2 Knockout tag matches, a dream fourway ladder match, and the aftermath of an empty arena match. What more could you ask for?
Greetings, humanity! Welcome to A Brace for Impact, where two 411mania writers give you their real-time thoughts on the show as it happens. I'm your host Chris Lansdell, and each week a special guest will be joining me. Before we get to the guest, I've noticed from the comments section that some people don't seem to get the column, while some love it. Let me explain a few things about A Brace for Impact:
This is not a play-by-play report. Harrison does a fine job of that. This is more along the lines of the multi-person Instant Analysis we do for PPVs, but more spontaneous.
This is not meant to be a non-stop laugh-fest. It's to give you some insight into the thought process of the writers, which is especially important when it comes to a show like Impact which is often maligned.
The chat comments will be genuine, off-the-cuff remarks around the match. At the end we talk ABOUT the match. It's working well so far and we're enjoying the feedback, so please keep it coming. With that said, here's this week's co-host...
Lansdell: Ready to rock and/or roll? McNew: I was born ready my friend. And we begin by reliving one of the all time great moments in wrestling fail. Lansdell: It wasn't THAT bad. The fight at the end annoyed the hell out of me, but the rest was good. Really played up the Angle vs Everyone split. McNew: I didn't care for it personally, although the unintentional comedy of Nash screaming "MAKE THIS RIGHT!" made up for it Lansdell: Well tonight we get the fallout (not boy) from that, McNew: I'm intrigued to see where they were going, so I guess I'll concede that it worked in that respect
Taylor Wilde and Madison Rayne vs. The Beautiful People
Lansdell: DAT AZZ SQUARED McNew: Off to a good start, hopefully the camera man has as good of a week this week as he did last. Lansdell: That's some view McNew: Mission Accomplished McNew: Her name is Rayne and she's from Seattle...get it? Lansdell: Does she know Shawn Kemp? McNew: She may have mothered one of his 17 children Lansdell: I thought Madison was in Wisconsin, but OK McNew: Nice action to start. Lansdell: So this is our first extended look at Madison Rayne, and she didn't disgrace herself McNew: Now we'll see how well she can play face in peril Lansdell: I'd rather watch her than Ricky Morton McNew: That might be the most accurate statement in the history of this column. Lansdell: So can we take this to mean that Palin is done? McNew: We've thought that before, I wouldn't hold my breath Lansdell: This is also the best we've seen Velvet look McNew: I'd like to also point out that Velvet Sky and Angelina Love look a lot better than Sweet Stan and Beautiful Bobby Lansdell: Not to mention Bodacious Bob and Bombastic Bart. However, Cornette and Kute Kip is a toss-up McNew: SWERVE! Lansdell: One day, they will bring in a new Knockout FACE. McNew: So Madison is now the Buddy Roberts to Velvet and Angelina's Gordy and Hayes? That's probably enough on the 80's NWA comparisons
Winners: The Beautiful People via pinfall (Sky on Wilde, Beauty Mark/Lungblower following Rayne swerve)
Lansdell: That was quite possibly the best Knockout tag match we've seen on Impact. All 4 ladies worked hard, worked well and were crisp. The swerve was really not predictable (although it should have been, they never bring girls in as faces now) and I don't think it hurt the match at all. *** is not out of the question.
McNew: That was a really entertaining match, with a swerve that was actually, a swerve. Everyone looked good, and The BP needs a 3rd wheel if we're gonna have a feud with Roxxi, Taylor, and The Governor. I won't be as generous as you, but I'll go **1/2
MEM Locker Room with JB
Lansdell: So the MEM are still behind Kurt despite blaming him last week? McNew: Kurt's not returning JB's texts, poor guy. Lansdell: Kurt doesn't have the heart to tell him that he gave him the wrong number McNew: SHE WAS 19! God Bless Steiner. Lansdell: They're making fun of Booker's name? Are we in 8th grade? McNew: It's not even that funny of a name, its not like its Hickenbottom or something Lansdell: There's just something awkward about breaking up an intense situation with childish levity.
