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COMMENT





TNA Before The Glory: Flair, Foley in bloody match, James debuts
By MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling


Tonight on TNA Before The Glory: We're just three short days from TNA's biggest show of the year: Bound For Glory. Tonight, Ric Flair takes on Mick Foley in a Last Man Standing match, a new TNA Knockout makes her debut and Abyss holds Dixie Carter hostage. All this, and more, on this special edition of Impact.

Tonight's show is LIVE! from the Impact Zone in Orlando, Fla. "The Professor" Mike Tenay and The Tazz are our hosts.

We open up with Abyss apparently kidnapping Dixie Carter and leading her through backstage, brandishing Janice at anybody who tries to stop him. He brings her to ringside and apparently they are chained together. He rants and raves like a maniac. And instead of actual wrestlers making the save, it's Eric Bischoff, Gunnar and Murphy. Yep. Bischoff tries to talk Abyss down. And he does. Carter runs into the arms of Al Snow and D-Lo Brown.

Bischoff says to cut but Sting's music hits. In the ring, Bischoff gets a headset from a production assistant and is talking to the back. Sting is joined on the ramp by Kevin Nash and The Pope.

(Ads)

Pope's got the mic and he says maybe it's time for him to retract his statement from last week. Well, that's a ruse. He says Bischoff continues "to do the smoke and mirrors thing." He says on 10/10/10, the walls are going to come crashing down and they're going to fall on Bischoff. Bischoff says Pope doesn't have a clue. He says Pope is headed in the wrong direction by following Sting and Nash.

Bischoff says this is about Sting and Hulk Hogan. Sting says that's absolutely correct. He says this started 10 years ago and it needs to end with Hogan getting back in the ring. Sting says they might've taken different paths, but this is the end of the line. Sting says at Bound For Glory, when Hogan's true character is revealed, will he be ready to walk away? Bischoff says he's got nothing to say.

Samoa Joe and Jeff Jarrett run down, but Bischoff stops them short and says he's got it. Bischoff says they are challenging a guy that's in intensive care. They show clips of Hogan in the hospital and going under the knife. Bischoff says if they want to kick his ass, go for it, because he doesn't care anymore. Bischoff says at Bound For Glory, he's going to make it a handicap match with Sting/Pope/Nash against Jarrett/Joe.

It's to the back and we see Mickie James getting out of a car. The cameraman asks her what she's doing and she says he'll just have to wait and find out.

(Ads)

Match #1 - Beautiful People Naming Rights Match - Madison Rayne & Tara vs. Angelina Love & Velvet Sky

Rayne and Tara attack Love and Sky before Tazz can let the pigeons loose.

Referee "Blind" Slick Johnson misses a small package attempt by Love. Love with a chinbreaker on Tara. Sky dispatches of Rayne and they hit a modified high-low on Tara and that's it.

Winners via pinfall: Angelina Love & Velvet Sky

Miss Tessmacher has the mic and announces that, to make sure everybody plays by her rules, she's assigning a special guest referee: Mickie James. James says she'll be the referee Sunday but she's got her eye on the title.

(Ads)

Dixie Carter is backstage with Eric Bischoff and she says she wants him to fire Abyss tonight. She says it should've been done a long time ago. Bischoff says he's going to get it handled. She says she wants Bischoff to do it in the ring in front of everybody and humiliate him like he humiliated her.

Match #2 - Last Man Standing Match - Ric Flair (Charlotte, NC) vs. Mick Foley (Long Island, NY)

Collar-and-elbow tie-up to start. Foley has a bandage over his eye and Flair quickly rips that off and Foley is bleeding about 30 seconds into the match. Foley catches Flair with a low blow on the outside and grabs a copy of his book from someone in the crowd. Then he tips the steps over and grabs a barbed-wire baseball bat and drills Flair with it. Flair is bleeding now about two minutes in. Foley hits him with it again. Flair takes a long walk. He goes near the announce table and up onto the stage. Foley grates the bat on Flair's face but Flair pokes him in the eye and then throws him off the stage and through a table that held a bunch of TNA DVDs.

