TNA’s special TV episode, The Whole Effin’ Show, seems worthy of devoting full attention to. Expect a lot of wrestling here and, if TNA isn’t lying, Pay Per View quality matches. And we’re opening with Kurt Angle versus AJ Styles so I’m feeling pretty good from the start. Did AJ get a huge new tattoo? It’s distracting. Both guys are getting support from the typically wacky Impact Zone crowd. Styles busts out the Pele, Angle hits a Moonsault Bodypress. AJ kicks out of an Angle Slam as they tease a lot of finishes. But the real finish comes when AJ goes for a mule kick low blow only to be caught and reversed into the Ankle Lock. AJ doesn’t last long in the hold and the forgone conclusion of Angle winning is realized.
Straight into another match, well after the commercial, as Angelina Love challenges again for the Knockouts title. These two are not the best female wrestlers in the world but they keep the crowd into it. The motorcycle mystery woman shows up again, only to be attacked by Velvet Sky. Velvet rips the helmet off but the mystery woman is wearing a mask under that. What a tease. Madison Rayne tries to win with a belt shot but Angelina gets the last laugh and captures the title once again.
Another commercial then a custom intro by Ken Anderson but we’re going straight into another match, a Triple Threat Match between Anderson, Matt Morgan and The Pope D’Angelo Dinero. The crowd chants “You Still Suck” and I’m not even sure who they are aiming that at. Oddly, the two faces are double teaming Morgan at first. But that only lasts until the first attempt at a cover. It’s not a very long match and the ending is boring as Anderson takes down the Pope, only to be ambushed by Matt Morgan who steals the pin.
Jeff Hardy made an open challenge. Let’s see if anyone interesting responds. Shannon Moore? Really? That’s it? It’s certainly a fast paced match as these two friends go at it. And the announcers have no issue repeatedly telling us these two are friends. There’s no doubt Hardy is going to win but he goes out of his way to make his buddy look good out there.
Now a match that’s been building for weeks, the finals of the best of 5 series between Beer Money and The Motor City Machineguns. It’s a two out of three falls match. No rest period between falls though. The crowd is totally into this match as both teams show their stuff. Beer Money grab the first fall but the Guns even it up very quickly and we’re into sudden death. But the third fall is worthy of being a match by itself and it could go either way several times. There’s far too much double teaming, a problem with TNA and its treatment of officials, but when the Guns finally do pick up the win their celebration is well earned. TNA is trying to make tag team wrestling matter again and they’re doing a better job than WWE lately.
We’ve been “promised” Hulk Hogan is going to speak tonight. So why is the main event starting now? A Stairway to Janice match may be the stupidest name of all time. Abyss goes for the weapon before RVD even gets to the ring but a flying kick takes the ladder down. After the match Van Dam went through against Sabu at Hardcore Justice I’m surprised at how physical they make this match. Lots of fun with ladders. Tacks, barbed wire and glass also make appearances. A Rolling Thunder onto a board covered in barbed wire is a very nice visual spot. Abyss’s hardcore tactics keep backfiring on him but it’s he who climbs the ladder and claims Janice. Van Dam does some nice high flying moves that end up getting him the win. I suppose you’d expect him to win when the show is named after him.
After a whole night of action-packed matches it’s time for Hulk Hogan to send us home on a low note. More Hardcore Justice talk? Is he actually trying to justify that show as helping the brand. They drag out all the EC- I mean EV 2.0 people out. Sabu, Guido, Mamluke and even Bill Alphonso are still around collecting paychecks that could go to stolen Ring of Honor talent. No Raven in this lovefest. The lights go out, and we’re expecting Sandman but instead it’s Fortune, Matt Morgan and I’m not sure who else who attack the EV 2.0 guys. Raven and Sandman even try to come to the rescue. Abyss join the party to get some revenge on RVD and, sadly, this storyline is not going to die. When your storyline is talented wrestlers people care about beating up has-beens why would any self-respecting fan cheer for the has-beens?
A really solid episode of Impact. Some long running storylines were continued with the matches but we were heavy on the action until the unfortunate final scene. For TNA’s sake let’s hope a lot of people tuned out before Hogan arrived.