After much hype all week, the world got to see Jets’ linebacker Bart Scott make his wrestling debut on TNA’s “Impact” Thursday night.
Scott was brought in to be Hulk Hogan’s “special enforcer” on what was Hogan’s big return to TNA. Hogan and his group, “Immortal,” which also includes legend Rick Flair, and Matt Hardy, are now in charge of the promotion. TNA president Dixie Carter opened the show and announced that she is no longer in charge after a lengthy court battle with Hogan.
Scott made his first appearance in a backstage segment where Hogan and his posse welcomed the All-Star. The only green Scott was wearing was a White Sox baseball cap.
Hogan told Hardy to take their special enforcer out for a good time. Scott barely had any lines in this scene which becomes the trend all night. As they were making their way out of the arena they got into a backstage brawl with Carter’s supporters, wrestlers AJ Styles and Frankie Kazarian.
So much for no physical contact. Scott drove his shoulder into Kazarian but the fight was quickly broken up after Kazarian and Scott ended up on the floor throwing punches.
Later on, Scott cleaned up from his brawl and accompanied Flair into Kurt Angle’s locker room. Earlier in the night Angle broke up a wedding which featured his ex-wife marrying TNA star Jeff Jarrett. Angle was forced to walk his ex down the aisle. Instead, Angle attacked Jarrett and threw his ex into the cake. What can we say; it’s a freak show soap opera.
Flair told Angle that Scott would be the enforcer when they would do a redo of the wedding. Angle tried to play nice with Scott and told him he was a huge Jets fan. That was an odd statement coming from Angle who is a native of Pittsburgh and has to be a Steelers fan. The same Steelers that beat Scott and the Jets in the AFC Championship in January.
Flair told Angle that Scott “likes white meat.” Scott finally spoke and said to Angle, “I thought you were taller in person.” Is that the best line they can give Scott? Is this the same guy who gave that thrilling rant following the Jets win over the Patriots and said the Pats’ defense “couldn’t stop a nose bleed?”
The final segment starring Scott was the wedding, and weddings never work out in pro wrestling. If you’re new to wrestling, yes, weddings do take place more than you think. They’re predictable and it never ends with a “you may kiss the bride.”
Shockingly the wedding ended without a hitch. But remember, I said these things never end happily. Angle whips out an ax and trashes the alter in the ring. Time to enforce! Scott makes his way to the ring and first appearance in front of the live crowd. The fans didn’t seem that into Scott. Very little reaction when he made his entrance.
The Jets linebacker pushed Angle a few times. Then, Angle snapped and locked in his signature move the Ankle Lock. Scott tapped out and security had to eventually force Angle to break his hold. Color commentator and Brooklyn native Taz remarked that Angle better break the hold or there goes the Jets' defense for next season (that is, if there is a season). Play-by-play man Mike Tenay took a shot at Jets fans by saying “Scott is tapping out like the Jets have been doing since 1969.”
Ouch. Sadly, that was about the best line of the night.
Scott had to be helped out of the ring and he limped all the way to the locker room. I’m sure that’s a scene that Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum would not like to see duplicated during a regular season game.
Very disappointed Scott did not have the microphone and a chance to rant. Hogan told Newsday that Scott’s rant on the Patriots was the reason they brought him into TNA. Yet, they didn’t give him a chance to what he does best. It’s not fair to say Scott should stick to his day job. I blame TNA for not letting Scott be himself a little more. I would have been much happier with less physicality and more personality and microphone time for Scott.
Sadly, Angelina from MTV’s “Jersey Shore” had more of an impact on tonight’s show than Scott. If you missed the show you didn’t miss much. What was in the promo for the show was pretty much what you got tonight.
This isn’t the first time athletes have appeared on TNA programming. Pacman Jones had a decent run with TNA during his suspension from the NFL in 2007. Brian Urlacher made his appearance in TNA in 2004. At least Urlacher cleaned out the ring and bench pressed TNA personality Johnny Fairplay over the top rope.