Source: James Caldwell of Pro Wrestling Torch
Spike TV’s UFC show ran overtime, so TNA Impact started one minute past the top of the hour with a video package on last week’s show focused on Eric Bischoff taking a guitar shot from Jeff Jarrett, then Bischoff booking Jarrett vs. Mick Foley with the loser leaving TNA. They played a highlight video on Shawn Michaels…er…Mick Foley facing the end of his career last week when Jarrett hit the Stroke and Beer Money counted the pin. “V for Vigilante” is the show theme.
Backstage: Earlier today – Hulk Hogan told Jarrett he has to take a trip to New York to handle some business. He said he and Eric Bischoff make a good team because they work out their issues. Hogan told Jarrett that the fans are buying into him tonight. He told Jarrett to go beat A.J. Styles tonight and become #1 contender. That was abrupt. Jay Lethal then walked in sporting the Macho Man get-up. Lethal rambled about nothing, then Hogan did his Savage voice he does on Bubba’s radio show and they had a moment wiggling their fingers toward each other before locking hands. “Some madness is going to happen” was the closing line.
Announcers: After the regular intro aired, Mike Tenay plugged Tara vs. Daffney in a First Blood match for the Knockouts Title. Also, Jarrett vs. Styles. They plugged the main event of RVD & Jeff Hardy & Eric Young vs. the Wolfpack tonight.
Impact Zone: The old-school Wolfpack theme hit to bring out Bubba the Love Sponge to start the show. Nash, Hall, and Waltman followed out to the ring and Bubba called the fans “pathetic sheep” and “marks.” Already a bad promo. He got laughs saying everyone wants to be him. Bubba plugged his radio show clearance and said he doesn’t even need the job. He said if he’s going to work here, then this is the group he wants to hang out with. Bubba said no disrespect to Christy Hemme or Jeremy Borash, but they have no business interviewing the Wolfpack. Bubba then mocked Eric Young’s height after intentionally botching his name.
Nash took the mic and said his name is Eric Young. He said the reason they weren’t here last week was because they wanted to gloat about it last Monday, but he has become friends with Young over the last year. He wanted to offer an apology. Out came Young on stage with no music…and not much heat. Young was sporting a TNA Lockdown t-shirt, which might as well be the Tommy Dreamer kick-me sign. Young slowly entered the ring and walked up to Nash, who said what they did at Destination X was wrong. He said what he did was business and they would like to have Young join The Band. One thing, though, is this match isn’t going to happen. Nash said Hardy and RVD are not in their league; they’re not ready. Laugh-out-loud moment there. Nash told Young to join the band. Waltman kept getting in the camera shot before they cut to a side-shot of Young, who reached back and popped Nash with a right hand. The numbers added up and Nash shouted at Young, “Big mistake!” Waltman dropped a leg as Hall taunted him. They took turns working over Young before RVD jogged to the ring, followed by Jeff Hardy. Hardy looked like he was running on a sheet of ice. The Band bailed and Hardy stared them down from the ring. Young, Hardy, and RVD stood in the ring before Hardy took the mic and said they’re ready to do the six-man right now. Naw. Hardy said since the Band thinks they’re the “main event,” they’ll make it for later tonight…but in a steel cage in honor of Lockdown. Waltman did the big over-sell while Nash just had a classic smirk. Hardy then sang the lyrics to his TNA theme. Karaoke night at the Impact Zone. Cage main event to come.
Impact Zone: Doug Williams’s music hit to bring out X Division champion Doug Williams and Brian Kendrick for a tag match with a 20-minute time limit. They randomly showed clips from Destination X (oh yeah, that PPV) to set up this tag match. Out from “Southern California” was Kazarian, along with Shannon Moore, as the opposition. Doug and Kendrick had some issues pre-match before the bell sounded.
1 — X Division champion DOUG WILLIAMS & BRIAN KENDRICK vs. KAZARIAN & SHANNON MOORE
Kazarian, the #1 contender to the X Title, worked over Kendrick early on. Mid-match, they announced that next week, TNA Impact moves up to 8:00 p.m. EST. Tenay received word they will have The Pope vs. Desmond Wolfe later tonight too. The heels then cut off Kaz and worked him over. Kaz eventually made a tag to Moore as Williams tagged in. Moore hit a top rope huracanrana, but Kendrick broke up a pin. Shannon and Kendrick then hit a combo spin kick and German Suplex on Kendrick, which put Kendrick neck-first on the mat. Unique. More spots, then Shannon hit another move on poor Kendrick and scored the pin for the win.
