For Your Consideration…Hulk Hogan Presents TNA Nitro
by Andy Wheeler on January 5, 2010

For Your Consideration…Hulk Hogan Presents TNA Nitro

Well, the war has begun. I figured since I covered RAW live, I would cover the TNA show the next night. I took some potshots at TNA on my Twitter page (, but I figured I would try to give them a shot. Chances are I’m going to bury the product, but maybe they’ll shock me and pull out a great show. Before I begin, I wanna plug my “Defining a Decade” column that can be found in my archive or at

TNA wisely starts out their broadcast by reliving all of their great moments. They make big deals about the fact that Angle, Sting, Foley and Nash have shown up, which is fantastic. The hype new eras and revolutionary matches. Unfortunately, they say the letters WWE in the opening, which just inevitably makes them feel like the lower level.

The program is branded “Time for a change”, but is that really true? TNA seemed over the past few months to be getting their act together, so to immediately discredit their direction is a bit unwise.

Tenay and Tazz (in a bright orange jacket) open the show, complete with 5 Hour Energy bottles in front of them. Tonight we have a Steel Asylum match, ODB/Victoria, Rhyno/Abyss in barbed wire and Beer Money/British Invasion in Full Metal Mayhem. With that, we go to the back where apparently earlier today, Bubba the Love Sponge is interviewing fans. The dumbass fans talk about wanting to see wrestling like they used to have, while at the same time demanding change. One midguided fan even said that WWE sucks compared to TNA. One guy has a TNA tattoo, which is just sad. Fans keep saying that Vince McMahon doesn’t know what’s coming. I’m pretty sure he does, since the bulk of the roster consists of people he fired or passed on.

First out are the Motor City Machine Guns. Next is Kiyoshi and Homicide, and Tazz is wisely re-introducing us to everyone and what they stand for. Lethal Consequences come out third, and apparently this isn’t a tag match but there are three teams. Suicide gets the spooky music and the smoke, because nothing says this isn’t kiddie wrestling like a guy in a mask. Look, I’m not trying to bury them, but you can’t have a video package with someone bitching about kiddie style wrestling and then show a guy in a costume. Last out is Amazing Red, who exemplifies everything that the X-Division is all about.

If TNA were smart, they would spring their first surprise here. Maybe toss out Shannon Moore?

The match itself starts, but the structure is so poorly designed that you can’t really see anything from the hard cam. The structure that should create amazing moments is blocking us from seeing any of them. That really doesn’t help when you want new fans to be able to identify who everyone is. Being completely objective for a minute, this is a foolish move. I get that they want to show us their crazy spots that the X-Division can pull out, but if you can’t really SEE it, you’re in trouble.

TNA should have probably started this show with actual wrestling between some of the X-Division stars. Hell, give us Black Machismo versus MCMG and let them do some wacky spots. Instead, all I see is a bunch of folks wrestling in a giant birdcage. If TNA is going to draw in Old School fans, they aren’t going to get it with a ridiculous looking gimmick.

As for the match, the spots that I clearly see have looked pretty good, but then Homicide pulls out a weapon and attacks everyone. They call for the bell and I have yet to see how this is “different”. Why the hell did they just not let them go balls to the wall here? Seriously, this is illogical.

The fans are chanting “This is bullshit” as Homicide climbs out of the ring, and this company deserves to die. All of the potential goodwill they had going into this is dead and gone.

Homicide tries to climb out and then everyone goes after him but it looks like he botched it and fell, so now we have organized chaos and stalling. Then, out of the crowd, it’s Jeff Hardy. Oh I hope he isn’t clean. I hope he’s completely drugged out and screws them over the same way he screwed over Vince. Guess Jeff needed some cash to hire a lawyer to bail his ass out again.

Well, TNA gave us a pretty awful opening match but they gave us our first “surprise”. Jeff Hardy is back, and how many times do fans need to get screwed over by a guy before they abandon him?

On an unrelated note, Hulk Hogan will be on the show tonight.


We get a replay of Jeff Hardy returning and laying out Homicide with a chair before perching on top of the birdcage. Well, if they had 100% of the eyeballs, they certainly got a little bit of a twitter across the wrestling world. Jeff walks to the back and high fives his Brutus Beefcake, Shannon Moore.

Tazz is all excited about Hogan, and we get a shot of Hulk’s limo with a police escort.

In the back, Christy Hemme is with Kevin Nash. Kevin says that it’s a great night for Hogan and for TNA before saying that he’s the smartest guy in wrestling. Nash says that whatever company Hulks works for winds up being #1. I mean, it also winds up cannibalizing itself, but that’s beside the point. Nash says that Hulk isn’t coming alone. Duh, duh, duh….

ODB is out first and I love that TNA seems to have brought back the old WCW Thunder graphics. VicTara comes out next with her pet spider and Tenay says that she’s looking for a career resurgence. I will remind you all that she did retire from the WWE, where she could have gladly returned. Eh, that’s a moot point.

ODB wails on Tara, but Tara elbows her in the boob before hitting a clothesline. The two women trade punches before Tara hits a spinning heel kick for two. Tara then locks in the Tarantula. In the end, ODB rolls up Tara for the win and the title. Unfortunately, she pulled too hard on the trunks and revealed quite a bit of Tara’s ass, so they had to cut away and we missed the pinfall. Tara hits the Widow’s Peak and then takes out the spider as we relive “Home Alone”.

A limo arrives and Ric Flair walks out to greet the wrestlers and a little bit of me dies inside. What a fool he is. What a complete fool.


We’re back and apparently Flair went into AJ Style’s locker-room. We get footage of Christy interviewing not at all scripted fan comments before seeing Mick Foley wheel into the arena. Apparently there was a memo that he was banned from the arena, but he responds by saying that while he might be disruptive, he wants to be a team player. He tried to get in but security blocks him.

