It probably isn’t a good idea to hold a public Q & A session on Twitter when you are already perceived as a joke. Fortunately TNA Wrestling president Dixie Carter didn’t get that memo and wrestling fans have been hammering Carter with a slew of hilarious and entertaining tweets.
In the face of one of the worst periods of publicity in TNA Wrestling company Dixie decided she wanted to get in front of that criticism on her favorite place, her Twitter page. Dixie asked fans to send her questions under the hashtag #AskDixie. Instead of the civilized Q &A she hoped for she wound up as the guest of honor in one of the funniest Twitter roasts you’ll ever read.
Here are just a few of the gems she received courtesy of #AskDixie.
#AskDixie Is it true a lot of mid-card wrestlers in TNA are considering living in North Korea, because they have a better human rights? – @TableofJapan
How awesome is it that you took TNA from # 2 to # 4 Company behind @ringofhonor & DGUSA? Congrats to you & @HulkHogan #askdixie – @stevesalomonsen
#AskDixie how much do you regret making this a thing? – @bdbdbdbd
With the territory system obviously dead, has Vince made Hogan/Bischoff/Yourself moles to kill any competition? #askdixie – @WrestlingDream
#AskDixie I can’t wait for your announcement announcing an upcoming announcement that will change the face of pro wrestling! – @itsallgoodacre
How much more money do you have to pay Hogan before his pockets truly becomes too heavy and sinks the TNA ship #askdixie – @JessMcDonald3
#AskDixie when will you reunite the greatest tag team in TNA history, New Jack and Shark Boy? – @Holtarna
#AskDixie @TNADixie Isn’t it pathetic and sad that @HulkHogan had to take a second job hocking his wares at a Beach Shop to pay his bills? – @jackieblue1981
@TNADixie if Sid Vicious broke his leg while main eventing a PPV would you fire him in the ring or wait until he was in the hosp? #askDixie – @mrh610
@TNADixie you know what’s really over in prowrestling @IMPACTWRESTLING literally it’s so OVER #AskDixie – @GRANTyouatweet
#AskDixie Do you think it’s legit that half of TNA budget goes into your makeup? – @ShowOff76
#AskDixie Have you watched Hogans sex tape – @R_Pas
#AskDixie IS TNA’s booking guide The Death of WCW? – @Mr_C_Hart
#AskDixie Is it true that most Iranians tried to write you in for President because they wanted another detached despot? – @SeventhGoldRain
How was it that you had a wrestler on the roster named Murphy for an entire year? #AskDixie – @GrappleFanPudge
#askDixie you made three stars last year with Aries, Roode and Storm. How did you mess that up so badly? – @SolidGoldCEO
#AskDixie How did Aces and Eights go from over two dozen guys to less than 10 with no explanation given? – @XDustinEFLX
This is probably the most obvious headline you’ll ever read on the Camel Clutch Blog but it’s true. I am certainly not the first blogger to break this news but it is more critical now than ever to turn this ship around before it is too late and that requires Dixie Carter to step down immediately.
Is it fair to pile on the bash TNA bandwagon that is more crowded than ever this week? Maybe it’s not but it isn’t as if everyone woke up one day and decided to start some kind of witch hunt. Financial issues and an embarrassing situation over the weekend have put TNA’s problems back in the spotlight. If this were any other company the stakeholders would be demanding the resignation of their CEO. TNA is no different and it’s time to for the president Dixie Carter to step down for the good of the company.
Dixie’s story is a familiar one to failed entrepreneurs. Dixie was in the right place at the right time with the right rich parent. Having no experience whatsoever running a pro wrestling company, Dixie’s wealthy father Bob purchased TNA (which was on the brink of bankruptcy) for his daughter at her request and put her in charge of the company. Like most business owners who acquire their businesses under those conditions, TNA continues to struggle with an owner who is in completely over her head.
Dixie’s biggest mistake in her 11 years running the company has been her ignorance. Sure she has put others in charge but at the end of the day she has always remained the president of the company. Even when questioned in a recent interview about whether she or Hulk Hogan was in charge she boldly told the reporter that she is running the show (WrestleTalk) which quite frankly is nothing I’d be so proud of these days if I were her.
Dixie is the classic pro wrestling money mark. We have all seen them come and go in pro wrestling. They are used and manipulated by the blood suckers around her who are more interested in keeping their jobs and hiring their friends than actually doing what is right for the company. In TNA that appears to be easier than most places as the benchmarks for success are at a minimum.
We all have some kind of measurement of success at our jobs yet in TNA there appears to be no benchmarks set for the office or those in charge. As a web analyst or marketer I need to create goals to give to my employer or client and if I don’t meet them enough times there will be consequence and with good reason. How else do you run a business? In TNA those consequences only exist for the performers, specifically the lower card talent who will likely do anything told to keep their jobs.
Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff have now had over two and a half years to turn the company around. Whether you like Hogan and Bischoff or not, the only thing even the most objective observer could conclude is that they have been failures and inept at their jobs. The numbers don’t lie and they are actually worse today than they were before they took over.
Let’s take a quick look at their two and a half year run in TNA. The ratings for Impact are lower today than they were two and a half years ago. The company has gone from 12 pay per view events a year to four. They have failed to create one superstar in that 2 1/2 year run if you measure the success or failure of that star on drawing money…but who would want to do that? Sure they have pushed guys like Bully Ray, AJ Styles, Abyss, Matt Morgan, Bobby Roode, Austin Aries, created Aces & 8s, sign MMA fighters (although I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and put that wonderful idea on Dixie) and had the brilliant idea of running head to head with RAW and how has all of this turned out? Less people are watching TNA in the United States and buying their pay per view events today than 3 years ago and yet these two guys appear to have no fear for their jobs.
The idea that in 2013 Hulk Hogan is the number one babyface in your company is ridiculous. The man (and I have great respect for him) can barely walk to the ring without looking like he is in excruciating pain yet he is the “sheriff in town.” Hulk hasn’t drawn money on a regular basis since 1998 and his partner Eric hasn’t booked a successful wrestling angle since 1998 yet these guys were given the keys to the kingdom with no accountability by a CEO who only knows what she thinks she knows which is very little.
It’s easy to blame Hulk and Eric but quite honestly it’s not their fault. Dixie sees the ratings, the buyrates, the house show attendance, and the bottom line. A smart owner would remove herself from the top, hire someone else to take an objective look at the product, and put someone else in charge who has a plan with…benchmarks! Instead Dixie wants you to know she is charge of a company that is so mismanaged they couldn’t even get their wrestlers licensed in time to work a house show over the weekend. That is just absolutely pathetic.
There are millions of people who watch WWE wrestling every week on television and over 100,000 people a month that pay to watch their pay per views, 1 million plus for WrestleMania. In other words there is an audience out there and not only has TNA been unable to create anything that appeals to this audience, they have done more to drive their fans away in two and a half years than give them something to root for. The numbers don’t lie.
Nothing will change and for the talent who bust their butts every week it is a damned shame because they deserve better. The loyal fans who support TNA deserve better. Dixie Carter on the other hand does not and it doesn’t matter whether it is Hulk Hogan, Vince Russo, Dutch Mantell, Paul Heyman, or Bill Watts booking TNA, as long as Dixie is in charge this company will never succeed, and there is 12 years of history to back that up.
TNA Wrestling president Dixie Carter made headlines last week when she announced that TNA signed a big free agent. Just exactly who this new signee is has the social media world buzzing with investigative work and anticipation.
I try to take these kinds of statement made by Dixie with a grain of salt considering her past track record of teases on Twitter. For starters she tweeted that last week’s Impact would have news on the signee only to reveal that the news was that next week’s Impact Wrestling would break the news. Those are kinds of the silly games you have to put up with if you care even a little about Dixie and her Twitter account.
Regardless of Dixie’s history the social media world started tweeting immediately with all kinds of names and ideas of who this free agent is. Quite frankly a quick look at the landscape reveals no real big names available to TNA. TNA’s finances are always subject to debate but with a payroll that already includes Hulk Hogan, Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle, and Sting it is not likely that the company has the budget to pull off something massive. Even if they did, I don’t know who out there would deliver that massive impact Dixie is teasing anyway.
I had a little fun on Twitter and threw out some names, more as a joke of who I thought could be the unlikely loser of a new TNA Wrestling contract. All fun aside, I thought I’d take a real hard look at the landscape and come up with five names that fit the billing.
Rob Van Dam – From the second I read her tweet RVD’s name popped into mind. I truly believe that Rob will be the signee and there will be a lot of people laughing at Dixie for trying to blow this up like it is something special. The fact is that Rob is a free agent and while I am sure he’d love to go back to the WWE, I don’t see it in the cards. I would have to assume that Rob and TNA are in the ballpark when it comes to negotiations since he was already there for a couple of years. Rob (and I’m a fan) would be a huge letdown and open up Dixie and TNA to ridicule that they will probably get no matter who it is.
John Morrison – Next to RVD I think Morrison is probably the second and only other real logical answer to Dixie’s riddle. Morrison has been out of the game for a little while now and I would imagine that his contract would be a deal that could be met by TNA without much financial pain. Morrison would probably be the best choice here. Unfortunately you have had a long time since wrestling fans have seen John in the WWE so I really don’t know how much of an impact he can truly make. However, Morrison is the kind of guy you want to sign and put over to your fans how huge the signing is. Sure, some people may find it silly to make such a big deal out of a WWE low-mid carder but there could be something there if he was booked right. That of course is a whole other story when it comes to TNA.
