Welcome to another stirring (?) episode of TNA Impact, where the men are men unless they’re in Seratonin. Does anyone remember one of the first big things TNA did on their tv show, when they started the match three minutes BEFORE the beginning of the show, so those watching at home turned on their televisions to see a bloody Christopher Daniels getting his ass kicked? Do ya? Well, now we open to a recap of the Christian/Styles/Sting/Abyss schmoz from last week, in video package form. I REALLY wish they’d do that kind of stunt more often.
Hey, can anyone e-mail me with the name of Daniels’ opponent in that match? I want to say Samoa Joe, but I’m not sure.
We then jump from the video package right into an interview with Kurt Angle, flanked by Samoa Joe and Rhino. Angle talks about how big their egos are, and that they’re in the game to prove that they’re the best, but, oh ho, watch out when the three of those egos unite. Cage better watch out, says he, and we go into our opening video. I think it’s a kickass team so far, but it REALLY makes Joe look like a second banana to Angle, which I guess, in the overall world of wrestling. Let’s be honest: several million more people know who Kurt Angle is than who Samoa Joe is.
Actually, now that I mention it, why is it that the two leaders in the Lethal Lockdown are former WWE guys? Why are the two most pushed guys in the COMPANY WWE guys, for that matter. I mean, certainly, Cage and Angle are awesome (Cage beating Angle on the awesomeness scale, because his promos and interviews are always outstanding), but why HAS it been so long since Samoa Joe hit the main event, and he still hasn’t gotten a title run? Check out the recent title history: from Jeff Jarrett, to Sting, to Abyss, to Cage, three of them are NOT homegrown stars, although I suppose the argument could plausibily be made for Jarrett. Okay, that’s enough ranting for now.
Tonight: James Storm vs. Jerry Lynn, and a “Hell Froze Over” match, featuring the first ever team-up between Abyss and Sting. There’s no weird gimmick I need to know about for a “Hell Froze Over” match, is there? Like, coating the guy in liquid nitrogen and then shattering his frozen hypo-corpse? It isn’t? ‘Cause that’d be pretty neat.
Seratonin vs. Rhino, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle
Well…I guess Seratonin didn’t break up last week, after all. It should be noted that Seratonin enters together, and Team Angle each get their own entrances. Way to show team unity, guys. At least no one is being anyone else’s bitch…make note of it, as it will seem important later.
Rhino and Martyr start in the ring, sizing each other up. Kick from Rhino, then a punch and an irish whip. Martyr ducks under, and tries to hip toss Rhino, but he gets clotheslined down. Angle is tagged in, and Martyr retreats, tagging in Kaz. Kaz is hesitant, although it turns out to make sense, as he takes a wicked german suplex from Angle. European uppercuts and boots from Angle, a tag to Joe, and Kaz runs crying, like a little girl, across the ring, and tags Havok, who is also not terribly interested in getting in the ring with his opponent. Powerslam by Joe, followed by a series of right hands, a snapmare and chops to the back. Joe runs to the ropes, and gets kicked by Martyr; he hits him down, and all of Seratonin attacks Joe, but they all get whomped. Rhino gores Havok (who FLIPS over with it like a champ), Olympic Slam on Kaz, muscle buster on Martyr, and that’s all she wrote as Joe gets the pin, with Rhino and Angle playing lookout.
Afterwards, AJ Styles and Christian Cage are backstage, and Styles is freaked out by how well Angle’s boys work as a team. He doesn’t know what Cage has gotten them into, as the whole Abyss thing fell through, and the only reason he agreed to this was Christian’s promise of a title shot. Christian gets fed up with Styles’ lack of team spirit, says that he’s taking the title shot back (although if he’s serious remains to be seen), and it’ll all work out tonight…he hopes. Oh yeah, Letitia’s there, but she looks stoned, as always. Honestly, sometimes I won’t mention her, as I’ll forget she’s there. She acts as little more than a mic stand, anyway, if we’re being perfectly honest.
