slides in the ring and hits Williams with something, and rolls up Lethal for the win.
Winner: Jeremy Buck
Bischoff is on the phone trying to find Flair. He says he’s been looking for Flair for a week. James Storm says that Flair was getting drunk in London. They all laugh except Bischoff. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.Â Robert Roode tries to reassure him. Bischoff makes AJ promise him that tonight they will get back the World Title. AJ reassures him as well. Bischoff says to make sure that AJ drives home with the belt? I thought Hardy was getting the title shot. I’m starting to get an idea of where this is going. But this may just be too crazy to predict. Commercial.
Sarita is talking about a “taped fist match”. TAPED FIST MATCH?!?!?!Â She says her cousin is coming to TNA.Â
Jeff Hardy and Ken Anderson cut promos. Jeff Hardy makes no sense. Now Ken Anderson is coming to the ring. He gets the mic. He calls Jeff Hardy to the ring. So Jeff staggers out, singing his own song again. He goes for a mic. Anderson says he has a couple questions, and asks how many assholes are in the building. People cheer. Some boo. They still have Jeff Hardy lighting on. Odd. Then he asks how many creatures of the night are in the building. People boo. Some cheer. Anderson says that they’re basically the same, and that Green Bay is going to the Super Bowl.
Anderson says that he and Hardy both had a dream, and that was to have the World Title. He calls Hardy’s belt stupid. He says that people always tried to tell both of them what to do. Then he gets angry about Vince by the sounds of it, and points to his dick and says something that doesn’t make sense. Then he rambles some more. He says someone is always trying to get involved in both of their careers. He says Kurt Angle told him that he had his back tonight. He says he wants to go to Kurt and tell him no thanks, but only if Hardy guarantees no interferance as well.
Hardy says that he is trying, and that he respects Ken.Â Hardy says that he doesn’t need Immortal to beat Anderson. He says he doesn’t need anyone. He agrees to no interferance. He says they can dedicate this match to the creatures of the night and to the assholes. Then he says may the best man win. So… face turn, or will Hardy screw him over?
This turn of events make no sense given what’s led up to this match and the history here. Hardy tried to kill Anderson. Hardy had his brother try to kill Anderson. Hardy had Immortal and Fortune try to kill Anderson. Anderson and RVD were trying toÂ kill Immortal with lead pipes like two weeks ago.Â But I have to say, if you remove ALL that from the equation, it’s not terrible. I’m guessing that will factor into what will almost assuredly be some kind of %$#&SWERVE%$#& ending.
Mickie talks about her taped fist match with Sarita. TAPED FIST MATCH?!?!?!?! She says she’s never had this kind of match before. HAS there ever been one of these matches before?Â Is that rhetorical? Commercial.
Now Jeff Jarrett and Karen are making dinner. They’re making the kids pray about how awesome Jeff Jarrett is. The kids have a hard time making it through this without laughing.Â Karen says Jeff is awesome again. Jeff Jarrett says that he has a surprise for Karen. Now they’re talking about the kids singing and dancing but it doesn’t happen. Is comedy really the way to sell what is supposed to be a super-serious angle?
TAPED FISTS MATCH?!?!
Sarita .vs. Mickie James
Taz says that the taped fists could be loaded, and that he could be loaded. Taz has given up and is going to be looking for the straight razors. Despite this being a taped fist match, it works exactly how a normal match would. The taped fists make no difference at all. They do punch each other but it doesn’t seem to hurt any more or less than normal. Mickie hits a nice dropkick, and a sunset. Sarita knocks her to the outside, butÂ Mickie pulls Sarita off the apron. Mickie is hurt now, and Sarita jumps on it. The taped fists mean nothing. Sarita throws Mickie’s arm into the steel steps. Taz says the only way to win this match is by KO. Do the girls know that?
Sarita continues to work the arm. Because that’s the best way to score a KO. Sarita with a bodyslam. Then dances. Then continues to work the arm. Sarita rolls over Mickie for some reason, and continues the armlock. Kay. Taz says that Mickie has heart for not giving up. But she can’t give up because it’s a KO match. Sarita tells Mickie that she’s going to kill her. Then puts her in the corner and kicks her. Mickie gets up and starts kicking.
Goes to the apron, slides in, and hits a left hook. Sarita is dead. Match over. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
Winner: HARDCORE COUNTRY
Madison Rayne comes to the ring and hits her with the loaded glove. Cue Goo Goo Dolls cover band.
Bischoff is yelling at Hardy about Kurt Angle. He says they can’t afford to let Hardy go that on his own. Hardy says that Bischoff was the one who cost him the belt. He says he wants no one from Immortal out there, and does Bischoff hear him loud and clear. Bischoff says he does. Commercial.
Are they seriously advertising that people should downÂ 5-Hour Energy Shots first thing every morning? Now those are considered an acceptable coffee substitute?Â My generation should be punished and punished severely.
Back at Jarrett/Karen segment number THREE, the Jarrett and Angle kids come out. One of them is in his underwear? Not cool. Just sendÂ fucking child services over now andÂ let’s get it over with.Â The kidsÂ start dancing around… to Jeff Jarrett’s theme music. They do this forÂ 10 seconds maximum and then Jarrett sends them to bed? TheyÂ spent 2 segments building that up. This is amazing.Â Karen then says she calls Jarrett “Big Daddy” and that he takes care of her inside the bedroom and out. Because sheÂ has to mention that once per segment, otherwise we might forget how much she likes fucking Jeff Jarrett.Â HOLY FUCK MAN.Â ENOUGH. Then they talk about their wedding last year. Then Jarrett gets down on his knees and asks Karen to marry him… again. He wants to renew their vows on Impact. She says yes. Words elude me at this point.
