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TNA Impact! - May 8, 2008
by Jillie

Well, here goes my first attempt at reviewing. Feedback!

I will start with commenting on how fast it seems every TNA PPV comes barrelling along. Just as I start getting used to the way life is after one PPV, BAM! here comes another! Sacrifice is this weekend. Sadly, I will have to download it on Monday, probably, as I am attending a BBQ in honour of the season finale of Survivor, for which I am in a pool, and losing horribly.

But anyway…

Impact this week was nothing special, really. It was the usual pre-PPV fodder, setting up the matches for this Sunday and summarizing how we got to where we are for those who have missed an episode or two or four.

The show started off with Jim Cornette and the first of the Egotistical Eight promos of the night. Jim brings out all of the participants – Matt Morgan, Kip James (whose entrance music is strangely similar to Living Colour’s “Cult of Personality,” which I know because I JUST beat it on Guitar Hero…), BG James, James Storm, Booker T, Robert Roode, Sting and Awesome Kong. Jim announces he will be drawing two of the four teams tonight and leaving the rest for us to discover on Sunday. The first team he pulls is Sting (which spawns the line of the night…”Sting! Come to the ring!”) and James Storm.

This pairing is hardly surprising given the heat the two have had since Sting’s return. This is the typical “how will they ever be able to co-exist!?” rhetoric that TNA loves so much, especially apparent because of the match Sting and James will be having later on tonight. Their match at Sacrifice will turn out in the usual way – miscommunication, a miraculous about face to mutual understanding, and finally some mishap that will appear accidental (but is it really!?) and lead to the obligatory brawl after the match.

Impact moves on to a nice little interview with Scott Steiner and friends, which is interrupted by Angle. Angle gives his usual “let’s put our differences aside for on night” speech, a speech we have heard time and time again whenever TNA Management makes Angle tag with someone he doesn’t see eye to eye with. Although this development is neither inventive nor unexpected, it is at least in line with the character Angle is trying to portray; a wrestler who will do anything, even cooperate with his enemies, to attain or retain the gold.

There is now a promo for the Terror Dome. I really, really hope they don’t fuck this up (am I allowed to swear in reviews!?) like they did with Elevation X. I am intrigued and excited to see this match, but at the same time I am frightened that this will be as lame as the electrified fence match between LAX and 3D.

Next up is a preview match for the Terror Dome featuring Curry Man (wasn’t there some debate some time ago about Curry Man actually being the MIA Christopher Daniels?), Jimmy Rave (whose name always makes me sing “Are You Jimmy Ray” in my head), Consequences Creed (who? Oh, didn’t he debut last PPV? What has he done? Not lived up to his promo vids, that’s for one), Johnny Devine (Go Canada!), Shark Boy (ahem...) and Petey Williams (who missed a spot whilst dying his goatee).
The fast tags created the momentum for this match, more so than the action itself. The obligatory chaos ensued and near the end of the match several of the wrestlers’ finishers were featured. The match was alright. It was a nice showcase of some of the supporting X Division roles (note that X Division big wigs such as Sonjay, Machismo and Motor City Machine Guns were absent). It was a decent way to set up the Terror Dome and to highlight the X Division, but the match was less than spectacular itself.

Next, TNA shows a “History of LAX” segment. Interestingly, this “History” only seems to start after the departure of Konnan. Furthermore, this “History” was less of a history than a profile. May be nit-picky on my part, but I prefer when professionals who put together segments for television or radio label their pieces accurately.

Following a brief Knockout segment, introducing the Immunity Match they’re about to have, we hear from Christian and Rhino, who are quickly interrupted by Jillie’s vote for Most Annoying Tag Team in History, 3D. I don’t what it is about 3D that annoys me, but I can not STAND their promos. Their matches are usually alright, but that usually depends on who they’re fighting. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s not 3D that I find annoying, it’s Brother Ray.

Anyway…As I watched this segment, I thought of the discussion I got into with DK recently about Christian being on the backburner. I argued that he was not, but I think I have to revise that statement. Teaming with Rhino makes sense given their long friendship et al, but here Christian is, once again, not in the main event but in a tag team situation where he is unable to work to his full potential. He’s a great tag team wrestler, don’t get me wrong, and his character lends itself to being teamed with or in a stable alongside others because his cockiness needs an antithesis, I think, but I prefer him as a single’s wrestler, battling it out in the ring and in promos with the champ.

