This Week in TNA: One Last Impact Before Final Resolution & One Last Ride For Your SHIMMERing Warlock
By Mike Johns Dec 11, 2011 - 8:37 AM
I guess I could go on about all the news in TNA this week, but for those who follow me on Twitter, you may have already heard the news, so we may as well just address it now. As of next week, I will no longer be recapping TNA for this website.
This Week in TNA as you know it will be taken over by our own resident Hot Threader, Corey Letson, starting next week. I, in the meantime, will still be contributing to this website, as well as ClubWWI.com, writing the
Follow the Tweeter column, as well as expanding my
Something Completely Different series, as I continue to chronicle the things I love about professional wrestling, as well as explore the Pro Wrestling genre, and shed some much-needed light on Independent promotions, such as SHIMMER, WSU, Dragon Gate USA, and CHIKARA. I realize that I ultimately end up representing a minority of the wrestling audience these days, but that there's many fans out there who are looking for alternatives, and have a hard time knowing where to start, or even what all is out there and available to them as wrestling fans. So, I want to do more to bridge that gap, and I'll be focusing more of my work on the Insanity towards that end, the way I've done for the last several months on ClubWWI. In the meantime, for fans still looking for TNA news and views, Corey Letson will be here to serve up all your Impact Wrestling needs, starting next week.
Now, with that out of the way, I guess we can talk about how Hulk Hogan is suing his ex-wife Linda for defamation of character, now. Hulk has apparently taken offense to some of Linda's claims in her recent biography, claiming her assertions about him are lies, and seeking damages.
Meanwhile, it appears that Rob Terry and Anarquia are among the first TNA talents to have be assigned to Ohio Valley Wrestling, as part of TNA's new developmental agreement. They're still working on trying to get Jesse Neal to go (and, so long as the reasons are not purely financial, he ought to go, whether he thinks he needs more training or not), as he, as of right now, still remains with the company despite earlier reports claiming otherwise.
Random Fan-Service Pic of the Week
Pictured: Madison Eagles, LuFisto, and Mercedes Martinez
I decided, for what may possibly be the final Random Fan-Service Pic ever, to post a pic that, for once, doesn't just show off a beautiful, athletic woman in a state of near-undress, but to share with you a picture that encompasses something more. This was taken at an NCW: Femme Fatales show earlier this year, with then-SHIMMER champion Madison Eagles, then-NCW:FF Champion LuFisto, and WSU Champion Mercedes Martinez, together holding up their titles. Essentially, three of the top women wrestlers in the business today, holding what are arguably the three top independent women's titles in North America, in the same room, on the same show, at the same time. What you're seeing here is more than just some pretty girl. You're seeing heart, determination, pride, and the drive to be the best possible performer in an artform that rarely, if ever, honestly rewards talent and skill in its female participants. You're seeing just a small representation of everything I love, not only as a women's wrestling fan, but a fan of professional wrestling altogether. You're also seeing what is a very small part of the reasons why TNA has lost me as a fan these last couple years, not only because they've lost sight of the competitive spirit and characters that made their Knockouts Division something special in its early years, but because TNA is no longer filling a much-needed role in the over-all wrestling world.
Once upon a time, TNA was an innovator, a leader in presenting a type of wrestler and a style of wrestling you would not otherwise see in a prominent position on National TV, whether it's X-Division Style Athletes like AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe, Jay Lethal, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, Amazing Red, Jimmy Yang, or Austin Aries, or solid female competitors like Awesome Kong, Nikki Roxx, Taylor Wilde, Sarita, Ayako Hamada, or Alissa Flash. Nowadays, sure, they'll have some of those guys on TV. They may even occasionally throw an Aries or a Styles a bone and give them a decent spot, for a while. But ultimately, TNA's focus isn't on leading the industry or providing a unique product on a national stage. It's on giving guys who couldn't cut it in WWE anymore a chance to ride out what last moments of glory they can before their name value completely tanks, and they fade into near-obscurity. This picture, to me, represents a mindset of folks wanting to lead, not follow, and that this is the very place where TNA loses most of its momentum. If TNA ever wants to regain any traction in the wrestling world, and truly become a company on par with WWE in the national and international markets, it needs to go back to the mentality that put Impact Wrestling on the map in the first place - they need to go back to leading the industry, not following. They need to go back to showcasing new talent and new styles of wrestling you can't see anywhere else, back to giving people who may otherwise have never gotten it in WWE or elsewhere the opportunity to shine. They need to stop being a place where WWE talent goes to die, and become a place where new stars are created, like they once were with the X-Division and the Knockouts Division.
