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The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact LIVE–05.31.12

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 05.31.12

LIVE from Orlando, FL.

Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz

Lumberjack Match: Bobby Roode v. Sting

Sting tosses Roode around to start and shrugs off some chops in the corner, and Roode gets dumped and tossed back in. Stinger splash misses early and Roode tosses Sting to the heel side for some cheapshots out there, but Sting shakes it off and throws Roode out again. And Roode dumps Sting out again for another beatdown, and that finally gets two. Roode takes over and drops a knee for two as Tenay informs us that later Devon will defend his TV title against one of four people: RVD, Mr. Anderson, Jeff Hardy or Robbie E. That’s quite the random fourth person. Why give fans three babyfaces and a heel to choose from? Roode has a dull heat segment on Sting and we take a break. Back with Roode suplexing him for two. Sting comes back with a Stinger splash and Roode bails to the heel side, so Sting hits everyone with a dive. Back in, Sting tries the Scorpion deathlock, but Roode reverses to the crossface until Sting makes the ropes. Scorpion deathdrop sets up another deathlock, and this time Roode taps at 12:33. *** Pretty dull a lot of the way along, but it did the job. Hulk comes out and announces the obvious, that Sting v. Roode is the main event of the next PPV. Given that the show is two weeks away, it was probably a good idea to announce a match for it.

Bully Ray is once again looking for Joseph Park. Luckily, he’s in the crowd eating popcorn again, and Bully once again is looking for a fight RIGHT NOW. Park is hilarious in this role, with his goofy facials. Joseph doesn’t want a fight, but Bully points out that every member of his family is a COWARD, most of all Abyss, so Joseph decides to step up. He’s not even sure how to go through the ringropes, which is a nice touch. Bully admits that he was the one who captured Abyss, and Park finally snaps…but Bully of course immediately cowers and threatens to sue because he’s a BULLY. And then he gets one last verbal jab in, suddenly a big man again when Park backs off. Park challenges him to FISTICUFFS once and for all, but Bully now wants to wait for the PPV. This was a TREMENDOUS old school pro wrestling angle that did exactly what it was supposed to: Make you want to see them fight and then make you wait for the PPV to get it. It’s a great way to freshen up and repackage Abyss, too.

X Division title: Austin Aries v. Chris Sabin

They trade armdrags to start and Aries misses a dropkick, but he gets it after Sabin misses a sunset flip. Aries with a moonsault and elbow for two. Sabin tries a crucifix and gets another rollup for two, but Aries dumps him to the floor. He follows with a suicide dive and gets a missile dropkick back in the ring, but Sabin baseball slides him to the floor and follows with his own dive. Back in with a neckbreaker for two. They fight for a suplex and Sabin gets the Future Shock, but Aries reverses it into a rollup to retain at 4:00. Aries is in the ZONE right now, but this was too short to be worth much. **1/2

Meanwhile, Taz gets hired as the replacement for Ric Flair in the Gut Check challenge. After the break, the judges deliberate back in Nashville and talk about Joey Ryan’s porn ‘stache.

Meanwhile, Borash has the four potential TV title challengers with him.

Dixie Carter joins us and you know it’s live because she pulls an Undertaker and says the PPV is “September 10”. Whoops. So she brings out Brooke Hogan, who looks like she’s 60 years old here. Holy god, this girl did not get the good side of the gene pool. NEVER DO A TIGHT SHOT ON HER FACE AGAIN. She looks like she used Homer’s makeup shotgun. And she says nothing. This was a total dud.

TV Title: Devon v. Jeff Hardy

No surprise there. Devon powers him down for two, and Hardy responds in kind, but Devon blocks a headscissors and puts him down with a clothesline. Headbutt misses and Hardy hits the Whisper in the Wind for two. Jeff goes up and Devon brings him down with a neckbreaker for two. Devon with a chinlock, but Hardy escapes with the Twist of Fate, prompting Robbie E to run in for the DQ at 4:19. Obviously that was going to be the finish no matter which babyface won the vote. Devon and Hardy were just phoning it in here. Or voting it in via internet poll, as it were. *1/2

Meanwhile, James Storm is hanging out on his ranch and getting all introspective.

Joey Ryan faces the team of judges in the Gut Check vote. Joey Ryan notes that he’s trending worldwide on Twitter, but Twitter disagrees with that. So they take it right to the vote: Brother Love says no, Leif Cassidy says yes, and Taz gets all up in his face and votes him out. And now he’s finally trending for real. I’m guessing this an angle because TNA fans seemed to be going pretty crazy for him.