Post-match: Moore pulled out some makeup from his kit and put random marks on Kendrick’s face. Williams just walked away not intimidated by Moore. Kaz is the #1 contender, right? Just checking.
WINNERS: Moore & Kazarian at 4:32. It was a match. (*1/4)
Backstage: Eric Bischoff was on the phone again. “You’re ribbing me?” he said. Bischoff told whoever it was to have fun in New York. Bischoff eyed what looked like a phallic symbol before calling in an assistant. He told her to keep some guy out of his office. In came Jay Lethal, who gave him a card for the rest of the show filled with 1980s names. Half of them weren’t even alive, but half of them I wouldn’t be surprised to see in TNA for the legends tour. Bischoff, continuing the “insider references,” told Lethal he’s spent too much time on the undercard and needs to think of the main event. Lethal went away, then Bischoff told the assistant to get him Beer Money.
Impact Zone: The Pope D’Angelo Dinero came to the ring and plugged going after the TNA World Title at Lockdown. He said his chance is being jeopardized by A.J. Styles and Ric Flair. He said he’s not calling Flair “Nature Boy” anymore because it’s time to grow up. Pope said Styles has been walking on edge with him hot on his heels with daybreak soon to come. Pope told Styles to head down to Cape Canaveral and find the most expensive astronaut suit because he’s going to…take him to the outer limits at Lockdown. Pope said Styles might be champ, but he’ll never be the charismatic, pimptacular, Pope D’Angelo Dinero. Well, all Styles would have to say in retort is “scoreboard” because all that matters is he’s the champ and Pope isn’t, so why he would want to be the Pope? Pope finished his promo and his music hit.
Desmond Wolfe’s assistant, Chelsea, then came to the ring and Pope’s music stopped. Pope circled around her and objectified her before Chelsea told Pope she could do one thing for him. She’s had money, cars, and yachts, but she’s always wanted to have one other dream fulfilled. “Be a ho,” she said. Classic misogynistic TNA storyline here. They traded sexual innuendos before Wolfe hit the ring from behind. Pope saw it coming and dropped Wolfe with a kick to the gut. Trap failed. Pope then grabbed Chelsea and smooched her before dropping her to the mat. I don’t know what worse – Wolfe doing a stumbling bumbling drop into the black hole in the ring at Destination X or looking like an idiot with his plan foiled here. Pope dropped money on Chelsea before the segment wrapped.
[Commercial Break. They cut back to the Impact Zone with Daffney squawking like a bird ahead of her Knockouts Title match opportunity.]
Video: There’s a Samoa Joe sighting. Joe was shown on a handheld video with grainy video of him shaking and shivering and convulsing. “They have spoken and the results will be very different,” he said. Apparently the Nation of Violence is returning. With handheld video recorders. … They cut back to the announcers where Taz and Tenay quickly discussed Joe “resurfacing.” Taz: Who’s “they?” Intriguing potential, but the announcers handled this rather flippantly. “All right, well, Joe is still alive, so let’s move on!”
Suddenly, the lights went down and a random man was lowered to the ring. It was Orlando Jordan covered in yellow Caution tape for a crime scene. He ate some of the tape and crawled around in the ring. He slithered out onto the entranceramp and crawled while they showed Tenay and Taz selling disbelief. Jordan walked over to the announce table and walked by them before posing on a stage behind the announcers. They showed a man and a woman sitting on a couch seductively. He then sat down on the couch and they cut away.
Backstage: Borash said in hushed tones: “I don’t know what to make of that, but we’ll move on.” He started to interview Knockouts champion Tara, but Daffney jumped her. They cut to break with the brawl in progress.
2 — Knockouts champion TARA vs. DAFFNEY — Knockouts Title match — First blood match
Back to the show, the brawl continued to the Impact Zone with Daffney in control as they brawled to the entranceramp. They continued to fight with weapons involved in the proceedings. They eventually made it into the safe haven of the ring where Tara took advantage and dropped Daffney with the Widow’s Peak. She then smashed her tarantula box over Daffney’s head to draw blood and win.
WINNER: Tara in 4:00 to retain the Knockouts Title. Fine brawl with a backstory and Daffney playing a good crazed heel character.
