Hello, everyone. Welcome to the first Impact Wrestling recap for the year 2012. Hope everyone had a good New Year, stayed safe, yadda yadda yadda.
Show starts with the same video of Bobby Roode we’ve been seeing for weeks, only it’s updated to include footage from last week, too. TNA: We Recycle!
In the Impact Zone, shock of shocks, Sting makes his way out to open things up. Can I ask why Sting comes out wearing the gloves he wrestles in when he’s wearing street clothes? Is there any kind of point to that at all? Sting immediately calls Jeff Hardy out to the ring. Hardy makes his way out, presumably to talk about his match with Bobby Roode at Genesis. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, expect Hardy to win the belt at Genesis. Why? Well, aside from the obvious that Dixie Carter is a moron, during his suspension, Hardy had a new custom championship belt made for him, one that includes blinking lights. I really wish I was making that up. Anyway, Sting says he’s impressed with Hardy because he wasn’t accepted at first when he came back, but he’s built the bridge of trust back, one brick at a time, one day at a time. He and Sting have more in common than face paint and being wrestlers. Sting once fought his personal demons, but he was given a second chance, and he’s been running with it ever since. Now, there’s life coming out of Jeff, and Sting is watching “The Creatures” come out of the woodwork. There’s “Creatures” that adore him, and wrestlers in the back that want to be him. Yeah, I don’t know too many wrestlers in TNA who want to be cokeheads. Sting gives him his full 100% endorsement.
James Storm comes out, and he’s flanked by Abyss. The look that immediately crosses Angle’s face can only be described as that of a molester or a serial killer. Seriously. Watch this segment and tell me otherwise. Storm tells Roode to shut the hell up because he’s pretty sure the people are sick of him talking. Storm says Angle’s mouth is shut, and perhaps it’s because it’s wired shut due to the Last Call he took last week. If Angle wants to talk trash, that’s fine, because Storm is used to that, but he’s the “Cowboy” James Storm. Angle wants to go to his hometown and beat up his buddies. A couple months ago, Storm stood in this ring with Angle and saw a man who wasn’t intimidated or scared. Now, he sees a man who is scared. He’s worried because it only takes one Last Call to knock his lights out. Since Angle wants to beat up on his buddies, he brought one with him in Abyss. Abyss likes to drink beer, too. Angle looks like he wants to pee himself, so say something. Angle starts to, but Abyss grabs the mic out of his hand and tells him to shut up. For months, Blubber and the rest of Immortal took advantage of him. Now, they realize they need him, his power, his strength, and his size. Abyss doesn’t need Immortal anymore. All he needs is Blubber. At Genesis, in Monster’s Ball, he’s going to make Blubber suffer for all the sins of Immortal. Ray starts to talk, but Sting tells him to shut up. He then announces a six-man tag team match for the main event tonight, featuring all the guys currently in the ring. Go figure.
Also tonight, RVD will take on Gunner, and we’ll get the finals of the “Wild Card” tournament.
Up next, Gail Kim and Madison Rayne defend the Knockouts Tag Team titles against Traci Brooks and Mickie James.
After commercials, we see video of Madison Rayne in a bikini, hanging out at a pool. Gail Kim is filming. She pans over to see Traci Brooks lounging in the pool. Rayne climbs in the pool, talking trash. Brooks attacks her, so Kim drops the camera and jumps Brooks from behind, trying to drown her. Madison Rayne does nothing but scream. Mickie James conveniently jumps into the pool at this point. Stupid, pointless segment.
MATCH 1-Knockouts Tag Team Championship: Traci Brooks and Mickie James vs. Champions Gail Kim (also the Knockouts Champion) and Madison Rayne
As Kim starts to climb in the ring, Brooks knocks her off the apron. Rayne and James catfight as Brooks and Kim brawl on the floor. Brooks whips Kim into the steps. In the ring, James hits a neckbreaker after ducking a clothesline. Brooks throws Kim back into the ring. James and Brooks tee off on her with various shots, leading to James botching two kicks and Brooks hitting a clothesline. They then throw Rayne shoulder-first into Kim, sending them both to the floor. Commercials.
