Welcome to the 5-3-12 edition of Impact Wrestling! The opening video is of the farce of a “celebration” for Eric Bischoff last week that was nothing more than yet another sad attempt to get Garett Bischoff over with the fans. Guess what? Not happening. Oh, and is it just me, or did SoCal Val look like she’s packed on quite a bit of weight?
We immediately cut to the Impact Zone, where Ric Flair is in the ring. He says that Hogan always plays with him, and that Hogan thinks Flair is his pawn. He thinks Flair will always be under his thumb. Flair’s not buying it, and he doesn’t have to. Why? Because he’s “Ric G-O-D Flair”. In our world, he’s just plain “God”. Last week, Hogan and Garett ran one of the biggest names in history out of the business. Of course, he’s talking about Eric Bischoff. Flair wants to talk to Hogan tonight in the ring tonight because he’s pissed off. He mentions how expensive all of his clothes are, saying his Sears clearance special shirt cost him $2000.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]Hogan’s fake now music hits, and he’s making his way out, microphone in hand. Go figure. Remember when this would be a great way to open a wrestling show 17 years ago? Flair calls this “good vs. evil”, with Hogan being good, beyond a shadow of a doubt. But, Flair is “the baddest man in the planet”. He’s tired of Hogan running roughshod over him. What does he have to do? Take Dixie Carter back to Hard Rock? Huh? Anyway, Hogan says he’s not here to fight him. Flair knows that; Hogan’s here to boss him around. Hogan says that, as GM, he’s making it a priority to “step the game up” in Impact Wrestling. When Flair talks about evil, he should have said Eric Bischoff. Eric spread a lot of evil, even to his own son, brother. Hogan’s taking his new GM position very seriously, even hanging his boots up in the process. There’s a chance to make Impact Wrestling one of the longest-running promotions out there. In passing, Flair does work for Hogan, and since Hogan is his boss, he’s going to ask Flair for something; he wants Flair to be a judge for “Gut Check”. With Ric Flair in the lead position with the judges, “we all have a chance to live forever”. We have a chance to live through the new talent, telling them when to stay down or get back up. Hogan is asking Flair to do something for the fans with this. He wants Flair to help shape the future of the business with this job. He doesn’t have to respect Hogan here; he just needs to be “The Nature Boy”. Flair says it doesn’t matter what his response is, because Hogan will tell him he has to do it anyway. Flair says he loves the kids, and as a result, will agree to the position.
Later tonight, RVD and Bobby Roode will choose opponents for each other tonight. Up next, Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher take on Gail Kim and Madison Rayne.
We see Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher in the back with Anonymous Interviewer. She calls Gail Kim a cheater, cheating to beat Sky at every time. But, at the right circumstances at the right time, Sky will beat her. Tessy then says she’s beaten Kim twice, and she’ll do it a third time tonight. Sky says one of them will beat Kim for the title.
MATCH 1: Knockouts Champion Gail Kim and Madison Rayne vs. Brooke Tessmacher and Velvet Sky
I love how TNA turns the blue lights up on the stage so much that you can barely see who’s coming out. Tessy and Workrate might be nice to look at, but it’s a serious test of patience listening to them talk. Is it a requirement for all Knockouts to be obnoxious on a microphone? For whatever reason, Earl Hebner starts patting the faces down, which allows the heels to attack from behind. Kim and Sky are now in the ring, and Kim dominates with punches and kicks. Sky hits a clothesline, followed by a pair of dumbass facebreakers and a bulldog. Swinging headscissors by Sky, but Kim attacks from behind off a distraction by Rayne. Rayne tags in and goes to work on Sky in the corner. Kim tags back in. Double corner whip, followed by a pair of partner whips. Kim pulls Sky down by the hair as she’s on the apron. She gets back in and knocks Tessy off the apron. Rayne tags in, and Kim hits a leg stunner, followed by a botched jumping side kick by Rayne for 2. Rayne locks in the Taco Twister before knocking Tessy off the aprong yet again. Sky fights back with kicks and chops, but Rayne rakes the eyes. Kim tags back in and kicks Sky in the ribs, followed by a running clothesline for 2. Kim sets Sky up on the top turnbuckle and looks for a super hurricanrana, but Sky holds the ropes and follows up with a “bulldog-style faceplant”, according to Tenay’s stupid ass. Tessy tags in and hits a couple of clotheslines, a Dropsh*t and a hurricanrana. She looks for her finisher, but Kim blocks it and lands a clothesline. Kim sets up for Eat Defeat, but Tessy blocks it and shoves Kim into the corner. Rayne comes in, but she’s speared by Sky, sending them both to the floor. Kim blocks a kick from Tessy and taunts her. Tessy goes for a punch, and Kim blocks that as well. Tessy turns the blocks into her own version of Eat Defeat, scoring the 3.
