Welcome to the all TNA column! TNA opens with a backstage brawl between Tara and Mickie James. These two are reasonably talented wrestlers and it’s nice to see the women grab the spotlight again. These gals put on a brawl just as good as the men until Madison, Serena and the Beautiful People show up and turn it into a street fight. The talent drops as the participants rise but there’s still some good brawling. They eventually all end up in the ring and Ric Flair comes out with Gunner and Murphy, the security guard newbie wrestlers. Flair takes a whole heap of slaps here but still won’t hit a woman. For some reason Flair is able to book a six-woman tag match for later. I have no complaints whatsoever with how this was handled.
Bischoff and Flair are palling around, but still concerned about Angle. The head trainer complains Ken Anderson shouldn’t be facing Jeff Jarrett tonight given he has a concussion. Not sure how I feel about that. Even Matt Morgan is opposed to this. Oh and it’s a Steel Chain Match.
Jay Lethal has a casket and Taz has a nice, subtle dig at The Undertaker while he does. It’s Abyss he’s after. And he gets him. I still don’t know why there’s a casket here. Abyss kidnaps some fans, again sending the wrong message. Jeff Jarrett wants Samoa Joe at Turning Point, but plans to take out Mr. Anderson tonight. Robbie E (Jersey Shore boy) takes on X Division champion Jay Lethal in a “Jersey Street Fight” for a shot at Jay’s title at Turning Point. I bet he wins. There was a time when the X Division was the best thing going on this show, but those days are long gone. If you are going to put a guy in a trashcan and hit it with something, a kendo stick isn’t that impressive a weapon. Cookie’s can of spray tan blinds Lethal and gives Robbie E the match after a rather tame match for a Street Fight.
EV 2.0 is out wondering why RVD has been ignoring their calls and tweets. I cannot make this up. So they call him out to reassure Rob they are on his side. Wow Raven goes to the weed reference. Rob is not buying it. So Fortune comes out to rub their dysfunction in their face. Fortune has EV 2.0, again at Turning Point but tonight Raven and RVD have to team up to face Kaz and AJ. Doug William is annoyed he never gets to wrestle any more. So Flair swaps him in for Kaz.
The Knockouts have yet another brawl before they even get in the ring. Serena hits a cool Tiger Bomb like finisher on Velvet and the heels get the win. A bit anti-climatic after all the build up but, overall, the Knockouts do a great job tonight. There’s a good three team tag match between Generation Me, Ink Inc., and The Motor City Machineguns. The title is on the line, but the guns retain. That brings out Team 3-D to restate their challenge to the guns. They claim they are retiring. My sources tell me they just re-signed. The guns finally accept the challenge.
With Matt Morgan taking his concerns about Ken Anderson to Eric Bischoff I’m starting to think he’s turning face. His Fortune-mates AJ and Douglas are up against RVD and Raven. The heels jump Raven before RVD even comes out from the back. Rob walks to the ring at grandmother speed while Raven is getting beat down. Another of TNA’s useless refs takes forever to restore order. Even the heels aren’t getting along but Flair sneaks to ring side and takes out Raven with the title belt. RVD doesn’t see it and the heels get the win, but Williams is still upset because AJ stole his pin. It’s way too soon for Fortune to be utterly falling apart. The show needs to be about the faces banding together to take out the heels, not the heels self-destructing while the faces are fractious and ineffective.
The main event doesn’t even start until Reaction is on. Instead they waste time plugging an appearance by their talent on The Family Feud. Matt Morgan comes out before Anderson to try to talk sense into Jarrett. It goes as well as you’d expect. We haven’t seen Ken Anderson all night and I’m not sure we even will. The crowd is chanting “Morgan”. The big man chains himself to Jarrett and they start the match with these guys. Matt’s not even in wrestling gear. Credit to TNA this turn is going really well. It’s a good match for the time they have. Morgan goes for the Carbon Footprint, but Jarrett ducks under it then crotches Morgan with the chain for the pin. Morgan gets post-match revenge and is about to choke him out when his former Fortune allies come after him. They end up hanging Morgan with the chain, something you won’t see on WWE.
I decided to give TNA it’s own column this week because it’s one of the better shows they’ve done in a while. The heels end up on top again, but they’re taking losses. Morgan looked great for the first time in a long time. The problem with TNA is the same problem WCW had when Bischoff ran it. All the focus is on the heels and there are no strong faces to get behind. RVD is being misbooked as paranoid and petty. Joe is out. Kurt is out. Anderson didn’t show up tonight. Without turning Morgan I don’t know what they would have done. I again point out that this show had no Hulk Hogan and again it’s good. Maybe Hogan is still doing a lot backstage but having him off screen seems to help the product not harm it.