Lansdell: Ahem...BEER! McNew: MONAY! Lansdell: God these guys rule. And now Jimmy RAVE~! McNew: So this is how TNA is going to do their future endeavors for the next few weeks? Lansdell: I wonder how many are going to be released as a result. McNew: So this is an open challenge, correct? To anyone? Lansdell: Yeah, it is. McNew: So, if Miz and Morrison unify the WWE belts tomorrow night, they need to show up in the Impact Zone Lansdell: NO! This cannot be! The world would implode from the concentration of Awesome! McNew: Of course not, what will probably happen is Fat Chris Harris and his singlet will show up, and him and Harris will turn on Roode, breaking up Beer Money Lansdell: So this is the best we've ever seen from Rock n Rave...and they're leaving. Genius. McNew: Only one of them Lansdell: Maybe. McNew: 22 minutes into the show and we're already in our second great match? Lansdell: Rock is kicking ASS! The guy has all sorts of skillz. McNew: Leave the Memories Alone Lance Lansdell: Man that was a hell of a match for the time it got.
Winners: Beer! Money! via pinfall (Storm on Rock, belt shot)
McNew: Screwy ending aside, that was awesome. You have to give both Rock and Petey last week credit for going balls out in their farewell match. I'm not really sure what's up this week as we're less than 1/4th of the way done and we've already got 2 solid matches. ***
Lansdell: I feel really bad for Lance Rock. The man has all the talent in the world but never got a chance to show it for whatever reason. Anyway, this was a really good, fast-paced tag match which made Rock n Rave look great and once again proved that Beer Money are walking, breathing avatars of tremendous. *** because I really, REALLY wanted 5 more minutes.
McNew: Was that AJ in the parking lot? Lansdell: Wasn't looking. More iced tea. McNew: I see. Sting got out of his car, JB tried to interview him, Sting blew him off, then we saw a blurry figure in the background. They zoomed in on him, but intentionally kept the shot blurry so you weren't sure who it was. Lansdell: Dr Stevie? McNew: Didn't have long hair, although that would be awesome.
Cops with Booker
Lansdell: Booker called the police on AJ? McNew: Can you understand a word he is saying? Lansdell: I do speak fluent ebonics, yes. It seems he is rather displeased that some ruffian has performed acts of vandalism on his domicile. McNew: Thanks for the translation Lansdell: Styles-Booker interests me not McNew: Keith out on the truck, I understand you have access to the footage from the past couple weeks....Well I'd fucking hope so Mike
Dr Stevie time!
McNew: March 28: Spencer, IA. There is a rumour that someone who looks a lot like me is sitting front row. Lansdell: I will mark if Dr Stevie has a Blue Nursie working with him. McNew: So Abyss wants to be a Jonas Brother? Lansdell: I may cry. This is starting to get silly. McNew: There are a lot of things there you could be crying about...Teen Idol Abyss. Misuse of Stevie Richards. Jealousy of my front row tickets... Lansdell: At TNA? They'd have to pay me. McNew: By all accounts, the house shows are awesome. Lansdell: To be fair, I would go if they ever came here Lansdell: So where is the Dr Stevie angle leading? McNew: I'm not sure, my guess would be nowhere fast. Lansdell: Is he going to wrestle? McNew: He would have to eventually wouldn't he? There's nothing physical that would prevent it that I'm aware of Lansdell: You'd think so McNew: TNA is doing Did You Knows now...that's both sad and awesome at the same time Lansdell: That will make Jeremy Thomas happy. He loves those.
ODB Video Date segment
McNew: So I guess this is just an angle, I feel saddened that I...err...a friend of mine sent a video in Lansdell: I swear to GOD that last guy looked just like Csonka McNew: He's a married man, I'd be careful
Lauren with Steiner
Lansdell: They beeped out "going down"??? McNew: Steiner is god, that is all Lansdell: Except for the whole Boogeyman reference McNew: What the hell? Is that Tank Abbot? Lansdell: It's Joe and...Is he holding a KNIFE TO HIS THROAT??? McNew: If you're scoring at home "going down" is bleeped, simulated throat slashing is a okay Lansdell: That may just be one step too far. McNew: That was uncomfortable. I'm wondering how a network that bleeps "going down" and won't allow Cute Kip to touch women let that one pass through Lansdell: God only knows, but it's pissed me right off.
