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Impact: Hogan calls the shots; Monday night war is back on
By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling


Coming off the heels of the Against All Odds pay per view, champions retained and contenders were named. But everyone must now prepare for Impact's move to Monday nights.

Much like last week’s Impact, this one starts with Hogan as well, except there’s been a change of scenery. Footage from earlier is shown of Hogan and Dixie Carter conducting some kind of press conference in the Impact Zone, announcing the move of Impact to Monday nights.

From there, we are graced by the presence of the new number one contender Pope D’Angelo Dinero (I hate when they dim the lights whenever someone cuts a promo to open the show). Dinero says he’s here for the party, but is still wondering whether everyone’s excited because he’s here, or if they’re excited because the Pope is pimpin’ (it’s a mystery isn’t it?). Pope comes with a great line that he walked into Against All Odds and was able to defy those odds, by overcoming every obstacle that was placed before him. He says now that he’s number one contender, the only thing he has left to do is claim the biggest bling of all (referring to the TNA World title) and the only man he has left to beat is the man he refers to as “Arthur ‘I have no class’ Jackson” (AJ Styles) and his corner man Dick Flair. Pope then acknowledges that he just had a slip up with the names, but says it’s because Ric is a dick. This of course brings out AJ and Flair, accompanied by a bevy of beauties as always and coming to the ring to a new remix of Flair’s traditional music. Flair begins the rebuttal in controversial fashion, by asking Pope if he can read or write. He says in case Pope can read, his suit clearly says Armani, because his name is Ric Flair. Flair says ever since Pope was a toddler, he dreamed of one day becoming just like Ric Flair. He says since their victory at Against All Odds, he’s been exhausted due to all the celebrations. Flair then says the TNA World title means that AJ Styles is the greatest athlete alive. Pope says he really hates to repeat himself, but Flair is still a dick. He says there’s an old saying that if you take a piece of crap and shine it up and cover it in all this expensive material and jewelry, at the end of the day, it’s still a piece of crap. Flair says Pope is nothing but a street thug and that AJ has more money invested in this one suit, than Pope’s parents have invested in green stamps. Pope says he knows why Flair is exhausted and he knows why AJ is exhausted, but the only reason the ladies are exhausted is because they’ve been riding the starlight express all night long (I guess that’s the new space mountain). AJ sarcastically says that Pope must think he’s really funny. He says Pope is a nobody who’s going nowhere. Very few words later, Pope has had enough talk and lashes out at AJ with a right hand, but eventually the numbers are too much for even Pope to handle, as Flair and AJ beat him down. The timekeeper then awkwardly rings the bell (I don’t know what for). Flair then takes a chair and places Pope’s ankle through the hole of the chair and stomps down on it, shades of Steve Austin. AJ then applies the figure-four, as Flair grabs Pope by the arms and stretches him out, as if his limbs were attached to multiple teams of dogsled racers. Very effective segment!

Match #1: Tara vs. Daffney

The match really doesn’t get going until Tara scoops Daffney up with a firewoman’s carry and plants her with a spinning sidewalk slam for two. She follows it up with a back body drop and then loses her top (she has a tank top underneath, so don’t go too crazy), but eats a spinkick from Daffney, as she follows her to the corner. Both women retreat to the outside, where Daffney finds a toolbox, which she uses on Tara for the DQ finish.

Winner: Tara by disqualification

After the match, Daffney drags Tara all over the arena and continues a vicious attack. She then throws one of the guardrails on top of Tara and repeatedly beats it with a chair, rendering the Knockout champion unconscious, as Dr. Stevie has to restrain Daffney.

Mick Foley walks into Eric Bischoff’s office, where two unknown people are waiting with Bischoff. Foley apologizes for what happened at Against All Odds, saying he knows Bischoff wanted him to use the bat and he tried. Bischoff seems in the best of moods, as he tells Foley not to worry about it, because he tried his best. He then suggests for him to take his look to another level, introducing him to the two people in his office, who are apparently tailors, as they take Foley’s measurements. Bischoff sends Foley on a bit of a shopping spree, to get a makeover, so to speak. Foley thanks Bischoff for his time and leaves. Bischoff’s smile then turns upside down, as he gets on the phone and aggressively orders the person on the other line to get Abyss in his office immediately.

Orlando Jordan vs. Samoa Joe

OJ apparently has some nightclub gimmick, as he’s accompanied by some of his clubbing brethren, as the case may be. Joe doesn’t come out to music, so cameras pan to the back, where they catch Joe having a discussion with Eric Bischoff (I thought he was waiting for Abyss?). Bischoff says Joe really blew a great opportunity at the pay per view on Sunday (wasn’t that kind of Bischoff’s fault?) and he better step things up and show some of that Samoan aggression that Bischoff says he keeps hearing about. Bischoff says Joe has yet another opportunity tonight against Orlando Jordan and Bischoff dares Joe to impress him. Joe begins the beat down on Jordan immediately, but OJ comes back with a throat thrust, to which Joe answers back with a jumping leg lariat. OJ responds with a spinebuster and then a swinging neckbreaker, followed by a kneedrop for two. Joe delivers a back body drop, followed by a running high knee in the corner. He puts Jordan in position for the muscle buster, but before delivering the move, he just beats the tar out of Jordan, while on the turnbuckle. The referee gets in Joe’s way, causing a distraction and allowing OJ to deliver a tornado backstabber for the upset win (YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!).

