TNA Impact: Kurt Angle-Jarretts story is real, but is it real compelling?

I had high hopes for the story line involving Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett and Karen Jarrett, but I felt a bit let down after watching their segments on Thursday night’s TNA Impact.

It’s not that the segments were bad; it’s just that it seemed as if I was watching a typical wrestling angle, and this angle should be so much more than that.

After all, the circumstances involving Angle and the Jarretts weren’t dreamed up by writers in a booking meeting. Karen really was married to Kurt, who brought her into TNA to be an on-air character; there really was something of a power struggle between Kurt and Jeff behind the scenes in TNA; Karen really did marry Jeff after divorcing Kurt; and Karen and Jeff really are raising Karen and Kurt’s kids.

Yet when I watched Impact, none of that reality and raw emotion came across. To me, the wrong tone was set right from the start of the show, when we saw an angry Angle backstage demanding that the production guys play his entrance music before he went out to the ring. If he was really that upset, entrance music should have been the last thing on his mind. After Angle’s music began, Jeremy Borash then introduced Angle right on cue even though Angle coming out for this segment was supposed to be unplanned.

Angle did get teary-eyed during his promo when talking about his kids, but I thought it seemed a bit forced. As for the Jarretts, they came across as wrestling heels rather than real people.

Jeff giving Kurt an uppercut between his legs ala Ric Flair didn’t do much for the realism quotient either. I think any physical interaction between Jeff and Kurt should be made to look as realistic as possible.

Again, none of what Angle and the Jarretts did made for bad television; it just wasn’t anything special. Their program is still in the early stages, however, so perhaps it will be more compelling going forward.

Other thoughts on Thursday’s show:

The ending to the show was like a scene out of a horror movie. While all the members of Immortal and Fortune were beating up Angle in the ring, Abyss walked onto the stage and held his arms out. He then dropped to his knees and fell forward, revealing that Janice – the board of nails – was sticking in his back. Crimson came up behind him and once again announced that “they” are coming on Feb. 3. The angle was campy but I found it to be less absurd than when Rob Van Dam was left to bleed to death after an attack by Abyss and Janice before eventually returning without a scratch on him. ...

The backstage segment with Angle and Flair had me laughing out loud. From a cowering Flair asking an enraged Angle, “Why are you mad at me? I’m your biggest fan!” to Flair making those gurgling noises when Angle was choking him, it was pure gold. ...

Bully Ray continues to do a tremendous job in his heel role. I especially loved how he shoved Brian Kendrick hard into a locker. Shoving smaller guys into lockers is what bullies do, right? ...

The main event, which saw Beer Money defeat Mr. Anderson and Van Dam due to outside interference by Matt Hardy, was good. Referee Jackson James was distracted for quite a while by Jeff Hardy, which allowed Matt to slip into the ring and hit the Twist of Hate on RVD. ...

James also failed to see TNA X Division champion Kazarian using the ropes for leverage when he pinned Jay Lethal to retain his championship. After the second incident involving James, Mike Tenay asked how much longer the learning curve with the young referee is going to last, so it appears that Jackson’s heel turn is imminent. ...

The Kazarian-Lethal match was OK, but I expected more from these two. It didn’t help that they only had about five minutes. ...

The Jeff Hardy-Tommy Dreamer match was serviceable. Perhaps TNA has finally figured out that the best role for Dreamer is to be a mid-card talent who puts over the big stars. ...

Someone in the crowd held up a sign that said “EV2.0 Forever.” That’s the funniest sign I’ve seen in a while. ...

The Matt Morgan-Rob Terry match and post-match angle was almost perfect. Morgan immediately hit the Carbon Footprint to beat Terry in a matter of seconds, and then he put up a heck of a fight before eventually falling victim to a three-on-one attack by Terry, Abyss and Flair. Morgan was booked to look strong, but the fact that he repeatedly turned his back on Abyss every time he got the advantage didn’t make him look very smart. ...

The women’s four-way match between TNA Knockouts champion Madison Rayne, Mickie James, Velvet Sky and Sarita wasn’t bad. James got the win when she pinned Rayne in the non-title bout. ...

The video footage of Jeff Hardy, RVD and Beer Money performing before a large crowd at the New Japan Tokyo Dome show earlier this month made TNA look like a big deal. I’d love to see TNA put together another Global Impact special.

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