Welcome to the 4-5-12 edition of Impact Wrestling. We get an video recap from last week, where Hulk Hogan became the new general manager of the company…again.
In the Impact Zone, we see Dixie Carter and Sting in the ring, with the roster surrounding the outside. Carter has asked everyone to out here to help her introduce Hulk Hogan. This is beyond unnecessary. Hogan gives some fans the “Kliq” high-five on the way to the ring, a move he has no business doing since he was never a member. Carter hands the mic over to Hogan. He says it’s nice to be the general manager on Impact, brother. He has to thank the Stinger, brother, because there’s no way he could step into this ring without Sting watching his back, brother. And Dixie, thank you for the second chance. There’s a lot of business to be taken care of. Impact is on a fast track, and the wheels are coming off the train. A lot of new things are going to be happening. Right now, the business at hand is Lockdown, so he’s going to take care of some Lockdown business, brother. He makes a match between Crimson and Matt Morgan for the PPV, saying this business will officially end there. He turns his attention to Gail Kim. He can’t figure out who the #1 contender is, or who should be in the ring with her. Tonight, we’re going to have a “Knockouts Championship Challenge” to determine who faces her at Lockdown. Moving forward, he needs to talk some things out with Eric Bischoff right now. Ric Flair pipes in and tells Hogan that Bischoff is not here right now, and Hogan can’t tell anyone what to do. They argue for a minute about Bischoff being here later, until Bobby Roode and a bunch of guys in suits make their way onto the stage. Hogan accuses him of being late, but according to Roode’s watch, he’s right on-time. Roode does what he wants when he wants, and if Hogan is wondering how Roode handles him being in charge, he should just ask the former GM about what happens when he gets pushed around by authority figures. There is nothing and nobody that will stop him from being the most dominant World Champion in the history of this company, including Hogan, and if Hogan doesn’t believe him, just ask Dixie Carter. His only obligation going forward is his match with James Storm at the PPV, where he will retain his title. Until then, the champ’s out of here.
MATCH 1: Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy
Tie-up to start, and Angle backs Hardy into a corner. Hardy gets a clean break before going into the tie-up again. Hardy goes into a side headlock. Angle throws him off. Hardy shoulders him down a couple of times before hitting an armdrag into an armbar. Angle’s right quad is taped up, BTW. Angle tries to reverse the hold, but Hardy hangs on. Hardy with another armdrag off the ropes, right back into the armbar. Angle gets back up and backs Hardy into the corner before raking the eyes. Angle’s looking pudgy and scrawny at the same time. How is that possible? Hardy blocks a corner whip by holding onto the top turnbuckle and landing a headscissors before dropkicking Angle to the floor. He slams Angle into the guardrail, and Angle appears to be bleeding from the side of his head. Hardy slams Angle’s head into the steps before throwing him back in. Angle kicks Hardy as he tries to get back in the ring, sending Hardy to the floor. A bunch of blood now appears to be pouring out of the top of Angle’s head. Back in the ring, Angle hits a snap suplex for 2 before going into a rear chinlock. Not sure at all how Angle got split open. Commercial time.
Prototype 2 looks badass. I think I was one of the only people who really enjoyed the first one.
Back from the break, Hardy gets an elbow up on a corner charge, and follows with the Whisper in the Wind. Hardy barely connected with Angle on that move. Hardy ducks a clothesline, hits one of his own, a back elbow and another clothesline. Flying forearm off the ropes by Hardy. He sets up the Twist, but Angle shoves him off and hits the Dead Guy German suplexes. Angle goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Angle sets up the Angle Slam, but Hardy slides out and hits a sit-out Twist of Fate. He goes up for the Swanton, but Angle runs up to the turnbuckle and hits a belly-to-belly superplex for 2. Angle locks in the “patented” ankle lock. Sorry, but I have to say Jack Swagger puts it on better. Hardy eventually rolls through and kicks Angle off before nailing a reverse enziguri. Hardy goes up one more time, but Angle grabs referee Brian Hebner. Angle pushes Hebner away and tries to hit a low blow, but Hardy catches his hand and drops him with a few punches. Hardy goes for the Twist again, but Angle shoves him off and slides to the floor. Angle decides he’s had enough and begins heading up the ramp, resulting in a count-out.