Foley's Self-Adoration Society
Lansdell: What in God's name is the point of talking about all his WWE accomplishments? McNew: I don't know, but its pretty pointless when they can't show the footage. Lansdell: Why do I think that WWE would absolutely NOT mind a clip being shown? Free advertising. McNew: Also wonderful job by completely putting over the WWE's fastest rising star. Lansdell: Yes, talk about how Orton has all the tools so the viewers can go watch him Monday night. Fuckstain. McNew: The only thing that was missing was Foley saying, "And he just won the Royal Rumble and will be facing Triple H for the World Title April 5th on Pay Per View"
Lansdell: This is where they back out of the match? McNew: I would guess Lansdell: They cannot have the MEM collapse without putting at least Joe and AJ over. They just CAN'T McNew: That would be the equivalent of Hall and Nash turning on Hogan at Starrcade '96, its WAY too early. Lansdell: Having Nash do the talking might be able to prolong it. McNew: He's doing a great job here Lansdell: Here comes the ego McNew: The Legend in his own mind Lansdell: No wonder they gave us 2 great matches to open. We've gone half an hour without another match McNew: 40 minutes, but who's counting? Lansdell: I'm BEGGING for a "We want wrestling!" chant. McNew: Here we go, bury the product Lansdell: Booker with the shoot comments! When TNA started, it WAS a bunch of nobodies McNew: Can we just get to the Jarrett beatdown and be done with it? Lansdell: Or at least the Front Line run-in. That would be better. McNew: Contract signing tonight, I'm sure that will be fairly uneventful. Those always end well. Lansdell: Yes, I too am sure there will be no shenani...oops there goes another Sarcasmatron.
Most shocking heel turn in the history of our sport!
Lansdell: What the hell? DON WEST HEEL TURN! McNew: What the fuck?!?!?!! Lansdell: Thank God! McNew: Quit! PLEASE GOD QUIT! Lansdell: Tenay is PERPLEXED~! McNew: Oh sweet Jesus, my dreams are coming true aren't they? Lansdell: No. Love and Sky are not dancing naked. McNew: We put Tenay on a pedestal? Did I miss that memo? Lansdell: To add to tonight's scorecard, balls and prick are OK, "going down" is not. McNew: West is gone!!!!! This is truly the greatest night in the history of our sport Lansdell: West vs Tenay - Mic on a pole match McNew: If that happens I rescind my previous statement. Lansdell: No, better yet...West brings in Fake Christian and Fake Ron Killings McNew: Who will be the wrestlers? I vote Bob Holly and Big Daddy V Lansdell: Or Monty Brown McNew: That works Lansdell: So who takes West's place? McNew: Cornette please.
Sojourner Bolt and Rhaka Khan vs. Awesome Kong and Riesha Saeed
Lansdell: SOUL SISTAHS McNew: If they can drag this out 8 minutes we go a full hour without a match, I'm just sayin. McNew: Is that Rhaka Cena? Lansdell: She's a poet and was not previously away of the fact McNew: Can we get someone out there with Tenay for the rest of the show? Lansdell: I don't know about that, but I do know that I am contractually obliged to remind our readers that Kong kills bitches dead. McNew: Like those Raw's when JR turns heel/gets beat down/gets fired and a perplexed Todd Grisham/Jonathan Coachman/Kevin Kelly comes out and replace him? Lansdell: Kevin Kelly reference for the win McNew: 54 minutes in between matches if you're scoring at home. Lansdell: Bolt has talent. McNew: Rhaka does not. Lansdell: No. No she does not. And she's not even eye candy. McNew: So naturally she will be playing the role of Ricky Morton Lansdell: But of course. McNew: She doesn't quite get the whole tag psychology thing does she? She wandered over about two steps from Sojo with Kong nowhere to be found. Why not tag out? Lansdell: Because that would make sense. McNew: Then the hot tag comes from nothing, this match makes no sense. Lansdell: It has definite bowling shoe tendencies. McNew: Where's Jackie Gayda when we need her? Lansdell: A long, LONG way away from any wrestling rings, hopefuilly McNew: What in the blue hell was that? A fucking backslide finishes? Lansdell: That was just awful. At least Kong killed a bitch.
Winners: Rhaka Khan and Sojo Bolt via pinfall (backslide)
McNew: I was hoping Sojo or Raisha would do something in the finish that would save that from negativeville. They didn't. One terrible worker drug three good ones down to her level. The less said the better -**
Lansdell: With the exception of the post-match beatdown, this was entirely fogrettable. I understand why it had to be done and why Khan took the pin, but she has no right in a ring right now. *¼ because it told the story, at least.
