Welcome to the illustrious return of “That Being Said” to Inside Pulse. I’m going to begin this recap by stating how TNA has come to this point. If you’re only interested in the live results and not how this insane show (and recap) came to be, then by all means, skip down to the “Live Coverage” heading below.
So I’m all set to take some time off, and then everyone started talking about this Live Impact Wrestling thing. I knew they were all set to go LIVE with Impact again, but to be honest, I didn’t really bother to read anything about it. This isn’t anything they haven’t done before. And in the last year or so, for all they’ve done wrong, they at LEAST stopped with the “COMPANY IS CHANGING FOREVER STARTING TONIGHT” and “BIGGEST SHOW IN TNA HISTORY” nonsense.
Until this past week, where they started talking fucking crazy again. This is where it always gets really fun with TNA.
So I started thinking about the last time TNA had THIS kind of hype behind a live Impact broadcast. I guess it would be back in 2010, for Hulk Hogan’s first show on January 4th. That live show was absolutely fucking crazy. TNA fans went nuts to see that show, and Hulk Hogan talked about he was only going to gracefully look at the product from the sidelines and add what he could. People were genuinely excited.
Then Hulk Hogan debuted on the show, gracefully with respect, arriving in a limo escorted by a 20-police car motorcade. Bubba The Love Sponge was there. Scott Hall and Syxx weren’t allowed in, so they beat up some guards and got in. Mick Foley couldn’t get in because he wasn’t willing to beat up security guards. Then Hall and Syxx met Kevin Nash in the ring, and started talking to Hulk Hogan about partying, while Scott Hall was stumbling around the ring confused, like he couldn’t figure out why they weren’t partying already. He then spoiled the surprise that Eric Bischoff was there after TNA spent several segments building up that surprise. The Nasty Boys showed up and started eating donuts in the Dudley’s locker room. Val Venis showed up to play strip-poker with The Beautiful People in the most poorly-lit segment in TV history. Ken Anderson and Orlando Jordan showed up and nobody cared. Homicide found himself unable to escape a giant birdcage that TNA had constructed, whlie other wrestlers stood around and had no idea what to do, but that part was okay because it was impossible to see inside the cage anyway. Jeff Hardy then returned to TNA so that he could beat up Homicide for his birdcage faliures, then painted a picture in the locker room with Shannon Moore before giving it to a screaming mob of 2 fans. He then drove away and wasn’t seen for months. It. Was. Fucking Crazy.
After that show and a few others, they correctly concluded that they were nowhere near smart enough to be doing a live TV show. They shouldn’t even be doing live PPV’s - they almost burned down their own building during a live PPV once. Anyway, very few live Impact’s were done after that.
Over 2 years later, we’re back again.
Dixie Carter came out and said recently that the “wrestling format” has become stale. Which is her Public Relations-y way of saying that she knows what they’ve been putting on for years has been terrible. Those people who are STILL crazy enough to defend this awful show? And yes, there are still some out there – she just shit on all of them who have loyally defended her show. Which isn’t nice, because TNA gave those fans very little ammo to fight with as it was. That the show’s terrible is true, but it’s not because the “wrestling format” has become stale, it’s because they don’t know how to put together ANY kind of format, wrestling or otherwise. They’ve had YEARS to figure it out. They can’t do it. They’re morons.
Actually, forget all the crazy stuff they’ve said – if you were go to to any kind of show business expert, and show them a TAPED episode of TNA and told them that you were thinking of going live, they’d spit roast you like a pig and go laugh about it with their co-workers.
NOW factor in the crazy – they’re saying that the “highly-rated” weekly series will be a “hybrid of reality and explosive action”, and that “the reality elements and production technique respresent the most signifigant evolution in this genre in more than 15 years.” Can anyone tell me what this even means? There hasn’t been ANY evolution in wrestling over the past 15 years, so I suppose that part could technically be considered correct, if you are REALLY loose with the definition of “evolution”. But what the hell does “hybrid of reality and explosive action” mean? They mean staged reality, right? RIGHT?! That can’t be seriously planning on showing ACTUAL reality, Can they? CAN THEY?!?!
