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Impact: You screwed Kurt!
By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling


Coming off the heels of the Genesis pay per view, Hulk Hogan has promised major changes in TNA for years to come. Also, AJ Styles and Ric Flair form an alliance and a main event that you won't believe.

After TNA’s first pay per view of the year, Hulk Hogan has promised that big changes are supposed to take place, but the question is: are they for the better?

And who better to kick of this week’s edition of Impact than the legend of legends, Ric Flair, who stands in the 4-sided (how innovative) ring, accompanied by two gorgeous valets. Flair says he came to TNA for three reasons. The first is because he hates Hulk Hogan and the feud with him and Hogan has never been resolved, but it will be in TNA. He says the next reason is because for 20 years, he has searched far and wide for the man who could fill his shoes and be the next nature boy. He says nobody was capable of doing that. Then, he says, six months ago, he started paying attention to TNA and saw the great Kurt Angle, who he labels the most skilled technician in the world today. But just like everybody else, including Sting, he’s great, but he’s not Ric Flair. He then adds that months ago, he began to notice a young man with incredible talent and finally stopped his search, because he finally found his replacement in AJ “stylin’ and profilin’” Styles. Flair then goes off into a story about his apparent sexual encounter with one Dixie Carter, claiming that she delivered him a contract (I guess that would be considered foreplay) and told him to put whatever number he wants and sign it. Flair then introduces the World Champion AJ Styles, who comes out with a new look. He’s dressed like a champion for once. AJ is sporting a brand new suit on his body and is escorted by a brand new knockout on his arm. AJ immediately gets the crowd riled up, asking if anyone has a problem with what they’re seeing. This earns the champ a ton of boos. AJ says it doesn’t matter what they think, because as long as he still has the belt and still has the women, that’s all that matters to him. He says for eight years, he worked his butt off (I guess TNA is going PG too now) and he’s done it all. He says he’s one of the TNA originals and was one of the first guys signed by this company, as well as the only grand slam champion in the history of TNA (well the global championship barely counts as a title), yet he still gets no respect and no credit. He says instead, all the credit is given to the Jeff Jarrett’s, the Samoa Joe’s, the Mick Foley’s, the Kurt Angle’s and the Sting’s. This brings out Kurt Angle, who’s accompanied by Hulk Hogan, walking behind him. Hogan sarcastically says that it looks like we’ve got such a happy family in the ring right now and at Genesis, he did say it would be Angle’s last shot at the belt, but because of this newly formed alliance between AJ and Flair, he’s changed his mind. This news cause both AJ and Flair to lose it and the jackets go flying. Hogan says he’s running the show (so that’s how it is) and has decided to give Angle another shot at the title tonight. He then tells Flair that if he even thinks of coming near ringside for that match, Hogan will strip AJ of the title and hand it to Kurt Angle.

Mick Foley has just arrived in the Impact Zone and to borrow a line from Jim Ross, “business has just picked up.” Foley appears to be in a foul mood, as evident by his destruction of backstage equipment on his way in. He keeps yelling Bischoff’s name.

Match #1: Matt Morgan and Hernandez vs. The British Invasion for the TNA Tag Team Titles

This is a rematch from Genesis and I have to say, the sequel wasn’t much better than the original. The Brits start by double teaming Morgan in their corner to get the upper hand. The big man fights back and starts firing off reverse elbows on Williams in the corner, followed by what started as a sidewalk slam, but I guess Morgan decided to kick him to the curb instead and just dump him like yesterday’s garbage. Morgan then positions Williams on the rope and runs across, draping a leg across the back of his neck. Magnus provides a momentary distraction, allowing Williams to deliver a baseball slide. He then applies a reverse chinlock and I could have sworn that Morgan was tapping (where’s the call on that?). Morgan fights out and delivers a discus lariat. Hernandez tags in and takes out both members of the opposition with a slingshot shoulderblock, followed by the dominator on Williams for two. As Big Rob provides a distraction, it allows Williams to deliver a bridging German suplex, after a super kick from Magnus for two. With the ref distracted, Rob passes his feast or fired case to Magnus, who accidentally KO’s Williams, allowing Hernandez to pick up the victory for his team.

Winners: Matt Morgan and Hernandez by pinfall

After the match, the Brits blame Big Rob and it starts to escalate, until Mick Foley comes from out of nowhere and levels all three Brits with a chair. Foley then warns Bischoff that he’s coming for him.