Who keeps demanding more Underworld movies, and why?
As we come back from break, I’d like to point out something here. For those of you that understandably complain that WWE discusses Twitter too much on their shows (and they do), I have some bad news for you. If you think that switching over to TNA might solve that problem, guess again. They are just as bad, if not worse sometimes, with how much they shove Twitter down your throat during the show. Anyway, back from commercials, James is kicking Rayne in a corner. She climbs up and hits a monkey flip. Rayne knees her in the hip and hits a punch. James ducks a boot off the ropes and hits a snapmare. She bounces off the ropes, but Kim nails her in the back. James turns around and knocks Kim off the apron, allowing Rayne to kick her from behind. Brooks takes Kim down outside as Rayne locks in a cravat on James. Rayne knees her a couple of times and goes for a boot, but James catches her foot and pulls her down, causing her to do the splits. James hits a basement dropkick and gets 2 as Kim breaks up the pin. Brooks runs in and spears Kim. Earl Hebner throws Brooks back out of the ring. James gets a roll-up for two, but runs right into a clothesline from Rayne, who gets a 2 of her own. Rayne with a rear chinlock. James tries to fight out, but Rayne whips her back down. James catches a victory roll for 2, but Rayne’s back up and lands a boot. Foot choke in the corner by Rayne, followed by a hip bump and a hair swing. She goes for another one, but James shoves her off. Rayne tags in Kim, who stomps James and knocks Brooks to the floor. She goes for a bodyslam, but James slides out and tags in Brooks. Kim runs to her corner for a tag, but Rayne is on the floor. Bet that’s not the first time that’s ever been said. Brooks hits a shoulder thrust in the corner and a hair whip. She completely whiffs a shoulder block, followed by another one and a clothesline. Brooks hits a jawbreaker, sending Kim into the ropes. A pair of running knees to the back while on the ropes for Brooks. Brooks blocks a neckbreaker attempt and turns it into a clothesline for another 2 until Rayne breaks it up. James climbs up and hits a Bomb’s Away from the top rope (it was supposed to be a Thesz Press, but James botched it) on Rayne as she turns around. Kim gets back in and hits Eat Defeat on Brooks and gets the 3 as James tries to break up the pin, but is held down by Rayne.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Gail Kim and Madison Rayne. You really have to wonder if the Eat Defeat move even remotely hurts.
Backstage, we see Ric Flair talking to Gunner, asking if Gunner realizes what kind of impact he’s making in the business, and if he realizes he’s now an impact player. You know, the last guy I heard called that was Curt Hennig. Curt Hennig, Gunner is not. Flair then calls Gunner a “man child” for some reason. Everyone who faces Gunner ends up in ambulance. Gunner is getting famous, and tonight, they’re going to put someone else in a hospital. Sting walks up and says that, since RVD is going out by himself tonight, Flair doesn’t need to go out with Gunner. Normally, Flair would be a manager, but lately, he’s been pulling the mats up and helping Gunner drop people on their heads on the floor, and he can’t have that. Flair says Sting is pushing his buttons. Sting’s glad. He likes pushing Flair’s buttons so much, Flair’s going to stay back here and watch the match with Sting. Flair says Sting’s name over and over. Flair then tells Gunner to kill RVD tonight and put him in an ambulance, we-ooo, we-ooo, we-ooo, wooo! His words.
Eric Young is in the back, looking for ODB. He says they have a “Wild Card” tournament match tonight. They’re young kids in love. Anonymous Interviewer tells him he’s out of the tournament since they lost. Young says it’s double-elimination, then rambles on before running away. To paraphrase Stewie Griffin, I want him to not be alive anymore.
After a video hyping tonight’s tournament final, we see Magnus and Samoa Joe in the back. Magnus says they’ve got one more match, and they’re the #1 contenders. No more being overlooked, and no more second-guessing. He knows they’re ready, so let’s go and do this. Joe pushes him before extending his hand out for a shake and says “Let’s do this.”
