Wednesday, 20 September 2017

TV REVIEW: TNA Impact - January 29th, 2009

Orlando, Florida

Making good on the promise they made on the last show, the Main Event Mafia are taking over Impact this week.

(NOTE: This review was originally written at the time that The January, 29th 2009 episode of Impact actually aired. I found a bunch of my old TNA reviews in my archives recently and wanted to share them on RPW, so here we are.) 

Despite protests from Jim 'I Have No Authority' Cornette, Kurt Angle takes his station in Jeff Jarrett's office, Booker T and Kevin Nash assume announcing duties, Sharmell is the new backstage announcer and Scott Steiner takes on the role of ring announcer.

It's part funny, part confusing, part incentive to turn the channel. But hey, let's see how it goes.

Knockouts Handicap Match: ODB vs. Sojo Bolt, Rhaka Khan, Raisha Saeed and TNA Women's Knockout Champion, Awesome Kong.

Sadly for the girls, their decent effort in the ring is overshadowed by the broadcasting efforts of Booker T and Kevin Nash, who assume alter-egos (Booker becomes the rambling ‘Black Snow’ whilst Nash adopts the name ‘Chet Lemon’...or something) as they take over the announce table.

Meanwhile, Scott Steiner is, intentionally or not, hilarious in his role as ring announcer. Though it isn’t clear whether we’re supposed to think Steiner can’t read, or whether he actually, legitimately can’t read the notes properly, the number of gaffs he makes whilst trying to introduce The Kongtourage (or ‘Kong-Fucious’ as Steiner puts it), are pure comedy.


Worryingly though, if this wasn’t intentional, shouldn’t Steiner really know the names of the stars on a programme in which he is a central character?

As for the action, which largely plays second-fiddle to everything else, ODB gets beaten up and planted with an Implant Buster for a loss.
Your Winners: The Kongtourage

Backstage, Kurt Angle is loving his moment of power and sends Jeremy Borash off to sell some Main Event Mafia T-shirts as we head back to the ring for one of the oddest matches we've heard of in ages.

Handicap Match: Booker T vs. The Referees (Rudy Charles & Andrew Thomas)

Before we get to the action, Sharmell goads the two zebras out from backstage. Trying to draw some humour out of the occasion, we get Thomas practically wetting himself whilst Charles elicits a sense of ill-fated self-confidence from his amateur wrestling background.

Not that it helps him much.
As you might expect, the TNA Legends Champion mauls the striped-shirts in one of the most pointless matches there’s ever been. Yeah, Booker, everyone’s really scared of a wrestler who can beat up two scrawny, largely defenceless referees.
Your Winner: Booker T

In the post-match, Shane ‘Silly Beard’ Sewell legs it ring-wards and rocks Booker with some heavy fists before he’s finally nailed with a scissor kick.

Sting Stung by Angle

Back in the boss’s office, Sting confronts his Main Event Mafia brother and Against All Odds opponent, Kurt Angle. As he makes it known that he’s less than thrilled about taking on Team 3D in a handicap match tonight, Sting teases a turn back to the good-guy squad; not that his ‘heel turn’ has ever really come off. The fans still love The Stinger, and likely always will.

Sharmell with Matt Morgan.

Matt Morgan cuts a decent promo here, and is certainly better on the stick than this writer would’ve imagined. It’s just a shame, then, that he’s out to hype a match against a one-armed man.

Matt Morgan vs. Petey Williams

Yes, I know ‘Maple Leaf Muscle’ has both his upper limbs, but since the Main Event Mafia are running the show tonight, he’s only allowed to use one of them.

Despite the daft setup, this is actually pretty entertaining as Morgan spends the early part of the match swatting Petey Williams away like a well-jacked fly, before finally finding a way to dominate.

The twist comes when the referee sneakily frees Petey’s redundant arm, allowing the little whippersnapper to fly about the place with aplomb before finally tasting the sole of one of Morgan’s giant boots and ultimately losing the match.
Your Winner: Matt Morgan

Afterwards, Morgan and Petey-hater-cum-ring-announcer, Scott Steiner, do a number on the Canadian. Frontline jobbers Eric Young, Consequences Creed and Black Machismo Jay Lethal do their best to rescue their comrade but are eventually overthrown by the ‘Mafia clan in another long and tedious beatdown.