WINNER VIA COUNT-OUT: Jeff Hardy. Guess the match is still happening at Lockdown now.
Hogan is in the back, applauding as Angle walks by. Hogan says matches aren’t happening like that, and he’s putting Angle in a cage with Hardy at Lockdown, and “It’s true, it’s really true, brother.” I think Hogan forgot what Angle’s catchphrase was. Angle begins to throw a fit.
We see Ric Flair in an office. He’s got Eric Bischoff on speakerphone. Flair wants to know where Bischoff is, and he’s got to get to the building right away. Hogan’s doing some stuff he and Bischoff need to address right away. Bischoff says, “I’m on my way.” I hope that, for Flair’s sake, Bischoff wasn’t watching Wheel of Fortune while he said that. Fans of The Simpsons will understand the reference.
Anonymous Interviewer is talking to Bully Ray. Ray tells him to call him “CALVES-ZILLA”, all in caps, and right now, that is trending worldwide on Twitter, even though he doesn’t even have a Twitter account. Anonymous Interviewer asks him to predict Roode/Storm at Lockdown. Ray predicts he will be the next World Champion instead. Right now, he’s going to the ring to take care of a “smaller problem”, and that is Austin Aries.
Back from the break, Bully Ray is in the ring. I’m not referring to him by his nickname at all anymore, unless it’s as part of a quote (and even then, it’s begrudgingly). He asks the crowd if they know who he is. Ray is confused as to why a small, little boy like Austin Aries would want to piss off a big, bad man like him. Ray has eaten chicken wings and taken craps bigger than Aries. Gotta love how TNA is playing the size card once again, the same way they did when Eric Bischoff was in charge on TV and completely buried the X-Division in several promos. Austin Aries makes his way out. Aries tells the crowd to be quiet before popping Ray in the head with the microphone and beating Ray down in the corner with punches. Aries goes up for some mounted punches, but Ray grabs him by the pants and hits a hoisted falling powerbomb. Ray grabs the X-Division title before asking Aries if he knows who Ray is. He then drops the belt on Aries before leaving the ring. Is that his new catchphrase? If so, it really sucks ass.
Earlier today, we see “Joseph Park” hanging around in the catering area. He tells the caterer that he’s looking for his brother Abyss. The caterer doesn’t know anything, so Abyss hands him his business card. I’m sorry, I meant Joseph Park.
Up next, a six-way Knockouts match to determine a new #1 contender.
Anonymous Interviewer asks AJ Styles who will win between Roode/Storm at the PPV. Styles says Storm has the edge, especially with his Last Call. Whether intentional or not, Storm is becoming a one-move wrestler in this company. Storm walks in and thanks Styles for the kind words, and that he also has a match tonight. Storm challenges Styles to a match to help get him ready for the PPV. Styles agrees and warns him he’s a lot quicker than Roode. They then make some stupid comments about the Last Call again.
