This Week in TNA: Jeff Hardy Gets 10 Days in the Hoosegow, $100,000 Worth of Fines, A Starring Role in a Prime Time TV Series, and His Own DVD Set
By Mike Johns Sep 11, 2011 - 12:38 PM
Ten Years Later: September 11, 2001
And now, your regularly scheduled TNA Recap...
Just as Jeff Hardy made his return to TNA television, it appears we've finally seen a resolution to his Drug Trafficking charges, stemming from an arrest back in September of 2009. This past Thursday, Jeff was sentenced to 10 days in jail, 30 months probation and $100,000 in fines for opium possession with intent to distribute. On top of this, Jeff will supposedly be allowed to schedule when he will serve this time, making it entirely possible that he will show up for a TV taping, serve his time, and be back out in time for the next tapings, meaning that he will essentially miss no time in TNA while serving his sentence.
You're likely asking why TNA would insist on bringing Jeff Hardy back to TV now, despite the fact that he's not gone to rehab or shown any proof of his intent to remain sober, despite the fact that he still had charges pending, despite the stupid stuff his Idiot Brother has been doing lately, including getting himself fired from TNA, and now despite the fact that Jeff is a convicted drug trafficker and will be serving jail time. Why on earth would TNA insist on bringing him back now? Here's an answer -
DVD Sales. They brought Jeff Hardy back to TV now so he could promote TNA's upcoming DVD set, which will be released next month. This should put to rest any question as to why TNA still has Jeff on roster - because they believe he is one of the few people in this company who can draw and move merchandise because, sadly, Jeff Hardy IS one of the very few people in this company who can draw worth a damn and move merchandise. That's it.
Speaking of people who are still somewhat marketable despite their continuing drama, Kurt Angle was arrested last week for a DUI. This, as some may remember, is the same offense that forced Dixie Carter to release Jeff Hardy's Idiot Brother from his TNA Contract a few weeks back. This is now the third DUI Angle has received since coming to TNA. Angle has disputed this arrest, though, telling anyone who will listen that he was "framed" and that his breathalyzer test results were under the limit.
Random Fan-Service Pic of the Week
Remember Madison Rayne? She was the top heel of the Knockouts Division 6 months ago. Can you remember the last time TNA used her on TV?
This Week in Impact We start off with the same video TNA showed last week of various TNA stars talking about how Jeff Hardy screwed up Victory Road because of his drug problems, and has an opportunity to overcome his demons by returning to TNA. Of course, because this is TNA, and absolutely nothing can be done on this show without acknowledging the lead angle (which involves Hulk Hogan), we then shift right into another video package recapping the Immortal beatdown of Sting last week, and Mr. Anderson running in to make the save.
This leads us to our opening talking segment of the evening, featuring Mr. Anderson, as Impact once again comes from Huntsville, Alabama. I'm assuming the stuff Anderson is saying here about beating people up then going home to sleep is supposed to be comedy of some sort, but the funny just isn't there. Anderson then talks about how he joined up with Immortal, and therefore, deserves your boos. Yes, TNA is now having someone who I would assume is once again a babyface (although, as many times as Anderson's turned this Summer, God knows anymore) telling you to boo him. Which accomplishes what, exactly?
Believe me, Random CM Punk Fan at the TNA Show, I feel your pain.
So, once he forces Huntsville to boo him, he talks about how he's now on the outside looking in with Immortal, all because of Bully Ray. Because of this, Anderson has vowed to be even more annoying than ever. Anderson then tells us that he's going after Kurt Angle and the TNA World Title, because he supposedly has a title rematch clause he's never cashed in. Ken then lets us know that he's got someone backing him up, once Immortal gets involved - Sting.
Sting talk a bit about last week, then lets the world know that, once again, Sting is wielding the power of The Network... even though the last time he claimed this, it was all a hoax, so why on earth we should believe him this time, God knows. Sting names himself the Special Guest Enforcer, supposedly with the blessing off The Network, as he promises to keep eating away at Hogan's power in TNA.
