Thoughts on Impact Wrestling 8/25/2011
1. Second Verse, Same as the First
For those keeping track, this was essentially the same exact thing they did last week to close the show: Kurt Angle and Crimson talking. WWE kind of did the same thing with RAW this past Monday, too. Instead of CM Punk coming out to interrupt, we get Immortal (including the “fired” Gunner). It’s a bit of a step down to say the least. Luckily, Angle separates himself from Immortal in this segment. This is something that needed to be done a couple of weeks ago when he was justifying his latest heel turn. This wasn’t bad, just there. It did setup tonight’s main event, so it wasn’t completely pointless.
I think now is a good time to go over my issues with Bully Ray. I must preface this by saying this has nothing to do with the performer as he’s been in some good matches lately and his promos have been very good, besides the one he cut on Crimson a few weeks back. That was awful for ways largely overlooked, but I digress. I have an hard time really buying into the character, at least how it’s being portrayed. Ray has had all of his success come from the tag team he had with Devon. No, really. The only singles title he’s ever held was the WWE Hardcore Championship. That’s it. So, for him to have all of this clout, enough to get in multiple World Champion Ken Anderson’s face, is a tad much for me. It’s a bit of a leap, one that I can’t fully believe; later on down the line, sure, but not at this very moment. And no, it doesn’t matter where PWI ranks him. I don’t care what PWI thinks and neither should you.
2. Things Are Happening Backstage!
First, we have Jackie and ODB talking to Velvet Sky. Well, it’s Jackie doing the talking as ODB seems to want to smash Velvet (not like that…). Jackie says Velvet can trust them. Velvet, rightfully, isn’t so sure, but has to go along with it as they have a match next. Second, there’s a pair of combat boots walking around! They would show this several more times throughout the show. Why wouldn’t the camera just pan up? No, we just get some boots moving. Yeah, I don’t care, either.
Longer bit with Ric Flair apologizing to Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan for his actions last week (challenging Sting and whatnot). They don’t like it as they’re scared of Sting. This isn’t the same Sting that Flair’s wrestled before, you see. So, Hogan decides to smooth things over with Sting later on. He also wants Flair there, but makes Flair promise to keep his mouth shut. That’s just brilliant.
3. Jackie Moore, ODB, Velvet Sky d. Angelina Love, Rosita, Sarita
People give the Divas a lot of crap about their performances, but there’s one lady in this match that isn’t any better. Here’s an hint, she’s the one that the horny IWC boys have dirty fantasies about. If you’re thinking ODB, what the hell is wrong with you? We mostly get Velvet in the ring, going against the Mexican America girls, who refuse to tag in Angelina. That’s pretty funny. Once she tags herself in, the match naturally goes the way of the faces. Jackie and ODB teased turning on Velvet, but end up hitting a double suplex on Angelina then putting Velvet on top for the pinfall victory. Yes, the finish was a double team suplex to someone who basically just got into the match. What’s next, a surfboard submission win? Oh wait…
4. Kid Kash d. Jesse Sorensen
Sorensen comes out with a letterman jacket (with no letter) and a football. Taz explains to us that Sorensen played quarterback in high school in the state of Texas. I repeat: high school. So, Sorensen is that guy? I’ll be sure to cheer for him now! What a douche. Do they actually want this guy to get over or is this some sort of rib? Not a bad little match here. I like the path they’re taking with Kash being the grizzled veteran of the division. Kash wins with a rollup, but he pulls the tights for more leverage! What a jerk!
Post-match, Kash is talking to Christy Hemme (the 100K+ ring announcer and ringside interviewer; clearly money well spent) and calls Sorensen a “little prick.” Well, that’s uncalled for. Eventually, they have a pull apart.
5. BFG Series: Rob Van Damn d. The Pope D’Angelo Dinero
A freakin’ surfboard. Excuse me while I call upon the spirit of The Miz: really, TNA? Really? The match itself is pretty good. I really like The Pope and Van Dam is Van Dam. Take that as you will. I’ll just say that there’s a reason why his best matches have been with the likes of Bam Bam Bigelow, Eddie Guerrero, and Jerry Lynn. Still, a surfboard? I understand the point: RVD needed the extra points after Lynn cost him so many the previous couple of weeks, but is a surfboard really the best they could come up with?
Post-match, we have Samoa Joe in the ring! He attacks Dinero, putting a leglock on him. Slowly, but surely, Devon makes the save after some coaxing from his sons. I have no idea where that story is going and not in a good way.
6. Backstage Events Part Deux
I like how TNA lumps them together. It makes it so convenient to write about. First, we get Robbie E (sans Cookie who, along with her two enhanced friends, has been sadly released; seriously, I thought Becky did a pretty good job with the Cookie character) talking to Rob Terry. Little Robbie wants to save Big Robbie! How thoughtful. Terry yells Robbie he’ll think about it. Second, Immortal (Bully Ray, Scott Steiner, and Gunner) are talking about their upcoming match with AJ Styles and Beer Money. This is a funny segment. Ray and Steiner play off each other really well.
Third, the Mexican America girls confront Angelina about how she lost the match earlier tonight. They beat on her until Knockout Champion Winter makes the save for her friend Angelina. Dear TNA, in case you lost track, every person in this part is an heel. We don’t care about heel factions fighting one another. Lastly, Bischoff meets with Tracy Brooks again. They talk about meeting for cock…tails. Oh, I see what you did there. That’s really clever. The Knockout LAW thing will be decided upon next week. I can not wait.
