What up wrestlings fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Impact Wrestling on 12/1/11. After giving TNA a week off for American Thanksgiving, what would they bring us this week? Well, let's find out and start the review.
We open up the show with Sting. He calls out Robert Roode and discusses some of his recent actions. Once Roode is in the ring, Sting says Roode has to obey the rules while Roode is being delusional like your typical heel, or heelusional as I like to call it. Sting invites AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy to the ring since they were on the end of a Roode attack on last week's show. Styles and Hardy talk about listening to the rules (Hardy and rule follower? That's too easy) while Roode says Sting's decision making is bulls***. Sting makes it Roode vs Styles vs Hardy later tonight. A pretty short opening, but not a bad way to open up the show. They continue the build up that Roode is completely out of control since making his heel turn since the man is so obsessed with the world title. I should note that throughout the evening, TNA would air video packages of Roode's friends and family showing their seal of disapproval for Roode's actions. Oh, I'll get to THAT later on in the review. Time to begin what would be the theme of tonight's show....backstage scenes. I swear they filmed most of the show backstage as opposed to the actual ring. There is a backstage scene of Karen Jarrett yelling at the KOs for not whoring themselves enough on last week's program. Tonight, the KOs have to wash the vehicles of the wrestlers (or circus performers) in nothing but bikinis. The KOs once again show their displeasure of making themselves look slutty on TV....even though the majority of them do this every single week. I can't buy ANY part of this storyline. Why? Well....have you looked at the product? You have Velvet Sky shaking her ass on the second rope, Tessmacher stripping and doing the stink face, and Traci Brooks forcing her melons on your TV screen. Now all of the sudden, they have a problem with fulfilling the fanservice? I understand this is all done to show the power trip of Karen, but it doesn't make any sense. Especially when you have holiday themed commercials for TNAshop.com in which the KOs are half naked and seem okay with it. I personally don't have that much of a problem with the fanservice, just as long as you don't force it. This is forcing it. I don't know how many people you're driving in when you're pretty much appealing to perverted males, so it can't really be worth going overboard with T & A. They already have a channel for those people, it's called Cinemax. Now, I admit the ladies are attractive and I have no problem with a little fun on my wrestling shows, but this is insane. The storyline makes no sense and Karen's power trip is more forced than anything John Laurinaitis has done all year. The KOs would continue to wash cars all night long. By the way, did you watch that stupid TNA commercial in which they advertise the Video Game Awards? Talk about overly campy. The VGAs: circle jerking every First Person Shooter title and never talking about games made from Japan.
Back from commercial for more backstage scenes. There was an argument between Jeff Jarrett and Hardy. They eventually brawl, in which Hardy stands tall. How many brawls between Hardy and Jarrett are they going to throw at you? Seriously, it's getting old. Eric Bischoff is talking to Bully Ray. They talk about Eric's problems with Garett Bischoff. Eric still has faith in Gunner to get the job done, but he might need the assistance of Bully at some point. They also talk about the Abyss situation. They both agreed that they kicked around Oscar the Grouch too much and he's pissed off. Bischoff tells Bully to somehow get Abyss to join back up with Immortal. Bully says he will get Scott Steiner to come up with a plan. Watch out people!!! Beavis and Butthead are on the case. Oh, and after more KO car washing, we find out it will be ODB vs Mickie James in a Street Fight.
Match #1: Ink Inc vs Mexican America vs Pope and Devon; winner is the #1 Contender to the Tag Titles
After a half hour of programming, we finally get to the first match. I'm aware WWE is guilty of doing this on occassion, but I swear that TNA does it way more often. I had a really hard time getting invested in this match. I guess it was harmless, but it felt sloppy at times. After a Spinebuster from Devon to Jesse Neal, Pope and Devon will be getting the tag team title shots at Final Resolution. Wait, so what happened to that whole Pope/Devon deal? A few weeks back, they were not on the same page, but this week they are hugging without any explanation? You know what, screw it. I just don't care anymore.
Winner via pinfall and NEW #1 Contender to Tag Titles: Pope and Devon
Back in the ring where Austin Aries has something to say. Aries says he has surpassed his status of the greatest man who ever lived and how he has defeated everyone in the X Division. He also says it should be renamed the A Double Division. Kid Kash interrupts and complains about how Aries screwed him over at Turning Point and hasn't beaten him yet. After some competitive banter between the two, Aries says if Kash shakes his hand, he will give him a title match. They shake hands, but both guys punch each other. The scene ends when Aries leaves the ring, complaining. Aries was the one who made this scene work. I really do think Aries is being held back since the guy should be doing bigger things on this show. I wasn't really a big fan of Kash's promo, but the mic isn't where Kash excels at (Kash, "Like a dog, you pinned my ass". What person talks like that?). Not sure how I feel about the match. Kash still comes off as a bad guy, but it seems like he's making strides to play the face. An on location video. Gunner goes to a random gym in search of Garett Bischoff. Funniest moment of the night. Gunner confronts a random gym goer and the random guys says, "Who are you?"....