Dixie then said “What happens backstage, in the office and on the road is so entertaining that we decided it was time to pull the curtain way back and give viewers a peek at that world as well. Over the next few weeks and months, viewers will continue to see our show evolve as we expose more real aspects of our business that have always been sacred.” One can only assume, again, that she’s talking about fake reality, and it’s going to take people less than a minute to figure that out. And then they’re going to laugh at her.
The press release then goes on to say “Cameras will be everywhere. Meetings will be shot in real time and unscripted as we capture moments; not produced segments. Access to conversations and vantage points that have never been seen before, such as production meetings, talent evaluations nad post-match critiques, will be revealed.” Wow, it definitely sounds like they’re planning on ACTUALLY showing us the REAL LIFE behind pro wrestling, doesn’t it? No idea how they’re going to pull that off, but it will still sure be interesting to see.
Wait, what’s this? From the SAME press release: “Combined with an emphasis on story structure, long term character and story development, these changes will help Impact Wrestling pioneer the next generation of wrestling entertainment programming.”
I understand now. See, everything you saw before now was lame, stale, and fake. Which means if you liked it, you’re a moron. But now, what you’ll see is real. Because now, they’ll be exposing the reality behind wrestling, with an emphasis on UNSCRIPTED and UNPRODUCED meetings, post-match critiques, talent evaluations, and backstage segments… and that will be COMBINED with story structure and long-term character development.
You’re going to give us an UNSCRIPTED AND UNPRODUCED show… with an emphasis on CHARACTER AND STORY DEVELOPMENT.
“Character and story development?” That’s called a script. That’s called producing. You fucking MORONS. They can’t even do a press release right!
Oh, and they have Brooke Hogan now too. Yeah. She’s going to bring in all the fans she amassed during her awesome music career.
Fuck it! This sounds insane. There’s no way I can not do this. This company is fucking crazy. I LOVE TNA. You wanna get nuts with me? LET’S GET NUTS!!!
I won’t be reviewing this show on a regular basis. But I can’t pass up the first show of something this crazy. But that brings me to something they told me to mention – we are DESPARATELY looking for a TNA recapper. We had Justin Legacy for like a month, and he quit. We had James Carter for like 3 weeks, and he quit. I know we had another dude who’s name escapes me, and he quit after like a month too. I actually hung in there for like 6 months last year when I started with Pulse, and then did it on a temporary basis for another month or so this year. Scott Keith has filled in as well. But we can’t find anyone who can do the job permanently for more than a couple weeks before TNA or TNA fans make them quit. If you want to represent this fine website by reviewing TNA, then send an e-mail to email@example.com.
I haven’t seen a lot of TNA this year, so I’m just going to get that out of the way right now. But TNA is clearly trying to pull in new viewers with this show, and it’s not unreasonable to say that TNA should be making this show appeal to new viewers. And while I may not have seen the recent shows, I’ve read most of the reports, so I think my information is fairly current.
Let’s get to LIVE, UNSCRIPTED, UNPRODUCED Impact Wrestling, starring Brooke and Hulk Hogan!
Previously on Impact… Hogan faced a hard choice on who was going to get a title shot against Roode. He gave AJ Styles the title shot, but AJ’s mind was somewhere else during the bout, and Roode got the win. Then Sting returned.
LIVE Impact kicks off with a bunch of lumberjacks surrounding the ring. Apparently the TNA World Heavyweight Title Match is right now?!
Non-TNA World Heavyweight Title Lumberjack Match
Bobby Roode (c) .vs. Sting
Roode, charisma machine that he is, enters. Then Sting enters to a nice reaction. PUnches by Sting to start the match, then an irish whip into the corner. Roode botches a Flair bump. 6 minutes into the show and we already have a botch.
Roode takes control, but then Sting hulks up. Sting with clotheslines. Roode ends up on the apron, but doesn’t want to go outside because the lumberjacks are there. Sting kicks him atop the ropes, then knocks him to the floor. The lumberjacks rough him up a bit, then push him back in the ring. Then Sting knocks him out again, and Roode gets roughed up again. Sting then misses a Stinger splash, and Roode tosses him to the heel lumberjacks. They rough HIM up a bit, but Sting hits a shoulderblock on Roode. Back-body drop, and the crowd doesn’t seem all that impressed.