Backstage, Seratonin is with Raven. Kaz and Havok are chained up, and Martyr is on the ground, screaming like crazy, as Raven poors candlewax on him, saying some mumbo jumbo about torture being your friend. This gimmick sucks. I mean, Raven’s Flock? Awesome. But all of this pseudo-S&M nonsense dilutes what the company is SUPPOSED to be about. Raven is always at his best as a cult leader character, but I have NO idea what he’s trying to accomplish. The whole point of all of his previous gangs was to make him feel special, and to help him win. However, with what seems like no focus or goal to this group, it’s just a place to put Devine, Kazarian, and Bentley, and neither I nor the fans have any clue what they’re trying to accomplish. Because of this, when one of them eventually turns on Raven, the audience is not going to care. At all.
The announcers throw us back to Abyss and Sting (without his facepaint…weird), being interviewed by Borash. Sting says that everything he’s done has been for Abyss’ own good, even the pain that he’s put himself through. He takes off his sunglasses, and his face looks like hell. He’s definitely still smarting from that whole “candelabra to the face” thing, which, by the way, was one of the sickest things I’ve seen in awhile, and a STUPID move to make. You’re better off hitting someone in the head with a chair than with a plastic candelabra that’s going to shatter and cut your face up like crazy. I don’t remember Benoit looking that bad after he got hit with a chair mid-suicide dive by Chris Jericho in a match they had some years ago. Just a dumb thing to do, but kudos to Sting for being a tough guy.
Team 3D is in the ring with two silver trunks, and they call out Homicide and Hernandez. Their music plays, and they oblige. Tenay starts talking about how this has been going on for months, as does Ray. Umm, that’s not necessarily a good things, guys. It should be noted that, for the first time in what seems like forever, Homicide and Hernandez are out without any kind of backup. Ray tells LAX that, while the champs have the better win/loss record in their feud, they’re very much alike, mentioning all of the horrible things they’ve done (such as powerbombing Mae Young off a balcony, and the use of flaming tables), which the audience applauds. Animals. According to Ray, Konnan tells Team 3D that LAX wants their legacy, which they say must be EARNED. Team 3D opens the chests, and unveil the belts from the three other organizations in which they’ve held belts, saying, “This is our legacy!” after each one, but saying, “And, as the whole damn world knows, THIS is our legacy” as they hold up the ECW tag titles. The audience, following Team 3D’s lead, starts up an ECW chant like the sheep they are. You know, a little under a year ago I would have said that Team 3D has sour grapes, but after seeing what ECW has become, those belts mean a whole lot more than any proposed ECW belts would have these days. Team 3D challenges LAX at Lockdown, their legacy against the NWA titles. Ray offers a hand to Homicide to shake on it, but while Homicide thinks about it…
Konnan is wheeled out, but he gets out of the chair and into the ring (albeit with a crutch), and says that their legacy means nothing without the TNA belts, then challenges them to the electrified cage match at Lockdown. Everyone leaves, so…I guess we assume the match is probably happening, as TNA gets a little closer to something out of WSX, and I get a bit frightened. I can just picture the pointless explosions. In all truth, we all know the cage won’t REALLY be electrified, and they’ll instead just have sparks and a few minor explosions, but someone, somehow, will end up bleeding. Devon will probably get destroyed in this match, as he sells like he’s being electrocuted even when he’s just taking regular bumps.
Bob Backlund is in Cornette’s office, and, dagnabbit, he wants a match! Cornette can’t give him that, but he CAN let him be a special referee in a match at Lockdown. Lucky him! Regardless, it satisfies Backlund for now, and I think that’s all that Cornette cares about. Umm…okay, nothing really to say about this…well, except that I’d kind of like to see what Backlund has in the ring at the grand old age of whatever he’s at. Moving on.