Devon and the Pope are now supposedly teaming together, even though little to nothing in their narrative would have made this seem possible as of last week. Okay, whatever. Maybe the Devon Boys talked some sense into their Dad or something. Anyway, Pope and Devon are taking on the British Invasion, who didn't even get an entrance (the universal sign of "jobbers"). The winners here get a Tag Team Title shot, which, of course, means we get several minutes of Anarquia's terrible Eddie Guerrero impression on Guest Commentary. Pope takes Magnus out of the ring as Devon nails the Spinebuster on Williams for the win.
Kurt Angle is in the back talking about his match tonight when, out of the blue, Bellator Fighting Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez comes in to plug his big fight in Atlantic City on October 15 against Michael Chandler.
The Final Four of the BFG Series is set, and they will face off in two singles matches at No Surrender, where whoever has the most points when it's over gets a shot at the TNA World Title. Bobby Roode (42) takes on Gunner (42), and Bully Ray (49) takes on James Storm (40). Statistically speaking, if Bully Ray wins his match here, there's no way anyone can touch him.
So we go to the ring, where the Final Four are gathered together. Bully Ray takes a mic and actually compliments Beer Money for being one of the greatest tag teams in wrestling. Ray then talks about how tag teams always think about how they'd do as singles, and pretty much sows the seeds of any potential Beer Money split that could happen as a result of the BFG Series. Roode then takes a mic and tells Bully Ray that everything he said was BS. Beer Money isn't gonna break up over all of this... which means they probably will. Ugh...
We get yet another plug for Alvarez vs. Chandler at Bellator 54 as Eddie Alvarez now joins Taz and Tenay at commentary. The match he's commenting on? Eric Young defending the TV Title against Robbie E, who only seemingly got this shot because EY thought Robbie was an actual Jersey Shore cast member. Robbie, of course, is not given an entrance, which should tell you all you need to know, here. EY does some "comedy" that isn't all that funny, tears off his pants to reveal that he's wearing a pair of Robbie E's trunks, then hits a piledriver and pins E for the win. After the match, Rob Terry attacks EY and nails him with a Last Ride Powerbomb.
RVD confronts Jerry Lynn after Lynn screwed RVD last week. Lynn whines about how promoters don't see him as a star, then complains about having to get a job working in a warehouse, before telling Rob that Hogan and Bischoff opened his eyes to the situation. RVD responds by elbowing Jerry in the face and kicking him in the gut, which is apparently enough to knock Jerry Lynn down and keep him down as RVD gloats like a prick about how awesome he is, then tells Jerry to just wait by his phone.
Why on earth would you ever want to have a wrestler come out on TV and say, "Hey, I have to work in a warehouse to make ends meet"? No, seriously - what is up with this company making all of their wrestlers seem absolutely destitute on TV? Between Karen Jarrett's comment about the Knockouts having to go back on the Stripper Pole if they lose their job in TNA, to Lynn whining about his warehouse job... do you guys really think we, the fans, want to see a bunch of poor losers, desperate for jobs? I mean, seriously, these are supposed to be professional athletes. When you tell us that supposedly professional athletes are destitute and desperate for work, all that tells us is that these people are sh*tty athletes who didn't have what it takes to make it as a pro. It doesn't make us want to pay to watch them wrestle. We want to see STARS, not LOSERS. If we want to watch losers fight, we can just go down to the local dive bar and wait for the drunks to get ornery.
We then join Mickie James, her dog, and Velvet Sky in the locker room. And boy howdy does the cattiness fly once my new favorite authority figure walks into the room. Oh, yes, Karen Jarrett, who complains about the mess in the room, because, apparently, she's never been in a locker room and doesn't know what it looks like on "game day" so to speak. She then complains about Mickie's dog, making a "bitch" reference, yet managing not to actually use the word, saying that two was bad enough, we didn't need three. She then informs Mickie that Winter gets a rematch for the KO title at No Surrender, then turns her attention to Velvet Sky. She first tells Vel that there's more to Knockout Wrestling than shaking your ass, then telling Vel that she needed to lose a few pounds. It should go without saying at this point that I HATE Karen Jarrett as Knockout Law...