Segue over to their opponents, Kazarian and AJ Styles. Kaz says they’re preparing for this match the same way they’ve prepared for the other ones. Unlike the other teams in the tournament, he and Styles actually like each other. There’s chemistry and history here. Styles says Magnus and Joe are big and strong, but their quick, and they’ll use it to their advantage. They have each others’ backs. That’s a how a team wins. Kaz says that’s how a team wins titles. Funny, because I thought how a team wins titles is being made up of two big, overprotected guys with marginal talent at best? I mean, that’s what the champions are.
I am so sick of movies like The Devil Inside, ones where they’re portrayed as being real and filmed on a shaky handi-cam. Just because it is cheaper to film this way does not mean it makes for good movies. Stop it.
In a locker room, we see Sting and Garett Bischoff, who I guess is back out of the hospital. Garett is putting on a referee’s shirt. He tells Sting his neck is good, he got cleared by the doctor and has been approved to go back to work. He’s not going to let guys like his dad and Gunner to push him around. He’s going to do his job and not let anyone stand in his way. Sting asks him about the referee’s shirt. He says he’s going to referee the next match. Sting tells him no and to take the shirt off. He doesn’t know what Garett is thinking. He’s not a referee; he’s a wrestler. Sting hands him a pair of wrestling boots, then welcomes him to the roster. I hate you, Sting.
Elsewhere, Eric Young walks into Madison Rayne and Gail Kim’s dressing room, looking for ODB. Rayne begins to cover herself up, but then realizes she’s still in her wrestling gear, making that move utterly pointless. They tells Young to get out. Rayne screams at him. He screams back. He tries to lock up with Kim before Rayne jumps on his back, screaming like a banshee. Young shoves her in a locker before running away.
MATCH 2: Gunner vs. Rob Van Dam
Considering the rumors that RVD wants to go back to WWE, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gunner “shelves” him tonight. BTW, has anyone else noticed that it’s really, REALLY obvious when Mike Tenay and Taz’s commentary has been recorded after the show and inserted back in? Tie-up to start, with Gunner getting put in a side headlock. He throws RVD off, and RVD runs right into a shoulder, temporarily sending him to the floor. He quickly gets back in, and gets stomped down for his troubles. A kick and a clothesline from Gunner send RVD to the mat. RVD hits a kick out of the corner and a springboard thrust kick, followed by a moonsault for 1. RVD with punches. Gunner comes back with a boot, but after a series of reversals, RVD slides to the floor and taunts. Commercials.
Back from the break, Gunner clubs RVD with forearms and a back elbow for 2. Gunner would be “Wrestler of the Year” at any of his family reunions. Gunner gets RVD back up and hits a back elbow in the corner. RVD gets a boot up off a corner whip, jumps up and hits a top rope thrust kick. RVD goes for the pin, but only gets 2. Gunner comes back with a clothesline for a 2 of his own. Gunner chokes RVD over the middle rope, then underneath the bottom rope. This gets another 2. Gunner sets up for the Mr. Pibb, but RVD slides out and hits a step-over spinning heel kick. RVD hits a jumping punch, a clothesline and a roundhouse. Another roundhouse in the corner and another clothesline. A standing moonsault gets 2. RVD hits a spinning dropkick and Rolling Thunder. He goes for the pin, but Gunner slides to the floor. RVD baseball slides him down. RVD jumps over the top rope, but Gunner grabs his leg and pulls him to the floor, RVD’s leg getting caught in the ring skirt in the process. Gunner pulls the mat on the outside up as the referee counts both of them out.
WINNER: No contest. Gunner continues the attack, setting RVD up for a piledriver. RVD reverses it, dropping Gunner with a back body drop on the concrete. RVD sets Gunner up on the guardrail and goes for the spinning legdrop, but Gunner moves out of the way, sending RVD into the guardrail. Gunner is more or less no-selling the back body drop right now. He sets up RVD for the piledriver one more time, but D’Lo Brown, Pat Kenney and Al Snow run out and pull Gunner off of RVD, preventing the move.
Backstage, Anonymous Interviewer says to James Storm, “You walked out there. What did you walk into?” Fire TNA’s script writers now. Storm says he didn’t walk into anything. He’s not scared or intimidated and neither are the other two guys. Hardy praises Sting’s compliments (?), then says this match tonight is a warm-up. Abyss says he doesn’t need Immortal; all he needs is Bully Ray, and it starts tonight. Okay, before TNA fires their script writers, they need to hire some competent ones first. And who the hell came up with this “Anonymous Interviewer” idea? What purpose does that serve?
