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Sky "enjoys" the TNA Immortal Era

V.Sky

Thank you. For... finding me.
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Impact March 22, 2010 - You Have Missed Your Destination

Royal Rumble tonight, as I write this, so I'm in a wrestling mood. Let's hope there's some wrestling on this edition of Impact! Let's hope there's not something like... Eric Bischoff playing guitar.

Eric Bischoff playing guitar.

Yes, this is actually happening, Bischoff in a trucker's cap, spotlight on him, doing some dumb proto-Elias shit. Guy does have some decent chops though. We get a minute and a half of this, which ends in a chorus of boos and some cheering from a few plants. This is pretext for him to call out Jeff Jarrett. Fans are hating this. Major sign holders in the crowd are shouting out their own friends and family members. Bisch is goading Jarrett into using the guitar on him, but he decides not to. Until Bisch insults his children and jarrett comes back to smack him with the guitar anyway. That, I'll be honest, was satisfying as all hell. I could watch 2 solid hours of this, and I'm sure TNA would have won the New Monday Night Wars if their show was Bischoff being assaulted by heels and faces alike.

Mick Foley congratulates Jarrett, the two having a shared history of being dicked on by Bischoff. Continuity? We cut back to the ring, where Bisch is awake again, and the Stumbling Bald Fucking Mug rants on the two of his bullying victims. He mentions "cross the line", which seems like a distant memory now, sadly. He books a match where they're to wrestle each other, and loser is fired... Hey, that's false advertisement! You said you'd finish up both of your feuds, but you're only finishing one! Jarrett blames himself, or at least I think he does, I can barely hear him over the "You suck" chants to Bisch.

TBP are going to have an 8-Knockout tag team match, which is always nice. "Their beautiful entrances" -Taz. Daffney is teaming with them. Her still being with TBP is good in my book, that sort of odd-couple-ry is fun to me. Velvet, Madison, and Lacey all scared of Tara's stolen tarantula/Daffney's entrance (delete as appropriate). Daffney threatens to destroy Poison in the ring, Tara comes to try and reason with her, then the other 3 come to beat Tara down. The rest of her team go for the save, and it's an all-out Knockout brawl. We go to a break, and after the break we find out that this was the planned match anyway. Nice to see things working out.

Match 1: Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne/Lacey Von Erich/Daffney vs. Tara/Angelina Love/Sarita/Taylor Wilde

We return from the break and Velvet subconsciously sways her hips for the cameras as soon as they're turned on. It feels like so long since I've seen Taylor Wilde. Lacey sells a dropkick before it lands. Referee is distracted by the faces' protests at a cheap shot while the heels triple team Tara. How stupid can wrestling referees be? Apparently as much as they can be frail and easily KO'd. Daffney taunts Tara with the tarantula so Tara throttles her - once again, she doesn't seem like the face. They really want us to watch UFC Unleashed. Sarita hits a really clean double underhook sitout powerbomb, then Lacey does a pathetic chokeslam. Finish comes soon after when Tara's distracted by reclaiming the spider, allowing Daffney to hit her finisher. Good to see this getting time.

We see AJ and Flair leaving an Orlando Stripperama van... AJ with a sling and crutch, and Flair still in his wheelchair. Good to see they took a bit of time for themselves over the past 24 hours. "Orlando Stripperama" sounds like a super generic name, wow. Flair is desperately seeking Chelsea. We return to them backstage. Highlights package for Destination X, containing more micro-length clips than it does shaky stills this time. Was that a Howie scream?

Time for a special Hogan announcement, and Abyss joins him for the huge waste of pyro. Despite everything, he's still way popular. He admits he was manipulated by Flair. It'll be strictly business at Lockdown - Team Hogan vs. Team Flair, with Abyss as captain. I'm guessing that's the Lethal Lockdown match. He didn't mention it. I don't dislike Abyss talking at all. The magic ring storyline is dumb, but Abyss looks good. Oh, Abyss confirms it's in Lethal Lockdown. And he's going to kill people. Ric and AJ struggle out, and Ric confirms Sting as his captain. Lights out, and it somehow ends with AJ not hurt and whacking Abyss with the crutch, Hogan handcuffed, and Sting watching the whole thing. Pope with the save, Hogan is freed, and Ric's loose wheelchair runs into Abyss's arm. Pope gives the Ted DiBiase to Flair. Stories intersecting! This isn't bad, considering who's involved in it.

Christy catches Jeff Hardy, RVD, and Shannon Moore. Jeff's got a new shirt to sell. RVD in the sunglasses is a nice touch, but it makes me worry that he's stoned out of his mind out of kayfabe as well as in it. Christy seems most charmed by Shannon Moore. Apropos of nothing, I saw Christy in her Rock and Rave Infection days a few years back... she has a hell of a voice. Just watch this video, you'll see what I mean. (Watch further for a bonus Curry Man entrance)


Match 2: Rob Terry (c) vs. Tomko - for the Global Championship

Tomko getting a jobber entrance as a title challenger - you hate to see it. Or at least you would if it wasn't Tomko. Wow, Rob Terry really doesn't look that big when standing close to Tomko. Either that or Tomko is fucking huge. I'd not mind keeping him around as an enforcer. At least he can wrestle, unlike Big Rob. We learn that Beer Money are to be special referees for the Foley/Jarrett match. Anyway, this is yet another squash for the tertiary title, and Rob isn't selling jack shit. Spin kick. Powerbomb. Retain. When will this guy face a challenge?

Short clips of Foley and Jarrett walking to the ring - Jarrett gets no incidental music while Foley does, which is an interesting touch. James Storm looks to be in no state to officiate, as usual. We get a video package reminding us of how much Bisch doesn't like Mick Foley or Jeff Jarrett, as if we hadn't seen it three times each week in the past few weeks anyway, followed by JB interviewing them. They're trying to sell the fact that they're fighting for their careers, but only Jarrett does it effectively. I predict he wins.

Match 3: Mick Foley vs. Jeff Jarrett - No Disqualification Match, Loser is Fired (Special Guest Referees: James Storm/Robert Roode)

Wow, that looks like an overbooking already, just from the title. jarrett gets his tron but no music still. Both members of Beer Money acting "questionably" towards both competitors from the start. Are they working with Bischoff? Foley does very little bumping, which is understandable given how broken he was at this point. Trucker cap Bisch joins the commentary team. He's gonna make the winner miserable as hell. I'd rather be fired than be stuck in a program with Bisch any longer. Jarrett at one point gets a rope break. Do rope breaks count in no DQ matches? I thought they didn't. We get a minute and a half of Socko before Jarrett recovers, and delivers the Stroke on to a chair. Foley is fired!

A strange mix of boos and "nana hey hey goodbye" chants. Jarrett looking all "my god, what have I done?". "He's gonna wish he would have lost the match" -Bischoff. By the looks of things, Jarrett already does. Foley makes the long walk of shame backstage. Beer Money beat on Jarrett for good measure, and he's saved by Jeff Hardy and RVD! Storylines intersect as they challenge Beer Money to a match later tonight. I mean, it's not for the Tag Championships (why isn't it??) but it should be good! RVD is way over.

We get a recap of Mick being fired, and we go backstage where the entire face half of the roster is coming to say him goodbye. Two Taylor Wilde appearances in one night - that's got to be a record! Bubba the Blob Fish is here to interview Mick - hey, remember the exactly 2 weeks where he did interviews? - and refuses to accept Mick's attempts to brush him off. So Mick punches him out, which looks 100% legit, and I'm pretty sure is. Mick goes out with a bang (bang). At this point, any heel could turn face by joining in. You could even get me to cheer the former Val Venis for this (as it turns out, though, he's had to leave because the Monday night schedule stops him from working CMLL).

The "thank you Mick" chants haven't faded when Bisch returns to the office of mediocrity. Hogan is not happy with any of this, and stuff has to be strictly business again. No more Jarrett feud. Hogan actually making sense in a rare moment for him. "He's getting over with the fans" -Hogan. I'm reminded of a ridiculous fourth wall break he will do later this year. Beer Money are backstage and Roode is snapping at Christy. They're putting Beer Money first, and insulting the fans. Fans treat this like a huge heel turn even though they've been playing heels all month. "RVD against Jeff Hardy" -Taz.

JB interviewing RVD (taping himself up) and Hardy (applying his face paint already). RVD seeming to be at about 0.3 Jeff Hardys of intoxication, which is... not the worst. Hardy makes oblique reference to his brother Matt, and RVD says they know exactly what they're doing. I don't recall these two having tagged before, though. Then we get a video package of Morgan vs. Hernandez. Is this meant to be the start or the finish of the feud? I can't tell anymore.

Match 4: Matt Morgan vs. Hernandez

Hernandez interrupts Morgan's entrance to attack him! That's such a heel move... so why is the face doing it? Say it again with me: It Doesn't Have To Make Sense! "Can you blame Hernandez for being this hot?" -Taz. Hernandez still acting fairly heelish, such as attacking Morgan during a handshake. Better for him to forget his alignment than to forget, say, about the wellbeing of his opponent. Match is one-sided until Morgan tosses Hernandez to the outside, and nails him with a Carbon Footprint that drives his head into the steel ring post. Jesus. Can you even protect that or is it legit brain damage? Whatever it is, it's a referee stoppage ending. Oh, so this is how they're going to do the solo tag champ thing.

A lot of time is taken up by Hernandez being stretchered away, with even Hogan here to see him to the ambulance... Oh, right, he's a FACE authority figure. Speaking of going home in the back of a vehicle, did we ever work out what happened to Samoa Joe when he was kidnapped by the balaclava ninjas? We go to a video package of the Band getting back together at Destination X... just before our main event this evening. I really don't like where this is going. I don't like what this is foreshadowing.

Match 5: Jeff Hardy/Rob Van Dam vs. Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm/Robert Roode)

At least Hardy looks sober at this point. Just think, in less than a year, he'll be high and humiliating himself live on PPV. RVD busts out a few dance moves during Hardy's entrance. I realise that I've never heard this much of Hardy's first theme before. Fans do their own acapella version of RVD's theme at the start. Jeff throws Storm over the top rope so he lands on Roode... the amazing part about this is that it gets a TNA chant. Come on, that wasn't even a top rope splash. He then tries to introduce a ladder (come on, this isn't a No DQ match). RVD does a very clean looking moonsault.