Roode gets tossed in by the lumberjacks after being tossed outside again. Then the same thing happens to Sting. Now the heel lumberjacks are facing off with the babyface lumberjacks. Sting is rolled in the ring, and Roode gets a 2-count. Roode with some kicks. Taz and Tenay start talking about Brooke Hogan. Kneedrop by Roode gets another 2-count. Bearhug by Roode. Crowd tries to rally Sting up, and he breaks the bearhug and hits some elbows. Mike Tenay wants me to Tweet my friends that Impact is LIVE tonight.
Roode beats Sting down some more. Then he tosses Sting outside again, and he fights them off.
On the surface, this might just seem like another boring title match with a boring World Champion, but remember, it’s unscripted and unproduced! See the difference? We are off to an awesome start.
We’re back, and Roode is still kicking Sting. Suplex by Roode.
And Roode tosses Sting to the outside to get beaten on some more. Sting back in, and Roode punches and chops in the corner. Sting hulks up out of the corner, and starts hammering back. Stinger splash in the corner, and Roode escapes outside to the heels, who protect him. The babyfaces come over to confront them, and Sting dives on everyone. “TNA” chants from the crowd. Sting tries to hook on the Scorpion Deathlock, but Roode turns it into a crossface. Sting makes it to the ropes. Roode with some kicks.
Sting reverses a move by Roode and hits the Scorpion Death Drop. Sting then locks on the Scorpion Death Lock, and Roode taps.
Hulk Hogan is here, and TNA is still paying for pyro for his entrance. Hogan says that Sting is the main man for TNA, and that he has a TNA World Title match against Roode at Slammiversary. Which was unscripted. He just came up with that. Roode is surprised, which is odd, because a TNA World Title defense on almost every TNA PPV. I guess all this UNSCRIPTED SHOOT stuff is catching him off guard. This show is totally different and unscripted and revolutionary and awesome now, and not at all like before.
Commercial. 3 Hulk Hogan’s want us to use Rent-A-Center.
Heroin Girl (Madison Rayne) is ironing something backstage. She isn’t worried about Brooke Hogan showing up. Heroin Girl just wants to impress some guy she doesn’t name. And she wants heroin. Obviously.
Bully Ray is in the crowd. He starts cutting an unscripted shoot promo on Joseph Park, who is in the crowd eating popcorn. He reminds Joseph that he beat him up last week. Then they show what happened last week, when Ray beat him up. Ray continues yelling at Park. Park looks upset. Ray wants to fight him. Park reluctantly goes down to the ring. Then he says he doesn’t want to fight – then Ray calls his entire family cowards.
Then Ray says that Park’s brother (Abyss) is a coward. Then Park (Abyss) jumps the rail. Security grabs him, but Ray tells security he’ll take responsability, which is risky because this show is all uncensored and live and awesome now. Park gets into the ring. Ray continues yelling at him, telling Park to hit him. Park doesn’t want to hit him.
Then Ray says he changes his plea to “Guilty” of leaving Abyss (Park) for dead. Park (Abyss) is upset and surprsied by the fact that Ray would do this to Abyss (Park). This doesn’t make any sense at all. Park (Abyss) grabs Ray and forces him to his knees, then Bully Ray threatens to sue. Then Park says that he will not stoop to Ray’s level, because he’s an attourney. Ray calls him a coward again, and leaves. Joseph’s feelings are hurt. He should have been more careful, anything can happen without a script.
Then Park changes his mind and says he wants to fight Ray. Ray says he will fight him at Slammiversary. Park looks worried. Ray looks pleased. Tenay says Park can’t get out of the match now – which seems odd, given that Park (Abyss) is not a TNA wrestler.
Commercial. Matt Morgan is still beating up insurance people in his underwear.
We’re a quarter-way through. Amazing, different show so far. I already forget what TNA was like before all these revolutionary changes.
Video package for Crimson and his awesome unstoppable TNA run thus far. He is backstage, and says that the video package is evidence that he can’t be beaten.
TNA X-Division Title Match
Austin Aries (c) .vs. Chris Sabin
A match! That’s not on my format sheet!