Up next is the first of three downward spiraling segments of the evening and this is where the show starts to take a turn for the worse. It’s a taped portion of the Bubba the love sponge show, with guest Jeff Jarrett, who was called at 6:24 am and wasn’t pleased about it. Jarrett says TNA was just fine before the Bischoff and Hogan era.

Speaking of Bischoff and Hogan, they’re backstage, conferencing about everything that’s going on tonight. Bischoff’s going crazy about this Cactus Jack situation (apparently he’s Cactus Jack again). Bischoff then asks about the “other situation” and Hogan says it’s his and he’ll take care of that one later. This meeting is then interrupted by Kevin Nash, who asks what they wanted to see him about. Hogan reminds Nash that he’s still under contract, but as for his buddies, he’s had enough of this whole rock, paper, scissors BS and the other actions they’ve been involved in and it needs to stop. Nash says he’ll talk to them and Hogan reminds him that it’s time to get serious (oh will he be eating those words later).

Match #2: Orlando Jordan vs. Pope D’Angelo Dinero

Orlando comes out with this robe, covered in rhinestone and starts strutting his way to the ring and really starts getting jiggy with it. He kind of looks like Whoopi Goldberg, which is not something that any guy should take pride in. Cameras cut to the back, where Christy Hemme is standing by with the Pope (Dinero, not Benedict). Pope keeps referring to OJ as Whoopi (told you) and cuts another great promo about how just like Whoopi was exposed in Ghost, he plans to do the same to OJ tonight and then says “welcome to Orlando…Jordan” which was a pretty funny line. Pope is showing the effects of his brutal encounter with Desmond Wolfe (who has yet to be seen tonight). His leg is heavily bandaged because of that match. Jordan attacks first with an armdrag and then slaps the taste out of the Pope’s mouth, which causes an angry Pope to lose his cool and go wild on Jordan with a series of haymakers, followed by a pimp slap of his own. Pope then positions OJ against the middle rope and runs across, dropping all his weight on Jordan’s neck and smoothly slides into the front row to chill with his peeps. This proves to be a huge mistake as Jordan attacks Pope’s leg on his way in with a dragonscrew leg whip and then a flatliner for the win.

Winner: Orlando Jordan by pinfall

Christy Hemme is backstage with Kurt Angle, who is irate that AJ is still the champion, because he shouldn’t be. He says he’s sick of what Flair has pushed AJ to become, yet he realizes that every man is responsible for his own choices and tonight, he plans to serve some justice of his own.

Up next is more footage from the Bubba the love sponge show (please fire this guy!), continuing the lame interview with Jeff Jarrett, who says for Bubba to think about who really destroyed WCW.

Kevin Nash is preparing for his match later, as he’s approached by Eric Young, who puts Nash on the spot, asking if he’s with him or with them (referring to Hall and 6-Pac). Nash says Young’s his friend and he came to Young, but him and the other guys have a history. Young says it’s not about reliving history. It’s about making history. He then asks Nash if he’s with him. Nash just agrees and I guess the match is still on.

Up next is Bubba the love sponge’s third segment. Why bother giving guys like Desmond Wolfe or Samoa Joe some TV time, when we can just give THREE segments to Bubba the love sponge?

Bobby Lashley is in Hogan’s office, talking to Eric Bischoff. He says for the last few weeks, he’s been letting his wife do all the talking for him and that stops now. He says he wanted to come to Bischoff man to man and say he wants to wrestle. Bischoff agrees that it was a mistake for Lashley to let his wife handle his business and he’s really impressed with Lashley’s skills. He says if Lashley wants an answer, next week, Hulk’s going to give him one. Lashley thanks Bischoff for his time and Bischoff says he’s very welcome but has an evil grin on his face (something tells me someone’s on his way to Strikeforce sooner rather than later).

Match #3: Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne

This was very uneventful. Apparently Love is now face, but Rayne gets the upper hand early on with a sucker punch. Love fights back with mounted punches and then a bicycle kick for the win.

Winner: Angelina Love by pinfall

After the match, Velvet and Lacey come to ringside and they corner Angelina, who fights them off temporarily, but eventually the numbers game is too much to handle and they beat their former leader with the ugly stick.

Bubba the love sponge (as if we haven’t seen enough of him already) is standing by with Scott Hall and 6-Pac. 6-Pac says their actions might have been controversial, but they equal ratings (I guess he didn’t realize that those actions were performed on pay per view). Hall guarantees that by the end of the night, he and Pac will both have contracts.