AJ Styles v. Christopher Daniels

Apparently it’s Daniels & Kazarian v. Styles & Angle for the tag titles at the PPV. Holy crap, do I have to order a TNA PPV now? Fuck me. We get a chase to start and Styles chops him down and adds the dropkick, but Daniels nails him with a right in the corner and Styles sells like he’s taking a UFC knockout shot, falling backwards and folding at the knees. What a great touch. Daniels tries to suplex him from the apron, but changes to a necksnap instead and then sends him crashing into the railing. And we take a break. Back with Daniels holding a neck vice until Styles gets into the ropes. They slug it out in the corner, but Daniels whips him into the turnbuckles until AJ gets the Pele kick and both are down. Daniels misses a charge and Styles makes the comeback with a TORTURE RACK into a powerbomb for two. Daniels comes back and puts him on top, but AJ fights him off and springboards in with a forearm. Moonsault into the DDT, but Daniels counters it and goes up, only to see AJ counter that. Styles Clash attempt, but Kazarian comes down and Daniels gets two. AJ gets the inverted DDT on the second try to finish at 10:31. More great stuff from these two. ***1/2 Angle tries to make the save, but the champs beat the crap out of him and ZIP-TIE him to the ropes. We get the big beatdown, and Daniels reveals a secret phone conversation between AJ and Dixie, prompting Dixie to storm out and STOP THE SHOW.

The Pulse

Not a blowaway show for the big live debut, but they hooked my interest last week and gave me a really good show to pay it off, and that’s all I was asking for. Plus as a bonus I kind of want to see that Joseph Park-Bully Ray PPV match now. I hope they keep going in this direction, because I’m liking it.

Comments

  1. Agreed, not a blowaway show, but one that kept my interest and didn't insult my intelligence (except for the Dixie angle at the end). Solid in-ring wrestling and a minimum of crap. Doesn't take a lot to make me happy.

    Sidenote: when did Tenay dye his hair "Vin Scully Copper"?

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  2. "She looks like she used Homer’s makeup shotgun."

    Awesome.

    The Park/Bully Ray angle is gold.  I let it play out to see where it goes, and I like it so far.  Park as the klutz is working well...

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  3. I agree with all this Scott. The show was lacking a blow-away match, I feel like there best move would have been to turn the TV match into a tag match with the Jersey Boys going over. I also felt like AJ/Daniels was a cliff notes version of their better matches. 

    I think the real question about Brooke Hogan is this: Which one of the knockouts is going to get to job for her in her debut match at Bound For Glory? 

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  4. I liked it...

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  5. Wtf, TNA, a GOOD show?!?! What world am I in... I'm loving the Bully/Park angle as well, Austin Aries is the man right now as well, wow, I might actually start watching Impact on a regular basis if this keeps up. But Brooke Hogan... no...

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  6. Southern_DiscomfortMay 31, 2012 at 8:48 PM

    Whoever they've got working the Park twitter is an absolute genius. So goddamned funny.

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  7. I was digging the show till they kept dropping all the insider terms and disusing Joey Ryan's "gimmick" for the Gut check.  God did i hate that segment

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  8. Any chance we'll get an Over the Limit review or at least a review of the title matches... or at least a word on the Bryan-Punk classic?

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  9.  Probably Gail Kim. Or at least Madison Rayne, assuming she's still Gail's hanger on by then.

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  10. Stuff I liked:
    - AJ-Daniels: Like Punk-Bryan, incapable of having a bad match together, and always fun to watch.
    - The Sting-Roode match was fine.
    - The Joey Ryan segment- Can Taz still wrestle or does he have an injury that keeps him out of the ring. A Taz-Ryan feud might be OK if that's where they're going.
    - Aries-Shelly: Good but too short.

    Stuff I didn't like:
    - Brooke Hogan: Not sure I understand why they're bringing her on board, especially with the Knockout Division already being relatively high quality. Who are they looking to draw in with this "acquisition?"
    - TV Title match: Don't really care for Devon or the Jersey Shore guys. I still have no respect for Hardy since the shit he pulled at Victory Road '11. It's nice to see he's healthy but that doesn't mean I have to care about him.

    Anyway, good show overall. I generally don't like General Manger angles, but TNA's is simple and effective enough: a face GM doesn't like the heel champ, and wants the title off him. I'm still not really sure what the original beef between Cena & Johnny Ace was & Ace hasn't done much to get the title off one of his main enemies CM Punk.

    TNA could still do without Hogan though.

