That Being Said, Readers Choice: WCW One Night Stand (or TNA Impact – January 4, 2010)

Welcome to the very first edition of That Being Said, Reader’s Choice, where readers will vote or choose what I recap next. I’d like to thank everyone who voted.

In addition to that, it’s a chance for me to pay back a couple of the people I owe recaps to. This edition, which covers the infamous first epeisode of TNA Impact from 2010, is for my good buddy and longtime DDT-era compadre, Mr. Martin Shaw.

 

Introduction

Most people voted for upcoming shows, and the other two I’ll be doing are TNA’s return / limp back to the Impact Zone, and Survivor Series 2013, brought to you by whatever drugs Vince was on when he thought Big Show should get another main event run, and by Dusty Rhodes forgetting to use birth control a couple times in the 70’s and 80’s. So I’d like to especially thank Martin for picking this show – at first I was naturally enraged, but then I remembered that this is something different – going back in time and picking a historically significant show and looking at it through the lens of today. Besides, TNA recaps were how I got my start on Inside Pulse. And even after I quit doing those, my interest in TNA continued to go above and beyond logic, on occasion even inciting me to actually watch the odd bit of current TNA programming, before going into seclusion for months to reflect on my obviously-flawed decision-making process.

There are a lot of moments in TNA history that I felt led them down the path they continue on currently, but I feel that there have been a great deal more since the show in question that I’m about to cover, and despite the numerous lows that came before this, I also feel that this show in particular is what started the final slide into their current decline, and was the catalyst for all the lows since this point. Immortal, Montreal Screwjob 47, Aces & Eights, and who even knows what else – none of those would have happened if not for what took place on this show.

A couple months before this show happened, TNA were so excited to re-ignite the Monday Night Wars and give WWE some competition that they even momentarily forgot that TNA Founder Jeff Jarrett cuckolded their biggest star, Kurt Angle, who tore apart half of Pittsburgh when he found out – at least they forgot until later that year, when they turned it into a worked shoot, which was a concept outdated back when Edge cuckolded Matt Hardy back in 2005. Anyway, they had a brand new (old) era of talent coming in, more than anyone even realized, and more importantly than anything else, they now had Hulk Hogan. They had the biggest star in the history of professional wrestling, who said he was going to – and I’m quoting him here – “gracefully look at the product from the sidelines with respect, and add what he could.”

Disenfranchised or unhappy WWE fans and TNA fans became excited at the very idea of an alternative product on the professional landscape, even though that alternative product had already existed for nearly a decade… but really, who could be bothered to tune in when it wasn’t a Monday? Yes, emotions of the TNA fans were like Jeff Hardy – irrationally high and about to collapse. And ever since this show took place, even moreso than before, TNA has become like Shaemus, Mark Henry, Wade Barrett and The Miz – annoying, pointless, and as time goes on, more and more people learn to ignore them.

 

It’s hard to believe that this show took place almost 4 years ago. So before we begin, a word about time.

I’m against it.

Given my history covering TNA, I suppose it’s only appropriate that I cover this show at some point. But what I’m looking forward to most is looking at this show in the light of everything that’s taken place since then, especially given TNA’s current situation – many stars gone (for better or worse), the show has been taken off the road and the company is allegedly for sale. I’m not trying to say that TNA is doomed for sure, or trying to make them out to be the wrestling equivalent of Rome – after all, Rome had good infrastructure. Regardless, it’s my opinion that the majority of what’s happening now truly started here. My guess is that watching it, I will find this ridiculous episode of Impact more relevant to their current situation than ever.

Because it’s somewhat of a historical footnote, this show has already been covered at length by the internet’s wrestling writers – in fact, some of the funniest recaps you’ll find anywhere refer to this one show. My personal favourites are from Pulse’s own Andrew Wheeler, Scott Keith, and FD Swayze’s recap at our old stomping grounds (sadly this one is lost to the ravages of time.) I haven’t seen this show since it originally aired, and I’m going to attempt to present my own unique take on it, but really – the show can’t be called anything other than what it already has been, so my take on much of it probably won’t vary much from what’s already been said. I am, however, including some comments from some special guests, some thoughts from Andrew Wheeler and Scott Keith (taken from their recaps when the show originally aired) as well a retrospective look at some of the things that happened on the show and how they relate to TNA today.

Now, this is the only paragraph from the intro that’s being written after I’ve recapped the actual show – as a heads up, I ended up having a lot more to say about this Impact than I originally thought I would. It turned into much more of a commentary on what this show meant for TNA going forward, and for this reason I think it’s more than just a simple recap. I only bring this up to warn you that it’s QUITE long – probably too long – so I wanted to apologize in advance for that. Also, for this reason, it took a little longer to do than I had planned, and I’m sorry about that as well.

I’lI tell you what I won’t apologize for – the finished product. I’m not taking any kind of credit here – those of you that are familiar with me know that I rarely compliment my own work, but I believe this is worth the wait and the read. And it’s not because of me – it’s because TNA truly went above and beyond to create an absolutely surreal clusterfuck of a 3-hour show that changed the very nature of how Hulk Hogan was paid, and how wrestling fans characterize train wrecks. Especially after re-watching it, I can tell you I’m not over-selling here – as far as wrestling or TNA shows go, this is has GOT to be one of the most ridiculous ones. It’s the wrestling equivalent of The Blair Witch Project – two hours of watching TNA get lost in the woods, followed by an hour of motion sickness. So even though I’m not taking credit for how awesome this is, I can tell you that lots of work went into covering and capsulizing all the crazy shit that went down here.

So please – don’t read this on the toilet, or you will break my heart.

And for your old buddy BD – let’s keep this review at least 30 feet away from folks at TNA Insider.

 

Some thoughts from the past before we start.

2010 SCOTT KEITH: I figure a spectacular trainwreck is just as good as a great show as far as entertainment value goes.

2010 ANDREW WHEELER: I figured I would try to give them (TNA) a shot. Chances are I’m going to bury the product, but maybe they’ll shock me and pull out a great show.

Now… LET’S CROSS THE LINE! (Or whatever their hackneyed buzz-wordy catchphrase was at this point.)

 

WCW “One Night Stand / TNA Impact “Time For A Change” – Monday January 4th, 2010

HOUR 1

We get a historical video of TNA to start, with shots of Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, and… Jeff Jarrett bullying Toby Keith. Okay then. The narrator says “Who thought… it was ever possible.” Then a graphic comes up that says “It was possible.” Then the narrator says “Who thought anyone… would even care.” Then a graphic comes up that says “Everyone will care.” So TNA is having an argument with itself, or at least between it’s narrator and graphics department, in it’s opening video package. It then highlights Sting, Kurt Angle, Mick Foley and Kevin Nash coming to TNA, and showing more famous names is definitely a nice touch for people tuning in who aren’t already familiar with the TNA product. Then the narrator says “Tonight… a new era begins.” and the video package turns into Hulkamania. I’m not sure “new” is entirely accurate, but this show definitely turned the next few years of TNA into the Hogan Era. The narrator says “The unimaginable… is now the inevitable.” and Hulk Hogan says that they’re now“going to battle with the WWE”, as this was the start of their short-lived attempt to go to Monday night against RAW. Literally less than a minute-thirty into the show, and they already mentioned WWE by name. The narrator waxes more philosophical nonsense and Hulk Hogan talks about how they’re going to revolutionize wrestling. We are off to an awesome start.

Impact opening video hits, with a horrible song to go along with it. The video they used was pretty good, though. Jesus, who the fuck booked this shit-hole arena? Oh right, this was the Impact Zone days, before they branched out, and before they branch back IN sometime over the next few weeks, since branching out didn’t go so well for them. Mike Tenay and Taz are your announcers, and they say Hulk Hogan’s name about 150 times, and for some reason they have about 4 empty bottles of 5 Hour Energy Shots on the announce desk. That can’t be healthy.

Taz tells Tenay that they have a new broadcast partner – Bubba The Love Sponge! Oh man, so much of this I had forgotten. So I guess we have our first new TNA employee on this show that fizzled out quickly and garnered absolutely nothing for the company. Bubba asks one fan what he wants to see from TNA, and the fan says he wants to see some old-school wrestling and not the “kid (censored)” we see nowadays, referring to WWE. Less than five minutes in, and they’ve referred to WWE twice. He wants to see what he saw when he was a kid, stuff like Hulk Hogan versus Andre The Giant and The Ultimate Warrior. Bubba then asks the same question to a drunk-looking woman – at least I thought she was a woman until I heard Alec Baldwin’s voice come out of her. Jesus, that caught me off guard. She says she wants to see “those sexy wrestlers” in her deep man-voice. She then says “they’re hot, they’re sweaty, they’re big and I love it!” Another fan says that “pro wrestling is going to change… and Hulkamania is coming. Vince McMahon, you have no idea what’s coming atcha, brother. Watch out.” We’re up to three WWE references in just over five minutes. A drunk teenager slurs a bunch of the same noise and says “WWE sucks”. Four WWE references, still under six minutes. Bubba then asks a fairly normal looking female fan “what can TNA do for a hot 21-year old like yourself?” which is, like… yeah. If you pause the video at 5:12, the girl looks like she’s about to burst out laughing after he asks the question. She then says the same “no more kid stuff” thing (five WWE references, still under six minutes in) and says she wants blood and chairs. Another fan says that this is the year of TNA wrestling, and flashes… a poorly-drawn TNA tattoo on his wrist. I’m not even making a joke at this poor guy’s expense. He has much bigger problems. A fan dressed like Hulk Hogan says he’d follow Hogan “into the gates of hell” (which is appropriate, given the circumstances here) and says that “Vince McMahon, you have no idea what’s coming, brother!” (Six WWE references, still under six minutes in. That’s more than one per minute.) I fucking LOVE this show.

