What up wrestling fans, I'm the WrestlingNerd bringing you another written review. Today, we take a look at TNA Impact Wrestling on 12/8/11. With Final Resolution set for this week (Yes, it's really this week in case you forgot), how will TNA put together the "go home" edition of Impact? Well, let's take a look and start the review.
We open up the show with Sting. He immediately calls out Robert Roode, so time for Roode to pull out his Chris Jericho suit and tie. Sting says Roode is not done dealing with his consequences. Sting invites Dixie Carter to the ring and reminds the audience of the confrontation Roode had with Dixie a few weeks back. Hey, I'm just surprised TNA remembered to bring this up since they would often pretend it never happened. Anyway, Sting demands for Roode to apologize to Dixie for assaulting her. Roode is laughing about all of this, but he thinks about it and decides to apologize. He apologizes to Dixie for not being honest with her and how Dixie doesn't know anything about running a wrestling company. Yeah, I almost wonder if Roode is in character or is just saying the truth. You be the judge? Dixie keeps saying she does know what she's doing with this company while Roode says otherwise. Roode ends this by doing his best Carlito impression in spitting in the face of Dixie and running away. Sting is riled up about the whole thing while Dixie "tries" to show her displeasure. Once again, Dixie can't perform a proper emotion to save her life. Outside of Dixie's acting, I thought the opening was okay. Nothing amazing, but I liked it for what it was worth. It continues to show the drastic changes Roode has made in his life and how he might be out of control. I think it's pretty clear that TNA is pushing Roode's heel turn hard, especially if you have watched Impact lately. Then again, that's a good thing since they really need to make Roode look like the hottest thing in the company....at least for a bad guy. Now that's cool.
Match #1: Samoa Joe vs Abyss
Joe still works for this company? I didn't think there was anything special about this match. I suppose it was okay for their size, but I was just waiting for the shenanigans to take place. Well, sure enough, that's exactly what happened. The finish comes when Scott Steiner and Bully Ray show up. Steiner distracts the referee while Bully uses the chain to KO Joe. Abyss follows up with a Chokeslam and wins the match. This entire match was put together to show how Immortal is trying to get Abyss back on their side. After the match, Immortal is really laying it on thick when it comes to Abyss. It does look like Abyss is accepting of their hospitality, but he ends up hitting Black Hole Slam on Steiner and is about to attack Bully until he retreats. Abyss is just a character I can't get excited about. It might have to do with the fact Abyss has had many character changes over the years. Kinda hard to get behind a guy who's entire career has been to rip off something from the WWE (Undertaker, Kane, Mankind....I think you get my point). It's also amazing how certain fans tend to think Joe is getting held back in TNA, while I don't see anything overly amazing about Joe. He might be a good wrestler, but his charisma is very lacking. I honestly feel that Joe isn't deserving of a push because it often seems like he isn't really trying. There have been a few moments in the year where I saw fire and passion in the eyes of Joe. Now, THAT'S the Joe I want to see on a weekly basis. Not the Joe that half asses his promos or acts like he doesn't give a s***. To be fair, I think the reason behind Joe not trying hard in TNA is because he is just waiting until his last day to get out of that company. Maybe when that happens, Joe can go somewhere else and reclaim that fire and determination.
Winner via pinfall: Abyss
There was a backstage scene in which Karen Jarrett was talking to her little crew. It will be Madison Rayne vs Mickie James later tonight. She also says it will be Gail Kim vs Traci Brooks. Gail starts complaining about the match, but Karen seems to have a plan set up. Karen might be fun to look at, but I swear that her voice is getting more annoying than Michael Cole and Vickie Guerrero put together. That's enough to scare the s*** out of you. There was also a backstage scene in which Gunner was asking Sting for another match against Garett Bischoff. Sting says no, but Gunner pleads his case and promises no Ric Flair or Eric Bischoff for this match. Sting decides to okay this and we will see this match....again. I still find it embarrassing that Garett gets just as much screen time as the world champion in certain episodes. I guess being the product of Eric Bischoff's semen does have its perks.