Bobby Lashley and Krystal are out, and they are in street clothing. Oh no, this means he might talk. Why the hell isn’t he wrestling tonight? Put the guy in the ring. What could TNA possibly be saving him for besides drawing in viewers? You have the eyeballs, sell them on Bobby.

Krystal calls this the biggest night in TNA history. Krystal sends Bobby’s message that he’s a star and that no one can match his potential. If they let Krystal do his talking for him, he will get major heat. She dresses down wrestling fans as inbred, which is fine and all, but don’t insult the fresh viewing audience. There are people who will tune in to see wrestling for the first time in years, don’t remind them that this is redneck wrasslin.

Krystal says that Bobby Lashley has asked for his release and that they have better things to do, and I’m lost.

We go to the back and see Beautiful People poker. Hey, remember when ECW did this? Apparently Vince Russo did.


So let me get this straight, TNA has one hour in which they have all of the eyeballs and THIS is what they give us. Instead of giving us an X-Division match, they give us a giant cage clusterfuck that even the live crowd turns on. Oh, but they showed us Jeff Hardy showing up, so it’s a SURPRISE. Then we see Tara and ODB wrestle for about three minutes in a standard Diva-style match and don’t even get to see the finish live. Then we get Ric Flair and another SURPRISE. Look, I love Flair, but was he really the ratings juggernaut for the WWE? Oh, but we follow it up with Bobby Lashley fake quitting (yes, I know it was character development, but your new fans don’t know that) and then the Beautiful People playing strip poker.

What has TNA shown us that is different from RAW? What is going to get me to not change the channel at 9pm? Seriously, what the hell is so revolutionary that is going to bring down Vince McMahon?

We’re back and Scott Hall and X-Pac are outside trying to get into the arena but denied access. They attack security and we go back to the announcers.

TNA is the #1 trending topic on Twitter. Well, Vince should just pack it up.


We’re back and there are limos. Wait, someone climbed out of one of the limos into the second limo. I haven’t seen this many limos since…WCW.

X-Pac and Scott Hall have stumbled through the crowd, and it’s like watching a bad cover band and we get ANOTHER COMMERCIAL! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! WE’VE HAD FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FILLER?! THIS IS INSANE!


And we’re back (this is turning into that awful Jimmy Fallon sketch from SNL where he was a radio DJ who just keeps throwing to commercial) and there’s Tenay and Tazz (who, with that jacket, looks like he should be covering a tournament for the Golf Channel) who call this a “rockin’” Impact Zone.

Hey, Hall and X-Pac are still there. Fantastic security ya got there, TNA. You can keep out Foley, but not a drunkard and a pothead.

And here…comes…Hogan.

Hulk is wearing all black, because when I think of the Hogan I wanna see, I think of the guy hosting “American Gladiators” and not that silly wrestler from the 80’s. Hulk does some posing (complete with PYRO) and now that I see him on TNA, I’m kinda over it.

Hall and X-Pac do the n.W.o. double-finger-point-of-unity and Hulk looks quixotic. Brooke Hogan and Hulk’s Brooke doppelganger girlfriend are sitting next to each other and the ick factor just went up to a new level in wrestling (probably surpassing the Vince/Stephanie match from a few years ago). Hogan does the humble head shake at the reaction, as if he wasn’t expecting the fans to go batshit for him. Yeah, because they tuckered themselves out cheering for all the great matches so far tonight.

The crowd chants TNA for some reason before Hulk asks “Whassup TNA Maniacs?” Apparently the WWE has its Universe, but the TNA fans are now branded Maniacs. I’ve always said that you have to be certifiable to be a fan of this show, but I never really expected them to come right out and say it.

Hulkster says that he’s been in the back all day, and…wait…how the hell was he there all day but just now arrived in the building with a police escort? So what TNA is telling me is that Hulk Hogan took his own car to the Impact Zone, met all of the wrestlers, shook hands with Consequences Creed and Jesse Neal, got back in his rented Taurus, drove to his hotel, got picked up by a limo with a police escort, drove back to the arena (a drive that took over an hour…Orlando traffic is bad but not THAT bad) just to make an entrance? Screw Matt Morgan, Hogan’s carbon footprint must be HUGE.

Hulk talks about the young guys and the old faces and everyone is working to make TNA the #1 company in the world. Ya hear that Microsoft? Hulk Hogan’s coming for you!

Hogan says he spent all day dealing with the talent and hearing everyone’s ideas and said that when he walked out tonight that this was his dream. Again, I need to pause. His dream was to abandon 30,000 seat arenas to go exploit a clueless company for money and subsequently perform in front of about as many people as would pack into a bingo hall in Philly that he wouldn’t spit on if it were on fire? Sure, this completely makes sense to me. I don’t wanna overstate how brilliant this promo is, but it’s veering into the Billy Madison closing answer speech territory.

Hulk says that there are some new faces and familiar faces and power of maniacs and Knibb High Football rules, but then those damn uninvited wrasslers hop the barricade. I didn’t even know that Mean Mike Enos was wrestling tonight.

Hall and X-Pac apparently are being invited into the ring because they have something to say. So the only way to get promo time is to jump the barricade? Alrighty. Hall and Hogan do the old Wolfpack finger touch and Hulk says that if they have something to say that they should say it now.

“Say…heavy breath…hello…heavy breath…to…heavy breath…the bad guy.” Apparently when Hall and Pac heard that Bischoff and Hogan were back, they figured big paychecks, big sold out arenas and big parties. Well, two outta three ain’t bad.

Hulk says that it doesn’t work like that anymore. X-Pac says that this is the same and he’s there to par-tay. I shit you not, he said par-tay. I haven’t seen X-Pac in years and I already hate him. Hall, who just woke up from a stupor, re-repeats everything they just said. If the two of them went to the WWE and became CM Punk disciples, it would make some money (or at least be hilarious).