Time has lost all meaning. I pray this is almost over. Mr. Anderson comes out and does his intro, because really, screw doing new things, he’s just gonna stick with that. Hardy comes out and ambushes him. They brawl. The crowd is doing dueling chants, because now everyone has forgotten that Hardy is a heel. That was SO 20 minutes ago. Anderson gets Hardy in some kind of… hold… officials separate them? No bell has rung. Al Snow andÂ Simon DiamondÂ areÂ out here to help separate them.Â Is this the match? I’m fucking confused. Commercials.
When we come back, the actual match has started.
TNA World Heavyweight Title Match
Ken Anderson .vs. Jeff Hardy
Anderson is working on Hardy, and drops an elbow. Anderson chases Hardy outside the ring, but Hardy lures him back in and hits him with a neckbreaker. Then he does his dance and jumps on him a couple times. Tosses Anderson into the corner. Hits another neckbreaker. 2-count. Sleeper by Hardy. Legdrop. Elbows. Goes outside, wraps Anderson’s leg around the ringpost. Slams him into the steps. Sleeper. HOLY SHIT, this is Orton and Miz all over again.
Anderson rebounds and tosses Hardy into the turnbuckle, but Hardy jumps up and hits the Whisper. They get back to their knees and start punching each other. Crowd is actually really into this. I don’t know why. Anderson hits a couple clotheslines and a shoulder-block. Hits a neckbreaker. Holy neckbreakers. Hardy is down, Anderson is gearing up and goes for a Mic Check, Hardy blocks it and counters, Anderson counters, Hardy, counters, Anderson hits a spinning kick and Hardy goes flying. THAT was a really nice spot. Some kidsÂ are chanting “asshole sucks”. Awesome.
Hardy hits a front suplex forÂ a 2-count. Now they’re getting somewhere. Anderson tries for a mic check, Hardy counters with a Twist Of Hate, Anderson pushes him into the ref, who goes down. Hardy hits the Twist.
Immortal comes out. Fortune follows them. Hardy is just standing in the corner. Then he comes over, and he is down with what’s going on.
Then the Fortune guys attack the Immortal guys, including Hardy. The crowd goes completely apeshit as AJ stares down Hardy. AJ gives him the Styles Clash to a great pop (by Impact Zone standards.)
AJ rolls Anderson over. He pins.
Winner and still TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Ken Anderson
Fortune is still in the ring. Anderson looks stunned. AJ picksÂ up the belt and hands it to Anderson. Commercial.
AJ tells the Impact Zone to throw up the Fortune hand sign. Angle, Steiner and Crimson are in the ring with them now.Â Immortal looks confused. AJ says that he told Bischoff that he and Fortune were not taking a backseat to anyone and that Bischoff brought this all on himself. He says that TNA is Fortune’s home. He says “Them” is them. “Them” is Fortune.
Bischoff comes out and calls AJ an ungreatful SOB. Fatt Hardy freaks out at them. Bischoff says that they never did anything before Hogan and Bischoff got there. Bischoff says they’re not worth the crap that it would take to fertilize their graves. AJ asks what Bischoff is so upset about, and is it that they saw through Bischoff’s smoke and mirrors and lies. AJ says that Bischoff put a million dollar company out of business, and that he came to TNA to do the same, but that it’s not gonna happen.
AJ says that when Hogan and Bischoff came to TNA, all they did was spend money and hire guys that should have never been in TNA in the first place. The crowd goes apeshit at this and starts chanting “We Want 6 Sides”. AJ says that the guys in the ring are the guys who built TNA.
Bischoff says that on March 3rd, Hogan IS getting control of TNA back. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.Â And that when that happens, Hogan and Immortal will hang them out to dry. AJ says that Fortune is gonna take out Immortal piece by piece, and that he will shove his foot so far down Bischoff’s throat that he will be pissing shoelaces. The crowd goes nuts again.
AJ’s music hits. Crowd goes nuts again.
All right… so I’m not going to get into a whole thing here. I’m exhausted. I’ll put thoughts up next week. But I will say this. This is better than what they had planned, be it unintentionally or otherwise. I could get behind AJ and some REAL TNA guys rebelling against Bischoff andÂ Flair and Hogan (HAHAHAHAHA)Â and their nonsense and the nonsense of the guys they bring in with them.Â AJ’s promo was great, and AJ hasn’t had a lot of great promos in his time.Â Probably mostly because he got to at least partially voice how he’s had to have been feeling for YEARS with this company.
But… and I hate to say this because I think the last 10 minutes of Impact were great… it still feels like a stopgap measure, and that doesn’t make it feel good. Also, AJ was one of the guys that Crimson choked out with a wire. And, Fortune was cool with Immortal and actively helped them dominate TNA… until now… why exactly? They could have just done that ages ago.
I’ll let this sink in and we’ll see how I feel about this new direction next week. Until then, remember: BlairÂ = not funny.