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Posted in: The Crow's Nest
The Crow's Nest: The Return of the Tribute
By TheCrow
Sep 24, 2011 - 2:01:32 PM

1) Return of The TNA Tribute: iMPACT Review

Writer's Note: Yes, I know it's not Thursday anymore. Just to avoid any needless explanations later, I always write this column as if it were. It usually is, but sometimes other obligations get in the way and I'm not able to watch it live.

It's Thursday night, and allow me to fill you in on what that means. I mentioned in my first column that I wrote a weekly show review in the Forums before being called up to the main page, but since my debut I have yet to bring the review column back. I've received more than a few messages asking me where it's been, and tonight it will make its triumphant return. To my loyal readers, I hope you enjoy it. To my new readers who might not be familiar with my work, welcome to my column. No more delays though, it's time for iMPACT!


Segment 1: Hulk Hogan, Sting (In-Ring)

Of course, it wouldn't be iMPACT without an opening promo involving one of these two guys.
As much as I want to believe that Hulk Hogan "isn't medically cleared to compete" and therefore wouldn't be able to face Sting at Bound For Glory, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the match is going to take place anyways.
I'm glad to see Sting has toned down the whole wanting to be Heath Ledger thing. As much as it breathed some much needed fresh air into his character, it was starting to grind my gears a bit.
Bischoff out to cut a very scripted sounding promo, but is very quickly punched right in the mouth from Stinger. Whatever happened to the Bischoff that could get me riled up with just a few words? I think he's been hanging around with Hulk a little too long. Or maybe it's his involvement with "reality" shows on TruTV, who knows.

Segment 2: Karen Jarrett, Mickie James, Brooke Tessmacher, Traci Brooks (Backstage)

Qualifier match tonight to determine the 3rd competitor in the 4-way match at Bound For Glory? Who woulda thunk that title matches could be more interesting with logical #1 contenders matches? What a novel concept.
Okay Karen, you need to **** right off right now. First you tell Tessmacher not to do her strip tease in the ring anymore, and then you dare to tell Traci to cover up her glorious sweater puppies? I'm sorry, please go die.
THANK YOU KAZARIAN! "If you're not running a brothel, then why are you dressed like a Madam? I hope you're not charging more than 50 cents an hour, because that's all you're worth"

Match 1: Brooke Tessmacher VS. Mickie James

Please please PLEASE do the strip tease. Your entrance just won't be the same without it. Damn right you just did that. My night is now complete.
Nevermind, I forgot this cow was going to be competing tonight. Careful jumping off the top rope there Mickie, we wouldn't want the ring to break.
In the second novel concept of the night, it never ceases to amaze me just how big a difference it makes when a wrestling company employs actual wrestling talent to compete in their women's division. As much as I hate on Mickie James, she's still more talented than half the Divas roster. Knockouts > Divas any day of the week.
Predictable ending to a short match, but damn if that jumping spike DDT wasn't impressive looking. Is it possible that Mickie might win me over again?
Result: Mickie James wins via pinfall in 2:56

Segment 3: Mexican America (Some Parking Lot)

Apparently Anarquia wants a new tattoo, so they all hop in a lowrider truck with flame decals, just in case we forgot they were Mexican. I had my suspicions they might be, given the whole "Mexican America" name and the fact that they speak Spanish a lot, but now I know for sure. Thank you racial caricatures for clearing that one up for me.

Segment 4: Al Snow, Jeff Hardy (Backstage)

Woah, Al Snow sighting? This hasn't happened in a while.
Words cannot describe how happy I am that they are airing footage of Jeff going around asking forgiveness for what he did. Yeah it's all scripted, but it's still a nice gesture. His return promo showed me that he was serious about fixing himself, and I can only hope he manages to follow through.