ANDREW WHEELER: Fans keep saying that Vince McMahon doesn’t know what’s coming. I’m pretty sure he does, since the bulk of the roster consists of people he fired or passed on.

SCOTT KEITH: Note to TNA: Don’t talk to your “fans” outside the free arena, talk to people who pay money to watch the product.

4 YEARS LATER… Bubba The Love Spounge has not been employed by TNA for at least 3 years and 10 months, and since that time Hulk Hogan had sex with his wife on camera before suing him. Vince McMahon has not been affected by TNA in any way, shape or form, and the guy with the TNA tattoo on his wrist has had to wear a long-sleeve shirt every single day of his life.

 

Steel Asylum Match
The Motor City Machine Guns .vs. Lethal Consequences .vs. World Elite .vs. Suicide? .vs. … wait, what? Amazing Red?

Fuck, I remember this. I totally forgot this match was first. I can’t remember how they did the teams like this though, they announced all the teams together, but then Suicide and Amazing Red separately. Taz clears this up by for me by saying that this is NOT a tag-team match, which I nearly missed, so I’m sure others did as well. This could have been avoided by not having all the teams come out together, not being introduced by the ring announcer as a team, and not having the graphic displaying the name of the team as opposed to the names of the individual competitors. But Mike Tenay says they can “work as teams”. You know, so there’s no confusion that new viewers (which this show was all about attracting) won’t understand.

All right.

Fine.

MC Escher Steel Birdcage Asylum From Hell Match
Alex Shelley .vs. Chris Sabin .vs. Jay Lethal .vs. Consequences Creed .vs. Homicide .vs. Kiyoshi .vs. Suicide .vs. Amazing Red (c)

Tenay explains the X-Division concept, and the Machine Guns look about as enthused as an aging prostitute. Homicide and Kiyoshi look fired up, I forgot how cut that Creed guy was, and that Jay Lethal was still rocking the Macho Man gimmick. Taz calls the Steel Asylum a “career shortener”. Amazing Red was TNA X-Division Champion at the time.

So, if you didn’t know what the “Asylum” cage is, then join the club, because I never did before I saw this either. It’s basically a giant red birdcage, with really thick bars. I mention the thick bars because they make it impossible to tell what’s going on inside. Then the action starts, and Mike Tenay starts talking about how Mick Foley was denied access into the Impact Zone. Normally that would be annoying, but here it doesn’t matter because you can’t actually see anything going on in the match anyway, thanks to the cage. They do have several shots that manage to get inside the cage somehow, so you can catch a glimpse of something, but they don’t stay there long and they don’t do it often. What I do catch is Homicide doing a beatdown on Red, Lethal doing a backbreaker on Sabin, and Suicide attempting to escape a couple times. Taz asks the question “how the hell are you supposed to get out of this thing?” I’m guessing this wasn’t the first time this question got asked that day, but I’m also guessing that question was never answered.

A few more things happen that I can’t make out (seriously, I’m not trying to be hard on it, I literally can’t see what’s happening) and then they show Lethal Consequences working as a team and one telling the other to go up, even though that makes no sense because it’s not a tag-team match and the win only counts for the guy who actually gets out. Which I guess would only matter if anyone could actually get out. A couple guys are climbing up, Lethal and one of the Machineguns, and the crowd is chanting for Shelley, because Shelley is awesome. They fight and one falls… fuck, I don’t know man. Tenay says Shelley is at “that difficult part of the climb” where he has to climb upside down and backwards. Lethal goes and takes Shelley off the cage, and Suicide tosses down Red before Lethal hits a great backbreaker / codebreaker combo on Suicide. Kiyoshi then ruins somebody’s shit and Red (at least I think it’s Red – it also doesn’t help that Kiyoshi, Red and The Guns all have similar hairstyles and are wearing very similar tights – red tights, which blend in with the giant red birdcage) takes Homicide down hard with a swinging DDT.

More stuff I can’t see happens, and the crowd is alarmingly quiet for a spotfest. A few more people try to climb, and I manage to make out Red doing a rana on Sabin. Kiyoshi then holds out Red for Homicide, and Homicide brandishes some manner of club and nails him with it. Homicide then turns on Kiyoshi and hits him with the same club, before doing the same to a bunch of other people in there. The crowd is booing, and the announcer says the referee has ruled the match a “No Contest”.

Winner: BotchaMania

I fucking LOVE this show. So, then… for some reason… even though it’s already a “no contest” and he can’t possibly win now, Homicide still tries to climb out of the birdcage. Taz tries to explain this, but gives up on the explanation halfway through the sentence. The crowd is chanting “this is bullshit” and I never heard that chant in wrestling before this show. This was so bad that the live crowd literally invented a chant to illustrate how much they hated it. The other competitors all get up at the same time and start climbing after him. This proves to be fruitless, as Homicide can’t climb out of this stupid thing anyway (although he does get close) and he falls to the mat. Then the wrestlers come back down after him, look confused, stall for a bit, and then start beating on him as some music hits.

Fans are confused, because I’m guessing most of them don’t know this horrible music, but it’s Jeff Hardy’s old TNA theme from when he was there years and years ago. It’s quite literally one of the worst songs ever produced by human beings. He’d have been better off coming out to a song from Randy Savage’s rap album. Jeff Hardy then enters through the crowd, several months after departing WWE and getting charged with having enough drugs on him to fuel a cartel war. This doesn’t get much of a reaction from the live crowd at first, because no one recognizes the music and I think it took a few minutes for people to figure out what was going on and who had showed up. Once they do realize though, he gets quite a good reaction.

By the time he makes it to ringside, Homicide has somehow made it out of the MC Escher Birdcage (?) and he attacks Hardy. They awkwardly brawl for a bit around the little space by the birdcage that they have, and then up the ramp. Hardy hits Homicide with a nice chairshot (there you go, 21-year-old hot girl) and a Twist Of Fate. Taz marvels at the fact that Jeff Hardy is in TNA (again) and the other wrestlers in the birdcage all stare at Hardy. He climbs up the birdcage and sits atop it. He has no fear of the other wrestlers getting to him, because it’s impossible to get out. Still no idea how Homicide got out. Tenay goes all Michael Cole over the situation.

This was THEIR FIRST MATCH in THE NEW TNA, and the first match of the NEW Monday Night War. There’s so much to say about this that I don’t even know where to begin. I think the description speaks for itself. I’m not going to do this with every segment, but I know this opening segment went up against Bret Hart returning and facing off against Shawn Michaels on WWE. So at least several stars who could have been great up-and-comers for TNA went up against a retired, non-wrestling stroke victim and a guy who was literally months away retiring himself… and TNA actually managed to be worse. That’s a serious accomplishment. That’s the kind of accomplishment that requires a mission statement going in.

ANDREW WHEELER: The fans are chanting “bullshit”, and this company deserves to die. All of the potential goodwill they had going into this is dead and gone. TNA gave us a pretty awful opening match but they gave us our first “surprise”. Jeff Hardy is back, and how many times do fans need to get screwed over by a guy before they abandon him? On an unrelated note, Hulk Hogan will be on the show tonight.

SCOTT KEITH: What the holy fuck was that? Crowd chants “This is bullshit” and I have to agree. Bet WWE is happy about that after promoting Jeff Hardy’s new DVD set. Why Homicide doesn’t just kill Suicide so that they’ll both be happy?

4 YEARS LATER… Alex Shelley, Jay Lethal, Consequences Creed, Homicide, Kiyoshi, and Amazing Red are no longer with TNA. That’s 6 out of the 8 competitors on the first match in THE NEW TNA that are not with the company 4 years later, possibly 7 if you include whoever was playing Suicide. So, I guess Taz was kind of right when he called the Asylum Cage a “career shortener”, at least in terms of being employed by TNA. Also, Jeff Hardy and Homicide never ran into each other again, to my knowledge.

Commercial.

 

After the break, we replay the Hardy re-debut. Then…

ANDREW WHEELER: Jeff walks to the back and high fives his Brutus Beefcake, Shannon Moore.

Unfortunately for Shannon, this was the extent of his usefulness during his entire time in TNA.

Mike Tenay and Taz get excited about Hulk Hogan showing up later, since he’s going to, and again, I’m quoting him here – “gracefully look at the product from the sidelines and add what he can.”

Then, they cut to Hulk Hogan, gracefully driving down the highway with respect… in a limo with accompanied by a twenty-police-car motorcade.

Backstage, Christy Hemme is interviewing Kevin Nash, and for some reason, she feels him up before she lets him talk. Allrighty then. He flirts with her, talks about how it’s an epic night for TNA, how he’s looking forward to seeing an old friend, and let me tell you, this motherfucker is HIGH. Nash says he’s the smartest guy in wrestling, and that whatever company Hulk works for ends up being #1, so this must mean that TNA is on it’s way to being #1. (Like I said, he’s high.) He then says that with higher numbers comes more money, that he’s going to work for the #1 promotion in wrestling again, and make more money than he ever has in his life. Zero out of three. He then says he just talked to Hulk on the phone, and that Hulk’s on his way… but that he’s not coming alone.