Ric Flair – Woo! Yes I know that Flair was caught up in a lawsuit between TNA and the WWE and I know that Flair has been on WWE television but I also know what Flair doesn’t have and that is a WWE deal. I have heard that the WWE are reluctant to sign Flair to a contract for a variety of reasons, none unfortunately which I am at liberty to reveal. Regardless, Flair has no personal heat or animosity with Dixie, Hulk, or even Eric Bischoff for that matter. Flair could use a contract and if he has gotten sick and tired of waiting around for one from his buddies in the WWE, maybe the Teflon Man winds up coming back to TNA.
Kevin Nash – Nash is an interesting one because he is Hunter’s buddy yet at the same time he appears no closer to ever stepping into a WWE ring than he was a year ago. Nash has said from time to time in interviews that he wanted to wrestle again and it doesn’t appear to be in the cards in the WWE. I know that Nash and TNA left on bad terms but Nash is a heck of a worker, one of the best when it comes to business. I could easily see him working TNA into another contract that proves to be just as much a waste of money as the last contract that they signed him to.
Goldberg – Golberg is a real wild card but he is a free agent and out of all of the available free agents, he’d certainly be the biggest. Goldberg has mentioned a desire to get back in the ring for a few more matches over the last few years on Twitter. If the WWE had interest it would have been back at WrestleMania 27 when it was in Atlanta. They aren’t interested and maybe a Goldberg deal with 2-3 dates a year like Brock Lesnar has in WWE wouldn’t be such a financial strain. I’ll give Dixie this. If Goldberg is her signee, there will be no reason to ridicule her or TNA about this announcement.
If you thought Hulk Hogan had his hooks in Dixie Carter before, wait until you hear how the TNA president truly sees her knight in shining armor. According to Dixie, her number one babyface is bigger than any company, brand, and a few global celebrities.
There has always been this theory that Hulk and Eric Bischoff are taking Dixie Carter and TNA Wrestling for a ride. To be fair, a lot of people close to the situation say otherwise, but there have been indications along the way that they may not have the best interests of TNA at heart and that they had a money mark on their hands. Little did any of us know how deep in their hands they truly have the TNA boss.
I am sure Dixie Carter is a nice woman but my gosh does she say some of the dumbest things. I don’t have time to list all of her greatest hits but all you have to do is take a look at some of the brilliant musings she has tweeted on Twitter to get an idea that this woman is just not all there. That said, her latest comments may be her best…or worst yet.
Dixie was asked about Hulk Hogan’s power and on-screen role and according to her, he is bigger than the company itself. This what she told ContactMusic.com.
“He (Hulk) is bigger than any brand, company, name – he is synonymous with wrestling and is probably one of the most recognisable faces or figures on the entire planet. Name me someone who is alive today who’d be more recognizable in any corner of the world? In places like Africa and Asia, or if you were walking in Thailand? Princess Diana or Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley maybe? But they aren’t even with us anymore. The Rock? Well, if you are walking in a village in Africa would people know who The Rock was? I think his film work has been outstanding. I’m a huge fan of The Rock, I think he is phenomenal, but would that happen?”
Wow! Okay let’s put it this way. If Hulk Hogan really is bigger than all of those names she mentioned, than he ought to be fired because he should be drawing more than 10,000 people once in a lifetime to a TNA event. If he truly is as global as she thinks he is, he is the worst businessman in the history of the business and maybe he is.
It’s funny because Vince McMahon has made plenty of outrageous claims over the years but I was trying to think back and I don’t even think he compared any of his wrestlers to Michael Jackson or Princess Di. Now as far as the comparison to Dwayne Johnson, maybe he is more known globally than him. If that’s the case than you’d think he’d be able to compete with him for the over two million buys Johnson has drawn the last two WrestleMania events right?
This statement comes mind you at a time when ratings are declining and TNA just did one of their worst ratings yet. Maybe Dixie is just trying her hand at standup comedy?
Ric Flair certainly isn’t afraid to speak what is on his mind. The dirtiest player in the game is the subject of a new RF Video Shoot Interview and just like he has for over 30 years in the ring, he delivers.
I should note in the object of fairness that I did write the questions for this shoot interview. At the same time this is not any kind of a paid review. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of the interview for review, good or bad. I can tell you quite honestly, it is great.
I watched the entire shoot during an early morning commute on Amtrak and it made the trip fly by. This isn’t Flair’s first shoot interview. Flair did a series of shoots a few years ago, but this is the first one he has done regarding his TNA Wrestling run. Flair talks plenty of TNA and much more in this fast-paced two hour interview.
Unlike some previous shoot interviews, Flair looks like he wants to be there. Nothing asked offends Flair and believe me when I tell you, there are a couple of questions I wrote up that I thought would ruffle the Nature Boy. Flair addresses all of the TNA controversies and finally has his say after sitting quiet for almost a year.
I don’t want to give away too much of the interview but they immediately jump right into his reunion with Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. If you are expecting Flair to bury these guys forget about it. He loves them, especially Hulk. Flair does address their past heat and even throws a slight dig in at Hulk. It is interesting to hear Flair talk about how their fond friendship came to fruition.
Flair then jumps right into TNA. Flair talks about a conversation he had with Vince McMahon before joining TNA. Flair reveals what Vince said and whether his old boss was supportive or not with the move. Flair also talks a lot about Dixie Carter and is asked flat out whether he thinks Hulk and Bischoff are working here. Flair is a Dixie fan but he does have a problem with one TNA executive which he gets into on the DVD.
Flair is asked about all of the controversies during his TNA run. Flair addresses everything from holding up the bus in Europe to refusing to sign autographs. I will say this. After hearing Flair tell his sides to these stories I do have a bit of a different outlook on it. I won’t say I’m sympathetic to Flair but I can certainly understand why things happened.
Flair also digs into the past a little bit and offers up two very interesting stories about Haku and the Bruiser Brody murder. Flair reveals some facts about the murder that I had never known. Flair also recalls a story about a fight Haku and Road Warrior Hawk got into in Japan against fans that got Haku banned for life. Flair tells RF Video that he has plenty of more stories where that came from.
What impressed me more than anything was Flair’s memory. He was off on some things but other stories and memories he recounted I wouldn’t have expected to hear from someone his age. I do know that RF Video are doing a series on Flair so hopefully he can be as insightful when they cover his early career as he was in this interview.
Flair is pretty complimentary when asked about most of his opponents and ex-bosses in TNA. There is one wrestler who gets the brunt of Flair’s anger. It’s obvious that those promos Shane Douglas cut on Ric Flair in ECW hit hard because here we are about 20 years later and Flair is burying Shane. You have seen the preview so I am not giving away a big reveal here.
Overall I’d highly recommend the DVD if you are a Flair fan or just enjoy hearing someone who has been through as much controversy as Flair address all of the hot button topics. This DVD is like one big high spot as there isn’t anything asked of Flair that isn’t interesting. I can’t wait for the next one!
Check out more information on the interview at RFVideo.com.
Congratulations TNA Wrestling fans, your world champion isn’t going anywhere. Jeff Hardy has re-signed with TNA and will be sticking around for a couple of more years thus squashing all rumors about a WWE return.
TNA president Dixie Carter made the official announcement on Thursday night live on Bellator MMA. Since her announcement, TNA has released the length of the deal on their website subsequently thereafter, noting that Hardy’s deal will keep him around for another two years.
I must admit that I was dead wrong on this one. I predicted that Hardy would indeed return to the World Wrestling Entertainment where he would reclaim the world heavyweight title and possibly wrestle Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania 29. I expected him to go as did many others who have been talking about a possible WWE return for months.
TNA deserves a lot of credit here. They took a major risk and put their world championship on a guy who could have been a free agent. TNA gambled here that the championship and push would work as a sign of good faith in negotiating a new deal with Hardy. It seems that was the case and Hardy opted to stay a big fish in a smaller pond than possibly being swallowed up in the WWE Universe.
I still wouldn’t completely rule out a Jeff Hardy return to the WWE. Hardy’s next contract comes up in two years. Hardy will only be 37-years old and will have worked a TNA schedule which some consider part-time to the WWE. Even a new two-year deal then would still have him eligible to cash out on a big money deal with the WWE before he turns 40. Regardless it looks like Hardy is happy in TNA and isn’t going anywhere.
This is a big signing for TNA. Losing Hardy right now would have been devastating. Would they have survived? Sure, but it would have been a big blow. Hardy is one of the few regulars that have name recognition and superstar appeal. He is not easily replaced. It also would have looked silly to see their world champion signing a deal with the WWE in a Wrestling with Shadows kind of way.
At some point TNA is going to have to make a full commitment to building its younger stars. TNA did a great job in recent years of building up Bobby Roode and Austin Aries but they need to make a consistent effort to keep them on top. The two year window they have with Hardy gives them time to do that in case Hardy does decide to bolt in two years.
Looks like that Hardy Boyz reunion in the WWE will have to wait.
In a press release on Thursday January 10, 2013, Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling announced a major pay-per-view shake-up in its business model for live paid television events going forward in 2013. The company will cut back from 12 live pay-per view events and go with the old school four Sunday Night live pay-per view events – Genesis on January 13, LockDown on March 10, Slammiversary on June 9 and its own version of WrestleMania, Bound for Glory on October 13. TNA also stated they will still keep offering their one hour ‘Unfinished Business’ shows through Video on Demand.
In addition, TNA will offer seven taped three hour pay-per view special events during the course of 2013 branded as TNA Wrestling that will air the first Friday of the month during the months there is no live pay-per view event.
I applaud TNA for making the first move in what should have been done a few years ago not only by the company, but World Wrestling Entertainment as well. The industry has been saturated with monthly pay-per view events for a long time which mainly have consisted of throw-away shows that are a waste of time and money.
