The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact! – January 4 2010

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact! – January 4, 2010

"Time For a Change"

– Live from Orlando, FL.

– Your hosts are Tenay & Tazz.

– Since I get Spike and not the Score (the channel that carries RAW in Canada), curiosity got the best of me and I decided to watch Impact tonight, because I figure a spectacular trainwreck is just as good as a great show as far as entertainment value goes. We shall see.

– Did you hear that Hulk Hogan is on the show tonight?

– Before the show, Bubba the Love Sponge ("One of the biggest names in satellite radio!" they declare, which is like the old joke about winning gold at the Special Olympics) interviews moron fans about what they want to see from the "new" TNA. They want to see extreme action and blood, just like when Hulk Hogan was wrestling! Note to TNA: Don’t talk to your "fans" outside the free arena, talk to people who pay money to watch the product.

Steel Asylum match: Homicide v. Kiyoshi v. Jay Lethal v. Consequences Creed v. Alex Shelley v. Chris Sabin v. Suicide v. Amazing Red

So this is basically an escape-the-cage match with a roof on it and eight guys, which is immediately an illustration of the problems with TNA and their horribly complicated stipulation matches. Another problem, a much bigger one, is that you can’t tell what the fuck is going on because the cage obscures the camera. So I’m left to wonder why Homicide doesn’t just kill Suicide so that they’ll both be happy? So yeah, it goes about 3 minutes and everyone hits some highspots but god knows who’s who, and Homicide suddenly breaks out a baton and it’s a NO CONTEST?!? What the holy fuck was that? Crowd chants "This is bullshit" and I have to agree. 1/2* But then Jeff Hardy runs out of the crowd (complete with entrance music) and brawls with Homicide. Bet WWE is happy about that after promoting his new DVD set.

Meanwhile, Hulk is ON THE WAY. He’s booking the show, wouldn’t he be in the building yet?

Meanwhile, Big Kev talks about Hulk mentored him into becoming the smartest man in wrestling. He’s also the only guy for a long time to get to finish a promo without interruption.

TNA Knockouts Title: Tara v. ODB

We have no real explanation of who either person is for newer fans, although I guess former WWE fans might know Tara. I really have no idea who the audience they’re aiming for is, because lapsed 80s fans stopped watching before she became a star as Victoria. Anyway, ODB attacks and runs into an elbow, and Tara follows with a clothesline out of the corner. They slug it out and Tara gets the enuzigiri and jigglesault for two. Tara-ntula and slingshot legdrop gets two. ODB rolls her up with a handful of tights out of nowhere for the pin and the title, however, at 3:30. They cut away during the pin, lest any butt crack offend delicate viewers. 1/2*

Meanwhile, RIC FLAIR. I would not have bet on that one.

Meanwhile, Mick Foley ignores the corporate memo (what a rebel!) and tries to get into the building, but security stands in his way…so he backs down. I guess he’ll send a strongly worded e-mail instead.

Bobby Lashley joins us, and his wife does the talking, calling wrestling fans "inbred toothless degenerates". Jeez, go watch some old Rick Rude promos and learn from the best. Anyway, Bobby wants out of TNA so he can go make real money doing MMA. Yes, the angle is that the guy doesn’t want to be here.

Meanwhile, the Beautiful People play strip poker in an angle that doesn’t go anywhere.

Hulk Hogan is still coming! I bet he shows up at the top of the hour.

Meanwhile, Scott Hall and Sean Waltman are NOT on the "the list", and thus can’t get in. They’re like some sort of people on the outside…OUTSIDERS if you will. Spoiler: They get in anyway.

Meanwhile, WHERE’S THE FUCKING WRESTLING? Sorry, got distracted there.

Meanwhile, someone exits one limo and enters another one. Seriously.