Eric Young vs. Austin Starr
I love that Eric is scared of his own pyro. Before the match starts, we get a camera angle from inside the entrance tube, and we see Robert Roode talking to Starr. Once the bell rings, there’s some some back and forth between Starr and Young, ending with a dropkick on Young in the corner. Starr sets him up on the turnbuckle, facing the audience, and elbows Young in the back of the head, and does a backrake jumping off the second rope. As the match continues, Robert Roode with Ms. Brooks (w/ Boobies) come down the ramp to watch Austin Starr miss a pendulum elbow. Young gets up and hits Starr with a double chop, then a clothesline and a back body drop. Young does a bit of a Flair Flip, knocks down an attacking Starr from the apron, and hits a top rope elbow. However, Ms. Brooks gets up to distract the ref, and Roode runs into the ring to talk to Eric for a second, before clubbing him in the back and knocking him down. Starr, ever the opportunist, kicks Young in the face while he’s on the ground, then hits the brainbuster for the duke.
Post-match, Roode comes in and yells at Eric about…something or other, possibly burning the baked salmon he prepared last night, and Petey Williams comes in from the back and pushes Roode away. When Roode tries to give him some guff, he and Petey brawl, and the whole thing ends in Petey’s favor. Ms. Brooks jumps on Petey’s back, and he tosses her off, kicking her glasses out of the ring for good measure. Heh. He offers to shake Eric Young’s hand, but before he can return it, Roode drags him out of the ring, as the announcers scream that Petey MUST be Eric Young’s “friend,” which of course means that it’s not true. If it is, it’s kind of a letdown on what could have been something special and interesting…of course, I don’t know who they could have gotten instead, but I see NO reason how Petey can get Young out of this supposedly ironclad contract.
Interview with Jerry Lynn, who actually gives a really great interview, for the first time that I can ever recall. It’s not super-fiery or anything, but it’s totally real, and I dig it, as Lynn comes off like a competitor, as someone who takes every match seriously, and he’s just natural and likable. Anyway, he talks about fighting James Storm, and how he has no idea what Christopher Daniels’ problem is, which of course makes the lights go out, and we wear a WHACK followed by a groan from Lynn, and when the lights come back on, we see Christopher Daniels holding a chair and garroting him as security runs in. The announcers make a big deal out of Daniels looking a lot like Sting, as he’s wearing a leather trenchcoat, and…using the lights as cover for entrances and nefarious deeds? Couldn’t they just as easily compare him to Undertaker for that? Regardless, we still don’t know what his problem is, or what his ultimate goal is supposed to be and, frankly, I’m not totally convinced that DANIELS knows.
Chris Harris is with Jim Cornette in the big man’s office, trying to get a match for Lockdown, which Cornette won’t commit to due to the whole issue of Chris Harris being half-blind. Cornette does say that once he gets a doctor’s note, he can go right back into the ring, but that’s not good enough for Harris, and he storms out. Alright then.
James Storm vs. Jerry Lynn
Jerry Lynn, apparently, can’t wrestle due to getting beaten backstage. Oh well, so much for that; I’ve seen wrestlers take worse, but if Jerry Lynn can’t wrestle a match at ALL after taking a chairshot and someone choking him for a bit, he’s a pussy by wrestler standards.
But, James Storm still wants to fight, so he challenges anyone who wants some. Thus, some familiar music hits…
James Storm vs. Chris Harris
Harris comes out, but gets stopped by Gail Kim, trying to hold him back. Jackie gets on the mic, and tells Gail that this is none of her business, and calls Gail a “no-good slut.” Of course, it is now on like Donkey Kong, and Gail runs into the ring and pulls Jackie’s legs out from under her, and the two of them punch and roll around on the mat for awhile. Storm goes to pull them apart, but Harris runs in the ring, chases him all over the place, in the ring and out, and they both run to the back. Meanwhile, the ladies are still pounding away in the ring, and the refs need to come in and separate them. It takes four of them, and the ladies do some angry screaming at each other.