We're already going for the World Title Match, which must mean Jeff Hardy's going to be the Main Event. Okay... Anderson takes on Angle for the title with Sting as the Special Guest Enforcer. We have your standard TNA Main Event Match, which comes to a close as Angle pokes the referee in the eye, low blows Anderson, and nails an Angle Slam. Ref goes for a count, but Sting stops it and lets the ref know about the low blow. Angle yells at Sting, long enough for Anderson to wake up and Mic Check him. Anderson goes for the cover, but Gunner runs in to break up the pin, and ref calls for the DQ on Angle. Anderson wins the match, but not the belt. Immortal than comes to the ring and beats down both Anderson and Sting.
In the Locker Room of Doom, Immortal is celebrating their beatdown of Sting and Anderson. Bischoff is on the phone and can't hear, so he gets pissy and kicks everyone out of the Locker Room of Doom. Once they're gone, we find out, whatever the call was about, it made Bischoff even more upset.
Love Like Winter takes on Velvet Sky and Mickie James in tag team action. Love Like Winter picks up the win after Winter spits red mist into Mickie's eyes to get the pin.
We then get an Austin Aries promo. A Double introduces himself as Eric Bischoff's favorite X-Division wrestler, which, given his public love of the division, really ought not to be much to crow about, but whatever.
My sentiments, exactly!
Austin comes out to more or less call Brian Kendrick a hypocrite who's scared that A Double is taking his spotlight. Kendrick then makes his way down to the ring, wearing an even more fashionable suit than A Double is now. I guess they both just came from a GQ cover shoot or something. Kendrick is also doing the "Dave Chappelle doing the White Guy Voice" deal as he talks in actual English for once, about how he's usually seen as a whackjob and whatnot. Unfortunately, even though the audience had ZERO REACTION WHATSOEVER to whether or not Brian should go back to his new look, he decides that, no, being conventional isn't for him. So, of course, he starts taking off his suit and babbling about materialism in his crazy language, again. Austin Aries is confused...
Get used to it, Austin. The booking's not going to get any better...
Once Kendrick strips himself of all the material BS, Aries tells Kendrick that he threw down the X Title, showing no respect for it. Kendrick responds by saying it's a material thing, and thus, claiming the title has no value to him. Great way to make the title seem important, Brian. Aries calls Kendrick a fraud, and Kendrick attacks A Double, chasing him out of the ring.
Hogan is happy that Sting and Anderson got beat down, but Eric Bischoff's got bad news for the Hulkster. The Network has made Angle vs. Anderson vs. Sting for the TNA Title at No Surrender in retaliation for the beatdown Immortal pulled on Sting and Anderson earlier.
We now have a 4-Way match between the BFG Series Final Four, as Gunner, Bully Ray, James Storm, and Robert Roode duke it out. There's no mention of whether there's points on the line, as you'd think this would be a BFG Series match, but, apparently, it's not, so who knows. Gunner ends up screwing over Bully Ray as he seems to have things well in hand, hitting Ray with his running knee strike to pick up the win.
Main Event Time as Jeff Hardy makes his return to TNA. You can tell that he's supposed to be a babyface here because he's coming out to his "Modest" theme, not the "Another" theme he was using as a part of Immortal. Jeff acknowledges his failure at Victory Road, but then asks for forgiveness and another chance. He then walks away as the fans chant, "One More Shot" to close the show.