Match 2: X-Division Championship: Jesse Sorensen VS. Austin Aries {c}

I'm big on this Sorensen kid right now, but there's no way that A-Double is losing the belt tonight. Aries is arguably one of the best characters in the company right now and he has done a masterful job of carving his spot out in the relatively short amount of time he's been in TNA. Sorensen's time will come, but it just isn't tonight.
Proving my point, Aries garners mad heat from the crowd simply by grabbing the football that Sorensen brings to the ring with him and running/posing around the ringside area.
Kid Kash out to ringside, and I'm glad he's still somewhat involved in the title picture. He's a bit older, but I'm a big fan of Kash's work and I hope he finds some success in TNA.
Jesus Christ, I have not seen anyone get air like that since Lance Cade (RIP). This Sorensen kid has a bright future in this industry, I'm calling it now.
And the football comes back into play as Sorensen whips it at Kash's back as he tries to walk away. I smell a feud coming here folks, and I for one am looking forward to it. A veteran like Kash could be very valuable to a young guy like Jesse Sorensen.
Result: Austin Aries retains via pinfall in 4:25

And because I love you bastards, here's a clip of the Aries/Sorensen match. Awesomely enough it starts with Aries doing one of those poses I mentioned.

Segment 5: Mr. Anderson, RVD (Backstage)

Hey there RVD, want to at least try opening your eyes here? I mean I know you're probably stoned as hell right now, but at least make the effort to LOOK presentable.
Tag match tonight to promote singles matches at Bound For Glory? I can dig it.

Segment 6: Mexican America (Tattoo Shop)

Looks like he was serious about the tattoo, and in yet another reminder of just how Mexican these guys are, Anarquia demands a bottle of tequila before he gets the tattoo. This of course is followed by a prayer.
Well I don't remember this happening in church ever. A couple of tattooed thugs jump Hernandez and Anarquia and it's shown that it's Jesse Neal and Shannon Moore. Well at least it's a tag team feud, but I was kind of hoping Neal might have died by now.
At least Moore looks like he's done away with all that ridiculous makeup. Now he only looks like kind of a douche.
So I'm supposed to buy that these two little bastards are going to be able to tattoo Anarquia against his will without holding him down, without restraining him, and without knocking him out chemically? Sorry, that's BS. I don't know if any of you have ever been tattooed before, but it doesn't exactly tickle. Not that it's searing pain or anything, but it's something that you might try to get away from if you weren't expecting it.

Segment 7: Jeff Hardy, Matt Morgan (Backstage)

They are really trying to push this Jeff Hardy forgiveness thing.
"I would be a much better role model as champion than you will EVER be." - Matt Morgan telling Jeff how it is.
Morgan reveals that he's now over 4 years clean from his own painkiller addiction, and that gives this segment some realism that's for sure.

Segment 8: Random Cameraman (Backstage)

Apparently these guys walk around backstage with their cameras on, and this guy happens to catch RVD knocked out on the ground with his head through a chair. Well I guess he won't be wrestling tonight.

Segment 9: Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle (Backstage)

As nice as it was to see Hardy getting some forgiveness here, it's about time we saw some hostility. Angle basically tells Jeff to screw right off, so I'm wondering if there's a future program between these two in the works.

Segment 10: Kurt Angle (In-Ring)

I'm huge on this idea of Roode having to run through every member of Fortune before the PPV, but since when do wrestlers have booking powers? This seems to happen far too often these days. At least it's keeping these guys away from each other until the title match.
I don't know if it's just me, but ever since Roode won the BFG Series he's looked a lot more intense. Not that he looked like a **** before, but Roode just looks like he's bringing a whole new level of awesome to his game now.
This is a direct message to anyone in TNA management who happens to be reading this column. If you want to give the fans a great title feud, give us Storm vs. Roode after Bound For Glory. I would pay money to see that.
"I heard you say you got all the stroke around here. Well I got an idea, why don't you get on your knees and stroke my beer bottle right here boy? Because I hope you're a better match maker than you are beer drinker" - James Storm, yet again proving why he's made of pure win.
Storm vs. Angle tonight? Promising, but too bad the result seems a bit predictable. No way they let the champion get pinned by anyone other than the #1 Contender before the title match, especially by a guy who (kayfabe) isn't as good as the guy challenging for the title, considering Storm lost the tournament and all.