Pope and Devon arrive to the ring and invite Matt Morgan and Crimson to the ring. Devon starts off by congratulation Morgan and Crimson as the new tag champs and getting rid of Mexican America. Devon says while Morgan and Crimson are tough, he's a decorated tag team guy and this is his department of expertise. Devon says Morgan and Crimson can become legends in the business, but Pope and Devon will take the titles off of them. I understand what Devon was trying to say here, but did you listen to this promo? Devon made it sound like him and Pope have been a tag team for 20 years, while it's closer to 20 minutes. It's also laughable that Devon is talking about how amazing him and Pope are....considering they have worked like 2-3 matches and have been on opposite ends all year long. Just laying out all the facts. It seems like this promo is over, but Pope has something to add. Pope says Morgan and Crimson are giant idiots and this is all about money. Pope vows to do whatever it takes to get the gold and the money. It seems like this segment is over, but Pope gives Morgan a shoulder bump. Morgan throws a punch and this starts a fight between the tag teams. For some reason, Devon and Crimson fought to the back. Pope and Morgan are fighting in the ring. Pope sneaks a low blow on Morgan and encourages Devon's kids to get in the ring and attack Morgan. Because wrestling logic says security can't prevent people from jumping the fence for this part, this is allowed. The kids are beating up on Morgan until he gets up. Pope and Devon's kids run away. So, after months of teasing this Pope/Devon mess, they finally did something with it. It was kinda expected, but I don't know why it took so damn long to get to this part. They teased it for months, then they stopped talking about it, then they bring it back and now the picture gets clearer? Just seems like inconsistent writing. There is more on this subject later on in the show. I would like to add that it's nice to see some actual build up for a tag team match. Lord knows both WWE and TNA need to have some decent tag team rivalries. Back when I was a kid, tag teams were everywhere in the early/mid 90s. Now, it's becoming a lost art of professional wrestling. I realize tag team wrestling isn't going to be the big ratings grabber, but you can still put time and energy into the division. Although, kinda silly to have some build up for a tag team match like this one, but I would rather get some build up as opposed to no build up. At least with some build up, there is a little bit of intrigue for the match.....just a little.
Match #2: Madison Rayne vs Mickie James
For a Knockout match, this one was tolerable. I still think Madison is the most underrated talent on the KO roster. I can't remember the last time Earl Hebner wasn't the referee for a KO match. Seriously, go watch some of the previous episodes and 9 out of 10 occasions, Hebner is usually the ref. Don't know why that is? The finish comes when Mickie hits her delayed DDT and wins the match. Once again, the delayed DDT didn't look good. It wasn't terrible, but something about it hasn't looked good lately. I almost fear that a screw up like this can result in a concussion. She needs to change her finisher. By the way, a good way to ruin the value of a Gail/Mickie match up is to have no confrontation between these ladies for weeks. Brilliant writing....
Winner via pinfall: Mickie James
Match #3: Garett Bischoff vs Gunner
Just as Gunner said, Flair and Eric were not involved for this match. This is a re-hash of every single Garett/Gunner match that has happened so far. If you saw the first one, you have seen them all. Gunner is beating up on the kid and toying with him while Garett does manage to stay in the fight and land a couple of simple moves. Then Garett gets a roll up and steals the match. Guess what? That's exactly what happened. I laughed when I heard Tazz say "That's a big upset". Really? So, what about those first two times Garett pinned Gunner? Tazz's reaction to this makes him look like he doesn't pay attention to the show or he doesn't care. Neither one would surprise me. After the match, Gunner continues to buy some personality by acting like a dick, but it doesn't really work. With how Gunner isn't interesting and Garett being green, I have no idea who's the rookie and who's the established indy wrestler anymore. Gunner is about to hit a Piledriver on the outside of the ring. Eric runs towards the ring and it appears he's showing his son some sympathy, but rips off the padding so Gunner can use the concrete. Gunner hits the Piledriver on the concrete while Eric is laughing about it. I think child services missed a family. We also get a scene of Garett being loaded into an ambulance and being taken away. I'm kinda hoping this is all done to write Garett off the show completely, but something tells me TNA will bring him back. Why? Because TNA loves uninteresting talent.
Winner via pinfall: Garett Bischoff
We are back in the ring where James Storm calls out Kurt Angle. Kurt gives Storm some props for coming back to work right away, but all that told him was he didn't do a good enough job of taking out Storm. He vows at Final Resolution, he will finish the job. Storm says Kurt is the master at getting people to fear him, but that won't work on Storm. James talks about how he has stared death in the face on countless occasions and nothing can faze him. He talked about some of his family members passing away at an early age. Storm showed a lot of passion and energy, but all this talk of death gave me an uneasy feeling. Anyway, Storm turns his back and wants Kurt to hit him, but it seems like Kurt doesn't have the set to do the attack. This was definitely my favorite scene of the night. The promo work by both guys was very well done. It also tells a great story. It's possible this match doesn't happen at Final Resolution, but this is a rivalry I would like to see get more air time. The build up for this rivalry hasn't been perfect and has had flaws, but this is definitely one of the watchers for this Sunday. Excellent work by Storm and Angle.
Backstage where Karen tells Traci Brooks to lie down and take a dive against Gail Kim and she doesn't want any funny business. Traci shows her displeasure while Karen continues to laugh like a hyena. Now I feel like I'm watching the Lion King all of the sudden. Who am I kidding? The Lion King is God compared to this. Another backstage scene in which Devon has confronted his kid and disapproves of their actions. Pope arrives, only for Devon to toss him up against the wall. The kids continue to stick up for the Pope and it appears one of them is about to hit their father. Devon lectures them some more and says they need to straighten out their lives and he needs to leave before he regrets his next move (Pope disappeared during all of this). As Devon walks away, Pope comes back into the scene and continues to encourage Devon's kids on doing the wrong things and he's proud of them. Man, what is with TNA and bad parenting? You have Eric treating his son like a piece of trash, then you have Devon pushing and yelling at his kids. Where's Dr. Phil when you need him? I think what will end up happening is Devon's kids turning on their father and siding with the Pope. It's possible something else will happen, but this seems to be where they are headed at the moment.