Oh, Gunner. You're so desperate for an identity. CM Punk might have the Cult of Personality, but Gunner has the Lack of Personality. Anyway, Gunner starts beating up local gym members as he's looking for Garett. It's wrestling logic since any normal person would have been sent to jail for attacking people at a gym. There was another backstage scene in which Sting and Jarrett were arguing. Jarrett wants Hardy gone while Sting disagrees. We will more more entail on this later in the evening. Another backstage scene of more KO fanservice, there was another one with Bully and Steiner. Jeses Christ, TNA. Do you think you have put on enough backstage scenes for one show? Bully and Steiner come up with a plan to get Abyss on their side. They talk about getting him some chicks to hook up with. Yeah, not sure if I would want Bully and Steiner's sloppy seconds. Ewww...
Match #2: ODB vs Mickie James in a Street Fight
Some people might have enjoyed this match, but I really didn't like it. They fought on the outside and in the back. They use a chair, trash cans, and I believe a cookie sheet. Finish comes when Mickie does her spin kick on ODB while she's holding onto the chair. This might have been the second longest match of the night. All of the sudden, a midget winning a Battle Royal isn't sounding like such a stupid idea now, is it?
Winner via pinfall: Mickie James
A via satellite segment with James Storm. We are told that Storm still has not been cleared to complete. I can't help but think this scene would be a lot better if Storm was off TV after the first attack. Oh well, what are you gonna do? Storm tells Mike Tenay and Tazz he hasn't been medically cleared to compete. Kurt Angle shows up and starts asking insulting questions towards Storm. Kurt actually challenges Storm to a match at Final Resolution. Storm says he isn't medically cleared, but he will show up next week. This was probably one of my favorite scenes of the night. The emotion between Angle and Storm really made this feel like a genuine rivalry. They haven't done the best job in putting together this rivalry, but I still find it interesting.
Since TNA hasn't filmed enough backstage scenes, here's some more. Two women who look like they just got done shooting for a swimsuit issue are searching for some wrestler. They have no idea who it this person is, but they think all pro wrestlers have a good body, so it can't be that bad. It's lead to believe Bully and Steiner got these two ladies to sleep with Abyss. Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa!!! Stop the production. Flag on the play. Offsides. Traveling. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. We need to stop and analyze this because there is so much wrong with this scene. How in the world did Bully and Steiner get to talk to these two chicks? There's no way that would ever happen. Second, are we lead to believe Bully and Steiner payed off these ladies? And third, what kinda of person do you have to be to sleep with some random stranger? I realize times are different in this generation, but....NO!!! This is so silly. I realize this is kayfabe, but this is pushing it. Why would.....let's just move on. More video stuff of Roode's friends and family upset with his recent actions. They were playing these clips all night. Roode's wife talks about how she has to tell her boys that daddy is doing wrong because.....blah, blah, blah, blah. I am all for a sense of realism in pro wrestling, but this is absurd. Did we really need clip after clip of how Roode's family is disgusted with Robert's actions? It's things like this that I can't take TNA seriously. Even casual fans would have a hard time buying this. I'm fine with doing this bit one time, but the fact they were playing it throughout the night was TNA simply being desperate to draw a reaction. It wasn't even necessary either since Roode's stock is higher than it has ever been before. This bit would work a lot better if they only played it once, not 400 times. Some people might have liked this, but I thought it was just an example of TNA forcing it down your throat.
Match #3: Robbie E vs RVD for the TV Championship
This is a wrestling show? I almost forgot with all the backstage scenes. RVD was pretty much owning Robbie as the champ didn't stand a chance. During the match, Eric Young shows up with a fire extinguisher. He didn't even use it. Great, the one time Eric Young can be funny and you don't even pull the trigger? This brings forth the referee to completely stop doing his job and focus on crazy Eric. RVD hits the Frogsplash, but no referee to do the count. Christopher Daniels shows up to hit Angel Wings of RVD since TNA doesn't know when to kill a rivalry. Robbie picks the bones and retains his title. Do I really have to give my thoughts on this?
Winner via pinfall and still TV Champ: Robbie E
Backstage where those two ladies show up with their hair all over the place. They talk about how they didn't expect to see that. I guess that means Monsters Gone Wild will be available on TNAshop.com. Hey, they made an Immortal DVD, so I wouldn't put it past them. Back to more KO car wash. I stopped paying attention at this point, but have they been washing the same car all night? Then again, I don't care anymore. A fight breaks out between the ladies while some of the male wrestlers show up hooting and hollering. Umm....progress?