TNA Knockouts Championship Match
Tara (c) .vs. ODB

Tara has her tarantula with her, and ODB jumps her before the bell. She does her usual weird (but unique) thing, and works on Tara in the corner. She then runs into an elbow from Tara and gets clotheslined. They trade punches, while Taz and Tenay talk about Hulk Hogan. Tara with an enziguri, a body slam, and a nice standing moonsault – this gets her a 2-count. She then ducks an ODB charge and hits the tarantula hold on the ropes. Then she hits a nice springboard leg drop and gets another 2. ODB tries to put her on her shoulders, but Tara escapes and actually lifts the big girl up for a power bomb, which is impressive, but ODB breaks out of it and rolls her up, with a handful of tights, and pins. They had to censor Tara’s ass being shown.

Winner & New TNA Knockouts Champion: ODB

Match was less than 3 minutes long. Beats most Diva matches and Birdcage From Hell, which I know is setting the bar as high as Kevin Nash apparently is. Tara jumps her after the bell and hits her nice-looking finisher, before getting her tarantula out of the cage and putting it on the fallen ODB. She grabs the Knockouts Title and holds it up. The announcers naturally pay little attention to this because they’re told there’s another LIMO pulling up to the arena!

Ric Flair gets out of the limo to a huge pop. He shakes hands with Beer Money and some staff members. Ahahahahahahahaha.

ANDREW WHEELER: A limo arrives and Ric Flair walks out to greet the wrestlers and a little bit of me dies inside. What a fool he is. What a complete fool.

SCOTT KEITH: RIC FLAIR. I would not have bet on that one.

4 YEARS LATER… I believe this show took place less than a year after Ric Flair had been given the biggest and most prestigious retirement treatment that professional wrestling has ever given anyone. Today, Flair has been back in WWE for over a year, and Tara is no longer with TNA.

Commercial.

 

Taz and Tenay are still shocked about Ric Flair showing up, and apparently he went into AJ Styles’ locker room. It’s funny how much you forget about from a show as crazy as this.

They cut to some footage from earlier that day, where Christy Hemme is interviewing some more fans outside the arena. It’s possible they fired Bubba The Love Sponge so fast that they actually had to send Christy Hemme back in time to replace him. (Also, apparently without spellcheck I would be unable to spell “sponge”.) Some girl is talking about how great Hogan is, but then Christy abandons the crowd to chase after Mick Foley, who is on his way into the arena. Christy asks him if he got “the memo” and Foley explains the memo said he was to be barred from the arena so he couldn’t be “disruptive”. Foley tells Dixie, Hulk, and all the TNA employees that he understands why they would ban him, and he knows that he’s said some things in the past may lead them to think that he’d be disruptive. He says he will be on his best behaviour, and just wants to be part of the show. He then walks up to the gate, but security stops him cold. Well, that was a brief crusade.

“The Boss” Bobby Lashley and his wife Crystal come out, to THE WEAKEST PYRO YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE. Mike Tenay talks about how impressed he is at Bobby Lashley’s ability to juggle his respective MMA and TNA careers. The crowd chants for Bobby, while Crystal says that tonight is the biggest night in TNA history. She says that Bobby wanted to send a personal message to Hulk Hogan – that Bobby Lashley is a star in TNA and MMA, and the crowd starts to boo him. She then says that “unlike MMA, wrestling is filled with inbred, toothless degenerates.” Awesome! Crystal then tells the crowd to shut up when they boo her, and that tonight, Bobby is asking for his immediate release from his TNA contract because they have better things to do. She says to take one last look at Bobby, because it’s the last time we’re ever going to see him on TNA. Music hits, promo over. I fucking LOVE this show.

SCOTT KEITH: 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.

ANDREW WHEELER: Bobby Lashley fake quitting – I’m lost. Yes, I know it was character development, but your new fans don’t know that.

4 YEARS LATER… So, I think it’s pretty understandable why Wheeler thought back then that the Lashley thing was character development. That would have been bad enough, but it turns out that – actually no, it wasn’t even that. The guy actually just quit and this is how they actually wrote him off TV. Wikipedia tells me that he showed up for the next couple weeks, beat up a couple guys so that Bischoff would fire him, and then he apologized for reasons not well explained, and then Bischoff fired him anyway. Lots of people think that Birdcage From Hell, the nWo Retirement Home segment from later, or the Jeff Jarrett return coming up soon were the worst and / or funniest parts of the show. I disagree. This takes the cake for me. Lashley wanted to go focus on his MMA career, so they had him show up, insult the fans and the company, beat up some guys, apologize, and then get fired. No one beat him and it accomplished nothing other than making TNA look even more amateur than they already made themselves look. Look, I know Lashley was kind of a big deal in WWE for a short while, but I think as soon as he was gone we found out how much of an impact him leaving WWE actually had, and he had even less impact than THAT in TNA. And yet, rather than just not showing him on the NEW TNA, which your casual and new fans probably wouldn’t have even noticed, they had him go on, insult the fans and the company, beat up a few guys… and leave. That was their plan. What did they think it would accomplish? Who can even tell.

 

No time to concentrate on that, though. Backstage, a camera dude is going up Velvet Sky’s legs.

VELVET SKY: Follow me, Mr. Cameraman. What I’m about to show you will have your eyes thanking you for the rest of your life, if the camera doesn’t melt first.

Sorry… “your eyes thanking you?” That’s something Karl Pilkington would say. Anyway, we follow her into the room, and my eyes don’t thank me, they’re just confused, because the room is so poorly lit that I can’t see a fucking thing. There’s one small light in the centre that shows a poker table. Everything else is pitch black. There’s a couple other girls back there with Velvet – I think one of them is the one that got repeatedly date-raped by that time-travelling British girl, and the other one is… I don’t know. That girl. The one that was in TNA. You know, the one with the tits. Velvet says that since this is such a big night and Hogan’s on the show and they’re on Mondays now, they wanted to make a big impression. She asks the other girl what’s “big on TV”.

And then, I shit you not:

GIRL WITH TITS: Poker shows.
VELVET: That’s right. So we decided, since poker shows are so popular today, that we were going to make one of our own – live, without a net.
OTHER GIRL: Who’s Annette? Is she hot?
VELVET: Sweetie, just look at your cards, and let’s get through this hand.

They then start to play the hand, because they’ve decided to start their own poker show in the middle of a fairly important wrestling show that the wrestling company they work for is having. They then fight about one girl wanting to have five cards. You would think, given the amount of meat on such a conflict, that it would be over briefly. It isn’t. But it’s also very hard to tell what they’re saying or what’s going on since they’re talking over each other and the lighting is horrible. So maybe it’s just a really sophisticated type of comedic conflict that a simpleton like myself just doesn’t understand. The resolution to this conflict is that they end up giving the dumb girl five cards, but it’s for a very good reason – because she’s pretty. Which makes it totally impossible to play a hand of poker, BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT MAKES IT FUNNY! GET IT?!?! Then, it turns out that none of them actually understand how to play poker in the first place, so they just tell the dumb girl she lost and that she has to take off her clothes because they decided “they don’t have anything to bet with” since TNA pays their female employees about as well as Sunglass Hut (where Velvet Sky actually had a part-time job when this show aired, no joke).

I fucking LOVE this show. So then, they make the dumb girl take off her jacket and tell the cameraman that they’re going to be there all night playing strip poker. If you’re into this sort of thing and want to check it out, I’d advise you not to bother, because even if they got butt-ass naked you’d still never be able to see a thing due to the lighting.

This segment may as well have had Vince Russo in the back with a giant sign that read “okay, so we know this isn’t funny, but look! TITS!!!” Although the room was really dark, so they actually may have done that and I just don’t realize it. It’s impossible to tell.

ANDREW WHEELER: Hey, remember when ECW did this? Apparently Vince Russo did.

I fucking LOVE this show.

Commercial.

 

Scott Hall and X-Pac (I have to deal with the announcers calling him Sean Waltman, but really, fuck typing that out each time) are outside the arena. I’m not sure about X-Pac, but Hall is quite clearly drunk. They talk about how Hogan and Nash are there and it’s time to party “old school style”. They try to head in, but security stops them. Hall deals with this by choking the security dude, and then a fight breaks out between them and eight security guards. Taz and Tenay discuss this, and Tenay goes “Jeff Hardy and Ric Flair? Obviously invited. Scott Hall and Sean Waltman? Not so much.” The thing is, they obviously were invited, because there they fucking are.

Mike Tenay then makes a very important announcement.

ANDREW WHEELER: TNA is the #1 trending topic on Twitter. Well, Vince should just pack it up.

They then continue with Hulk Hogan’s first few segments on TNA, which so far consist of him being on his way to the arena, an hour late, with respect, for some reason accompanied by cops. Why the hell would a wrestler need a police escort?

Commercial.

We then get the THIRD segment in the “Hulk Hogan’s ride to the arena” trilogy. The announcers say the limos are just outside the arena now. Then another limo pulls up, someone gets out of THAT limo… AND INTO HULK HOGAN’S LIMO. Feel the intrigue. I fucking LOVE this show. Then the other limo pulls away while Hulk’s limo continues driving, even though Tenay just said they were already outside the arena. Taz and Tenay spend about 30 seconds analyzing this.

ANDREW WHEELER: I haven’t seen this many limos since… WCW.

Scott Hall and X-Pac then walk through the crowd in the Impact Zone (although with Hall, it’s really more of a stagger.) So… Foley doesn’t get violent, and he can’t get in. Hall and X-Pac brawl with security guards and not only get in, but apparently get ringside seats because of it.

ANDREW WHEELER: Fantastic security ya got there, TNA. You can keep out Foley, but not a drunkard and a pothead.

ANOTHER commercial.

 

HOUR 2

We’re back with Tenay and Taz, who are still talking about Hulk Hogan arriving.