So, of course, we get another…
Back to the show, and Gail Kim is in Cornette’s office, demanding a match with Jackie “right now,” and then “at Lockdown.” I think I know what she meant, but it’s still confusing. We hear a battle cry off in the distance, and Jackie runs in and hits her from behind. Letitia and Jim Cornette bail, and Jackie and Gail just tear the place apart, including Jackie hitting Gail in the face with a tennis racket, and Gail hitting Jackie with…a piece of cardboard. Gail’s not good with proportion in terms of weight and density, apparently.
Recap of Sting/Abyss stuff. And now they’re partners! Who would have thought? Of course, it’s a little too cheery and comfortable right now, so no WAY does it last.
Christian Cage and AJ Styles vs. Abyss and Sting
It should be noted that Abyss comes out to Sting’s music with him, instead of Abyss being given the common human courtesy of coming out to his OWN music. Meet the new boss, Abyss, same as the old boss. Oh well, at least they’re not fighting each other anymore. I was plenty tired of watching them beat on each other. Apparently, being shoved in a casket and lifted to the cieling is sort of a spiritual, life-changing experience. How exactly that works needs to be explained to me, though.
All four men in the ring as Sting and Abyss pound on the heels, including double Stinger Splashes. Abyss leaves the ring to go to his corner, law-abiding creature that he is, and we get a ten punch countalong by Sting on Christian in the corner, but Styles comes and hits Sting in the face, and Cage knocks him down with a dropkick. Tag to AJ, and he and Sting toss each other around a bit. Sting eats a dropkick, and AJ lays on him for a two-count.
We’re back, with Sting getting a knee to the midsection from Cage. Cage ascends the ropes, and misses a diving headbutt. Both slowly rise, and both Cage and Abyss get the tags, and Abyss is reformed-monster-on-fire. He goes for a double chokeslam, but they kick him out of it, and Abyss tosses them around like ragdolls. Blackhole Slam attempt on Styles, but Cage stops his momentrum from the outside when Abyss whips him against the ropes. Abyss charges, Styles ducks, and Christian gets knocked off the ring apron. Shock Treatment on AJ, but Cage is right on top of him, and he gets double-teamed by the heels once AJ recovers. Sting, who has been standing on the outside the whole time, letting Abyss take on these two guys without offering so much as moral support, blind-tags in, and hits both the heels with a high-crossbody off the tops. Things are going well, when James Mitchell comes out with some grey-haired woman, who draws Abyss away and out of the Impact Zone, while the heels beat on Sting. It should be noted that her reactions are a bit odd; at first, when Mitchell points to Abyss, she sort of smiles at him, so we assume she knows who he is. However, when Abyss approaches, and they sort of lure him out, she seems scared, like she’s never seen him before. I mean, I’m assuming it’s his mother or something, but the character just got confusing and odd after being onscreen for approximately thiry seconds.
Abyss is gone, and things are looking grim for our hero; however, Sting hulks up (stings up?), and punches and chops both heels, knocking Christian out of the ring, and getting Styles in the Scorpion Death Lock. However, Christian comes in and distracts the referee, and Scott friggin’ Steiner comes out, gives Sting one of the weakest shots with a “lead pipe” I’ve ever seen, and Styles rolls over on the unconscious Stinger for the pin.
Post-match, Cage, Styles, and Steiner all pose in the ring, but they all try to upstage each other. In a funny bit, AJ does his pose in front of Cage, and Cage just pushes his head lower so that it doesn’t block his. Heh.
And we’re out.
The Inside Pulse
It was alright, I guess, but none of the matches really drove me wild or anything. It was good to see Eric Young do a little bit of actual wrestling, and the main event was fine for what it was, but there are SO many backstage things and video packaging, and it looks like everything is staying where it was AGAIN. LAX vs. Team 3D, Sting vs. Abyss? The third pay-per-view in a row for these, and we may well get some of them again.
Seratonin gets squashed, but they still get interview time, but there’s no compelling story to them, because people don’t know whether to cheer for them or boo them. Are they heels? Well, not exactly…are they faces? No, they’re not faces, except when Kaz does something cool, which leads to cheers.
There are times the show makes me smile, and times where recapping feels like a job. I just wish that I felt the former more often.