Taz has no idea if Hardy's been tagged in. They bother to hype a Knockouts match in advance, and it's Tara vs. Daffney in a First Blood match! Is that the first ever women's match of its type in a major wrestling promotion? I don't know, but it sounds historic! Hardy plays Ricky Morton for a while and I notice the ladder is still propped up. Hardy is way over, like more over than anyone I've seen today. More TNA chants for Hardy breaking out Whisper in the Wind. RVD cleans house, and looks far too supple for a man who's smoked that much weed. Crowd is hot! Match ends with a combo of Swanton and Five-Star Frog Splash.

During the celebration, in which we get to hear nearly a full loop of RVD's theme, Eric Young runs in... Oh, that's what they were foreshadowing. At least it wasn't a run in. Next week will be The Band vs. Hardy/RVD/Young in a six-man tag match. I dread this, but at least we'll have 3 decent wrestlers around. We're 2 weeks away, though, from an episode I really want to talk about. See you next Impact!
 

V.Sky

Thank you. For... finding me.
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Impact March 29, 2010 - Freaks and Geeks

First things first, I want to acknowledge something. This episode of Impact was run against the Raw after WrestleMania. Surely, the company would have to bring its A-game to stand a ghost of a chance. I get the feeling that I'm going to be reminding you that the Raw after Mania was on the other channel, quite a lot.

We open with a video package set to the great song "Walk Away" by Five Finger Death Punch. I like me some 5FDP, so it was a pleasant surprise to hear them show up. The video package is, of course, about the firing of Mick Foley. Hey, episode titles are back! This one's called "V for Vigilante". I don't think I know of a V who's currently signed. Maybe Velvet Sky? It would be sweet if Velvet were in a main storyline, but no.

We go straight to the office of mediocrity for Hogan... apologising to Jarrett for Bischoff's actions. Maybe he should apologise to the fans first. Hogan discusses his booking, the fans, and offers him a chance to get a title shot by beating AJ in a non-title match (ah, the 2010s WWE-style way of deciding challengers). After that we get... Black Machismo Jay Lethal! I do like Lethal playing Macho Man, even though it's rarely used for anything but referencing events that they can't get away with openly talking about. Apparently Hogan's gotta go, so Lethal is going to take his place for a bit. Fun concept!

I continue to notice that the lighting rig above the ring is still six-sided. Did they ever change that? We open up with the Band's music... and Bubba the Malignant Tumour enters with them. It's as if they managed to gather everything I hate at once. Hall and Waltman have Bubba Army shirts as "Fire Bubba" chants ring out. He cuts a really shitty heel promo where he bashes JB and Christy and talks like he has no idea who any of the wrestlers are. Thankfully he hands over to Nash, whose dull drone is always more appealing than having to listen to Bubba talking.

Nash calls out Eric Young, who's really quite popular. A running theme seems to be the "business/personal" divide. Nash calls off the match because RVD and Hardy are not ready yet (brother dude jack) and invites Young to rejoin the Band. "Don't sell out" says the crowd, and EY doesn't, and gets beaten 4-on-1 for his troubles. RVD and Hardy make the save. Hardy teases moving the match to now, decides against it, randomly decides the main event will be a Steel Cage match, and then sings his theme, badly. Like, "doesn't even know what a tune is" bad. This is what we needed to see running against the Raw after WrestleMania.

Match 1: Doug WIlliams/Brian Kendrick vs. Kazarian/Shannon Moore

Some X Division 2-on-2. Kendrick has no respect for Doug's authoritah due to the anti-X Division rant. Makes sense, rather than the current WWE approach of "all heels are willing to be allies". Kendrick really flies from Kaz's armdrags. "He's a salty veteran" -Taz on himself Doug. Kendrick pulls off a really smooth, fast pin breakup to save his partner. Kaz lands and stands on his head for a few seconds. Finish is Moore over Kendrick with a top turnbuckle Mooregasm as Kaz holds off Doug. Strong start, but then it always is if you have X Division stars around. Moore marks Kendrick's face and Doug doesn't even try to stop him. Nice character moment there.

Bisch makes a call to Hogan in the office of mediocrity... and we get a first ever TNA appearance from Brooke Tessmacher! It's really nice to see her around. I find it interesting how even though she was initially hired as a non-wrestler after her work in ECW's Extreme Exposé, she became arguably the best wrestler of the trio. But she's mostly here to wear glasses and tight short skirts, and I've got to say... she does that job extremely well. Lethal comes in, and shows Bisch a card full of wrestlers from the 80s - including Akeem! That's a reference no one outside of the hardcore will get, but it's fun.

Pope coming out in a suit. So that match with Desmond Wolfe you said was going to happen... didn't happen? Brief glimpse of SoCal Val handing Pope the mic. I really love his mannerisms. Claims Ric Flair was "a boy 50 years ago", which is a rather conservative estimate. He's leaning in to the preacher thing, and he likes it. Wants AJ to grab an astronaut suit because he's gonna go to the Outer Limits. Pope is so over. He's waiting for Desmond Wolfe, but out comes Chelsea... who gets chants! I love this! She's more over as a face than Bubba is as a heel. They start hitting on each other to give Wolfe an opportunity to strike from behind, but Pope pre-empts him! He dips and kisses her to leave Wolfe laid out. Fun segment!

We get an update from Samoa Joe! I thought we'd never hear from him again since the balaclava ninjas took him. Apparently, they have spoken and the results will be very different. That's our first reference to "they" in TNA! Knowing who they are, it's time to celebrate because the build to Immortal has officially begun! It makes me wonder why Joe was never in Immortal considering that he was first to mention them. Taz calls a steel cage "a structure like a steel cage". You know, I've always thought Taz was very Taz-like.

Suddenly some new entrance music hits... "SIMPLY... THE... GREATEST"... and we've got Orlando Jordan being lowered to the ring covered in police tape! Here's the start of the bisexual predator gimmick. I thought it came next week, due to a certain incident next week... He gyrates and poses his way around until he reaches the back, where he takes a seat on a piece of furniture with a woman and a man... those weren't the same woman and man from last time, I don't think. This is never explained. What great counter-programming for the Raw after WrestleMania.

Time for JB to interview Tara ahead of the First Blood match. She seems to give more of a shit about Poison than the title, and when Daffney tries to sneak attack her, she takes rapid control and beats on her for a solid minute before they go to a break. Apparently, Tara is supposed to be the face. After the break, the match is on.

Match 2: Tara (c) vs. Daffney - First Blood Match for the Knockouts Championship

It appears the FIrst Blood match is the only match type where biting is a legitimate tactic. They brawl to the announce desk and break Mike Tenay's headset, which gives us a glimpse of Taz's solo commentary. It's horrible. Very evenly split dueling chants. Daffney gets a wooden stake, which is a really nice aesthetic. Finish is when Tara throws a toolbox at Daffney's head, drawing blood. She sells it really well, being pretty immobile afterwards. It's almost as if she's injured for real... Daffney tastes her own blood eventually, and she still has the spider. Guess that feud continues.

We get a straight repeat of the opening video from earlier, but this time it focuses on Jarrett. Which brings us to...

Match 3: Jeff Jarrett vs. AJ Styles

Jeff's got his music back! Good! No sign of Flair even though he's in AJ's name graphic, until he shows up with the help of Chelsea. I took the time to look up who Chelsea actually is, given that she seems to be a recurring character now. She's an Orlando-area model, apparently. That's nice. Big "Double J" chants, and almost as big "Shut up Flair" chants. I've got to say, I agree. AJ trips over nothing. That Jarrett strut returns to piss Ric off. Jarrett goes for the back body drop and avoids getting kicked - that's a veteran move! We get a Figure 4 from Jarrett too! Ric gets wheeled out and they go to an ad.

It feels surreal for Impact matches to last multiple segments at the moment. We missed an AJ flying move which probably got a huge TNA chant. They really want us to sign up for TNA Mobile. Big "AJ!" "Sucks!" chants. Jarrett hits a pedigree - can we count this as a shot at WWE? A lot of good mat sequences here. Finish seems to come from a forearm, but Jarrett has his shoulder up! That's a nice spot I don't see often enough. Overbooked finish time! Flair gets wheeled back to distract the referee, causing a ref bump, Jarrett has the match won, Bisch comes in with a guitar but Jarrett takes it from him, AJ hits a low blow and Styles Clash, Bisch puts the referee back in for the win. Told you it was overbooked.

JB interviewing the face team for this week's main event. EY gets passionate talking about his previous alliance with Nash, whereas Jeff talks about ladders and RVD doesn't give a shit. Backstage segment where Lethal meets Bischoff, informing him that he intends to book Brutus Beefcake. I'm surprised Hogan didn't beat you to that one, actually. Bisch informs Lethal that he has a match tonight!

Match 4: Jay Lethal vs. Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm/Robert Roode)

Beer Money back to doing Bisch's dirty work again. Jay gets absolutely ruined, especially considering that his opponents don't have to tag in or out. They do the "Beer!" "Money!" chant but the crowd finishes it with "Sucks!". Heh. Finish comes when they're probably preparing for the DWI, Storm takes a beer break... and Lethal rolls up Roode? We cut back to Eric Bischoff, who isn't happy... rather than letting a homegrown star like Lethal have his victory. Storm is so mad, but mostly because Lethal took his beer. Is the beer going to be a trinket in a feud like Poison?

We're reliably informed that, yes, the match between Pope and Desmond Wolfe actually is happening, and then they talk at length about Hernandez's injuries. Nasty details.

Match 5: D'Angelo Dinero vs. Desmond Wolfe

Pope's money rain rating: good. I see they took my advice to shoot it from a low angle. "Pimp-tacular" -Taz on Pope. Dueling chants between one guy chanting for Wolfe and the rest chanting for Pope. It's a nice match between a pair that are very capable of putting on nice matches, and I enjoy watching it. Pope does a very cool move where he catches himself on the corner and falls for an elbow drop. Finish comes when Chelsea distracts Earl Hebner so Wolfe can get a chain shot in and hit the pin.

