The SmarK Rant for iMPACT Wrestling – 09.08.11

The SmarK Rant for iMPACT Wrestling – 09.08.11

– Taped from Huntsville, AL.

– Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Tazz

Oh TNA, you’re so wacky, what with your top stars being sentenced to jail time on drug charges, or getting multiple DWI arrests and claiming elaborate conspiracies as defense, or just posting suicide messages to Youtube shortly after being fired from the company.  At least you’re never boring.

Speaking of which, a Jeff Hardy video package starts us out, hyping his return tonight.

Mr. Anderson, who is now ripping off Steve Austin’s entrance music in addition to his catchphrases, mannerisms and dress in desperate hope of reproducing 1/100th of his charisma, starts us out this week.  He DEMANDS that the crowd boo him for joining Immortal, which is frankly a tactic I’m surprised no one else has tried in this promotion to actually draw a reaction.  So now he’s going to get his revenge on Immortal for ruining his life or whatever, and his first target is Kurt Angle.  If he really wants to screw Angle over, just give him a few drinks and ask him to recite the alphabet.  He wants Angle’s title TONIGHT, but figures that Angle won’t come without backup, so he brings CRAZY STING out.  Sting compares himself to athlete’s foot, and notes that this week The Network is backing them, as I bash my head against the wall trying to figure out who the fuck is supposed to be actually running this company.  Anyway, Sting is the special enforcer tonight.

The Pope & Devon v. Douglas Williams & Magnus

Winner of this gets the tag title shot at the PPV.  You know, the one coming up in three days.  That one.  Pope and Devon, as the only black guys left in the company, are naturally teaming.   They double-team Magnus, but Pope walks into a big boot and Williams brings him to the heel corner.  Double clothesline gets two.  Lariat gets two for Magnus and Williams gets a Punk knee in the corner into a Magnus flying elbow for two.  Heel miscommunication allows the hot tag to Devon, who runs wild on them with clotheslines.  Sideslam gets two on Magnus and he gets rid of him with a neckbreaker.  He puts both Brits down with a shoulderblock and finishes Williams with a spinebuster at 4:00.  Fine for a cookie-cutter tag team formula match.  **

Meanwhile, Kurt Angle meets up with Bellator champion Eddie Alvarez.

A video package on the Team Challenge Series recaps that Bully Ray has 49 points, Roode and Gunner have 42, and Storm has 40.  You’d think they’d be all “Holy shit, all Bully Ray has to do is win by DQ and he’s clinched the tournament, whereas the rest have to win by submission or they have no mathematical chance!” and have the guys go out and squash some geek with their submission hold to put that over.  But instead, we get none of that, because the people writing this bullshit probably didn’t even do the math for their own stupid fucking tournament and don’t particularly care anyway.  Unless they REALLY want to be heroes and have Bully get himself DQ’d to subtract 10 points and hand the tournament to someone that way to really undermine them.  But that would just be STUPID and we know TNA doesn’t operate that way.  It just really bugs me when they come up with half-assed stuff like this and don’t do anything to actually sell the concept, like going over who needs to do what to win, especially when they’re trying to build a PPV around it.

Bully Ray cuts a wonderfully obnoxious screaming promo before the match, casually mentioning that Gunner will throw the tournament to make sure Bully wins it.  And then Beer Money retorts, also burying Gunner’s chances.  This company constantly amazes.   The match is apparently later and they were just doing a promo now to build it up.

TV title:  Eric Young v. Robbie E

TNA has a TV title?  This is a real thing and not just a wacky Eric Young gimmick?  Young slugs away in the corner, but walks into a clothesline that gets two for Robbie.  An STO gets nothing, as Robbie has his feet on the ropes.  Elbow off the second rope again gets nothing as he keeps putting his feet on the ropes.  This allows Young to make the comeback with a flying elbow for two.  They trade reversals and Young finishes with the piledriver at 2:44 to retain.  Total junk.  ½*  Rob Terry hits the ring for a Last Ride on Young afterwards.

Meanwhile,  Jerry Lynn explains his heel turn to RVD backstage.  This match, being that it last took place 12 years ago, would be fresh and original by TNA standards.  So you’d be thinking “Hey, there’s a PPV match” and you’d of course be WRONG.

Meanwhile, Velvet Sky covets the Knockouts title held by Mickie James, and Karen Jarrett acts all bitchy to them and calls Sky fat.