   

Team 3D Speak

With the IWJP tag titles in tow, Brother Ray & Brother Devon come out to address Sting, Kurt Angle and the Main Event Mafia, admitting that they actually feel sorry for The Stinger and thus don’t want to fight him tonight. They’re still going to though, and that match comes right after another entertaining speech from the former Dudleys.


Handicap Match: Sting vs. Team 3D

Midway through what turns out to be an above-average encounter, Scott Steiner turns the tables in his stable-mate’s favour by getting involved in the match. As does Kurt Angle, who plays his part with a nasty low blow and eventually costs Sting the match by disqualification.

Yet whilst the action in the ring is pretty enjoyable, the maniacal play-by-play efforts of Booker ‘Black Snow’ T stop being funny and are just pretty damn annoying in this match.
Your Winners by Disqualification: Team 3D.

The post-match sees another prolonged Main Event Mafia attack, this one finally is  brought to a halt by the arrival of Abyss, LAX and TNA Shareholder, Mick Foley.

After helping clear the ring of the Mafia boys, Foley goes on to put an end to their ‘experiment in booking’ (which, truth be told, is it exactly what Impact seems to be half the time!).

Further more, the Hardcore Legend gives Hernandez another shot at Sting’s World Title (to be used at some point down the line), puts Scott Steiner in a weapons match against The Monster Abyss and throws Angle in a handicap match against LAX later on tonight.

By now, order has been restored, with TNA’s usual clan of announcers, interviewers and whatever Lauren is supposed to be, assuming their usual positions.

This is when TNA Management’s Jim Cornette joins West and Tenay to drop the bombshell of the century. Only joking, he announces that Booker T will fight Shane Sewell at Against All Odds. Wow, can’t wait for that one.

Weapons Match: The Monster Abyss vs. Big Poppa Pump Scott Steiner

With Foley stacking the odds against the Main Event Mafia, this is a weapons match with a twist; weapons are legal for Abyss, but not Steiner.

As matches featuring Scott Steiner go, this isn’t a bad one and ends in another DQ finish when, predictably, Steiner can’t resist the urge to plant Abyss with a leadpipe.
Your Winner by Disqualification: Abyss

Afterwards, Steiner continues the beatdown on his opponent before Suicide returns to the fold, swooping down on a zip-line and rescuing the Monster.

Handicap Match: Kurt Angle vs. LAX

With Angle outnumbered, he nonetheless enters into another solid match against Homicide and Hernandez, finally planting Super Mex with an Angle Slam for the win.
Your Winner: Kurt Angle



You’ve got to admit, this episode of TNA Impact was very much like every other. Some decent action (both in the ring and on the microphone) totally destroyed by a complete lack of logic and an overabundance of really stupid ideas.

The whole ‘Main Event Mafia Takes over Impact’ angle was a direct rip-off of World Championship Wrestling’s ill-fated idea to have the New World Order do the same to Nitro, and it bombed just as badly. So much so, in fact, that you have to wonder whether Foley’s intervention was actually planned or if someone in the back suddenly thought ‘God, this is horrible, get it stopped!’

If you ask me (which, I’ll admit, nobody ever does), TNA needs to find a pay-off to this whole Main Event Mafia programme, and soon. The company’s babyfaces are getting their backsides handed to them week in, week out (heck, even the poor refs aren’t immune from the Mafia) and I’m sure I can’t be the only one growing ever-more bored with this total dominance of the Main Event Mafia. Hopefully, the return of Samoa Joe will help not only put an end to this nonsense, but also make Joe an even bigger star. Here’s praying!


I'm slowly working my way through re-publishing all of my old TNA reviews from 2008 - 2009. For now, you can also read:

PPVS: 
TNA Impact: 
For more TNA, WCW, and WWE/WWF reviews follow Retro Pro Wrestling on Twitter or hit 'like' on the brand new Facebook page.


    

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.