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October 23, 2009

Desmond Wolfe: Impact player

Nigel McGuinness, or Desmond Wolfe as he is now known, could not have been put over any stronger in his TNA debut than he was on Impact Thursday night.

The former Ring of Honor champion, who recently signed with TNA after having agreed to a verbal deal with WWE last month, attacked TNA’s top star, Kurt Angle, in two separate segments (including taking out Angle at the end of the show), and he’ll probably be wrestling Angle at the Turning Point pay-per-view on Nov. 15.

There are conflicting reports as to why Wolfe ended up in TNA – he said that it was a business decision on WWE’s part, while sources have said that he failed WWE’s pre-screening test due to a medical issue – but regardless of what the real reason is, as far as getting an immediate push, Wolfe is in the right place. Had he signed with WWE, I can’t imagine Wolfe laying out John Cena, or Triple H or The Undertaker on his first night with the company.

In addition to Wolfe’s debut, another strong episode of Impact featured two entertaining gimmick matches – an Ultimate X match between The Motor City Machine Guns and Lethal Consequences (won by TMCMG), and a Six Sides of Steel Match for the TNA tag team title between The British Invasion and Beer Money (won by disqualification by Beer Money).

Other thoughts on Thursday’s show:

Angle, who appears to be a full-fledged babyface, cut a good promo in which he put over younger guys such as A.J. Styles, Matt Morgan and Eric Young. Angle is a terrific heel, but he can be an effective babyface as well, and it probably was time for a change.

I cringed when Angle, who has a well-documented history of neck problems, took the Tower of London (an RKO off the top rope) from Wolfe. ..

Rhino cut another great promo when he confronted Angle. His intensity was tremendous and very realistic. Rhino and Young are the two hottest heels in the company, and who would have ever believed that? ...

After Rhino generated so much heat with his promo, I hated to see him get pinned by Hernandez in a match that only lasted a few minutes. What made it even worse was that Hernandez also got the better of Rhino in the post-match angle. I know Hernandez is getting a push, but I think some sort of disqualification would have helped Rhino without hurting Hernandez. ...

I sure hope Team 3D preventing Hernandez from hitting the Border Toss on Rhino, as well as Rhino’s attempt to get Team 3D to see his point about veterans being pushed aside, is not going to result in Team 3D turning heel and TNA doing yet another young-vs.-old feud. Been there, done that. ...

A three-way TNA world title match between Styles, Samoa Joe and Daniels at Turning Point will be good and all, but what have Joe and Daniels done – in the context of the story line – to earn title shots. Since Bobby Lashley just defeated Joe, shouldn’t he get a shot before him? ...

Having Daniels job to Kevin Nash in a tag team match is not the best way to build up Daniels for his title match. It was done to create dissension between Daniels and Styles, but the whole feuding partners thing is overdone. Why not just have Daniels and Styles agree to put their friendship aside for the match rather than having them at odds? ...

I’m guessing that it will be implied that it was Daniels – and not Joe – who attacked Styles in the parking lot. ...

Did James Storm really say to Doug Williams, “Take your tampon out and grow yourself a set?” That’s what I thought he said. ...

Scott Steiner’s promo before his match with Morgan was funny. He didn’t know if Morgan’s first name was Matt or Mike. “It doesn’t matter. I’ll beat them both up,” he said.

With Morgan getting a major push, I would like to have seen him defeat Steiner clean instead of Lashley’s interference setting up the pin. However, TNA is booking a program between Steiner and Lashley, so I suppose it makes sense from that standpoint. ...

It looked absolutely ridiculous that referee Earl Hebner had to keep his back to the action on the floor – where Lashley and Steiner were going at – for so long. Mike Tenay tried to play off Hebner not calling for a DQ by saying it was the referee’s discretion. The way Hebner positioned himself in the ring, however, sure made it appear that he wasn’t supposed to see Lashley interfering. What in the world could Hebner have been talking to Morgan about all that time?

Kristal Lashley was shown on camera at the Bound for Glory pay-per-view and she was involved in an angle with Steiner on Impact, so it looks as if the former WWE diva might become on on-air character. Bobby Lashley, by the way, did not seem as enraged as he should have been when he attacked Steiner after Steiner put his hands on his wife. ...

I don’t think we’re going to see Raisha Saeed anymore after she was power-bombed off the ramp by Awesome Kong and taken out on a stretcher. The good news is we’ll probably see more of Alissa Flash. ...

The Homicide-Amazing Red match was good. The Gringo Killa on Red looked dangerous.

The Meanest Girls reality show segments with The Beautiful People have potential, but the first one, which featured a food fight in catering, wasn’t anything special. ...

Was it just me, or was Lauren in just about every segment? As long as she’s not trying to act, I’m not complaining. ...

It felt strange not having Mick Foley – who usually is all over the show – not on at all. I’m not complaining about that, either. I love Mick, but you never want a character to become over-exposed. ...

I thought the graphics, featuring the wrestlers’ height, weight, experience and finishing maneuver, were a nice addition.

Posted by Kevin Eck at 9:12 PM | | Comments (19)


Judging by how many times you posted this Kev (3x) , I'm guessing you feel that D. Wolfe is an Impact player :)

RESPONSE FROM KE: Yeah, our publishing platform hiccuped while I was trying to post. It went from not appearing at all to appering three times.