Winner: Orlando Jordan by pinfall

Abyss is then shown pacing through the hallways, as paranoid as ever. He runs into JB and asks if he knows what Bischoff wants to see him about. JB says he hasn’t got a clue, making Abyss even more worried.

After the break, Bischoff is reading Abyss the riot act. He says he warned Abyss what would happen if he pulled his usual shenanigans. Abyss says he didn’t want to hurt Mick, but he did use the tacks. Bischoff says he asked him to use the bat, not the tacks, and therefore, the mask is coming off tonight. Abyss starts pleading with Bischoff not to take the mask off, but Bischoff isn’t hearing any of it and says that the mask will be off by the end of the show, and in case Abyss decides to make a run for it, Bischoff has security placed all over the building, so there’s nowhere for Abyss to go, and maybe next time, Abyss will listen to him when he’s told what to do.

Christy Hemme is with Eric Young in the backstage area and asks if he’s talked to Nash. He says Nash is here tonight to confront Scott Hall and 6 Pac (why are they still being allowed on television?). Young calls Hall and 6 Pac spineless slugs and says if they have any guts, they’ll meet Nash face to face tonight.

Bischoff is then shown with Jeff Jarrett, and orders him to use the barbwire bat on Abyss tonight, saying he’s sure Jarrett won’t disappoint him.

Match #3: Doug Williams, Brian Kendrick and The Motor City Machine Guns vs. Amazing Red, Generation Me and Kaz

Well what do you know? The Guns are back. However, this is billed as being the return of Kaz. Tenay and Taz both question where he’s been (perhaps Suicide has an answer for that). Williams attacks Kaz from behind to kick things off. Kaz then leaps over Williams and pulls him to the mat by his shoulders. There’s a great spot where Generation Me perform synchronized back flips and follow up with a double low dropkick to Kendrick. The Machine Guns won’t be outdone though as they deliver a kneedrop/backsplash combo on Max. Red then delivers a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Shelley, but catches a high knee in the corner from Williams, followed by a snap suplex. Kaz tags in and delivers a tilt-a-whirl neckbreaker for two. Max then delivers a slide-through dropkick to Kendrick on the outside and then skins the cat to the halfway mark, as Jeremy leaps over his partner’s legs with an unbelievable suicide dive on Kendrick. Kaz delivers a slingshot DDT to Williams for the win.

Winners: Kaz, Generation Me and Amazing Red by pinfall

Abyss has located the exit, which isn’t being guarded at all. He tries to escape, but is stopped by Slick Johnson, who says he has a match up next, which Abyss is extremely worried about.

Match #4: Abyss vs. Jeff Jarrett

Jarrett comes to the ring without any entrance music yet again, and holding the barbwire baseball bat in hand. Abyss tries the shock treatment early on, but Jarrett escapes and delivers an enzugiri. They make it outside, where a chair is used by Abyss, who then sees the bat and pushes it farther away from him. Both guys think alike and drop each other with clotheslines, as Bischoff comes out to get a closer look. Back from commercial, Jarrett comes off the top, but Abyss catches him and delivers a chokeslam for two. Jarrett then retaliates with the stroke, followed by a second stroke against a chair, positioned between the corner ropes. Bischoff then looks at Jarrett and instructs him to use the bat. Jarrett is reluctant and just throws the bat down. Bischoff then says Jarrett asked for this. All of a sudden, about five guys come down and beat on both Abyss and Jarrett. Among the group are Desmond Wolfe (what a waste), Homicide, Rhino and Tomko.

Winner: No contest?

Bischoff then has his cronies hold Abyss in place, as he attempts to remove the mask. But then Hogan comes out to save the day and says he’ll take it from here. He aggressively orders Abyss back to his office.

After the break, security is shown escorting Abyss to Hogan’s headquarters (it looks like Abyss is on death row or something, right after his last rites).

Match #5: Big Rob Terry and Brutus Magnus vs. Beer Money Inc. (welcome back!)

Big Rob has apparently captured the Global Championship on an overseas tour, as if it mattered (I guess the World Elite is no more?). Storm is on fire in the early going, until a cheapshot from Rob on the outside allows the Brits to take control. Rob delivers a powerslam, but Magnus orders Rob to tag him in and Magnus picks up two. Roode then comes in and delivers a spinebuster. Beer Money then deliver a double suplex on Big Rob, followed by their “Beer! Money!” salute. Roode backdrops his own partner over the top, as Storm lands with a plancha on Big Rob, allowing Beer Money to deliver the DWI on Magnus for the win.

