This week is the semi-finals of the World title tournament, and to hype this, we get a bizarre video package featuring a bunch of bald, faceless men staring at a video screen like they’re in THX-1138. Only it’s, you know, not as good.
In the arena, Kurt Angle makes his way down to the ring. He says Thanksgiving was last week, and was a time to be thankful for everything we have. He’s thankful for his health and the support of the fans in his quest for the title and the Hall of Fame (that he was already inducted into and refused). This tournament is his path to prove himself. He went to war with Austin Aries, and Aries gave him the fight of his life. This round, he has an opponent that’s much closer to him. He then invites Magnus, his opponent tonight, to meet him in the ring.
Magnus comes out and Angle wants to know what happened last week when Magnus left him high and dry against four wrestlers. Magnus says he has more respect for Angle than anyone in this business. He got the crap kicked out of him by Samoa Joe in a Falls-Count-Anywhere Match, and still fought in the tag match. He hurt his knee and couldn’t help that. He made a decision in the heat of the moment. Angle knows what that’s like. Angle tells him champions fight hurt. His knee is hurt, too, and it’s no secret. He then questions Magnus if he has the heart to be champion. Magnus tells him he has heart and hunger, hunger to be #1 and go through whoever he needs to to become World Champion for the first time. He will prove it tonight. Angle says they’re friends and everyone knows it. But, the title is Angle’s destiny. So is Bobby Roode, and so is Jeff Hardy. If Magnus wants to be World Champion, he has to go through Angle.
Bobby Roode’s music hits, and he comes out on stage. He understands what’s going on. Angle and Magnus are talking about heart and hunger. Roode knows that feeling first-hand. Roll back to BFG 2011. He had that hunger, but didn’t get the job done. Today, you need to have a killer instinct to become the champion, the same killer instinct Roode possesses, the same instinct that made him smash a beer bottle over his best friend’s head to become champion. Speaking of James Storm, we’ve all seen what he did to Storm in this tournament. Up next, he has a tables match with Jeff Hardy. Knowing what he did to Storm, imagine what he’ll do to Hardy tonight. Angle knows what Roode is capable of, and as far as he’s concerned, Magnus will never be a World Champion.
MATCH 1: World Championship tournament semifinal match-Tables Match: Bobby Roode vs. Jeff Hardy
Roode immediately boots Hardy before punching him in the face. He begins kicking Hardy in the corner, then knocks him down with another punch. Hardy comes back with punches and kicks before hitting a clothesline off the ropes. He follows up with an inverted atomic drop, a double legdrop and a seated dropkick. In the corner now, Hardy rams Roode into the buckles. Roode reverses a corner whip but gets hit with a slingshot dropkick to the back. Hardy goes outside for a table and sets it up on the apron, only to have it dropkicked into his face, sending him back-first into the guardrail. Roode heads outside, slams Hardy face-first into the apron, then rolls him back into the ring. Roode grabs another table off the ramp and slides it into the ring. He climbs in to prop it up in the corner, then sets Hardy up on the opposite side for a chop to the chest. He goes for a hiptoss into the table, but Hardy blocks it and goes for his own. Roode blocks that before hitting a short-arm clothesline off a Hardy backflip. Hardy fights back from his knees and corner whips Roode. Roode reverses, runs into a back elbow, then avoids a Botch in the Wind as Hardy nearly puts himself through the leaning table. Roode picks Hardy up for a DVD, but Hardy escapes to the apron. Roode goes to the apron, where Hardy looks for the Twist through a table on the outside. Roode escapes, and now they trade punches on the apron. Both are wobbly, and they both wind up going back-first through the table at the same time. Commercials.