With that said, let's get to
This Week in Impact-
We start off with a video package recapping how Sting has been laying the law down on Bobby Roode as of late, forcing Roode to face the consequences of his recent actions. We also get some hype for tonight's contract signing between James Storm and Kurt Angle for their match at Final Resolution.
The obligatory opening talking segment sees Sting calling Bobby Roode out to the ring. Roode obliges. Sting then calls Dixie Carter out to the ring, because guess who needs to have some attention put on her, instead of the talent in the ring, once again. That's right, good ol' hypocritical Dixie! So our strong, feminist entrepreneur comes out looking about as strong and independent as Bella Swan did after Edward Cullen left her in
New Moon. Meanwhile, her protector, Sting, blathers on about how he considers attacks on Dixie to be like attacks on himself, all while Dixie Carter stands in the background, looking helpless and about to cry.
See, not only is Dixie on TV in a prominent role, like she had promised repeatedly over the first 9 years of TNA's existence that she'd never be, but she's helping to set women in wrestling back to an age even before Miss Elizabeth!
So, anyway, Sting is mad at Bobby Roode because of the altercation Roode had with Dixie a couple weeks on Impact, where she was put in the middle of a Roode/AJ Styles brawl. Roode balks at the idea, but reluctantly agrees to do so, but only if Sting will allow him to do it right, and give them some space. Dixie looks about ready to panic, but reluctantly steps up as Sting moves aside. Roode then apologizes... for not being nearly enough of a dick to her the last time they were face to face. Basically, Dixie needs Roode because he's the champ, and business is awesome (so he says). He then goes on to say that even Dixie wants a ride on the Roode Express, but Roode doesn't think she is woman enough to handle the ride. Dixie reacts to this assertion by making the one facial expression she always makes, while her big, strong protector, Sting, decides to take offense. Roode then proceeds to call Dixie a fraud, using Daddy's Money to play wrestling promoter. Roode caps it off by literally spitting in Dixie Carter's face, before running off as Sting gives him chase. Dixie Carter reacts by not changing her facial expression in any notable way.
After a commercial, AJ Styles confronts Bobby Roode, offended by how Roode just spit in Dixie's face. AJ promises to beat Roode for the World Title at Final Resolution as Sting comes in, being held back by Al Snow and D'Lo Brown. AJ tells Sting to calm down, he'll handle Bobby. Then, for some reason, Jeff Hardy pops in, also to tell Sting to calm down. Jeff Hardy is the voice of reason, here, folks.
Our first match of the night sees Samoa Joe lose to Abyss. You guys do realize Joe's only won maybe one match on TV or PPV since LockDown, right? Anyway, Joe's actually managed to get some offense in, and out comes Scott Steiner to distract the referee, because this is a Samoa Joe match, after all, and we can't possibly have Joe winning or even looking remotely badass on TV anymore! Meanwhile, Bully Ray lightly taps Joe across the chest with a chain, which I guess is supposed to be Ray clotheslining Joe across the neck or something. Anyway, this attack leaves Joe dead, and Abyss then chokeslams Joe to get the pin. Ray and Steiner try and congratulate Abyss after the match, but Abyss isn't having any of it, as he Black Hole Slams Steiner and stares down Ray.