And then… he does. Of course, he points at a plant sign that says “Vince Fears Hogan”. They also show Hulk’s daughter, Brooke Hogan, and Hulk Hogan’s girlfriend, who is basically Hulk’s daughter, Brooke Hogan. I will admit, at the time I was intrigued to see Hulk Hogan on TNA television. But the novelty of it wore off before he even hit the ring. Granted, he walks pretty slow now, but it didn’t take THAT long. Hogan milks the reaction for a while, and the announcers talk about how monumental it is. To be fair, the TNA fans ARE going apeshit for him.

Hogan gets in the ring with some odd lighting, opens with “What’s up, TNA Maniacs?!” and then he starts with the bullshit right away. He says there’s a bunch of young and old talent in the back who are ready to go and make TNA the #1 company in the world. Hogan then says he’s been in the back… all day… dealing with TNA talent. Wait, what? He then says he spent all day hearing everyone’s ideas… okay, I thought he just showed up in the limo

Andrew, Scott, someone help me out here?

ANDREW WHEELER: How the hell was he there all day but just now arrived in the building with a police escort? So what TNA is telling me is that Hulk Hogan took his own car to the Impact Zone, met all of the wrestlers, shook hands with Consequences Creed and Jesse Neal, got back in his rented Taurus, drove to his hotel, got picked up by a limo with a police escort, drove back to the arena – a drive that took over an hour (Orlando traffic is bad but not THAT bad) just to make an entrance? Screw Matt Morgan, Hogan’s carbon footprint must be HUGE.

Okay. Just making sure I heard that correctly. I don’t think I caught that on the first viewing of this show. I guess that’s understandable since I was cheering my tuckus off for all the great matches they’ve had so far.

Hulk Hogan says that when he walked out here, heard the reaction and “felt the power of TNA”, that “this was his dream come true”.

I fucking LOVE this show. I forgot how awesome this segment was. That’s fucking hilarious!

Anyway, Scott Hall and X-Pac jump the…

ANDREW WHEELER: Again, I need to pause. His dream was to abandon 30,000 seat arenas to go exploit a clueless company for money and subsequently perform in front of about as many people as would pack into a bingo hall in Philly that he wouldn’t spit on if it were on fire? Sure, this completely makes sense to me.

… anyway, Scott Hall and X-Pac jump the barricade as Hogan is talking. Security tries to stop them – Hogan tells security to back off, and that if Hall and X-Pac have something to say, they should get in the ring. This gets a huge pop as well. They get in the ring and give Hogan the old nWo salute. Hall gives the old “hey, yo” to another giant pop (I will admit to still loving that, and yes I realize that overrides logic and taste.) Hogan cuts him off right there and says he’s all about the party, and Hall says that’s why they’re there. Hogan says that if they have something to say, that they should say it right now. Hall counters this by offering his “say… hello… to the bad guy!” catchphrase, because that should get his point across.

So… Hall looks REALLY loaded. Even more than I thought before. He evidences this by saying that when he and Pac heard that “Easy E”, Hulk Hogan, and Kevin Nash were there, they knew that meant big paycheques, big sold out arenas, and big parties. Then, he just looks around confused, like he can’t understand why they aren’t partying right now. And, he spoiled that Bischoff was going to be there, even though TNA used the Nash interview and the limo segment building it up as a surprise. Between Hogan basically destroying the logic of his own “on his way to the arena during the whole first hour of the show” segments by saying he was already at the arena all day and now this, that’s two major flubs in this one segment. I fucking LOVE this show.

Hulk tells them that it’s a different time and a different place, and that it doesn’t work that way anymore. The crowd eats this up, and Pac grabs the mic, and I actually don’t think he’s drunk, but it does seem like he’s probably on some manner of prescription pills, that he probably got from his fully licensed doctor, who is probably a glorified bartender. Pac says that it is exactly the same now, because it’s the same people, and that they’re here to “par-tay”.

ANDREW WHEELER: I shit you not, he said “par-tay”. I haven’t seen X-Pac in years and I already hate him.

Hogan re-iterates that that’s not how it’s going to be this time. Hall then verbally blows Hogan for a minute, but says that things are changing. Hulk says that it’s time to grow up and “do the right thing for business.”

ANDREW WHEELER: Ya hear that AWA, WWE, WCW, TNA (the first time), Australia Tour, American Gladiators and Linda Hogan? He’s gonna do the right thing!

The crowd chants for Hogan again, and Hall seems to back off a bit before then telling Hogan that things will change with him, or without him.

SCOTT KEITH: What? Can I get some sort of carny-to-English dictionary to decode this bullshit segment?

Some generic music hits, and Kevin Nash comes out. This makes Hall & X-Pac happy, and Hogan does not look pleased. He gets in the ring, hugs Pac and gives Hall the Wolfpac salute, and then tries to calm everyone down. He tells Scott and “Kid” (yet another term for X-Pac) that Hulk has a role to play, so they should let him play it. Hogan again says that he made a promise to Dixie and that he’s here to do the right thing. The crowd eats this up AGAIN, and Nash that he’s been talking to Hogan for 5 or 6 weeks on the phone, and that’s not the conversation he remembers having with Hulk. He asks Hulk when he turned corporate, and Hall and X-Pac react like he called Hogan gay or something. Hogan says it’s not about going corporate, and that they are his brothers “4 life”, but they need to do this “4 real”. Hall staggers into X-Pac, who staggers into Nash, and they act like they’re going to jump Hogan. Nash tries to calm them all down… and then Eric Bischoff’s music hits.

ANDREW WHEELER: I can’t make this stuff up. We’re talking about new and exciting and I’m watching the New World Order in a ring.

Bischoff says it’s been a while, and that this brings back memories. He says that they’re the guys who revolutionized wrestling, “took the 800-lb gorilla, put him in a monkey suit, put him in a cage and spanked him”. Okay, that’s… weird. And, another WWE reference. Nicely done. Dixie Carter is watching and shaking her head, and Bischoff said he put this “band” together in the first place, and that he has experience here. Eric says there’s bean a breakdown in communication, and it immediately seems like this conversation should be taking place at a staff meeting in the back, possibly with one of those HR people who make you do exercises like falling backwards so someone will catch you. Whatever it is, it doesn’t need to be televised.

Pac is confused. Eric says he will explain – he says everyone has to earn their position in TNA, I guess aside from him and Hulk. The Wolfpac confers about this, and they seem amused. Nash is cool, he says he hears Eric loud and clear, and that he’ll talk to him later. They leave.

It gets awkward, and then after the Wolfpac leaves, Hogan repeats what Eric says and states that everyone has to earn their spot in TNA, regardless of past relationships or if someone’s on a roll. He says it’s a new day, and Eric continues by saying that they revolutionized wrestling once and that they can do it again, because there’s a whole lot of talent in the back. He says they’re going to take TNA to the next level, that things are going to change, and that everyone from the janitor to the World Champion is going to be under a microscope. Hogan says that the change starts now, and they’re going to keep going until they’re the #1 wrestling company in the world. They cut again to Dixie, doing her best to look concerned, but she claps at the “number one company” thing.

Bishoff says he loves this, and then asks where the producer is – he wants a format sheet. They can’t find the producer. Hogan then demands the presence of the producer as well, but they can’t find him. Eventually, someone slides a script in the ring. Bischoff says that this is what “you” thought you were going to see, even though we would have no idea what was on it. He says it’s a fine script, and there’s nothing wrong with it, and that whoever did it gets an “A” for effort. But like Hulk says, they’re starting over, and he rips up the script and replaces it with one of his own, and a more perfect metaphor for their arrival to TNA I couldn’t think of if I had a day off work and a think tank at my disposal. He hands the new script to a nice girl, and tells her to give it to the “director”. So they ripped up the script and replaced it with a new script. That was actually the purpose of the speech.

ANDREW WHEELER: I shit you not, he’s asking for the script, and he rips it up. Hey, remember when Schiavone used to do that? Yeah, that turned the ratings around toot sweet.

SCOTT KEITH: 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.

Bischoff says that they’re turning TNA upside down (again, correct) and Hulk says if you can’t wrestle, pack your bags and “head up north” (another WWE reference) because they’re checking everyone out. Hogan’s music hits and Taz and Tenay go nuts over this entire thing… and then they cut to Sting in the rafters watching the whole thing go down with a thoughtful look on his face. Taz says they haven’t seen Sting for months.

ANDREW WHEELER: In one segment, they brought back the ghost of WCW. I honestly can’t believe it.

4 YEARS LATER…

… actually, fuck 4 Years Later. That thing spoke for itself. Holy fucking SHIT. Gracefully, with respect, my friends – gracefully. With. Respect.

I fucking LOVE this show.

Commercial.

 

We replay Sting standing in the rafters.

TNA Knockout Tag-Team Championship Match
Sarita & Taylor Wilde (c) .vs. Awesome Kong & Hamada

Thank God Eric and Hulk came up with this new script, because we definitely wouldn’t have wanted to miss THIS match, which is the third in ninety minutes, the second featuring women wrestlers, three out of four of whom were gone within months of this show, battling for titles that were discontinued, also within months of this show. During the intros, Mike Tenay has breaking news – despite all lack of evidence to the contrary, it turns out TNA DOES have a World Champion and his name is AJ Styles. He will face Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship at TNA’s next PPV (Genesis 2010). Sounds like an awesome show, you guys should totally look into ordering that.