And Now, No Surrender... This time last year, I was genuinely interested in what TNA would do come Bound For Glory when it became apparent that "THEY" would arrive and that one of the three men in the Main Event, Kurt Angle, Mr. Anderson, or Jeff Hardy, would be turning. Now, a month away from Bound For Glory, we once again come to No Surrender, and, to be perfectly frank, I don't care. I really just do not care about a single thing this show is doing outside of possibly the X-Division, and the annoyance that is becoming Karen Jarrett: Knockout Law. A big part of that is because, honestly, I have no idea where this show is going. See, a lot of people talk about how everything is so predictable in wrestling these days, and try to counter this point by putting out wrestling shows whose direction turns on a dime. One week, this is the plan, the next week, everything is thrown out, and we go with something entirely. It's happening in both major companies, as we speak. WWE seems to change its plans every 10 minutes, now, making everything they do seem utterly pointless, because, come next week, all the stuff they've asked you to invest in has now been changed. One week, it's building to Punk vs. Nash. Now it's Punk vs. HHH. Now the match is for H's role as COO. Now Tag Teams Matter. Now there's a SuperShow. Now there's not. Now Zack Ryder is on SmackDown. Now Zack Ryder is on RAW. Now he's Teddy Long's assistant. Now he's feuding with OtungaCutty. And so on, and so forth.
In TNA, this would be worse, except, there's simply nothing to care about. Character's motivations and alliances change with the passing wind. Anderson's face, then he's heel, then he's in Immortal, now he's Stone Cold again. Angle's mad at Jeff Jarrett, now he's mad at Dixie Carter. Wins Matter in the BFG Series... oh, wait, no they don't, because the guy with the most wins got written out of the tournament because, this week, Samoa Joe is killing people. Devon doesn't trust Pope, doesn't like Pope, but now he's teaming with Pope because...? Meanwhile, the title has changed hands so many times, it's hard to keep track of who the champ even is. First it's Hardy, then Anderson, the Hardy, then Sting, then Anderson, then Sting, then Angle, and for all we know, the title will change hands yet again tonight so Bully Ray can pay off his feud with Mr. Anderson at BFG. Or, for all we know, TNA will just toss the entire Series out, have Samoa Joe kill everyone, and go for a Joe/Angle match, which, of all the options TNA could go for right now, would be the one that'd actually get me at least somewhat interested in Bound For Glory. The problem is, if they do that, it'll render the entire series a waste of time, and make it just that much harder for TNA to get you to invest anything into what they are doing.
With that said, let's just get this part over with...
Matt Morgan vs. Samoa Joe
A win won't matter here, because nothing is going to come of it. Crimson may interfere to set up a match with Joe at BFG, if that's even the plan right now. Beyond that, who cares?
Winter vs. Mickie James (c) for the Knockouts Championship Winter held the title for maybe three weeks, only defended it once, and in that defense, lost it right back to Mickie, which begs the question, "Why change the title at all?" Had Winter retained the title on TV, and this was the rematch, I might, MIGHT, give a sh*t, or have any belief that this match is more than just a colossal waste of time. Unfortunately, because Winter's reign meant nothing, unless she wins here and actually holds that belt for a while, we're just wasting time.
Brian Kendrick (c) vs. Austin Aries for the X-Divison Title
You'd have to imagine Austin's winning the title at some point, just to bring some interest to the division. Am I the only one that's seeing Brian the Babyface Whackjob as a massive fail?
Mexican America (c) vs. Pope & Devon for the Tag Team Titles Well, on the plus side, they're at least advancing the Pope/Devon angle. I'd assume there's some miscommunication between the two, Pope inadvertently costs his team the match, and Devon flips out on him, leading to the Devon Family taking Pope's side, and Pope's re-heel turn. Mexican America retains.
BFG Series Finale
Gunner (42 Points) vs. Bobby Roode (42 Points) Doesn't matter. Neither of these guys have a real shot at winning the series if Ray wins, which brings us to...
BFG Series Finale
Bully Ray (49 Points) vs. James Storm (40 Points) The only way Bully Ray loses the BFG Series at this point is if he loses here. A win will lock him the Series. Unless TNA's figured out a way to make Roode and Storm tie, and make the BFG Main Event Beer Money vs. Angle (which might actually be interesting), expect Ray to win here. And, of course, when he does, you may as well just end the series there, because neither Roode nor Gunner can touch him.
Kurt Angle (c) vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Sting for the World Title You'd think if Ray is winning the series, Anderson wins the title here. That, though, could change on a dime.
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