They play Walk Away again as they show the steel cage having been set up, and I look it up to see that oh, that's the official theme of Lockdown. Pretty high market for TNA. Kurt Angle, suited up, steps in to the steel cage and promos on Mr. Anderson. Then Mr. Anderson promos on Kurt Angle. Something something in this cage, something something match at Lockdown, something something blood, something something ladder match for the key to the cage next week. Look, it's an objectively good feud, I just cannot get invested in it at all. Also, they bleep the "hole" part of "asshole". Reminds me of this AVGN moment.


And the Band can't even wait for Kurt Angle to make his exit, as Kevin Nash gingerly sidles in on his non-existent knees. Thankfully no Bubba the Pervert Roadie. Hall looks very stoned. Young gets some cheers, RVD is over, but the crowd go wild for Hardy. Legitimately huge star. I hope they don't turn him heel or some dumb shit.

Match 6: The Band (Kevin Nash/Scott Hall/Syxx-Pac) vs. Jeff Hardy/Rob Van Dam/Eric Young

The Band attack their opponents just before the start, and lock Eric Young out of the cage! Why has no one else tried that? Overall... yeah, it's a Band match. Only one of their members who takes any offense against him is Waltman. Which sounds about right. This is mercifully short, enough time it takes for Eric Young to climb the cage, which leads to each Band member getting a top rope manoeuvre from each face - a Swanton from Hardy, a Frog Splash from RVD, and a top-of-the-cage elbow from EY. They play Hardy's music, despite EY getting the pin.

We get a short segment during the celebrations where Christy is interviewing Abyss. Abyss is his angry, Hulky self, and saying the selection process for Team Hogan at Lockdown (oh yeah, that's a thing) involves picking people who have grudges. And that leads directly into his second member: Jeff Jarrett! Long term booking! I feel I'm higher on this episode than I should have been, given that it started and ended with Scott Hall. But maybe I'm excited for the episode that comes next... See you there.
 

V.Sky

Thank you. For... finding me.
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Impact April 5, 2010 - Take Your Pick (but the outcome is unsatisfying either way)

This is it! The one I've been looking forward to for a good while now! The start of the episode recap really doesn't reflect this, though, instead focusing on some choice main event storylines such as Team Hogan vs. Team Flair and the continued bullying of Jeff jarrett (two storylines which, I am glad to say, have intersected to put jarrett on Team Hogan). Episode title is "Advantage: Team Flair"... even though Team Hogan has 2 revealed members to Team Flair's 1. What did I tell you about putting spoilers in the titles? Especially with a show that's supposed to be non-scripted?

Christy Hemme is here in a cold open interview to explain what I'm really looking forward to talking about - the Lockbox Showdown! It's a 4v4 elimination match where when a fall occurs... both participants are eliminated? Meh, I guess it's to guarantee an even split of faces and heels who "win". Winner gets a key to one of the lockboxes which contain: the Knockouts Championship, a match for whatever you want, Tara's pet spider Poison, and an obligatory striptease. This feels very Russo, and it runs into some problems I'll explain later. Velvet and Madison out here, confident that TBP will take the 3 good prizes. Madison calls Christy "Big Red". Then Lacey comes in, clad in only a towel, and is really excited about drawing the striptease. Yeah... You do you, Lacey.

A sign in the crowd misspells Jeff jarrett's name. I noticed a couple of posts back I failed to capitalise jarrett on a couple of occasions. Chatbox decided I should just roll with it and drop the capital J for good. I say, that's fine. We need some more running gags after TAFKA Val Venis is gone, the Nasty Boys are gone (during last week's broadcast they were fired for an altercation in front of Spike TV's execs) and Bubba the Useless Fucker only has a month left. That last one, I'll be glad of, because not only do I hate seeing him on TV, but I'm getting tired of coming up with unique nicknames for this guy. Reader suggestions for what things I should make regular from now on to replace them.

Team Hogan (so far) are out, and jarrett, after getting 0 pyro for the past 3 months, joins in on the colossal Hogan pyro explosion. Good for him I say. Tenay wants us to text our friends about an early start for Impact tonight. "We got some whores power" -Hogan. "If he wants to be the big dog, BAROOO" -also Hogan, in full yappapi mode. "Unless he beats Team Hogan" -Jesus, Hogan, what are you smoking? Abyss screams into the mic and spits at the camera. He really spits on the camera. Like, they're going to need to wipe it down. This culminates in him shouting "ASSSSSS" at the top of his voice before Flair's music hits. Two AVGN-like moments in two episodes of Impact?

Flair is getting wheeled out by Chelsea here, looking more like a senile old man than ever, and he's accompanied by Sting, Desmond Wolfe, and Beer Money, Inc.. I guess that's Team Flair set up, then. Let's keep track of the words and phrases Flair unnecessarily repeats:
  • "Hogan" x2
  • "That's your team?" x3
  • "Desmond Wolfe" x2
  • "Badass" x3
  • "Then" x3 in a row
  • "There is more" x2
  • "Sting!" x3
  • "One more thing" x2
So, Flair threatens to shove his own WWE Hall of Fame ring down Abyss' throat, at which point Hogan puts a stop to the rambling. Flair threatens to fight them all right now, which is fairly advantageous as it's 4v2. jarrett calls Sting into the ring and calls him "Steve". This ends in Sting giving the Scorpion Death Drop to jarrett... while Abyss and Hogan just watch and let it happen. This escalates into a heel beatdown until RVD and Hardy come out of the crowd and make the save. Looks like Team Hogan is complete! Which makes me wonder about that "advantage" the episode title talked about. It lasted all of 10 minutes.

Match 1: Rob Van Dam vs. James Storm

What is it with TNA and starting matches during the ad breaks? RVD does some clean looking moves, including a monkey flip, and springing off the ropes to deliver a kick to Storm. He goes for a sliding kick but Storm grabs him and flings him into the guardrail, and imitates his "RVD" pose. Heh, classic heel stuff. This gives Storm pretty much carte blanche to take control. They really want us to follow Dixie Carter on Twitter. They mention cardio a lot. Storm hits the Eye of the Storm, which looks like a really lame signature now that I look back. Finish comes when RVD hits a split-leg moonsault. He looks out of his mind immediately afterwards, which lets Storm get a beer bottle shot. Hardy comes out to stop a full Storm beatdown. Roode shows up to hit Hardy with a Roode Bomb.

Christy interviewing the face team in the Lockbox Showdown. Tara is not happy with this. "TNA wants ratings, and they're using me to get them!" -Tara, indignant that anyone thinks she has drawing power. Angelina gives Tara the "life isn't fair" spiel, and guns for the championship, which teases friction between the faces. ODB announces her plans to use the open contract to wrestle a man. Hamada just shrugs and says something in heavily accented Japanese. I'm mostly with her here, and so is Christy.

Match 2: Rob Terry (c) vs. Homicide - for the Global Championship

Oh hey, it's Homicide! It feels like we haven't seen him since he failed at getting out of the Steel Asylum. Terry has purpose. At least Homicide puts on more of a challenge than previous opponents, but he gets no-sold and still eats a one-handed chokeslam so maybe they're equal. Homicide is first to wriggle out of the running powerslam, but goes for a crossbody, gets caught, and is powerslammed anyway. Terry retains. His opponent comes back in with a chair, and delivers an unprotected chairshot to Terry's head. Now, here's one of the things I wanted to talk about.

That was, I repeat, an unprotected chairshot to the head. Now, TNA must have gotten wind of WWE banning chairshots to the head thanks to various concussion-based tragedies, including the Chris Benoit affair... and chosen to take a shot at them by doing this spot, Terry's health be damned. That is a nasty ratings trick, and not even an effective one. The thing, despite this, it really makes Rob Terry look like a serious badass. He basically no sells it. And he stands tall to give Homicide a high elevation chokeslam. Holy shit, I've said he has the look (if not the skill), and now he seems like the hardest man on the planet, as he keeps that intense look in his eyes even when he bleeds from the head (he took a chairshot that legitimately cracked open his fucking skull!! What?!)...

And then... "SIMPLY... THE... GREATEST". Yes, that's Orlando Jordan's music. And he shows up wearing a Mardi Gras mask, looks at Rob Terry, and squirts milk all over himself. That's the program, folks! Orlando Jordan is endlessly gonna lust after a big muscular dude, and Terry's gonna have his natural look and aura wasted by being in a weird joke angle! I'm surprised this entire thing isn't on WrestleCrap already, and I implore any readers who support their Patreon to suggest that induction. Crowd has no idea what to make of this, at all.

We go backstage where Velvet and Madison are doing the most erotic stretches possible, and Lacey shows up to give them a quick look at the new underwear she plans to strip down to live on Impact. It couldn't be, could it? It is! Yes, it's time for...

Match 3: Tara/Hamada/ODB/Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne/Daffney/Velvet Sky/Lacey Von Erich - Lockbox Showdown Elimination Match

The strange order I put the participants in reflects the order in which they face each other. We're reminded of the ass backwards double elimination rule and what they're fighting for. Madison introduces an interesting piece of vagina-based(?) offense, where she grinds on Tara and then turns round and drives her into the mat with a headscissors. Commentary doesn't understand what it is. Madison quickly falls to Widow's Peak and Tara has key number 1. We go to commercial when Daffney's running in, and then when we come back, we're informed she's already beaten Hamada for key number 2. Sigh. I guess we've got 2 questions here.
  1. First and less importantly, why did Daffney have to beat Hamada for this when it was established that she was beating on Angelina Love before the break?
  2. WHY did TNA think "Oh hey, we've got 2 genuinely talented Knockouts in Daffney and Hamada, let's shove them into a commercial break and only show the finish! The TV audience doesn't want talent, it wants Lacey Von Erich!" WHY? On a TAPED SHOW, so you have no excuse to pretend it's in an actual break?
So anyway, Daffney over Hamada for key number 2. Next matchup is Velvet vs. ODB, and I'm genuinely happy whichever one wins here. Taz references Vince Russo's love of pole matches, and I'm surprised no one talks here about Feast or Fired, which has a similar premise (4 winners with variable outcomes). ODB abuses the power advantage and does a really clean looking kip=up. Velvet pins ODB after a simple DDT. Just a DDT. What, she couldn't bust out In Yo' Face so she could be seen to win with an actual finisher and not what, in 2010, was a transition spot?