Back from the break, the match is still going as Roode is rolling Hardy into the ring. We learn that, since both men went through the table at the same time, the TNA referees got together and senior referee Earl Hebner decided that the match would continue during the commercial break. Back to the match, Roode is propping a table up in the corner once more. Hardy hits some rights and kicks before running into a spinebuster. Roode moves the table to the adjacent corner and sets up normally before yelling for Hardy to get up. Roode pulls him up by the hair and goes for a DVD once more. Hardy escapes and hits a sit-out Twist of Fate. Roode falls backwards onto the table, and now Hardy goes up for the swanton bomb. Roode rolls to the mat, and Hardy hits the move over the table anyway. Hardy props Roode up on the top rope, hits a few punches, then grabs the table and moves it over to Roode’s corner. Hardy climbs up for a superplex, but Roode puts on the breaks, hits some rights to the gut and goes for a gourdbuster, but instead crotches Hardy across the top rope. Roode drops to the apron as Hardy falls to the ring. Roode looks over his shoulder, sees a table on the floor and goes for a suplex. Hardy blocks it and hits a reverse enziguri through the ropes, knocking Roode through the table.
WINNER: Jeff Hardy. Honestly, I’m surprised. I figured for sure it would be Roode/Angle in the finals. Now I’m thinking it will be Hardy/Magnus.
We see video of Ethan Carter III getting makeup. He then says he doesn’t like the legends in TNA, and tonight, he’s challenging a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and he’ll make history.
This cuts over to a video from Dixie Carter in her office in Nashville. She got an email from AJ Styles’ agent, and the email says Dixie will get her World title belt back. She’s sorry to have to have gotten all the lawyers involved, but tonight is the final four, and one of those men will be the champion and needs that belt. She thanks AJ for playing with her and making her holiday a happy one.
Ethan Carter III comes out for his match, but before that, he says he has faced superstars, international talent and legends here in TNA. But, there is one man whose been in the ring with the likes of Andre the Giant, Hulk Hogan and Bret Hart. So, tonight, his hand-picked opponent is…Earl Hebner. Hebner is in the ring to ref this match, and he doesn’t understand what’s going on. He takes the mic and tells Carter that he’s a referee, not a wrestler. This is not happening tonight. Carter says Hebner is a referee and represents the 99%. Carter is a One-Percenter. His money works for him. Hebner works for his money. He will be the opponent tonight, and as for the referee, he has a special person in mind. Rockstar Spud walks out with Brian Hebner and demands that Brian be the referee here. Carter says Earl will lay down, Carter will cover him, and this colossal disappointment of a son will count 1-2-3. So, Earl, lay down. Earl starts to lay down, but then gets back up. Carter threatens his life and says he’ll put Earl in the ground forever if he doesn’t lay down. Earl lays down, and Carter demands Brian ring the bell. Brian doesn’t want to, but does anyway.
MATCH 2: Ethan Carter III vs. Earl Hebner
Earl is laying down, and Carter pins him with one finger before demanding that Bryan count. Spud is still at ringside and demanding the same thing. Brian counts to 2, apologizes to his dad and counts to 3.
WINNER: Ethan Carter III. After the “match”, Carter demands Brian rolls his father out of the ring and dump him to the floor, which Brian does. He then demands to have his hand raised. Brian does. Thrilling television here, I assure you.
We get a video package for the whole Bad Influence/Joseph Park/Abyss/Eric Young fiasco. This cuts to BI in a locker room. Christopher Daniels says that everyone got mad about Turning Point. Wait until they see the pictures he has from their recent road trip.
We get yet another video. This time, it’s footage from earlier this week as Christy Hemme is on her date with Samuel Shaw. She excuses herself to use the restroom as Shaw gets the bill. The waiter collects it, and Shaw accuses him of looking at his date, and if he sees it happen again, he’ll rip the waiter’s eyes out, then kill him. Hemme returns a moment later (that was a damn fast bathroom break), and they leave together.
After yet another video (a recap of the AJ/Dixie feud), we see Dixie talking on her cellphone to someone named Jason (Hervey?), wanting to know where he is. She says to hurry just before a blonde woman enters and says there is a delivery for Dixie. A guy walks in with flowers, and the card says they’re from a fan. She doesn’t want them, nor does she want any other deliveries unless it’s her belt.
