“Who Rung the Bell?” – TNA iMPACT! 29/03/11

Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson: "Who Rang the Bell?"

Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson: "Who Rang the Bell?"

The second of my posts for TNAUK.tk, and, thankfully, a much better episode than last week, but not without its problems.

Opening: We begin with an opening video package for Mr. Anderson and his promos from the last few weeks, clumped together and… auto-tuned?

Auto-tuned? What? This sounds awful! Bring back the opening title sequence if this is a sign of things to come!

Mr. Anderson’s music hits and he appears at the top of the ramp with a smartly dressed guest. They walk to the ring where a whiteboard has been set up with some algorithms already on the board.

Anderson introduces the guest as his former Professor at University, who taught Maths. Anderson goes on to write on the whiteboard what he believes is the correct equasion for this situation that he currently finds himself in. Last weeks result of the Number 1 Contenders match is a “big, fat zero PLUS, the rematch which I believe I do deserve, equals WHERE’S MY FRICKIN’ REMATCH?!” He asks his Prof. if he agrees, and he does.

Then they get to the discussion of an old flame Anderson had in class. He claims the Professor didn’t like it when Anderson flirted with “Mary-Beth” and also claims that the Professor had a crush on her. He agrees that he had a small crush on her.

Anderson then says that Mary-Beth told him that the Professor told her Anderson was gay out of jealousy. Anderson shortly after gives the Prof. a Mic Check.

Awful opening segment from TNA. Cringe-worthy, almost. And as if it couldn’t get any worse, Hogan is coming out. This week, he doesn’t fist-bump with the crowd. Instead grabbing a sign with Bischoff that claim there’s be no wrestling without Hogan, and that Bischoff is a genius, then handing them back. Heel = bad guy. Another great job. NOT.

Bischoff says that Anderson’s an embarrassment. He shouldn’t be setting an example to people when he’s dropping people on their head for the reasons Anderson gave. He asks whatever Hogan saw in Anderson in the first place.

Hogan takes the mic and disagrees. He “digs” the thing Anderson just did, but he’s annoyed that Anderson is disregarding Hogan’s rules. He makes a match for Anderson against Rob Van Dam (again) and after Anderson proclaims that RVD isn’t in his league, RVD hits the ring as we go to a break.

Another Anderson/RVD match? All that talent, and they keep putting Anderson and RVD together.

RVD takes offense to what Anderson said, and demands that Anderson explain himself. Anderson says he’ll explain himself in the match “after this douche-bag [pointing at Hogan] put us in a match together.”

Another “oh no he didn’t!” moment from Anderson on Hogan. I’m surprised Hogan lets this go on, what with the size of his ego and all. This was probably the finest thing to come from the whole opening segment.

RVD then questions why he even signed for TNA, facing Hogan. He said he was burned out from politics (refering to the WWE) and said Russo, Dixie, Bischoff all called him, but when Hogan called him and said he could be himself, that was when he decided to sign.

“Quit holding me back and let me be the WHOLE F’N SHOW!” At which point, Sting comes out with an announcement of his own. “The network” has called him and said he’s the special enforcer for the main event, and if anything happens, he is in complete control.

So, this poses the question “who is ‘the network’?” They never refer to them being Spike TV, do they? It does make sense for Spike/’the network’ to be bothered about who’s on the show fighting, and losing Dixie has left Bischoff and Hogan in control. But they aren’t in control, because ‘the network’ keeps one-upping them.

Match 1: Mickie James vs. Tara.

Just before Tara’s short entrance, Madison Rayne tells Tara to make sure she gets the job done tonight, almost as if Madison was getting too big for her boots. This is also Tara’s first match in a while, which was, coincidentally, Tara vs. Mickie in a cage.

The match wasn’t your typical women’s fight. Mickie throws Tara in the ring from the apron, and goes straight on the attack with a flying forearm and a Thez-press. Tara gets on top after a couple of forearms, knocking Madison down. A perfect standing moonsault and attempted pin shows that Tara is still in excellent condition for wrestling. Mickie attempts a Hurricanrana, but Tara with a massive powerbomb. Tara goes high-risk, but Mickie hits the ropes to knock Tara on the top rope. Mickie then goes up top for another Hurricanrana, but Tara knocks her legs from under her. Now Mickie is sat in Tara’s lap (HELLO!) and is elbowed to get Mickie into a tree-of-woe. Tara then jumps off the top, holding Mickie’s legs, lands in a Boston Crab, then rolls forward, still holding the legs, and rolls back to put Mickie in the submission.