And so we get to the last two. Angelina Love vs. Lacey Von Erich. I remember talking in the Royal Rumble live discussion about the relative merits of Kelly Kelly vs. Lacey, but I've got to say: at least Lacey had one wrestling move. That move is a moonsault to a standing position into an elbow drop, which she misses here. Angelina is the rightful winner in quick fashion with her Lights Out finisher (which looks suspiciously like a Mic Check) followed by a very weak looking pin. Lacey looks distraught at being unable to strip off. Short video package for the ladder match next.

Match 4: Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson - Ladder Match for the Steel Cage's Key

Anderson sees something in the crowd and looks disgusted - if only the angle weren't so wrong that we couldn't see what it was. Angle hangs the dog tag on the turnbuckle, which has never ended well for him. As Anderson sets up a ladder, I notice that the cage key isn't a key at all, but a piece of wood with "Cage Key" sloppily written on it. Maybe the key is metaphorical? The key to victory? Anderson gets belly to belly suplexed into the ladder, which gets TNA chants. I like seeing him getting beaten up, actually. Mild "Holy shit" chants for when Angle's ladder gets pushed over and he falls to the floor, and they only realise to censor it when more of the crowd does it.

As usual with these ladder matches, there's less climbing ladders and more damaging other people's bodies with the help of ladders. Big pop for Angle hitting a moonsault to land on Anderson on top of a ladder. Huge spot, but knowing what's coming soon (spoilers!) it will be topped. Anderson stops Angle from climbing by choking him with the dog tag. He's successfully taken out, so Anderson can make his way up pretty easily for the win. Good match, for a feud that again I just can't get invested in. Anderson casts Summon Mic and says he's going to prematurely celebrate his win at Lockdown with a little bit of the bubbly. By drinking alone.

JB interviewing Hogan, who has an Obama-like "CHANGE" shirt. Appropriate, as we now know of Hogan's love for black men only if they're tall and relatively rich. JB appears to be goading him into publicly overruling and decrying Bischoff's management style, a bait which Hogan doesn't take. Also, Bischoff isn't here tonight. I wondered why it felt like this episode went more smoothly. Bubba the Spongy Penis shows up, fucks off JB, and tries to explain away to Hogan why he's with the Band now. There's that running theme of Business vs. Personal again! I feel like a literature student! Jay Lethal shows up too to make some Mega Powers references. Fun spot on Lethal's part..

The Band enter the Impact Zone, and we get a reminder of the lockboxes. Christy interviews Matt Morgan, who takes offence at being called "one half" of the Tag Team champions, and refers to himself as "we" and "us" much to her confusion. She's so lost that she doesn't even have time to give bedroom eyes to Morgan like usual. "You're not getting this, Hemme" -Matt Morgan. I'm surprised that that didn't become a Botchamania soundbite. Christy eventually catches on, and this starts to sound lke that one Monty Python sketch where the guy with double vision is planning an expedition to Kilimanjaro. Sadly, that's not on YouTube so I can't show it to you at the moment.

Motor City Machine Guns enter for a match that we are told is a "return match". Tenay is kind enough to tell us that on Xplosion, in case you missed it, MCMG and Team 3D had a number 1 contender's match to the Tag Team Championship that ended in a bizarre double pinfall. Two problems: they misspelled it as "Explosion", and Xplosion didn't even air in the US. Really leaning into that UK market, aren't you, TNA? Anyway, we get the return match to a match no one knew about on Impact. It's two good teams, though, so a fun old time!

Match 5: Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin) vs. Team 3D (Brother Devon/Brother Ray) - World Tag Team Championship Number 1 Contender's Match

"Nastys own 3D" sign in the crowd, despite the Nastys being gone at this point. Fairly big "We want tables" chant. This is followed later by a small "No we don't" chant. An assisted crossbody on Devon gets a 2.75 count. I question the logic of that diving headbutt that Team 3D do: how many "yam-bag regions", as Taz put it, has Devon's face been in over his career? Entirely too many. As Devon goes to get the tables... the Band show up and lay out both teams. Of course, because we can't have a decent match without the WCW egomaniacs butting in. Ray dies horribly by running into Kevin Nash's fist. Sabin eats a pretty gnarly Outsiders Edge.

Waltman spray paints something incomprehensible, followed by Bubba the Fuck Fuck (yes, I am running out of ideas) entering while Kevin Nash takes up the mic. Scott Hall, in a world of his own, does a stupid little dance, as Nash promos on Hogan. Actually, what the fuck is Scott Hall doing for this whole thing? Shitty Wolfpac music hits and a full on stupid little dance party ensues.

JB interviews the Pope, who hypes himself up for the match at Lockdown and comments on the cheaty loss to Desmond Wolfe. Wolfe shows up, Chelsea in tow, calls Pope "Poop", and says he should be facing AJ. He successfully goads Pope into putting his title shot on the line tonight. Please no. Heel vs. heel? Team Flair vs. Team Flair? I wouldn't put it past them to recreate the Fingerpoke of Doom in that situation. We cut backstage to see Tara nervous about the possibility of losing her Knockouts Title her pet tarantula.

Out comes Doug Williams to rant against the X Division again, and I see an "X Division = Ratings" sign in the crowd. He continually makes reference to circus performers, which is funny considering how his former stablemate Rob Terry ended up. Wants to be called fully "Douglas Williams" from now on. He calls out Generation Me, which really feels like a giant middle finger to both of them. No wonder they felt like they were being misused.

Match 6: Douglas Williams vs. Generation Me (Max Buck/Jeremy Buck) - Gauntlet Match

This is the first time we've seen either of the Bucks in singles, which Tenay points out. Apparently the first one is Jeremy. Doesn't really matter, because it doesn't even take a minute and a half before Williams pins him with his Chaos Theory suplex. Max comes in to do a bunch of flashy flippy shit starting with a flying clothesline straight into the ring. Max does a Hulk Hogan sequence - slam into leg drop. No one acknowledges it. Williams soon takes the second fall by submission with a guillotine choke. He refuses to break the hold, which is where Shannon Moore comes in for the save. Then he challenges him to a rematch at Lockdown, mostly by asking him to inspect his own testicles.

Christy interviews Team 3D, who've been beaten on by the Band. Brother Ray doesn't understand why this is happened. "Disrespecto" -Brother Ray. Devon has a decent promo on him as well, I don't know what I was talking about earlier. We only get a few seconds of Desmond Wolfe's entrance before it's interrupted by Pope's entrance...

Match 7: Desmond Wolfe vs. D'Angelo Dinero - World Heavyweight Championship Number 1 Contender's Match

Pope's money rain rating: none, because Wolfe comes out and attacks him during his entrance. Huge "Pope is pimping" chant. Fuck me, he's over. Wolfe tries to hit the Tower of London - how long has it been since he attempted that? Pope wins in very quick fashion with a double knee facebuster! That's a surprise how quick it went. What isn't a surprise is AJ Styles coming out and attacking him, hitting him with a Styles Clash. AJ bails when Abyss shows up, but comes back attacks Abyss from behind. Then Wolfe takes a fire extinguisher to him. Knowing how heavy those things are, I can't imagine how much it must hurt to be hit in the face by one...

"Match" 8: Velvet Sky vs. Tara vs. Angelina Love vs. Daffney - Lockbox Showdown Opening

Big pop for Velvet, especially considering she's a heel, wow. JB acts like it's life-changing, like a reality show host, then calls for the lights to be brought down. The lights are not brought down. "These items have ben placed strategically in these boxes, completely at random" -JB.
  • With box number 1, Velvet wins... the open contract! Big win! Given how open it is, she could easily challenge the Knockouts Champion to a "1-Count Pinfall, Falls Count Only If Your Name Is Velvet Sky" match! Surely she won't fuck it up by forgetting that. Surely. She seems happiest that she's not stripping though.
  • With box number 2, Tara wins... Poison! It's a rather unsatisfying ending to the storyline of the tarantula being taken away by heels, but Tara seems overjoyed... until JB informs her that she's lost the Knockouts Championship. This is, overall, a dumb result that shouldn't really have happened. Not only has Tara lost her title without losing, she's lost her title despite winning! How is that possible? Vince Russo only knows. I also forgot to add that Tara's face when she realises what just happened is glorious.


The other two open their boxes simultaneously.
  • With box number 3, Angelina wins... the Knockouts Championship! New Knockouts Champion - Angelina Love.
  • Of course, that can only mean, with box number 4, Daffney has "won" the right to striptease, or be fired. This result is unsatisfying for two reasons.
Daffney has to make the long slow walk down to the ring, in which she stands awkwardly for a couple of minutes doing anything that vaguely seems like stripping while atrocious stock porno music plays. It's seriously uncomfortable. Why is Daffney being so badly misused here? Eventually Lacey Von Erich shows up to whack Daffney with the ugly stick and do a striptease of her own! See, everything works out, and by that I mean it doesn't. Tara starts to brawl with Angelina Love, and they reach the ring, where they beat each other up, but Lacey doesn't give a shit and continues to strip. That's a genuinely funny visual!

Velvet gets the final promo of the night, and she first congratulates Lacey on turning up the heat. And she announces she's cashing in her open contract vs. the new champ, Angelina. Will it be a 1-Count Pinfall, Falls Count Only If Your Name Is Velvet Sky Match, like I suggested?... No. No it won't. It's a Leather and Lace match. First of all, what is a Leather and Lace match? Second of all, not even for the title? Really? We leave the show on Lacey, who continues obliviously stripping until Tara attacks her and hounds her out of the ring. That sure was an episode of Impact we just watched... Wow. See you on the go-home for Lockdown.
 
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Chris

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Should have uploaded gifs of Lacey for research purposes
 

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:russo

Fuck Vince Russo for his part in practically killing the knockouts division, to be honest. Shit like that was flat out AWFUL.
 

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Impact April 12, 2010 - Rage In Front of the Cage

So, after that bizarre mess of complication, bullshit, and Lacey Von Erich to close off last week's show, we open this week's with a Jeff jarrett entrance. We are reminded it's 8pm. jarrett joins in on the reminding, reminding us that he founded Total Nonstop Action Wrestling and apparently that means he's gotta beat the shit out of Sting. He goes where he knows he'll find Sting - the rafters. This jarrett is endearing. I'm now sad that I've been jobbing him out as a heel in my BTB (cheap plug). "Not playing hide and seek" -jarrett, who immediately hides. He does manage to beat Sting down to the ring, to ask him why. "Why, Sting, why" chants. Blackout, and suddenly Sting is beating on jarrett with his bat. The rest of Team Hogan show up, and Sting bails. Nice opening segment.