TNA’s pay-per view buys have never been a high number, (I’ve seen various websites report between 7,800 and 10,000). But with the down turn in the economy that had started at the end of 2008, the poor numbers have told the story. In past columns, both my own and many other writers, the subject of over saturation of pay-per view events was a hot subject, especially after WWE would release their buyrate information that event most recently indicated most of their pay- per view event numbers still reflect a downward buying trend.
In the old school or traditional days of pro wrestling, I remember each company (WWE and NWA/WCW) holding four major events a year. Feuds were meaningful and exciting with intense build up. I actually ordered pay-per views back then. Then came the 12 event pay-per view structure which began back in the mid 1990’s during the WWE and World Championship Wrestling Monday Night War.
Each time WCW would increase their pay-per view events, WWE would do the same, until WCW finally hit 12, WWE followed suit as well, in what would be not only a weekly competition for ratings, but a monthly fight for pay-per view revenue.
I can’t remember when I last ordered a pay-per view event, not only because I’m frugal with my money, but nothing has interested me, not even any of the big four events from WWE. I won’t pay big money for one or two matches that may interest me that may end up with some lame finish so the feud can be continued at the next pay-per view event.
Now with TNA going back to the traditional days, they have a huge opportunity to focus more time on building meaningful feuds without feeling rushed or trying something desperate to get buys for an event a month later that not many fans care about.
There are various sites reporting that TNA’s pricing for the live events will roughly stay the same with Genesis and LockDown at $34.95, Slammiversary at $39.95, Bound for Glory selling for $44.95 and the non-live events called TNA priced at a mere $14.95.
However, if TNA doesn’t change their weekly Impact Wrestling television structure and overhaul their current product, which was on an upswing during the summer and now had reached a down fall during the end of 2012, the new pay-per view structure could end up being a big failure.
Will WWE follow? Probably not, but time will tell.
This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling starts with a message to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, which is a nice touch.
We see footage from earlier today of Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy entering the building. They face off in the main event tonight, with the World title on the line. This is “Championship Thursday”, which means we’ll see several pointless deliberations over who should get a title match. The title in question tonight is the KO title, and the potential challengers are Velvet Sky, ODB, Mickie James and Miss Tessmacher. I’ve decided that I’m not recapping the deliberation segments on these episodes anymore. They are beyond pointless, as is the entire idea behind the segments, especially when you consider that a title has never changed hands as a result.
The show is going to kick off with a TV title match.
MATCH 1-World Television Championship: Kurt Angle vs. Devon (Champion)
Angle’s left knee is taped up and he is limping his way down to the ring. Before Devon can be introduced, Angle says he’s looking for a title match, and the only title he wants is the one held by those sonsofbitches who attacked him, the Aces and Eights. Devon, get your ass out here. Devon makes his way out with DOC, Black Scorpion, Thing 1 & Thing 2. Angle says Devon had to bring his pack with him. If Devon wants to play that way, he’s got a pack of his own. Samoa Joe and the Wonder Twins make their way out to even things up. Angle backs Devon into the corner with a lock-up, so Devon boots him and applies a side headlock. Devon shoulders him off the ropes and misses an elbow drop. Angle gets him in a waistlock, and Devon elbows out, so Angle clotheslines him. Rights by Angle. Devon charges at Angle, but Angle moves, sending Devon through the ropes and to the floor. The two groups get in each other’s faces and a brawl breaks out. The referee gets between them and sends both groups to the back. Meanwhile, Devon gets back in the ring and clips Angle’s bad knee. Commercials.
Back from the break, Devon is dropping elbows on the bad knee before applying a legbar. He drops down on the knee from the ropes and goes for the pin, getting 2. Spinning toe hold is applied, but Angle kicks him off. Devon manages to clip the knee again after Angle gets back up. Angle manages to get up again and fire off some rights, so Devon thumbs him in the eye and sends him to the corner. Angle blocks a charge with his elbow, and follows up with a second rope dropkick. Angle hits a clothesline and an overhead belly-to-belly for 2. Devon escapes the Angle Slam and hits the standing spinebuster for 2. Angle ducks a clothesline and hits the Murder-Suicide. Ankle lock is applied, but before Devon can tap, DOC, Black Scorpion and Thing 1 come out and distract the referee. Joe and the Wonder Twins also return to chase them off, and as the referee gets between them once more, Thing 2 comes into the ring and hits Angle across the back with a metal pipe. Devon crawls into the cover and gets the 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Devon.
We get the first deliberation segment, and since it’s the KO division, Brooke Hogan is in charge of who gets the shot tonight. She eliminates ODB, since ODB should be focused on her injured husband.
AI is asking Kenny King what happened last week. King says he won, that’s what happened. King beat RVD, and that’s all. He’s got no beef with Rob. This is where dreams come true. It was a dream to wrestle RVD, and it’ll be a dream to tag with him tonight.
MATCH 2: Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan vs. Kenny King and World X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam
RVD and Ryan start the match, and Ryan immediately kicks RVD in the knee. RVD comes back with a clothesline and a jumping roundhouse. Standing moonsault gets 2. King tags in, and he applies a side headlock. Ryan reverses into a hammerlock. King breaks it and hits a Japanese armdrag. Ryan makes a blind tag before ducking a roundhouse, and Morgan comes in to nail a clothesline. Morgan hits a kneelift, then applies a surfboard stretch through the ropes. Morgan drops King with a headbutt before tagging in Ryan, who chokes King in the corner with his foot. King fires off some punches before Ryan pretends like he got thumbed in the eye. The ref checks on him, which allows Morgan to hit an inverted chokeslam into the turnbuckles. Morgan tags in, and does a foot choke in the corner. Corner whip and a sidewalk slam by Morgan. Ryan in, and he sends King into the corner. King counters out of the corner with a sunset flip, getting 2. King ducks a clothesline and makes the hot tag to RVD. Kicks by RVD, and the faces hit a double dropkick on Morgan. King hits an atomic drop on Ryan, followed by a spin kick to the back of his head. Morgan comes in, and before he can attack King, King bails on the match. Morgan hits the Carbon Footprint on RVD, and Ryan picks up the easy 3.
WINNERS: Matt Morgan and Joey Ryan. Morgan might have the worst bicycle kick in wrestling.
Another vignette. This time, it says, “The time for forgiveness is over…There is no appeasement. They will be judged. The answer is close. 1.3.13”
AI asks Kaz about AJ Styles walking away. He doesn’t feel anything about it. We’re five days from Christmas, and it’s his favorite time of the year. Tonight, he has a surprise for his fans, and they’re going to see how gracious he is, and how he treats his very best friend in the world. Before he can finish, someone named Nick calls him on his phone.
Hulk Hogan makes his way out into the Impact Zone. He says the fans make him feel like he’s 18 again, brother. 2012 has been a great year for TNA, and he’s seen this teeny tiny company start to grow into a full-fledged monster. What is so cool about it is there is so much talent in the back room. It’s hard to decide who’s the greatest of the great back there. That’s why he’s giving the fans the chance to vote for the Impact Wrestler of the Year. And, on a special episode of Impact on January 3rd, he’ll announce the winner. Before he can continue, A and E make their way to ringside. Devon starts to talk, but Hogan says no. If he’s so tough, come out here by himself, brother. Devon says Hogan has been telling so many lies, he must honestly believe them. 2012 was his year? No. 2012 was the year A and E was born. 2012 was the year A and E beat the hell out of every single one of the TNA so-called wrestlers back there. It goes like this: this club represents the truth, not the garbage Hogan’s been telling everyone. 2013 will be the year for A and E, and it will also be the year A and E are revealed and gold is accomplished, and Hogan won’t be here to see any of it unfold. The six of them surround the ring, but before anything can happen, Bully Ray runs down, causing the group to scatter. Hogan and Ray have a face-off before Hogan blows him off and leaves the ring.
AI is talking to Jeff Hardy in his locker room. He tells Austin Aries he proved himself to Hardy in their feud, but now he sees Aries’ true colors. He paid some people off to hurt Hardy. He’s not a hard man to find. Hardy beat him twice, and will beat him again.
Deliberation segment #2. Tessmacher is eliminated, because she apparently has experience. I’m not kidding. This is what was discussed.
We see Kaz carrying some presents in the back. He’s headed to the ring next.
Kaz makes his way out to the Impact Zone, presents still in hand. In the ring, there is a tree with more gifts underneath, as well as a throne. He calls the fans “a$#goblins”, and they can’t ruin his mood this evening. We’re days away from Christmas, and he’s in the holiday spirit. He points out the tree has two stars on top (pictures of both members of Bad Influence), then brings out Christopher Daniels. Kind of pointless for them to come out separately when they have the same entrance theme. Their “video” is nothing but Daniels’ logo, spinning. Kaz doesn’t even rank high enough to be a part of the graphic. Not that I’m complaining. Kaz sucks. Daniels sits on the throne. Since he’s been such a dear friend to Kaz and is such a trustworthy, honest saint of a man, he’s arranged for a special visitor to come see him. That guest is the man with the biggest sack Kaz has ever seen, that being Santa Claus. Oh, I see what he did there. Testicle jokes. Hilarious. Well, he did train with John Cena and The Miz, so I guess I shouldn’t expect any less. TNA’s version of Santa was too lazy to make himself look fat. God. Even the company’s Santa is low-rent. Kaz says that, since Santa is always giving presents to everyone, being so generous, Bad Influence got him a gift. Santa opens it, and it’s a pair of Zubaz. Kaz says Santa has a question for Daniels, so Daniels sits on his lap as Kaz takes a picture. Santa then asks Daniels if he’s been a good boy this year. Daniels says he has, by getting rid of AJ Styles, the biggest loser in TNA history. Santa says that, since Bad Influence has given the fans what they want all year long, he’s going to grant Daniels a wish. Daniels says it’s about the gifts you give, so he wants to give his wish to someone who really needs it. He asks Santa to give anything to AJ Styles’ kids. He’s such a loser, he won’t be able to give them anything at all.