Out by the trailers, we see Different Anonymous Interviewer with Angle, Roode and Ray. Roode says Hardy might have a couple of friends in TNA, but they won’t help him at Genesis. Nothing and no one will take this belt from him. Angle says Storm stole his title. Tonight, he’ll make Storm tap out, he’ll break his ankle, and Storm won’t make it to Genesis. Ray says screw Abyss and his Monster’s Ball. And tomorrow night, in Westbury, Long Island, he’s going to smoke RVD’s ass. Yeah, that’s good. Hype a match only 20 or 30 people will see.
MATCH 3: World X-Division Champion Austin Aries and Kid Kash vs. Zema Ion and Jesse Sorensen
I swear Sorensen comes out in a different Letterman’s jacket every week. This week, the football he’s carrying appears to be made by Nerf. Ion steals it on the way to the ring. He and Sorensen argue at the beginning of the match, allowing Kash to attack Sorensen from behind. Sorensen ducks a clothesthline, hits a punch to the back of the head, a high knee and a dropkick. Ion tags himself in and runs into a pair of armdrags by Kash. Kash with some knee lifts and a knife edge in the corner. Aries tags in, and they hit a double sweep. Aries hits a leg-scissor stomp and a boot to the head for 2. Side headlock by Aries. Ion counters with an atomic drop and a head snap, followed by a stomp to the head. Aries hits an open-hand chop and throws Ion out to the floor. Aries connects with a suicide dive, and Kash follows up with a somersault plancha before throwing Ion back in. Aries gets 2 before hitting a standing spinebuster and a swinging elbow drop for another 2. Ion tags in Sorensen after a head slap. Aries slingshots him in. Sorensen hits a forearm, a high knee and a dropkick. I feel like I’ve seen this sequence before somewhere. He sets up for the swinging neckbreaker, but Kash breaks the move up. Aries tags him in, and Kash stomps Sorensen down. Kash hits a release rotating suplex before tagging Aries back in. Sorensen ducks a double clothesline and pushes Kash right into Aries. Ion tags himself in again and hits a tornado DDT through the ropes. After a series of corner reversals, Ion hits a middle rope corkscrew plancha for 2 before Kash breaks it up. They go for a double suplex, but Ion lands on his feet near his corner. Sorensen tags himself in, climbs up to the top rope and hits a double clothesline. He takes both the heels down with some clotheslines. Kash gets hit with a neckbreaker, and Aries is hit with a McGillicutter. Sorensen knocks Kash to the floor and then hits a slingshot plancha. He gets back in the ring and runs right into a knee from Aries. Aries goes for the brainbuster, but Sorensen counters into a bodyslam. He climbs to the middle rope, but Ion tags himself back in. Ion goes for the 450, but misses. Sorensen tags himself back in, unbeknownst to Aries. Aries sets up for the brainbuster on Ion, but Sorensen hits him with the reverse corkscrew neckbreaker to get the 3.
WINNERS: Zema Ion and Jesse Sorensen.
Backstage, we see Kazarian sitting in a locker room. Styles calls to him that it’s time for their match. He gets up and leaves as Christopher Daniels steps out from behind a corner.
Up next, the finals of the “Wild Card” tournament.
Backstage, we see ODB taking pictures of some tool in a Princess Bride t-shirt. Eric Young walks in, asking why she doesn’t have her gear on, talking about the tournament. ODB tells him they’ve been eliminated. ODB takes him to the floor on a lock-up. They roll around for a minute, until ODB ends up on top of him. She kisses him. Young says he knew they were in love.