(Ads)

We're back from break and back in the ring. We see a replay of Flair assaulting Foley with his own book. Flair then finishes the book off and stomps on it. Flair working Foley over and Flair goes under the ring and brings out a bag of thumbtacks. Yes, Ric Flair, wrestling veteran of now five decades, introduces thumbtacks into the match. Flair works Foley over in the corner but Foley reverses him and naturally, 61-year old Ric Flair takes a backdrop into the tacks. Now Foley goes under the ring and grabs a barbed wire board. Foley drops Flair with punches in the corner and hits the Cactus knee with a barbed wire board buffer. Flair is up at the count of five.

They trade punches (Foley) and chops (Flair). Foley drops him again with a punch and goes back under the ring, this time for a table. So a table is more devastating than tacks, a barbwire board and a barbwire baseball bat. Foley sets the table up but he ends up being the one laid out on it. Flair grabs the barbwire board and slams it onto Foley. He throws that away and goes to the top rope and hits a splash through the table. This man is 61 years old. Both men are down. Earl Hebner now counting. Flair is getting up at eight but Flair Flops right into the tacks. Foley managed to sit on the bottom turnbuckle, which apparently constitutes being more on his feet than Flair being on his feet for a second before flopping. Of course, the TNA director completely misses the 10 count because he was focused on Flair's face.

Winner via "standing": Mick Foley

Only in TNA, folks. Only in TNA. I love how Flair hits an offensive maneuver and then the person he hits it on stands before he does, yet he really doesn't stand and Flair, despite falling back down, was actually standing for a second. This is such an incredibly frustrating show to watch. Did nobody thinking this through? Well, at least the match didn't lap into Reaction and just end out of the blue with no finish whatsoever like the cage match did last week, so maybe I can file this under "baby steps." Actually, no. I'll file this under "Classic TNA."

Foley has a mic and is still on his knees as Flair is already all the way up the ramp. Who won this match again? Foley says they had a deal if he won and he wants Flair to kiss his rear. Foley's getting ready when, surprise, surprise, Fortune runs in and starts putting the boots to Foley. EV2 responds and Fortune bails.

Eric Bischoff is out immediately after. Of course, all the hardcore items are still in the ring. He calls out Abyss, but wait, we have…

(Ads)

We're back and Bischoff says he's waited long enough for Abyss, who was nice enough to not come out during the break. Oh, but wait, it's Rob Van Dam's music that hits. Bischoff is throughly perplexed. He must still be reeling from that last match, too. RVD says he doesn't want Abyss to be fired before Sunday. After that, he doesn't care. He says he'll walk if Abyss is fired. He's "1010 percent sure." He tells Bischoff to tell Carter that if she fires Abyss, she'll also lose him.

(Ads)

Match #3 - Ink Inc vs. Orlando Jordan & Eric Young

They promote this new tag team of Jordan and Young by showing them losing on Xplosion. But Taz says they won some other matches. I can't make this up.

Jordan hits a big spinebuster on Neal and then rubs his finger on Neal's stomach and then puts his crotch in his face. Moore in and Jordan gets the edge. He rolls Moore up and puts his feet on the ropes and, just like on the video package, Young points out his own teammate cheating. Instead of Ink Inc getting a pin out of it this time, Jordan hits a low blow and pins Moore.

Winners via pinfall: Orlando Jordan & Eric Young

Young grabs the mic and it's "comedy" time. He says he and Jordan forfeit the match. Then he says they should do it all over again at Bound For Glory. I'm sure the phone lines are overflowing with people calling their cable or satellite provider right now.

(Ads)

Backstage, Dixie Carter is talking with RVD. She says, win, lose or draw, Abyss is gone after their match. Bischoff comes up with the termination agreement for Abyss and all she has to do it sign it. She signs it without even looking at it. Uh oh. Bischoff goes off on his merry way. Carter says she wants RVD to take Abyss out for both of them.

