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The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact–08.23.12

The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 08.23.12

Live from Orlando, FL

Your hosts are Mike Tenay & Taz

Sting and his crew of ACEBUSTERS (OK, I made that one up) come out to call out the Aces & Eights and show graphic footage of everyone who got beat up. Sting brings out James Storm to welcome him to the good people, and they call out the Aces, which results in a couple of geeks coming out on their behalf and getting their ass handed to them. One gets unmasked but he isn’t anybody, and he says we’re all in for a long and painful night. Why, is Russo booking again?

Miss Tessmacher is out to thank Brooke Hogan for righting the wrongs of her title loss, but she’s also there to call out Tara.

Miss Tessmacher v. Tara

Once again, your special referee is Taryn. They trade armdrags and it’s looking REALLY sloppy for some reason, and Tara gets a powerslam for two. Tess comes back with clotheslines and pounds away in the corner, then goes up after some booty-shaking. Tara brings her down with a superplex for the pin at 2:46. So I guess they’re picking up the thread again from a few weeks ago and starting a new program. * I’m still wondering what the point of the Madison Rayne storyline was, since she won the title and then dropped it days later and now it’s seemingly over with.

Bound For Glory Series: Robbie E v. Rob Van Dam v. AJ Styles

This is to make up for the loss of the Pope due to injury. AJ and Rob trade rollup spots and then decide to team up on Robbie and get rid of him. RVD works a headlock on AJ and gets dropkicked out of the ring, but Robbie lays out AJ from behind. AJ comes back with a corner clothesline and we take a break. Back with Robbie knocking RVD off the apron and chinlocking Styles. RVD pulls Robbie out of the ring and beats on him, but AJ hits them both with a dive. Back in, AJ with a backbreaker on Robbie, but RVD hits him with a dropkick and Rolling Thunder. Leg lariat for Robbie and a standing moonsault gets two. Robbie gets dumped again and AJ hits the springboard DDT on RVD for two (well, “hits” is a generous description). AJ and RVD slug it out in the corner and AJ tries a superplex, but RVD fights him off and hits the frog splash instead…and Robbie E pins the stunned RVD at 12:49 for the 7 points. That’ll teach him to the melodramatic selling of his own move. Entertaining match when Robbie wasn’t dragging it down. ***

Jeff Hardy v. Robbie T

Terry lays him out with a clothesline, then catches him with a powerslam out of the corner for two. Jeff comes back with the Whisper for two. He throws clotheslines until Robbie goes down, then finishes with the Twist of Fate and Swanton at 2:29. Well I’d say he got his revenge. *1/2

AJ Styles is out for the paternity test, and he can’t remember if anything that happened between himself and Claire. He promises to take care of the baby if it’s his, but if not then he never wants to hear from Daniels & Kazarian again. I would also vote for never hearing about this angle again. JB introduces Claire Lynch, but the World Tag Team Champions of the World answer instead, and Kazarian goes off on a rant about absentee parenting. Daniels informs us that Claire is in the hospital with “placental rupturing”, and now we’re joined by Claire’s lawyer. GOOD GOD. Thankfully, this is the bullet in the head of the angle, as the lawyer reads a prepared statement from Claire, admitting that everything was faked, including the pregnancy, and she was working with the Appletini crew all along. And then Poochie died on the way back to his home planet.

Kris Lewie, the mystery Gut Check contestant from last week, cuts another HELL of a babyface promo leading up to his challenge tonight.

Meanwhile, Sting confronts three of the Aces, and Hogan returns to beat the crap out of them. Playing back the audio would probably sound a TAD more sexual than they were intending. Hogan was really doing some heavy breathing here and Sting was into it.