MATCH 4-“Wild Card” tournament final: Magnus and Samoa Joe vs. Kazarian and AJ Styles
Joe and Styles start up with a tie-up, with Joe backing Styles up into the corner, where he hits some punches. Joe pushes Styles into his corner and tags in Magnus. Magnus hits a backbreaker for 2. Joe tags back in and hits a knife-edge. Joe picks Styles up, hits some knees and locks in an abdominal stretch. Styles fights out, but Joe whips back to the mat. Styles kips up into a headscissors before tagging in Kaz. Kaz ducks a clothesline, but runs right into a knee from Magnus, allowing Joe to take him down with an elbow. Magnus tags in and hits a boot before throwing Kaz into the corner. Magnus goes for a bodyslam, but Kaz slides out and hits some shots before tagging in Styles. Kaz hits a spinning heel kick before Styles gets a 2-count. Styles with the jumping knee drop before tagging Kaz back in. Kaz hits some forearms and a dropkick for 2. Styles back in. He hits a snapmare and a kick between the shoulder blades. Kaz back in with a kick to the stomach. Magnus hits a misdirection clothesline before tagging in Joe. Joe with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a boot by Magnus, followed by a running senton by Joe for 2. Joe with some strikes that send Kaz into the corner. Snapmare by Joe, followed by some kicks and a jumping knee drop for 2. Magnus back in, and he whips Kaz into the corner hard. Kaz ducks a corner charge and makes the tag to Styles. Styles with some forearms and the Superman. He sets up for the Styles Clash, but Magnus reverses. He goes for a clothesline, but Styles ducks and hits the Pele. Christopher Daniels makes his way out and stands on the ramp. Kaz is looking for the tag when he spots Daniels. All of a sudden, as Styles is about to make the tag, Kaz jumps down from the apron and simply looks on. Joe hits a kick in the corner, followed by a snapmare. Magnus comes off the ropes from the other side and hits an elbow drop, allowing Joe to get the 3.
WINNERS AND NEW #1 CONTENDERS FOR THE WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Magnus and Samoa Joe. After the match, Kaz walks up the ramp, looking conflicted in the process.
Main event is up next.
Backstage, we see Crimson and Matt Morgan. Different Anonymous Interviewer is asking them how they feel about facing Magnus and Samoa Joe this Sunday. Crimson says he’s glad this thing’s over, because they finally know who they get to beat up at Genesis. Morgan says Magnus and Joe signed their death certificate. Joe and Magnus walk up, talking trash. This of course leads to a brawl between the two teams, that is quickly broken up by the fearsome team of Brown, Kenney and Snow.
MATCH 5: Abyss, Jeff Hardy and James Storm vs. Kurt Angle, Bully Ray and World Champion Bobby Roode
Why did Bully Ray start doing JBL’s old taunt all of a sudden (including the cow moo)? I love how Abyss weighs in “in excess of 350 pounds”, according to Jeremy Borash. What does that mean? 351? As the bell rings, Ray tries to keep his hand tied up with the wallet chain, which the referee immediately sees. He and Storm start things off. Ray backs Storm into a corner with a tie-up. He tries for a punch, but Storm ducks and hits one of his own. Storm hits another one, then goes into an arm wringer. Abyss tags in, but Ray backs off. Ray tags in Roode. Roode with a kick and a punch. Abyss reverses a corner whip, but runs into an elbow. Roode responds by running into a boot. Abyss bounces off the ropes, but Ray kicks him in the back of the head. Roode backs Abyss into his corner, where he is double-teamed by Roode and Ray. Commercials.
WINNERS: No contest. The six guys continue to brawl after the match, with Roode and Hardy left in the ring as the others brawl on the outside. Roode goes for a bodyslam, but Hardy reverses into a Twist of Fate. He goes up top for the swanton, but Ray pushes him off, causing him to crotch himself on the ropes. Storm knocks Ray down, gets in the ring and hits Roode with a Codebreaker. He sets up for the Last Call, but Angle comes in from behind, hits him with a low blow and hits the most retarded superkick you’ve ever seen in your life. Abyss comes in and looks to hits Angle with the Shock Treatment, but Ray hits him in the leg with a chain. Ray whips Abyss a few more times before throwing him out of the ring. He then tries to hang Abyss over the ropes with the chain as Angle locks Storm in the ankle lock and Roode locks Hardy in the Bowflex.
End of show.
Thankfully, there was no ominous music this week.
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.