The SmarK Rant for TNA Impact – 12.27.12
Wanted to give a quick review of Tales of Masked Men, a PBS documentary that I got on DVD last week focusing on lucha libre in Mexico. It’s a really refreshing look at wrestling, offering a beginner’s look at the sport for the first few minutes and explaining the traditions of the masks and rudos v. technicos, then branching into individual stories of stars like El Santo and Mascarita Sagrada. It offers a lot more of a personal look into the people than you’d normally get from a “isn’t wrestling so WACKY” documentary that we normally see, and it’s just so refreshingly respectful of the subject matter without veering into the usual “fake v. real” nonsense and all the other tired clichés of the wrestling documentary. Highly, highly recommended, even at only an hour long. Plus you finally get to see former WWE writer Dan Madigan, notable for pitching some of the craziest ideas ever and getting shot down.
Taped from Orlando, FL.
Your hosts are Todd Keneley, Mike Tenay & Taz
So yeah, it’s Open Fight Night yet again.
Bully Ray starts us out, and he’s calling out Hulk Hogan for a TALK. Well that kind of undermines the whole concept of the show right from the get-go. And instead of Hulk, we get Brooke, who informs Bully that her dad KNOWS. Bully: “How does he know?” I dunno, maybe he WATCHED THE SHOW? I fucking hate this stupid storyline so much. By the way, this was never mentioned or followed up on again for the rest of the night.
Austin Aries calls out Bobby Roode in retaliation for getting screwed out of the World title last week, but not until the main event. OK then.
Samoa Joe v. Some Masked Dude
I’m assuming it’s Mike Knox again. Joe’s promo accuses them of riding MOPEDS, so you know he’s pissed. Joe quickly gets the enzuigiri in the corner, but Knox comes back with a clothesline and chokes him out on the ropes. And then the chinlock, but Joe comes back with the running knee in the corner and big boot/senton. Kokina Klutch finishes at 2:53. Joe calls for the unmasking, but c’mon, it’s a taped show. And indeed the other Aces run out and chase him off. I mean, it’s only been six months, why would they rush through the angle by unmasking a third guy already? ½*
Meanwhile, Jesse and Robbie have the world’s stupidest showdown, setting up a match tonight. Over who the best bro is. Jesse continues to improve drastically by the week.
Robbie E v. Jesse
Apparently this is a Bro-Off, not a match. There are three rules, although Robbie only lists two of them. Robbie gives us some Jersey dancing and Jesse poses, but he fails to end his taunt with “bro” and thus loses by DQ. However, Robbie T also joins the posedown and then busts a move to win it and leave Jesse & Robbie E with their jaws agape. Even my wife was entertained by this, so that’s gotta be a thumbs up segment.
Rob Van Dam v. Christian York
Kenny King is miffed backstage at not getting called out. York quickly hits a dive and the neckbreaker for two, then dodges a charge and gets the double stomp for two. Rob reverses a headscissor attempt into a sideslam and then follows with the moonsault for two. Springboard kick and Rolling Thunder set up the frog splash to finish at 4:00. Are they EVER going to let York win a match? I really don’t get their booking sometimes. **
Meanwhile, Joseph Park continues his OVW training, as he relates the story of his great-grandfather Jebediah Park and his bare-knuckles fight with George Hackenschmidt. Danny Davis doesn’t feel Joe’s training is going as well as Joe thinks it is. Is this Joseph Park thing EVER going to pay off in any way? It’s been almost eight months now, it’d really be great if they came up with a point sometime.
Christopher Daniels v. “AJ Styles”
Styles turns out to be Kazarian in AJ’s gear, doing a really funny impression. This brings out the tag champs for some reason, which hopefully means they’re putting the belts back on Bad Influence at the next PPV, FINALLY.
Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez v. Christopher Daniels & Kazarian
Daniels gets dumped and Hernandez splashes Kazarian for two, and then Daniels gets pinballed in the corner. Hernandez with an overhead suplex and Chavo stomps him down in the corner. Hernandez with the Nash choke in the corner and Daniels begs off as we take a break at an odd point. Back with Hernandez getting a delayed suplex as the beating continues, and the heels get dumped. Finally he misses a shoulderblock and Bad Influence takes over. Slingshot combo gets two for Kazarian. They cut off the ring, but it’s hot tag Chavo and he gets the rolling suplexes on Kazarian for two. The heels come back with the Hart Attack for two, but Chavo dumps them and the champs hit stereo dives. Chavo slingshots in with the senton for two. Kaz misses the AJ flying forearm and Chavo finishes with the frog splash at 14:13. Chavo and Hernandez are WAY past their expiration date, and I don’t get why they’re going over in a non-title match unless this is just a “fuck it, no one’s watching anyway” deal. **1/2
Meanwhile, Ken Anderson meets with the Aces about possibly joining, and he’s gonna think about it. Gosh, I was just thinking about how much more awesome this angle would be if they’d only drag Mr. Anderson into it as well.
Gail Kim v. Miss Tessmacher
Tess gets a couple of quick pin attempts and slugs away in the corner, setting up the stinkface. Kim bails and catches her with a necksnap on the way back in to take over, and a backdrop suplex gets two. Tess blocks a rana and follows with a middle rope clothesline for two, but Kim hits a kick from her back and puts her down again. Atomic drop that I think was supposed to be Tessmacher reversing into a bulldog, but I think it got messed up in translation. Tessmacher comes back at any rate and does some rather PG-13 crotch rubbing in Gail’s face to set up an X-Factor for two. She goes up and misses a flying elbow, and Gail finishes with Eat Defeat at 5:23. Just a meaningless match between two people with nothing else going on, and it really dragged as result. *1/2
Bobby Roode v. Austin Aries
Both guys offer a handshake and then both try to turn on each other at the same time, which earned a laugh from me. Aries claims a leg injury and calls time, so Roode kicks him in the knee and Aries boots him out of the ring and does some dancing to show how smart he is. And we take a break. Back with Roode getting a suplex but missing a kneedrop, and Aries misses his elbow. They fight on the top and exchange cheapshots until Roode goes down first, but Aries misses his dropkick. Roode tries the spear and gets countered into the Last Chancery, which Roode breaks by raking the nose. Ouch. Roode then takes him down with the crossface, so Aries also goes to the nose to break. They slug it out in the corner and Roode calls time now and then gets the cheap pinfall attempt in the corner for two. Aries gets a rollup with a massive handful of tights for two. Roode with a spinebuster for two and he grabs a chair, but Aries hits him with a spinning forearm for two. So now Aries gets the chair and Hebner has had enough of their crap and lays down the law to both guys, resulting in Aries & Roode teaming up to beat up the ref. With that settled, they fight over the chair, but Jeff Hardy sneaks in and attacks both guys for the Sportz Entertainment Finish at 14:00 or so. This was fun until the non-finish, although the Impact Zone was COMATOSE for the whole thing. **1/2
Hopefully the return to live next week will give the show a much-needed burst of adrenaline. It just feels like their momentum has stalled so dramatically since Bound for Glory.