Hamada and Sarita start, and they lock up and volley before Hamada gets an armdrag, does a cool drop-trip-thing off the ropes before Sarita comes back with an armdrag of her own, and tags Taylor, who hits… another armdrag, but this one off the top rope. Hamada has had enough of the kiddy shit and knees Taylor right in the breadbasket (I always wanted to say that.) People are chanting for Hamada, even though she’s the heel. If you’ve never seen Hamada wrestle, you should. I forgot how good she is. So of course she was gone from TNA within months.

No time for that though, becuase now I have to deal with poor lighting again, but this time on a split-screen, which makes it even harder. I promise you I’m not trying to be unfairly hard on them here, I LEGITIMATELY CAN’T SEE A FUCKING THING. I can tell Jeremy Borash is there, checking on someone who’s been laid out. Did the poker girls get murdered or something? No, it turns out someone killed The Motor City Machine Guns.

Back to the match – Hamada ducks both girls, and Kong tags in. One girl jumps on her back, and the other tries to charge her. Kong handles this by kicking the charging girl in the gut and dropping down to flatten the girl on her back. Ha, Kong is awesome. Actually, I remember Kong and Hamada being better than almost any girls TNA has ever employed – yes, including Mickie, Gail and Tara. Anyway, Kong gets 2 and Taylor is up to kick Hamada in the face, then hits two running dropkicks right on Kong’s milk baskets (her tits.) Kong doesn’t go down, so Sarita gets up and they hit a tandem dropkick that takes Kong to the outside along with Hamada. Sarita then does a suicide dive through the ropes at the same time Taylor jumps off the top rope. Solid match so far.

Commercial.

Back, and Hamada is destroying Wilde’s face while Kong holds her up for punishment. During the break, the split-screen shows me that Awesome Kong flattened Sarita again. Taylor is fighting back, but Hamada is taking her down with some awesome offense. She teases letting Taylor tag but doesn’t, then chops her. Kong tags back in, and starts hammering Taylor while people chant for her. Taylor escapes a powerbomb and hits a double knee, allowing her to tag Sarita. Sarita comes in and dropkicks Kong – this doesn’t affect Kong, and she screams at her. Sarita turns around to do another charge, but Hamada is there and kicks her right in the talking basket (the mouth.)

Sarita tries a cross-body but gets caught by both girls. Something is botched and I don’t really understand what happened, but Hamada is down. Sarita tries to roll Kong up from behind, so Kong just DROPS like fucking Earthquake and Sarita loses a cup size. This would get her a pin, but Taylor does a diving kick and hits Kong in the face before she can. Jesus, good match so far. What the hell?

“This is awesome” chant starts and Hamada throws Taylor into a steel post, and it looks like Taylor is out. Kong takes Sarita up for a powerbomb, but holds her up so Hamada can hit a doomsday device – except she uses an awesome dropkick instead of a clothesline, so now Sarita is dead too. Kong pins.

Winners & New TNA Knockout Tag-Team Champions: Awesome Kong & Hamada

SCOTT KEITH: Crowd chants “This is Awesome.” Well it’s accurate in that Awesome Kong is competing.

ANDREW WHEELER: So if you’re TNA and you have all these eyeballs following Hogan’s debut, what would you put on next? An X-Division match? Samoa Joe? No, they give us a Knockout Tag Title match.

I’m gonna have to disagree with the boys on this one – I think “This Is Awesome” as a chant is way overdone, especially in TNA, but I was definitely wrong to not be excited for this match. I’m kind of pre-programmed to not expect much from women’s matches when it comes to WWE and TNA, so I’m not sure if I just glossed over this match the first time around, or just flat out didn’t care by this point given EVERYTHING ELSE that I had to suffer through up to so far.

I don’t know, maybe I’m just burned out on bad shit, but I thought this was REALLY good. Definitely check it out if you can, and if you do, maybe you’ll see why AJ Lee being able to NOT trip over her own feet (sometimes), pull off a bad tarantula or a barely-less-than-shitty finisher doesn’t impress or entertain me in the slightest. THIS kind of women’s wrestling, REAL women’s wrestling – THAT impressed me. Get that Jeff Heatherly guy on this match. Kong is great and it’s a real shame how her WWE run ended, I truly did forget how good Hamada was, I never really saw much of Taylor Wilde and was never really impressed by Sarita, but all the girls did really good here.

It was an odd placement for the match though, which is where Wheeler and Keith make a good point, especially given that TNA obviously didn’t care about these girls. So don’t get me wrong and think I’m giving TNA any credit for this match. Because, naturally…

4 YEARS LATER… none of these women are employed by TNA. I don’t remember the exact circumstances, but Taylor Wilde and Hamada were gone within months, I believe with little or no announcement. Awesome Kong left the company after a very public dispute with Bubba The Love Sponge, where TNA sided with Bubba. Understandable, as Bubba had been a vital and long-term employee for TNA at this point, and the revenue and interest he brought to the show would have obviously been difficult to replace. Also – that was a lie, this was Bubba’s first night with the company, and he was gone within months, which made Kong’s leaving completely avoidable and pointless. Don’t feel too bad for Kong though, because even though Kong and Bubba have both had a pretty rough go of it since then… I still say Kong got the better deal. (See above.) Oh, and Sarita is also no longer with TNA.

 

Good news for anyone who was bored with an actual women’s wrestling match, and for guys who’s wives check their internet history – we’re going back to the poorly lit poker game featuring girls in their underwear! Although it’s not that great for you guys who dig this stuff anyway, because you still can’t see a fucking thing.

TIME-TRAVEL GIRL: For this next hand, why don’t we play a little seven-card-babe?
DUMB GIRL: Yay!
VELVET: Seven-card babe?
TIME-TRAVEL GIRL: Well yeah, if it was a guy dealing, it’d be seven-card-stud.

Get it? It’s funny because they’re dumb.

Then, Val Venis comes in with his head shaved and wearing a towel.

VAL VENIS: Ladies, could you use a fourth for your little threesome?
DUMB GIRL: Hey, I know you! You’re…
VAL VENIS: AH AH AH AH AH, let’s not get all caught up with old names, shall we? Instead, why don’t we get caught up in the excitement of competition!

The girls are annoyed. I think. The lighting is horrible.

VELVET: Ew, Whatever. What makes you think you can bust into our poker game and take over, Mr. Towel Man!
NOT VAL VENIS: Well let me tell you something, missy. It looks to me like you want ratings…

The girls nod. I think. The lighting is horrible.

NOT VAL VENIS: … and it looks like you need someone to take this friendly little game of yours to the next level. Because I’ve just come out of the shower, so it looks to me like you ladies have the advantage. I lose just one hand, and it’s all over for me.

I swear to God I’m not making up these lines. This is word-for-word what they’re saying. So I guess Val Venis just showed up to the Impact Zone to use the showers, because it’s not like he had a match or even a segment. Things must be worse for him than I thought. Anyway, now the girls are turned on. Get it? Because in addition to being dumb, they’re apparently also sluts.

… I think. The lighting is horrible.

NOT VAL VENIS: Do you think you’ve got what it takes?
VELVET: Oh, we know we have what it takes. Do YOU have what it takes?
NOT VAL VENIS: Ladies, you have no idea.
DUMB GIRL: You have no idea. Shut up and deal… stud.
NOT VAL VENIS: This… is going to be a very interesting night.
VELVET: Yes it is.
DUMB GIRL: Oh yeah!
TIME TRAVEL GIRL: Deal the cards!

They all laugh and deal cards. Holy SHIT. That physically hurt to view.

Well actually, I couldn’t really VIEW, per se, because of the lighting, but it hurt to squint at and listen to.

4 YEARS LATER… Time Travel Girl and Dumb Girl from the poker game are no longer with TNA. Actually, since two commercials ago, everyone TNA has shown is no longer with the company except for Velvet Sky, and I guess you could technically add Chris Sabin, although he was out cold during those four seconds of footage… and you couldn’t really see him because of the lighting anyway.

Commercial. Make sure to stay tuned, because you might get to see Val Venis’ dick!

 

Outside the arena, Mick Foley is still trying to get in. He started in the afternoon in the “Earlier Today” segment, and it’s now at least 8:00 at night, so he’s been at it for hours. Mick is a determined guy. He should try getting into a brawl with security since it worked so well for X-Pac and that homeless guy they keep telling us is Scott Hall. Mick says he’s already been escorted off the property, but he made it back “this far”. Wait, what… okay, fuck it. He says he needs to talk to Hogan, and that he could go “right through” them, but that he has another plan. The security guys tell him that when they “see security” (… which is them…) they’ll just say they haven’t seen him. Okay then.

Mick walks off, and the security guys close the door. The Nasty Boys then show up, and are wondering if they just saw Mick Foley. They try to get in, and security tries to stop them as well. Security then says that since The Nasty Boys know Hogan, maybe their names are “on the list” at the front gate – he says if they go there, they can probably get in. So the entire point of this was to show that The Nasty Boys went to the wrong entrance.

ANDREW WHEELER: Words elude me at this point.

Raven & Stevie Richards (w/ Daffney) .vs. Matt Morgan & Hernandez

Raven & Stevie don’t even get an entrance, and Raven bounces off Hernandez. Raven goes to tag Stevie and Hernandez goes to tag Morgan. Stevie charges Morgan, eats Morgan’s retard boot, and gets pinned in negative six seconds. Awesome. I fucking LOVE this show.

Winners: Matt Morgan & Hernandez

ANDREW WHEELER: Seriously? It’s already over? Way to spotlight your future talent guys. Change is in the air.

Apparently Morgan & Hernandez get a TNA Tag-Team Title shot at Genesis. I think we’ll all remember where we were when that match took place.