This looked quite a nasty move, but Tara impressed me by rolling head-first, and then back again into the Crab.

Mickie gets to the ropes, and Tara stalks. Mickie reverses an attempt at a gut-wrench, kicks the stomach and goes up for an absolutely HUGE DDT, spiking Tara into the mat.

Madison comes out and stares Mickie down.

A very good match. A decent length for a TV match. Both showed why they’re two of the best in America. This show needs more Knockout matches at this rate or better. Not short, run-in-filled clusters.

Backstage Segment: Sting and Anderson. Anderson says that they don’t like each other. He’s annoyed that Sting has “stole” his title shot. Sting refutes it and says it was “the network.” Anderson asks WHO is giving these decisions. Sting says it’s just “the network.”

Dixie? Maybe? With all of last years stuff with Sting, Nash and Dixie not believing them that Hogan was bad news, maybe being with “the network”, this is the only way Dixie, who’s known to be friends with Sting anyway, can keep a hand on TNA.

Backstage Segment: We come back to see the segment from last week with The Pope and Okada, and then Okada talking to Joe backstage before the next contest.

Match 2: The Pope vs. Okado (notice the name change.)

Okado is still wearing the Green Lantern stuff. Staight off, Okado on the offensive, trying to avenge last weeks battering backstage. Okado is already bleeding from the mouth. No idea why. Okado misses a top-rope dropkick, giving Pope the advantage. Pope wraps Okado’s head in the apron skirt, and punches and kicks HARD. Back in the ring, Pope takes off his shin guards and smacks Okado with it. Pope then exposes his rings by taking off his glove. He then rains punches down on Okado. The referee disqualifies, and tries to persuade Pope to stop. The referee takes a right to the face, and Pope continues the beat-down on Okado. Joe comes out for the save.

Short, but straight to the point. Joe looks up for it, but I still feel he’s being under-used.

Video Package: A six-minute package showing highlights of a live show TNA puts on.

This video package was not very professional. It seemed like a fan-cam pirate version on International TV for nothing more than a slap in the face to TNA fans. “This is the talent we have, but you won’t see it on TV.” I saw Magnus, Chris Sabin, Crimson…

The first thing I thought when seeing Crimson was that they NEED to use this guy. He’s massive and has a very good wrestling know-how. He’s not like Rob Terry, who’s still looking “green” in the ring.

Video Package: The video package highlighting Sting’s history in TNA, return in North Carolina and the events leading up to it with Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan.

I like the promo simply because I like Sting, but I keep seeing this promo, every week. If it’s planting seeds for something BIG, then fair enough.

Video Package: Kurt Angle discusses Karen’s relationship with Jeff Jarrett and with him, with videos from their current rivalry.

Slightly hurt by the fact it proceeded two other video packages that could have all been spaced out during iMPACT!. Why put all three together, one after another?

Backstage Segment: We come back from a break to see Hogan saying he’s now got his feet on the ground, and that RVD is Hogan’s pick to be at the top. He says he’s in RVD’s corner, and that it was Eric Bischoff that saw something in Anderson. Not Hogan. As RVD leaves, Hogan smirks and does an evil laugh once he’s left, calling RVD an idiot.

Huh? So, RVD didn’t see the opening segment? No TV’s backstage?

In-ring Promo: Wooooooo! Ric Flair, Bully Ray and Matt Hardy.

Ray cut one heck of a promo last week. Flair is the promo King. Hardy… meh.

Ric says he’s not talking tonight, and will hand it to the two best tag-team wrestlers of all time.

Matt Hardy talks about him and Ray changing the business 12 years ago, but says they were stabbed in the back by the people who said they could be great. He says Fourtune are doing the same. But Hardy says they’re going to be the ones that undercut Fourtune, just like people have done to him and Ray.