Yay! More video! Bobby Roode is complaining about what happened earlier, saying he slipped on the apron and lost his spot in the tournament after simply falling.
We see Sting arrive in the building.
Dixie is once again in the back with the TNA roster. She says that, although she couldn’t put them in the title tournament, she’s in a festive mood tonight. She knows everyone thinks the Wheel of Dixie was the most innovative things ever, but she has yet another one of her brilliant ideas for these guys. She’s standing next to a cloth-covered table. She pulls off the cloth, and…OH FOR F*CK’S SAKE! There are four briefcases on the table, and Dixie utters those three dreadful words: “Feast or Fired”. She says the match will happen next week. One guy gets a World title match. One gets a tag title match. One gets an X-Division title match. One gets fired. It will be fun, and she wants them all to give her a great match.
Bad Influence make their way down to the ring. Daniels still has the envelope in his hand, and he says they’ve been hearing a lot of negative feedback in regards to their bit with Joseph Park at Turning Point. What the fans don’t understand is that they know the truth about Park, and they’re ready to share it with everyone right now.
Before that can happen, Park makes his way down to the ring. He steps in and says that these guys need to stop. They’ve won. They’ve accomplished what they wanted. Maybe they were right the whole time. Maybe Park should never have come to TNA. Maybe he is just an attorney. Kazarian stops him and says they have some information on that very subject. Park takes the envelope from Daniels and rips it up. Daniels smiles, and Kaz makes fun of Park, calling him fatty. He says it doesn’t matter, because everything in the envelope was first given to the guys in the back, then tells Park to take a look at the screen.
We see some pre-recorded video of BI in Chicago. They are in the law offices of Park, Park & Park. They hadn’t seen him since Turning Point, so they came to his office to find him. They make fun of his weight again, then walk to the law office and knock on his supposed office door. They open the door, and the room is dark & empty. They walk into another one, and it’s also empty. They go back to the secretary, and she reveals the office they just went into was a former doctor’s that left a while ago, which is why it’s empty. They ask if they’ve got the address right, but the office they’re looking for doesn’t exist. She looks up the office name on her laptop and finds it, except that it’s been closed for 13 years. Back to the ring, Daniels says that, after a little more investigating and finding out the office was closed, they want to know what it is Park has been doing all this time. Park asks them to simply leave him alone. He tries to leave, but Daniels stops him. Kaz says they won’t leave him alone. They’ve called him a lot of names, but now (spit in the face), they can also call him a liar. Kaz then boots him in the nuts and Daniels clotheslines him from behind. The two stomp him down as Eric Young hits the ring, sending BI running for the hills. EY says this has gone on long enough. He’s tired of the bullying and knows everyone else is. If they keep knocking on the devil’s door, eventually, the devil will answer. So, what’s going to happen is BI vs. EY and Park in a tag team match next week.
Sting is backstage with Magnus. Magnus has climbed the ladder, and Sting is proud of who Magnus has become. Magnus thanks him, then reiterates his respect for Sting. Sting says something about entitlement, and Magnus says he doesn’t take that talk seriously. Sting then shakes his hand and tells him to tear it up before saying he’s a bit jealous.
Rockstar Spud is on his iPad and says the delivery man is here before ordering some guy to keep an eye out for him.
Oh, great. It’s Zema Ion’s deejay bullsh*t.