Karen Jarrett: Knockout Law is in the back with her minions, complaining about how ODB failed to take out Mickie James last week. So now Madison Rayne is Karen's Ace in the Hole, expected to take out Mickie tonight. Gail Kim, too has a match, against Traci Brooks. Gail is upset, claiming that Traci is just going to take out all her aggressions towards Karen on her tonight, but Karen insists she has a plan.
Sting is bitching at Gunner about the beating he gave folks at Garrett Bischoff's gym last week. Gunner then makes a deal with Sting, saying all he wants is one more match with Garrett, even promising that Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff won't get involved. Sting agrees and gives Gunner his match.
The Pope and Devon come out to the ring and call out Crimson and Matt Morgan, the TNA Tag Team Champions. Devon basically puts over Morgan and Crimson as a Tag Team, and then lets the boys know that he and Pope are gunning for their titles. The teams shake hands, the segment looks to be ending... then Pope decides, nope, it's his turn to talk. Pope calls Morgan and Crimson a couple of dumb honkies. Pope then goes on to talk about how he's only in this for the money. This leads to Matt Morgan punching Pope in the face. The two teams end up in a brawl. Devon and Crimson brawl to the back as Pope low blows Matt Morgan and takes over on Matt in the ring. Pope then calls in assistance from Devon's sons, sitting once again at ringside, and the boys hop the rail. The Devon boys beat on Morgan at Pope's order. Then Morgan Hulks up and scares the trio off.
Madison Rayne is up next as she gets to lose to Mickie James. On the plus, Maddie actually gets to dominate Mick for the majority of the match, looking pretty damn good in the process. Maddie goes for her Rayne Drop, but Mick reverses into a MickieDT that barely looks like it even got off the ground, and gets the pin. After the match, Gail Kim comes out to let Mickie know she's not afraid of her.
Scott Steiner and Bully Ray are panicking, because nothing they're doing to try and get Abyss back on board with Immortal is working. Steiner lets Ray know that he'll talk to Bischoff and try to come up with another plan for Abyss.
Gunner gets his rematch with Garrett Bischoff up next. It sucks. Garrett gets yet another win over Gunner, and Gun attacks Garrett after the match. Eric Bischoff then comes out, looking like he's trying to stop the madness, but instead pulls a protective mat back so Gunner can piledrive Garrett on the concrete. Garrett gets wheeled out by paramedics as Eric Bischoff gloats about how he plans on telling Mother Bischoff that Garrett is just fine.
Up next, we have the confrontation between Kurt Angle and James Storm. Storm calls out Angle, and Angle comes out, calling Storm either the dumbest man alive, or a tough son of a bitch. Angle then vows that he's going to finish the job he started a few weeks ago when he bashed James Storm's skull in with a chair. James Storm then says that unlike most of Angle's opponents, he's not going to let himself get beat before the match even begins. James then goes on to tell us about his dad, who died when he was a kid, his two brothers who were killed by a drunk driver, his step-dad, who died shortly afterwards, and even his dog, who had just been put to sleep a week ago, letting us know that he's stared death in the face, so he's not scared of some Olympic Gold Medalist. James Storm then promises to crush Angle's head like a beer can. James Storm even gives Angle another chance to jump him from behind, but Kurt shows some self-control and doesn't take it. The segment ends with Storm and Angle staring off as we go to commercial.
Karen Jarrett: Knockout Law explains to Gail Kim that she has to make Gail wrestle tonight to show her critics that she isn't giving Gail special treatment. She then goes on to cackle in Traci Brooks' face about how she isn't fair, at all. Karen then runs Traci through the game plan - when the bell rings, you lay down for Gail Kim and let yourself get pinned, or else!
Meanwhile, Devon assaults his sons in the back, screaming at them for involving themselves in Pope's shenanigans. Pope walks in, and Devon throws him into a wall. Just as Devon's about to punch Pope in the face, one of the Devon boys grabs Devon's hand and stops him. This pissed Devon off even more, as his boys are now starting to turn on their dad. Devon walks off, knowing he's about to do something he'd regret if he sticks around. Once gone, Pope pops back in to let the Devon boys know he's proud of them, and so long as they stick with him, they'll be Main Eventing in no time. You know, just like Pope!
