credit: PW Torch
June 9, 2011
[Q1] This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling show opened with a video recap of last week’s show-long storyline of Eric Bischoff thinking he was fired before it was revealed Mick Foley was fired. Cue up the opening video package.
Impact Zone: On cue, Hulk Hogan’s theme music hit to bring out Hogan and Eric Bischoff in a good mood. Mike Tenay said they thought last week Bischoff was gone, but Foley was fired instead. In the ring, Hogan welcomed everyone to the show. He said the rules are the same and the only things that have changed are the names. Hogan said The Network has realized they don’t need a stooge or a watchdog looking over their shoulders. He said the former Network rep had a selfish agenda. Now, The Network has 100 percent confidence in them.
Bischoff spoke next that The Network saw through Foley, but they like that wrestling matters. Some cheers were comedically piped in as Bischoff paused. Bischoff said The Network also likes the X Division, so they will continue to present the X Division with a fair & balanced approach. Bischoff turned his attention to the World Title match and called out both Sting and Mr. Anderson to meet them in the ring.
Out came Mr. Anderson first dressed as a normal human being. Taz said he almost didn’t recognize Anderson not dressed at old-school Sting. With Anderson in the ring, Sting’s music hit to bring out the TNA World champion. With everyone in the ring, Hogan thanked both of them for coming out here. Hogan talked about the re-branding and repeated the slogan some more. He said he wants to make something perfectly clear: they don’t want to go through what they went through with The Network all over again. Hogan gave his word. So, come Slammiversary, he promised The Network there will be a winner and a loser. No tricks, no gimmicks, no agendas, no run-ins, etc. Hogan said if they have a problem, he suggest they speak now.
Anderson raised his hand and the boos were piped in. Anderson turned toward Sting and sarcastically noted he’s not sure if Sting’s aware of him mocking him and making a joke out of him lately. More piped-in boos. Anderson said everything that Sting stands for is a joke. He said at least he’s a-hole-enough to admit he’s in it for himself only. Anderson said on Sunday, he’s going to get his hand raised and become new TNA World champion. More piped-in boos. Just not even hiding it this week.
Sting talked next. He said he’s going to have something to say about that. Sting said the problem with Anderson’s claim is Sting won’t lose. He said the TNA Title is the only thing standing between Bischoff & Hogan making a mockery out of TNA. Sting vowed to make a big difference in TNA and said he’s not leaving “this place.” He said either Hulk & Bischoff keep going down the path they’re going down or – this would be his choice – the real Hulk Hogan stands up again. Sting said Hogan slapped the fans all in the face, so perhaps he should slap Hogan across the face and knock him back into reality.
Sting turned to who he called the real infection in TNA – Bischoff. He got in Bischoff’s face and told Hogan to take out the scalpel and cut the cancer from TNA before it’s too late. Sting told Hogan he has a choice. Sting’s music hit, Hogan shook his head not buying Sting, and Bischoff sold some concern as Sting left the ring. Tenay said it’s clear Sting’s focus is still stuck on Hogan & Bischoff when he has a title defense coming up on Sunday.
Still to come: Mickie & Tara vs. Angelina & Winter.
[Commercial Break split into Q2]
1 — Knockouts champion MICKIE JAMES & TARA vs. ANGELINA LOVE & WINTER
The match built to a face-to-zombie exchange between Mickie and Angelina to promote their Knockouts Title match at the PPV. The heels eventually isolated Mickie, who made a comeback. Madison Rayne then showed up ringside to distract her old friend, Tara, and her former foe, Mickie, which allowed Angelina to pick up a win. Winter told Angelina to break Mickie and Angelina added a final insult to injury ahead of their KO Title match on Sunday.
WINNERS: Angelina & Winter at 4:26. Basic continuation of the build-up for the PPV.
Backstage: Robert Roode, James Storm, and Alex Shelley were shown in the locker room talking strategy. Roode expressed concern over Shelley and Storm’s teamwork; Storm told him the Tag Titles will be right here when he’s healthy again.
Still to come: Bully Ray with an open challenge. Plus, the bar fight angle between Samoa Joe and Crimson.
[Q3] Backstage: The roving camera caught up to Hernandez, who was complaining about being given nothing in TNA. Anarquia noted Sarita & Rosita have Knockouts Tag Titles and it’s only a matter of time before they get tag title gold.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz forced a voiced-over conversation about Big Brother watching every move people make, leading to the “recorded via cell phone” footage of Samoa Joe and Crimson working a bar fight angle to promote their PPV match. Plenty of bleeps here.