WINNERS: Velvet Sky and Brooke Tessmacher. During this match, Mike Tenay could not stop talking about Alex Silva’s “amazing” performance last week, and how there’s so much buzz about him. Obviously, he and I were watching two entirely different matches.
We see Rob Van Dam warming up in the back.
In preparation for Slammiversary 10, we see moments from TNA’s first anniversary show, which saw Jeff Jarrett retain the NWA World title against Raven.
Back in the Impact Zone, RVD is in the ring. He’s talking about how people have been entertained by him for years. He doesn’t have to tell us how great he is, but he’ll do it anyway because he can. He’s Rob Van Dam, the Whole F’n Show. He’s one of a kind, often imitated, never intimidated (his words). Mr. Pay-Per-View. He’s also the man who’s going to beat Bobby Roode and become the next champion. He doesn’t have to tell us he never lost the title in the first place. He knows what he brings to the table-he’s R-V-D. Boy, that was about as cliché of a Van Dam interview as it gets.
Bobby Roode makes his way onto the stage. He was sitting in the back trying to mind his own business, but he couldn’t help but hear how overconfident RVD has been. He knows RVD’s head is in the clouds 99.9% of the time, and he was on hiatus for a while, so let him remind RVD who he is-he is Bobby Roode, the World Champion, the IT Factor and the leader of the Selfish Generation. He’s not just any champion; he’s the most dominant World Champion in the history of the company. He’s done that by beating guys like AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy, Sting and James Storm, just to name a few. At Sacrifice, RVD’s name will be added to that list. As for tonight, the GM has made a plan for tonight. Hogan is allowing RVD to choose Roode’s opponent, and vice-versa. He’s going to give RVD the chance to announce his choice first. RVD says he’s got a guy Roode knows very well, and a guy Roode hit over the head with a beer bottle last month-Mr. Anderson. Roode says that great, and he’s got someone in mind for RVD, a close friend. As you would expect, Roode announces Jeff Hardy as RVD’s opponent. Aside from a pointless “You are garbage” chant at Roode during this segment, the crowd was completely dead for the whole thing.
Still to come, Kurt Angle, Kazarian and Christopher Daniels take on Magnus, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles in a 6-Man. Up next, Devon defends the World TV title.
MATCH 2-World Television Championship: Robbie T (w/Robbie E) vs. Devon
Well, this match has “workrate” written all over it. T starts attacking Devon in the corner, hitting him with a knee to the gut before throwing him to the opposite corner. T hits a short-arm clothesline. Devon fights back with punches, but T cuts him off with a back elbow. I’ve just realized something-both Robbie T and Mason Ryan are Welshmen, both are huge, and both suck something fierce. Is the best Wales can offer pro wrestling? T hits an over-the-shoulder powerslam, but only gets 2. T charges to the corner, but Devon hits a back elbow and a pair of shoulderblocks. He hits a flying shoulderblock, sending T into the corner. Avalanche in the corner, which leads to another flying shoulderblock. Devon climbs to the top rope, hitting the headbutt. His family is dead now. The headbutt only gets 2. Robbie E jumps on the apron, but Devon just hip tosses him in. Devon manages to hit a spear off the ropes, but turns around into a shot to the head with a clipboard by Robbie E.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION, AND STILL CHAMPION: Devon. Robbie E then stands over Devon after the match, holding the belt up.
We see Al Snow and Ric Flair talking in the back. They’re talking about being “Gut Check” judges, before Al Snow introduces the third judge, Bruce Pritchard.
After the break, we see “highlights” from the “Gut Check” last week, which saw Alex Silva get his ass handed to him by Robbie E. We then cut away to the judges discussing the match. Flair says, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t”, then calls the kid a twig and says he’ll never be World Champion. Agreed on all fronts. Snow says we’re looking at future potential, not right now. Flair says Silva doesn’t have the potential. Pritchard says he’s seen Silva many other times, and this wasn’t his best outing. Flair says he’s not big enough, and he’ll never get ratings. Pritchard mentions the X-Division, and Flair doesn’t even see X-Division in him. Pritchard points out that not everyone believed in Flair in his earliest days. Snow makes up some crap about how he tested positive with fans, saying 63% of Twitter responses were positive. Flair says the fans don’t run the business. Funny, but I’m pretty sure the business wouldn’t exist without the fans. Just a thought. Pritchard does point this out. Flair says he respects the fans, but doesn’t respect their opinions. I’m not even going to begin to dissect that one. They continue to rattle on about Silva, saying they need 2 votes to get him on the roster, and Snow tells Flair not to make his final vote just yet.