Next up is the Immunity Match for the TNA Knockouts. The winner is immune from having her head shaved at Sacrifice. This match was a wonderful showcase of the fact that Knockouts are NOT Divas. Angelina Love and Velvet Sky have, despite my fear at the outset that they would be your typical slutty female wrestlers, have continued to impress me in their matches. Tracy Brooks earns my vote for most improved since breaking up with Robert Roode (btw, her entrance music is suspiciously similar to Aerosmith’s “Rag Doll,” FYI), and Jackie Moore has been a favourite of mine since her debut. Gail Kim and ODB were, of course, great. However, Salinas, and Roxxi Laveaux have not impressed me yet. Salinas has yet to be in “real” match, one on one or in a tag situation with anyone that I’ve seen, so I’ll still give her the benefit of the doubt. My problem with Roxxi Laveaux (who’s last name is incredibly hard to type) is mostly her blasé character. For a voodoo queen she sure is tame. She comes across to me as having no intensity, no drive, and no ambition in her matches. A voodoo queen should be intense, intimidating and driven. Lastly, there is Christy Hemme. I don’t think I need to say much about her, because you can probably guess what I think. I must mention, however, that she wins the award for Most Retarded Move Name for ther Flaming Firecrotch Guillotine.

Sting vs Storm is next. Someone needed to pass the announcer a lozenge. He was having a bad night. Haha. Anyhow, this match was fairly intense but unusually short. I would have liked to see it go a big longer as there was some great chemistry going on. Just as I started getting into the match, it was over. Ah well, maybe there will be a reprise at the PPV or afterward. I do have to comment on the fact that surely TNA can afford better walls…They’re always being broken!

JB is up next with Kip James. It’s been a while since Kip was promoing for himself…usually BG does the talking. I quite enjoyed Kip’s promo, though. I like the direction they’re taking his character, as well. I think this segment spawned the moment of the night; when JB made fun of Kip’s hot pants. I sometimes wonder how much of those little interludes are scripted, and how many of them are just ad libbed.

Jim Cornette is now in the ring for the second of the two Egotistical Eight promos. We really had to go through everyone’s entrances once again, I’m sure. Matt Morgan and Kip James are teaming together, again, not surprisingly. The way this is going, I’m going to go ahead and predict the next two teams. Even though I think it should be Roode and his masochism teaming with Kong, Roode is going to be stuck with his arch rival Booker T, and BG is going to get his wish for teaming with Kong (which is ironic if you remember the VKM vs Christy Hemme storyline from a while back).

Kip and Matt Morgan’s match is up without delay. I’ll admit, I didn’t really watch this one, as I was getting ready for my DJ gig. I’m sure the match was wonderful.

The saving grace of the next promo, featuring Scott “I Can’t Understand What You’re Saying” Steiner and Kurt Angle was, in fact, Petey Williams. I enjoyed his little voice of reason role between the two, even though we all know how this match is going to end – with some miscommunication between Angle and Steiner ending in a brawl of some kind. It’s usual TNA fodder, and I would expect nothing less from tonight.

Finally, it’s time for the main event; Scott Steiner and Kurt Angle vs Kevin Nash and Samoa Joe. I liked the psychology of having Nash take the punishment for Joe so that Joe is in better shape for the weekend. However, this match was pretty uneventful and blasé until Joe was tagged in. I don’t mine one-sided matches with a purpose, but there has to be a limit and I think this match over did the one-sidedness. Just like I suspected, the match ends with (gasp!) Steiner stealing the tag from Angle. This is something I never could understand. Why get angry that your tag team partner just won the match for you? He was probably the legal man, anyway.

So, there you have it. All in all, it was a pretty good show. Typically TNA in a lot of ways, and certainly nothing groundbreaking happened, but it was great as a prelude for Sacrifice. I feel I am up to date and excited about Sacrifice, looking forward to seeing who the other two teams for the Deuces Wild tournament will be and to find out whose head will be shaved.

Please feel free to give me feedback, seeing as how this is my first review ever. Thanks!

Until next week…

Jillie

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