James Storm’s music hits, and he says he was listening to Bad Influence make a mockery of Christmas. They can talk about AJ all they want, but when they run down Christmas, it’s not going to happen on his watch. Daniels tells Santa that Storm is the exact reason AJ can’t wrestle for the World title for a year, so make sure to put Storm on the naughty list. Storm says he’s going to the ring to give Santa a reason to put him on the naughty list. Storm starts to tear the decorations apart, but Santa tells him, “Whoa, whoa, whoa.” For some reason, Storm thinks this is suspicious, and wants to know who Santa really is. Santa says he’s Santa, so Storm says that, when he was six, he didn’t get the Red Rider BB gun he asked for, before he begins quoting the film “A Christmas Story”. End this G.D. segment already. He lists off some other crap he wanted when he was younger. He understands Santa is busy this time of year, so he’s going to make this easy. If this guy is the real Santa, then answer a question: last year, what did Storm ask for on Christmas? Santa says a Travis Tritt CD. Storm says that was close, but it was really a case of beer. He lays Santa out with the Last Call. What a huge waste of time.
Austin Aries is in the back, and he makes a joke about not hearing his inner thoughts. He’s got a title match tonight, and it was easy, because Hardy challenged him. That was the biggest mistake of Hardy’s career. This is a wrestling match, Aries’ specialty. He’ll win the title tonight and prove he’s the greatest wrestler in the universe.
Another vignette. This time it’s, one of the ones we’ve seen in previous weeks. We then see video of Sting, solving the mystery. Same crap they pulled last time. This company has no originality.
We’re now in the A and E clubhouse. Black Scorpion wants to know what the hell happened out there with Hogan. They had him where they wanted him until Bully Ray ran down. They need numbers and bodies. Thing 1 (Mike Knox, I believe) asks him if he’s going to hand out patches to every guy that comes along, wanting to be in the group. He bleeds for this club. Devon interjects, saying he’s got someone who might be able to do this. Scorpion wants muscle, not new prospects. Devon says this guy is pissed off enough to do this. They take a vote, and everyone votes “Yea”.
Deliberation #3. Brooke Hogan gives the match to Mickie James.
MATCH 3-Knockouts Championship: Mickie James vs. Tara (Champion, w/Jesse)
These two immediately botch a lock-up (HOWTHEF*CKDOESTHATHAPPEN?!) before James rolls Tara up in a schoolgirl for 2. Jackknife by James for another 2. Tara bridges out and goes for a backslide, but James flips off of it and hits some forearms. She blocks a hip toss and turns it into a victory roll for 2. Tara nails some forearms, but James ducks a clothesline, hits a snapmare and goes for a dropkick. Jesse trips her behind Taryn Terrell’s back, and Tara goes for the pin, getting 2. Tara hits a hairmare for another 2, then goes for the pin again, getting another 2. Another pin, another 2. Tara hangs James by the hair, then grinds her face into the mat. She slams James’ face into the mat a couple times, then covers her for 2. Tara picks her up and hits some shoulder thrusts in the corner, then sends her hard into the opposite corner. Tara goes for another pin, getting 2. This match is sh*t. Tara applies a modified surfboard. James fights out, and Tara grabs her in the Spider’s Web. James counters into a spinning headscissors, then ties her up with a crucifix for 2. Tara pops up and hits a powerslam for 2. James blocks the standing moonsault, and the two trade slaps. James hits some more forearms hits a mule kick and a crane kick, a couple clotheslines, a forearm, and a neckbreaker for 2. Tara punches her and goes for the Widow’s Peak. James slides out and hits the standing tornado DDT, but Jesse pulls Tara to the floor on the pin. They decide to head to the back and take a count-out, but James hits a Thesz Press to the floor on Jesse before that happens. Tara crawls back in the ring, and as James comes back in, Jesse grabs her foot. Tara uses the distraction to botch an inverted atomic drop, and James lands with her leg bent backwards. Tara gets the 3.
WINNER: Tara. An inverted atomic drop? Are you jerking me? Honestly, this is one of the worst women’s matches I’ve seen in a long time, and that says a hell of a lot.
We get a video of Joe Abyss training in OVW from earlier this week. Hey, remember when he was looking for his “brother”, and he returned one week, then someone else came out dressed up in his gear a week later, and then nothing else happened after that? Man, that was a great storyline. The best part of this video is Danny Davis showing him how to fake a forearm shot. Way to break the fourth wall, guys. One of the other trainees accidentally nails Joe in the face and splits him open, so Joe goes nuts and hits the Black Hole Slam.
MATCH 4-World Championship: Austin Aries vs. Jeff Hardy (Champion)
Thankfully, this should be the last bit of the night. Recapping this episode has been a major chore. They start with a lock-up, and Aries gives him a clean break in the corner. Another lock-up, and Hardy tries to give the clean break, but Aries knees him. Hardy fights back and sends him into the corner. Bodyslam gets 1. Aries hits a bodyslam of his own and goes for a tope con hilo, but Hardy blocks it with his knees. Snapmare by Hardy, and a dropkick to the back gets 2. Hardy hits some mounted punches in the corner, then punches him through the ropes, sending him to the floor. Aries eventually gets back in on his own, hits a knee lift and a clothesline for 2. Aries goes for the brainbuster, but Hardy fights out and clotheslines him to the floor. Hardy goes for a dive off the apron, but Aries moves, causing Hardy to crash into the guardrail. Aries is back in the ring as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Aries hits the tope con hilo on the second attempt, getting 2. Aries with a double stomp to the face, then hits a slingshot elbow for another near-fall. Aries applies a rear chinlock, then whips Hardy down by the neck as he tries to fight out. Fist drop by Aries for another 2. He hits some shots to the back, then reapplies the chinlock. Hardy gets to the ropes, and Aries continues the attack on the back. Aries sets Hardy against the buckles, where he punches him down. Hardy counters a corner whip with a headscissors, sending Aries into the buckles. Hardy is back up first and goes for the middle rope splash, but Aries gets the knees up and gets 2. Aries goes for the brainbuster, but Hardy counters with the sit-out gourdbuster. Hardy hits a flying forearm off the ropes and a front powerslam near the corner. Splash connects this time, getting 2. Aries shoves off a Twist of Fate attempt, sending Hardy into the corner. Hardy goes for the headscissors spot again, but Aries shoves him off, causing him to crotch himself on the top rope and bounce back to the mat. Aries hits a rolling elbow in the corner and follows up with a running dropkick for 2. Aries goes for the brainbuster yet again, but Hardy slides out, kicks Aries in the back and shoves him to the ropes for a roll-up. Aries holds onto the ropes, but turns around into the Alley-Oop by Hardy for 2. The two trade blows in the corner, and Aries sends Hardy to the opposite corner. Hardy blocks the charge and goes for Botch in the Wind, but Aries moves out of the way, sending Hardy crashing to the mat. Aries looks for the brainbuster once more, and Hardy counters with a knee to the head. He fights out with punches before slamming Aries’ face into the top buckle. Hardy hits the sit-out Twist of Fate, and Aries falls backwards into the corner. He goes for it again, and Aries pushes him off. He hits a back elbow out of the corner and goes for a dive from the middle rope, and Hardy counters with an inverted atomic drop. He follows up with the double legdrop, but Aries kicks him off before he can hit the move, causing Hardy to crash into the referee in the process. Hardy checks on the ref, so Aries low blows him. Brainbuster connects, and then Aries begins calling for another referee. Aries rolls Hardy up, thinking a referee is on his way, but instead, it’s Bobby Roode. Aries doesn’t see him, and Roode attempts the count. He counts 2, then stops. Aries turns around to see what the hell is going on, and when he faces Roode, Roode flips him off and hits him with a spinebuster. Roode leaves as the ref is getting up, and Hardy hits the Twist of Fate. He calls for the swanton bomb, which connects for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Jeff Hardy.
AI stops Hulk Hogan in the back as he’s leaving, asking about the world title picture. Hogan says it’s chaos, and it’s his first goal in 2013 to straighten it out. AI asks about Aces and Eights and his daughter, so Hogan tells him not to worry about it. Hogan turns around and sees Brooke and Bully Ray making out against a car a few feet away. As AI continues to ask questions, Hogan gets in his car and drives away.
This week’s TNA Impact Wrestling opens up with Bobby Roode, who came up short in his bid for the World title at Final Resolution, thanks in part to his deal with Aces and Eights going south.
Roode admits he’s a little bit taken back, a little confused, and a whole lot pissed off. He’s trying to figure out what happened at FR. He considers himself an intelligent business man, and he made a very big, lucrative investment into the World Heavyweight Championship. He guaranteed he’d become the new champion, but it didn’t happen. He made a deal with A and E, and where he comes from, a deal’s a deal. What he wants right now are answers from A and E. Devon, DOC, Big Guy, Black Scorpion and Brian Pillman all make their way out, and Devon says a better deal was put on the plate. Roode doesn’t understand. Devon says Roode is a businessman, and they’re a club who likes to do business with business people, and someone came along with a better deal. Roode wants to know who it is. Who outbid him? Devon says that, when a deal is made, they keep it amongst themselves. That’s the way it goes. DOC and Devon jump on the apron, and Devon says they can’t say who the person is who outbid Roode, but later tonight, he may just get his answer. They jump in the ring when Jeff Hardy and James Storm make their way out. Hardy says they’re not here to play detective tonight; they’re here to fight. Storm and Hardy fight off A and E as Roode bails, sending the gang out of the ring.