Kris Lewie v. Gunner

Lewie gets a pair of armdrags for two, but Gunner pokes him in the eye. Clothesline gets two for Gunner and he sends Lewie into the corner, but the charge misses. Lewie fights back with some AWFUL punches and a bad elbow and samoan drop. He’s got the promo, but he is NOT ready in the ring, as I don’t think he hit one thing clean. Gunner finishes him with the Wasteland slam at 3:00. This was pretty embarrassing, unfortunately. DUD

Meanwhile, ODB’s fish are jumping.

Bound For Glory Series: Mr. Anderson v. Bully Ray

This is Anderson’s last match in the series, so he needs a submission win to not get eliminated. Stalemate to start and Bully pounds him down and goes to work on the back with a suplex for two. We take a break with nothing in particular going on and return with Bully in control, leading to him missing a pump splash in the corner. They slug it out on their knees and Anderson makes the comeback with a neckbreaker for two. Leg lariat gets two. Bully counters the Regal roll by shifting his weight, and gets a neckbreaker for two. To the top, but this time Anderson brings him down with the roll for two. Why even bother going for a pin? Anything less than a submission is useless to him. Anderson to the top, but Bully brings him down with a superplex, and we cut backstage to more members of the Aces getting beat down. Back in the ring, the Bubbabomb gets two. Another try is reversed to a DDT and Anderson goes up with a swanton for two. Mic Check finishes at 12:35, but he’s not in the top four so it was kind of a pointless win. Match picked up a lot after the break and the crowd was very into the near-falls at the end. ***

Sting and the TNA crew call out the Aces & Eights, and the brawl is on. It’s a rout for TNA and we still don’t know anything about the Aces, even when they get unmasked. However, the Aces manage to cut off Aries in the ring and seemingly break his hand with a chair, until Bully Ray chases them off to end the show. I’m seriously starting to lose faith this angle is going to have a worthwhile reveal.

The Pulse

Couple of good matches this week, but MAN was that AJ segment terrible, and the Gut Check was a total letdown after the great videos building him up. And the finishing brawl didn’t do much to advance the storyline either. Bit of a wash this time around.

Comments

  1. I love that brawl at the end glad that they incorporated the motorcycles to their gimmick. Hulk Hogan snarling like a raged pitbull is a thing of beauty.  Kris Lewie stinks and should never be seen on television ever again.

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  2. this rant is gay.... lol jk... awesome ep! Anyone lse think that robbie e is doing the nj shore gimmick a million times better than ryder??


    ps i think sean robinson is martha burke

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  3. Just Listened to Alvarez and his painfully unfunny and easily out-of-breath friend Vinny completely shit all over this show over at F4W. Not everything was great but I thought it was a really enjoyable overall. Too bad Lewie couldn't work though because if he could, you have a guy who is an instant crowd favorite.

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  4. I thought the ending segment was really cool, just like the old nWo segments, which I loved.

    Plus it came off really stiff and realistic.

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  5. I thought it was fine overall, there was just a lot more bad stuff than usual this week for me.  

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  6. Agree.  Also, Taryn is absolutely gorgeous.

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  7. And this is the first time TNA's had a chance to "get some" of Aces & 8s, so I thought it did advance the storyline in that regard. No need to blow through the angle or deflate the heel stable this quickly.

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  8. One of the Aces and Eight's ended up getting a fat lip.

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  9. yeah, Kris Lewie was just horrible. If he could get a couple of big spots he could hit, you could make a tag team with him and someone that could wrestle the whole match, but has no personality.
    I think the reveal on A8s happens sometime around the PPV, to build for whatever at BFG.
    Hogan's so mad he can't communicate like a human! Sting's so mad he's throwing cards at people!

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  10. You know what?  It was nice to see the faces (TNA) get the upper hand on the aces and eight's and start beating them around the impact zone for a change.

    I was getting tired constantly see the TNA guys look like wimps and getting beat up all the time. This ruined NWO / WCW rivalry for me because the WCW guys were made to look like wimps.