We go backstage, where Old Man Flair is ranting incoherently about how his captain beat up Jarrett and saying "Did you see that?" more often than a colour commentator. They insist that Lockdown is in St. Louis, even though it's in a fairly distant suburb of St. Louis. Each of Team Flair takes their turn to bully Team Hogan - and I'm quite liking this bubbling-under storyline with Chelsea wanting Abyss's magic ring. AJ shouts the word "piss" in a way that frightens Flair.

Team 3D out, Jesse Neal in tow. Ray is insistent on going ahead and grabbing the mic to shout at the Band. He calls Waltman "X-Pac". Jesse Neal plays to the camera on top of that. Ray informs us that Hulk Hogan doesn't like the Band, but before he can report on the wetness of water or the religion of the Pope, he tells us that the match they're about to have has been made a New York City Street Fight! Weapon stuff, cool.

Match 1: Team 3D (Brother Devon/Brother Ray/Jesse Neal) vs. The Band (Kevin Nash/Scott Hall/Syxx-Pac) - New York City Street Fight

It's already started by the time we come back from the break, with garbage cans being tossed around. Big "Jesse Neal" chants which is nice to see. I like the use of hardcore stips to disguise that certain workers just can't wrestle anymore. It worked for the Nasty Boys, and now it's working for the Band. Kendo stick shot to the "yam-bag region" for Waltman. Taz points out that Scott Hall doesn't know where he is. "Table" chants put Ray into a trance. So many garbage cans to the head. They get the tables before Bubba the Slime Mold comes out and distracts Ray, allowing Waltman to recover and land a top-rope X-Factor (Syxx-Factor?) through the table. Band wins. Crowd HATES this. They continue the beatdown until Eric Young comes out and challenges Nash to a match at Lockdown! Nice to see EY still exists.

Christy wants to talk about how badly beaten up Team Hogan are, but Hogan only wants to say that his team are "Real Serious about Lockdown" which is a spin doctor move. But then he sees Bischoff conversing with Old Man Flair! Trouble in paradise for these two? Hogan wants to see Bisch in his office. There are many ways this could end, not all of them pleasant. I note how much this is being played off like a cheating-with-the-ex angle.

Match 2: Shannon Moore vs. Kazarian

I don't have much to say about this match, because it's really good stuff from two guys who should have been built and pushed while they had the chance. They really want us to follow Dixie Carter on Twitter. "Let's go Shannon" chants, which are very female-led. About halfway through, Douglas Williams comes out on to commentary and trashes flippy shit. At that point the two choose to bring out the flippy shit, with a moonsault to the outside from Shannon. Kaz catches Shannon at one point and transitions an electric chair rack into a bridging suplex pin, which feels really cool and novel! Taz is only interested in talking about spotted dick and small packages. The match goes to a... time limit draw? So the pointless time limits did mean something after all. Long term booking? Huge "let them fight" chants before Doug trashes them and gets chased to the back. Good build! I really want to see the match at Lockdown now!

We get a solo interview between JB and Velvet Sky, who is suitably leathered up and has a heart-shaped riding crop. Velvet reminds us that this match will not be for the Knockouts Title, which is an utterly boneheaded decision (thanks Russo). Instead, we'll get a match at Lockdown where TBP take on Angelina and Tara for all the marbles. Couldn't you just make this match for the title and have that one at Lockdown anyway? That would be satisfying. Imagine the possibilities if one of these women lost the Knockouts Title because their teammate got the pin. Better than losing it from a box. We at last find out that a "Leather and Lace" match is a strip-type match.

We go back to the office of mediocrity where Hogan is pissed at Bisch for being a heel unlike him, and Bisch is dismissive because that's just who he is. Then Lethal comes in, makes some more Mega Powers references, and makes Hogan look like he's sick of everything and just wants the money to pay off his divorce and retire on already. JB goes to interview Angelina, who doesn't look prepared for the Leather and Lace match, considering no leather. She says she didn't come to TNA to be sexy, forgetting that she was an original member of TBP for years. Tara shows up and complains about the Lockbox Showdown - you and me both. She says "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" - like Bisch said! Is Tara part of Team Bischoff now? Wouldn't surprise me. Angelina gives some very pornographic dirty talk fighting talk to Tara.

Christy is backstage with Pope and Abyss now. Christy cannot stop miring Pope. Pope hypes himself up, and Abyss interrupts him to hype their match against Desmond and AJ as the main event tonight. Pope has it... he really should have been pushed. Abyss devolves into naming his weaknesses: fire truck, bazooka, rocket launcher. Don't give Russo ideas.

Match 3: Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky - Leather and Lace Match

Wait, Velvet takes the mic. It's not a Leather and Lace Match anymore? Swerve? She decides she's going to change the match on the fly, and makes it a match where Angelina has to wrestle in cuffs. Well, guess I've got to change the title.

Match 3: Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky - Leather and Lace Match No Disqualification Match, Angelina is Handcuffed

This is basically an extended beatdown of Angelina by Velvet. Big "you suck" chants, presumably directed at Vince Russo, who caused events to go in this direction. Velvet goes at it with chokes, hair pulls, and the riding crop. And then she springs on us that it's actually an I Quit Match. Fucking hell.

Match 3: Angelina Love vs. Velvet Sky - Leather and Lace Match No Disqualification Match, Angelina is Handcuffed I Quit Match, Angelina is Handcuffed

We finally get some stripping, but unfortunately it's of Angelina. I only say "unfortunately" considering the alternative. Then Madison and Lacey show up and they beat on Angelina 3-on-1... then Tara makes the save. Tara clears the ring, then stares down Angelina, setting up discord between the face team. The match is... thrown out? Wait, an I Quit Match, which was only declared to be such mid-match, ended in a no contest? How? Why? ODB (who was at this point seeking her release) tweeted out "What is happening to our division?" during this match, which... I agree, ODB. I agree.

We go to the back where Abyss is laid out and Christy is looking distressed... and after the break it's confirmed that Abyss was hit by a car. Holy shit. I've heard of car crash booking, but literally? Hogan is worried for him, apparently. This means Christy isn't available to be confused by Matt Morgan saying "we are the tag champs". Apparently he's got to pick a partner for this defence against MCMG, which he did, despite the lack of need for it. It's Amazing Red, and the height difference is ridiculous here... Morgan is uncharacteristically ready to hype up Red.

Match 4: Matt Morgan/Amazing Red (c) vs. Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley/Chris Sabin) - for the World Tag Team Championship

We're left to ponder why the Guns just have their title shot, if they had to put it on the line vs. Team 3D, and that match ended inconclusively... Is there never going to be any resolution to that? No? Match is divided roughly evenly between Morgan powering over both MCMG members and Red doing fast-paced flippy stuff with them. Crowd is dead against Morgan because he's the only heel here. Cool tag spots by the Guns on Morgan, including a dropkick by Sabin while he has Shelley caught, followed by a step-up dropkick to send him to the outside. Morgan is going for a Hellevator, when Red - the legal man - hits Code Red for the win! Morgan is pissed at Red for... winning him the titles? He's about to crush Red's head against the ring post until Sabin makes the save. Why would anyone agree to team with Morgan after this.

Christy is still in the back, clarifying that they're about to take Abyss to the hospital local medical facility. They've got security camera footage of the whole thing. It shows Abyss getting hit by a slow-moving car, apparently driven by Desmond Wolfe. So, we're building up a fine list here.

LIST OF ABYSS' WEAKNESSES
  1. Fire trucks
  2. Rocket launchers
  3. Bazookas
  4. Slow-moving cars apparently driven by Desmond Wolfe
Hm.

Match 5: Jeff Hardy vs. Robert Roode

We're reminded of Beer Money being heels from multiple angles. Crowd goes wild for Hardy, who takes a while to come out and makes me fear an early Victory Road 2011 situation. "You never know what angle he's coming from - I don't think Hardy knows" -Taz, the prophet. "St. Louie" -also Taz. Match is by the numbers, with Roode doing his heel thing and Hardy busting out all those signature moves. Roode slips out of the Twist of Fate, and it looks like a botch until the commentators draw attention to it. This lets Roode take control and bully Hardy outside the ring. Hardy takes it with a Swanton, which is a move that makes me very uncomfortable. It looks like he'll land on his head one of these days. Storm shows up for a post-match beatdown, and hits Hardy with a beer fireball that is very clumsily censored. Luckily, they put it on YouTube.


Trying to find a link for this, I found that apparently Hardy did suffer minor facial burns from the fireball. We get a save from RVD, and Hardy's getting a (legit) cold water towel on his face. They recap the matches from Lockdown, but I'm reminded that "Walk Away" is the theme of Lockdown. Remind me to post a link to the audio of this song when I post Lockdown. We get a recap of Angle/Anderson - a four-minute recap. They'll probably replay it in full at Lockdown.

We get an interview with Pope, where he's trying to be serious, but Jay Lethal's tribute act gets in the way. I thought I liked this guy until he interrupted actual serious storylines rather than doing comedy bits with the real Hogan. He does call Pope "Reverend Slick" which is a nice touch. Apparently Lethal's replacing Abyss tonight. So you trade Hogan for Savage. That sounds like a fantasy booking scenario. Dog the Bounty Hunter is in the crowd.

Pope out for the main event. Pope's money rain rating: lacklustre. Maybe they're saving up a big load to blow at Lockdown. Lethal would come out, but he's being attacked in the back by Beer Money, including an offscreen chair shot to the head. Out comes AJ, I guess. He's announced to be accompanied to the ring by Flair, but Chelsea misses her cue for a solid minute to push him out. AJ gloats until Wolfe comes out... but Hogan comes out and hits him with a steel chair! Guess this is a singles match now.