Winners: Beer Money Inc. by pinfall

After the match, Rob takes the microphone and hands it to Magnus, who yells at him for not being able to do anything right. Magnus says he is Rob’s superior and he should be Global Champion. Rob takes exception to this and drops Magnus with a devastating clothesline and then holds the belt over his fallen comrade.

Kevin Nash is shown pacing back and forth in the former Main Event Mafia office, which is apparently now open to all TNA employees and their families as word would have it.

Abyss is anxiously waiting in Hogan’s office, as Hogan storms in and orders Abyss to sit down. Bischoff is about to come in, but Hogan orders him out (way to put your foot down). Hogan says he’s sick of Abyss shaking all the time and being worried all the time. He says it all stops now. Hogan says just like Superman has his cape to give him strength and Popeye has his spinach to give him strength, Abyss should have something too (I don’t like where this is going). Hogan says Abyss needs to unleash the monster inside, but in order to do so, he needs something special to carry with him at all times, to give him strength. Hogan then removes his Hall of Fame ring and says he wants Abyss to have it. Hogan says he’s placing the power of the universe in Abyss’ hands and he now has the strength of every Hulkamaniac. Hogan then leaves and Abyss says he is a monster and lets out a scream followed by a girlish giggle. This was such a waste of time.

Match #6: Daniels vs. Kurt Angle

Daniels attacks Angle early (seems to be a recurring theme), but Angle fights back, countering a sunset flip into the ankle lock, forcing Daniels to tap out (that’s it?).

Winner: Kurt Angle by submission

After the match, Angle takes the microphone and addresses Ken Anderson. He cuts an emotional promo, as he even breaks down into tears, trying to explain what the tag that he carries represents. He says he received it, when he was visiting a military base and hearing the soldiers’ stories. He says it’s very special to him, because it represents bravery, and when Ken Anderson spit on it, he spit on the entire country. Angle says for that, he intends to make Anderson suffer. He tells Anderson that he’ll see him in hell. Anderson then comes out and mocks Angle’s speech, saying that tag is nothing but a hunk of garbage to him, just like Kurt Angle. He says it was nothing more than a utensil that he used to carve into Angle’s flesh and make him bleed. Anderson says he enjoyed making Angle bleed and if Angle has a problem with it, he should come up the ramp and do something about it. Angle immediately answers the challenge and delivers a couple of straight punches, until Anderson cuts him off with a knee to the midsection, and then targets the injured forehead of Angle, and drops him after a shot with his microphone. Anderson then takes said microphone and says “welcome to Total Non-Stop Anderson (nice touch).”

Samoa Joe is shown leaving the building, as JB is attempting to get a word with him about what Bischoff said. Joe just ignores him and walks off, until this white, unmarked van pulls up in front of him and a group of masked men jump out of the van and basically abduct Joe, which is one of the most bizarre things I’ve ever seen on a wrestling show.

Kevin Nash and Eric Young come out to close the show. Nash says he doesn’t remember when or where it happened, but about 18 years ago (I thought he didn’t remember when), he decided to pick Scott Hall and 6 Pac as his friends. He says around 10 years ago, he also went and picked up a black suit, because he knew he would one day need to wear it to put one of them in the dirt real soon. Nash says he doesn’t know what’s worse in this business, broken bones or broken hearts. He says he’s worked so hard to keep Hall and 6 Pac employed, but he’s carried them for the very last time. He then invites Hall and 6 Pac down to the ring to face him (this made no sense at all why Hall and 6 Pac would have to enter through the crowd after hearing what Nash said. How did they get in the building to begin with?). The two of them come down and Eric Young immediately goes outside to brawl with 6 Pac, as Nash invites Hall into the ring and the two of them go at it, having to be separated by security. Hogan then comes out to catch a glimpse of what’s going on (big surprise) and he doesn’t look pleased. Nash then mutters something about how they’ll finish this next week (I’m holding my breath).

Final thoughts:

This show was completely ridiculous. The main issue I have with TNA is that there is no definition in their product. Every angle or feud is separated into these individual segments, which are forgotten about by the next week’s show, and there is no clear cut focus of the show. The main angle should be the title program, which was only given ONE segment. Granted it was the best segment on the show, but it was completely forgotten about by the end. Desmond Wolfe was wasted, Abyss was wasted, Daniels was wasted (he gets less than a minute with Kurt Angle!!! What the hell is that!), Samoa Joe was wasted. Need I say more? Daniels and Angle could’ve had a match of the year if given at least five minutes, but they didn’t even get that. The Samoa Joe abduction was too stupid to even elaborate on. I can’t believe Orlando Jordan still has a job. Hall and 6 Pac are supposedly not on the roster, yet for some reason, they keep getting the final segment on the show. The only highlights to speak of are the opening segment with Pope and AJ and the 8-man X-Division match. Other than that, a terrible performance by TNA tonight. Good luck with the Monday night war. 1.5 out of 10.