High times amongst the lows: TNA Impact 4/19/10

The previous night’s Lockdown event left us with a suitable conclusion to the Team Flair vs. Team Hogan feud, but with one seemingly ready to go on when AJ Styles cheated D’Angelo Dinero out of his world title opportunity.  So one of those feuds was dropped entirely, while the other had a rematch made.  Can you guess which one was which?  Remember to use TNA logic.

AJ Styles started the show by bragging about his momentum as champion, which brought out both Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy.  Titles were mentioned, words exchanged, and finally it was set that Jeff Hardy and RVD would have a match to decide who would challenge Styles for his title in the main event.  D’Angelo Dinero was not seen nor heard from, seemingly ending two months of build with barely a whimper of a finish.  In a pretty good match, RVD defeated Hardy and came back out to challenge Styles for his title…and won.  That’s right – the night after a two month title feud that ended with a screwjob finish, RVD took down Styles and captured the TNA championship.  There was a massive celebration, but I’ll get to that in a moment.

Eric Bischoff, in full babyface mode, interrupted a beating of Jeff Jarrett and Abyss by announcing that there would be a rematch between Team Hogan and Team Flair on Impact, but with Rob Terry and a mystery partner filling in for RVD and Jeff Hardy.  Though not in a cage, the match still had the timed entrances, this time with Team Flair getting the advantage (which I guess they got for not winning the previous night).  But it wasn’t that big of a deal, as the match had no weapons and forced each guy to tag in and out of the match.  So basically it was the Lethal Lockdown without the excitement.  Finally, all participants made it to the ring except for the mystery partner for Team Hogan.  The buzzer went off and out came Samoa Joe. 

Now let me stop for a moment and look at this one.  When last we saw Samoa Joe, he got kidnapped from the Impact Zone by a bunch of masked guys in a white van.  We’ve gotten one something-or-other video since then, but other than that, no Joe.  So now, Eric Bischoff says he got in contact with someone who was itching to come back, and that’s Joe?  What the hell happened?  Was it Eric Bischoff that kidnapped him?  Did the kidnappers just let him go and he’s been hanging around at home?  I would say that TNA was quietly going to let the kidnapping thing drop (it was pretty stupid, after all), but Mike Tenay almost immediately mentioned it as he entered.

Anyway, Joe comes in, hits the Muscle Buster for the win, and Team Hogan beats Team Flair for the 80th time.  Goodnight, everybody!

As for the rest of the show…

  • TNA announced earlier in the day that Daffney and a partner of her choosing would get a tag title shot against the Beautiful People.  If you thought that was promoted for some purpose, you were wrong.  The partner was ODB and they lost pretty quickly.
  • Matt Morgan tries to recruit Shannon Moore for a tag title defense next week against Team 3D, but he declines, saying he has an X-Division title match then.
  • Hulk Hogan took a few minutes to make sexual innuendos with Eric Bischoff about a ditzy intern in a short skirt.  Yeah, that’s excellent television – creepy old guys talking dirty.
  • After their match, RVD and Jeff Hardy watched replays while giving some comments.  Not as exciting as you’d think, being that it was RVD and Jeff Hardy.  Let Mick Foley and Mr. Anderson commentate on replays and compare the two.
  • After Team Flair lost (again), Ric Flair challenged Abyss to a match, with both men’s WWE Hall of Fame rings at stake.
  • That was it.  There were only four matches on the show (two of which had Rob Van Dam in them).  Doesn’t seem like two hours, does it?

Looking Back
So Rob Van Dam is the new TNA champion.  Huh.  How about that?  Looks like TNA wanted to go in a new direction, but didn’t want to waste the time actually setting it up.  How very TNA of them.  At the end of the show, the babyfaces of TNA came out along with Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff and Dixie Carter to hoist RVD on their shoulders and ticker tape filled the arena.  It was quite the celebration – and one that didn’t make sense whatsoever.  A celebration like that works if the champion de-throned had something of a reign of terror with the title, and the challenger fought a long battle to finally overcome his nemesis.  Think of Sting vs. Hollywood Hogan at Starrcade 1997.  That called for the celebration, since Sting had gone over a year in the buildup, and it signalled a definite turn in the battle against the nWo (at least at the time).

AJ Styles has hardly been a menace in his time as champion.  His group has suffered loss after loss and he himself has been little more than a wannabe fanboy to Ric Flair the entire time.  Rob Van Dam?  He wasn’t even directly involved in the Hogan vs. Flair feud until two weeks ago, fighting against the Band Wolfpac before that.  So he gets into the title picture and wins it in less than two hours.  Why should I care?  You can’t just pretend something’s important by throwing a bunch of people in the ring.  You have to build it up.  Rob Van Dam’s title chase could have been a big event that would have sold a pay per view.  But instead, it was done and gone without any promotion to even get people to watch the show.

Hey, remember when I said that the Lockdown match wouldn’t end the Hogan vs. Flair feud?  See?  Next time you’ll believe me.  Apparently getting crushed at Lockdown wasn’t enough, so Flair rolled out the team and had them lose again.  It says something that Ric Flair gets so frustrated with his team that he basically tells them that he has to do things himself.  Especially when his team is made up of Sting, Robert Roode, James Storm and Desmond Wolfe.  It also says something when another company’s magical rings are more hotly contested than any of your titles.

As for the rest of my bitching comments:

  • So Daffney’s a face now?  How did that happen?  And where were Angelina Love and Tara?
  • Jeez, what does it say about Matt Morgan when he gets dissed by Shannon Moore?
  • And why the hell does Shannon Moore keep getting X-Division title shots?  There are like 10 other guys who are in the division.
  • I like that Rob Terry got the push with Team Hogan, but it really came out of left field.  Not half as bad as Samoa Joe, though.
  • I wanted to hear Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan make dirty jokes about as much as I want to hear about Vince McMahon being a genetic jackhammer.  At least his is said in parody.
  • I’m sorry, but if your show involves two segments in which Rob Van Dam is required to talk, you may want to add something else in.
  • Who would have thought that Rob Terry would become the most relevant member of the British Invasion?
  • The whole Styles/Dinero thing seems like a huge letdown, doesn’t it?
  • Far, far, FAR too much Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan in this episode.

And thus we begin a NEW new chapter for TNA.  How dreadfully exciting.

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