Match 6: AJ Styles/Desmond Wolfe vs. D'Angelo Dinero/Abyss/Jay Lethal

Or not much of a match at all, because we're barely a minute in when Flair gets up out of that wheelchair. The "He was fine all along" spot doesn't hold water when you've been chokeslammed through a walkway. He clocks Pope with the World Heavyweight Championship belt as the match is thrown out. Team Flair stands tall on the go-home and Hogan has to stare them down. Overall thoughts? Strange for jarrett to come out and remind us that this is Total Nonstop "Action", then give us backstage segments and matches that are screwed and changed on the fly. Whatever. See you at Lockdown.

Next up: Lockdown

AJ Styles (c) vs. D'Angelo Dinero - Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship
Team Hogan (Abyss/Jeff Hardy/Rob Van Dam/Jeff jarrett) vs. Team Flair (Sting/James Storm/Robert Roode/Desmond Wolfe) - Lethal Lockdown Match
Douglas Williams (c) vs. Shannon Moore vs. Kazarian - Steel Cage Match for the X Division Championship
The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne) (c) vs. Angelina Love (c)/Tara - Steel Cage Match for the Knockouts Championship and the Knockouts Tag Team Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson - Escape the Steel Cage Match
Team 3D (Brother Devon/Brother Ray) vs. The Band (Scott Hall/Syxx-Pac) - Steel Cage Match
Kevin Nash vs. Eric Young - Steel Cage Match
Rob Van Dam vs. James Storm - Steel Cage Match for the advantage in Lethal Lockdown​
 

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Ah yes, Vince Russo: Champion of Women's Wrestling. :russo

Not hard to see why Women's wrestling was seen as such a joke in America thanks to the efforts of Fabulous Moolah and Vince Russo.
 

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These reviews are fantastic for someone who's never really watched tna :WOW
 

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Lockdown 2010 - Cagey from the Off

And, of course, we start off a PPV... with a video package! This one tells us about a horrifying structure, born from the darkest recesses of the mind and bringing terror to all those who look upon it... I know, I still don't feel right about this era of TNA with a four-sided ring, either. Oh, they're talking about the steel cage. Bunch of wrestlers talk about how much they hate wrestling in it. So, is the take-home from this that the biggest heel is those walls of steel? Heartbeat and ECG beeps. It makes me miss Taz wrestling.

The arena they're in looks really nice! They got so many people in here, which makes me feel sad for the situation 10 years later. Ultimate Warrior sign in the crowd. We've got some news! Doug Williams has been stripped of the X Division title because he's trapped in Europe as a result of that one Icelandic volcano that no one can spell without copy/paste. A greater devil than Eyjafjallajökull, apparently, is Syxx-Pac being Syxx-Pac, because Waltman no-showed. I guess this means Nash is pulling double duty to give us the Team 3D/Band match? Not looking forward to that. Also not here? Bischoff. Thank fuck.

Match 1: Rob Van Dam vs. James Storm - Steel Cage Match for the advantage in Lethal Lockdown

Either the acoustics are terrible or the crowd is dead already, I think during RVD's entrance. Probably the acoustics, I realise during Storm's. Woman on her phone in Hulk Hogan cosplay is shown in the crowd. Match starting on the outside, but it's the face initiating. Interesting choice. First major spot (and first TNA chant) has RVD hitting a legdrop from hanging on the cage to Storm who's draped over the guardrail. That seems so stupid and dangerous. Bell only rings when they're in the cage, and RVD is busted open already. I think it's cool that the cage has camera holes. Avoids a Steel Asylum situation.

The more they mention Bischoff being missing, the more I worry about him actually being here. RVD is very nearly at crimson mask stage. James Storm repeatedly does the RVD chant and opens up thar head wound. You know what's one of my favourite classic bits of psychology? Where both of them are just barely on their feet, exchanging punches. So yeah, RVD and Storm do that. Referee distraction allows a beer spit, but that doesn't lead to the pin like I expect it will. Instead it ends in a failed Last Call attempt followed by a Five Star Frog Splash. RVD wins! Pretty nice opener.

Christy interviews Hogan backstage, who hypes up Team Hogan and condemns the car shot. He makes a lot of weather metaphors, which is surprising, as that sort of tan doesn't come from actual sun. He says he'll leave if Team Flair wins. Sadly, that spoils the ending of the Lethal Lockdown match.

Match 2: Homicide vs. Brian Kendrick vs. Alex Shelley vs. Chris Sabin - X Division Championship Number 1 Contender's Xscape Match

Apparently this is going to determine the third man in the championship three-way later tonight. Brian Kendrick's still using his shitty ripoff version of a CLASSICAL PIECE as entrance music, which is a surprise, as the original is badass sounding enough.


Hamada sign in the crowd. Hamada isn't booked for this event. Sadly no mention of the Steel Asylum match where Homicide won - surely he'd be an expert at escape-type matches! Where's the continuity? Kendrick also busted open early. He gathers way too much momentum for a slap to the face while Homicide has his victim in a Camel Clutch. We're informed that Scott Hall has been threatened with a handicap match if he doesn't come with a tag team partner. Like, really? Just use Nash! Sabin takes a completely out-of-nowhere Gringo Killer, which annoys me because the move is so dangerous and no attention is drawn to it aside from a brief line on commentary. At least it leads to the finish though, as Homicide wins the race with Kendrick out of the cage. Decent match. Kendrick is PISSED.

We get a recap of Kevin Nash and Eric Young, and it makes me notice that Taz claimed that it was surreal to see Nash on the same side as Hall and Waltman, but then called his betrayal of Young "the unthinkable". I'm also reminded that Bubba the Dirty Flannel exists. Ugh.

Match 3: Eric Young vs. Kevin Nash - Steel Cage Match

EY really did have shit music at this point. I really like the lighting for the staredown they have. EY keeps telling Nash to bring it but Nash keeps destroying him. A fairly Eric-sided dueling chant breaks out, though for all I know it could be two groups chanting "Let's go Eric" out of sync. Match is slow and not all the entertaining, and features EY being driven head first into the cage and landing weirdly from a Jackknife Powerbomb. The straps-down look is not flattering to Nash, but he wins. EY is also busted open, and he's possibly unconscious. If this was going to be a squash, could it have been shorter?

Nash grabs a mic and makes a hugely expected announcement that he's going to be Hall's partner. Guy in the crowd has a "The Band est. 1847" sign. I have no idea what this could be referring to, so we'll just say the Band was formed as a result of the establishment of Salt Lake City, Utah. (Is there BB Code to display one of several pieces of text at random? Let me know) We're reminded of the Lockbox Challenge as a preface to this upcoming Knockouts match. Because that's how you hype up a match: a game show!

Match 4: The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne) (c) vs. Angelina Love (c)/Tara - Steel Cage Match for the Knockouts Championship and the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

Tenay and Taz talk up TBP's entrances, which have become outright more lesbian since last time we saw them. Tara going for the cheap pop by coming out in Cardinals colours, and points out the "Tara's Future X-Husband" sign. Angelina Love's tron, I just noticed, is just an image of three women gyrating. Taz mistakes BFF for BCS. Tara pulls off a really clean looking bridging chinlock on Velvet. TBP's ring work looking smoother than before. Tara tells Angelina to watch on a moonsault... but misses. Tara gets a blind tag, which is rude. A referee distraction allows Lacey Von Erich to open the cage door, hit a belt shot on Tara, and let Madison get a cheap pin! TBP retain and New Knockouts Champion - Madison Rayne. Should have been Velvet.

After an extremely extended moment of commisseration between the two losers, Tara flips her shit and attacks Angelina, seeming seriously deranged. We go backstage to JB interviewing Team Flair. Flair goes on a rant, talking about Beer Money being the future (in a rare moment of lucidity) and saying "Sting" a lot. He woos to everyone. Including AJ. Speaking of AJ, he calls himself the longest reigning World Heavyweight Champion (which, at this point, was true. His reign hit 210 days during Lockdown). So this is going to be easy, apparently.

Match 5: Kazarian vs. Shannon Moore vs. Homicide - Steel Cage Match for the vacant X Division Championship

"Shannon Moore looks like he just exploded out of a volcano" -Taz. That's funny. Both Kaz and Moore start by working the guy who already had a match. Homicide is hitting the back of his head against the cage wall again and again. Match is a good start, with a surprising number of suplexes being thrown out, given that Doug WIlliams isn't here anymore... Very cool spot where Homicide hits a double cutter, which Kaz sells much more than Moore does. While I wouldn't consider him a typical "X Division" wrestler, he fits in well, so more power to him.

Taz mentions that the belt itself isn't even here. Moore gets smashed into the cage by Kaz, in a spot that seems far too dangerous. Speaking of dangerous moves, Homicide hits a diving headbutt. Does he have no concern for his or anyone else's health? Finish is a teased Gringo Killer on Moore ending up with a Fade to Black by Kaz on Homicide. New X DIvision Champion - Kazarian. He looks so happy...

Christy is here to interview Pope, and it occurs to me that Christy may not actually be eyeing up every attractive male face, like I thought. That's just her resting face. Though she does seem really interested in Pope, who is riffing on the word "Styles". He is charismatic as fuck. He should really be champion at some point... He asks for a drink and receives water from an offscreen hand. So, he's got Anderson's mic-drop powers?

Team 3D out... they already got the tables. And Ray puts on a really nice face promo, hyping up the crowd and calling for a Street Fight where falls count anywhere... I'd guess Hall is none the wiser, given how dazed he looks when he comes out.

Match 6: Team 3D (Brother Devon/Brother Ray) vs. The Band (Scott Hall/Kevin Nash) - St. Louis Street Fight

Very quickly turns into ECW-like brawling, and Taz is soon here to explain how "FTW Rules" work. They start fighting into the crowd, which is unexpected to say the least but also very ECW. Devon is the only face in the last 15 years to hit a beer bottle shot (as far as I remember). Mixed "TNA"/"ECW" chants. Devon being beaten on the inside while Ray is trapped on the outside. Camera botch as Nash's big boot very visibly does not land. Hall is barely standing up, and not because he's taken some hits. Well, it is because he's taken some "hits", actually.

Hall and Ray battling on the cage door, followed by Nash and Ray, until Nash loses his grip thanks to a thrown steel chair. Interesting spot. Ray gets in and Team 3D take control, doing their favourite spots including the Whazzup and the "Get The Tables" call. "Hall competed earlier" -Taz, mistaking the reason why Hall came out so dazed. 3D through a table. Devon with the pin. Yep.

