Thursday, April 23, 2009

TNA iMPACT! Review 4/23 (Promo Edition)

Coming off a usually successful (maybe - TNA's PPV buyrates are down 20%) annual PPV in "Lockdown," TNA's first iMPACT! had alot to deliver. Did they? I really don't think so. I heard mixed reviews for "Lockdown" (I wasn't able to watch). Some loved it, some hated it, but one thing's for sure, people were talking about it which I think is all TNA asks. The big stink, make that a sweatpants stink, after the PPV was the fact that Mick Foley was the NEW TNA Champion. I for one didn't mind that too much (pre tonight's iMPACT!), but now, I really want this belt on someone else, anyone else! Let's get to the show, shall we?

iMPACT! opened up with the founder, Jeff Jarrett coming into the ring to introduce Mick Foley as the new TNA Champion, and to hand him his new belt. Mick then came down to the ring in an amazing outfit that was classic Mick. Foley was wearing a suit jacket, black shirt underneath, and sweatpants (could've been dress pants, but I was watching in SD b/c we don't get Spike in Canada in HD). Classy Mick, classy. Before any of you get on me for knocking Mick's style choice, or say "he always wears stuff like that, wake up," I KNOW THIS. That doesn't excuse the fact that he needs to be a bit more presentable on TV. It worked when he was a mid-carder, but if he's the flagship (champion), he needs to lead by example.

Foley thanks a few people for the victory, the cameraman "Dirk," and Sting who he said would probably be missing from action for a few weeks. To his credit, Mick was doing a fantastic job hamming it up in front of the camera like he always does "right here, in Orlando, Florida!" His face was jacked, as he claimed numerous times throughout the show (annoyingly) that he had 25 stitches put into him!

Jarrett, not amused, didn't hesitate to book a title defense at TNA's next PPV "Sacrifice" in a 4-way match against 3 other opponents of Jarrett's choice. The gimmick? Since the PPV is called "Sacrifice," appropriately, Jarrett would be choosing the 3 opponents based on what they're willing to "sacrifice" for an opportunity at the TNA championship. Mick wasn't too happy about the decision, and then said that they were business partners and that since he booked him, he (Mick) was going to book Jarrett tonight in a match against Scott Steiner.

blah blah blah, blah blah blah. Honestly, this promo lasted 15 minutes. I was tired of it. It seriously seemed forced, and it was evident that the two were trying to take up time because they'd repeat, and repeat again as if the folks in attendance, and us watching at home, didn't understand it the first time. We got the stipulations, we understand what's going on. I think the talent is partially to blame for the stigma put on wrestling fans that we're dumb. If you treat us like we're dumb, outsiders have ammo.

One more thing about this promo. Foley called the match he booked between Jarrett and Steiner a "Cactus Jack Smack Attack." BARF

"sandwich break" - Beautiful People promo

In yet another promo, West interviewed Team 3D after their recent win on "Lockdown." Team 3D took the opportunity to slam the WWE for the lack of focus on tag team competition (which I agree with) and announced that they were going to put on a tag team tournament for a shot at their titles and to bring a greater emphasis on tag team competition in TNA. They named the tournament the "Team 3D Tag Team Invitational Tournament."

Beer Money Inc. vs. Lethal Consequences (Quarterfinal match in the T3DTTIT)

My god! Even the acronym for the tournament is huge. This was the first of two quarterfinal matches in the tournament. They both were the best matches of the night. I really like the tag teams in TNA. Beer Money Inc. used great teamwork, and worked the ring well while Lethal Consequences mixed in their high energy, aerial maneuvers. Beer Money won the match with their devastating finisher (DWI - greatest finisher name ever). If you want to watch tag team wrestling, watch TNA!

Guess what happened next? You're right, another promo. This time MEM was up. They were interviewed to get their thoughts on the announced match between Steiner and Jarrett. Angle began talking, but Scott cut him off. Let's get one thing straight. Scott Steiner is a LEGEND on the mic. He called Jarrett a "sorry son of a bitch" that drew awkward looks from Angle and the rest of the crew. You never know what you're going to get with Steiner, which is why he's great.

Right after the MEM promo came ANOTHER promo. This time with Jarrett. You know what? I'm not using anymore space in this review to talk about promos. Why you ask? Because there were 12 of them. TWELVE! There were only 6 matches on the card tonight, yet 12 promos. Yes, things happened during those promos, so I'll give you a quick rundown to save sanity.

Jarrett promo - unsuccessful because of Eric Young interrupting

Mick Foley promo - "CROSS THE LINE CAM" was the worst waste of time I've ever witnessed. He went around his hometown flashing his TNA championship belt as if he were a god.

Kevin Nash and Booker T promo - their "sandwich breaks" (Sharmell and Jenna) got into a cat fight.