Hogan says that this time he’s gonna do the right thing. Ya hear that AWA, WWE, WCW, TNA (the first time), Australia Tour, American Gladiators and Linda Hogan? He’s gonna do the right thing!

Hall says that Hogan deserves all the chants and apparently Hall grew up watching Hulk. Hall says things will change with him or without him. This gets interrupted by more generic music and apparently it’s Kevin Nash. Welcome to the n.W.o. Nursing Home.

Nash says that Hulk has a role to play, but Hulk swears it isn’t a role. Hogan swore to Dixie that they were gonna make a change for the batter (that’s right, an obscure NewsRadio reference). The fans chant TNA at this. Poor lemmings.

Kevin says that his private conversations with Hogan have been of a different tune and then asks when did Hulk turn corporate. Hulk calls them his brothers 4life but they need to do this 4real.

This gets interrupted by new generic music, and it’s Eric Bischoff. I can’t make this stuff up. We’re talking about new and exciting and I’m watching the New World Order in a ring. But it’s innovative because it has six sides.

Bischoff says that this brings up memories and calls this group the group that changed the business. They sure did. Who thought these people would kill WCW where Van Hammer couldn’t?

Eric informs them that everybody has to earn their position in the company. You need to show them that you are good enough to be in the #2 wrestling promotion. Nash says that he hears them loud and clear, and the hip and young n.W.o. leave the ring. Sure, DX is pretty old and not exactly hip, but they seem to kinda embrace it from time to time.

Hulk says that the game changes now and everybody has to earn their spot. Bischoff says that they’ve done it before and they’ll do it again. That’s right, they are gonna burn this ship to the ground like they did to WCW.

Hogan says change for about a billion times and we keep getting shots of Dixie Carter trying her damndest to look like Stephanie McMahon. Bischoff demands a programming sheet…I shit you not, he’s asking for the script…and he rips it up. Hey, remember when Schiavone used to do that? Yeah, that turned the ratings around toot sweet.

“If you can’t talk and you can’t wrestle, pack your bags and head up north.”

Up in the rafters is Sting, who hasn’t been on television for months. In one segment, they brought back the ghost of WCW. I honestly can’t believe it. How the hell were they about to capture the magic of terrible Nitro and replicate it? My guess is someone spilled a bottle of Nitro Cologne.


We’re back and THIS is apparently the new and exciting TNA that is without a script and is going to CHANGE wrestling. How you ask? Hamada and Awesome Kong.

Their opponents are Taylor Wilde and Sarita, who do a complete dance at the top of the ramp like a bad Japanese wrestling video game. So if you’re TNA and you have all these eyeballs following Hogan’s debut, what would you put on next? An X-Division match? Samoa Joe? No, they give us a Knockout Tag Title match.

Hamada and Sarita start it out with a long collar-and-elbow lock-up before doing some standard women’s wrestling. See, this isn’t Diva wrestling folks. Unfortunately, how many people are tuning into the show in droves to see real women’s wrestling? I don’t wanna come off as rude but it’s not like Shimmer is outselling ROH.

Wait, we’re getting late-breaking news that apparently the Motor City Machine Guns have been laid out in the back! Oh man, who did it? Can you feel the drama? It’s almost like I’m watching a rerun of WCW Nitro on WWE 24/7.

Sarita hits a suicide dive onto Hamada and Kong and we go to…


A two segment Knockout match but a four minute X-Division match? This was the change that was going to bring down the WWE?

Kong is walloping Wilde in the ring and the fans seem to just be clapping to amuse themselves. Taylor breaks out of a powerbomb and hits a Codebreaker before tagging in Sarita. She dropkicks Kong but gets laid out by Hamada. This match just doesn’t seem to have a lot of juice from the crowd unless it’s Kong flattening one of the other women.

Kong and Sarita are in the ring and Kong sets her up for a powerbomb and Hamada dropkicks her for the pin. Kong and Hamada are the new tag champions. So both of the women’s titles changed hands.

In the back, we completely ignore the fact that four women just put on a match that showed that the ladies can work without exploiting sex and go to the Beautiful People playing poker. Still. For another segment. This gets interrupted by Val Venis. See, this was a wise signing by TNA because he can work as a great road agent for the company as well as give a dose of sports entertainment enhancement talent.

The segment goes nowhere except for a…


Mick Foley is still trying to get into the arena. Apparently he has failed where Hall and X-Pac succeeded, which is kinda sad. Speaking of kinda sad, the Nasty Boys show up and try to get into the arena. Words elude me at this point.

Raven, Stevie and Daffney are in the ring and apparently they don’t even get an entrance. Their opponents are Matt Morgan and Hernandez, who for a short time seemed to have a shot at being the future of TNA. Seriously, how is it that THIS is the first time we are seeing two of the bright spots in TNA, but we’ve seen The Beautiful People twice already?

Apparently Ric Flair is in AJ’s locker-room, so I guess he’s gonna pull the old Triple H on him. Hernandez bounces Richards for a bit and then Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint and it’s already over. Seriously? It’s already over? Way to spotlight your future talent guys. Change is in the air.

D’Angleo Dinero is in the back with Christy Hemme. He says that he is gonna deliver a match for the ages. When the hell did Burke stop talking like himself and start talking like Koko B. Ware? Dinero is facing Desmond Wolfe and as he’s making fun of him for being British, Orlando Jordan shows up. Yes, Orlando Jordan. If it was possible, this show came to an even louder screeching halt.