Sabin comes out and Mike Tenay tells us not to judge him as a tag-team wrestler just because of all his years spent with the Motor City Machine Guns, and they mention his partner, Shelley, who recently left TNA (good for him.) They show Aries (also known as “the one guy TNA hasn’t managed to fuck up with in the past several years”) getting sprayed down before the match, and then patting the spray-down guy on the chest before his music hits. That’s EXPOSING THE BACKSTAGE reality of wrestling, you see. That stuff is sacred, so this is going to cause quite the stir. Dixie Carter said so in that press release. They’re breaking all kinds of rules here!
The match was actually quite good for a TV match. Lots of athletic back-and-forth to start, until Sabin kicks Aries in the head, but Aries tosses him to the outside and does that awesome bottom-rope dive. Back inside, Sabin attempts that awesome delayed missle dropkick, but eats mat. Aries with a dropkick from the top rope, the dropkick into the corner, and a dive to the outside onto Sabin.
Sabin then catches Aries coming inside, then hits some rope-rebound twisting suplex thing… which I don’t know what to call… but it was awesome. Sabin goes for a suplex, but Aries reverses into a rollup for the pin.
Winner & Still TNA X-Division Champion: Austin Aries
Decent match I suppose, especially by TNA standards.
Earlier today, Hogan is confronting Taz on something related to Gutcheck… in a very dark room with spotlights shining on them. See, this is REALITY, because Taz and Hogan were just talking alone in a poorly lit room with spotlights, and there were cameras EVERYWHERE, just like Dixie said. It SOUNDS like a segment that WOULD have been scripted in that old, STALE format that Dixie tossed out the window, but this is REAL. It’s unproduced! I fucking LOVE this show.
Taz says that people don’t like “the real Taz” and Hogan says he doesn’t care about that. Hogan says that TONIGHT, LIVE on Impact, anything could happen.
Holy shit. So NOW, they’re showing an UNSCRIPTED AND UNPRODUCED MEETING SHOT IN REAL TIME… from yesterday… with Bruce Pritchard, Al Snow, and Taz. They discuss this kid from Gutcheck, which is all caught on these cameras that Dixie had installed everywhere… complete with zooming and panning. They’re PULLING THE CURTAIN BACK and SHOOTING on this Gutcheck stuff, and Taz SHOOTS on this Gutcheck kid. Totally he wasn’t supposed to do that, but the cameras caught it, and now it’s in the show. Taz is insulted as a former competitor. They argue about this Gutcheck kid for a while. Apparently the Gutcheck kid needs to convince this BACKSTAGE COMMITTEE that he deserves to be there. This is fucking hilarious.
Another commercial. Halfway through. This show is so confused. It was already confused enough. And Brooke Hogan is on next. This is surreal. I honestly can’t believe it.
PULLING THE CURTAIN BACK BACKSTAGE UNSCRIPTED LIVE AND REAL, we’re looking at our 4 possible contenders for D-Von’s TNA Television Title. You could vote on the website for who you wanted to see get the TV Title shot. They just stand there awkwardly while Borash introduces them.
Dixie Carter comes out and asks how the crowd is doing. Dixie says it’s a great evening, and talks about TNA being 10 years old. She says that at the PPV, TNA will announce the very first entry into the TNA Hall of Fame.
Now Dixie Carter is talking about all the EXCITING CHANGES on Impact, and refers to the Knockout Division. She then introduces Brooke Hogan.
Brooke comes out to a country song, presumably one she sung herself. She’s got quite the “fuck me” boots on.
Dixie welcomes Brooke to TNA, and talks about GIRL POWER, and how excited she is for all Brooke is going to do for them, given all her experience in the wrestling business. Is that a joke?
PEOPLE ARE BOOING HER!!! Holy shit, that’s funny. Brooke gives Dixie a pep talk, and talks about how wrestling is her passion… after her music and her reality TV, and apparently Tenay said she was in movies too. But wrestling comes after all of that.
She thanks Dixie. They hug. Segment over. What the fuck?!?!
Backstage, Daniels and Kaz are caught on one of the BACKSTAGE CAMERAS exposing the REAL LIFE BEHIND THE SHOW… talking about how Dixie Carter didn’t talk about her scripted AJ Styles scandal. .