Backstage: “Hey, Jeff! Jeff! Hey, Jeff!” the roving cameraman shouted at Jeff Jarrett as he walked into the building. Jeff had nothing to say about Karen Jarrett’s condition from last week.
Still to come: Anderson & Gunner vs. Sting & Eric Young. The graphic for Young made him look like one of the Bushwackers. Exactly what you want your TNA World champion to be associated with ahead of a PPV title defense.
Impact Zone: British Invasion was at the announce position ahead of the next tag match to comment on their opponents at the PPV. Nice to see the #1 contenders to the Tag Titles getting TV time, although it would have been nice to see British Invasion actually get match time to indicate why they should be challenging for the Tag Titles. In any event, Mexican America came out first, followed by James Storm & Alex Shelley. Before the match started, Taz asked Magnus the big question of what they did to deserve the title shot. Magnus, like a great heel, completely avoided the question.
2 — ALEX SHELLEY & TNA tag champion JAMES STORM (w/Robert Roode) vs. MEXICAN AMERICA (HERNANDEZ & ANARQUIA w/Rosita and Sarita)
The bell sounded and the match seemed to jump ahead in the match with Shelley and Storm trading tags working on Anarquia. Hernandez then crotched Shelley behind the ref’s back and Magnus said that’s an example of the tag champs not having continuity. He called them “two selfish pricks.” Taz quipped back you can’t say selfish on the air. MA began working over Shelley, then Hernandez randomly climbed up top and airballed a splash. Storm then hot-tagged into the match and back-dropped Anarquia to the mat.
The action broke down moments later and Storm clotheslined Hernandez over the top rope. Shelley then went flying through Storm’s legs with a suicide dive ringside. Storm then had a pin on Anarquia, but R&S distracted the referee. Storm responded by spewing beer in R&S’s faces. Shelley then went for a superkick on Anarquia, but he ducked and Storm ate the kick. Anarquia made the pin for the win, drawing concern from Roode ringside. Afterward, Shelley tried to explain himself as Beer Money tried to act cool.
WINNERS: Mexican America at 4:29. A last-second desperation attempt to make it seem like the Tag Titles are in jeopardy against British Invasion, who haven’t been on TV in weeks. Magnus was solid on commentary to assist in the endeavor.
Locker room: Gunner walked into Mr. Anderson’s locker room to talk about their tag match later tonight. Anderson told Gunner to be careful about riding his coattails. He said this deal with EY is entertaining and funny at times, but it’s all about hurting Sting tonight. Anderson told Gunner to possibly, maybe, kinda help him in that area. Gunner said he likes to hurt people. Anderson said that’s good because he can be your best friend or the biggest a-hole you’ve ever met in your life. Gunner noted he’s aware of that. Knuckle up.
[Q4] Backstage: Kurt Angle was shown wandering around backstage. Their final confrontation is tonight on Impact.
Backstage: Mexican America walked into Hulk Hogan’s office looking for an explanation on why they don’t have a Tag Title shot. Is it because…oh, I don’t know…we’re Mexican? Hogan told “punk” Anarquia to be careful telling him how to run his company and coming real close to calling him a racist. Hogan vowed to turn himself into the real-rife Terminator and have his way with their ladies. So, he’s a womanizer, not a racist. Anarquia told “ese Hogan” to be careful. They walked off with Hogan staring them down.
Video package: Angle and Jarrett had dueling voice-overs promoting their match at Slammiversary with Karen Jarrett in the middle of the feud. Back in the Impact Zone, they showed Angle and Jarrett in a split-screen ahead of their confrontation up next.
Impact Zone: Jeff Jarrett’s music played back from break and Jarrett walked out ready to make talking matter. Kurt Angle was also ready to make talking matter, joining Jarrett in the ring right at the top of the second hour.