7. But Ol’ Men Rivers, They Just Keep Rollin’ Along
Hogan and Flair come out next. Flair does the bowing, “we’re not worthy” thing to the Hulkster. He must really need the money because…damn. They bring out the Clown Prince of Wrestling. Hulk gives this almost dyslexic talk (no really, he keeps switching words around), wanting to put the issue at rest. Sting responds with his best, shall we say, stylist impersonation. Gay Jokes Matter! Flair jumps in, going nuts (for whatever reason) and saying words he probably shouldn’t be saying. Yes, kids, swearing is edgy. This causes Sting to channel Surfer Stinger for a minute. I kind of liked the time machine moment there, actually. So, it’s back on: Flair vs. Sting, then possibly (meaning it’s an 100% forgone conclusion) Hogan vs. Sting at Bound For Glory. Now, what could possibly go wrong with any of this?
8. One More Match, Oh Just One More Match
Why yes, that’s a Phil Collins reference which followed a Paul Robeson reference. I thank you. I ripped the Impact Zone last week, but this week they were well behaved. They gave this little talk a collective raspberry, but it pretty much deserved it. Christopher Daniels thinks it might be time to hang ‘em up, but wants to see if he can go with AJ Styles to make sure. He agrees for a match next week (as he’ll be busy at No Surrender in the BFG Series Finale, of course). Isn’t Daniels an actor of sorts? Why do I ask? Oh, no reason really. Ahem. Not exactly something to write home about, but I’m down for these two to have (yet) another match.
9. Falls Count Anywhere: Bully Ray, Gunner, and Scott Steiner d. AJ Styles and Beer Money
Was this for any BFG points? I’m always confused about that. Anyway, this was a very fun match with guys brawling all over the place. There isn’t all that much to say about it other than that. It was very good. Trust me as it’s not often I say something this promotion does is worth a damn, let alone “very good.” Bully gets the pin on AJ after the Bubba Bomb (or whatever he calls it now). That’s a finisher? Okay.
Post-match: Ken Anderson (who is shockingly the owner of the boots we’ve seen walking around all night) enters the Impact Zone in a Hummer. Try as he might, he’s no Steve Austin. After pushing around the lamest security guards in wrestling history (and that’s saying something), Anderson sends Steiner through a table and bloodies up Gunner while Bully Ray can only watch in horror.
Here’s my issue with all of this and it’s a simple one: Anderson was a tweener World Champion who turns heel and joins Immortal. Fine. A week after joining the stable, he loses the belt. What? Bully Ray keeps badgering him before eventually leaving him lying in a pool of blood. Sure, why not? My problem is this: why did you need Anderson to briefly turn heel and drop the belt to begin with? Excuse the armchair booking, but why not just have him reject Immortal, lose to Sting cleanly (since that’s what you wanted to do anyway). Then you can have Ray play his part and have Immortal beat up Anderson just as they would actually do. This would ultimately lead to the return of Mr. Austin Wannabe here. The idea of what they did is fine; it’s the execution that was lacking. But what do I know?
10. There’s Serious, Then There’s Dead Serious
Mickie James is next and she’s very upset at Winter. If you recall correctly, Winter used the RED MIST~! to defeat James at Hardcore Justice. She wants her revenge and a rematch for the Knockout Championship next week. Why not do this at the PPV? Wouldn’t that make more sense? Why yes, Chris, it sure would! And, for the record, I love the red mist, so that wasn’t me being sarcastic. Also, again, enough with the zooming, unfocused camera nonsense! She was standing still!
11. Television Championship: Eric Young (c) d. Scott Baio
So, this happened and it happened on a golf course. The less said about it, the better off we’ll all be. I still don’t see the point of any of this Eric Young stuff. At least they didn’t give Baio, a celebrity, the belt. I know someone made that mistake before, I just can’t remember who…Oh, it was this guy:
What a jackass.
12. Non-title: Crimson d. Kurt Angle
Wait, back to back good matches (not counting Young/Baio I, of course)? Is this real life? Indeed it is. He may have been in TNA for an awful long time, but he’s still Kurt Angle. Crimson did pretty well, too, though no one should no sell a German suplex. No one. Other than that complaint, no real negatives to this at all. Good TV match, thanks largely to Angle. Ending came with Crimson hitting D’Lo Brown’s Sky High powerbomb before Samoa Joe returns and attacks Crimson, giving the undefeated rookie the DQ win. Crimson fights back and Joe bails.
Backstage, Joe assaults Crimson again! He breaks a board over Crimson’s already damaged leg! Damn Gina! The show cuts out with Joe attacking the cameraman. I like Samoa Joe.
13. Final Thoughts
I might venture to say this was good; almost, at least. There was enough crap to weigh it down. Once the six man tag match got going, so did the show. I guess we can call it a good two match show. Unfortunately, that was only, roughly, a 4th of what was shown. My friend (Donnie, once again! *thumbs up*) made a very good point: even the good things they do, there’s very little context to them. There’s no flow and no build for anything I really consider to be good.
Austin Aries was nowhere to be seen on this show. What’s up with that? Aries and Samoa Joe (who they are building, I will admit) are the best things they have going right now. Shouldn’t they both be featured? I really shouldn’t have to ask questions like that. Unfortunately, as I’ve said before, that’s TNA for you.
All pictures and videos courtesy of TNA/Impact Wrestling, impactwrestling.com, TNAwrestling (youtube) or otherwise stated on individual media items; it is much appreciated.