Commercial. TNA apparently goes live on YouTube during these. Advertisers must love that. Dave tells me that the LIVE TNA coverage on YouTube was going whlie Daniels was cutting his UNSCRIPTED REALITY promo. I fucking LOVE this show
Also, Samoa Joe has apparently been escorted from the building and is LIVE TWEETING about the event from home. I bet this is the start of a huge push for Samoa Joe in TNA… actually, sarcasm aside, that is kinda a promotion for Joe.
We are back, to watch a match for a title that no one cared a thing about before tonight. Who did the fans vote for to face D-Von?
TNA World Television Title Match
D-Von (c) .vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff Hardy has been voted by the fans to be in the TV Title segments of the show? Does that seems weird to anyone else? Even weirder, eyelids painted on his eyeballs. Someone really should have stopped him from doing more dumb shit as a kid, maybe then he wouldn’t do so much dumb shit as a adult. Like you’d think when he came home from school with some dumb shit like cut-up socks on his arms, his Dad would have been like “get the brick” and dealt with the problem. But he didn’t, and now we have this. Crowd goes nuts for Jeff as usual.
Taz and Tenay talk about whether this Joey Ryan kid from GUTRENCH or whatever is going to get a contract. D-Von gets a 2-count after a single shoulder-block. D-Von looks in pretty good shape. Hardy hits a headscissors on D-Von before D-Von runs him to the ground. Jeff gets up and they volley, until Jeff hits that sloppy mule kick. Jeff hits that Whisper move and gets 2. D-Von dodges a charges and hits a jumping neckbreaker out of the corner that wasn’t bad. 2-count.
Duelling chants for Hardy and D-Von… hmm, didn’t think D-Von had that kind of crowd support. Good for him. Elbow drop by D-Von gets 2. Jeff hits the Twist Of Hate and takes his shirt off. He goes up for the Swanton, but Robbie’s E & T come in and pushes him off the ropes, causing the match to be thrown out. Never seen anything like this on Impact before!
Winner: No Contest
Robbies beat up Hardy for a while, until D-Von comes to his rescue. Then Hardy and D-Von beat up the Robbies.
Now we get a James Storm video package. He talks about what a regular guy he is while he rides horses with his daughter. He cuts a promo on Roode while doing so. Apparently Storm is at some kind of crossroads after losing to Roode – and they show some clips for the music video on the song he did. He says he’s made his decision. His daughter then asks if that means he’s going back to wrestling. And he tells the cameraman to turn off the camera. It was gettnig a little too REAL for him.
Commercial. So far there has been NOTHING on this show that we wouldn’t have seen before… except for Austin Aries getting sprayed down before his match.
They re-play the AJ Styles / Dixie Carter SCANDAL storylne. Wasn’t romantically linking him with Karen Angle enough?!?! Kurt Angle apparently did some kind of babyface turn through all of this.
Bruce Pritchard, Al Snow and Taz are in the ring. Borash asks Pritchard if they’re ready to decide if this Joey Ryan kid can have a contract.
Joey Ryan comes out. He’s quite an odd-looking fellow, to say the least. He’s totally making love to the cameras right now. Joey Ryan cuts an unscripted shoot promo, and says he’s trending live on Twitter. He says that 87% of TNA fans voted to have him get a contract.
Borash then asks the judges for their decisions. Pritchard talks about nothing, then says “No” is his vote. They go to Al Snow. They have dramatic American Idol music playing, and it’s really distracting. This segment comes from that one time Hulk Hogan was on American Idol. Anyway, Al Snow votes “Yes”. Taz has the deciding vote.
Borash gives him the mic again. He yells about Pritchard ignoring the 87% vote on the website. This guy is gonna be over-rated by the net, I can tell already, same as that Sandow guy, same as whoever that indy guy coming in to WWE who was fake feuding with Foley. Taz SHOOT VOTES “No”.
Joey Ryan yells at Taz. Taz says he couldn’t “cut the promo” of his life. Taz tells him to go prove himself, then come back and prove him wrong, but for now, it’s “No”.
I don’t even understand what that was supposed to be. Is this one of those things that they’d like us to believe is unscripted? I can’t even tell. I can’t critique or defend this segment, because I honestly have no idea what they were even going for.