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  11. I totally agree. He can do no wrong in this role.

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  12. I lost my shit reading "She looks like she used Homer's make-up shotgun."

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  13. I think Taz's neck is too fucked to wrestle regularly. But if he can throw a suplex or two and put Ryan over quickly, I'm all for it. 

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  14.  I don't think Tazz's career ended due to an Edge-type thing, where he suddenly found out he couldn't wrestle again at all. I thought he had a bad neck so he was working his way into commentary and then didn't really need to wrestle anymore. And then got himself into commentary shape and probably couldn't wrestle again. He probably could if he had to but the shape he's in would probably prevent it more than the neck injury.

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  15. Russo's removed and quality increases.

    This is my unsurprised face.

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  16. NEVER DO A TIGHT SHOT ON HER FACE AGAIN. She looks like she used Homer’s makeup shotgun.
    -----------------

    Epic Scooter.  Just awesome.

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  17.  I LOL'ed at that one.

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  18.  I remember at the first ECW One Night Stand show that he was going to face Lawler... and it turned into him choking him out in 5 seconds, so I don't think we'll ever see him in the ring again.

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  19. TNA is hitting solid singles and doubles lately, and that's exactly what they need to do... especially with Raw (and WWE in general) being a mess right now. I have thoroughly enjoyed Impact since I've resumed watching it over the last few weeks, and I hope it continues because it's a fun wrestling show with good story-telling that successful pro wrestling shows, movies and TV programs have used for decades... and not the whacky booking the WWE is doing lately.

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  20. It's been a long time since the Knockouts has been high quality. Not that I'm saying Brooke Hogan is the answer to anything, but the Knockouts haven't been good since Kong was around. 

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  21. I actually thought it was a rather tepid show.  While I love Sting, his match with Roode was rather plodding, and not a great way to start off the show action-wise, though I can understand why they did it exposure-wise.

    There was was stuff in the show that obviously was good (Sabin/Aries, Styles/Daniels), but overall everything just sort of fell flat.  That being said, oddly enough I did find that the show moved along quickly, so I guess that's good.

    Wasn't there supposed to be some big announcement on the show?  It wasn't going live for the summer or the signing of Brooke, as those were announced weeks ago, so if it was Sting/Roode at Slammiversary, they dropped the ball on explaining that.

    And on that note, like I said, I love Sting, but you celebrate your 10 years as a company with Sting in the main?  Who did James Storm piss off?  Seriously, why has he been off TV?!

    Is the gut check final decision a shoot?  Apparently Flair got in trouble during the other one for "going into business for himself" (not sure how, though), so it makes me wonder.  But I don't like Joey Ryan, so I'm not sorry to see him not make it.  We already have Austin Aries who does a full of himself flamboyant prima donna, and he does it well (so well that he turned himself face!).

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  22. Oh, and a little thing I did like was how even in the heat of the moment, Joseph Park still worked in his, "You know? Abyss! *hand gesture*" deal.

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  23. I’m guessing this an angle because TNA fans seemed to be going pretty crazy for him

    I have the feeling that the TNA fans would cheer anyway as long as they were associated strongly with the indy scene.

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  24. It's scary how much Brooke looks like her mom.

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  25. Was reading the 411 recap of the show and they had this in the middle:

    -SAMOA JOE posted the following on Twitter…

    Currently being escorted from the premises to avoid a incident on the companies "big night".. Riiight, enjoy the show


    ...zuh?

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  26. If the Joey Ryan bullshit isn't an angle, I'm guessing it was a case of TNA going into business for themselves as the expense of a "known" indie wrestler.  They kept putting over how they're the big leagues and this is this dude's biggest opportunity ever.  They were trying to run the angle WWE did with Daniel Bryan on NXT.  They just don't realize that they're not THAT big.  Some of their own talent has/had side jobs because the company doesn't pay as much as a full-time job.

    What got me was when Pritchard referenced Joey being on the indie circuit for 10 years as a bad thing.  Uh, what about Austin Aries, your X Division Champion, and the company's fastest rising star?  He was an indie wrestler for as long as Ryan before being signed.  He's now more over 90% of your roster.  Not only that but he said while standing next to Al Snow, a guy who didn't get a shot at the big time until almost 15 years into his career.

    The other thing that got me was their discussion of Ryan not breaking character being bad.  "It didn't look like he was prepared for a fight."  Uh, what?  This is a fucking wrestling match, not a street fight.

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  27. I think the big announcement was the TNA Hall of Fame. I can see why you'd miss that. Not a big announcement at all really.