MATCH 3: World Tag Team Champions the Bromans (Jesse and Robbie E, w/Zema Ion) vs. Gunner and James Storm (non-title)
Storm starts with Jesse, hitting a shoulderblock off the ropes, followed by a hiptoss. Gunenr tags in, and they send Jesse into the corner. Storm sends Gunner in for a clothesline, then hits a bulldog for 2. Jesse rakes the eyes and tags in E, who runs right into a pancake. E slaps Gunner as Ion blasts the stupid airhorn. He escapes to the floor, but then gets whipped back into the ring after he gets back on the apron. Gunner gets a 2-count, then chops E in the corner before beating him down with rights to the head. Jesse pulls him down by the hair from the apron, and Gunner chases him into the ring. The Bromans manage to double-team him for a moment, and E hits a dropkick for 2. Jesse tags in and stomps Gunner down in the corner before hitting a kneelift and an elbow to the back of the head. He hits a couple more elbows to the shoulder, then chokes Gunner over the middle rope. Gunner comes back with a horrible fall-away slam, then tags in Storm. Storm hits a pair of clotheslines and a forearm off the ropes. He comes up with an inverted atomic drop and a sloppy neckbreaker off the ropes. E tries to run interference but gets hit with some rights before being thrown to the floor. Storm hits Closing Time on Jesse before signaling for the Last Call, which connects. E comes back into the ring and spits a mouthful of beer in Gunner’s face. Gunner tackles him as Storm is going for the pin. The referee doesn’t count, as he’s trying to pull Gunner off E. Gunner elbows the ref, which leads to a DQ.
WINNERS VIA DISQUALIFICATION: The Bromans. Ion was doing that airhorn bit the entire match. I want to punch him right in the taint.
We see Sting approaching Kurt Angle’s dressing room when he’s stopped by Rockstar Spud. Spud asks what Sting’s relationship to Angle, then asks who Sting is. Sting asks who Spud is, and he introduces himself as the chief-of-staff. Sting says he wants to talk to Angle about his title match. Spud now recognizes Sting, saying he looks different without the face paint. He then makes fun of the fact that Sting can’t wrestle for the World title anymore, saying he came up a little short. Sting makes fun of Spud being about 4 feet tall, and Spud responds by saying Dixie wants Sting to leave. Sting mocks Dixie’s southern accent and says Dixie will need to tell him to leave to his face. Spud gets notification that the package has arrived, then leaves before telling Sting he needs to leave. Sting screams and walks off.
We get more video. This time, it’s from earlier today, and features Gail Kim kissing her husband, Robert Irvine, in an empty arena. JB asks for her comments on the open challenge. Kim calls her competition a joke. Irvine says to bring someone in who can actually give her a challenge. Until then, quit wasting her time.
This is immediately followed by a video of Chris Sabin, recording himself in front of a mirror. Velvet Sky is standing behind him. He says something about beating Austin Aries next week. As Sky asks how she looks, he stares at his belt, puts it on his shoulder and says the real question is, how do THEY (he and his belt) look?
MATCH 4: Knockouts Champion Gail Kim (w/Lei’D Tapa) vs. Laura Dennis (non-title)
Apparently, Dennis works the independent circuit as Cherry Bomb. Anyway, after the bell rings, Kim immediately rams her into the corner with a forearm to the chest. Kim hits a few kicks, then throws her face-first into the buckles across the ring before hitting another forearm, this time to the face. Kim hits a straightjacket neckbreaker and goes for the pin, but pulls Dennis up at 2. She hits a few more forearms and a jumping splash in the corner. Kim hits an axe kick to the back and follows up with a kneelift, followed by a forearm to the back. Dennis gets thrown to the corner, where Kim foot-chokes her before kicking her in the gut. She hits the corner body attack, lands on the apron, then steps back into the ring to pie-face Dennis before kicking her in the face. Kim talks some trash, and Dennis hits a slap to the face. She follows up with a couples of forearms, a clothesline, and a low running forearm to the face for 2. Kim goes to the corner, where she blocks a charge with a boot. Eat Defeat connects, and this one’s over.
WINNER: Gail Kim. After the match, Tapa picks Dennis up, allowing Kim to hit Eat Defeat again. Tap then picks Dennis up for the Godsmack, and that’s when ODB runs down to the ring. She boots Tapa, hits a clothesline on Kim, then begins chopping Tapa in the chest before clotheslining her to the floor. Tapa lands on her feet and grabs ODB by the throat, but Kim pulls her away before anything else happens.