Backstage: They showed A.J. Styles walking in the backstage area preparing for his match as Ric Flair was being wheeled around in a wheelchair. Flair still had the Linda McMahon zombie look on his face. Sheer unintentional comedy.
[Commercial Break. They cut back to show Jeff Jarrett walking down the hallway preparing to face Styles tonight.]
Impact Zone: Jeff Jarrett’s heel music hit to bring out babyface Jarrett for the match at the top of the hour. A.J. Styles’s music hit and out came Styles in the Flair, Jr. robe. Tenay said Styles has to worry about Pope at Lockdown, but Jarrett could become #1 contender after Lockdown. Bob Uecker…check that, Ric Flair, was wheeled down to the ringside area sporting black shades and a blank facial expression. It’s just really sad to see Flair in this role already being put in the wheelchair.
[Q5 — second hour]
3 — TNA World Hvt. champion A.J. STYLES vs. JEFF JARRETT — non-title match
Styles gained the early control and mocked Jarrett. Suddenly, Flair was out of his Linda McMahon zombie-like state and laughed at Jarrett. It’s a miracle! Jarrett tried to collect himself while selling the storyline where he lost confidence before firing off with offense on Styles. Jarrett then dumped Styles out of the ring before doing the Double J strut in Flair’s face. Apparently this storyline is building to Strut vs. Strut. Styles returned to the ring and missed with a corner attack before Jarrett landed an enziguiri kick for a two count. Styles then cut off Jarrett at the legs and slapped on the figure-four as Flair wheeled down to the ring and tried to give his crutch to Styles for additional leverage. Flair channeling Classy Freddie Blassie here. Jarrett then slapped on the figure-four and Flair tried to interfere, but ref Brian Hebner got his TV time giving Flair the boot. TNA security then showed up to help Flair wheel away. Styles yelled at security while Jarrett snuck up behind Styles to throw him back into the ring with a running start. Cut to break.
Back from break at 10:20, Styles was working on Jarrett as they recapped what happened during the break when Styles landed a low blow behind the ref’s back. Styles then landed a standing scissors kick and continued to work over Jarrett. They proceeded to replay this move over and over, forgetting that Styles is a heel and isn’t supposed to be looking “cool” like a babyface. Styles continued to work over Jarrett in between arguing with the ref. Styles then slapped on a reverse chinlock and worked over Jarrett, who showed that babyface fire reaching his feet and elbowing out before giving Styles a high back-body drop. Jarrett followed with a back-drop suplex and measures Styles for a Pedigree. Oh Jeff. He made a cover, but Styles kicked out.
[Q5] The match continued to the fifth quarter-hour with Styles blocking a sledgehammer from the middle rope and hitting an underhook overhead toss. Styles then went to the apron and nailed a springboard flying forearm. Jarrett did his classic half-kick-out with the shoulder roll to escape a pin. Styles then teased the Clash, but Jarrett blocked with an Alabama Slam. Both men fell to the mat as Hebner applied a ten count. Suddenly, Flair was back to ringside in the wheelchair to distract Hebner. The ref was then bumped from behind and he crashed into Flair off the apron.
Back in the ring, Jarrett wanted a top rope Stroke and he connected. Jarrett then made the cover, but there was no ref. Suddenly, Eric Bischoff showed up with guitar in hand. Jarrett then turned around and blocked the guitar before grabbing it from Eric, who dropped down to his knees to beg off. Styles low-blowed Jarrett from behind, though. Styles then smashed Jarrett with the Clash and shouted at Eric to get the ref back in the ring. Hebner did a typical slow Hebner three count for the win. It’s worth noting Styles’s hand was cut open and bleeding heavily here. After the match, Styles celebrated with the title as Eric and Flair celebrated on the floor.
WINNER: Styles at 17:16. Good TV match. The bag of tricks was expected, as they’re trying to get heat on Styles and continue presenting Jarrett as a sympathetic babyface. I still believe Styles is miscast as a heel, but if they’re going to go that route, it would be beneficial to actually have Styles win a match or two clean against an enhancement talent. (**1/2)
Backstage: Borash brought in the babyface trio of RVD, Jeff Hardy, and Eric Young. Young did the talking, thanking them for coming out to bail them out. Young said what he did might not have been smart, but he’s a fighter. RVD talked about doing the right thing. Hardy said The Band have been sitting on top of the ladder trying to kick him down for too long and he’s going to make them shine his boots once he gets to the PPV main event level. Young capped off the promo before they cut to break.