MATCH 2-Knockouts Championship Challenge: Mickie James vs. Winter vs. Tara vs. Angelina Love vs. Madison Rayne vs. Velvet Sky
Didn’t know there was a Parts Unknown in England. Also, Angelina Love’s new entrance “video” is actually Velvet Sky’s old “Holler/Hollering” video, only her name is in the graphic instead of Sky’s. I’ve heard of recycling entrance themes, but graphics/videos? That’s a new level of cheapness. Looks like this will have tag rules. Winter and Tara start. Tara with a top wristlock, which Winter reverses after biting the hand. Tara fires off some punches and a pair of clotheslines, followed by a bodyslam and a standing moonsault for 2 as the rest of the Knockouts come in to break up the fall. Guess this is one-fall to a finish. Would have been nice if that had been said at the beginning. Love tags in now, and Winter decides to tag in James instead of fighting. Love and James lock up, and then decide to break it. The lock up again, with Love turning it into a side headlock and a hip throw. James reverses into a headscissors. Love gets back up and goes to the headlock again. James manages to escape and get one of her own before knocking Love down with a shoulderblock and a dropkick. Love kicks her away off the ropes before tripping her, sending her throat-first into the middle rope. James ducks a clothesline and hits a neckbreaker for 2 as Rayne breaks up the count. Love with a knee lift and a sidewalk slam for 2. Tara breaks it up this time. James comes back with a trio of uppercuts. Sky tags in and hits a seated dropkick on Love after a snapmare by James. Sky and Love are legal now. Sky clotheslines Love down, hits a back elbow and a shoulderblock. Love elbows her in the gut and hits a front powerslam for 2. Love tags Rayne in, and Tara tags herself in off Sky behind Rayne’s back. Tara shoves Rayne into Love. Tara hits a clothesline and a Spider’s Web for 2 as Winter breaks up the pin. Rayne thumbs Tara in the eye. Sky tags herself in off Tara, so Rayne tags in James. As James starts to come in, Rayne boots her to the floor. Sky stupidly tries to roll Rayne up for the pin even though she’s not legal. Rayne rolls through and knocks Sky back down. Rayne hits the Rayne Drop on Sky. Love comes in and hits a really awful double-knee backbreaker on Rayne. Tara comes in and hits the Widow’s Peak on Love. Winter comes in and hits a swinging backbreaker on Tara. James recovers and hits the standing tornado DDT on Winter. Sky comes in and hits In Yo Face on James, scoring the 3.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: Velvet Sky. Well, that certainly was a mess.
In the locker rooms, Anonymous Interviewer wants to know Mr. Anderson’s prediction on Storm/Roode. Anderson predicts the same thing will happen at Lockdown that will happen tonight when Anderson beats Roode. Roode walks in with his entourage, telling Anderson the security guys aren’t for him; they’re for Anderson. He gives Anderson a chance to walk away before he gets hurt. Anderson challenges him to a fight right now. Roode stands behind his security staff. Anderson says he understands Roode doesn’t want to do it back here, so let’s “wait to do it out there, for the whole freakin’ world to see!” Because, you know, nobody is watching this happening right now. It’s not like it’s being taped or anything. Anderson then says something stupid to the security guys.
Storm/Styles is up next.
I don’t even like The Three Stooges, but I can guarantee that everyone who was ever involved with that show are rolling over in their graves right now, now that this awful movie is set to be leashed upon us.
We see some TNA stars on the red carpet for the American Country Music Awards. Why is Kiss at this show in full makeup?
Last night, Eric Young had his bachelor party. He tells everyone what happens here, stays here. He’s sitting around with three guys on laptops and a bunch of candy. Why is Young’s beard always wet? They’re doing a fantasy baseball draft. ODB walks in and says this isn’t a party. She has some guys bring in cigars, chicken wings and beer. She then kicks all the guys out. ODB tries to look up porn on the computer. ODB says that, when they get married, every night in their house will be a bachelor party before shoving his face in her jugs.
Before we get to the next match, I’d like to throw in a cheap plug here (hey, if Justin Henry can do it, I can, too). In addition to CCB, I’m now writing for FitnessInked.com, a site that focuses on both fitness/bodybuilding and body art. Feel free to check it out. Comments/suggestions are always welcome, too.
MATCH 3: James Storm vs. AJ Styles
Why is Styles wrestling in a pair of gloves? Storm goes into a waistlock. Styles reverses. Storm reverses into a hammerlock. Styles escapes, but Storm quickly snapmares him and tries for the Last Call. Styles sees it coming and slides away. Storm goes into a side headlock. Styles throws him off. Criss-cross sequence ends with a shot to the gut by Styles. Styles goes back to the waistlock. Storm elbows his way out, but runs right into a dropkick by Styles, sending him to the floor. Styles goes for a slingshot plancha, but Storm rolls back into the ring, and Styles lands on his feet on the apron. Styles gets back in the ring and tries a kick, but Storm catches the boot, trips Styles and goes into a side headlock. Styles gets back up and reverses into a hammerlock. Chop to the chest by Styles. One by Storm. Storm comes off the ropes and runs right into a backbreaker by Styles (Mike Tenay: …”he catches him backbreaker-style”. No, he doesn’t catch him ‘backbreaker-style’; he catches him in a f**king backbreaker!) for 2. Styles hits a bodyslam and a jumping knee drop. Styles goes into a rear chinlock. Crowd’s way more into Styles here than Storm. Well, the couple of handfuls of fans that are making any noise, anyway. Storm looks for the Last Call again, but Styles sidesteps it and sends Storm sternum-first into the turnbuckle. He goes for a corner whip, but Storm reverses, slides out to the apron and hits a Ghetto Blaster. Storm goes up top, but Styles catches him with a Ghetto Blaster of his own. Styles climbs the ropes and looks for a superplex, but Storm slides out and hits the Eye of the Storm. Storm goes for Closing Time, but Styles blocks and turns it into a figure-4. Styles releases the hold and goes for a single-leg Boston crab. Storm slides out and goes for a clothesline, but Styles ducks and lands the Pele. Storm collapses in the corner. He ducks an avalanche by Styles. Styles misses an Asai moonsault and lands on his feet, but Storm lands the Last Call a moment later, getting the 3.
WINNER: James Storm. They shake hands after the match as Taz calls Styles a “former Grand Champ Champion”. Storm grabs a mic and says that, next week, he wants Bobby Roode in the ring to look him in the eye one last time before kicking his teeth down his throat. Insert stupid catchphrase here.
Hogan and Sting are in the back. Hogan needs Sting to go home and get healthy, as he needs Sting to be 100% to help him. Sting says it’s not easy, as he wants to be better, but the doctors won’t clear him to wrestle. Hogan tells Sting he might get better faster than he thinks, because Hogan “might put on a nurse’s uniform and nurse you back to health myself.” Does Hogan think about anything he says before he says it anymore? Hogan says he’s got this for now, but they’ll be in touch. Sting tells him to call him if he needs him at any point.
Up next, Mexican America faces the returning Motor City Machine Guns.
In the locker room, two fatasses are celebrating with James Storm. Anonymous Interviewer asks fatasses if they’re having a good time. They ramble on about something. Bobby Roode introduces himself to us. He reminisces about breaking a bottle over Storm’s head to win the belt. Storm then spits water in one of their faces. Apparently, they’re some country band called Montgomery Gentry. I care.
MATCH 4: Mexican America (Anarquia and Hernandez, w/Rosita and Sarita) vs. The Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley)
Good to see Sabin back. Always been a fan. Having said that, how is it that MCMG, one of the best tag teams in the world, only has one World Tag Team title reign to their names? There is no logic to that. Shelley and Anarquia start off. Anarquia shoves Shelley. Shelley slaps him, backs him into the corner and stomps him down. Shelley tags Sabin in, who hits a middle rope axe handle. Shelley with an arm wringer. Anarquia punches him and tags in Hernandez. Sabin kicks him in the gut and locks in a version of the Iron Octopus before trying to turn it into a sunset flip. Hernandez doesn’t budge, though, and picks Sabin up by the throat. Sabin chops him in the chest and hits a bulldog for 2. I hate Mike Tenay’s useless commentary so much. Shelley tags in, and they hit a series of strikes on Hernandez in the corner. Shelley tries for a tornado DDT, but Hernandez throws him off before hitting a version of the Pounce. Anarquia is back in. He whips Hernandez into the corner for an avalanche, which connects. Hernandez tries to launch Anarquia overhead into the corner, but Shelley moves out of the way, sending Anarquia into the turnbuckle. Shelley hits a step-up enziguri on Hernandez. Sabin tags in, knocks Anarquia down with a clothesline before dropkicking Hernandez off the apron. Elbow in the corner by Sabin on Anarquia before hooking him in the tree of woe and hitting a dropkick. He picks Anarquia up for the Cradle Shock, but Hernandez comes in and sets up for the Border Toss. Shelley manages to pull Sabin out of the move. Hernandez charges at Sabin, but Sabin low bridges, sending Hernandez to the floor. The Guns hit a pair of boots on Anarquia in the corner before Sabin lands a suicide dive on Hernandez. Back in the ring, the Guns hit a spike neckbreaker off the top rope on Anarquia, which is enough to get the 3 for Sabin.
WINNERS: The Motor City Machine Guns. How in the hell does Anarquia still have a job? After the match, Chris Sabin gets on the mic and says they want one thing, the TNA Tag Team titles.
Ric Flair is in the parking lot. He approaches a black SUV, which is apparently Eric Bischoff’s. Bischoff gets out as Flair tells him what’s going on with Hogan. Bischoff asks if Hogan knows if Flair is a 2-time hall of famer, or if he knows who Bischoff is. Flair tells Bischoff not to screw things up. Bischoff says that won’t happen, because he’s the psychological ninja. Tonight, he’ll put Hogan in a tiny box he can’t ever get out of. Yeah, okay.
The Raid: Redemption looks approximately 85 different kinds of badass.
Back from the break, Hogan is already in the ring. He says this place is alive, and the action is going crazy, even in the back. Everyone is ready for Lockdown. As Hogan is taking care of business, the man who was supposed to be here earlier tonight has finally shown up. Mr. Eric Bischoff, please come down here, brother. Bischoff says it’s ironic they’ve come to this point, opposite ends of the spectrum. Who would have thought that, looking back on their careers, someone would come up and say that, in 2012, they’d be facing each other on opposite sides of the fence? Not Bischoff. But now that he thinks about it, it makes sense. The differences between them are too numerous to mention. The biggest difference is Hogan isn’t a leader. People won’t follow him into battle, and he has no vision. He’s an opportunist, where Bischoff is a true leader of men with vision, power and the intestinal fortitude. Hogan calls him the leader of blowing hot air into the Impact Zone. Since Bischoff is such a great leader, Hogan is taking care of all Lockdown business today. So, instead of Gunner/Garett Bischoff in a cage at the PPV, Eric will lead a team, and Garett will lead another. This will make sure all of the business gets taken care of at Lockdown. As GM, Hogan is going to lay it out like this: if Eric’s team wins, Garett is gone from the roster. If Garett’s team wins, Eric is gone from the company, and he’ll never use the Eric Bischoff name again. Not sure how that’s even remotely legal. Eric agrees to the match. So, Garett Bischoff goes from being a loser of a referee to a loser of a wrestler main eventing the biggest PPV on the TNA calendar in less than a year? No, there’s no nepotism at work in this company. No, sir. Eric, you are no longer relevant and your son sucks at everything he does. Time for your family to move on from wrestling and spare us all.
Anderson/Roode is up next.
In case you haven’t had enough Roode/Storm video packages over the last few weeks, we get yet another one. This one features a bunch “candid, totally unscripted” comments from Storm’s family.
There are few wrestlers that I would legitimately wish bodily harm on. Anderson is in that exclusive group. Roode comes out with his entourage, but referee Earl Hebner forces them all to stay in the back. This allows Anderson to attack Roode from behind. Anderson punches Roode around the ring before slamming him into the guardrail. He throws Roode in the ring, and the match has officially started. Anderson with a couple more punches and a clothesline out of the corner. Roode comes back with a back elbow and some stomps. Suplex by Roode, and a jumping knee follows for a 2. Tenay informs us that Hogan has pissed me off even more by announcing a best-of-3 series between Team Eric and Team Garett over the next couple weeks. The winner of the series gets the advantage in Lethal Lockdown at the PPV. As Tom Servo would say, well whoopty sh*t. Anyway, back to the match. Roode whips Anderson into the corners a few times for another 2. Roode paintbrushes Anderson across the head a few times. They trade a few punches. Anderson hits a clothesline, a back elbow, another clothesline and a back body drop for 2. Anderson picks Roode up in a fireman’s carry. Roode slides out and tries for the Payoff, but Anderson slides out. He tries for a swinging neckbreaker, but Roode shoves him off into Hebner, knocking Hebner out. Anderson picks Roode up on the shoulders and hits a rolling fireman’s carry slam, but there’s no ref to count the pin. As Anderson is trying to revive Hebner, Roode slides out to the floor and grabs a beer from a “fan”. Anderson throws him in the ring, and doesn’t see the beer. Roode cracks it over Anderson’s head, revives Hebner, and gets the 3.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. Anderson’s been split open. Good. Add this to spitting on Dixie Carter to the list of things I like about Bobby Roode. James Storm comes out, with Hulk Hogan limping behind him. Storm flees the area before Storm can do anything. Hogan gets on the mic and reverses the decision. Like it matters.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Mr. Anderson.
End of show.
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