Taz can stop calling himself “The Human Suplex Machine” now, considering he hasn’t thrown one in nearly a decade.
Next week is Championship Thursday, and the title that will be on the line will be the Knockouts Championship. We cut to Velvet Sky, who is under consideration for the title match. She says it was great to return last week. She was like a kid on Christmas. She’s been out for six months, and she’s more determined than ever. She will be more focused than ever, and then rambles about pigeons in her vagina.
MATCH 1: Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky
Well, this should be a workrate dream. Rayne starts screeching at Sky before the bell rings, then forearms her from behind. Sky counters by throwing her to the corners, then hits a DEVASTATING slap to the ass. Snapmare and a seated dropkick gets 2. Rayne counters In Yo Face with a short-arm clothesline. Rayne does the hair stomp a couple times, then chokes Sky over the middle rope. Rayne hits a version of the Edge-O-Matic, then hits the Taco Twister for 2, followed by another 2. Sky kicks her in the face, hits a couple chops, and a couple facebreakers. Sky hits a couple clotheslines and a back elbow, then a sloppy bulldog. In Yo Face connects, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Velvet Sky. Sky might look good, but she sucks something awful in the ring.
Kurt Angle is in the back with the Wonder Twins. He says he’ll be in their corner, but they’re still on their own. This turns into a 5-Hour Energy commercial. No, really.
We see Bad Influence in the back, asking if they had anything to do with the A and E payoff. Kaz says Roode is a friend of theirs, and they wouldn’t do that. Daniels says his focus on Sunday was beating AJ Styles, and he didn’t need anyone’s help. Kaz says AJ is the guy to ask, because he has nothing to lose.
MATCH 2: The Robbies (E and T) vs. The Wonder Twins (Garett Bischoff and Wes Brisco, w/Kurt Angle)
The Robbies attack from behind before the bell, and T hits a powerslam on Wes. E tags in and fires off some rights before using a foot choke. Wes fights back, but E trips him. The Robbies fake a tag, and T locks in a bearhug. Wes fights out, but T catches him trying to go for the tag and rams him back to the heel corner. E tags in, hits a bodyslam, then goes to the middle rope. Wes attempts to block him with a foot, but E catches him, throws the leg down, and then misses an elbow drop. Garett makes the luke warm tag and hits an avalanche in the corner. He hits a flapjack before T yanks him down by the hair. T tags in, and Wes makes the blind tag off the ropes. Garett clotheslines E to the floor, and Wes goes up top and hits a cross-body for 3.
WINNERS: The Wonder Twins. As they’re celebrating, Big comes in and clips Angle’s knee with a pipe.
The doctor is checking on Angle’s knee in the back. There’s apparently swelling, but no ligament damage.
We get a video of Joe Abyss pretending to learn how to wrestle at OVW. We get a cameo from “Nightmare” Danny Davis as he meets with Joe to learn to wrestle.
We’re now in Brooke Hogan’s office when Tara and Jesse enter the office. Jesse is facing Bully Ray tonight, and Tara doesn’t want any hard feelings, regardless of the outcome tonight. Tara is also here to pick out an opponent for her next week. Brooke says she’ll find out her opponent next Thursday like everyone else.
We get another vignette like last week, except the message is different. This time, it says, “Vengeance will have a name. He will descend upon them like a plague. And they will fear him. 1.3.13” Last week, it was discussing “they”. This week, it’s “he”. Make up your minds, TNA.
Kenny King talks about how facing RVD was a dream match for him, but he came up short. He learns more from his losses than wins. Tonight, it’s about what he learned. RVD may still be champion after tonight, but King will knock him square on his ass.
MATCH 3: James Storm and World Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Big Guy and DOC
If I’m not mistaken, Big Guy is the former Mike Knox. DOC and Storm start the match, trading blows. Storm gets the advantage with corner punches, then takes him down with a clothesline. Hardy tags in and hits a double axe handle from the middle rope. Guy tags in and Hardy hits some rights. Hardy hits a headscissors out of the corner, sending Guy to the floor. Hardy dropkicks him through the ropes, then hits a double apron clothesline on the heels outside. Commercials.
We’re back, and DOC is now legal for his team. Guy clotheslines Hardy from the apron, and DOC boots him to the floor. Guy stomps Hardy on the floor, and Storm interjects himself. The referee sends Storm back to his corner as Guy rolls Hardy back in the ring. DOC nails an uppercut, then hits some body blows. Guy tags in and steps on Hardy’s face. Guy rams him into the corner, then fires off some rights. DOC back in now, and he kicks Hardy in the gut, and follows up with a foot choke. Guy back in, and he drops an elbow for 2 before locking in a front chancery. Hardy breaks the hold with a sit-out jawbreaker, but Guy recovers quickly and tags DOC back in. DOC hits a big boot before stomping Hardy down. He drops an elbow across the back before applying a side headlock. Hardy fights out with elbows and begins to crawl to his corner. DOC nails Storm with an uppercut, then drags Hardy back to his own corner to tag in Guy. Guy grinds Hardy’s face into the mat for 2, then drops some knees onto the chest. He launches Hardy to the floor, and DOC drops down off the apron. As DOC sends Hardy into the guardrail, I have to go back a few minutes and recall something Taz said. He said the guys in A and E were extremely athletic, especially Big Guy. So far, in the few matches he’s had, Big Guy has done nothing but punches, kicks, elbows and knees. Now, if this really is Mike Knox, I will agree that there is some athleticism there. However, regardless of his real identity, he has done absolutely nothing since being in TNA to indicate he has any athletic ability. Just when I thought Taz couldn’t be any less credible…Anyway, DOC hurls Hardy back into the ring, where Guy gets 2. DOC back in, and he hits a jumping splash off the ropes for another 2 that Storm breaks up. DOC applies a rear chinlock. Hardy tries to fight out, so DOC sends him into the corner, where Hardy hits a back elbow, followed by Botch in the Wind. DOC stops a tag with a stomp to the back, and now Guy tags back in. He kicks Hardy in the back. Hardy tries to slide under his legs for a tag, but Guy catches his foot. Hardy hits a reverse enziguri and makes the hot tag to Storm. Storm knocks DOC off the apron and hits a kick to the back of the head on Guy, then hits a cross-body off the top for 2. Hardy back in, and the faces hit Poetry in Motion. Double suplex for DOC, and Big Guy #2 & Black Scorpion hit the ring. The faces fight them off, and that’s when Devon comes in with a bat. Storm ducks a swing and hits Closing Time before Hardy clotheslines Devon to the floor. DOC gets nailed with the Last Call, and Guy takes the Twist of Fate for 3.
WINNERS: Jeff Hardy and James Storm. The gang hit the ring as Hardy and Storm leave. Devon tells them the club doesn’t fight other people’s business. You want to know who paid them off? That guy is Austin Aries.
Hulk Hogan is in the back, angry about what he just heard in regards to Aries. Roode walks up and is screaming as well. Hogan gets Aries on the phone, and he wants Aries to come clean on what’s going on by the end of the night, or there will be hell to pay. He hangs up and tells Roode he hasn’t decided to what to do with Roode yet.
AJ Styles makes his way into the Impact Zone to address his loss to Christopher Daniels at FR. AJ says he demanded this time to come out here and address the fans. He doesn’t have to tell us where he’s been, how long he’s been there, what’s going on with him, or where he’s going. A nonsensical “You still got it!” chant breaks out. Sorry, Impact Zone asshats, but you only chant that at someone who is either a) old, or b) comes out of retirement. AJ Styles doesn’t fall into either of those categories. Anyway, AJ says he’s not going anywhere, so don’t worry about that. The truth is, he doesn’t know where he’s going at this point. He has no idea what the next step is. He’s spent so much time being a corporate guy and trying to take care of everyone else that he’s forgotten about taking care of himself. Basically, he’s out here to tell us this: This has nothing to do with us. This has nothing to do with the Impact Zone. This has nothing to do with Dixie Carter. He takes off his generic TNA shirt and says this has nothing to do with Impact Wrestling. This has everything to do with AJ Styles. He’s sick and tired of being the corporate janitor and cleaning up every TNA mess. He’s tired of always doing the right thing. From now on, he’s going to be doing his own thing. AJ drops the mic and leaves.
We see Dixie Carter pacing in the back. She stops AJ Styles and asks who he is. AJ simply hands her the shirt he took off earlier and keeps walking. Segue to Bad Influence watching this on a monitor elsewhere. They call AJ leaving tremendous, and Daniels sings and dances. He says this is like Christmas. Kaz says no, but it will, because he’s got something even better for Daniels later tonight.
MATCH 4: Kenny King vs. World X-Division Champion Rob Van Dam (non-title)
Lock-up to start, and King goes into a side headlock. RVD counters into a hammerlock before they trade a couple quick holds and end in a stalemate. RVD blocks a kick and hits a roundhouse. RVD taunts the crowd, so King hits him with a knee to the back off the top rope, sending him to the floor. King hits a corkscrew plancha on RVD before sending him back into the ring for 2. King hits a snap suplex and floats over into some mounted punches. He sends RVD into the corner and hits a jumping hip bump, going over the ropes and landing on the floor. Back in, King gets another 2. King fires off some rights and sends RVD into the corner once more, but RVD counters the charge with a spinning heel kick. RVD hits another in the corner, then follows up with a springboard legdrop for 2. King goes for a kick, but RVD blocks it and spins King around. King continues to spin and nails a kick to the head. Think Shelton Benjamin’s Dragon Whip, but in the opposite direction. King hotshots RVD over the top rope, then hits a springboard blockbuster for 2. King sends RVD into the corner and charges, but RVD sidesteps him, causing King to go sternum-first into the buckles. I guess he never read the part in Bret Hart’s book where he said coming up with that spot was one of the worst ideas he’s ever had. RVD hits a front powerslam, but misses the split-legged moonsault. King goes for a DDT, and RVD counters into a northern lights suplex for 2. King misses a jumping roundhouse, and RVD comes back with the step-over spinning heel kick. RVD hits a spinning legdrop, then goes up for the Five-Star. King cuts him off and goes up, but RVD shoves him off. King backflips in mid-air and lands on his feet as RVD hits a cross-body. King rolls through and hooks his foot on the ropes, getting the 3.