Finally, Hulk Hogan is here, right as RAW is starting. It’s the usual "TNA is gonna be the #1 company in the world" rhetoric, and before we get to the point, the Wolfpac tries to jump the rail. At least they don’t have entrance music like Jeff Hardy did. Hulk lets them into the ring and decides to let Scott Hall cut a promo on live TV. Hall is here for the party, brother, but Hulk chastises them for that sort of attitude, and declares that it’s time to grow up and "do the right thing for business." What? Can I get some sort of carny-to-English dictionary to decode this bullshit segment? Big Kev joins the has been party and tries to call off his buddies, but Hulk’s all "We’re here for change, and I’m not playing a role, brother." Again, what the fuck are they talking about? And now Uncle Eric joins us on Hulk’s side, nothing that everyone has to earn their spot. Change, change, change. Eric even rips up the format sheet! NOT THE FORMAT SHEET! How will the announcers know who is running in through the crowd? So I guess Bischoff was the guy who changed from one limo to the other, but we wouldn’t know because NO ONE EVER MENTIONED IT AGAIN. What a bullshit waste of 20 minutes this segment was.

TNA Knockouts Tag title: Sarita & Taylor Wilde v. Awesome Kong & Hamada

Really? They "tear up the format sheet" and this survives? I don’t know who any of these people are and they made no effort to educate me. Hamada and Sarita exchange some armdrags, and Wilde comes in for more of the same. Kong levels both champs but they rally and dropkick her out of the ring. Double dive and we take a break. REALLY? For THIS match? Back with Hamada suplexing Wilde for two, and the heels pound on her. She comes back with a codebreaker on Kong and tags Sarita to no reaction. They all botch some spots and Kong sits on Sarita for two. Crowd chants "This is Awesome." Well it’s accurate in that Awesome Kong is competing. Hamada dropkicks Sarita into a Kong powerbomb to give them the titles at 9:29. Sloppy but decent. ** Is this really who they want to focus on during their big show?

Meanwhile, Sean Morley (playing Val Venis, but DON’T CALL HIM THAT) joins the poker game. Luckily he brought his own deck. And that’s all we hear about this for the rest of the night.

Meanwhile, Foley still can’t get in. Neither can the Nasty Boys. And yet they’re already on TV, so…never mind, my brain hurts as it is.

Raven & Dr. Stevie v. Matt Morgan & Hernandez

Morgan pins Stevie with the big boot about 30 seconds in. DUD

Meanwhile, Pope D’Angelo is interrupted by ORLANDO JORDAN. He’s apparently so big a star that no one mentions who he is or where he’s from until after the segment, when Tazz clarifies that in fact it was Orlando Jordan. This show makes me want to bash my head into the keyboard.

Desmond Wolfe v. Pope D’Angelo Dinero

Wolfe works the arm and tosses Pope around, and does a nice arm submission on the mat to stretch him. Pope comes back with an elbow out of the corner and finishes with a fluke rollup at 3:00. Wow, they didn’t do anything to introduce Wolfe, and then beat him in a meaningless TV match with a fluke finish. *

Meanwhile, Rhino has been attacked by a mystery person. Perhaps the format sheet, out for revenge.

Oh, and Jeff Jarrett is wandering around too.

Meanwhile, AJ Styles talks about wrestling Kurt Angle at the PPV, but is interrupted by Eric, who informs that he defends against Kurt…TONIGHT.

Jeff Jarrett makes his return for more talking on a show already overflowing with it. He puts over the homegrown TNA talent and says anything can happen, but Hulk interrupts. And now he’s playing heel, pointing out that Jeff drove the company into the ground until Dixie Carter saved it. And that’s a shoot, brother. Jeff also has to prove himself. Great, Mr. Hogan v. Stone Cold JJ.

Meanwhile, Daniels gets interrupted by JB. Can’t ANYONE finish their promo tonight? Mick wants a meeting with Hulk.