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  11. So the only guy we haven't seen with the rest of the Acebusters (I like it!) is Samoa Joe, he's the only guy who hasn't interacted with them at all, am I right? If it turns out that Joe was the leader, and the hand smash to end it was to help him win the strap at Bound For Glory, it may be the most internally-logical storyline in wrestling for, what, the past decade? 

    Speaking of logic, if I were AJ and RVD, I'd be annoyed at not getting my chance at fighting Pope 1-on-1 and having to go at it in a three-way with Robbie E instead. They both likely missed out on 7 easy points each (no way Pope would have beaten either of them), and instead, the Jersey Shore dude gets another 7 in a fluke win. I'm not sure that qualifies as "the only fair way" to settle things. 

    Otherwise, another good show, I thought. 

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  12. I actually dug the brawl at the end. To basically have all the main eventers get their hands dirty and STILL getting swarmed was a sight to see, going from ring to backstage to the parking lot (it reminded me a bit of the first time Nexus came down and destroyed everyone in sight), and I liked that A&8 were willing to draw it out long enough to have an endgame, isolating Austin Aries. I thought the opening vignette of them rolling in like they were shooting a Sons of Anarchy ad was kinda lame though.

    At least the Claire Lynch stuff ended with one more bit of gold from Daniels, claiming that an appletini "a day keeps the doctor away". 

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  13. Plus, Kris Lewie is a major downer.  His life story and his struggles.  I want to escape the hardships of life and be entertained by watching a TV show.  I don't want to be reminded of real life issues.

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  14. Yeah. Angle in particular was doling out some shots that would make Regal and Finlay proud.

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  15. Robbie E needs to have the microphone every week and TV title STAT!

    He is fucking money.

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  16. Lewie promo skills are indeed awesome.

    Stuff his gut in a tag team or make him a manager for someone with talent.

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  17. Scott the Clair Lynch had to be wrapped up some way,.

    At least its over.

    It got the pay off everybody knew and its actively the only thing bad about Impact... and its done.

    Anderson is actually bringing it in the ring.
    Lighten up.

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  18. Anyone want to explain to me the whole aces and eight storyline again since I haven't had a chance to watch Impact due to work these last couple of weeks?

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  19.  Naaaah, if he could go, it'd work fine.  then eventually he can go street as a heel turn.

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  20.  also, give him a singlet to hide the aforementioned gut. 
    I was watching that going "god, am I in better shape than this guy?  I don't even work out, I just walk my dog a lot."

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  21.  Man, Devon has held that title for a LONG time.

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  22. It was the first Impact after Slammiversary and Sting was conducting an interview when two masked men entered the ring and attacked Sting.  Each week the masked men would attack TNA wrestlers and the GM Hulk Hogan.  They would leave them on the ground beaten and throw a deck of cards at them.  The members have been growing each and every week.  The leader is unknown at this time.

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  23. I disagree, Scott. That brawl was one of the best, most meaningful schmozzes I've seen in a long time. They were working super stiff and I loved the idea of them isolating Aries. There was a lot of good storytelling in that segment.

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  24. I think that's where stuff like the Series helps this kind of character; it gives Robbie a good reason to "punch above his weight class," so to speak, and he's not being booked to be an outright idiot out there. 

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  25. It would be TNA's most logical storyline ever.

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  26. Definitely! They picked off the champion. Loved the brawl at the end also.

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  27. Yeah that wasn't too bad. If anything it put Daniels and kaz over huge as heels.

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  28. At least it wasn't Hornswoggle.

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  29. I dunno, "placental disruptions" is a pretty hilarious excuse for Claire not being there. I enjoyed the wrap-up of the angle, in all its terribleness.

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  30. Kaz's backstage bit with Daniels gets 5 stars simply for his use of "scrote."

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  31. I starting to wonder if there will be a big reveal for the A&8s storyline. And would it be that big of a deal if there wasn't? What if they're just a group of masked thugs whose mission is chaos and anarchy? Sort of like a costumed supervillain. They get intorduced as an unstoppable villain, then we slowly learn the leader's backstory and motivation later. That wouldn't be so bad, would it?