During the Break: Lethal caught up to Bischoff and told him he has the perfect main event: Brutus the Barber Beefcake vs. The Model. Foreshadowing on the former? Bischoff said there’s only one true main-eventer in the building tonight. “Jimmy Snuka’s here?” Lethal asked. Bischoff said it’s him. He then condescendingly told Lethal to hurry out to the ring with his music about to play.
Impact Zone: Lethal came to the ring sporting the Savage get-up with a red tie. Cue up Beer Money’s theme music, which took Lethal out of the mood.
4 — JAY LETHAL vs. BEER MONEY (JAMES STORM & ROBERT ROODE) — handicap match
Beer Money hit the ring and quickly took it to Lethal. Lethal took a good bump being thrown high up into the air on a back body drop before he rolled to the floor to take more punishment from Money, Inc. IRS threw Lethal into the ring steps before DiBiase picked up Lethal in the ring and they executed a double team move. Beer Money then did their “Beer” … “Money” chant with the audience adding “Sucks” to the end. That’s going to catch on eventually. Lethal suddenly fired off jabs before walking into a swinging Black Hole Slam. Suddenly, Lethal surprised Roode with a small package out of nowhere to score the pin. Post-match: Bischoff was shown in his office upset with Beer Money for screwing up. Lethal then doused himself in Storm’s beer as they cut back to Bischoff selling disbelief again.
WINNER: Lethal at 2:15. Just a random bit here. (n/a)
Still to come: Wolfpack vs. RVD & Hardy & Young in a steel cage. Up next: Wolfe vs. The Pope.
[Commercial Break.] [Q7]
Announcers: Taz and Tenay talked about a “very serious situation” when Hernandez was hurt last week. They showed Hernandez being kicked in the head by Matt Morgan. Tenay said it’s tough to watch a week later. Taz said with this injury, it could be several months before he returns. Tenay said the medical report is a herniated disc and neck damage. “Shawn, we wish you well,” Tenay said. Taz said they can confirm that they will ehar from Matt Morgan next week.
Impact Zone: They re-cut back to the Impact Zone for Desmond Wolfe to come out with Chelsea. Wolfe had an over-the-top cartoon-character facial expression while Chelsea stood by with a normal human being’s facial expression. TNA has effectively gotten Chelsea more over than Wolfe. Only in TNA. Tenay plugged next week’s special start time one hour earlier for the live show.
5 — DESMOND WOLFE (w/Chelsea) vs. THE POPE D’ANGELO DINERO
The announcers focused on Chelsea as Wolfe and Pope became distracted by her presence ringside. Wolfe then went on a methodical attack working over the previously injured ankle. The announcers said Wolfe continues to be focused on Chelsea, which begs the question on what exactly is their relationship. Boyfriend/girlfriend? Business partners? Anyways, Wolfe lost control and Pope made his comeback. Chelsea then got on the ring apron and started showed ref Earl Hebner some leg. Earl went looking for a foreign object while Wolfe pulled out a gimmick behind his back. Pope went over to check for Chelsea’s foreign object, too, which allowed Wolfe to smash Pope with the gimmick. Chelsea suddenly wasn’t so interested in showing Hebner her wares as Wolfe made the cover. Hebner, satisfied, dropped down and counted a three. The king of referee incompetence raised Wolfe’s hand before Wolfe got some camera time with Chelsea.
WINNER: Wolfe at 4:05. So, the babyface #1 contender, Pope, got his comeuppance for hitting on the heel’s valet? Just all kinds of backwards booking. If anything, TNA provides great comedy value with unintentionally comedic moments in wrestling booking history. (*)
Up next: Steel cage main event six-man tag match.
[Commercial Break. They showed Kurt Angle walking down the hallway.]
Impact Zone: The steel cage was up, but Kurt Angle came out to a loud pop. As Jason Powell said on the Livecast today, Angle was all over WrestleMania last night without even being on the PPV. Angle took the mic inside the cage and addressed Mr. Anderson. He said some people said Anderson might be every bit as good as him. “Really, Ken?” Angle asked rhetorically. Angle said no one really knows who he is. He said he’s an Olympic champion who has made a living by winning and playing off the rules. Angle said he lost control, maybe because he spit in his face or cut him up with his Warrior tag. Angle then plugged their match at Lockdown – one-on-one, no rules, no regulations, no control. “And the only way to win is to physically walk through that door,” he said to no reaction. So, all this blood, guts, and gore, and all you have to do is the WWE-style escape the cage?