Desmond Wolfe is out first and the Thunder graphic lets us know that his finisher is called Tower of London. Why the hell didn’t they let him talk first? TNA did a great job earlier in the show of talking about who the wrestlers were, but here all we got was “he’s a great acquisition” before going back to talking about Hogan. Dinero is out next and I’d be shocked if this match goes the full ten minutes.

Nigel starts out by ripping apart Dinero’s arm but Dinero comes back with a flying shoulderblock. See, this is what TNA needs to be showing more of. One of these guys was in Vince’s stable and he let him go to waste, while the other one would have been one of his top gets but for a failed medical exam. Here is a chance for TNA to show the WWE that they can possibly beat them at their own game.

Wolfe wrenches back on Dinero’s arm but he breaks free. Wolfe goes for an elbow in the corner and misses and Dinero pulls out the vertical headstand elbow. The fans chant that this is wrestling. After all of the talking on this show, I’m surprised they remember what it looked like. Dinero out of nowhere gets a small package and it’s already over. So Desmond Wolfe went from hanging with Kurt Angle to being pinned by Elijah Burke on the biggest show of the year in about four minutes. Yeesh.

Hey, Jeff Jarrett is there. To paraphrase Paul Heyman, “Gentlemen, lock up your wives.”


We’re back and Rhyno has apparently been taken out in the back. Who could have donWoe this? Feel the intrigue. I don’t wanna watch Bret Hart and Vince McMahon, I wanna see who has been knocking out midcarders.

Tenay and Tazz give us a replay of Hogan’s return before showing us Jarrett walking to the ring.


We’re back and apparently some guy named AJ something is the TNA Champion. We are nearly two hours into the damn show and this is the first time we’re seeing Styles. Way to build around new talent.

Styles says that he can’t hold his belt with pride until he beats Kurt Angle, and at SEGA Dreamcast, he’s gonna prove it. Eric Bischoff shows up and says that he’s heard a lot about Styles and says that tonight AJ will wrestle Kurt Angle…tonight. That’s right, tonight. Look, I’m not going to overlook how cool it is to give this match away on television, but this is teetering on Hogan/Goldberg in terms of giving away the farm. Even worse, it has had zero pre-promotion because you wouldn’t want to advertise a match like that in advance lest people tune in.

Here comes Mr. Irrelevant Jeff Jarrett, who can’t even create a promotion that doesn’t try to rid itself of him. Poor guy. Maybe he shouldn’t have hit Chyna with a guitar all those years ago. Violence against women is never good, unless it involves that little orange M&M chick from “Jersey Shore” getting popped in the face. That’s classic.

Jeff says it’s great to be back in the Impact Zone. Dixie McCarter looks concerned. Jarrett says that he founded TNA despite the fact that everyone said they wouldn’t last six weeks. However, just like the war in Iraq, this giant clusterfuck that loses millions will never end.

Jarrett says that it’s a Monday Night and he’s here and that the time is right. Wasn’t that ABC’s TGIF gimmick from twenty years ago? Jeff says he’s done some good things and some not so good things, but the most rewarding thing he ever did was to give young guys the opportunity to step in the ring, get noticed and ultimately get signed by Vince McMahon. Jarrett rattles off the names of the people who are over with smart fans that he put in the ring, like MCMG, Joe, Daniels and Styles. He concludes by saying that we ain’t seen nothing yet. He’s right, I haven’t seen anything tonight with the exception of seeing a bunch of guys from the WWE jump ship.

Hogan is in the back and he says that nobody cares about Jarrett. Did they really bring Hulk in to be a heel? Seriously? Hulk says that Jeff ran the company into the ground and Dixie was the one who saved the company. The fans chant bullshit again. Hulk says that the young guys are gonna get real pushes, yet the fans didn’t chant bullshit here.

“With Hulk Hogan and Dixie Carter, TNA is going all the way to the top.” Apparently if you say something enough, it’ll come true. Hulk says that Jarrett is no different than anybody else and Jeff will have to prove himself like everyone else. So at the end of the day, Hogan came back and then turned heel within the course of two hours.

Daniels and Christy are in the back but this gets interrupted twenty seconds by Jeremy Borash, who apparently is on the phone with Foley. Jeremy lets Mick into the building.


Jeff Hardy and Brutus Moore are in the back and Jeff is painting a picture before leaving to meet with the “big man.”

Abyss is coming out first in his flannel getup. Apparently this is the first time he’s ever wrestled Samoa Joe, so there’s no better way to do that then to give it away unadvertised.

Joe charges at Abyss and rattles off the punches and kicks that take down Abyss. He gets a full head of steam and charges into a boot. Joe grabs a chair but Abyss ducks it. He then rams Joe’s head into the steel steps and it’s not entirely clear who is supposed to be the heel and who is supposed to be the face. You can buy a limited edition Hulk Hogan trading card, because when someone turns heel in his debut, you wanna plunk down money to buy his merchandise.

Sting is in the back and we have a split cam. If I hadn’t seen TNA before and I was watching this now, I would think that Sting in the back is infinitely more important than Abyss/Joe. I thought this company was all about pushing the younger talent.

Joe leaps off the second rope and connects with a thrust kick for two. He rattles off more punches and he almost looks bored. Joe goes up again but gets caught in a chokeslam for two. Joe hits Abyss with a chair when the ref was turned around and then locks in a rear naked choke for the win.

Bischoff and Krystal are in the back talking about Lashley wanting out. Krystal demands a meeting with the all powerful Hogan. Bischoff says that she has to take a number. Apparently when Lashley hears about this, he’s gonna be pissed. What did this segment accomplish? We already knew Bobby wanted out.

We’re in the back and Beer Money have been laid out under random props. The hottest tag team in their company and this is how they get on the air?


The Nasty Boys are trying to get in again and Bubba sneaks them in.