Jeff Jarrett promo - unsuccessful because a call came in about his daughter and school

1 HOUR MARK = 1 match, 9 promos

Kevin Nash vs. AJ Styles (TNA Legends Championship on the line)

Kevin Nash came out with an enormous hockey elbow pad over his right elbow (interesting). I was hoping he'd use it as a weapon Cowboy Bob Orton style... but he didn't. The match was going pretty well. Styles can get up! He has serious hops that make you believe he can actually compete with a guy like Nash. Unfortunately, the match ended in a DQ because Sharmell and Booker T came down to the ring. Sharmell tried to distract the ref while Booker T interfered, but the ref out of the corner of his eye caught Booker T (which the camera work displayed beautifully) and DQ'd Nash. This sparked a heated confrontation backstage between the two MEM members.

No Limit vs. Jethro Holliday and Eric Young (Quarterfinal match in the T3DTTIT)

I was actually pumped to see old Trevor Murdoch himself only with a new name, "Jethro Holliday" (same thing I guess). This match was a fantastic one that was similar to the previous tag match to open the show. Holliday can wrestle guys. He has great ring presence, and is very detailed in his craft. I think people recognized this about him while he was in the WWE. Holliday and Young scored the win, which helps push Eric Young a bit.

AJ Styles promo - Out comes "Umaga" Joe with a towel over his head (Taz(z) hint). In short, he tells Styles that he has no friends. :(

Dr. Stevie Richards promo - Abyss was Richards's guest on his couch. Wrestlecrap, but entertaining had there not been 2317390 promos already.

Chris Daniels promo - Daniels talks about being humbled while he was "fired" from TNA. He said that he couldn't stand watching the MEM, but his wife told him that he was exactly like that. I know Daniels is a talent, but what was said during this promo was quite possibly the dumbest thing ever. TNA, you have to push your guys for sure, but to say that Daniels is close to being in the same breath as Bret Hart from a technical perspective is ridiculous.

Another Mick Foley "CROSS THE LINE" promo

Jeff Jarrett vs. Scott Steiner ("Cactus Jack Smack Attack" no DQ match)

I'm only a fan of "hardcore" matches when there's two extremely athletic guys in the ring (like the Hardy's). But when there's a lumbering Steiner vs. Jeff Jarrett who has no business being in a hardcore match, it's a shitty way to end an evening. There was hardly any wrestling in this, but rather different ways to use the various weapons around the arena. Mick Foley supposedly "chose" the weapons that would be used in this match, and in typical sweatpants fashion, one of them was a pogo stick. Yes, a pogo stick. Steiner got on said pogo stick and hopped up and down a few times like an idiot to give Jarrett a bit of time to clothesline him. It was hilarious to watch what happened with the pogo stick, but c'mon TNA, you're better than that.

Another hilarious moment happened when Steiner took the lid of a trash can and hit Jarrett over the head with it. Jarrett didn't take the bump well. Instead, he moved his head down which led to Steiner not even connecting with Jarrett. It looked pretty awkward.

Jarrett won the match (of course).

After the match, MEM stormed the ring and they beat on Jarrett. Foley, who was doing color, ran in and hit Angle with a chair. He then hit Jarrett with a chair. The announce team then said that they were going to cut to a commercial break, but afterwards they'd hear Foley's thoughts on why he got involved.

After the break I think TNA forgot what they just said. Instead of Foley's thoughts, Jarrett was on the mic saying that Foley just made things personal.

Music hit, and Bobby Lashley came and just stood at the top of the ramp glaring at Jarrett while Angle smirked. Didn't Lashley do this very same thing at "Lockdown?" Instead it was iMPACT!, and the show ended.

Overall, besides the tag matches, the show was pretty disappointing. Not enough wrestling, too many promos, and a poor hardcore match to end the evening. I'm not giving TNA too much faith this week in winning the promotional TV show battle, but you guys get to vote (starting tomorrow) too, so maybe I'm just a jackass and wrong...

What did you think of tonight's TNA iMPACT!?

Random Notes:

- TNA does a fantastic job with interviews. They have someone interviewing them which leads to the wrestlers talking to the crowd and not to themselves.

- "peanut butter and jealousy sandwich" guess who said that? You're right, Foley.

- TNA wrestlers do a better job than WWE wrestlers in playing to the crowd. They appear to draw energy from them and acknowledge them which I think has been lost from the WWE for a while.

- During one of the "sandwich breaks," a plastic ladder was used.

- Does AJ Styles look a little like Jamie Noble?

- When No Limit came down to the ring, a fan in mic range yelled "USA-USA!" Thanks Toby Keith!

- Chris Daniels wore sunglasses in the promo which made him look like Paul Ellering.

- Have you seen TNA's promo for their "Sacrifice" PPV? What's with AJ Styles dressed as Marcus Phoenix in Gears of War?

- I know it's been talked about ad nauseum, but I can't help but think of the old Scott Steiner whenever I see him.

- Take a page from TNA WWE. Cut to a commercial during a match as few times as possible (TNA did it once tonight).

1 comment:

  1. Oh Scott Steiner, he's like the Rosie O'Donnell of pro wrestling. You're never quite sure what they're going to say on television, but you can rest assured it will be crazy.