Abyss v. Samoa Joe

See, it was supposed to be Abyss v. Rhino (and was advertised as such at the beginning of the show), but Bischoff TORE UP THE FORMAT SHEET (plus Rhino was attacked, which they never mentioned again anyway) and now we’ve got this. The announcers put Joe over like a big babyface star, but I thought he was a heel? Joe slugs away in the corner and adds the facewash, but runs into a boot. Joe bails and grabs a chair, but misses and hits the post. Vince would probably stop the show and order the doctor to stitch up the ringpost, but this is TNA and WE WRESTLE. Allegedly. Back in, Joe boots Abyss down and gets a senton for two. Abyss tries a chokeslam, and then goes with a sideslam instead for two. Joe comes back with a kick off the middle rope, and they slug it out and both go down. Abyss recovers first with a chokeslam for two. Joe grabs the chair again, nails Abyss behind the ref’s back, and chokes him out at 4:52. This seemed like the same old TNA to me. *1/2

Meanwhile, Kristal demands a meeting with Hulk on behalf of Bobby Lashley, thus interrupting Bischoff’s discussion with a director. Why would Bischoff even be on camera for this segment? And how am I supposed to care about all the people who want a meeting with Hulk when there’s 300 simultaneous angles happening at the same time?

Meanwhile, Beer Money is now out of the show. Who are Beer Money, asks the casual fan, and why do I care that they’ve been attacked? Hell if I’d know based on this.

Meanwhile, the Nasty Boys aren’t on the list, but Bubba the Love Sponge sneaks them in. Who gives a fuck about the fucking Nasty Boys in fucking 2010? SERIOUSLY.

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle gets to be the first person in about two hours to finish his promo.

Meanwhile, Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore get mobbed by three teenage girls. That’s their mob, three people. They can’t even paper their mobs properly.

Meanwhile, the Nasty Boys cause trouble. OK, so we’ve spent three segments establishing that the Nasty Boys can’t get in, and then they do get in, and now they’re throwing donuts around. That’s how they earned their money tonight.

TNA World title: AJ Styles v. Kurt Angle

Finally, some wrestling! They work off a headlock to start and AJ dropkicks him out and follows with a tope con hilo. Back in, the masked man runs in and attacks both guys, but Angle gets rid of him and he’s never mentioned again. This company…I….never mind, back to the match. Angle powerbombs AJ into the corner and we take a break. Back with Angle holding a chinlock, but AJ fights out, then runs into a boot. He fires off a backbreaker before selling it, though. AJ springboards in, but Angle catches him with an overhead suplex. AJ clotheslines him for two. Crowd notes "This is wrestling." Well spotted, geniuses. Angle with the rolling germans, but AJ gets the Pele, which Angle counters into the anklelock, but AJ rolls him up for two. Great stuff. Another Pele gets two. AJ misses a blind charge and Kurt gets the Angle slam for two. AJ springboards in with a flying forearm and goes up, but the pop-up superplex gets two. AJ with the Styles Clash for two. They fight on top and Angle gets a frog splash for two. Styles reverses the Angle Slam into a DDT for two. Angle comes back with an anklelock, but Styles reverses out. Angle suplex gets two. AJ with the springboard DDT for two. AJ goes up, but Angle gets a top rope Angle Slam for two. Anklelock, but AJ reverses into an enzuigiri and Styles Clash for two. Another one is countered into the heel hook and Angle is gonna win…but Ric Flair comes out and does nothing. AJ escapes and gets a springboard 450 for two. And we take a break. Back with Flair leaving and another Styles Clash, and the 450 finishes at 22:00 as AJ retains in a tremendous TV match. ****1/2 Well, 1 out of 180 segments isn’t bad, I guess.

And finally, we discover that NWO 2K10 was the ones attacking everyone all along, and Mick Foley gets laid out by them as well, as we discover that Hogan’s idea of fresh and new = Nitro from 1996 without any of the star power.

Wow. What a colossal waste of three hours this show was, minus the great main event, and it did nothing to make me care about watching further. They introduced two big surprises who did nothing and played no role, brought in the usual cast of Hogan flunkies who also did nothing, and almost all of the in-ring stuff sucked ass. Thumbs way down on the "new era" of TNA, as it seems frighteningly close to the old era.

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