Jeremy is in the back with Kurt Angle. Kurt puts over Styles as being great but says that AJ has never beaten him one-on-one. Angle says that Styles is great but he isn’t the greatest wrestler in the world. It’s real. It’s damn real. It’s still real to me, damnit! Sob, sob, sob.

Jeff and Shannon are in the back and they got what they came for. Apparently their pot dealer works out of the Impact Zone. Three random teenagers show up screaming and Jeff gives them his painting. Uh huh.


We’re back and the Nasty Boys are demanding Team 3D. Some random production people show up with donuts and the Nasty Boys toss the donuts at him before messing up the locker-room with spray paint. Change folks. Change. That change? We’re going back to 1995. Look for the return of the Dungeon of Doom next week as they beat Morgan and Hernandez.

It’s TNA World Title Time and Kurt doing the Gangrel thing still looks cool. Styles comes out next and this should be good. After two and a half hours of filler and crap, we are finally getting an amazing match.

AJ and Kurt lock up and AJ grabs a headlock. The fans do dueling chants, and this is what they should have been doing all along. They needed to grab the audience by the neck and show them that unlike the WWE, TNA can give you revolutionary wrestling.

Kurt goes to the outside and AJ follows with a flip-dive to the outside. Both men are back in but some masked guy attacks Styles. Kurt clotheslines him out of the rings and security escorts him out of the ring. What the fuck? Was it the giant chicken from “Family Guy”?

The match continues and Kurt hits the running powerbomb into the corner.


We’re back and Kurt and Styles are still putting on a great match. Kurt goes the Angle Slam but eats a clothesline. How in the hell did TNA think what they were putting on tonight was going to get fans to buy into their product? Fans don’t want two minute matches and lame angles when they can get that from WWE. They want high quality matches that highlight great athleticism. They want Angle/Styles. If TNA gave the audience blow-away matches, they would have the fans. You need to sprinkle the Sports Entertainment in with the wrestling, not douse the show in Sports Entertainment with only mere morsels of wrestling.

AJ goes for the Pele kick but Kurt turns it into an AngleLock but Styles rolls out and finally connects with the Pele kick for two. Kurt and AJ go back and forth again before Styles connects with the springboard flying forearm. These two seem to be the first two people all night in the ring that are looking to put on something special. Where was the fire from the rest of the roster? Hell, where were the opportunities for them to show what they have to begin with?

Angle goes for a Frog Splash but Styles roles out of the ring. AJ goes for the Styles Clash and connects but it only gets two. AJ props Kurt on the second turnbuckle but Kurt powers him off and he hits the Frog Splash for two. The fans chant “Who needs Bret?” which does nothing for anybody.

Kurt locks in the AngleLock but Styles breaks out and Kurt hits a suplex for two. Hey, where the hell is Ric Flair? He was supposedly talking to Styles, but we haven’t seen him at all tonight. TNA seems to have an embarrassment of riches in terms of “big name” talent, and none of them seem to be getting any true screen time to have any, ahem, impact.

Angle hits the Angle Slam on Styles off the top rope for two. Really? Two. Okay. AJ goes for the Styles Clash again but it again only gets two. These guys might be no-selling their finishing moves a little too much. Styles goes for another Styles Clash but he locks in an Angle Lock with the leg bar.

Flair wanders out and Styles breaks free from the hold. My disgust seeing Ric Flair here is pretty off the charts when you think about how Vince sent Flair off. Sure, I know Flair wanted the money, but come on. First off, he could have gone back the WWE who would have taken him back with open arms. Second, he could have probably lived off of his WWE Legends residuals for years. Flair seems determined to ruin his legacy, and there’s no place that specializes in tarnishing your reputation quite like TNA.


We’re back and Styles hits another Styles Clash but doesn’t go for a pinfall. Styles hits a Springboard 450 for the pinfall.

Hogan comes out as Angle and Styles hug. This is so surreal that they would bring in Hulk Hogan and immediately turn him heel. I mean, who the hell would wanna buy Hogan merchandise anyway?

Hulk says that AJ and Kurt are the two best wrestlers in the company, and the fans seem to just buy the face turn. Forget that they booed him to death a few segments earlier. Hogan gets someone whispering in his ear and he runs to the back.

Foley is looking for Hogan and he storms into the poker game. Seriously, how the hell is this poker game getting so much airtime?

Foley wanders into the open office looking for Hogan but he finds Bischoff instead. Eric says that Foley has no power and no control, so all he can do is get in line and fight for his job. Mick said that he vowed to never work for Eric Bischoff again but he gets jumped by the n.W.o. Hogan storms into the office and we get the world’s closest close-up ever before fading to black.

TNA had a lot of momentum going into this show. They had Hulk Hogan as a lock and everyone from Paul Heyman to Steve Austin rumored to show up. Over the course of three hours, they broke out the return of Sting and Jeff Jarrett, the reformation of the n.W.o., the debut of Val Venis, Orlando Jordan, Jeff Hardy and Ric Flair, not to mention a Styles/Angle main event for the title. In the end, did it really change anything?

Instead of looking like a directionless company that might be gaining some momentum behind a true youth movement, it looks like TNA has regressed into a 21st Century WCW. The comparisons are endless, and none of them are positive. Fans supposedly wanted their wrestling back, but when they said that, that didn’t mean the Nasty Boys.

TNA had an opportunity to strike a blow against Vince McMahon. Sure, they could do a segment with Hulk to pop ratings and sell t-shirts, but this show should have been about establishing their premium talent. We should have seen an X-Division match that would have blown the doors off the arena. We should have seen Samoa Joe, Daniels and Beer Money demonstrate why they are big players in the industry. We should have seen Jeff Hardy’s debut amount to more than just a quick run-in and some backstage nonsense. We should have gotten some mileage out of seeing Ric Flair or Sting back on television.