I don’t know what Wheeler thought he would have gotten in a longer match that heavily features Matt Morgan, but backstage, Christy Hemme is talking to The Pope. Apparently Hulk asked for him to have a match tonight against Desmond Wolfe. He repays Hulk by verbally blowing him for a while, hits on Christy and makes fun of Desmond Wolfe.

And then… well, I’ll let someone else give you the next bit of big news.

ANDREW WHEELER: Orlando Jordan shows up. Yes, Orlando Jordan. If it was possible, this show came to an even louder screeching halt.

SCOTT KEITH: He’s apparently so big a star that no one mentions who he is or where he’s from until after the segment, when Taz clarifies that in fact it was Orlando Jordan. This show makes me want to bash my head into the keyboard.

I should mention that Orlando showed up drinking a 5-Hour Energy Shot, saying “oh man, that’s good.” He then says he’s a big fan of Christy, to which she replies “you’re welcome!” (…) Orlando also says he’s a big fan of Pope, and that he’s looking for Hogan because Hulk invited him. Pope is annoyed by this.

 

The Pope .vs. Desmond Wolfe

Fans chant for Desmond on his way out. Tenay says that Desmond Wolfe and The Pope are two of the best aquisitions made by TNA Management in 2009, but really, fuck 2009. This is 2010 and Hulk Hogan, The Nasty Boys and Orlando Jordan are here now! People seem really into Pope as well.

They lock up, and Desmond takes Pope down by the arm. Pope hits some kicks and a flying clothesline. Desmond hits a hammerlock takedown and throws Pope into the turnbuckle, before hitting an irish whip so Pope can botch a sunset flip. Wolfe catches this and works on Pope’s arm some more. Wolfe tries to charge Pope in the corner but Pope dodges, and hits that delayed springboard elbow thing that I always liked. Fans chant “This Is Wrestling” and that seems pretty generous for this, although it’s not bad I suppose.

Wolfe goes for Tower Of London, but Pope reverses and wins with a rollup. Wolfe complains that it was a fast-count.

Winner: The Pope

ANDREW WHEELER: So Desmond Wolfe went from hanging with Kurt Angle to being pinned by Elijah Burke on the biggest show of the year in about four minutes. Yeesh.

Backstage, the founder of TNA, Jeff Jarrett, arrives at Impact… 2 hours late.

4 YEARS LATER… at least five of the six guys in the previous two matches (Matt Morgan, Raven, Stevie Richards, The Pope, and Desmond Wolfe) are all no longer with TNA. Raven is always awesome, and Stevie is all right, but they were gone almost immediatley, although I believe they came back briefly for a short stint in the fifteen-hundredth ECW revival. Matt Morgan is so horrible that Matt Harrak actually thinks he’s good, and he (Morgan, not Harrak) sucked the life out of shows between muliple upper-mid-card and main-event runs, none of them the least bit successful, until he left only just recently. It’s also entirely possible that Hernandez is no longer with TNA, I’m not sure. I always liked Hernandez, he wasn’t great but I thought he was good, although I think I’m in the minority there. I thought Desmond Wolfe was fantastic and that The Pope could hold his own too. The Pope was used sparingly over the years until he was just gone, and Desmond Wolfe was gone very quickly.

The Nasty Boys, Orlando Jordan and Mick Foley are also no longer with TNA. The Nasty Boys are amazingly bad, and they trashed The Dudley Boys’ locker room and then did nothing until they were gone shortly as well. Mick Foley also left very quickly and came back a couple times before once again departing for WWE. I think that dude may hold the record for number of company switches. Orlando Jordan did things with police tape and fake / possibly real splooge that I just refuse to look up, and generally was around to make people feel uncomfortale until Eric Young became mentally damaged. Orlando Jordan took advantage of this by raping him a bunch of times off-camera. He was eventually let go.

So basically, it all went really well for everyone in these last few segments.

Commercial.

 

And we’re back.

Backstage, Jeremy Borash tries to say something but Bubba cuts him off and sends him away. WHAT’S WITH THE FUCKING LIGHTING?!?! Anyway, Bubba has more breaking news.

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

ANDREW WHEELER: I don’t wanna watch Bret Hart and Vince McMahon, I wanna see who has been knocking out midcarders.

Tenay and Taz talk about how The Machineguns were laid out earlier, and now Rhino. They talk about all the news so far tonight, they say Ric Flair will be out later, and then they play highlights from Hulk Hogan’s debut.

Also, Jeff Jarrett is still walking backstage. Tenay says Jarrett is coming to the ring, right after the break.

ANDREW WHEELER: To paraphrase Paul Heyman… “Gentlemen, lock up your wives.”

4 YEARS LATER… and did we ever find out who knocked out Rhino and The Motor City Machineguns? Maybe those were the random attacks Lashley did or something? It’s like the Hummer thing from WCW.

Oh, and Rhino was gone from TNA fairly quickly. He also came back briefly for an ECW reunion or two, I believe.

Commercial.

 

Backstage, JB is interviewing this random AJ Styles guy. AJ says he’s been in TNA for 7 years, and he’s never felt excitement in the company like this. JB asks him about defending his title against Kurt Angle at the next PPV, and AJ says he can’t hold the belt with pride until he beats Angle. Bischoff walks into the room clapping, and says he’s been hearing so much about AJ being the future of the company. Bischoff has good news and bad news – bad news is that AJ is not defending the belt against Angle at Genesis. Bischoff says the good news is that AJ is right, that people need to know who the real TNA World Heavyweight Champion is, so AJ is fighting Kurt tonight, not at the PPV. Which is funny because they just announced the match at the PPV less than an hour ago, just to take it away an hour later and put it on this show. Not that this match is anything to complain about, but yeah. Why announce it for the PPV at all then?

ANDREW WHEELER: We are nearly two hours into the damn show and this is the first time we’re seeing Styles. Way to build around new talent.

Heh. It’s Jarrett time now. I remember this, this was funny.

ANDREW WHEELER: Here comes Mr. Irrelevant Jeff Jarrett, who can’t even create a promotion that doesn’t try to rid itself of him.

Jeff Jarrett comes to ringside, and Taz and Tenay wonder what’s going through all his mind right now given all the changes in the company. JJ actually gets a small “welcome back” chant, and he says that it feels great to be back at home in the Impact Zone. Dixie looks on, doing her best to do “concerned face”. He says that 7 years ago, he founded TNA with his hard-earned money (which is a lie, he used his Dad’s money) and the crowd chants “Thank You Jeff”. He said every critic in the world claimed they wouldn’t last 6 weeks or 6 months, but that he’s standing in a TNA ring on a Monday Night, that this is the biggest night in company history, and that he is proud to be there.

Jarrett says that he tried to convince Hulk to come to TNA for years, but the timing was never right, and now it is. “TNA” chant breaks out, and then Jarrett says that during his career he’s done some good things and some bad things, but that the best thing he ever did was give “dozens if not hundreds” (…) of younger guys the chance to step into the ring. Guys like Beer Money, Motor City Machineguns, Christopher Daniels, and AJ Styles. He says that in closing, “you ain’t seen nothing yet” and that with Hogan working with Dixie, and Jarrett working side-by-side with them (Dixie looks concerned again), anything can happen.

Hogan comes on the screen and says he’s glad Jeff is finished, because he’s had enough. Hogan literally says “so what, nobody cares” to Jarrett, and that if Jarrett said “I” one more time, that Hogan would have sent security out after him. He says that Jarrett ran the company into the ground, but Dixie resurrected it and was the one who gave the young guys a shot, and that without her TNA would have gone under. He tells Jarrett that he needs to shape up and that this “minority shareholder” thing means nothing to him. Hogan says they restructured the company, and Hogan is Dixie’s new partner, not Jarrett. He says that now, the young guys are going to get a real shot and as far as Jarrett’s past… nobody cares.

Hogan says TNA is going straight to the top, and that Jarrett no longer has any stroke. He says Jarrett needs to grab his boots and get in line, because he’s no different than everybody else – he has to prove himself, and Hulk says Jarrett better be able to hang with the young guys.

ANDREW WHEELER: Did they really bring Hulk in to be a heel? Seriously? So at the end of the day, Hogan came back and then turned heel within the course of two hours.

 

Backstage, Christy Hemme is interviewing Christopher Daniels.

CHRISTY HEMME: Wow, I never thought we’d see that in TNA. Hulk Hogan is definitely delivering on his promise to shake TNA to it’s very foundation. One man who might be a little bit worried about what his future holds is Christopher Daniels.
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS: No Christy, I’m not worried. See, I have faith that my ability and strength of character will make an impression on Hulk Ho…
JEREMY BORASH: HEY GUYS. HEY. SORRY GUYS.
CHRISTOPHER DANIELS: JB, I’m in the middle of an interv…
JEREMY BORASH: Sorry, sorry, I have to… outside. Mick Foley is outside.

Then Daniels stormed off. That, word for word, was what happened. Christy told Christopher Daniels that he should be worried about what his future holds, Daniels got 23 words out of his mouth and got interrupted by another announcer saying that Mick Foley is outside, which we already knew. I fucking LOVE this show.

JB talks to Christy about this, and Christy says not to let him in. JB goes and lets him in anyway, and then tries to stop him. Foley says he has a bone to pick with Hogan, and that nothing will get in his way. Aside from the two random security guards who turned him down for at least 4 straight hours.

4 YEARS LATER… so, Wheeler thought that Hogan was turning heel. I can certainly see why he thought that, but as we all know now, that’s not what happened. I don’t know if they thought Hulk’s promo would go over differently or if maybe they botched something, but either way, I’m not sure what they were going for. It was weird.

Also, Jarrett and Hogan both claimed that the “young guys” were going to be given a real shot in the new TNA, and Jarrett specifically named Motor City Machineguns, Beer Money, Christopher Daniels and AJ Styles. Motor City Machineguns’ involvement so far consisted of being one-fourth of a giant birdcage botch that even the live crowd shit on, and then being laid out in a poorly-lit backstage area. If memory serves, Beer Money is going to wind up the same way before this show is over, and Christopher Daniels got 23 words out of his mouth before his interview was interrupted, literally moments after Jarrett made that statement and Christy told him that he might be concerned about what his future holds. Daniels was gone from the company within weeks, only to return later in the year

I fucking LOVE this show.

Commercial. Make sure to stay tuned, you might get to find out who’s been knocking out all the young guys that Jeff Jarrett and Hulk Hogan say are going to get a real chance now!

 

HOUR 3

Back from commercial, and they run a Genesis ad… which advertises AJ Styles versus Kurt Angle for Genesis, even though Bischoff said not twenty minutes ago that it was no longer happening because they’re wrestling tonight instead. So, they first announced the match an hour ago, somehow had time to work it into an ad, forty minutes later Bischoff scraps the match, yet they don’t pull the ad. That’s so fucking awesome.

Backstage, Jeff is doing a painting in a locker room with Shannon looking on.

SHANNON MOORE: Jeff, these things are awesome man. You gotta start selling these things and making some money.
JEFF HARDY: Yeah?
SHANNON MOORE: Yeah! Hey… the big man called, man. You ready to go meet with him?
JEFF HARDY: Yeah.

Good stuff. Hardy signs his painting and they head out. Taz wonders if Shannon meant Hogan.

Samoa Joe .vs. Abyss

See, this was supposed to be Abyss and Rhino, but that was before Bischoff tore up the script, AND before someone laid Rhino out in the back. Are the two things connected, or was it coincidence? Was Rhino being knocked out in the script or not? Or was the match being switched part of the new script, and someone knocked out Rhino to enforce it?

Joe starts punching the shit out of Abyss, and the crowd does the “Joe’s gonna kill you” chant before Joe levels Abyss with a kick. Joe goes to give Abyss the facewash but runs into Abyss’ boot. Abyss follows Joe to the floor, Joe grabs a chair but Abyss ducks the shot and the chair hits the ringpost. Abyss works over Joe some more, and tosses him in the ring.

SPLIT-SCREEN! The announcers are selling a special “limited edition” trading card with Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter on it… for FORTY DOLLARS. I fucking LOVE this show.

Joe is somehow now in control, I don’t know how because TNA was trying to sell me a forty-dollar trading card when it happened. Regardless, Joe now drops Abyss and hits a backsplash.

ANOTHER SPLIT-SCREEN! It shows Sting… in the back. He’s still there. That was the point of the split-screen. To show that Sting is still in the arena.

Abyss is somehow now in control, I don’t know how because TNA was busy proving to me that Sting was still in the arena when it happened. Regardless, Abyss is going for a chokeslam but Joe elbows his way out of it before running into a clothesline. Abyss splashes Joe in the corner before hitting a sideslam, but this only gets him 2. Abyss runs into a Joe elbow, and then a boot to the face. Joe hits the second rope and hits a nice thrust kick, but only gets 2.

Joe with some strikes, and Abyss powers up but eats another kick to the head by Joe and goes down. Joe tries to leap at Abyss off the ropes, but Abyss catches him and chokeslams him for 2. Abyss tries to pull Joe in the ring, but Joe hits him with a chair behind the ref’s back and then makes Abyss tap to his chokehold.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Weak match. I love Joe and I don’t mind Abyss, but that was weak.

ANDREW WHEELER: If I hadn’t seen TNA before and I was watching this now, I would think that Sting in the back is infinitely more important than Abyss/Joe. I thought this company was all about pushing the younger talent.

 

Backstage, Bischoff is talking to a crew guy.

BISCHOFF: Do me a favor, this segment is running just a little bit long… how about we reformat it and take a look at it?

I’m sorry… the whole “tearing up the script” thing makes quite literally NO sense at all to begin with, but is he literally scripting the fucking show IN FRONT OF US now?!

I fucking LOVE this show.

Anyway, then Lashley’s wife Crystal walks up to Bischoff.

CRYSTAL: …
BISCHOFF: …
CRYSTAL: … well?
BISCHOFF: Well, what?
CRYSTAL: Aren’t you gonna say anything?
BISCHOFF: … want a mint?
CRYSTAL: No!

I fucking LOVE this show. There was more riveting dialogue on that all-Diva season of NXT. It continues…

CRYSTAL: I’m sure you saw what happened earlier tonight when Bobby asked for his release.
BISCHOFF: Yeah yeah, Bobby Lashley asked for his release and wants to go chase his MMA dreams. What’s that got to do with me?

YOU RUN THE FUCKING SHOW NOW!!! YOU JUST SAID IT LIKE AN HOUR AGO!!! YOU CAN’T JUST BE IN CHARGE AND NOT IN CHARGE AT YOUR LEISURE!!!

Crystal demands a meeting with Hogan. Bischoff laughs at her, and tells her to go stand in line, and that she might want to check her attitude. Crystal says that they’re making a big mistake, and that TNA is losing the biggest start they’ve ever had. Bischoff laughs at her again before she walks off, and WHAT? Lashley is the one that wants out, how is that Bischoff’s mistake? I fucking LOVE this show.

SCOTT KEITH: Why would Bischoff even be on camera for this segment?

Also, I was right – Beer Money has been knocked out in the back. No worries though, Bubba The Love Sponge is there to let us know that he’s got a pretty good idea of who did it.

4 YEARS LATER… Samoa Joe continued to be treated like garbage most of the time, and during my recapping time he lost to Crimson and Matt Morgan separately for about four months, until TNA figured it was more efficient to make him lose to both guys at the same time. It accomplished nothing, because none of Morgan’s runs ever led to anything until he left the company a few months ago, and who is Crimson, you may ask? You don’t want to know. Joe amazingly managed to maintain crowd support somehow… but it hasn’t done him a whole lot of good.

Soon after this, Abyss was referred by Hulk Hogan as the “John Cena of TNA” and a storyline was started where he gained super-powers from Hulk Hogan’s WWE Hall of Fame ring. Literally, that was the story. This started a main-event run for Abyss which was very short-lived, and then he was on and off TV, and in and out of a group called “Immortal”. This led to a storyline where Abyss played his own brother, Joseph Parks, who went to TNA searching for his brother… who was Abyss. This led to the satisfying payoff you’d expect for such an angle, and soon afterwards Abyss was… still playing Joseph Park. Until he recently came back as Abyss again. I believe he’s playing both parts now.

Beer Money continued to kick ass as a tag-team, but they split them up to give them both prominent singles runs. It’s one of the less offensive things TNA did since this show… but it still didn’t go over all that well. Beer Money are fine by me, but World Champion single stars they are not.

I already covered Lashley, so no need to go into that again. I think that’s everyone covered here. We never did find out if Bischoff was happy with that reformatting, if Jeff Hardy ever started selling his paintings or if Crystal ever got that mint.

Commercial.

 

Outside the arena, a security guy tells The Nasty Boys that they are not on the list. They flip out over this, and Bubba The Love Sponge shows up (fucking seriously, how often does this guy need to be on camera) and he says that they HAVE to be on the list. Bubba makes the security guy say who’s in charge, and who he is. He then takes the security guy for a walk and waves The Nasty Boys in.

So… to recap:

NASTY BOYS SEGMENT #1: The Nasty Boys try to get into the arena, but are told they need to use a different entrance to see if they’re on “the list”.
NASTY BOYS SEGMENT #2: The Nasty Boys go to the proper entrance… but are not on “the list”. Bubba The Love Sponge sneaks them in anyway.

Anyone see any redudant segments here? No? Great. Then the show is still flawless so far. Moving on.

SCOTT KEITH: Who gives a fuck about the fucking Nasty Boys in fucking 2010? SERIOUSLY.

Backstage, Jeremy Borash is with Kurt Angle. Kurt says that he lost the title, and AJ Styles has it, but Kurt was never pinned because it was a 4-way match where AJ won, so he was never actually pinned. Someone needs to tell Kurt that’s SO in 2009 and that no longer matters. Anyway, he says a lot has happened to him professionally and personally since then (he’s referring to finding out that Jeff Jarrett was fucking his ugly stripper wife) but that it doesn’t change that AJ can’t beat him. He says AJ is great, but that he is better, and it’s real. It’s damn real.

In the parking lot, Jeff Hardy and Shannon Moore are walking out with a couple envelopes. Shannon says they got what they came for, and Hardy just goes “maybe”. So what they’re telling me is that Hulk Hogan gave them envelopes, but didn’t give them any indication what was inside, and they haven’t bothered to look yet, even though that specifically is what they came for?

And then…

ANDREW WHEELER: Three random teenagers show up screaming and Jeff gives them his painting. Uh huh.

SCOTT KEITH: That’s their mob, three people. They can’t even paper their mobs properly.

Jeff and Shannon get in Jeff’s awesome little Corvette and leave.