Ray asks if AJ Styles is here. He’s not, due to his spinal injury from the powerbomb last week. Ray says he’s had a chip on his shoulder for 20 years, and nobody’s knocked it off yet because he’s an imposing guy. He challenges Fourtune to a 4v3 at Lockdown.

Fourtune come out to respond, but not with words. Straight to the ring to fight. A complete brawl in the ring. Flair and Roode take the ring as the rest spills out. Roode chops the skin off Flair with SIX chops, one after the other. Flair front-bumps. Beer Money look to be taking Flair up for the ride, but the lights go dark red… someone’s coming in in a trench coat… ABYSS! ABYSS SAVES FLAIR! He takes out Beer Money and Black Hole Slam’s Kazarian. Mike Tenay and Taz speculate that Abyss is the fourth guy Bully Ray mentioned for the Lockdown match.

Matt Hardy’s promo’s need work, but apart from that, Fourtune coming down to fight without words was a welcome change. Abyss’ return was good.

Backstage Segment: Abyss is walking backstage. He says whatever doesn’t kill him, makes him stronger. He’s not a monster that lurks under the bed. He’s in your face and is coming to get Fourtune.

I’m not the only person happy to see the MONSTER back. Without Janice. Without that bloody ring.

In-ring Promo & Match 3: Mexican-America vs. Matt Morgan and ???.

Rosita and Sarita come out dressed in a very cool Hispanic style. Hernandez introduces the new member, Anarchia. The rest of the promo is Hernandez talking about taking jobs, women and money from America. Sarita and Rosita talk in Spanish, but Taz thinks it’s hot. Hernandez pulls down a USA flag, and says “you’ll start worshiping this” as a massive Mexican flag comes down. An almighty “BOO” from the crowd. Anarchia and Hernandez ask if Morgan will accept the Street Fight. Morgan comes out with Brother Devon! Straight into the match, Hernandez and Morgan, Anarchia and Devon. Morgan with a fall-away slam in the ring to Hernandez. Awesome power. Both teams end up outside on the floor. Rosita and Sarita grab the attention of Morgan and Devon by flirting, but Velvet Sky comes down to take care of the women. Two-versus-one doesn’t work, and Velvet ends up on the floor. Angelina Love walks out, disorientated, seemingly to help Velvet. About halfway down the ramp, Winter comes out and absolutely screams Angelina’s name above the crowd, which was heard all around Florida. Matt Morgan saves Velvet instead, with Devon looking on in the ring. Anarchia hits Devon with the brass knuckles, and it’s a win for Mexican-America.

Good to finally have a name for the Mexican’s and also a name for Anarchia. Decent match focusing more on the new faction, debuting Anarchia and a clever way to advance two storylines at the same time. Not so good having Winter seemingly have some sort of “power” over Angelina. Hypnosis is as far as I’m willing to go with this one, but if it turns out to be some magic potion Winter got from Narnia or something, then I’m going to have a fit.

Match 4: Ink Inc. vs. Crimson and Scott Steiner.

Not a fan of Ink Inc. just because of Shannon Moore. (DILLHGAF?) I like Jesse Neal, though. His hair just reminds me of the film Short Circuit.

Steiner starts against Neal. Neal in clear pain with knife-edge chops. Tags Crimson in shortly after, who uses some high-power moves. Jesse Neal crawls out the ring and Moore tags himself in. Crimson again slaughtering Moore with his size and power. Moore gets a good moonsault in. Moore wants a tag from Neal, but Neal is still reeling from Crimson’s power. Moore goes up-top again for a cross-body, which is never going to work on a guy like Crimson. Red Alert on Moore, and it’s over.

Post-match, Neal shakes Crimson’s hand again, but Moore comes in and shows disrespect to Steiner by wiping his butt with Steiner’s head-gear. Steiner is hot, and the crowd mark out for something which you can’t hear over the TV’s beeps, but he’s clearly hot at someone in the crowd for something. Moore has another go at Neal for being too respectful.

Decent match, especially for Crimson. He looked excellent. Seeds planted for Neal to leave Moore, or turn serious bad-guy?