Recap of Angle vs. Anderson, with all its overly jingoistic overtones, and I'm going to come clean with you. I'm glad this feud is going to be over soon. Angle is a good wrestler, but Anderson is a cure for insomnia, and the entire story that's being told in the feud is not something I can get behind. It's an objectively good feud, but from my subjective point of view, I cannot enjoy it. I realise I was right - they replayed the same entire video package as they showed on the go-home. Another reason why I'm not down with this.

Anderson looks undead in this lighting as he makes his entrance and does his self-introduction. "My precious" -Anderson on the key. Just think, if they'd mixed some keys up on that one Impact, we could have had Anderson as Knockouts Champion! That would have been more entertaining. It would have also meant Kurt Angle vs. Angelina Love, which sounds... disturbing.

Match 7: Kurt Angle vs. Mr. Anderson - Escape the Steel Cage Match

Anderson tries to go for the cage door escape ridiculously early. Angle seems like he's being beaten up pretty badly... Sounds that are coming from that direction are genuinely sickening. Yep, Angle is busted upen again. That is some serious crimson. First high spot is a top-rope belly-to-belly suplex that gets TNA chants. You ain't seen nothing yet, crowd. Anderson uses wrist tape to choke out Angle, and I really like the commentary putting over how tough wrestlers' wrist tape is. Angle looks to be at about 0.4 Muta at this point, and we're only about eight minutes in. Referee is doing a ten count despite this match only being won by escaping the cage.

Anderson goes for a pin, forgetting the win condition. Angle hits 6 Germans, which is pretty cool, and I like the psychology of him fighting to hit it. Kurt changes his mind about escaping the cage and goes for the Ankle Lock, which is reversed and ends in a Mic Check. Eventually Angle gives an oddly-pixelated middle finger. On a PPV. Then he tosses the key. Now this match will last forever... German Suplex from hanging on the cage lays Anderson out. "Couldn't describe it better", says Tenay, about a crowd that can't decide whether to chant "TNA", "This is awesome", or "Holy shit".

Then comes the spot that everyone remembers: Kurt Angle's top-of-the-cage moonsault. Holy shit. I'm surprised it's so well-remembered, given that it almost completely misses. What I'm disappointed by is that Kurt tainted the legacy of this spot by doing it in every other cage match he was in. Anyway, Angle goes to escape but Anderson goads him back in with the double bird and lands the Mic Check. Idiot face syndrome strikes again. Anderson gets to the steel steps, when Angle chokes him out with the dog tag. Big "Choke him out" chant until Angle finally decides to escape. A fitting end to the feud. This could really main event, but there's 2 more to go...

Angle has the strength to cut a face promo on the fans. Curry Man impersonator spotted in the crowd. Kurt announces he's going to take some time out and then get the World Heavyweight Championship. Honestly, it's for the best that Angle steps aside for a while. Recap of AJ/Pope. Let's hope this gets a satisfying conclusion... Is AJ making "nothing and like it" a catchphrase?

Match 8: AJ Styles (c) vs. D'Angelo Dinero - Steel Cage Match for the World Heavyweight Championship

Pope's money rain rating: kind of pathetic. I doubt that bodes well. Earl Hebner getting physical with Flair early on, which ends in him being sent to the back. Okay, it's going to be even more dumb if AJ wins now. JB does the announcements, and gives Pope a full series of nicknames which I really have to write down myself.

"The Most Pimptacular, Hand-Clappin', Foot-Tappin', Pimp-Slappin', Blingin' Attire, Always On Fire, Pope" D'Angelo Dinero

Okay, you don't give a guy that many nicknames and not have him win. Everything seems to be set up for a Pope win. Cut to nonplussed guys in the crowd. Taz refers to "the twelfth man", which really doesn't work as an analogy in a solo combat sport. Big dueling chants. They really don't want AJ to be heel. Pope trying to get momentum, but AJ cuts him off. They're really fighting each other for the edge. Crowd really gets behind Pope eventually. AJ gets an eye rake and a forearm. Insult to injury. The use of a diving headbutt by Pope can't help.

Pope kicks out of a Pele and then a 450 immediately after. How many first time challengers have done that? I realise it's a very specific situation, but that's quite rare. AJ goes to the top and, rather than escaping, misses the top-of-the cage crossbody! Then Pope hits a double inverted knee for 2! Then AJ misses the DDE! So many false finishes... until AJ steals a pen from a cameraman! I no longer like the camera holes in the steel cage. AJ gets the eye poke with the pen, discus clothesline, Styles Clash... AJ retains. What was that ending? I was going to complain about this not being the main event, but that ending would be a real downer to end on.

We cut to the back, where Bischoff is finally arrived... and ignores JB's attempts to interview him. Come on. You interrupted AJ celebrating for this? Lethal Lockdown coming up. The match rule explanation isn't anywhere near as iconic as the Royal Rumble match rule explanation.

Match 9: Team Hogan (Abyss/Jeff Hardy/Rob Van Dam/Jeff jarrett) vs. Team Flair (Sting/James Storm/Robert Roode/Desmond Wolfe) - Lethal Lockdown Match

Abyss and Roode out first. Abyss comes out in red, nice touch. Roode is billed from Wall Street, and he shittalks Abyss and the ring. The Monster got a hairline fracture from being hit by a car(??), which Roode takes the opportunity to work. Abyss has that weird ketchup-and-mustard A on his attire. He seriously flails about from hitting the cage at one point. RVD is next to come out, and he's really slow to enter the cage considering his apparent teammate is being beaten on. Where's the teamwork? He gets all his spots in - spin kick, monkey flip, and Rolling Thunder - in the allocated two minutes.

Second entry for Team Flair is Desmond Wolfe. He gives the V's to the crowd - that's not pixelated. Roode uses the distraction of the entrance to hit Abyss in the nuts. Nice idea. Both of Team Flair's men go heavy on throat offence. Up next is jarrett, and the reaction that he gets is fairly weak given the representation of Southern wrasslin' that he (thinks he) has become. He gets some spots of making saves for the faces before James Storm comes in. The next two minutes are fairly even given that the usual psychology here is the heels repeatedly taking control. Chelsea remembers to act, looking concerned for Wolfe.

Hardy doesn't enter on cue... Oh no. Oh, it's fine, he's just laid out in the back by Sting. RVD has about 60% of a crimson mask. Sting enters with his bat! In that case, why didn't jarrett bring his guitar? And why didn't Abyss bring Janice? Did he even have that 2x4 covered in nails at the time? Why didn't James Storm bring a beer bottle? As I wonder this stuff, I realise that jarrett's guitar is dangled from the roof that's being lowered. The first weapon shots are unprotected shots to the head... Yikes. Sting mostly watches his team commit murder.

Roode shoves jarrett out to the floor while Abyss tries to work Sting and brings out the bag of tacks. Has Abyss used that and not been tacked recently? Team Flair prematurely celebrate when Hardy's music hits. "That's Jeff jarrett's music!" -Taz. Even with the terrible acoustics, Hardy is way over. He cleans up Beer Money, then Wolfe eats jarrett's guitar shot and a Frog Splash. Sting gets chokeslammed to the tacks, and now everyone inside the cage is dead!

Hardy climbs the cage and goads Beer Money up there, which is successful. There's a table and a ladder up there... Beer Money see that, since after the 2v1 beatdown they set up the table. Teased kendo stick shot to the head ends in Hardy taking back the edge. Twist of Fate on the roof! Ginger in the crowd is bewildered. Jeff splashes Storm through a table, from a ladder, on top of the steel cage roof! This is exactly the sort of dumb bullshit Jeff Hardy does, and I'm down with it! Crowd can't decide how to signal their approval.

Ric Flair is out, and entering the ring! Okay, now we get the overbooked bullshit. And he goes straight for Abyss' magic ring, but Hogan comes out to stop him! Flair's face is priceless.



Can that be an emote? Anyway, Hogan grabs Sting's bat and threatens Flair, but Bischoff comes out to try and make peace between them. Bisch brings out brass knucks, teases passing them to Flair, but passes them to Hogan. Flair's busted open because of course he is! He takes his shirt off (OH GOD WHY) and flops his way on to those tacks. Garbage can shot to the head. Hogan keeps beating on Flair, and oh by the way, Abyss has recovered and hits a Black Hole Slam on Wolfe for the win.

Hogan and Bischoff are friends again, Hogan and Flair are super duper enemies, and eight of your genuine stars are taking a back seat to three old bastards. Well... that's Lockdown for you. And as promised, here's the theme music. I'm honestly surprised at how much it applies to someone who got sick of watching TNA...


Just walk away
Make it easy on yourself
Just walk away
Please release me from this hell
Just walk away
There's just nothing left to feel
Just walk away
Pretend that none of this is
None of this is

Just walk away
Make it easy on us both
Just walk away
There was never any hope
Just walk away
You already know the deal
Just walk away
Pretend that none of this
No, none of this was real
 

Chris

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I remember really liking that Angle/Anderson match, I'd probably rank it as Anderson's best.
 

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Impact April 19, 2010 - Under a Dark Cloud

I mentioned the Icelandic volcano in the Lockdown write-up, but while TNA lost one X Division Champion (former champion now), WWE lost most of the Raw crew. So, remembering that the Monday Night Mistake was going on at the moment, surely they'd have something to get the edge over their rivals given that they weren't understaffed. Not like we could tell from the opening video package, with the Lockdown recap focusing entirely on the "intrigue" between Hogan, Bischoff, and Flair. Episode title (yes, that's still a thing!) is "What We All Fight For". I find myself wondering that too. Crowd sign says they drove ten hours for this. I feel bad for whoever has that sign.

The champion opens us up, as makes sense. AJ not followed by Flair, which makes perfect sense given how bloodied he looked at Lockdown. Signs in the crowd include a "How much does that guy weigh?" sign (Botchamania references? I have achieved COMEDY) and this really good double sign.