Back from the break, we see Hulk Hogan and Mr. Anderson talking in the back. Hogan is informing Anderson his opponent for tonight is Roode. Anderson is stupidly chewing on a spoon. Hogan says Anderson is the number one guy, and deserves the number one spot. He then makes his match with Roode tonight No Disqualification. They then share Anderson’s catchphrase as I choke on my own bile.
MATCH 3: Jeff Hardy vs. Rob Van Dam
Match starts with a side headlock by Hardy. RVD reverses into a top wristlock, turning it into a leg scissors for a 1-count. Hardy counters out with an arm drag. RVD goes into a waistlock, which Hardy reverses. RVD reverses, but Hardy counters with a back elbow and a reverse enziguri, sending RVD to the floor. Hardy knocks him down with a dropkick through the ropes before landing a clothesline off the apron. Hardy throws RVD back in for a pin, but only gets 2. RVD throws som punches. Hardy counters a monkey flip with a double legdrop pin for 2. RVD reverses a corner whip and lands a monkey flip out of the corner. RVD nails a roundhouse in the corner. Hardy comes back with Whisper in the Wind for 2. RVD hits a jawbreaker and a roundhouse thrust kick. RVD goes for Rolling Thunder, but Hardy gets his knees up. Bobby Roode makes his way down, belt in hand. Roode has a brand new Affliction knock-off t-shirt. It’s TNA. What do you expect: Roode cracks Hardy across the back with the belt as the referee tries to dive out of the way of an Irish whip. Roode wanted to hit RVD, but RVD countered, causing Roode to nail Hardy. RVD lands a superkick and gets the 3.
WINNER: Rob Van Dam.
We see Bully Ray walking in the back. He’s stopped by Joseph Abyss, who had just been on the phone. Abyss says Ray didn’t get answers last week. Ray says he still won’t get any this week. Abyss knows Ray had something to do with the disappearance of himself, and he’s going to prove it. Ray shoves him, telling him to back off. Ray says Abyss knows exactly what he does to guys like Abyss. He tells Abyss to just ask himself about that. Oh, wait; Abyss can’t do that, because Abyss is missing. Ray then tells him to stay out of his way.
As if once wasn’t enough, we then see the Garett/Eric angle from last week once again.
Jeremy Borash is talking to Anonymous Interviewer, saying a bunch of stupid stuff about Eric Bischoff. I hate listening to this bloated waste of space. Ray cuts him off. He wants to hear everything Borash has to say. He wants to hear about how Borash took care of Eric last week. Ray then grabs him by the collar and drags him to out to the ring, saying they’re going to discuss it in front of everyone. Ray just loudmouths a bunch of crap before telling Borash to get on his knees. He then grabs a microphone (as if he needs one) before shoving Borash into the ring. Ray asks if Borash forgot what he did last week. You bowing up to me? You bowing up to me? Ray is sick of hearing about “anti-bullying”. They should start a new campaign: The “Stop being a little b*tch and stick up for yourself” campaign. Borash is the poster boy for all the little b*tches guys like Ray take advantage of. He asks Borash if he’d like to punch Ray in the face. The crowd stupidly cheers for this. Ray walks all over guys like Borash because he can.
Austin Aries’ music hits, and he makes his way out. He makes fun of Ray’s “Do you know who I am?” line. We know who Ray is-the guy who picks on lawyers. Ray tells him not to step in the ring. Aries steps into the ring. He only cares about him and Ray. Ray called him out, and when he did that, he did so in regards to the only thing he could-Aries’ size. Aries believes Ray has taken bigger craps than him, and eaten bigger chicken wings than him, because, in case Ray forgot, he spent most of his career as “Blubber Ray”, a big, fat, pasty poster boy for all-you-can eat buffets and type 2 diabetes. Thank you, Austin Aries. Yet another reason why you’re great. Ray slaps the mic out of his hand and says that playtime is over. He shoves Aries and continues to mouth off, saying Aries will now have to stand up for himself. But he won’t, because at the end of the day, he’s the champion, and he represents small, insignificant men. Ray isn’t all talk; Aries is. Ray then spits in his face. As Ray continues to run his fat mouth, Aries finally snaps. He decks him a bunch of times, beating Ray down in the corner. He begins kneeing Ray in the head as “security” comes in to break things up. They pull Aries back, and Ray kicks him in the nuts. On the plus side, Aries split Ray’s lip open in the process. Ray leaves the ring and moos like a cow. No, really. He did.