[Q5 — second hour] Jarrett said this isn’t going to be about them going back-and-forth, but Angle is going to listen to every word he has to say tonight. Jarrett said Karen is gone. And she will not be at Slammiversary. Jarrett said he’s not going to lie that Karen has been her rock and he’s leaned on him to have the advantage over Angle the past six months. Jarrett continued to give the reverse psychology PPV sales pitch saying he’s been thinking to himself for seven days what will happen when Angle gets him one-on-one in the middle of the ring on Sunday. Jarrett said he knows one thing: Angle is the best in-ring performer this business has ever produced. (More of that empty verbiage ignoring wins & losses as the centerpiece of what the product should be about in order to draw money. Imagine in the middle of CSI: Miami, a character says, “Horatio Caine, you’re the single-greatest lead character in the history of crime dramas!”) Jarrett continued that he thought he was close to Angle when he helped bring Angle to TNA, but then Angle turned his back on him and tried to erase him from TNA’s history. So, Jarrett decided to become a greater wrestler than even Kurt. He said he’s embarrassed Angle every step of the way, so it all comes down to Angle’s Olympic gold medal. “Kurt, it’s the only thing you have left and, by God, I won’t sleep until I own it.” Jarrett told Angle that Sunday night at Slammiversary, senior official Earl Hebner will raise his hand in victory and Angle will know that Jeff was, is, and always will be the better man.
“Are you done?” Angle responded. Angle thanked Jeff for doing the one thing no one else has ever been able to do: take Karen out of his life for good. Jeff turned his back to sell annoyance. Kurt said all he ever wanted was one-on-one in the ring. He said he’s not happy about Karen’s injury, but that’s on Jeff’s hands. Kurt said he’s going to let his wrestling do the talking at the PPV, then Jeff will see how real this really is. Tenay stressed it’s one-on-one, no one else, this Sunday.
Backstage: They cut back to ODB throwing out b-bombs about Velvet Sky. They have a match later in the show. … Still to come: Bully Ray’s Open Challenge.
Backstage: Kazarian was shown holding Abyss’s Janice weapon board. Brian Kendrick walked into the shot acting high. Kendrick suggested they go ask Abyss their questions about why he’s nuts.
Impact Zone: Bully Ray hit the ring and started yelling at Christy Hemme for no reason. Ray started yelling and screaming about facing A.J. Styles in three days. He said even a redneck like Styles can understand “Last Man…Standing.” He said if this is “Last Boy,” maybe Styles would have a shot. Ray threw out the Open Challenge to anyone in the back for a warm-up match. Well, except for Devon. Rob Van Dam’s theme music accepted the open challenge, then RVD emerged from backstage acting too-cool-for-school. RVD leisurely made his way to the ring as Ray paced around in the ring.
3 — ROB VAN DAM vs. BULLY RAY
The bell sounded and RVD went to the turnbuckles looking to pose for the crowd. Ray took advantage of RVD acting cocky and yanked him down to the mat. Ray blasted RVD with chops and hard slaps as Tenay plugged ODB vs. Sky still to come tonight.
Suddenly, A.J. Styles was shown standing in the Impact Zone watching the match. It took a while for the audience to recognize him. Ray didn’t see him in the stands and continued to stalk RVD. Ray eventually spotted Styles in the stands and asked if he was trying to get in his head. Meanwhile, RVD was selling forever on the other side of the ring. Ray then scooped up RVD for a piledriver, but RVD back-dropped Ray and landed a springboard back kick. RVD quickly went up top and landed a Five-Star Frogsplash. RVD with the cover for the win. Tenay said he thinks Styles did get in Ray’s head ahead of their match on Sunday.
WINNER: RVD at 3:25. RVD and Tough Enough Andy are in the running for worst babyface in wrestling right now. Fine set-up for Ray vs. Styles at the PPV, although they missed out on a video package or basic recap of why exactly Styles is so upset with Ray to hammer home that point.
Backstage: Velvet Sky quickly talked about ODB’s “character.” She also referenced her “tits” uncensored before mocking ODB’s crotch/chest-grabbing. That was the lewdest ten seconds I can remember on TNA programming, which covers a lot of ground. I really wonder about the people who write these segments where the female characters are inevitably turned into sexual objects.
Video package: TNA aired a Sky News story on Angle in the U.K. last week promoting his 2012 London Olympics aspirations.
Backstage: Kendrick and Kazarian went looking for Abyss, then freaked out when they found him. Abyss told them he’s just sitting around reading Art of War. He said he sees Janice in Kazarian’s possession. Abyss said he no longer needs Janice because he has this (the X Division Title) and this (his mind). Abyss re-named the title the Xtreme Title. He said there’s nothing left to fight over, but it’ll be a three-way at the PPV. Abyss walked off, then Kazarian said Abyss is an idiot for booking himself in a three-way with them. Kendrick said he doesn’t get it because if they can’t get back the X Title, they have no purpose anymore.