(That's sarcasm, by the way.)
TMZ guy asks Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles about their match against Bobby Roode and Jeff Jarrett. You get the usual stock answers about how they think they'll win tonight.
Traci Brooks comes out for our next match, as she's set to lay down for Gail Kim. Obviously, Traci doesn't do as she's told, kicking out at 2 after initially laying down for Gail. It doesn't matter, though, as Gail just beats Traci anyway. Karen Jarrett: Knockout Law makes her way to ringside just as Traci spears Gail, distracting Traci and the referee just long enough for Madison Rayne to clock Traci with a KO Tag Belt, allowing Gail to get the pin on Traci.
The TMZ guy now interviews Jeff Jarrett and Bobby Roode, giving us even more stock lines about how they'll win tonight, not the babyfaces.
Christopher Daniels is backstage, complaining about Rob Van Dam. Daniels challenges RVD to a wrestling match at Final Resolution to settle their differences once and for all.
Main Event Time as AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy take on Jeff Jarrett and Bobby Roode in tag team action. Hardy and Jarrett end up brawling into the backstage area, leaving Styles prey to Bobby Roode. Unfortunately, Roode gets cocky, and while trying to hit the Fisherman Suplex on Styles, AJ rolls Roode up and gets the win to end the show.
And Now, Final Resolution... After what was, admittedly, a better "go-home" show than I honestly expected, TNA has, at least for the time being, managed to start getting some things right when it comes to promoting and building to their PPVs. While the product itself has a long, long, LONG way to go before ever winning back fans like myself, having damaged nearly every character on this show to a point where it's damn-near impossible to care about a single one of them, TNA, for the moment, is at least starting to do a better job of building towards their PPV events, and the matches on these shows at least appear like they should serve an actual purpose. With that said, I have no hopes for this show, and much like last month, I outright expect TNA to have, once again, completely wasted my time with a lackluster show, outright refusing to reward their audience for their continued loyalty to this product. My expectations are so low for this show that I'm not even going to bother doing a proper PPV preview. There's no point. Even with the build TNA's given this show, it's outright obvious that nothing is going to come of it. Not one of these titles is going to change hands. The only feud that may end here is RVD/Daniels, and, at this point, would it even matter if it did? So, here's what we have in store for later tonight -
Gail Kim vs. Mickie James for Gail's Knockouts Title
Robbie E defending the TV Title against Eric Young
Austin Aries defends the X-Division Title against Kid Kash
Matt Morgan and Crimson defend the Tag Team Titles against The Pope and Devon
Christopher Daniels vs. Rob Van Dam
James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
Jeff Hardy vs. Jeff Jarrett in a Cage Match: If Hardy wins, he'll get a World Title Match. If Jarrett wins, Hardy must leave TNA.
Bobby Roode defends the World Title against AJ Styles in a 30-Minute Iron Man Match
And that's about it. Except for this little tidbit, posted via Dixie Carter's Twitter at 5PM Saturday Afternoon, just as I'm finishing this column and posting it to the Insanity Server -
I swear to God, it's a good thing I checked Twitter before I logged off of my computer for the night, otherwise, you'd have never heard about this! Seriously?! This is when people decide to announce modifications to match stipulations on PPV? What the hell is wrong with you people?
Anyway... Final Resolution will be my last show as the resident "TNA Guy" on this website, and let me tell you, I'm looking forward to this all being over. Thanks for reading the reviews and supporting my work here at the Insanity, and I hope to see you all again in the future, as I go on to explore the greater wrestling world, and share with you my thoughts and experiences on the world outside of the Mainstream. In the meantime, for those still looking for their TNA fix, come on back next week as Corey Letson takes over and bravely watches Impact Wrestling so the rest of us don't have to!
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