We see Christopher Daniels and Kazarian in the back. Kaz is talking about how they didn’t get their title match last week. Kurt Angle is also back here. Daniels talks about winning the tag titles and humiliating AJ Styles. Angle tells them to shut up, and the only thing he cares about is making Styles tap out tonight and at Sacrifice. Kaz makes some stupid joke about ostrich jerky.
James Storm is debuting his “music video” on CMT.com. Who in the hell cares? Storm will be back next week to talk some more, which is about all he’s been doing lately.
We see Bobby Roode in the back, in some weirdly-lit area. He’s complaining about Hulk Hogan’s added stipulation for tonight. He should call Sting and find out where he’s at, because he was the last authority figure in the company, and Roode took care of him. And if RVD thinks he’s taking the belt, he’s got another thing coming.
MATCH 4-Six-Man Tag Team Match: Kurt Angle, Christopher Daniels and Kazarian vs. World Tag Team Champions Magnus & Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles
Have you ever noticed that Angle has feuds in both major companies over a necklace? Random thought for you. The faces charge the ring, with the champs cleaning house on Daniels and Kaz. Styles and Angle start off with some chain wrestling, followed by trading blows. Angle hits a European uppercut, but runs into a dropkick by Styles off the ropes. Angle reverses a suplex attempt with a punch. Daniels comes in and knocks Styles down. Angle gets mad and tells him to get back out of the ring. Meanwhile, Joe has tagged in, and he nails Angle with a bunch of rights. Magnus tags in, and they hit their inverted atomic drop/big boot/running senton combo for 2. Magnus gets Angle in the corner and lands an uppercut. Daniels nails Magnus with a hotshot, allowing Angle to clothesline Magnus down. Daniels and Kaz are asking for a tag, but Angle is refusing. He lands a European uppercut on Magnus before going into a rear chinlock. Magnus fights out with elbows, but telegraphs a back body drop. Magnus still manages to connect with a misdirection clothesline before tagging in Styles. Kaz tags in (at least, according to Taz. I never saw a tag), who eats a roundhouse and a fireman’s carry into a neckbreaker. He looks for the Styles Clash on Angle, but Daniels nails Styles with a Ghetto Blaster. Joe comes in and chops Daniels across the chest. Magnus blocks a corner whip, allowing Joe to back drop Daniels to the floor. He nails Daniels with a suicide dive into a forearm shot. The champs set Daniels up for Styles, but Angle trips Styles up and goes into the ankle lock. Apparently, I was right, and Angle is still legal. Kaz tags himself in as Daniels and Angle begin to argue. Joe charges at Daniels from behind, sending both him and Angle to the floor. Kaz sets up the Fade to Black on Styles, but Magnus boots him right in the chest. Styles rolls through into a Styles Clash, and connects for the 3.
WINNERS: Magnus, Samoa Joe and AJ Styles. After the match, Angle begins berating Kaz and Daniels. Angle shoves Daniels before getting in his face. Eventually, he backs off. Daniels grabs a microphone and says he’s going to end this once and for all with AJ Styles next week. Styles has seen the photographs, so either he comes out and tells the world his secret, or Daniels and Kaz will. How much do you want to bet this involves either Daniels or Kaz being the real father of one or all of Styles’ kids?
Up next, we learn what Alex Silva’s future will be. Considering how embarrassing his match was last week, I expect him to get a massive push, winning the tag titles with Garett Bischoff. That sounds like TNA logic to me.
The three “Gut Check” judges are in the ring, and most of the lights have been shut off, I guess to add some unnecessary drama. Al Snow rattles off some cliché stuff before introducing his fellow judges, saying, “joining me alongside Ric Flair and myself” as he introduces Pritchard. He then calls Alex Silva out to the ring. Crowd doesn’t seem all that interested. We then get some overly-dramatic music for no reason. Flair gives his thought, and that’s he likes Silva’s attitude, but he needs to grow some more. Pritchard says last week, Silva came down like he already had a job. Last week probably wasn’t his best outing, but TNA needs talent. True, so why are they looking at this clownshoe? Snow reminds Silva that he needs the vote of 2 of the 3 judges to get a job. Flair gives his vote as Silva “Woos” at him. Flair simply says no. Silva gives him an angrypants look. Boo-hoo. Snow says yes before once again reminding him that he needs two votes, then gives him the microphone and tells him he has 30 seconds to sell himself. Silva addresses each judge by name, then looks up at the ceiling and talks to his apparently dead dad. He rambles on about how he was poor at 13, and became more and more poor…the timer runs out. Flair tells him not to talk to the marks, talk to them. Start over. 30SECONDS!30SECONDS!ISTANDUPFORMYSELFEACHANDEVERYNIGHT! I MOVEDTOTHEUNITEDSTATESFROMCANADAPOORIWANTTOLIVEMYDREAMDADILOVEYOU! Or something like that. Flair then changes his answer to “yes”, and I lose just a bit more respect for “The Man”. Pritchard says his original answer was no based on his performance last week. Last week, his nerves got the best of him. This week, he got a second shot, and his answer is now yes. So. There you go. Silva joins the roster, and will join some illustrious names like Mark Starr, Bunkhouse Buck, Buddy Lee Parker and Tim Horner in regards to his place in wrestling.
God, that went on too long. Still, most anything is better than listening to or watching Mr. Anderson, who refers to himself as the “archetypal asshole” (which remains uncensored, though ass and bitch are still bleeped), despite the fact I’m pretty sure he doesn’t even know the definition of “archetypal”.
MATCH 5-No Disqualification Match: Mr. Anderson vs. World Champion Bobby Roode (non-title)
Anderson meets Roode at ringside, where he begins brawling with Roode, slamming his head into the barricades. Anderson with some punches. Roode blocks a slam into the steps before landing a side-Russian leg sweep into the ring apron. Roode sets up for a piledriver, but Anderson blocks it and turns it into a slingshot into the ringpost. Anderson hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam on the floor as we go to commercials.
Just saw the preview for “That’s My Boy”. Can someone please, please, PLEASE explain to me how Adam Sandler keeps getting work? Oh, wait. He had to open his own production company for himself and his friends because no one else will hire any of them anymore. Never mind.
You know, I just noticed that the ringposts in this promotion are square shaped, which means they have sharp edges. That’s a pretty stupid design when you consider how much more dangerous that could be than the standard round posts. Then again, this is TNA. Anyway, we’re back from the break, and Roode is begging off in the corner from Anderson, who has apparently went back on offense during the break. Roode lands a low blow before stomping Anderson in the nuts. Anderson rolls to the floor, where Roode follows him in order to throw him back in the ring, where he gets a 2-count. Roode stomps Anderson down before taunting the crowd. Roode with a suplex and a jumping knee drop for 2. Anderson fights back from his knees with punches and chops, but runs right into a back elbow off the ropes. Roode goes to the floor and grabs a chair and wedges it in between the top and middle turnbuckles. Roode goes to throw Anderson in, but Anderson reverses, sending Roode in head-first.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]Hey, remember when Hogan totally buried Roode in several interviews? Now, he’s doing nothing but sucking up to the guy, saying how badly TNA needs him as champion. Just some information for you. Back to the match, Anderson and Roode are trading blows. Anderson eventually dominates, hits a clothesline, a back elbow and a swinging neckbreaker. Roode ducks a kick, but Anderson keeps spinning and hits a version of the Ghetto Blaster. Anderson looks for the Mic Check, but Roode elbows out. He gets his feet up on a corner charge, in the corner with the chair. Roode knocks the chair down and goes to the top rope. Anderson crotches him and looks for the rolling fireman’s carry again, but Roode shoves him into the ropes, catching him with the spinebuster. Roode sets up for the Payoff on the chair, but Jeff Hardy runs down and lands a reverse enziguri on Roode. He turns around to Anderson, who nails Hardy with the Mic Check. Roode grabs the chair, hits Anderson in the stomach with it before landing a shot to the back, then hits Anderson with the Payoff for the 3.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. After the match, Roode continues the attack with the chair, taking turns on both guys. RVD runs down to chase Roode out of the ring before checking on the other two. As he’s doing so, Roode comes back into the ring and cracks RVD across the back before landing a DDT on the chair.
End of show.
The main event wasn’t much of a No DQ match, outside of a couple chair shots and low blows. Well, at least the 6-man was relatively enjoyable.
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.