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March 7, 2008

Fewer skits = good Impact

Last night on TNA Impact, the focus was on wrestling and Sunday’s Destination X pay-per-view, with less emphasis on comedy and no backstage story line running throughout the show.

It all made for an entertaining episode. Time will tell whether this was just a one-week fluke or if there has been a change in philosophy regarding the creative direction.

The main angle of the show saw the participants in Sunday’s six-man-tag main event face off in three singles gimmick matches. The premise was that the side that won at least two of the contests would get to have a 3-on-2 edge for the first five minutes in the match at Destination X.

The three matches were fine, but the booking was a little questionable. After splitting the first two matches (which I will get into shortly), it came down to a non-title steel cage match between TNA world champion Kurt Angle and Christian Cage. I never get tired of seeing these two wrestle each other, and they delivered once again.

I was surprised at the finish, however, as they went over the top of the cage at the same time and appeared to hit the floor simultaneously. I thought for sure the referee would award the match to Angle, but instead he determined that Christian was the winner, so the babyfaces will have the 3-on-2 advantage. Don’t the heels almost always get the advantage in these situations, and doesn’t it make sense that they do?

The other two matches in the best-of-three series saw Kevin Nash defeat A.J. Styles in a street fight, and Tomko beat Samoa Joe in a first blood match.

I don’t have a problem with Tomko winning, and the way it was done – Joe bled slightly from the arm after using it to block a chair shot – didn’t hurt Joe. But Nash pinning Styles is just plain wrong. At this point in Nash’s career, he should be putting over Styles. Oh well, at least Styles wasn’t forced to put on a chicken suit.

I liked the idea of the three-match series, but I would have altered the match-ups and had Tomko beat Nash and Joe beat Styles. …

Other thoughts on last night’s show:

When Angle and Cage went over the cage, we never got to see their feet hitting the floor. That tells me that either Cage really didn’t land first or the camera man just missed the shot. …

Angle got over with me when he told Styles in the opening segment to “take off that stupid crown.” Well, somebody had to say it. …

Nash cut a promo in which he imitated Hulk Hogan. It’s a good thing for Nash that he isn’t an X Division wrestler, or Vince Russo would make “The Kevster” be Nash’s new gimmick. …

The “Rough Cut” segment with B.G. James and Kip James was a great idea. I have always liked these kinds of “real life” interviews to build up a match. …

Another episode, another fantastic promo by Father James Mitchell. Being something of a horror movie buff, I thought it was great that he referenced a line from Dracula when he said, “Judas Mesias never drinks … wine.” As an aside, Mitchell’s character reminds me of the lead villain from an obscure vampire flick of the early 1970s called The Deathmaster. …

Speaking of Mesias, his losing streak continued after getting beaten by Rhino. I think Mesias has potential to be an upper-tier character, but it’s not looking good for him at the moment. …

I actually feel sorry for Dustin Rhodes for getting saddled with the awful Black Reign character. I wish Russo would come up with some elaborate story line that allows Reign to transform back into Rhodes. Maybe a series of sessions on the couch with Dr. Nash would do the trick. …

The battle royal, with the winner getting to determine the stipulations for his match at Destination X, was anything but predictable. It came down to Curry Man and Rellik (that’s Killer spelled backwards), with the hot and spicy masked man getting the win. …

After Shelly Martinez (Salinas) got squashed by Awesome Kong, I couldn’t help wondering if she wished she were still in WWE. Hanging upside on the ropes like a bat is a lot easier on the body than getting tossed around the ring by Kong.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 3:37 AM | | Comments (9)


I agree with you. It was a much better show without all the backstage stuff. However, the one backstage interview with Black Reign was just horrible. Rhodes needs to go back to WWE and have some sort of a tag team with his brother.

Also, what are the odds Rhino doesn't have a career ending injury after the elevation X match? Is there anyone in the business who hasn't been seriously injured as much as Rhino?

I think Messias did the job to Rhino because he is on his way out the door with TNA. I read that he wants to be in AAA full time because the pay is better.

Is it wrong of me that I am a TOTAL mark now for Curry Man? He absolutely kills me every match and he also seem to be a good worker too. On second thought, forget my question. I don't care what people think of me. Curry Man = Ratings. Koooooooniiiiichiwaaaaaaa!

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: No need to be ashamed. Curry Man rules.

It took 00.34.00 min in the show to be reminded that Rellik is Killer spelled backwards . It is really painful to watch Kevin Nash in the ring . Loved the old "wolfpac" days , but he's hurting his ring legacy now . He's still good on the mike , can stir things up but as far as being a participant in matches (other than to "interfere") he really should consider giving up that aspect .

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: I agree about Nash. It looks painful for him just to walk to the ring. Here's an idea: Have Nash replace the horrible Don West as color commentator.

Nice blog post, as always... I'll have to disagree on a few parts though. (also just some random thoughts by me on the show)

For instance I thought the Nash vs Styles match was very very boring, especially for a street fight... Also it was waaaaaaaaay too short.

The Tomko vs Joe match was alright, it was expectable that Tomko would win in this way as they cant let Joe get beaten the crap out of him right now, since he's the main character in this whole thing..

I would agree with you on the part that they should've made it Tomko vs Nash and Styles vs Joe..

I didn't even watch the Kong vs Salinas (or however its spelt) match, since that would be boring, only Kim, Kong and ODB in matches with eachother can make me watch women wrestle in TNA, maybe even ill watch Velvet Sky and Angelina Love, but that's for some other reason...

The Battle Royal match was in my opinion absolutely rubbish, why would you have Curry Man (who is very entertaining) and Rellik be the last 2 in the match when you have stars in the Battle like Petey Williams and Jay Lethal and MCMG...

The Angle vs Cage match was indeed, an instant classic, really loved this 1... shame they went off air with Cage alone in the ring i would like to see how they would\ve gotten him out of there

"Speaking of Mesias, his losing streak continued after getting beaten by Rhino. I think Mesias has potential to be an upper-tier character, but it’s not looking good for him at the moment"

Mesias is supposedly done with TNA, at least on a full-time basis. Last night was the end for him.

Watch it ! Don West is my uncle ! Just joking !! Good idea Kev but I'm sure Nash would never "lower" himself to such a position just yet . Another good post Kev .

Wait a second...Rellik...Killer....

Rellik is Killer spelled backwards!

T!N!A! T!N!A! T!N!A!

I like the thinking behind the Rough Cut as well. They should do more of these "tear down the wall" segments...Like their Japanese tour documentary thingie. I think TNA would be better suited not doing a "live" show, per se, but going into these pre-edited, documentary style pieces. Trend less hokey 80s/90s wrestling and taking a page out of the MMA stuff.

i have a premonition, theres gonna be a bad comady skit that ruins the Roxxi Laveaux character. anyone agree?

Yes, Kevin et al... Killer spelled backwards is Rellik! This is kind of like a palindrome. (Otto spelled backward is ottO) :)
but it isnt...
Other famous palindromes that really arent include the laxative Serutan, which is Natures spelled backwards.

Which leads me to my point: I cant stand Kevin Nash in the ring. It seemed easier to make that big stiff go over a smaller AJ than it would to put him over Tomko (The mark in me would love to see Tomko totally squash big Kev. I mean stretcher job total)

Other observations
Roxxi Lavouix's talent and persona were totally wasted.

Curry Man is not Christopher Daniels. Sorry to disappoint, but Daniels was bald and Curry Man has long hair...

I mark for SCSB

RESPONSE FROM KEVIN ECK: Daniels is wearing a wig.

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About Kevin Eck
The Baltimore Sun's Kevin Eck blogs about professional wrestling.
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