We see Dixie Carter on the phone with Rockstar Spud, asking where her package is. She then smiles and cheers, as apparently the package is here. She orders Spud to get it to her right away before hanging up the phone.
The two lock up, and Magnus backs Angle into the corner before giving a clean break up. Angle hits a waistlock takedown and goes for a front chancery, but Magnus escapes. Angle goes for the ankle, and Magnus kicks him away. They lock up again, and Magnus applies an arm wringer. Angle reverses, as does Magnus, before turning it into a jujigatame. Angle counters into the ankle lock, but Magnus escapes immediately. Magnus applies a side headlock. Angle tries to break it with a back suplex, but Magnus keeps it locked in. Magnus has the hold broken and shoulders Angle off the ropes before getting hit with an overhead belly-to-belly. Magnus gets back to his feet at about 4, then hits a misdirection clothesline after receiving a boot. The count begins on Angle, and he makes it back up. Magnus begins attacking him in the corner, then goes for a bodyslam. Angle escapes, ducks a clothesline, and the two collide with simultaneous clotheslines. A double-count begins, but both men get back up. Magnus drops Angle with a clothesline, but he’s back up. Magnus hits some forearms to the back of the neck, then hits a European uppercut. The two trade rights as we go to commercials.
Back from the break…but not back to the match. Instead, we are in Dixie’s office, and she has her package. Spud is with her, and she tells him that when you put your foot down hard, you get what you want.
Now we’re back to the match. Magnus is in control, hitting an elevated northern lights bomb. Angle gets up at 6, escapes a waistlock and goes for the Murder-Suicide. He holds on at 3, hits a 4th, a 5th, and a 6th, finally releasing Magnus. The count begins on Magnus, but he gets up at 7, pulling himself up with the ropes. Angle tackles him through the ropes, and both men spill to the floor. The ref begins another double-count. Magnus is up at 7, and Angle gets up at 8. Magnus climbs up on the apron, and Angle goes for a German suplex from here. Magnus elbows him in the head, and Angle collapses on the floor outside. Magnus hits a running elbow drop from the apron, and both men are down once more. Magnus is back up at 8, and Angle gets up at 9. Magnus rolls him back in the ring, then goes up top for another elbow. Angle gets back up and hits an armdrag from the top. Magnus is down for the count now, but gets up at 9. Angle boots him and hits a snap suplex. He goes up for a moonsault, which of course misses. The double-count starts once more, but both men get up. Magnus hits a version of a scrapbuster, then immediately follows up with a top rope elbow before demanding the ref make the count. Angle gets up at 9, and as Magnus comes in for a clothesline, Angle sidesteps him, sending him into the referee. Angle hits the Angle Slam, but there’s no one to make the count. Angle screams at the referee, and Bobby Roode comes into the ring, hitting a Northern Lariat on Angle before dropping him with a DVD. He wakes up the referee and orders him to make the count. Both men are down. Magnus gets up at 9, but Angle doesn’t make it.
WINNER: Magnus. After the match, Roode enters the ring and begins peppering Angle with rights. Jeff Hardy runs down to the ring, and he trades blows with Roode before knocking him to the floor. Hardy turns around as Angle rolls out of the ring, and he has a stare-down with Magnus. After some trash-talk, the two shake hands.
Dixie is backstage with Rockstar Spud, and she has the package on a table. She’s all excited and tells Spud to open it up. He cuts the box open, but she then shoves him away to open it the rest of the way. She opens the box, and inside is a toy championship. She throws a fit and says, “Game on.”
Another “Friends of AJ” video airs. We see AJ, and he says it might not be the belt Dixie wanted, but now she has the proper belt for her paper champion. As for the real belt, he’s still got it, because he’s the real World Champion. If she wants it so bad, she can come down to the trailer-park in Gainesville, GA and get it back. Word of advice: watch your back.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below: