Written by: Arnold Furious
March 15th 2009.
We’re in Orlando, Florida @ the Impact Zone. Hosts are Mike Tenay & a slightly heel-ish Don West.
The Beautiful People (Angelina Love/Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne) v Taylor Wilde/Roxxi/The Governor
Beautiful People have added a third member since the last PPV. The Governor is TNA’s resident Sarah Palin look-a-like, which is actually Daffney Unger in disguise. Daffney is at least a competent wrestler, which is a nice switch from where the Knockouts division has been headed. A ringside fan disagrees and has got a sign suggesting this entire match will make it into Botchamania 71. Harsh. Not that the match is any good and suffers from the usual women’s wrestling issues. Its too slow, its too soft and hardly anything looks convincing. Wilde & Love can attempt some more complicated spots, which rather sets them apart. Daffney diving creates a MOSH PIT at ringside. Brilliant! Wilde then picks off Madison for a German suplex and takes the duke. *1/4. Nothing was overly bad and there were no major fuck up’s. I also like that Beautiful People can’t seem to ever find a reliable third. Taylor pinned Madison on Impact too.
BACKSTAGE Interview Girl has Jarrett & Foley. She implies Jarrett won’t be impartial considering that he hates Angle. Foley says his job to stop the Main Event Mafia from interfering. Seems both guest officials dislike Kurt Angle, which is a weird set up because its like a reverse Austin-McMahon where all the authority figures are babyfaces and the biggest star in the company is a heel. I bet that’s Russo’s doing.
Brutus Magnus v Eric Young
Brutus had another open challenge and Young has been working on a rep as a giant killer for all of a week. This goes BADLY. Botches. Re-done spots. Magnus losing his way and resorting to boring nerveholds. Its all here! The aim is to make sure people know Magnus is a star by having him kick out of EY’s Death Valley Driver but he doesn’t dominate Young like he did Sabin. So already the lustre is coming off his push and he’s not in a fucking feud yet! Magnus debuts a needless Tormentum off the ropes for the win. ½*. The less said the better.
Tenay & West run through the card like those first two matches weren’t really part of the show. I wouldn’t have paid money to see them either fellas.
PROMO TIME – Sheik Abdul Bashir. Continuing the theme of ‘stuff I wouldn’t pay to see’ here’s an in-ring promo from a guy who’s not talented enough to be on PPV. He plays the racism card blaming America’s prejudice for his failure to get anywhere. Jim Cornette comes out to respond on behalf of the United States. Cornette says it is prejudice because no one likes Bashir but not because he’s an Arab but because he’s an asshole. That doesn’t sound long but this segment ran 8 minutes and achieved absolutely nothing.
BACKSTAGE The Main Event Mafia have a meeting where Angle blames everyone but himself for the main event predicament. What is wrong with TNA? Sting is barely even heel anymore and Angle hates his team mates. Where the hell is Joe’s redemption? Facing Steiner!?! Why can’t they just keep the MEM together until there’s a little pressure on them as a unit. There’s nothing so far! Why can’t they just let this angle run its course? Its so frustrating. People keep putting up with this shit because of a perceived end to it. Yanno, that all this is leading to something good.
10,000 Thumbtack match – Matt Morgan v Abyss
The loser is the one who gets thrown onto a bed of thumbtacks they’ve got set up. Not by the more conventional (and sensible) pinfall because that might create a serviceable match and why the fuck would TNA do that on PPV? Morgan lost their first big match but he was injured. Morgan is dumb enough to attempt a pin in this, which shows you how bright he is. In fact they needn’t even fight in the ring. There’s no count outs and no DQ’s. You only win by tacks. So take advantage of those stipulations. Instead they just slowly plod through some offence and considering this was supposed to be the match that really got the PPV going its actually sending the crowd to sleep. Morgan gets some BONUS tacks and they tease a smaller in-ring tack based incident, which blatantly will never happen unless TNA is in the mood to totally screw the fans. It doesn’t help that Morgan positioned his pile of tacks under the ropes so you can’t do any spots on it. Abyss stands around waving his bag of tacks like an idiot and gets hit with the Carbon Footprint. No pins though so instead of a tense near fall we get…nothing. Morgan finally figures out he can use a chair so Abyss kicks him in the balls. Hey, these rules suit Abyss but it wasn’t until Morgan tried to abuse them that he realised. Black Hole Slam. No pins so again, nothing happens. Abyss adds in broken glass to his thumbtack pile. Morgan takes a walk to avoid that but they end up fighting over the bed of tacks. Morgan goes low and hits the Carbon Footprint sending Abyss through the bed of tacks. And that’s the finish. *. Boring match with a total lack of interesting spots until the finish. Horrible bump for Abyss to take btw. It looked like crap but was probably incredibly painful. They could have used these guys more effectively in a regular no DQ match and had pinfalls to finish for a better ending.
BACKSTAGE Booker T complains that he never agreed to a Legend’s title match. There’s a great bit where Sharmell asks if Booker was coerced into signing it but Booker doesn’t know what coerced means so she’s nodding her head for him to say yes. Which is pretty tragic because up to this point that’s the highlight of the entire show. Cornette waves them away, match is still on.
Win a Night with ODB
And this shit makes it onto the PPV as well. Good work there TNA. The three finalists are trucker and mullet aficionado Cody Deaner, Shark Boy and mortgage broker Bernie Weber. I figured they’d have Shark Boy Vs Deaner and just have a match but instead its like a game show. I end up skipping over this until the Shark Boy part of the dance contest where he OWNS all with a combination of wrestling based dancing. Crowd happily chant “you got served”. SHELL YEAH! Deaner dedicates his dance to Dale Earnhardt and points out his mullet is not the longest part of his body. ODB naturally goes for penis size over shark-based gimmick. Deaner wins. I assume this will lead to an inevitable death feud between Shark Boy and Cody Deaner for ODB’s hand in marriage. Its all eerily reminiscent of Jamie Noble’s whole gimmick with Nidia. Which I guess is a good thing but they shouldn’t have wasted valuable PPV time on this bullshit.
BACKSTAGE Beer Money gets a promo where they say they don’t care about anyone but themselves and moan about a lack of respect. Some heels really don’t even listen to themselves when they’re talking do they?
Knockouts title – Awesome Kong (c) w/Raisha Saeed v Sojournor Bolt
Bolt was in the Kongtourage but when she won the title shot she was kicked out of the group and the Kongtourage is now finished, which is a good thing because if there’s one female on this roster that doesn’t need an entourage its Kong. Rhaka Khan went the same night and they’re both basically on the slippery slide to getting released. Much like the last time Sojo got a shot at Kong (as a planted fan called Josie) Sojo gets very little and deserves even less. Everything she attempts is no sold and Kong goes about her usual destruction. Sojo gets a period of babyface offence after Kong misses her splash off the ropes, which includes knocking Saeed over and low bridging Kong. The best she can hope for is a count-out realistically. The finish is tidy with Sojo going for a rana but Kong blocking it into the Awesomebomb. *1/2. Not bad considering it was just a squash. Better than the other women’s match on this card. The problem with Kong is creating an attractive contender for her. It’d be easy to go out and get another monster but no one wants to see that.
Samoa Joe v Scott Steiner
Joe’s taken it up a notch by threatening to kill Steiner with a knife leading up to this one (no really, this actually happened). I’m not sure that’s a good idea TNA. For starters; Joe is a weapon. He doesn’t need weapons. Joe’s new look is a shaved head, a tribal tattoo and 30lbs of extra fat. Joe destroys Steiner, KO’s him with a pipe shot and then knocks out two referees for the DQ. ¼*. Bad idea. Joe being nuts is fair enough but that doesn’t mean you run a 90 second match ahead of a DQ. You just don’t. Its not smart. This is the pay off for months of storyline regarding Joe? Actually the pay off is far worse than this but you have to wait until the super-retarded booking kicks in.
BACKSTAGE AJ says that he can’t let Team 3D fight their battles anymore and TNA Frontline has to step up and fight this battle for themselves.
Legends title – Booker T (c) w/Sharmell v AJ Styles
Did I ever mention how pointless I think the Legend’s title is? It’s a vanity belt that means nothing. As soon as AJ wins it here he should bin it and say it means nothing. To their credit this does feel like a big-ish match. And its about time something showed up on this PPV that was worth paying for. The initial story here is that AJ is too eager and Booker uses the rules of wrestling to his advantage. AJ does something that I’ve been begging someone to do to Booker for months. When Book runs through his plodding strikes AJ just grabs his leg and blocks it. Booker bails to sort his shit out and AJ nails him with the diving elbow smash off the apron! While AJ was too eager in the early going he’s so determined that Booker can’t get away from him and get one of his usual breathers. None of Booker’s tricks are working here, which shows that AJ has it all scouted. Effectively Booker has to find something new if he wants to retain, which is how it should be. If you’ve got a good enough challenger you’ll have to raise your game or lose your belt. Already this has been far better than that stupid DQ finish on Joe-Steiner. This shows that AJ is too fast and too creative for Booker. He’s stuck in his ways and has been wrestling the same style of match for 10 years or more. He’s just not ready for the threat of the new generation. Booker does finally realise this as AJ goes to springboard and Booker manages to kick him out of the air. AND he uses the Spinneroonie to get back up so it actually fits into the match. Booker can’t get the axe kick though because AJ is too fast and counters right into the Pele Kick and a stunned Booker is then put down for 3 by the Styles Clash. ***. Last minute or so was five star territory. Probably the best singles match Booker had in his whole TNA run. AJ was just looking too good and Booker had to raise his game and while he did that and improved himself as a performer (turning the clock back to 1998 during the finish sequence) he still didn’t have what it took to beat AJ. Which is entirely the right booking decision. Holy fuck; a good match with good booking. Proof positive that TNA can’t fuck up an entire PPV. Sooner or later something must be good. You can’t keep talent down.
POST MATCH we get two more very important booking notes. Tenay stresses how important the win is (even if the title isn’t) and AJ goes to celebrate in the crowd showing how the Frontline represents the fans. While MEM represents the money.
BACKSTAGE Samoa Joe, covered in dirt and blood, says he’s taken down Steiner. Firstly; knife crime is very serious and secondly TNA is very stupid. You can’t book a babyface to go around stabbing people with a knife. People don’t mention it generally because no wrestling company that has mainstream appeal has been stupid enough to book an angle like this before. Imagine WWE trying to do this? Whoever pitches to Vince McMahon that John Cena should go and stab Randy Orton would be fired on the spot. Now while I don’t agree with anyone losing their job can’t Vince Russo find another career?
Tag titles – Beer Money (c) v Team 3D
If 3D lose whoever loses the fall is gone from TNA. Normally that’d be a gimme on the predictions but this is TNA. Like AJ in the previous match Beer Money are keen to show that they’re better. However while AJ was looking to win, Beer Money are looking to gloat about their superiority. West makes the sensible argument that Beer Money make people lose their temper, which gives them the upper hand. But 3D used to do that ALL THE FUCKING TIME so they don’t bite and instead start showing excellent team-work. However they also make the mistake of confusing offense with showboating and while the Waassuuuup headbutt is a trademark spot its not one you should really go for with the careers on the line. Also they work in the Beer Money gay sex spot for hijinx. Again, career on the line here Bubba. Perhaps being a little more serious might help sell the angle. Beer Money are smart about keeping Bubba isolated because neither of Team 3D has a singles finish that actually works. Case in point is the Bubbabomb, which gets 2. Also they do the 3D-B, which also doesn’t finish but why not just do the 3D instead? Storm runs in with a chair shot to stop the 3D from happening though and it’s a DQ, which is a lousy finish considering it was belts vs careers. *3/4. Deeply flawed. But wait…
Jim Cornette comes out to re-start the match with no DQ’s. And then Beer Money get themselves counted out intentionally. Crowd is looking up the aisle but there’s no Cornette. Maybe he’s fond of the count-out stipulation. Who knows. Idiotic finish. Nice work TNA. Oh, and the crowd chant “bullshit” to confirm its not just me. Even Don West is ticked that there’s no finish despite handing the belts to Beer Money as they left.
POST MATCH Team 3D gets all pissed off at Don West for handing the title belts to Beer Money. If there’s one thing I don’t need right now it’s a Don West heel turn. I know they want to bring Taz in and that’s cool but making West into a heel commentator (and a drunk, thanks TNA!) isn’t a good move.
Ultimate X/X title – Alex Shelley (c) v Consequences Creed v Chris Sabin v Jay Lethal v Suicide
MCMG are liable to co-operate and both of them said during backstage interviews that if they don’t win they want their tag partner to get the belt. Suicide has never wrestled a match in TNA before. Presumably because Kaz was injured when the angle began. The Guns own the start of this and Sabin even allows Shelley to climb. See, that’s way better than the cage match last year because someone is actually trying to win it. Crowd chants for “Fallen Angel” suggesting they believe he’s the man in the mask. Which he is. I guess you can only disguise your mannerisms so much. Sabin has Ultimate X experience so he is quicker on the ropes. As much as Daniels tries to change his style to be Suicide he has a few tells. Everyone moves differently. The Guns are in danger of overwhelming the match. Sabin taking out Lethal when Shelley is under pressure from him. Suicide shows his name isn’t just a gimmick as he picks Creed onto his shoulders and sentons off the apron onto the others. Creed goes up and hesitates as Lethal is in the ring. They’re tag partners but they’re not watching each other’s backs like MCMG are. But then Lethal decides to give Creed a boost but Sabin jumps off Shelley’s back to spear him down. Again the Guns teaming allows them to stop someone else getting the title. They run the Tower of Doom in the corner but Suicide grabs the ropes and escapes off the top. This match is effectively making good use of everyone, which puts it way above the X match they had for the World X Cup where at least two of the four participants were superfluous. They run a fun demi-finishers sequence where everyone takes a rough bump but nothing overly nasty. They’re really throwing stuff out there to keep the fans entertained. And MCMG are actually trying to win and so is everyone else! It’s a bit of a foreign concept in cruiser wrestling, sometimes, where winning comes second to showing off. Here there are so many guys that you have to keep hitting moves to keep the wires clear so you can get a run at the belt. But then three guys all end up on the ropes at the same time and SUICIDE DIVES OFF THE CORNER OF THE STRUCTURE TO KNOCK THEM ALL OFF!! Great spot and Suicide comes down with the title belt in his first match. ***1/2. Certainly a spot heavy but satisfying X division encounter. If Booker & AJ hadn’t put on a good match this would have been a show saving performance. However I can’t shake the feeling that I’ve seen this before and I’ve seen it done better. While I dig where the various participants were coming from and everyone looked good in the process it needed an X factor to get to that higher level.
BACKSTAGE Borash interviews Sting. He says he’s bringing his A-game and asks Angle to do likewise.
There are two major reasons why I hate this whole angle. 1. The Main Event Mafia self destructing after a few short months is akin to Nash & Hall or Nash & Hogan falling out just a few months into the New World Order storyline whereas in reality they kept that whole faction rolling strong for years and it kept making money. They’ve only just got Joe on his trail of revenge and the MEM are fighting each other. 2. Angle has been on a tear in TNA. An absolute tear. He slayed the monster Abyss, he got his win back over Jarrett in emphatic style and since losing to Samoa Joe he’s looked, by and large, unbeatable in singles competition. Now, almost overnight, he’s become a whiny insecure bitch who can’t even stay focused enough to beat a man he bested in the past. A man who is hurt and old. The only positive for me is that at least Sting’s actions sort of make sense. He feels he can be a better leader for the MEM and wants to be champion so he can set a good example. Not like Joe going around stabbing people.
TNA title – Sting (c) v Kurt Angle
Jeff Jarrett is the referee and Mick Foley is the special enforcer, which also rubs me up the wrong way because both of them hate Angle. He’s the heel people. You don’t stack the deck against the heel. Where is the conflict in that? Logically its crying out for a heel turn and the kind of thing Russo would pitch would surely be either Jarrett or Foley joining the Main Event Mafia. Crowd, bless them, are feeling this one and get some duelling chants on the go. For two ring veterans they sure don’t know what kind of match they want to have. Which is weird, frustrating and unacceptable. Angle eventually just gets sick of waiting for something to happen and starts popping off suplexes. Then something even more unusual happens; they start selling like they’re deep into a tiring match when there’s barely 5 minutes on the clock. And they’re having communication issues. Mistiming spots into the ropes and looking like they’re about to fall over each other. Did they not plan a match out here? Sting takes over for his bit, my interest piqued by a tasty powerbomb. Angle then tries to just do his usual match, a perfectly acceptable crutch that has gotten him out of a few corners. Hey, not just him. Ric Flair had the same match with hundreds of different wrestlers. So he does the Rolling Germans and the Angleslam and boy this crowd sure died huh? He even does the moonsault and can’t get the job done. Sting then hits his finish…for 2.
I just don’t understand this match. It’s a fucking mess. Jarrett gets bumped, and this is hilarious, by a clothesline. He’s unconscious. From a clothesline. Did the zebra shirt weaken him somehow? He’s a wrestler. He takes those bumps ALL THE FUCKING TIME. But this particular half-speed clothesline laid him clean out. Then Foley, joke that he is, jumps in there to check on Jarrett, who has suddenly become susceptible to laughable ref bumps and thus misses Angle tapping to the Deathlock. Way to go officiating team! A+++. What retard booked this? Seriously. Who thought this was a good idea and then what other fucking morons went along with it? And Jarrett is still down! If I didn’t know better I’d think it was a heel turn. Angle kicks Foley in the nuts to try and get some more people on his side and, get this, JARRETT IS STILL DOWN. From a clothesline. What a fucking pussy. Foley is back up from the nut shot and accidentally lays out Sting. This is hilarious. Who booked this shit? Its like a retarded 7 year old kid just said all the stuff he liked about wrestling and they put it all in this match one after another never stopping to ask if any of it made sense. JARRETT IS STILL DOWN. Angle should just clothesline Sting he’d kill him! Angle then punches Jarrett and HE COMPLETELY NO SELLS IT. HAHAHAHA. This is the worst match, ever. Scorpion Deathdrop mercifully ends this embarrassing clusterfuck. DUD. One of the most nonsensical, idiotic wrestling matches of the decade. Unintentionally hilarious and an embarrassment to TNA.
POST MATCH Angle blames Jarrett even though if he hadn’t stayed down for an eternity to sell the most mediocre of moves Angle would have lost by submission anyway. Not that TNA Angle makes any kind of sense because the writing for him changes based upon what they need to him to get a miracle out of this week.
Final Thoughts: Oh good grief; where to start? This might be the worst series of ideas ever put together into a 3 hour wrestling show. Shall we recap? Jeff Jarrett sells a clothesline for MINUTES and then as soon as he’s recovered from his horrible trauma totally no sells a punch that was aimed at him. The clothesline barely connected. That makes no sense. Jim Cornette comes out to re-start a match because of a DQ and then immediately allows it to end by count out. That makes no sense. Samoa Joe uses a knife to attack Scott Steiner, even though it wasn’t shown they sure showed the intent on Impact and on recaps on this show. Not only does that no make sense as Joe is already dangerous without lethal weapons but it’s an incredibly bad idea because of the potential for any fans watching imitating this. Booking Abyss & Morgan into a match where they can only do one bump. That’s just stupid. Booking the ODB dating game on PPV. Annoying. Letting Bashir cut an in-ring promo about not being on the PPV. The only positive comes from TNA finally giving one of Frontline a big win over the MEM with AJ Styles beating Booker T and that’s for a meaningless title. Combine that with the Ultimate X spotfest and you’re looking at two matches that were worth PPV money. Out of nine. And that’s just simply not good enough. Whenever I run TNA down to some of my friends who watch TNA they hardly ever defend it because they know that TNA do things like this, which makes it damn hard to be a fan of the company. They are, and always have been, their own worst enemy.