TNA had their chance to legitimately change pro wrestling, but instead they regressed. Shame on anyone that thought they were going to do this right. With all due respect to the TNA Maniacs, I need Bret and I need the WWE. It may not be perfect, but at least it doesn’t waste the chances it gets.

This has been for your consideration.

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Andy Wheeler

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  • Wow

    I guess you really didn’t like the show?
    What a sarcastic little prick you are.
    Maybe TNA should consider hiring you to write their show since your track record is better than Bischoff and Hogan’s. Two people who were very close to putting Vince and the WWE out of business a few years back. Who would ever trust to put a struggling wrestling company like that in the hands of idiots like Hogan & Bischoff?

    I thought the show was much more entertaining than Raw. I mean… just the involvement of DX acting like children is enough for me to puke. Not to mention poor, pitiful, stroke victim Bret Hart being placed in the ring to save the night from a total disaster… someone who hasn’t been in front of an audience like that in years. He looked like a deer in headlights most of the time… and rightfully so. The guy isn’t what he once was after suffering many health problems over the years.

    Raw wasn’t interesting. Impact wasn’t perfect, but it was entertaining.

  • Ben

    This was the first time I tuned in to watch wrestling from start to finish in about 10 years. I have to say, I don’t feel like I’ve missed much.
    I gave TNA a shot last night with an open mind, here’s how I felt:
    XDivision match- I can’t see anything and the fans chant of “this is bullshi*” pretty much summed up what I was watching. I understand that Jeff Hardy is a star now, but the last time I saw him he was a jobber. The casual fan thinks his interruption was just plain lame.
    I feel my intelligence was insulted when Hogan forgot the he had apparently just arrived at the arena, yet, he told the NWO crew he was working hard at the arena all day!
    I really wanted to see if Sean Waltman had anything to offer, that guy had some amazing charisma back in the day. Sadly, I think he’s fallen off the deep end and the geezers Nash and Hall may be more useful.
    Nash’s interview: The comparrison to Einstein just wasn’t funny, plain and simple. Get rid of this guy, he’s an unclever dinosaur.
    Poker skit: Some of the worst acting I’ve seen in my entire life. It was cool to see that Val Venis is alive…but how lame was it when the girl in the middle pointed him to the right (in a brief moment) to give his line in that ridiculous voice.
    The MMA guy and his wife-I couldn’t change the channel fast enough. Wow, she can speak…but with zero charisma. I’m glad she showed up because Boise State had just taken the lead.
    The ending- That weird ending with Mankind getting attacked really spoiled a good match…thank you for a good summary of the evening’s events, otherwise I may have forgotten the brilliance of Angle/Styles.
    Anywho, it’s the same old crap. I may tune in to check out any other stars making a comeback, but I certainly won’t plan my evening around TNA impact in the near future.

  • sid


  • Rob Blatt


    Bischoff and Hogan DON’T have a record of nearly putting Vince out of business a few years back. Yes, they were on top of the ratings, but there’s no way that you can seriously say that WCW was nearly driving Vince out of business. Vince was able to sink BILLIONS into a failed Idea (XFL) and still operate his wrestling company. And I’ll remind you that it was Bischoff and Hogan that eventually drove the company into the ground by giving away money on free Tv, promoting the other company on a regular basis and poor talent acquisitions. Time Warner’s money kept WCW afloat for years when they were running at a huge loss.

    I found RAW to be engaging and TNA to be horrid.

  • Michael O’Mahony

    Impact was ‘entertaining’ in the same way WCW was just before it went under. You’d tune in just to see what utter fucking madness was going to happen this week. Raw was a dull show, the Bret Angle was underwhelming and poorly executed, and it got over mostly on the strength of how badly we all wanted it to be something amazing. Impact was just…I was honestly surprised by how bad it was. TNA are more than capable of putting on decent 3 hour shows and did exactly that several times through 2009, but as sarcastic and scathing as Wheeler may be (I really like this column despite not agreeing with everything in it – I really like D’Angelo Dinero and think they should push the hell out of him, for example), he’s ultimately right. It elevated nobody, it achieved a ratings spike only slightly above that achieved by – ready? – Sarita vs. Alissa Flash, and instead of being all about change and a new era, half the X-Division was buried by a fucking awful angle, the NWO got back together, the Knockouts division took a double whammy kick in the teeth (ODB as its champ and The Beautiful People undoing all Angelina Love’s great character work from last year by turning into soft porn), Scott Hall and Sean Waltman were on my TV. The Nasty Boys were on my TV. Fucking ORLANDO JORDAN was on my TV. And I guess when everybody was talking about a new Monday Night War, Flair thought they were saying Monday Night Whore and decided to show up.

    As a wrestling fan, Impact just depressed me. I’m not about to start believing in Hogan’s brand of bullshit at this stage of the game, but there was a sense that something good might come out of this whole thing, a little hope for those of us tired of only having one source for our mainstream wrestling kicks.

    That clearly isn’t the case.

  • incognito

    Maybe if they put Amazing Red in a helmet and had him play with toys you’d find it more appealing.

  • Jordan

    Thank you for The 5-minute Chuckle I had on the “It’s Still Real To Me Damn it” reference.

    Look even though one of the most useless Divas I’ve ever seen had a match (I’ll give you a hint, They’re twins And Both Combined make up only half the talent)

    Look I hate pg WWE and I’m new to TNA but as much as it pains me to say this
    Raw STILL had the better show.. Why?
    well Cena wasn’t actually there and no one had to job to him But also Because unlike Total Nonstop Action (More like Total Nonstop Commercial Breaks lol..i apologize that was lame) WWE got their crap together and put some good matches on and started the new year with a kick in the balls.
    But idk I’ll give TNA a few more watches cuz Like I said before I’m new to it

  • incognito

    You’ve got a point about the commercials, it got ridiculous and really detracted from my enjoyment of the show. However, TNA also had some good matches, they just happened to start with a poorly filmed match with a really stupid, early, nonsensical, anti-climactic and botched finish and had too many skits so people crap all over the whole show.