4 YEARS LATER… Jeff Hardy, for some reason, did not appear on Impact again for another two months after this. That didn’t stop him from continuing to be a painted-up-crackhead for a while, however, or from turning heel. On one show I recapped, he dressed like Avatar and had sex with a ladder that he’d painted blue and purple in the aisleway while Matt Morgan and Ken Anderson tried to have what has, by some, been called a “match”. Jeff brought his brother Matt Hardy to TNA after Matt tried to get WWE to fire him for months, and Matt Hardy proceeded to take credit for the success TNA wasn’t having before deciding he didn’t need to show up and re-focused his energy on putting out YouTube videos where he was seeing ghosts and saying he would kill himself. A while later, Jeff showed up to a PPV drunk and stoned off his fucking gourd to have a main-event World Title match against Sting, and they had to talk the TNA fans out of rioting after the ensuing ninety-second main-event debacle of a match. This of course kicked off a redemption storyline for him (which he had already done once or twice in WWE) and this is also about where he started painting eyeballs on his eyelids. That one act alone has led me to write him off as a human being entirely.

After taking part in a ridiculous 8-month worked-shoot storyline with Jeff Jarrett over Jarrett stealing his ugly stripper wife in real life (which involved an attempted axe murder, multiple arrests, Chyna, Kurt’s children dancing around in their underwear to Jeff Jarret’s theme music, a giant cake, Karen Angle falling down a flight of stairs, literal horse shit, Mick Foley, and somehow concluded with Jeff Jarrett being temporarily deported to Mexico after getting his ass kicked in a parking lot), Kurt Angle took the “Hot Mess” title from the Hardy’s after he mastered the art of Tweeting while driving drunk. He’s had a couple strong runs with that title, and is actually working on a redemption storyline of his own at the moment. However, in a move that probably proves he’s now sober, he recently responded to an offer to go into TNA’s Hall of Fame with “nah, it’s cool.”

Shannon Moore was raped and killed by a bear.

I hope.

Commercial.

 

Another TNA Genesis commercial advertising AJ Styles .vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, a match which is no longer happening at TNA Genesis.

Backstage, The Nasty Boys find Team 3D’s locker room and start trashing it. The security guy from earlier shows up to apologize to them, and he’s brought them donuts by way of apology. The Nasty’s start throwing donuts around Team 3D’s locker room, and making fun of Team 3D for being fat. The joke here I guess is supposed to be that The Nasty Boys are also really fat. GET IT?!?!

SCOTT KEITH: 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.

ANDREW WHEELER: Look for the return of the Dungeon of Doom next week as they beat Morgan and Hernandez.

 

TNA World Heavyweight Championship Match
AJ Styles (c) .vs. Kurt Angle

All right, so this has quite obviously gone very painfully long. This is probably the longest thing I’ve ever done. So I’m going to make this very simple.

This is, simply put, a fantastic match. It’s one of the best matches that TNA has ever put on Impact. It’s one of the best matches TNA has ever had at all. It’s one of the best wrestling matches that any wrestling promotion has ever had at all.

It does not desserve to be put on this show.

I’m not saying the rest of the show diminished this match for me (if anything, it helped), all I’m saying is that because the rest of the show is agonizing to get through, by the time you get to this match… you’re pretty much fed up, or at least spent.

I’m not going to recap it. All I’m going to say is that I loved it, and that you should go check it out. I don’t give star ratings, but if I did this one would be pretty close to five out of five. There was some overly-booked nonsense like a mystery masked dude coming in who beat up AJ before he got his ass kicked by Angle, Ric Flair showing up to watch on the ramp, and Dixie cheering from the crowd. Oh, and the fans chanted “Who Needs Bret”, which was pretty dumb.

Yet somehow… it still holds up for me. I can’t recommend it highly enough. So again… go check this out. It’s over 20 minutes long and I can’t say enough good things about it. If you were like me and couldn’t remember who won, I won’t put the winner below.

Winner & TNA World Heavyweight Champion: Go Watch And Find Out

ANDREW WHEELER: This is what they should have been doing all along. They needed to grab the audience by the neck and show them that unlike the WWE, TNA can give you revolutionary wrestling. How in the hell did TNA think what they were putting on tonight was going to get fans to buy into their product? Fans don’t want two minute matches and lame angles when they can get that from WWE. They want high quality matches that highlight great athleticism. They want Angle / Styles. If TNA gave the audience blow-away matches, they would have the fans. You need to sprinkle the Sports Entertainment in with the wrestling, not douse the show in Sports Entertainment with only mere morsels of wrestling. These two seem to be the first two people all night in the ring that are looking to put on something special. Where was the fire from the rest of the roster? Hell, where were the opportunities for them to show what they have to begin with?

SCOTT KEITH: Well, 1 out of 180 segments isn’t bad, I guess.

 

Hulk Hogan’s music interrupts the winner’s music, and he comes out. He says that AJ and Kurt and the two best wrestlers in the business today and that they raised the bar to a whole new level. He says that the TNA fans made history tonight, and that this is the beginning of the greatest rise in…

… and then a security guy whispers something in his ear and he runs off.

We see Foley walking around backstage, and he storms into… the dimly lit poker room, and the girls scream and Val Venis is surprised.

… I think. The room is so poorly lit I can’t see anything.

Val tells Mick that he’s interrupting something special, and believe it or not, this show’s last 2 minutes consist partially of Val Venis telling Mick Foley that he’s not afraid of him, and Foley yelling at Val Venis that he’s looking for Hulk Hogan. Venis then abandons his tirade against Foley for no real reason, and tells Mick that Hogan’s office is down the hall and to the left.

Mick follows the directions, and ends up in Hogan’s office screaming for him. Only Bischoff is there though, and he asks Mick what he wants since Mick’s “executive shareholder” certificate “isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on”. Absolutely no idea what that could possibly mean, but basically Bischoff tells Foley that he’s got no influence, power or control, and that he has to get in line with everyone else and fight for his job. Foley says he has no problem working for Dixie, and he will even work for Hogan, but he will never work for Bischoff again.

Bischoff laughs at him, and Foley grabs him and says he’ll give Eric a reason to fire him. Eric says he should rethink his strategy, and then the Wolfpac jumps him and kicks the shit out of him.

Hogan comes in at the last moment, and we get a huge close-up of him before the credits roll.

4 YEARS LATER… so was it the Wolfpac laying out the younger wrestlers then? Or was that Bobby Lashley trying to get out of his contract? I’m not sure if they ever answered that question, but I guess since I don’t know for sure I can’t really condemn them for that one – although it’s not like there’s not enough on this show to condemn them for anyway. What about the masked fucker who ran in on the title match? Who did that turn out to be?

Just putting everything else aside though… was Bischoff in on the Wolfpac’s run-in on Foley? Was he in on it with them even though he dressed them down in the ring? Was Hogan in on it? Did they EVER resolve this? Were any of these questions EVER answered, or did they honestly just plod along until their next master plan, the Immortal stable? Did Foley ever get back on these guys? I’m asking because I legitimately don’t think the questions were ever answered, but I guess it’s possible that I forgot what happened too.

Regardless, I know that the Wolfpac / Hogan / Bischoff / Foley thing was never resolved. At all. Hall and X-Pac were not long for TNA, and neither was Foley, so the story was dropped. You know what I really want to know, though? What was the ORIGINAL plan? What were they GONNA do if it all worked out how they planned? Was their plan ACTUALLY to have Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, X-Pac and Mick Foley in a TNA ring, main-eventing… in 2010?

 

Anyway, onto closing thoughts.

SCOTT KEITH: 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.

ANDREW WHEELER: TNA had a lot of momentum going into this show. They had Hulk Hogan as a lock and everyone from Paul Heyman to Steve Austin rumored to show up. Over the course of three hours, they broke out the return of Sting and Jeff Jarrett, the reformation of the nWo, the debut of Val Venis, Orlando Jordan, Jeff Hardy and Ric Flair, not to mention a Styles / Angle main event for the title. In the end, did it really change anything?

Instead of looking like a directionless company that might be gaining some momentum behind a true youth movement, it looks like TNA has regressed into a 21st Century WCW. The comparisons are endless, and none of them are positive. Fans supposedly wanted their wrestling back, but when they said that, that didn’t mean the Nasty Boys.

TNA had an opportunity to strike a blow against Vince McMahon. Sure, they could do a segment with Hulk to pop ratings and sell t-shirts, but this show should have been about establishing their premium talent. We should have seen an X-Division match that would have blown the doors off the arena. We should have seen Samoa Joe, Daniels and Beer Money demonstrate why they are big players in the industry. We should have seen Jeff Hardy’s debut amount to more than just a quick run-in and some backstage nonsense. We should have gotten some mileage out of seeing Ric Flair or Sting back on television.

TNA had their chance to legitimately change pro wrestling, but instead they regressed. Shame on anyone that thought they were going to do this right.

4 YEARS LATER… and I was right. This show is more relevant to TNA’s current situation now than it ever has been. The amount of debuts on the show are staggering, the amount of “young talent” that was just buried on this show is staggering, the amount of segments on this show is staggering, and more than anything, how many people who wrestled and were featured on this show who are no longer with TNA… are staggering.

The one thing that I think Wheeler and Scott are off on is that this show didn’t change TNA. I could not disagree with that statement more than I do. It did. Regardless of how you think they were doing before, I don’t see how any rational person could possibly believe this show was not a huge change for the worse.

 

Well.

This. Was. Exhausting.

For the record though, I had a FANTASTIC time going through this show. I knew it was nuts but I totally forgot just HOW MUCH stuff there was on here to be entertained by, especially looking back. So, once again, I’d like to thank Martin for making his pick a unique choice. Happy belated birthday, buddy. Hope it was worth the wait.

This has been “That Being Said”. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you when I see you.

I’ll be in my trailer.

BD

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