Match #4: Gail Kim vs Traci Brooks
Two KO matches in one episode? With all the screen time these ladies get and the TNA Holiday commercials with the KOs showing themselves, I'm starting to think if TNA can perform softcore porn on their network, they would. It appears Traci is going to take the dive, but she fights back. Amazing that Gail has looked untouchable in her matches, but is now all of the sudden having problems. What, did she get amnesia? Karen would show up and start complaining at Traci. A scuffle between the referee, Karen and Traci develops. By the way, referee does a terrible job at doing a separation. I don't know a ton about breaking up a fight, but I'm pretty sure bending over and raising your arms up like Superman isn't going to solve the problem. Because the referee is trying out for the next Marvel film, Madison shows up from behind and hits Traci with a championship belt. Gail picks the bones and wins the match. What was accomplished with this match? We already knew Karen likes to treat Traci like a doormat. We already knew Traci's buttons are getting pushed to the point of frustration. I just didn't see much of a purpose to put this match other than to waste time. Not to mention Gail has a title defense this Sunday and it makes her look weak. Reckon she is a heel, but that's beside the purpose. I think TNA's fetish is overbooking.
Winner via pinfall: Gail Kim
Match #5: AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy vs Robert Roode and Jeff Jarrett
I should note Christopher Daniels cut a promo in the back on RVD. I didn't hear much of it. All I remember is bork, bork, bork, bork, bork, bork. How many times is TNA going to air that Christmas KO commercial? I swear, they showed it every time they went to commercial break. Not only that, but Karen is here for this match. Karen must have a great legal team since she appears this many times on one show. Seriously, I think she gets more screen time than anyone on the roster. Something about that doesn't seem right? This is something I haven't really talked about yet, but with Final Resolution this week, I might as well bring it up. Don't you think it doesn't make a ton of sense for Roode and Styles to have an Iron Man Match? An Iron Man match is one of those things you build up towards and it's supposed to be one of those matches that ends all rivalries. Now, I also realize this will probably be the last time a Roode/Styles title match occurs, but the rivalry has only been going around for a month. I don't think a month of tension is enough for an Iron Man match. A ladder match or a no DQ match? Yeah, I would be fine with that, but an Iron Man match seems really forced. This match up wasn't too bad, but I had a hard time getting into the match. I think a good part of that has to do with the Jarretts. I did say a few months ago that the Jarretts can make you turn the channel whenever they show up. Irony of the night happened during the Jeremy Borash introduction. Look in the background and you can see an audience member yawning. No joke, check it out for yourself. At some point, Jarrett and Hardy brawl to the back. Roode and Styles continue the match and it appears Roode has it, but AJ gets a roll up and wins the match. After the match, Roode attacks AJ. Styles comes back and it appears he will stand tall as Roode has ran away. Roode would show up again to use a chop block on AJ. The show ends with Robert standing tall, while that stupid music is playing once more. Why does TNA keep doing that? It's just stupid.
Winner via pinfall: AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy
Compared to last week's show, this was a major improvement, but it also isn't anything to be proud about. I just think the show was a lot more tolerable this week. There was a couple of things I did enjoy. I really loved the Storm/Angle bit. Seriously, some really good promo work by both guys, especially Storm. I was also fine with the opening of the show and the ending of the show was okay. It was everything else that can take you out of the evening. None of the wrestling matches were great. Most were tolerable, but none of them were special and you honestly don't feel like you missed anything by skipping them. This whole Garett Bischoff thing is something I can't get behind. I think a large part of the blame falls on Garett himself since he's so green. Then again, TNA creative staff also deserves a lot of the blame. All Garett's doing is simple wrestling moves while his character is just bland. With Garett being bland and Hulk Hogan going on internet rants in how Garett is the most developed rookie is enough to make me sick. It's comments like this that show Hogan has no idea in how to make a wrestling star, let alone a company. Was this a good Impact? No, not at all, but I also can't call it terrible. I would call it a very average night for TNA....or at least a tolerable evening, but nothing super amazing about it either. Then again, the goal of tonight was to get some hype for Final Resolution. Outside of Roode/AJ and Storm/Angle, there wasn't a ton of build up with their other matches. Most of these matches got mentioned on last week's program, so if you missed it, you would be totally lost in what would be happening at Final Resolution. Then again, they addressed the major storylines and I felt they did a good job in hyping up those matches. Not great PPV build up, but better then what TNA has done in the past. That's going to do it for the review and I hope you enjoyed it. I am really going to try and get a SD review for this week. 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.