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  32.  It could just be a red herring but I am 100% positive that was Joe cutting the distorted promo last week. It sounded just like him.

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  33. DID YOU KNOW?

    Hogan makes those same growling noises when he hovers over Brooke's bed as she sleeps.

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  34. Worst_in_the_WorldAugust 24, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    Been DVRing Impact the last 6 weeks or so on account of all the good reviews from the commenters here, and basically, THANKS GUYS! It's insane what a turnaround the company has made from pretty much being the absolute worst wrestling promotion I'd ever seen to what it is now, which is logical and entertaining and very wrestling-centered.
    That said, there's some major organizational changes that need to be made if they're ever gonna expand the audience past the hardcores. Namely, their NAME. Come on, is there anything that screams bad late 90s Russo than a shitty T&A pun? Just call it Impact Wrestling federation or something. And of course get outta the Impact Zone and into some real arenas. Oh, and perhaps hire some decent musicians to create entrance music that is actually recognizable for each wrestler, instead of everything sounding like a car alarm mixed in Garage Band.

    Anyway, as a resident WWE apologist I just HAD to go negative, ya know? But really, the booking has improved so much, it'd just be awesome if the periphery elements caught up now.

    Oh, and they could use less AJ Styles and more AJ Lee! (I say that half-kidding. I'll still defend AJ Lee against you all!)

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  35. Man, who'd have thought...TNA, even when it's bad it's still pretty OK. I liked the brawl, I just wish it had more of a point or angle advancement to it. And they ended Claire Lynch the best way given the vice they were in with her leaving: just go Occam's Razor with it and move towards a blowoff in the ring.

    My question is...things couldn't have gotten this good and back on track from firing Russo alone. Is Pritchard (or he and Lagana) more of a booking mind than we thought? The course correction has been astounding, and inspiring.

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  36. The leader is good, the leader is great, we surrender our will as of this day.

    I loooooove the leader!!

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  37. Unless they're referring to a PPV, they pretty much just call the product Impact Wrestling anyways, so you're halfway there. And while it would be nice if they get those 20,000+ arenas, I think a big draw for their roster, esp. the ex-WWE guys, is that they're based in one city and can settle there and be with their families while they work as opposed to being on the road for 300 days a year. I think the way they have it now; Impact Zone for TV then branching out for house shows and PPVs, is a good model, esp. for their talent.

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  38. Nananananananana Leader. Leader! Leader!

    BATMAN! Uh, I mean... LEADER!

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  39. I enjoyed last night's episode thoroughly as I have been for the past couple of months.

    Things that stuck out for me:I'm glad the AJ story is over. The whole thing with Julia Reilly quitting because she didn't want prospective employers to see people talk bad about her TNA performance struck me as kind of odd. By no means am I defending any person who got on a message board or commented on a YouTube video with every dirty word in the book but since we'll never know how this was really supposed to hash out, perhaps she can tell people in the future that she was acting terribly on purpose because Daniels/Kaz put her up to it...which makes her a good actress? Who knows.The lawyer who delivered Claire's farewell address did a fine job, better than Claire ever did. Kaz and Daniels were solid as always. I was particularly impressed with Kazarian's promo. I really thought he took it up a notch higher than his character normally is. AJ did good too for someone who basically had to do nothing more than stand there.I didn't buy Kris Lewie pulling the "8 Mile Card" in his promo and certainly didn't buy him in the ring. He the first half of the Tessmacher/Tara match look like a five star masterpiece. Robbie E was great last night and has continued to dramatically improve, IMO. If you look at where he was with his wrestling and his character this time last year versus now, it's like night and day. I think he's finally owned it and it's working for him. I even marked out and hollered "Get 'em Robbie!" at my TV when Styles had his back turned to him during the 3-way match.