Match 3: Bully Ray & Jerry Lynn VS. Ken Anderson

Sure enough, it's a handicap match folks. Any guesses as to who took out RVD backstage?
As overrated as I think Jerry Lynn is, at least it gives RVD something to do away from the World Title. And those guys have proven before that they can still put on good matches against each other, so their match at BFG should be a nice addition to the card.
I usually don't have a lot of bad things to say about Anderson, but he just looks lost out there tonight. It seems like the only time he really brings it in the ring is when he's chasing a title. If he's champion or not involved in the title scene at all, he's pretty blah. Sounds like a bit of an attitude issue to me.
Nice failed Rolling Thunder there Jerry. I get what you were trying to do there, but that's probably one of those moves you should make sure you can actually do before you try it on TV.
I never thought I'd say this, but Bully Ray is really the saviour of this match. Lynn and Anderson are putting on an average performance AT BEST, and Ray is really having to step it up and lead this match.
Not the worst match of all time, but that was far from the match it should have been. RVD really should have been allowed to compete, at least that way we'd get some RVD/Lynn action going on. Sorry Anderson, just not your night.
Result: Ray/Lynn win via pinfall in 6:21

Match 4: Christopher Daniels VS. Robert Roode

Well it looks like this match might not be taking place as Daniels comes out in street clothes. He's got a mic, so I guess we're getting an explanation.
Wait a sec, are we witnessing the formal retirement of Daniels here? If so that's kinda sad. But he makes a good point. When he challenged Styles to that final match a little while ago he said he just wanted to prove he could, so now he has nothing left to prove to himself. Nevermind, this feud isn't quite over yet. I guess we're not going to see Roode compete tonight?
"Wow AJ I didn't know you were a sore loser AND a bitch." - Daniels, resorting to name calling to prove he's still cool.
Result: Match Never Started
In case you forgot who TNA's big sponsor is, the fight between these two spills out into a conveniently placed backstage Direct Auto Insurance booth. Do these guys try to sell car insurance to the wrestlers as they make their way to the ring? Interesting strategy.
Kaz apparently got tired of calling Karen a **** and comes to break up the fight. I guess he's stronger than the team of security guards who just tried this and failed?
Really Chris? Really? Name-calling, and then you kick a man in the dick? #areyouseriousbro?

Segment 11: Kurt Angle, Scott Steiner (Backstage)

It's been far too long since I've heard a screaming Scott Steiner promo. "RABBLERABBLERABBLE! KICK YOUR ASS! RABBLERABBLERABBLE!". That's pretty much the gist of it.

Segment 12: Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles (Backstage)

TNA manages to do these real-looking backstage promos pretty well on a regular basis. I'm actually buying that Daniels is pissed the hell off right now, and I don't usually feel like that watching WWE.
Slide transition, and we switch to a shot of Kaz and Styles in the doctor's office backstage. But yet again, I am legitimately buying that Styles is pissed off right now. On top of that, I'm buying that Kaz is legitimately trying to keep the peace. Either this is real, or these guys are just awesome.
That's gross. Styles grabs a garbage can and starts to dry heave. That must have been a hell of a shot to the nuts.

Segment 13: Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff (Hogan's Office)

Not much of note, but apparently Hogan is going to "drop a bombshell" on us next week that will "change the face of pro wrestling forever". I might buy that if TNA regularly delivered on their "BIGGEST ANNOUNCEMENT EVAR!!!11!!1!" bits, but since they don't, I don't foresee anything massive coming from Hogan's mouth.