WINNER: Kenny King.
Bully Ray walks into Hogan’s office as Hogan’s on the phone. Ray wants to know if Hogan has a different opinion after FR. Hogan says Ray has a huge problem, and isn’t man enough to talk to Hogan about his daughter. His personal BS with Brooke has turned into Hogan’s business. Brooke wouldn’t have been in harms way in Ray’s match with Aries this past Sunday if Ray wasn’t sneaking around, coming in through the back door (I don’t want to know…). As far as Ray and Hogan are concerned, Hogan hasn’t changed his mind one bit about his feelings towards Ray, as well as the situation. Ray screams that he doesn’t have anything going on with Brooke, and maybe Brooke is the one starting all of this. Hogan says that could be possible. Ray says that, when they were on the couch together, she was apologizing to Ray for her dad treating him like sh*t. Hogan says that, if he is wrong, there is no reason for Ray to talk to her again, and maybe it’s his fault that Brooke ran down to ringside and almost got her teeth kicked in on Sunday. Ray says that all he was trying to do was shut Aries up and show respect for Brooke. He should be on Team Hogan for standing up for Brooke and standing with Sting. He’s bled to earn Hogan’s respect. What’s it going to take, Terry? He’s had respect for Hogan since day one. What Brooke does is her business. She’s a grown woman. Get over it.
Up next, Bully Ray vs. Jesse.
MATCH 5: Jesse (w/Knockouts Champion Tara) vs. Bully Ray
Anyone who wears their sunglasses on the back of their head, or clipped to the back of their shirt collar is someone I hate by default. Ray immediately knocks Jesse down with a double axe handle to the face, followed by a forearm to the back. More forearms, followed by a clothesline. Ray shoulders Jesse off the ropes and fires off some rights. Jesse comes back with an uppercut, but Ray no-sells some chops. Jesse goes into the ropes and runs right into a big boot. Ray hits a loud open-hand chop in the corner, then hits another in the adjacent corner. Tara gets in the ring to stop a third chop, so Ray smacks her on the ass, sending her to the floor. Jesse drops Ray with a double axe handle to the back, followed by some stomps. Jesse hits a crossface punch, then hits a forearm to the face. Jesse hits a dropkick then poses. Ray hits an open-hand chop to the chest from his knees, but Jesse comes back with a clothesline. He hits some more forearms, then foot chokes Ray in the corner. Jesse follows up with a back elbow, and Tara chokes Ray behind the ref’s back. Another dropkick by Jesse, but he misses a jumping legdrop. Ray pops up and hits the Bully Cutter and gets the 3.
WINNER: Bully Ray. Ray’s head wound from Sunday night has been re-opened, and he’s bleeding down his face.
Austin Aries tells AI to back off. AI will have to wait for the information until Aries gets in the ring and tells the world…right now.
Same vignette from earlier airs.
Aries makes his way out to supposedly clear the air about paying off A and E. He can’t say he’s surprised that the kitten’s out of the bag, that the beans have been spilled. Yes, he was the man who trumped Roode’s offer to A and E. Bobby, he knows your upset. But, as a man who is willing to do anything to get the World Championship, and as a man who said, “Money talks”, you’ll understand that Aries’ money sings, and it sang loud and clear to A and E. He’s not surprised they outed him this evening, but he didn’t care that they did that as long as they got the job done, which they did. Devon, you said you don’t fight other people’s battles, but when you do, you get paid. 6 months ago, Hogan had Aries fighting his battles for him against A and E. He was the newly crowned World Champion, and Hogan put him at the front of the line to fight against A and E. That was Hogan’s battle. Did Aries get paid for it? Absolutely not. After he did Hogan’s dirty work, he was tossed aside for Jeff Hardy. Aries doesn’t forgive or forget, and that’s why he’s been stirring the pot and pushing buttons. And he will not stop until he gets the World title back.
Jeff Hardy’s music hits, and he limps down to the ring. He says this is about him and what he has. Aries wanted the title so bad he hired a motorcycle gang to help him. Talk about pathetic. All Aries had to do was ask like a man. Aries says that isn’t true. He has to jump through hoops in this place to get what he wants. Hardy reminds Aries that next week is Championship Thursday, and he proposes Austin/Hardy III for the title. Aries won’t do it in front of Hardy’s fans. As much as they would love to see that match, the problem is he doesn’t do what the fans want, or what Hardy wants on his time. Aries does what he wants, when he wants. Hardy says he always gives the fans what they want before decking Aries. Aries takes him down with some punches, and the two just brawl in the ring. Aries goes for the brainbuster, but Hardy counters with a Twist of Fate. He goes for the swanton bomb, but Aries rolls to the floor first.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Giri and I am a Dixie Carter guy! Yup, I dig crazy Dix! But that’s beside the point.
The point is Punk can’t move ratings and won’t! But honestly that’s not his fault. Your entire programming has become so gimmicky that it’s turned into a goon show! Dancing monsters, delusional superstars, meaningless championships; I mean tell me one title that’s relevant on WWE right now.
As you mentioned in your ‘State of WWE’ address, what we need is action. But action Vince – no one knows it better than you do – isn’t just in-ring action. We get that week after week. Thank you.
Let me tell you something about the wrestling business, Vince. Since I am not the one who is making or losing money, I can impart a few tips on running a wrestling company. Ask Dixie!
You see, Vince, wrestling is a boisterous form of entertainment. The art must be found within that madness! And you know it better than anyone else. When you kicked off things, you had Hogan who was all energy and electricity; ripping the T, milking the crowd, over selling moves etc etc. Though I hated all those stuff then, now I realize that you had very good business acumen!
But every storm must be followed by calm. So you had Bret Hart headlining your PPVs. And then it was time for another storm. Michaels was too small to kick up one. Just like Punk. So you went back to the drawing board and sketched out another swashbuckler; Steve Austin. Not done with that you kept on standby another loudmouth; the Rock.
Then it was time for another period of calm. In comes John Cena with his quiet aggression. More than half a decade at the top and it was time for another Storm. But this time it just doesn’t seem to gather or is it that you don’t feel threatened enough to go out of your way?
Somewhere I felt Punk could have been that guy. But, forget that you booked him like an idiot, (no, you can’t fire me!) you forgot something else too. At the heart of wrestling lies the tao of beating up another guy. You can talk as much as you want on the mic and be damn good at that, but unless you put your boots where the other guy’s mouth is, it isn’t gonna stick! This was perhaps why nobody bought it when Punk threatened to beat up Cena or even Jim Ross. Jim Ross for Heavens sake!
Austin, Rock et al worked cause they never waited for the referee to ring the bell to settle the score and to prove to the world that they were the best. Just like Hogan, they never wasted time on holds and technique. Anytime was brawl time.
I can think of only two instances when Punk did that – once when he put Del Rio through the table and once when he GTS’d John Laurinaitis. What a rush those moments gave us. And he did a terrific job at that. But that was more than a year ago. Since then he’s been just talking on the mic like a cocky @$$ and that’s it!
As you said Vince, what WWE needs is action. But for that you need champions with brass ones, bad guys and monster heels. Not little Jimmys, Funkadactyls and bickering grownups. So without further ado let’s have some real action; in the ring, outside the ring, in the parking lot, in the backstage, in the lobby, in the trailer, on the Titantron, in your house… let’s brawl!
As weird as it sounds, I had a dream about watching this episode, and it was beyond awful. All I can say is that, if the show ends with four unknown fata$$es in a tag team match, I’m going to be very upset.
Sting and Hulk Hogan are in Hogan’s office. Hogan wishes he could be by Sting’s side for BFG. Hogan goes over the situation, and tells Sting to put a bullet in Aces and Eights. Sting is going to watch every match tonight, and make his choice for a partner based on the match results. Sting tells Hogan that, if he sees someone that looks good, let him know.
Mr. Anderson makes his way out, likely to complain about Samoa Joe beating his ass last week and knocking him out. Instead, he tells Sting and Hogan that they might want to gather around the monitor for this one, then does his stupid routine. Yeah, that was something special. How could Hogan and Sting NOT choose him with that performance? Oh, he has a match coming up? Well, I still stand by my point that he sucks.
MATCH 1: Mr. Anderson vs. Gunner (w/Kid Kash)
Gunner immediately attacks Anderson, firing off some punches in the corner. Anderson comes back with a clothesline, back elbow and swinging neckbreaker for 1. Gunner comes back with more punches and a back elbow. I swear sometimes he has no other offense. Anderson lands a dropkick, and Gunner rolls to the floor. Outside, Anderson is distracted by Kash, allowing Gunner to nail a double axe handle from behind. We see Sting watching on as Gunner throws Anderson back into the ring. Back elbow off the ropes gets 2. Gunner applies a rear chinlock/armbar combo. He whips Anderson into the corner, but misses an avalanche. He fights out of a rolling fireman’s carry, but runs right into the Mic Check for 3.
WINNER: Mr. Anderson. Kash runs in and begins stomping Anderson, but Anderson blocks a clothesline and drops Kash with the Mic Check.
Tara is in the back, talking to her boyfriend on her phone. She mentiones Stacy and George breaking up. Gail Kim interrupts her call, saying they have a tag match later. Tara says she and her boyfriend should double with Kim and her cable television star husband. Tara then calls Torrie and A-Rod.
MATCH 2: Gail Kim and Tara vs. Knockouts Tag Team Co-Champion ODB and Knockouts Champion Miss Tessmacher
Can someone explain to Tara that the purpose of garters is to hold up stockings (which she doesn’t have on)? ODB and Kim start, with ODB chest-bumping Kim to the ground. ODB throws Kim to the corner and lands an avalanche. She goes for the Bammm! early, but Kim fights out. ODB blocks a kick and lands a clothesline, followed by a bodyslam. Tessy tags in and sends Kim into the corner with a Dropsh*t, followed by a stinkface. ODB tags in and goes for a bronco buster, but Kim gets out of the way. Tara tags in, and ODB hits a hard corner whip, followed by a bronco buster. Tara goes for a dropkick off the ropes, but ODB holds on, dropping Kim with a forearm in the process. Tara clubs her from behind before landing some mounted punches and tagging Kim back in. Kim botches a European uppercut (?) before sending ODB into the corner and hitting her with the shoulder thrust she does that winds up with her standing on the apron. Tara calls for a tag, and Kim waves her off. Flying clothesline gets 2. Tara tags herself in and begins stomping ODB. ODB blocks the standing moonsault, and now both women are down. Tessy tags in and fires off some forearm shots. She hits a pair of clotheslines, and because we no longer have Kelly Kelly around, decides to do a screaming headscissors. Now, I officially hate Miss Tessmacher. Anyway, she blows the living hell out of a flying forearm before landing the Mug Shot for 2 as Kim breaks up the pin. ODB spears Kim while drinking from her flask. From the apron, Kim pulls ODB down to the floor. Tara shoves Kim into Tessy, then hits the Widow’s Peak for 3.
WINNERS: Gail Kim and Tara.
We see Al Snow and Bruce Prichard going over some kind of paperwork in the back. Prichard tells Snow to make sure to sign it before asking him to send D’Lo Brown to see him when he can.
Video package for the Joey Ryan saga.
Al Snow makes his way out. I’m guessing this is some kind of apology segment in regards to the Joey Ryan storyline. Sure enough, Snow introduces Ryan, and he’s even got his own entrance music. Snow says that, several weeks ago, he allowed his emotions to overcome his better judgment, resulting in him striking Ryan and putting himself and the company in a bad position. As a result, on behalf of TNA, he’d like to apologize for his actions. Ryan tells him to say he’s sorry. He says Snow is an office stooge, but he doesn’t want to hear an apology on behalf of TNA management; he wants to hear, “I’m sorry”. Snow says it and offers a handshake. Ryan says he’s the one in control. He calls Snow pathetic, and he manipulated Snow just like he did the 87%. Tonight’s not about Snow or the crowd; tonight is about Joey Ryan. So, Al, why don’t you go ahead and share with everyone the agreement our legal counsel came to? Snow pulls the paperwork out, and it’s a contract to become a TNA wrestler. Ryan says it’s not tough to do the right thing as he grabs the paper. Ryan asks Snow to turn around so he can sign the papers on Snow’s back. Snow obliges, and Ryan signs his contract. He tells Snow to announce him as the newest TNA superstar. Snow says he’s sorry, but Ryan should have read this more closely. Turns out, he doesn’t have a permanent spot, and the contract is for one night. The night in question is BFG, and he has the opportunity to be on the roster if he wins his match. His opponent is Snow. Gee, who didn’t see that coming?
Kurt Angle and Sting are in the back. Angle says A and E jumped him, too, and he has no problem doing double duty at BFG. Sting needs someone who has their mind and plate clear on that night. Angle CAN pull off double duty, and Sting is going to at least think about it. As Angle leaves, Bully Ray enters. He tells Sting he should be in the World title match at BFG, but he’s not because of A and E. He wants them worse than anyone else. What does he have to do to convince Sting he should be the partner? Sting tells him to make something happen. Find somebody in the back to beat up tonight. Sting needs a bully.
MATCH 3-World Television Championship: Rob Van Dam vs. Samoa Joe (Champion)
Looks like Devon finally sent the belt back to the company. Tie-up to start, with Joe shoving RVD into the corner. Joe with a waistlock takedown, which RVD counters into a leg grapevine. Joe punches his way out, and now the two trade punches. Joe nails a pair of clotheslines before sending RVD into the corner, where he hits the running hip bump/roundhouse combo. RVD comes back with some punches and tries for the leg scissors roll-up, but Joe holds on and locks in an STF. RVD gets a rope break before rolling to the floor. Joe follows, and RVD drops him with a dropkick to the knee. Joe blocks a lift over the guardrail and hits two knee lifts before sending RVD into the steps. Back in the ring, RVD blocks a corner charge with a back elbow and nails a high kick to the face before hitting a springboard side kick. Rolling Thunder to the back gets 2. He hits a spinning heel kick in the corner and goes for a monkey flip, but Joe holds on and sets RVD on the top rope. RVD kicks him away and hits a cross-body. Step-over spinning heel kick connects, and now RVD signals for the Five-Star. As RVD gets on the top, Joe quickly gets to his feet, grabs RVD and hits a running Muscle Buster for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Samoa Joe.
AJ Styles is talking to Hernandez and Chavo Guerrero in the back, and they’re arguing about what happened last week. Chris-Zarian enter the fray and try to stir things up. Kaz oh-so-cleverly calls Chavo “Nacho Libre” before telling them that he overheard Angle saying he doesn’t even care about this match and that he can beat Chavo and Hernandez by himself.
Dixie Carter recalls her favorite BFG moments, specifically Sting winning at all of them for the first several years. Big surprise.
King Mo showed up earlier today.
Austin Aries and Jeff Hardy are in the parking lot. Aries gives a back-handed apology to Hardy for last week, saying they’re cool now. Bully Ray walks up and says he has good news and bad news. The good news is he’s not punching them right now. Bad news is he’ll do it later in the match. To prove himself to Sting, he’s going to beat the #1 contender for the World title, that being Hardy. Aries takes offense to that, saying he can prove himself by beating the champion. Ray says he already beat him, to which Aries says Ray has never beaten him cleanly. Ray says he can take the title with the snap of his fingers. Hardy suggests a triple threat tonight, and Ray likes it.
MATCH 4: Chavo Guerrero (w/Hernandez) vs. Kurt Angle (w/AJ Styles)
I haven’t heard music as generic as Chavo’s in TNA since Glenn Gilbertti’s/Sonjay Dutt’s old theme. They start off with a tie-up and trading waistlocks. Chavo gets Angle in a side headlock. Chavo lands a shoulder off the ropes before cinching in another headlock (that he nearly botches). Angle counters with a back suplex, but Chavo hangs onto the headlock. Angle gets back up and backs Chavo into the corner, where he stomps him down. Chavo comes back with some European uppercuts before getting another side headlock on Angle. Innovative stuff here. Angle hits a back body drop off the ropes. He stomps Chavo down once more before using a foot choke. Chavo gets back up and hits more punches. Angle comes back with a clothesline. Suplex gets 1 before going into a waistlock. Chavo fights out, but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2. They trade some more punches before Chavo hits a spinning headscissors (that he botches). Angle no-sells and goes for a bodyslam, but Chavo escapes and hits a dropkick. Chavo hits a forward roll for 2. Clothesline attempt, and Angle blocks it before hitting an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Chavo counters the Angle Slam with an armdrag, and follows up with a hurricanrana into the pin for 2. Chavo goes for the 3 Amigos, but only hits the first one. Angle blocks the second and connects with the Dead Guy suplexes. Chavo rolls through the ankle lock attempt and hits the 3 Amigos. Up top, Chavo misses the frog splash, allowing Angle to nail the Angle Slam. He goes for the ankle lock, and Hernandez distracts him. This is enough for Chavo to roll Angle up for the 3.
WINNER: Chavo Guerrero. The two teams get in each other’s faces as Chris-Zarian look on from the stage, laughing. The four realize the champs are taunting them and challenge them to come down to the ring.
MATCH 5-World X-Division Championship: Douglas Williams vs. Zema Ion (Champion)
I had almost forgotten this belt exists. I know I say that a lot, but when you consider how few title matches there are on this show and how completely unremarkable Ion is, you can understand why. Ion gets in a couple of cheap shots, so Williams forearms the hell out of his face. Williams hits a couple headbutts to the gut and a European uppercut. Ion counters a bodyslam into a roll-up, but Williams holds onto the ropes and nails a running knee to the face. Clothesline over the ropes. Williams follows and gets a headlock on him with some punches, but Ion shoves him off into the ring post. Back in the ring, Williams connects with a forearm, but it hurts him as well. So, he lands a back elbow next. Ion counters a clothesline into an armbar takedown, then turns it into a hammerlock/jujigatame combo. Williams taps.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Zema Ion. Ion refuses to let go of the hold after the match, so the referee reverses the decision. Williams wins via DQ, but Ion remains champion. Ion grabs a mic and says he’s the first choice for Sting and Hogan against A and E. Well, you can take his name off the list, as he’s too good looking to risk it before saying his catchphrase, which may be worse than James Storm’s.
Video package for King Mo, and I begin to fall asleep. He’ll be out next.
In the back, we see Bruce Prichard with D’Lo Brown. Prichard has an iPad out with some video playing. He asks D’Lo who it is in the video, and D’Lo identifies him as referee Brian Stifler (I don’t know if that’s the correct spelling, nor do I care). The video is from a live event (house show) and asks who is the guy who kicked Stifler in the face. It’s Matt Morgan. Prichard wants to know why Morgan is here. D’Lo says he has no clue, but Prichard doesn’t believe him, as he shows footage of D’Lo escorting Morgan out of the building earlier in the night. He wants to know where D’Lo was the second time around before telling him this can never happen again. D’Lo promises it won’t.
James Storm now makes his way out, back in his Criss Angel outfit. The vest is beyond ridiculous. 10 days until the biggest PPV of the year, BFG. 10 days away from the biggest night of Storm’s life. 10 days away, and it will be 1 year from when his conflict with Bobby Roode started. He’s not coming to BFG to prove he’s a better wrestler or fighter; he’s coming to prove he’s the better man. It seems that the GM doesn’t like his refs to be pushed around, so a special enforcer has been inserted into this match, that being King Mo. Before Mo can come out, Roode interrupts things. He doesn’t give a damn about some Bellator fighter, and quite frankly, neither should Storm. Storm should only be thinking about getting in the ring with Roode, a man he’s never beaten and rode the coattails of for 4 years, not to mention a man he’s been jealous of his whole career. This fire has been burning for a year, and at BFG, it’s going to explode. They’ve proven over the last few weeks that no one in the company can contain it, so Hogan found King Mo. This won’t just be a match; it will be a fight, and Roode won’t stop until he knows he has ended Storm’s career. There isn’t a man on Earth who will stop him, so King Mo, if you think you’re getting in his way, you’ve got another thing coming. This is his world. He’s the It Factor of pro wrestling, and Mo will do nothing to stop him. If Mo was here right now, Roode would say it to his face.
Of course, this is the point Mo comes out. Roode gets in his face and makes fun of his outfit (rightfully so) before shoving him. Mo knocks him on his ass with a shove, so Roode backs off. Mo heads to the ring as Roode heads to the back. Mo gets in the ring and he pretends that he and Storm are going to fight, but Storm just raises his arm before sharing a beer.
Hogan’s back in his office. He tells Sting he already made his pick for BFG. Sting looks at it and says there’s still one more match tonight. He sees something in Bully Ray, and he’s going to watch this match. Hogan says he’s going to watch with him.
How much do you want to bet that the Leader of Aces and Eights turns out to be Eric Bischoff? Even with the voice changer, it sounds like him.
We see Joe Abyss tied up in the chair back at A and E’s clubhouse. He’s apparently out cold, so one of the guys throws a bucket of water on him as another one is sparking a pair of jumper cables. Black Scorpion tells Hogan that Joe is okay, just like they promised. He finds it funny that Hogan and Sting are holding an audition tonight to see who will face A and E. When he posed the question to his brotherhood, he doesn’t have to look far to see who will volunteer. Everyone in the gang is ready to die for the brotherhood. Will the guys in TNA do the same for Hogan? 10 days, they’ll reveal who their two are. The camera goes black.
MATCH 6-Triple Threat Match: Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy vs. World Champion Austin Aries (non-title)
The match goes to commercial before it even starts, and when we come back, Ray is in control on Hardy as Aries is on the outside. Hardy counters a suplex with his own, and Ray rolls to the floor. Aries back in, but before they can make contact, Ray drags Hardy to the floor and throws him into the ring post. Ray in the ring, and Aries beats him down. Ray comes back with a back elbow, but runs into a pair of boots in the corner. Aries mounts the middle rope and hits a clothesline (that Taz calls a “top rope cross-body”). Ray counters the corner dropkick with a big boot, but Hardy comes back in and hits Poetry in Motion off Aries’ back. Hardy hits a running forearm on Ray, followed by an inverted atomic drop, double legdrop and seated dropkick. Sit-out Twist of Fate connects, and now Hardy’s going up top. Swanton bomb connects, but Aries breaks up the pin and throws Hardy to the floor. He locks Ray in the Last Chancery, and Hardy breaks that up. Aries and Hardy trade words, which allows Ray to nail a double clothesline. He throws Hardy to the floor, and Aries nails him with a rolling elbow to the back. Ray back drops him to the floor on Hardy. Ray pulls Aries back to the apron, where Aries hot shots him before hitting a missile dropkick. Aries hits the corner dropkick and signals for the brainbuster, but Ray rakes the eyes. He goes outside to get his chain, but can’t find it. Instead, he grabs the World title while calling Christy Hemme a “stupid bitch”. He sees Hardy coming in, so he moves and throws Hardy into Aries before landing the Bully Bomb on Hardy for the 3.
WINNER: Bully Ray. Aries begins laying into Hardy for screwing up again.
Up next, we find out who will be Sting’s partner.
Sting and Hogan make their way out. Despite the fact that this mainly supposed to be about Sting, Hogan’s graphics are all over the screen, making sure not too much attention is diverted from him. Hogan says to say that Aces and Eights running roughshod is an understatement. But, they’re going to play by A and E’s rules. He can’t grasp how personal this is getting. To single him out is getting too personal. If A and E wants him to watch, he’ll watch, but the one they have to worry about is the “Sting-Mon”. Believe him, Sting is going to do everything he can to keep A and E out of TNA forever. He needs a running mate. Kurt Angle wants to rip them limb from limb. Samoa Joe feels the same way. Even Bully Ray has the same agenda. At the end of the day, though, they need someone who can get the job done when it needs to be done. And tonight, the man he and Sting agreed upon delivered two Mic Checks, and that man is Mr. Anderson. Of course he is.
Hogan asks Mr. Anderson to come out and agree to it. Anderson’s music hits, but instead of him coming out, we see video of him being assault by A and E in the back. As what looked to be Kurt Angle and Samoa Joe run to check on Anderson, Bully Ray enters the ring. They picked Anderson over him? Look at what happened to the guy they picked. If Sting is going to war, he needs to go in with a warrior, and no one is more of a warrior than Bully Ray. He wants these guys worse than anyone else. They cost him the World title. Sting needs Bully Ray to fight with him, and the company needs him to fight for them. “We want Devon” chant starts. First time for everything, I guess. Ray tells Sting to convince Hogan he’s the right choice. Sting looks at Hogan and says they should go with him. Ray offers Hogan a handshake. Hogan shakes his hand, making Ray the official choice. Which means Ray will cost Sting the match, and we’ll find out he was the insider letting these guys in the building all the time.
TNA Wrestling is gearing up for a fight. The company is ready to fight to keep its biggest active wrestler on the roster, Jeff Hardy. Hardy’s contract expires in February and the company down south is doing everything they can to keep their franchise player in place.
A new report in the Wrestling Observer details the efforts that Hulk Hogan, Dixie Carter, and company are doing to re-sign Jeff Hardy. If you didn’t know about Hardy’s contract, you’d think he was solid for at least a year due to his current push. Ironically it is Hardy’s contract that was the impetus for his current push.
Hardy right now is heading into the biggest TNA pay per view of the year, Bound for Glory in the top spot. Hardy will be challenging Austin Aries for the TNA world championship. Hardy earned the title shot by winning the tournament, a decision that was at one point going to go to James Storm. In other words, the company is putting a lot of stock into a guy that may not even be around in a few months.
Dave Meltzer reports that the reason for the big push is to keep Hardy happy. The thinking is that by Hardy getting the top star treatment in TNA, he would opt to stay as opposed to leave for the WWE where he would never get that spot as long as John Cena is around. At 35 years old, you have to wonder if Hardy puts a priority on his spot over money.
Hardy left the WWE in 2009 when his contract expired. Unlike the previous time he left the company, Hardy left on his own terms. Hardy returned to TNA Wrestling just in time for the short lived Monday Night Wars. The return to TNA was a bit of a blow to the WWE who reportedly felt that Hardy was coming back.
In another strange twist of irony, Hardy was arrested on multiple drug charges just a few weeks after leaving the WWE. I say ironically because there is a possibility that the WWE would have released Hardy at the time in the face of negative publicity. Hardy eventually pled guilty to lesser charges and served 10 days in jail.
Hardy has certainly had his personal struggles. The Victory Road incident will probably go down as the lowest of his struggles. Hardy took time off and returned several months later, using the incident as part of his return angle. All reports I have read and heard is that Hardy has truly turned his life around since Victory Road and has been a model employee for TNA Wrestling.
The pink elephant in the room here is the TNA/WWE lawsuit. TNA is currently suing the WWE over leaked information and contract tampering. No TNA free agents including Ric Flair have been signed by the WWE since the lawsuit. I have to wonder if this moratorium on negotiating with ex-TNA talent will come to an end in time to talk to Jeff or if the WWE will stay out of the game in the interest of the lawsuit.
The timing couldn’t be better for Hardy. The WWE desperately needs a new big star. Going back to the well isn’t always the answer, but in this case it could work beautifully. When Hardy left he was the second most popular star in the WWE behind John Cena. Right now there is a huge gap between Cena and Randy Orton and Sheamus who are probably the two and three top babyfaces. Hardy would close that gap giving the WWE a true top babyface for the SmackDown roster and a huge boost of depth if Cena was to get hurt. Not to mention, a second go-around with CM Punk would fit in perfectly at WrestleMania. The Hardys have been vocal on Punk since leaving the WWE. The renewed rivalry would be a natural.
What do I think will happen? I think Hardy comes back to the WWE. The schedule and push in TNA are nice, but at 35-years old there won’t be many opportunities like this left for Hardy to cash in. I think Hardy signs a two-year deal and is back at WrestleMania standing across the ring from CM Punk.
Unfortunately that little thing called a lawsuit may prevent that from happening.