Sunday, December 7, 2008

TNA Impact 11/20/08

Another good episode of Impact, TNA seemingly has turned the corner, as most of their televised shows in this last quarter of the year have been uniformly enjoyable. You can bitch and nitpick about the booking, most of which I’d say is deserved, but that’s the crux of being a wrestling fan; however, the wrestling itself is usually the highlight on TNA broadcasts, when its given a decent amount of time, that being said this week’s show featured some solid stuff.

1. Consequences Creed and “Black Machismo” Jay Lethal vs. Tanahashi and Sonjay Dutt - 2

The opening tag started off with fast, no wasted time, not even any holds or locks to mention, just the straightforward action TNA has based their brand upon. Creed and Lethal, representing the “TNA Originals”, looked good here, controlling the lion’s share of this good but far too short bout. Dutt was routinely rocked, reeling from shots throughout, and while Tanahashi showed some fire, he too wasn’t the same after eating an enzuigiri. Creed caught Dutt in mid-air as he backflipped off the ropes, hoisted him up, and hit him with a “TKO” for the victory. A fun, fast-paced match, but extremely short to its detriment.

2. Beautiful People vs. Sojourner Bolt and Christy Hemme – 3

The women’s tag I liked slightly better, mainly just because it got a little bit more time, so they were able to tell a bit more of a story, albeit a truncated one. I’d not seen Bolt before; the bulk of the match consisted of her getting beat on by the Beautiful People. Sojourner needs to work on her timing to be more effective, although a crossbody of hers was superb, and if nothing else she displayed her toughness, taking a pretty nasty beating by Love and Skye. Love and Skye, to their credit, are great at being evil bitches. At one point Skye just stepped right on Bolt’s throat. Bolt made the hot tag, as Hemme came in a house of fire, blowing through her enemies, even doing Trish’s old “Matrix Move” dodging a clothesline. Being plucky wasn’t enough, as the lovely Love hit her with the “Lights Out” for the win.

3. Motor City Machineguns vs. Samoa Joe and AJ Styles – 5

The next match, on paper, was the one that would make even the most jaded TNA critic set their DVR in anticipation. It started wild, all four man giving it all from the go, with Sabin destroying Joe wth a suicide dive to the floor, followed in short order by AJ flying high with a sommersault plancha taking out both of the Machineguns. The winners of this match would be awarded a main event slot at December’s pay-per-view captaining a four-man team against the Main Event Mafia. Joe’s powerslam looked better than ever, capturing Sabin in the blink of an eye and dropping him to the mat with such force that Sabin writhed in pain like he was in labor. A backflip kick by AJ followed by a brutal lariat by Joe knocked Sabin out of the running. This lead to AJ plucking Shelly from the top rope, where he had been inadvertently crotched moments earlier by his partner, and hitting the “Styles Clash” on him for the victory. Afterward, Angle and his goons Nash, Stiener, and Booker T came out and bludgeoned Joe and Styles real good, furthering the most captivating current feud in America.

4. Eric Young vs. Booker T – 4

I really liked this match, and would love to see these guys get more time together at a bigger show. There was a real interesting dynamic of the savvy veteran versus the gutsy naiveté of Young. As the match progressed Young’s confidence raised, escaping several of Booker’s signature moves, etc. Eric also displayed some of his unorthodox strength, hitting a “Death Valley Driver” on Booker that nearly prematurely ended Booker’s night. As the tides had officially turned, Young was on the move, but a trip by Sharmell distracted Eric enough to cost him, as Booker capitalized and shortly after finished Young off with a wild axe-kick that Booker hit from a nearly impossible angle.

5. Abyss and Matt Morgan vs. Kurt Angle and Kevin Nash – 5

This was a very good TV main event. Abyss and Morgan have really showed tremendous promise as a team. They dominated Angle early, as Angle got control of Abyss’ back while jockeying for position, but as soon as Angle tried to exchange punches with the monster Abyss his fortune radically changed. Abyss pieced Angle some in the face, then hit his patented “Shock Treatment” backbreaker fairly early into the match, just wrecking Kurt’s spine and entire body. Morgan came in and furthered the hurt on Angle, drilling him with a beautiful bicycle kick right in the mush. When Nash finally got tagged in there was a great moment as he and Morgan had a big man face-off right in the center of the ring. They exchanged hard strikes and I really dig big guys hitting each other in the face and head so this was tits. Angle got in and finally used his cleverness to gain an advantage for his team, ruthlessly attacking Morgan’s legs. The end came as a result of Beer Money Inc. making their way to ringside, they distracted Abyss, and after turning his back to them Abyss was the recipient of a beer bottle to the back of the skull at the hands of James Storm followed by a big boot by Nash for the win.

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