    Aces and 8's is still moving slow. I thought it was going to be Roode behind the whole thing to destroy James Storm but now I'm leaning more towards Eric Bischoff. He's supposedly "gone for life"but we all know he can "LOL, BISCHOFF" his way back any time he wants. The angle and the whole motorcycle gang thing certainly would seem to have his fingerprints on it too.

    One final thought, for some reason Taz was particularly irritating on commentary this week. More so than usual which is a pretty remarkable achievement. I can't really put my finger on why. 

    As mentioned though, another good show. I Look forward to next week.

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  40. I was marking out basically the whole time. During the big schmozz at the end,I was actually cheering the faces because I wanted them to beat the heels,I wasn't being a smarky asshole and cheering the cowardly heel because he's a better "worker" or whatever. I was that kid that even as a mark would cheer guys like Repo Man,so for this show,esp. the A&8 angle to get that reaction from me,they're booking it right. I know I said this in the other thread,but this is the first time I've watched TNA in like forever and I love it,I'm like a 10 year old mark for this.

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  41. One thing that did irk me. Why in the sam-hell does Taryn Terrell get entrance music? She's a REFEREE. That's like...the least "referee thing" ever.

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  42. Christopher HirschAugust 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    I'm with Scott, that was a pretty bad show.

    Also, its obvious Samoe Joe is the leader of Aces and Eights.

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  43. Christopher HirschAugust 24, 2012 at 9:06 PM

    So basically an angle wasted God knows how much time and I could have told you the ending when it started? That's pretty awful.

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  44. Christopher HirschAugust 24, 2012 at 9:07 PM

    Also, as Lewie helpfully reminded me Gut Check is real but everything else is fake.

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  45. Christopher HirschAugust 24, 2012 at 9:09 PM

    He's defended it what, one time in the past 2 months?

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  46. I've made this argument to a friend of mine: predictable and obvious aren't bad if it leads to something awesome.

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  47. I assume Sting is also there then, too.

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  48. It was kind of hilarious that she got a full entrance. Maybe next week she'll have pyro?

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  49. *imagines WWE's Black Ref coming down with pyro*

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  50. You thought it was bad? Nahhh! 

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  51. Remember how bored everyone was when Stone Cold won at WM XIV? It was obvious he was going to win. I think I took a nap during Raw the next night.

    Also, it was obvious that Ric Flair was going to lose to Shawn Michaels at WM 24. Totally killed my enjoyment. 

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  52. For some reason I'm now thinking of Mal Mason, the German ref that Chris Jericho mentioned in his first book. He had his own entrance every night where he came out to I kid you not, "I'm Too Sexy" by Right Said Fred.

    That would be like having Scott Armstrong come out to "Shake It" by Metro Station.

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  53.   ''his painfully unfunny and easily out-of-breath friend Vinny''
    I laughed.

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  54. Itchy & Scratchy Show references rule.

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  55. If Claire is really gone from TNA (like those reports say) I would still give TNA a thumbs up for actually giving us an explaination instead of just not mentioning the angle anymore (which happened in dozens of promotions, including TNA, before).

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  56.  I still don't get what everyone has against the Impact Zone. People bitch about the fans being "the worst" but I don't even know if anyone knows what it is exactly that they're supposed to be doing that's so bad. They seem like any other wrestling crowd to me. I still don't think people understand how much money they'd lose out on if they ditched Universal. I know that "not paying" makes people think they don't make any money from the deal, but Universal pays them good money to be there every week and they make it all back on parking and exposure to all the CityWalk businesses on the way in.

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  57. Dirty_Dave_DelaneyAugust 26, 2012 at 4:03 AM

    I'm starting to think that Robbie E would fit in much better in WWE and at this point Zack Ryder would fit in better in TNA! 

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  58. I really this episode and it was the first one in a long time I was legit excited to watch the show before it started, not just because it was wrestling on fee TV like most weeks.

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