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  28. I heard from other people TNA was getting much better, so I decided to check it out tonight(haven't watched in about a year and a half) and I was really impressed tonight. The show moved quickly and I'm very intrigued with the Bully Ray-Joseph Park angle as well as the AJ-Dixie-Daniels storyline. I can't believe it.... but they already sold me on the PPV. Fuck.

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  29. TNA should not have a hall of fame. It hasn't been around long enough. Unless they just want to induct Savage to take a dig at WWE.

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  30. Joey Ryan thing is def an angle, it has to be. That dude just by looking at him had "it."

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  31. Apparently the company dismissed everybody who doesn't know the difference between possessive and plural.  It was a weird night, I guess.

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  32. Marge: I don't think women will like being shot in the face, Homer.
    Homer: Women will like what I tell them to like.

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  33. Wait a minute...TNA wrestlers are using TWITTER?! But...but...that's WWE's bread and butter!

    OMG...I smell a new wrestling war between promotions on the horizon...via Twitter.

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  34. After a few weeks of lackluster Raw's, I thought I'd see what Impact has to offer. Shockingly it delivered, the show felt fresh and there are some really great characters developing on the show. I hope they go all the way with Aries because he is a STAR. I also hope the gut check rejection for Joey Ryan is an angle because the guy is entertaining. Thumbs up! 

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  35. Regarding James Storm, I think he's off TV just so they can keep him away from Roode this summer.

    It sounds like the main event for Bound For Glory in October will be a rematch between the two, with Storm finally getting the title.

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  36.  And her dad. It's like she is their kid!

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  37.  Watching an AJ-Daniels match is like watching Ziggler-Kofi again.

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  38.  It doesn't help that we never see the Knockouts on TV either. Why didn't we get a match with the girls, that made no sense to me. Otherwise a fun show this week, as TNA continues to improve while WWE continues to crumble. Is it sad I thought Brooke looked OK, not hot like Mickie James, but not bowling shoe ugly like Layla.

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  39.  I'm sure that's where there going with it, basically a middle finger to the WWE.

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  40. Christopher Daniels in a TV main event? Austin Aries becoming a star? Bobby ROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO still being awesome?

    OK, maybe I should start watching again. 

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  41. I hadnt thought of that, but it's a good point. It would also be funny if they try to indict Christian or Booker T and then called WWE to ask them to appear.

    First inducted has to be Jeff and/or Jerry Jarrett.

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  42. I think what Taz meant was Ryan looked totally unfazed by the prospect of facing Austin Aries, one of the best wrestlers on the planet and a guy who's beaten everyone in the X Division.

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  43. Building angle with Aries, I think.

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  44. No, not really.  You could susbsitute one for the other and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference.  It's not a case of "well of course she does," it's a case of "wait, that's not Linda?"

    Dumbass.

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  45. Well, why should he?  If you have the confidence to believe you're the best, you shouldn't be fazed by a dude entering the ring.

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  46. I was on 411 a bit ago, its amazing how many WWE marks were bashing the show and many of them admitted they didnt even watch!?!?

    The E is sooooooo stale right now that TNA has a chance to improve its ratings imho, but they have to strike now while the iron is hot.

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  47.  Nope. It's two great workers who've fought millions of times and it isn't interesting anymore. Much like Cena/Orton.

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  48. I'm a WWE Lifer, but even I have become bored with everything lately. I'm going to give TNA another shot ( I think this will be # 11)  because this decent. 

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  49. I have a joke!

    Q: What do you get when you cross Samoa Joe with an East Indian snack?
    A: Samosa Joe!

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  50. Time to bring in Billy Gunn, baby!

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  51. Even if you're a heel? What about Steve Austin panicking when Bret Hart's music hit at the 1997 Royal Rumble?

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  52. Good matches are always interesting.

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  53.  Actually, that was the second One Night Stand.

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  54.  Funny thing is, that these are my feelings since 2005.

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  55.  I stand corrected!  They blend together since they were at the same venue, and all.

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  56. One of the reasons why it's hard for me to root for TNA is the Hardy thing you mentioned. The fact they still keep that jerk-off around makes me sick.

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  57. Yeah, this show didn't completely hit it out of the park, but it was really good. I enjoyed it far more than I've enjoyed raw since the one after Wrestlemania.

    BULLY RAY SHOULD BE THE MAIN EVENT OF EVERYTHING EVER.

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  58. Sounds like a decent show. Maybe I'll give Impact another chance. 

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