TNA World title:  Kurt Angle v. Stone Cold Mr. Anderson

Ironically, Steve Austin’s birth name is Anderson, so maybe Mr. Anderson is a long lost relative, like he so desperately appears to wish he was.  Hell, he was almost Vince McMahon’s illegitimate child a few years back, so he’s got a great fake pedigree.  Angle grabs a headlock off the lockup and controls with that, but Anderson stomps away in the corner and hits a neckbreaker for two.  Whip to the corner gets two.  Angle comes out of the corner with a clothesline and grabs a chinlock.  Thanks to modern technology, I can reveal that Angle is asking Anderson how to count down from 63-58, just in case the subject ever comes up again.  They clothesline each other and go down like when you’re trying to walk a straight line for state troopers but you’ve just had too many drinks, and Anderson makes the comeback.  Angle catches him with the belly to belly for two, but Anderson gets a fireman’s carry roll for two.  Angle blocks the Mic Check with the rolling germans, and blows 0.09.  Sorry, I meant he gets two.  Anklelock is reversed into a rollup for two, and the Mic Check gets two.  Angle comes back with the Angle Slam for two, but Sting pulls out the ref to break up the count.  Anderson with the Mic Check again, but now Immortal runs in for the DQ at 7:03.  Really flat match with a dead crowd.  **1/4  Heel beatdown on Sting and Anderson follows.

Meanwhile, the bad guys party in Uncle Eric’s office, but he gets a very upsetting cell phone call.

Angelina Love & Winter v. Mickie James & Velvet Sky

Love hiptosses James out of the corner, but gets taken down with a headscissors.  Sky comes in with a baseball slide for two, which I’m frankly surprised didn’t snap her spine in half given that Love seemingly has no body fat or muscle tone left.  Sky with a monkey flip on Winter and a nice double headscissors on the heels, but Love trips her up and Sky is your bitch-in-peril.  Winter with a northern lights suplex for two.  And then, as usual, Love comes in and is so completely incompetent that she can’t even do a simple spot or run the ropes properly.  Just brutal.  Hot tag Mickie and she gets a neckbreaker on Winter for two, and it’s BONZO GONZO.  Sky takes out Love with a spear (after Love forgot her position and had to get moved in place by James), but Winter sprays blood in James’ face for the pin at 5:36.  Oh, it just wouldn’t be Vince Russo booking without someone spraying blood in someone else’s face.   *

Austin Aries joins us to talk smack about Brian Kendrick, which brings out a suited Kendrick, cutting a promo in a voice that sounds like Agent Smith from The Matrix about how society dictates that we wear shoes.  Aries tries to bring the rambling promo back to pro wrestling again to hype their match at the PPV, but Kendrick attacks him and chases him out of the ring.  I don’t get how Kendrick is the babyface there.

Meanwhile, Hulk Hogan cuts a crazed promo backstage about how they’ve DESTROYED Anderson and Sting it’s mission accomplished, might as well shut down the show.   BUT WAIT!  Turns out that the earlier cell phone call was The Network telling Eric that it’s Sting v. Anderson v. Angle at the PPV.  Hulk Hogan throws a tantrum like this is the WORST NEWS IN THE HISTORY OF WRESTLING.  The man knows how to commit to the material, you have to give him that.

Hey, Kurt Angle saved $600 a year with Direct Auto!  He’ll save even more when he loses his licence, too!

Bully Ray v. Gunner v. James Storm v. Robert Roode

Of course we get a brawl between Samoa Joe and Matt Morgan before we start, but they get broken up quickly.  Beer Money teams up on the heels, but Storm gets dumped and Gunner clotheslines Roode for two.  Bully with his own clothesline for two as Storm is apparently paralyzed at ringside and unable to rejoin the match.  He finally comes back in with a cross body on Bully for two, and a neckbreaker on Gunner for two.  Roode with a Buff Blockbuster on Bully, but Gunner breaks it up.  Roode hits him with a spinebuster and gets two.  Beer Money gets rid of Bully and double-teams Gunner with a suplex, but stop to do the catchphrase, which allows Bully to lay out Roode with the Bubba Bomb.  Gunner hits Bully from behind and pins him at 5:00 to win it, however.  Question:  These guys have no interaction at the PPV, because it’s Bully v. Storm and Gunner v. Roode, so why wouldn’t they just book this as a tag match?  Why would Gunner even care if Bully wins the match or not?  How does this do anything to help the PPV?  Shouldn’t Gunner want to pin ROODE to prove his point?  I DON’T GET THIS COMPANY.  *1/2

And finally, it’s Jeff Hardy making his big return to the company, just before going away to serve time in jail for drug charges.  He hit ROCK BOTTOM at Victory Road, but all he wants is more one shot.  Of heroin.  Sorry, I was just speculating there.  Hopefully that speech will work on the judge should be violate his probation in the next 30 months.  Remember, wrestling matters, but felony drug convictions and drunk driving arrests are negotiable.  Just for the love of GOD make sure you don’t hit a tree while you’re hammered behind the wheel, because that’s crossing the line.

TNA, everybody.  Unbelievable.





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