    In my opinion at least, the Knockouts tag match was really good, definitely better than any of the Diva tournament matches on Raw, and AJ vs. Angle was better than any match on Raw in months. Joe vs. Abyss wasn’t a classic by any means but I’d say there were only two matches on Raw that could be considered better that night, and one of them featured interference from Hornswaggle.

    Bret was great but he was always much better at wrestling than talking and now talking is likely all he’ll be capable of.

    Eric Bischoff is too rusty to be booking on the fly but I have a feeling next time will be much smoother, provided the Nasty Boys are only there to job to Team 3D in a quick match, the NWO rehash is blown off by the February PPV and Flair is just a manager.

    Oh and they definitely need to get rid of Bubba the Love Sponge. If Hogan owes him a favor,
    hire him as a “consultant” or some other made up job where he isn’t ruining the show on TV but can shill it to his radio audience.

  • red29

    Booking on the fly? Come on, this show has been planned for weeks. It has the feel of booking on the fly because they are going for Crash TV 3.0 (wcw was 2.0) because, lets face it, their previous direction yielded 1.1’s unopposed on a Thursday.

    They threw everything they had in the 3 hours and it yielded a 1.5 average rating. Looking at the some of the comments here at the Pulse, people obviously like this. It may not be the high brow internet fans who are intellectually slumming it each week but there IS an audience for this type of show.

  • Stephen

    One of the most close minded reviews I have ever read. Sure I had my issues with certain aspects of the show the birdcage being one of them but the show had direction. Bischoff has better mic skills and charisma then any guest host wwe is gonna bring out. Having hogan in charge with bischoff as his right hand man and nwo as enforcers is brilliant. They can help the young guys get over without taking over there in ring time. When was the last time raw put on a match that styles and angle put on with a clean finish? Try never! Sting in the rafters, flair showing up created curiosity without taking up much airtime. To get these new guys over you need them to come to life charasmatically which is what legends can help them do. Face it no matter what show tna put out you would rip them apart cause your awwe tool and like watching the dame show for the past 6 months with a different guest hose and you keep telling youself it’s quality tv.

  • Scott M

    I gotta agree with Michael O’Mahony on this one.

    RAW was just a typical RAW. Some good, some bad, some really freaking awful. Frankly, I had hoped for more. Especially after 12 years to ruminate over it.

    Impact was extremely depressing. There was a point in time when TNA was my go-to show for wrestling. The six-sided ring always annoyed me. But they generally put on better shows than RAW.

    Then it went downhill — fast. I mean, Kurt Angle was supposed to be the game-changer for this company. For me, he was a watermark for when things began to go downhill quickly.

    The Impact show was all over the place. Despite lip service to get the young guys over, I’d be surprised if any casual fan could point out said young guys in a police line-up.

    The AJ-Angle match was also atrocious. It was very athletic. But that’s about all I can say about it. Frankly, it was the textbook definition of a spotfest. There was no ring psychology. It was like a headlock by AJ, a half-minute of mat wrestling and then a series of finisher/near-fall, finisher/near-fall that lasted ten minutes.

    If anyone ever wanted to know why this is bad, stick around for AJ trying to look for a new finisher now that the Styles Clash looks about as effective as a dropkick.

    And then there’s the only truly memorable portion of this main event that Taz and Tenay labelled an “Instant Classic”. And that was the world’s most ineffective run-in ever. Hornswaggle could’ve done a better job of disrupting the match. So what was the point?

    I’m glad AJ and Kurt got a chance to wrestle. I’m especially glad that AJ won. Kudos to Kurt for giving him his due. But this match should have been awesome. But instead it was decidedly less awesome than even a Yoshi Tatsu vs. Shelton Benjamin or Johnny Nitro vs. Drew McIntyre match.

    Arguably two of the best wrestlers in the company (Angle/Styles) and one of the best wrestlers ever (Angle) couldn’t deliver the goods. It’s hard for me to believe they lacked the ability. But depressing in either case.

  • Ricardo Rochetti

    People were uniformly panning this show in the comments right after it happened. I’ve been amazed at how many people have come to its defense since the dust settled.

    Does this show signal the deathknell for TNA, at least as far as a return to the Monday Night Wars is concerned? Well, no. The 1.5 rating they pulled is pretty good (although let’s be honest, how much of it was due to novelty appeal?). And judging from the spoilers, next week’s show sounds exponentially better.

    With all that said . . .

    You only get one chance to make a first impression, and I have a hard time believing that, by any standard, TNA’s first impression in the Monday Night Wars was “good.” I’ve covered and commented on all the ways that show was disappointing, so no need to re-hash it. However, it’s very telling that the most widely used defense of iMPACT has been that “RAW hasn’t been any better”. Even assuming this is true, and the companies are putting on equally bad shows, why would anyone stray from the “devil they know”?

    It’s been said that this isn’t TNA’s first shot at running head-to-head against RAW. If this is true, eventually they will have to put on a product that is perceived as superior. Things like nostalgia and novelty can only get you so far, and generally possess short shelf lives.

  • red29

    “The 1.5 rating they pulled is pretty good (although let’s be honest, how much of it was due to novelty appeal?). And judging from the spoilers, next week’s show sounds exponentially better.”

    Next week’s ratings will be key with a different night and running unopposed. IMO they had been pulling the 1.1’s with great wrestling and wanted to mix it up a bit to see what kind of fans stick around. Perfectly reasonable to start. It’s the follow up now that is key.