Mr. Anderson’s music interrupted and he walked out on stage dressed like he was playing video games in the back. Anderson, sporting a cap and t-shirt, said it’s time to get real because they’re going to kill each other if they keep this war going. Anderson said they’re 50/50 with a victory a piece, so TNA decided to put them in the cage to settle their differences. Only one man emerges victorious, right? Anderson said a little birdie sat on his shoulder in the back (Eric Bischoff) and he sanctioned a match for next week’s Impact between the two of them. Anderson said it’s going to be…drumroll, please…a ladder match. Angle went from super-serious face to smiley-face. He said there will be a key above the ladder and the key will unlock the door to Lockdown. Anderson proceeded to talk up Angle as a better role model, parent, and familyman than he will ever strive to be. “Nice guys always finish last,” Anderson shouted into his mic. Anderson then shouted, “Thank God, thank God, thank God next week and at Lockdown, I’m an a—–.” Pause. “A—–.” Anderson dropped the mic and left, then Angle slowly walked out. Awesome heel promo from Anderson.
Angle started to leave, but the Wolfpack music hit and the former Main Event Mafia leaders met. Nash and Angle met face-to-face on the ramp and they greeted each other with the Wolfpack sign. Wait, Angle’s the babyface and he just endorsed the heel group? Anyways, Wolfpack entered the cage and they cut to break.
Impact Zone: Eric Young came out first for the babyface trio. He’s billed “from Canada.” Like Kaz is billed “from Southern California.” These are large areas of land. RVD’s music hit and out came Van Dam to join Young on the entrance ramp. Jeff Hardy then rounded out the field as they hit to the top of the hour. Hardy looked like the Boogeyman with his facepaint tonight.
[Q9 — over-run]
Before the match could start, Waltman swung the cage door open and flung it into Young, who crashed to the floor. Story of his TNA career. Wolfpack then attacked the other heels on the floor outside the cage. The bell sounded to signal the start here.
5 — JEFF HARDY & ROB VAN DAM & ERIC YOUNG vs. WOLFPACK (KEVIN NASH & SCOTT HALL & SEAN WALTMAN) — steel cage match
Waltman closed the cage door and shut Young out of the cage to begin a three-on-two handicap match. The heels tried to use the numbers advantage before Hardy came back with a powerbomb on Waltman in mid-air. RVD then hit Rolling Thunder on Waltman, followed by Hardy hitting his split-leg dropkick on the mat. Hall then blindsided RVD, but RVD chopped down Nash at the knees. Meanwhile, Young, who was – yes – bleeding, started climbing the cage from the outside. Waltman climbed up to block, but RVD climbed up and flung Waltman to the mat. RVD and Hardy then went to opposite corner sand they hit trademark finishers – the Five Star and Swanton Bomb. Young then kind of squatted on top of the cage and did a flying elbow drop on Waltman like a tentative kid on the high-dive dropping into the pool. Young with the cover on Waltman for the win. Post-match: They replayed the finish over and over with Young doing the flying high dive. Tenay said he just received word on Christy Hemme standing by with Abyss.
WINNERS: Hardy & RVD & Young at 3:59. This was about how long the Wolfpack could go here. TNA is really trying to elevate Young with this program, so we’ll see how it plays out. (n/a)
Backstage: Abyss was doing his silly poses before announcing that, as captain of Team Hogan, he will do everything and anything by any means necessary to ensure the total annihilation of Team Flair, captained by Sting. Captain Planet said Sting mentored him at one time before going to the wrong side. He said they’re coming to get him. Abyss said the other three chosen warriors must be hungry and blood-thirsty. He said he’s made his selection for the second member of Team Hogan and Hogan has approved it. Jeff Jarrett then walked in rubbing his hands together. Jarrett said his deal with Bischoff is just getting started, but he’s proud to be involved with Hogan and Abyss. He said he’s going to start getting involved in Flair’s matches. In one night, on April 18, he’s blowing off all his frustration in St. Louis. “Your move, Nature Boy,” Abyss said before doing his Hogan promo routine. They cut back to Tenay doing a voice-over robotically repeating what Abyss just said. He plugged a special Impact start time next week as RVD and Hardy did a victory lap around the ring to close the show nine minutes past the top of the hour.
Tags: IMPACT Wrestling