Video Package: A recap of RVD vs. Anderson at Victory Road and then for iMPACT! last week and a plug for the Main Event before a break.

I’m glad they don’t repeatedly show this, because the double count is illogical. A referee would never count two people out, and you can see on TV, as can Hebner and probably RVD and Anderson themselves that NEITHER ARE COVERING THE OTHER!

Match 5: Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson w/ Sting as a special enforcer.

Another short recap of the illogical double-pin as RVD enters.

A good technical match with plenty of reversals. RVD throws Anderson into the corner. Anderson powers out and attempts a clothesline which RVD ducks and the referee takes a massive bump. Sting is now in as the referee. RVD gets a quick two-count. Anderson then gets a quick two-count. The counts are consistent. RVD goes for a rolling thunder but Anderson does to the outside, so RVD goes for a slingshot splash! On the money. Both on the outside, Sting doesn’t do the 10-count. Anderson throws a chair in the ring, which Sting throws back out again. Anderson gives RVD a Mic Check into the ring-post, then enters the ring. Anderson demands that Sting administer the 10-count to RVD, but Sting refuses. Anderson then lifts Sting’s hands and counts for him. Sting tells him to take his hands off him. Sting and Anderson in each others face. Anderson takes a shot at Sting, and Sting fights back. The match is thrown out by someone, but Sting has not called for it. Sting is about to ask who did it but Anderson attacks him again. A brawl ensues, and security come to separate them. Anderson breaks free after a moment and again the brawl starts.

Post Match: A recap of the match is shown as Tenay and Taz try and figure it all out. Because of Anderson’s attack on the referee/sepcial enforcer, RVD is the winner, according to Taz and Tenay

And according to logic. (Hurray!)

Aftermath: A video interview with RVD shows he’s having memory loss from the Mic Check into the ring post. “Jason” explains that RVD beat Anderson and will face Sting, but RVD is confused. He doesn’t remember the match.

Another interview with “Jason” with Anderson. Anderson’s hot. He wonders why Sting doesn’t want to face him and why did Sting ring the bell.

Sting is now interviewed, and Sting says he didn’t ring the bell. He says that Anderson put his hands on him so he fought back. Anderson hears this from afar and confronts Sting. Sting explains that he didn’t ring the bell. Anderson is adamant that he did. They brawl again. D’Lo Brown, Al Snow and Pat Kenney separate them all. Sting shouts that Anderson should get his facts right before he gets himself hurt.

“The Wizard of Oz rung the frickin’ bell” Anderson shouts as the programme goes off the air.

Not as stupid as last weeks finish. It is a genuine question as to who requested the bell be rang, but physically, it was probably Borash or So Cal Val. </smartmode>

Another decent contest from RVD and Anderson. Not sure if it’s the ratings bonanza “the network” proclaim, and would like to see a little more variety than this every week. There are too many people on the roster being denied a chance to have the same stuff over and over. But, in terms of a contest, I cant begrudge it. A good match.

So, what to make of the ending. Could lead to any sort of conclusion. Maybe Hogan IS rooting for RVD. Maybe “the network” asked for it to be pulled. Maybe it was a mistake by Borash and Ray will kick him in the head again. Okay, the last one’s a bit stupid. It’s an unpredictable spin on it, which is something TNA has lacked recently. Predictability, like spoilers, spoil the show.

A much better iMPACT! than last weeks talk-show. It’s not making up for the lack of wrestling last week, nor is it making up for the Main Event of Victory Road. Right now, I’ll take it, as there was a good match between Mickie James and Tara, which probably gets the match of the fortnight award. Crimson looked really good. The Mexican-America and Winter/Beautiful People stories are advancing. Decent show, all in all. Just remember folks, this is probably 10% of the talent TNA currently has. There’s still a hell of a lot more room for improvement and a hell of a lot more wasted space in the 2-hour slot being filled up with needless video packages, such as the Live “fan-cam” pirate-copy thing on the 45-minute mark.

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About Mark Ashworth
Life-long Blackburn Rovers fan. Long-time wrestling fan. Passionate Juventini and Culé. 19 Year's as a "little Stinger."

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