Having grown tired of Monday Night HHHaw, I decided to check out Impact this week. Not surprisingly, the least impressive performer on the show was Bobby Lashley. When he came to Krystal's rescue, he just jogged over with a nonchalant look on his face. If someone were to molest your wife, would you not look incensed? He wasn't much more convincing in the post-brawl interview.

On a positve note, Homicide and Amazing Red were impressive.

Taz says "well-documented" too much.

All in all a decent show with a great push to Wolf. The chair on the neck was a very nice touch. Loved the MCMG match and them getting the win. At least they have some credibility where one could think that they could become the Champs. Those others, L-C, are mid-carders at best. The cage match was fabulous and the four-man super-plex was off the charts, for a free TV show! There is never enough Velvet Sky, however. Taz is an awful desk jockey. The arguing with Bubba was stupid at best. Why is he even there?

TNA is not RAW, a very big thank you for that!

Matt Morgan? Mike Morgan? Steiner, what were you thinking about...the wrestler or the Orioles pitchers who contributed to the woeful 1988 season? Whichever, unfortunately, either 1 could still make the Orioles rotation.

"...The way Hebner positioned himself in the ring, however, sure made it appear that he wasn’t supposed to see Lashley interfering. What in the world could Hebner have been talking to Morgan about all that time?"

Heb - Listen, it looks like Steiner's going to be out of the ring for a while, so as long as we got a moment I gotta ask you something, does this ref outfit make me look fat?

Mork - Ah, jeez, man, I dunno.

Heb - Aw, c'mon, tell me. I trust your judgement.

Mork - Really? Even after all that stuff with Angle constantly playing me for a fool?

Heb - Yeah, man, we all make mistakes and I know that wasn't a true reflection of your mental acuity.

Mork - Cool, man, thanks, I was worried people would hold that against me. It does look like Steiner's going to be out of the ring for a while so, you know, I wouldn't normally have a conversation like this in the middle of a match, but, yeah, Heb, all the respect in the world for you, but stripes just aren't your friend.

Heb - Aw, damn. Are you sure? Maybe I should turn around so you can get a look at the back?

Mork - NO! NO! Ah, no, I mean neither of us needs to see what's going on back there...

Good lord, if my mind was able to make sense of that I've been watching too much Russo!

P.S. "This is your brain on TNA."

Lauren cracks me up with how she always looks so horrified by the horrific goings on on IMpact a half dozen times or so each week. Shouldn't she be used to and desensitized to it by now?

Let me get this straight, Team 3D prevented Rhyno (someone security had to hold them back from earlier) from being Border Tossed, just so they could hold Hernandez's hands up in victory? [Begins 'fire Russo' chant]

I dunnno, Eck... Taz laid out Angle his first night in WWE.

Of course, things never got better for him after that.

RESPONSE FROM KE: Well, that was a little different. Taz had been built up for weeks with videos, and then he beat Angle in a match on PPV. Wolfe showed up unannounced and I'm guessing a lot of people didn't know who he was.

The title match puzzles me too. I'm excited to see all 3 in a main event, but couldnt TNA have spent a week or 2 building on a reason for this match to happen?

I loved the show but does it annoy anyone else that everytime they do a slam, punch or anything that is an attack, they zoom in really close then zoom right back out? It gets really old after a while.

The wrestling and storylines are good but their camera work seems pretty mediocre. Especially during live PPV's where lots of spots are missed.

I heard that Tomko was returning to TNA and he's the one who attacked AJ. On another side note, I heard that Lance Cade is returning to WWE. Who would have ever thought either one of those returns would have ever happened?

THis was a good wreslting show. I've about given up on Raw. ECW has some moments. Superstars too. Smackdown is good when Punk is on the mike.

Another very good Impact. More focus on wrestling and character intensity is the direction they seem to be going, which is much needed. I am glad Foley wasn't on; not a big fan of his and he can be in too many segments.

Hopefully Steiner gets a bigger role. Steiner equals great quotes and can give a great match on a limited basis. I wish they would replace Taz with him. Taz is awful. It would be a great way to freshen things up since Steiner has had a great career and is a known commodity.

I think Lashley has the same problem a lot of WWE'ers have when they leave their; they are limited workers who get covered by the story line and production values, and the WWE brand name.

TBP really miss Angelina. They should get rid of Lacey and Madison and bring in Brooks and Hemme. Traci is a great worker and is decent on the mic, and could take over Angelina's role.

Keep up the good columns Kev.

I haven't seen Impact for a couple months now (damn you, Project Runway!), and it seems that the shows lately have been much better than they were previously. Is there any way to catch a rerun or watch it online?

It was a nice debut, aside from the name. Although I won't be surprised when he's doing a British Bulldog impression and tagging with Black Machismo in 3 months.

As far as Lashley, didn't everyone learn from Goldberg?

Goldberg when he said nothing but "who's next?" and destroy people = huge star

Goldberg when he's cutting promos & "acting" = a disaster

I liked Desmond Wolfe's debut.

I always thought that the man formerly known as Nigel McGuiness would make it on the national scene. The difference between him and say Bryan Danielson is that Wolfe(Nigel) has the mic skills, charisma, and personality. Plus, he can wrestle.

Danielson is as good (if not better) than Wolfe.

The only difference is that wrestling fans are going to be a lot more familiar with Wolfe than Danielson because he's already in a high profile program with one of the best in the business. Danielson definitely won't be given the same push in WWE.

Thanks for the positive review to a really horrible show Kev!

People like you keep me employed.

Who would have ever thought there would be a DQ in a cage match? I kill wrestling a little more every week.


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

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