McNew: Okay so we got the ladder match, and the contract signing left, and thats it. So with a half hour left hopefully 15 of that is given to the ladder match. Lansdell: If there is a God McNew: Well Don West quit Lansdell: Which left us with solo Mike Tenay. Every silver lining is around a cloud. McNew: Well I'll take a wait and see approach. Surely they won't let Tenay go the Joey Styles route. So we either get a heel (and interesting) Don West or a new color man. Lansdell: Good commentators are hard to find McNew: They have two of them on the payroll, both functioning in essentially the same role. Lansdell: Very true, and I wouldn't mind either Cornette or Foley.
McNew: WWE needs to sign Consequences to a one day contract. Just so he can face Kozlov. Lansdell: This match should be incredible. McNew: One would think. So it will likely end in 4 minutes Lansdell: I wish I thought otherwise, but we have a contract signing after this. McNew: God knows that needs 15 minutes. Lansdell: At least. Angle has 9 letters to write! McNew: Nice pose, are they Hogan and Michaels now? Lansdell: Well there's more than a little Michaels in the Guns. And Jannetty. Which means Sabin should stay away from barber shop windows. McNew: Not much Hogan, they're not orange enough. Lansdell: I fail to see the downside McNew: Why do I have a bad feeling this commercial break is going to be longer than the portion of the match that airs? Lansdell: Because that's how TNA rolls. McNew: Lethal Combination on the ladder, very nice! Lansdell: This has been nowhere near as good as I hoped McNew: God damnit Lansdell: He fucked up! McNew: 6 minutes, 3 minutes of which were a commercial break, and now Suicide Lansdell: Well, this week he didn't fuck up any moves, but he almost broke his fool neck by flying into the ladder. McNew: Crowd chanting Fallen Angel, you're not fooling anyone. Lansdell: Poor Kaz.
Winner: Alex Shelley via retrieval
Lansdell: With the four guys involved, you would expect a classic. It's hard for anyone to put on a classic in 6 minutes, but they didn't even come close. It was fine, but should have been so much more. Suicide is still not over, and really they need to do something with him soon. He's already lost all relevance with the game (which is probably a good thing) and he may soon lose whatever he has left. **½ for an average effort.
McNew: Well that match was a huge disappointment. I figured it was better suited for pay per view, and I was right. Its a crime to only give those four guys 6 minutes. Still while it was going the action was fun, there just wasn't enough of it. **1/2
McNew: Main Event Legal Document Time! Lansdell: I can't count how many times I've brought a guitar to sign a contract McNew: Maybe they don't have a table? Lansdell: Well Team 3D do work there. McNew: How are you a Former Olympic Gold Medalist? Unless you're Marion Jones? Lansdell: Didn't he lose it to Eugene AND AJ? McNew: He got it back from Eugene Not sure on AJ, my knowledge of TNA history is a bit sketchy. Lansdell: I'm fairly sure Jarrett told him to give it back. McNew: Who's the boss around here? Who knows? Jarrett sometimes, Foley sometimes, Cornette sometimes... Lansdell: Not only that, but their respective powers change each week. And now it's time for the waddle-in. McNew: Foley runs like my grandmother Lansdell: There's a picture for you... McNew: I'm so confused. They didn't do the swerve in a spot where the swerve would make sense? Lansdell: Russo is not comfortable if you're comfortable. Sadly, I smell a Fingerpoke of Doom.
McNew: Well it was a weird show. The matches I thought would be good weren't. The matches I thought would suck were good. Don West turned heel and quit, which is good an interesting. The MEM thing is very odd, but I know I'm intrigued enough to tune in next week. So I guess its mission accomplished. I'd still like to see a little bit more wrestling though.
Lansdell: Just when you think TNA is getting it together, they pull a weird twist. The first hour or so of this show were very, VERY good: good action, some story development, intelligently-placed commercials. Then it just got worse. The ladder match was gutted by a commercial and was far too short, and the second Knockout tag of the night (!!!) was just bad. I'm intrigued to see where some of these angles go, particularly with West, but I'm starting to wonder if it's morbid curiosity. Not a terrible show, but as McNew said...certainly a weird one.