Commercial. Apparently this YouTube show that Borash is doing is being done backstage via a webcam. During the show, he’s interviewd the producer of this unproduced show. This company fucking rules!!!
Bobby Roode video package, detailing him talking to a bunch of people who cheer him.
AJ Styles .vs. Christopher Daniels
Christy Hemme tells me that this is the main event of the show. Retarded storylines aside, AJ and Daniels should be in the main-events. So that’s a plus at least.
AJ pushes Daniels to the corner and eats a slap. They chase each other around, and AJ takes control. AJ hist a hard dropkick. Tenay calls these hits “stiff”. Amazing. Daniels with a shot to the chin and AJ goes down. Punches in the corner by Daniels. Daniels runs into some boots by AJ, but Daniels dorps AJ’s neck over the ropes, which Tenay calls a steel cable. Daniels sends AJ to the floor.
We’re back, and Daniels is still in control. Daniels does his cool moonsault off the ropes, and hits a submission. Tenay talks about how unpredictable the show has been from the outset. AJ starts to fight back with some punches and chops. AJ then takes down Daniels, and both men are down. He takes Daniels down with some elbows, and brings him up to a torture rack before suplexing him into a pin for 2.
Daniels takes control and chops AJ up on the top rope. AJ fights back, and hits a nice springboard forearm. AJ springboards to an inverted DDT, but that’s countered by Daniels in a nice move, but AJ hits a Pele to Daniels. he goes for the Styles Clash, but Kaz shows up, and Daniels hits a rollup but only gets 2. Another springboard into an inverted DDT by AJ, this one finding it’s mark. Pin.
Winner: AJ Styles
Kaz and Daniels beat on AJ, until Kurt Angle makes the save. Haven’t seen this on Impact before!
Angle with an Ankle Lock on Kaz, until Daniels punches him in the balls. They then beat on Angle. They then proceed to tie Kurt Angle up in the corner. AJ powers up but Kaz hits him with the Tag-Team Title belt. They choke Kurt some more, and finish tying him up. He breaks free again, but Daniels hits him with the Tag Title belt.
Daniels grabs the mic, and the crowd chants that he sucks. Daniels says he has proof positive of the sordid affair between AJ and Dixie.
They play a phone call between Dixie and AJ. AJ and Dixie talk about meeting up, and not letting Serge know about it.
Dixie then comes out and takes Taz’s headset. She screams at them to turn it off, and the show fades out. You can hear her screaming over the Spike TV logo.
Well, that’s the show! Ho-lee shit. I guess there’s some sort of post-show on YouTube. I’m not doing any more.
I’m glad to see AJ and Daniels in the main segments of the show, but obviously nothing good can come of what they’re doing there. Actually, this lame and completely transparent LIVE AND UNSCRIPTED shit aside, this was not much different from any TNA shows that I’ve seen in the last couple years. I wasn’t expecting anything good… I mean, it’s TNA. But as I said before the review started, I at least thought they’d try some insane shit for my amusement.
If you’re looking for a place to complain about my review, I recommend the comment section or the website TNAInsider.com. These guys are so awesome they have a WHOLE THREAD based on an article I did on the TNA roster back in January! And I can only imagine they thought this show was fucking amazing.
And it was. We are a continent that is richer culturally for having watched it.
And if you’re a TNA fan who loved this show, and wants to see a more positive or optimistic view of the show here on Inside Pulse… again, I re-iterate - we need someone to cover this show. Badly. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
This has been “That Being Said”. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you when I see you.
I’ll be in my trailer.
Tags: Abyss, AJ Styles, Anderson, Angle, beer money, Bischoff, Brooke Hogan, Bully Ray, Cena, chris jericho, christian, Chyna, cm punk, Crystal, CZW, D-Von, Daniels, DGUSA, dixie carter, Dreamer, edge, FD Swayze, Flair, Fortune, Hardy, Harris, Hogan, immortal, impact, impact wrestling, Interinactivity, Jarrett, jericho, Kaz, miz, NXT, Orton, pope, Raw, Rob Van Dam, Rock, ROH, Roode, Sabin, Samoa Joe, Shelley, Smackdown, STD, Steiner, Sting, storm, suicide, Swayze, Team 3D, The Rock, TNA, TNA Wrestling, vince, WWE, Y2J