Announcers: Tenay and Taz broke down the PPV line-up on Sunday including Steiner vs. Morgan, Joe vs. Crimson, Mickie vs. Love for the KO Title, Gun Money vs. British Invasion for the Tag Titles, Bully Ray vs. A.J. Styles, Jarrett vs. Angle #1 contender, and Sting vs. Anderson for the TNA Title.
Impact Zone: Hemme announced a Knockouts match up next. ODB walked out from a side entrance with no theme music. Tenay noted she’s not officially under contract, then Velvet Sky jumped her from behind. They brawled ringside and Velvet began selling a knee injury.
4 — ODB vs. VELVET SKY
ODB scored a nearfall five seconds into the match, then went to work on Velvet. ODB threw out “skanky b—-” as she tried to choke out Velvet in the ring. Velvet mounted a comeback, but ODB ran her back-first into the ringpost on the floor. More vulgarity from ODB, then she got too cocky on offense, allowing Velvet to hit a DDT for the surprise win.
WINNER: Velvet Sky at 5:10. A double-dose of lewdness this week.
Backstage: Eric Young, sporting meaningless belts around his waist, suggested to Sting they merge the belts. Young kept talking gibberish, then Sting shoved him down to a seated position to tell him Anderson and Gunner are out to hurt him. Sting told Young to set aside the comedy for one night and be the competitor because he needs him tonight. Sting yanked back his TNA Title belt and they cut away to the graphic showing Young looking like Bushwacker Luke.
Xplosion clip: TNA briefly showed footage of Brother Devon and The Pope having issues on Xplosion. Earlier today: Devon said he doesn’t appreciate Pope involving his wife and kids in their issue. Devon guaranteed to take care of whatever issue Pope has with him.
Impact Zone: Gunner, with his Dean Malenko trunks, came out first for the main event. The announcers played up like a babyface despite his association with Immortal. Mr. Anderson was out next with a cocky smile on his face selling confidence in his chances of hurting Sting tonight. Sting’s music then played to bring out Sting and EY together. Sting gave EY some instructions before they hit the ring. JB then handled the formal ring intros for the tag team main event.
5 — TNA World Hvt. champion STING & TV champion ERIC YOUNG vs. MR. ANDERSON & GUNNER
Sting and Anderson were set to start things off, then Anderson did the old heel bit teasing a lock-up before tagging out to Gunner. The heels eventually took advantage of the numbers game to corner Sting, which brought Anderson into the match to work over Sting. The heels worked over Sting for a bit before EY tagged in and came in hot. Young dropped a top-rope elbow on Gunner, but turned his back on Anderson. Young faked the green mist, causing Anderson to duck, then Young popped Anderson with a dropkick.
Young started celebrating too soon and Gunner bumped Young into Sting. It counted as a legal tag, bringing Sting into the ring to take Gunner’s TKO-like finisher. Gunner with the pin on Sting for the win. Didn’t Gunner get the memo the mission was to hurt Sting, not win a silly wrestling match? The announcers sold the decision as the biggest of Gunner’s career. Sting, unhurt, got to his feet and shoved down Young, who was back to a comedian celebrating as if his team won. Tenay said they would have reactions next.
WINNERS: Anderson & Gunner at 4:56. Yes, Gunner pinned the World champ ahead of a TNA Title match on Sunday. Doing the math, Gunner should be the champ – Young pinned #1 contender Anderson last week, Gunner pinned World champ Sting this week, and Gunner is the only one without a loss?
Parking garage: Sting was shown blasting through a side door looking for Eric Young. Sting told Young to stop being comedy relief. Young said he thought he tagged in Sting, who was supposed to solve everything. Sting just kept walking.
Somewhere else: Styles repeated his balloon-bully analogy. Ray then walked up to Styles screaming at him. The agents got their cameo stepping in to separate Ray and Styles. Kazarian joined the party holding back Styles, who told Ray he’s just scared.
Locker room: Sting was shown looking for Anderson, who was in the parking garage area. Anderson said he can’t believe Gunner just pinned Sting. Sting found Anderson and chased him into a trailer. Anderson tried sneak-attacking Sting, who rammed Anderson into various pieces of furniture. Sting asked Anderson if he wants to mock him now. Sting then pulled out a tube of red paint and smeared across his face a la The Joker. Sting then covered Anderson’s face in red paint. He tried breaking his neck, then locked in a sleeperhold. Anderson sold the life being choked out of him as Sting maintained the sleeper. The credits came on as Sting whoo’ed. End show.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.