Crowd has huge heat for AJ. Apparently Ric's going to be delayed due to the victory party, and not due to stitching his head up again and removing tacks from his bare back. He puts himself over by fake putting over Pope, in that classic Flair style. Pope's no better than Sting, Jeff jarrett, or Kurt Angle, apparently? Why not Tomko, Abyss, or Samoa Joe, all people that AJ has more recently beaten? Are we supposed to sweep those under the carpet? Puts over the house shows and calls himself a workhorse. You're not wrong there. Apparently the house shows were really good too at this time.

And RVD is out! In a shirt! "This = ratings" sign, which doesn't seem mathematically sound. Taz is talking about rumours regarding RVD's intentions. Crowd pops huge, which he demonstrates to AJ. RVD is a pretty nice face, and he's not impressed with AJ's heel tactics. "TNA right now is where all the wrestlers want to be" -RVD, forgetting that TAFKA Val Venis left this company because he wanted to appear for another company. Maybe he doesn't count as a wrestler? Easy judgment to make, watching his matches. RVD wants to be the champion. Only natural.

Enter Jeff Hardy, who is also way popular. It's almost like they're going to have a match between these two extremely popular guys or something. "The movement has begun" -Jeff, foreshadowing. He's gunning for the championship too, and HOLD UP PLAYA! That's Hulk Hogan's music! He wastes needless pyro to complete a very sensible storyline beat, putting the main guys over while putting himself over at the same time, for a good few minutes. After enough stalling, he announces what makes sense - Hardy vs. RVD for the Number 1 Contender status later. AJ claims he's not ready to defend at Sacrifice - newsflash! He'll be defending tonight!

We go backstage to Ric Flair, who is unusually sprightly when he hears AJ Styles is booked for a championship match. At least his head is taped up. Continuity? Flair's gonna be banned from ringside from this title match - so best hope the camera guys on Impact don't have pens on them. Speaking of title matches, another pair of champions will be defending two days in a row.

Match 1: The Beautiful People (Velvet Sky/Madison Rayne) (c) vs. Daffney/ODB - for the Knockouts Tag Team Championship

Jobber entrance for ODB and Daffney. You hate to see it. Especially that (if I remember right) this is the last Daffney match we'll get before the Rosie Lottalove incident. TPB's entrance happens and commentary is only interested in talking about Sean Waltman (whom they call by that name, and not Syxx-Pac). Ticker pops up revealing the Lockdown results, which incorrectly states that Brian Kendrick won the Xscape match. I guess in this match Daffney is a face? Finally. ODB gets the hot tag, has it won but ref is distracted, then TBP win in short order with a handful of tights. They look good with gold, but... not like this.

JB eavesdrops on AJ and Flair ranting about the World Title shot tonight. Flair demands a Team Hogan vs. Team Flair rematch, at which point JB interrupts. 5-minute deadline for them to name a team or Flair takes a forfeit victory. IApparently he can get away with this shit because, remember, his contract was signed before Hogan and Bischoff arrived. Inferred Continuity~!

Speaking of Team Hogan, Abyss and jarrett are out, where Abyss at the top of his voice reminds Flair that he lost. He screams "ass" into the camera. Apparently Team Flair has its own Lockdown-themed tron. "Opening line: kiss my ass!" -Flair, accidentally reciting one of the bullet points he's been given. An extended 2v4 beatdown is evened up slightly when Rob Terry joins Hogan's team and cleans up. "You're a deadman" -Flair to jarrett, contradicting the theme music of the latter. And now the Smiling Fucking Mug shows up, having recovered a lot of his hair and so not needing the trucker cap. The 4-on-4 rematch is happening later tonight, with a mystery partner. While the commentary is going over the upcoming match, Flair continues to yell.

Matt Morgan, still referring to himself as "we" like a jumped-up English noble, offers Shannon Moore to be his partner tonight. Moore holds up the Book of DILLIGAF while Morgan gives his speech, and the Blueprint doesn't seem to be getting the message. Moore turns him down because he's seen what happened to Amazing Red he's got an X Division Championship match next week. A lot of references to the word ass today. Hogan gives Bisch his props for how Flair got got, talks up the World Title, and they say there's going to be the long-promised revolutionary new ranking system next week! And then they make innuendo about Miss Tessmacher. RVD gives a pre-match speech about this being friendly.

Match 2: Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam

What are they going to call RVD when Impact isn't on Monday nights anymore, I wonder. "That reckless style" -Taz, when these two aren't quite locked up yet. We come back from commercial, which is where the action has already happened, and RVD does his murderous-looking corkscrew leg drop. He's already busted open. Minor TNA chants for a missed monkey flip answered by a Hardy clothesline. Then there is a very interesting pin attempt that draws a lot of flexibility from RVD, where he's on his neck and his legs are over his head while Hardy pins him butt first. Doesn't end in a fall though.

They continue to go higher risk, with RVD going for a kick while Hardy is balanced on the ropes. Biggest pop of the night so far is from Hardy taking his shirt off. Swanton denied by a spin kick. "Almost like a high jumping leg lariat" -Taz. You're supposed to know these moves, you've wrestled with him. No one at home on the second Swanton attempt, and I audibly and visibly cringed at the fact that Hardy seems so close to landing on his head every single time. Five Star Frog Splash, and RVD is set to face AJ tonight. Good match helped by a white hot crowd.

RVD is caught by Christy for a post-match interview, and he insists on bringing Jeff along. They're friends and they're faces! Refreshing. They really want us to watch Deadliest Warrior tomorrow. RVD and Hardy watch the highlights package together, then hype up RVD's chances of winning against AJ. Back to the Team Hogan locker room, where Abyss hypes up Rob Terry. Terry cuts a mediocre promo while Abyss screams. "I trust Eric Bischoff and I definitely trust Hulk Hogan" -Abyss, holding the idiot ball.

Match 3: Team Flair (Sting/James Storm/Robert Roode/Desmond Wolfe) vs. Team Hogan (Abyss/Jeff jarrett/Rob Terry/???)- Gauntlet Tag Team Match

I suppose this is a staggered-entry type match? Because only Sting and jarrett are out to start with. Sting's immediately like "aight Imma head out" when seeing his first opponent, then beats on jarrett outside the ring. The referee calls for the bell but makes no attempt to make a countout. The two spend a good few minutes murderising each other against walls. jarrett gives a chair shot, thankfully on the back. Both of them eventually make it to the ring, do what could be vaguely described as wrestling, then are laid out in preparation for the next entrance.

I guess Team Flair got the advantage somehow, because Desmond Wolfe is out, and he's so smooth. Why couldn't we have gotten this guy vs. jarrett for 5 minutes? What we see for the next 2 minutes is good quality wrestling, which is immediately ruined by Rob Terry. I like the guy, he's got a look... but he can't wrestle for shit. And I'm reminded of one of those bubbling-under stories on Impact where Orlando Jordan shows up to watch him. I know how this one goes - Orlando's presence distracts Rob, he loses in short order, he eventually gets kidnapped by hooded balaclava ninjas and nothing comes of it! We've seen this before.

We come back from a break and find that we've completely missed the entrances of both Roode and Abyss. It's a shame, I wish we'd gotten to hear American Made one more time. Roode is in purple tights and so I spend a good few seconds wondering why Desmond Wolfe has hair before Storm enters. Storm stumbles, and it's only noticeable because the commentators point it out. I don't like this foreshadowing of the idea of showing up to a match intoxicated. Abyss sells the hip injury (psychology?), then the heels take control over Jarrett. "The hat may not be loaded, but Storm might be" -Tenay.

The fourth man is... Samoa Joe? I mentioned the balaclava ninjas earlier, but... is there any explanation for why Joe is back? They show the ticker again, but corrected to note that Homicide won the Xscape match. Team Hogan wins after Joe cleans up. He looks so intense, especially when he has Roode racked up ready to hit the Muscle Buster. The rest of Team Hogan look bewildered that Joe was there. Flair comes out to cut a promo, but it happens entirely during the break. And that promo was... wow. Abyss is going to face Ric Flair next week. For Flair's ring. Yes, the magic ring storyline is rolling on. I wonder if they've got some more WWE Hall of Famers for Abyss to collect the rings from. Turn him into some sort of "Macho Warrior" Ric Hogan.

Match 4: AJ Styles (c) vs. Rob Van Dam - for the World Heavyweight Championship

I notice that the ring announcer has stopped calling the time limits since a time limit draw actually happened. AJ's heel tactic is to drape the cape over RVD's head and then beat on him. No sign of a DQ. This is very one-sided from the beginning, which is only natural because AJ isn't the one who's wrestled 15 minutes vs. Jeff Hardy already tonight. "Immediately following Impact, catch the" says the ticker, which is immediately cut off. Arguing with the referee allows RVD to take control with his educated feet. They seem groggy and slapping each other, all of which psychology goes immediately out of the window when RVD hits a monkey flip. He's limping, but fine to hit Rolling Thunder.

AJ locks in the Figure Four, but "woo" chants are few and far between sadly. RVD looks dead after the Pele, but AJ has to go for the Styles Clash so he doesn't get the obvious pin. Finish is a flying forearm caught into a spinebuster, and then RVD hits the Frog Splash... for three? New World Heavyweight Champion - Rob Van Dam...

I have thoughts regarding this change, and they're mostly to do with the Lockdown finish. Namely: was this entire idea of RVD winning it on the very next Impact just a burial of Pope? Was that the plan? Why would they do that, other than that they don't care about a guy who made himself a star here? A fresh Pope gets jobbed out to a cameraman's pen, but an Attitude Era guy can do two matches in a row and come out on top as champ. Says a lot. AJ didn't like it either, and he openly admitted it in the same year.

AJ Styles said:
"I definitely didn't understand it. For the life of me, I couldn't understand it. I was very surprised that I would lose that title after holding it for so long, and to somebody who has basically been out of wrestling for over a year, and was coming in from WWE. And he should have been tired from wrestling a match before that. It was like I'm not the star I thought I was. I guess I'm just a guy in TNA." Link
When your World Champ at the start of the year is burying your booking choices by August, you're doing something wrong. Whatever. See you next Impact.
 

Chris

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RVD's title reign gave us a vacancy due to 2x4 with NAILS attack tho
 

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If you don't like me, remember its mind over matter. I don't mind and you don't matter. :)
-_- Stop deleting my damn profile post!

U-Haul sucks ass. Geez.
HoHo wrote on OMB's profile.
Happy Birthday OMB!

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