  • Mister Miracle

    It’s funny how passionate some TNA marks are. I gave up on TNA a long long time ago because it’s too damn frustrating. They have great talent but I just can’t follow anything because it’s all over the place. I give it a another chance every 6-8 months and it never changes. WWE isn’t that great sometimes but it’s a LOT better than what TNA is offering.

  • incognito

    You probably wouldn’t be able to follow anything on WWE either if you only watched it once every six to eight months. Whatever your opinion on the booking, you’re missing out on a lot of great matches by missing TNA, but its certainly not for everybody.

  • Nassar

    All the talk about the generic music in TNA, but the thing that kills me about their intro music for the older guys is that it is generally a slight rip off of their old music from WCW, just shittier. Take a listen to Hogan’s. It’s straight up nWo. Just shittier.

    Although I must admit, of all the crappy WCW intros, the nWo 70s bow-cha-wow-wow always got me going…

  • Gojira64

    I for one don’t understand how any TNA marks can say Impact was more exciting. It clearly had less interesting wrestling than Raw as far as I’m concerned, unless they consider a 20-minute nWo promo exciting. If that’s the case, then 3 hours of old schoolers talking should be the most exciting thing in the world.

    Unfortunately, it’s not.

    Yes, the nWo reunion was cool. What WASN’T cool is the fact that, despite Hogan practically flat-out saying that WCW is dead and TNA will never become WCW, the entire focus of the show became “What’s the nWo gonna do now?”

    I can’t believe ANYBODY working in the industry thought bringing in Orlando Jordan would make people happy. Didn’t some guy who never existed win the US Championship from him in mere seconds? And wasn’t he JBL’s Virgil? Oh, and then lost overseas to Warrior Warrior. Yeah, OJ is a huge name in the wrestling biz.

    The clusterfuck cage match was straight-up AWFUL. In fact, exiting the cage looked ridiculously difficult and more dangerous than anything I can remember. I love how Jeff Hardy made a surprise entrance…to THEME MUSIC.

    Oh, and TNA became the No. 1 topic on Twitter. Congrats. To quote Tony Schiavone, “Yeah, that’ll put butts in the seats.” Except when I say it, it won’t backfire on me.

    How could this possibly be about the young guys when the old guys were relied upon to bring in the ratings? It says a lot when your company puts more faith in the Nasty Boys, a retired Ric Flair, and Val Venis than in their own talent. Hogan should have been the only selling point to reel in the viewers, and THEN let the homegrown superstars show the new viewers what they’ve got to offer. Bringing in old farts only means more money is wasted and less time for other wrestlers. There is no brand extension so that TNA can give more air time to everyone.

    I feel bad for Dixie Carter; her heart’s in the right place, but she’s screwed because of bad business decisions.

  • Nick Goody

    I’m pretty certain that the Nasty Boys segment was the start of a feud between them and Scott Hall. From the looks of Hall he’d be PISSED when he see’s all the donuts they wasted.

  • Jas

    I gave up on TNA last April when Mick Foley won the World Title, I then got sucked back after reading Bound For Glory and Turning Point reviews. Loved both (well the 2 main events, and a few others); the same for Final Resolution. Hating Hogan and Bischoff because of WCW (and Russo)I didn’t want to watch TNA and thought giving up before the shit officially hit the fan was easier. But I just couldn’t, because of a glimmer of hope that TNA wouldn’t completely cock it up as usual. Then they did. Great article, hopefully now ratings will bomb and Genesis will be a disaster. At least we’ll get to see Hogan blaming the ”young” guys for not executing his directions properly. It would be like watching Hitler in ‘The Downfall’ ie blaming Germans for losing WWII and letting him down. I do wonder which of the ‘originals’ will get sick of the bullshit and ask for his release.

  • incognito

    Maybe the “TNA marks” found the 4 star main event more exciting than a Hogan promo that happened in the middle of the show, or another Jericho burial at the hands of DX and Hornswaggle. Who knows?

  • Jordan


    I will admit the knockout matches were great, and It was refreshing to see Female WRESTLERS not divas. Actual female wrestlers that I now normally only see on Smackdown.
    But it lost me in the boring segments, the endless commercial breaks, the appearances which by the end got me downright annoyed Jeff Hardy And Sting were great, But Val Venis? Orlando Jordan? Ugh.
    the Abyss match was boring in my opinion but whatever..
    And the ending to the show sucked…

    Incognito, This was a Monday Night War And in the End I feel like out of both their entire shows, good matches/moments were 3-2 for both of us and That’s not a good thing.

  • incognito

    You’re right, neither show was as good as it needed to be and there were tons of mistakes on Impact. I’m just not ready to write them off after one mediocre show, especially when it had a couple of really good matches. TNA had a habit of doing a few bad shows in a row, then a good one, then a few more bad, then a good one. Now its reversed, and that is progress to me. It all depends on where they go from here. If the old guys like Hall and the Nasty Boys are here to stay, its bad news for TNA (and the fans.) If they are just here to draw attention, wrestle one match, lose, and leave, I don’t see it as a problem.

  • jessie

    wwe is cool probably if you are younger than 25. us older fans love this old wcw stuff, it is unpredictable i love it.

  • Gary Gilbert

    You make a lot of good points and, honestly, you’d make a better booker than the braintrust on Tna’s committee (and I’m serious). You’re right about the X segments, Lashley, the need to follow up Hogan with the younger established talent, and especially Orlando (seriously, why was he there? Pope does have to “pay bills”). Hogan hasn’t proven yet that he’s ready to “do the right thing,” and that he isn’t just protecting his cronies.

  • Rohit DUbey

    5 reasons TNA ruled:
    1. Hulk is Back,hardy n flair too.
    2.nWo reunited.
    3.Bichoff’s Job.
    4.Main Event Match.
    5.Better Infrastructure.

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