Match #4: Robert Roode vs AJ Styles vs Jeff Hardy
It operates like a handicap match, but because of Roode's cunning, he was able to get AJ and Hardy to attack each other. This was probably the best match of the night, but I don't know how many people are still watching at this point. The finish comes when Jarrett gets involved and knocks Hardy off the top rope. This allows for Roode to steal a victory. After the match, Sting says because of Jarrett's actions, it will be Hardy vs Jarrett in an Escape the Cage Match. There are some stipulations to this match. If Jarrett wins, Hardy is fired from TNA. If Hardy wins, he will become the #1 Contender for the world title. Karen shows up and argues, so Sting adds another stipulation where Karen will be handcuffed to the Stinger for the match. The show ends with that dramatic music. Have you been catching this lately? Watch how TNA ends their show and they play some dooms day type music. What's the point?
Winner via pinfall: Robert Roode
As for the ending of the show, I don't mind it. It was only a matter of time that TNA would put Hardy back in the title picture. Of course, it's possible Jarrett can win and wrestling logic will somehow bring Hardy back to the ring, but all signs point to Hardy winning. A Roode/Hardy rivalry might not be so bad. It would make for interesting wrestling matches. It isn't really clear when Storm will be ready to go, so it's possible Storm might not be able to go until Genesis. The appropriate booking would be for Storm to eventually go over Angle and then he can set his sights on Roode. Based on how things are lined up, it's possible Roode would have gone over AJ and Hardy, which will add a lot to his heel credentials, thus prepping him for his main rival in Storm. I still would like to think TNA can make this work, but I know they are guilty of dropping the ball. We will just have to wait and see where they are going with all of this. I am aware of dirt sheet reports of Storm not being able to compete. Well, I will wait and watch next week's show and then we can judge for ourselves. Most of you know how I feel about dirt sheet reporting anyways. Can't always believe those websites.
I'm not sure which show was worse, the Thanksgiving show or tonight's show. Impact was bad. Impact was really bad. The show got off to a good start, but it quickly went downhill after that. The overall main problem was all the backstage scenes. There was simply way too much talking on this show. Reckon, promos and segments are very important to building up rivalries, but TNA had no balance tonight. They went forth and put on what seemed like a million backstage scenes and didn't get to the first match until 30 minutes into the show. I have said one of TNA's problems is they often have an episode every month where they cram a lot of scenes into one show. They have that one show where they need to build up their PPV card in a hurry, so they dedicate a whole night to show every storyline imaginable and air it. This can be disorientating for someone who doesn't watch TNA on a weekly basis. Imagine someone who doesn't normally check out TNA and they're watching this? They would totally be lost and their head would be spinning since there was too much stuff going on. The wrestling matches weren't anything too special either. The KO match was just filler and the TV match was overbooking 101. This might be in line for one of the worst Impacts shown all year long. Even the decent opening, the Storm/Angle bit, and the last match couldn't save this show. I can see a lot of people jumping on my back since I am overly harsh on TNA tonight. In that regards, maybe I am. Then again, this isn't the type of stuff that is going to help TNA grow. I realize a lot of talking was done tonight because they need to build up Final Resolution, but there needs to be a better balance or else this will turn viewers off. Your average PPV takes four weeks to build up. That would be a total of 8 hours of TNA programming to build up the PPV. Well....actually it would be around 6 hours when you take out the commercials. Still, six hours is a fair amount of time to build up a PPV. What tends to happen is TNA invests the first two weeks building up 2-3 of their major storylines. After that, they have that show where they put all of their storylines on one show and that's where all the cramming comes from. That's poor time management. If you even everything out from the first two weeks, it wouldn't be necessary to have shows where you cram everything since you would've at least set up a few more matches....I hope. WWE often doesn't have to worry about this because they have an extra show to build up other storylines, but it often feels like TNA wants to have more storylines than WWE. TNA simply doesn't have that kind of time. That's why I say TNA should invest in 4-6 storylines and makes those really special as opposed to having 11-12 storylines that are throwaway with 1-2 interesting ones. Poor time management falls on the creative staff. It can be really frustrating watching a TV show that moves too freakin' fast and overloads your brain. Wrestling should feel entertaining. Wrestling should be short, simple and to the point, but TNA sometimes treats it like a f***ing project. TNA might have had an excuse for last week's show because of the holidays, but there was no excuse for this. Damn, these TNA reviews are always so long. See what I mean about making it a project? I really do hope TNA can do better next week. I'll just leave it at that. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. I get the feeling I will get lots of angry complaints with this review, but I'm prepared for that. Tell me what you thought of my review or tonight's show. I will see you guys and girls on the next WrestlingNerd show, see you next time.