Hogan and Bischoff come to the ring for the next segment and basically call out “the band.” The three of them come out with smiling faces, until Hogan stops them in their tracks and tells security to get Hall and 6-Pac out of his building (HIS building?). Hall and 6-Pac are irate, but Nash looks like he couldn’t care less as usual. Security escorts them out of there. Foley then comes out from another entrance and is immediately held back by security. Bischoff says if Foley wants to talk, he’s all ears, but they will do it in his office.

Nash is backstage, trying to calm down Hall and 6-Pac and reassures them that he’ll fix this (oh yeah that’s reassuring).

Match #4: The Nasty Boys vs. Eric Young and Kevin Nash (why TNA? Why?)

I really feel sorry for Eric Young, who had to sell every flurry of pathetic offence that The Nasty Boys could dish out. This was absolutely brutal and embarrassing to have to watch as a wrestling fan. I’m not even going to run through this whole match, because I don’t want to relive the experience. The end comes where Knobs pulls Nash off the apron and drives his face into the post, allowing the Nasty’s to deliver the pit stop to Young and Sags finishes him off with a pumphandle slam. Terrible match.

Winners: The Nasty Boys by pinfall

TNA’s newest acquisition Mr. Anderson comes out and re-introduces himself in case you’ve missed the name change (I wonder how the producer of The Matrix feels about it). He brags about beating Abyss at Genesis and in clean fashion, he adds. Abyss comes out and stands behind Anderson for a good minute and a half, before blasting him with a right hand and setting up for the black hole slam, but Anderson uses the rope to pull himself to safety and live to see another day.

Mick Foley is in Hogan and Bischoff’s office and surrounded by a herd of security guards. Foley says he hates what Bischoff’s done with his company (when was it ever his company?). Bischoff then dismisses the security and camera men for some reason, so he could talk to Foley behind closed doors (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Match #5: AJ Styles vs. Kurt Angle for the TNA Heavyweight Title

I’d rather see 100 of these matches in a row than watching anything else on tonight’s show once. AJ attacks Angle right from the opening bell, but Kurt fights back with a back body drop, followed by a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and a snap suplex. He then proceeds to stomp a Steve Austin-inspired mudhole in the corner. Angle goes for a German suplex, but AJ grabs the ref to pull himself closer to the ropes and delivers a low blow, shades of his new mentor. Back from commercial, Angle regains control with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. He then tries the Angle slam, but AJ counters with an armdrag. Angle fights back with rolling German suplexes. The first and second are traditional, but the third one is released and causes AJ to flip 360, giving Angle a near fall. Angle tries the Angle slam again, but AJ slips away and connects with the Pele. Angle locks in the ankle lock, only to have AJ reverse it and then…

…Earl Hebner, who is the referee for this match, instructs the ring announcer to ring the bell, even though there has been no submission by Kurt Angle.

Winner: AJ Styles by screwjob?

Angle is then confused and irate at the same time. Hogan comes out, looking confused as well. Angle questions Hogan’s abilities as a leader and spits in his face, saying “I’m going back to the WWE! I’m going back to Vince!”

After the break, Angle goes ballistic and starts destroying equipment and walks off screen.

Then, if that wasn’t enough (it never is with TNA), Eric Bischoff comes out with his face dripping with blood.

He takes the microphone and says “Mick Foley! You’re Fired!” And thus ends another confusing edition of TNA Impact.

Final thoughts:

Where do I even begin? Did I miss something here, or did half the roster just suddenly decide to take the night off? Where was Daniels? Desmond Wolfe? Samoa Joe? The Machine Guns? Beer Money? Tara? Amazing Red? Awesome Kong? Where was everybody? And then the stars that were on the show were made to look like idiots. Bubba the love sponge needs to be fired, as he once again proved how useless he is. The Nasty Boys can join him in line. The only segments I kind of liked were the opening with Flair and AJ and the Mr. Anderson segment, until Abyss had to come out and ruin it. The main event was great as always, but the finish was just so over-the-top and showed no creativity whatsoever. Bobby Lashley looked like probably the biggest idiot of the night as they had him basically begging for his job. And they wasted so much time on Hall and 6 Pac and Bubba the love sponge, where they could have used that time to develop a storyline or a character or even a MATCH! Anyway, I was terribly disappointed with tonight’s show and I hope that TNA doesn’t continue down this path. 2 out of 10 and that’s only because of the in-ring for the main event.