Oh, and this show is just the gift that keeps on giving. It's time for the debut of The Shore, Robbie E. and Cookie. They complain about Orlando and say Jersey is in the house. The crowd chants "boring." Mercifully it ends. I have no idea what just happened.

Match #4 - $100,000 Bound For Glory Invitational Gauntlet Battle Royal

I have no idea what's going on here. This has been a recurring theme. I don't recall, in my 15 years or so as a wrestling fan, ever having seen a "gauntlet battle royal." Apparently, as I find out when the third man hits the ring, someone new hits every 45 seconds. Oh, and apparently on purpose, the first three men are Mr. Anderson, Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy. Hardy's in the ring for five seconds when TNA World Television Champion AJ Styles comes down. Oh, this is a good time for…

(Ads)

Douglas Williams, Sabu, Max Buck, Chris Sabin and Tommy Dreamer all in the ring now. Nobody has been eliminated yet. Jay Lethal up next. Jeff Jarrett in. Jarrett is a house of fire. Time for The Pope. Now Robert Roode. Nobody has been eliminated yet. Sting in. Hey, Max Buck might be out. Oh wait, no he's not. Hey, let's go to some more…

(Ads)

Jeremy Buck, Raven, Kazarian and Stevie Richards enter the match. Abyss is in now. And not a single person gone yet. Oh wait, as I type that, Abyss eliminated Sabu, Williams and Lethal in a span of seven or so seconds. Add Richards, Sabin and Raven to that list shortly thereafter. Then everyone decides to gang up on him. That does absolutely nothing. Sting hits a Stinger Splash on the pile and then the pile moves and he goes for another one but Abyss, despite being beat on by about 13 men just seconds prior, catches Sting and dumps him. Kevin Nash in in jeans and tennis shoes. Matt Morgan in now. He runs over Abyss. Oh, now it's time for the standard battle royal big man spot with Morgan and Nash. They go at it when Samoa Joe enters. And now Abyss dumps both Morgan and Nash. James Storm is in next. I'm gonna have to time this because there's no way this is 45 seconds. Abyss dumps both members of Generation Me as Alex Shelley makes his way out. I had to look through a ton of action and replay it to see that Abyss eliminates Kazarian since nobody bothered to mention it. Rhino in now. He dispatched of by, guess who? Abyss. Add Jarrett to the list. Bye bye Pope. Oh, great, now it's time to go to Reaction. I just love this. Shelley goes for Sliced Bread on Abyss and, well, I think you can figure out how that turned out for him. Abyss low-bridges Samoa Joe and eliminates him. Yes, the monster low-bridges someone to eliminate them.

Abyss eliminates both members of Beer Money. Goodbye Dreamer. I think I see where this is headed. Styles is gone. Hardy is gone. Both by Abyss. We're down to Abyss, Angle and Anderson. Abyss choke slams Anderson and then RVD's music hits. Apparently he's in this, too, now. RVD goes for a running crossbody on Abyss, who is against the ropes, but just skims right over him to the floor. And as the camera is focused on RVD, all of a sudden we see Abyss lying next to him. I guess he got enough of Abyss to make him teeter. I had to watch this three times. The director completely butchers this. All-time bad directing tonight. I pulled out a stopwatch and literally timed this. From the time RVD hit the floor to when Abyss did it was 2.4 seconds. Yes, 2.4 seconds. And they still managed to completely miss it. We don't even get to see the man who eliminated somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 people, the only wrestler with any eliminations in this prestigious $100,000 Bound For Glory Invitational Gauntlet Battle Royal, be eliminated.

So it's down to Anderson and Angle. As they battle, Taz tells us Abyss and RVD are brawling to the back. Glad we could get a shot of that, too. Angle and Anderson trade moves. I don't care at all at this point. This show has sucked all the life out of me. Angle Angle Slams Anderson out of the ring.

Winner of the $100,000 Bound For Glory Invitational Gauntlet Battle Royal: Kurt Angle

This show is mercifully over.

Matt Bishop can be reached at bishop20@msu.edu. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.