Last night’s Impact was billed as a “Night of Reveals,” and to an extent, it was. I say this because in today’s internet age, it’s not possible to “reveal” anything on a pre-taped show. If there was ever an Impact that inherently begged for a live broadcast, it was last night’s. The identities of Kurt Angle’s mistress, the Network, and Matt Hardy’s partner were all floating on the internet over a week ago, and TNA suffered for it. But I digress…
Most of Impact’s newsworthy content transpired in one segment. With Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff in the ring demanding to know who the Network’s inside man was, Mick Foley’s music blasted and he made his way into the Impact Zone. Foley cut an OK-for-Foley, great-for-anybody-else promo on the destruction that Hogan & Easy E have brought to the company and vowed that, as a network executive, he would restore order. He then rebranded TNA as simply “Impact Wrestling on Spike TV,” since it’s “all about the wrestling.” And since it’s all about the wrestling, the main event was made to be a 25-man battle royal for the #1 contendership to the World Title. Hmm. Don’t get me wrong, I love me a battle royal, but it just seems like the last match type in the book that emphasizes “wrestling.”
In addition to announcing the main event, Foley introduced Kurt Angle’s mistress, who will be teaming with Kurt at Sacrifice in a mixed tag team match against Jeff & Karen Jarrett. Enter Chyna. Yes, Chyna. Eddie Guerrero’s mamacita. Star of VH1’s Surreal Life and the earth-ruining One Night in Chyna. Chyna who dressed as a peacock at WrestleMania. She looks considerably less like a man now, although she’s still plenty manly, and will be wrestling alongside Kurt Angle at Sacrifice. Unless TNA, excuse me, Impact references her co-ownership of the Intercontinental Title with Jeff Jarrett years ago (which they certainly won’t), I don’t understand why she’s Kurt’s mistress. The crowd went absolutely nuts for her though, so maybe I’m the minority on this one. Alas. The rest of Impact, including Matt Hardy’s mystery parter, a massive battle royal, and the need to make Miss Tessmacher a full-time main event player, after the jump.
- The main event battle royal was about as good as any, I suppose. It’s tough to make a battle royal pop. The Royal Rumble is a little different, the way it’s structured lends itself to story telling, but a standard battle royal usually seems to be more about dudes holding onto the bottom rope over and over again. Mr. Anderson won, last eliminating Bully Ray. There were some noteworthy points, though. Matt Morgan was a man on fire, tossing guys over the top right out of the gate. He had a very impressive showing until he was eliminated by Scott Steiner, who Morgan helped to eliminate from the floor immediately afterwards. Both members of Ink Inc were the victims of SuperMex, Beer Money & Matt Hardy eliminated each other, and Bully Ray threw Tommy Dreamer out of the ring despite their semi-alliance. The annoyingly goofy Eric Young eliminated Gunner, and then himself, running off with the Television Title. Angle and Jarrett had the ring to themselves for a little bit in the middle of this one, which led to the involvement of Karen and Chyna, a sufficient way to hype this Sunday’s match.
- After the battle royal, Mr. Anderson cut a short promo that he ended with “BOOM! Headshot, bitch!” I thought it was pretty decent, but it was aimed directly at Sting, who still has to defend the World Title against RVD this Sunday before Anderson gets his shot. TNA either really dropped the ball by making it so obvious Sting was going to win, or they’re deliberately setting us up for an unexpected Rob Van Dam Title reign. My money’s on the former.
- Impact opened with an in-ring confrontation between Jeff Jarrett and Kurt Angle, and although it was completely pointless, it only lasted ten minutes. A ten minute show-opening promo is unheard of in
TNAImpact, they usually run for 20-25 minutes. Hopefully this was a step in the right direction and not an isolated incident
- Beer Money cut a promo opposite Matt Hardy, and it was nothing to write home about. James Storm did most of the talking, and he’s not as efficient with a microphone as Robert Roode, but I understand the decision to let him run with this one given the circumstances. They teased a Hardy Boy reunion for a little, although it was painfully obvious this was a red herring. Matt insulted Storm for drinking – nice buddy, how’s your brother doing? After some banter, Matt Hardy announced his partner as Wildcat Chris Harris, who was looking especially bloated. I guess he was living high on the hog during his illustrious WWE career. I think this could be the beginning of the end for Beer Money, but I’ll have more to say about that next week.
he Amazing Red defeated Christopher DanielsSangrieto defeated Suicide in a pretty solid lucha match. I still don’t really understand why they have guys pull double duty instead of contracting actual luchadors, but whatever. The sooner Mike Tenay quits hyping Sangrieto as being one of Mexico’s top stars, the sooner I can attempt to take this product seriously.
- Miss Tessmacher & Mickie James notched a win over Madison Rayne & Tara when Tessmacher pinned Madison. Dude. Miss Tessmacher is the best. She wasn’t near this hot when she was in WWE. If Mick Foley’s decree to fix Impact turned out to be that Miss Tessmacher will make her entrance over and over for two hours every Thursday night, he’d have my seal of approval. I would seriously sign off on a World Title push right now. At any rate, this was standard Knockout fare, way better than anything the divas do. I’m looking forward to Madison vs Mickie, I’m a big fan of both of them.
- Tommy Dreamer was confronted by AJ Styles and told him he’s never known the real Tommy Dreamer. Ehh. I appreciate them trying to breath new life into a grizzled vet. I never would have forecasted Bully Ray being as good as he is in his post-tag team life, so maybe they’re onto something. I hope for the sake of Impact and Tommy that he can surprise me, but I feel like they’re not going to catch lighting in a bottle again.
- Crimson won a Triple Threat match against Samoa Joe & Abyss, pinning Joe after he was hit with Abyss’ Black Hole Slam. Look, I’m going to be honest. I don’t like Crimson. At all. And I can’t wait for this stupid “streak” to end. He’s just a generic well-built big guy with dumb tattoos, a standard wrestling archetype. But Impact already has that quota met with Matt Morgan. Abyss attacks Crimson after the bell, and Joe walks out, allowing the beat down to continue.
This week’s Impact wasn’t as good as last, but it was still an entertaining show for the most part. Hogan is as frustrating as ever to listen to and his presence continues to drag the show down. The reveals of Mick Foley, Chyna, and Chris Harris all strike me as kind of anti-climatic – what about you? Am I just an Impact cynic? The Knockouts continue to impress, and Miss Tessmacher is enough to keep me tuning in each week. I have the nagging suspicion that Sacrifice won’t mark the end of the Angle vs Jarrett feud, but we can hope. Speaking of hope, maybe Tommy can indeed rejuvenate his career with a heel turn. We shall see. Also, it might be a longshot, but I think it’s possible that America Most Wanted reforms this Sunday. I think their reunion is inevitable, actually, Sunday just seems early for it, but not impossible.