Match 5: James Storm VS. Kurt Angle

LOL @ the fat guy in the front row getting a drink from Storm's beer. I would probably die if Storm poured beer down my mouth, just sayin'. How cool would that be?
And of course since it's the main event of the evening, Jeremy Borash is out to perform his best Bruce Buffer ring announcer impression. Seriously, how sweet is this guy's job? He comes out for a minute or so on iMPACT, rarely does backstage stuff anymore, and does some announcing at live events? Hook me up with that job, I'll do it for half of what he makes.
Angle really looks to have slimmed down lately. I imagine he's trying to get a little leaner for his Olympic attempt.
It's only been a minute, and this match is already my pick for MotN. Unless something drastic happens, I don't see that changing. This just proves that Storm deserves to be in the title picture ASAP.
Hey Taz, if you're going to say something like "Storm's got Angle's arm trapped there, what a side headlock", you might want to make sure he actually has the arm trapped. How you manage to make Booker T look like a great ring announcer sometimes I will never know.
This is easily a PPV quality match folks. Not quite at that 5 star level, but it's creeping up close to a 4. Lots of near falls, lots of emotion, and lots of intensity. This is what happens when you give guys as talented as this some time to work with (we're at about the 9 minute mark at this point).
Did Storm…just bite Angle's head? Now THAT is something I haven't seen in a while.
Damnit Gunner, don't you dare ruin this match. Go right back to the locker room.
Ouch, sorry Bryan Hebner. Looked like that super kick actually hit you pretty hard. The senior Hebner comes out to make the count as Storm has Angle covered, but Gunner has to go and ruin that. Of course Roode comes out to even the odds.
Wait, who won the match? No final decision? Well that's good I guess since it keeps Angle from losing, but I hate it when a match doesn't get an official ending.
Result: No Contest, 12:14


Match of the Night: James Storm vs. Kurt Angle
This match almost didn't get the nod here just because of that ending. The only justification I can think of for the "no contest" ending was that it keeps both Storm and Angle looking strong without either one having to lose. But please TNA, give me a Storm and Angle feud in the future, because I'll be damned if that wasn't one of the better matches iMPACT has seen in a while.

Superstar of the Night: Jeff Hardy
Little bit harder choosing this one, but in the end Jeff won out because of how well he convinced me that he was trying to get forgiveness from his fellow TNA wrestlers. Yeah it was storyline, but Jeff isn't that great of an actor so I'm willing to believe there's a good amount of realism in those segments. Hate on the guy all you want for shit he's done in the past, but I'm willing to give him one last shot if he truly proves he deserves it.

Asshole of the Night: Hulk Hogan
Hardest one to pick tonight, but in the end Hollywood Hulkster is the biggest AotN. His opening promo was subpar (as usual) and took up far too much time, and now he's promising to "drop a bombshell" on the fans next week when it's likely going to be such a minor announcement that nothing about the show is going to really change? As nostalgic as it might be to see a Hogan vs. Sting match at their biggest show of the year, TNA really needs to weigh the pros and cons of that match occurring. On one hand, it's a nice bit of nostalgia and certainly provides a novelty match to the PPV. On the other hand, it's a match that nobody really wants to see. Figure it out TNA.


Overall tonight's show was fairly average, and the in-ring action that did occur was pretty solid. We saw 4 matches (not including Roode's match which never started) totalling around 25:56, give or take a minute or so for the madhouse ending to Storm vs. Angle. Pretty unimpressive numbers when you look at them, but in this case it's also important to look at quality over quantity. That being said, this is not the time for TNA to be coasting along with the same old stuff they deliver on a weekly basis. It's less than a month away from TNA's biggest PPV event of the year, and just like WWE steps up their product on the "Road to Wrestlemania", TNA needs to be stepping up their product on their "Path to Glory". Roode/Angle is being set up fairly nicely, but I need more reasons than that to care about the show. Hogan/Sting is okay as a novelty (as I mentioned above) but realistically that is not anywhere close to a draw for the show. I'm probably ordering the show regardless so I can see Roode finally win the title, but I really hope I'm given more for my dollar than just one great match. Figure it out TNA.

That does it for me for now folks. For those of you that watch iMPACT, what did you think of Thursday's show? Any thoughts, ideas, or criticisms? Of course those of you that don't watch iMPACT are welcome to shoot me some feedback as well. How do you feel about the thought of Hogan and Sting having a match? Regardless, shoot me a message either on here or through my email at lopcrowsnest@aol.com. It's been a blast, but until next time...

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