The 1-19-12 edition of Impact Wrestling, as you would expect, starts off with a video from what happened last week between Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode and Sting.
In the Impact Zone, James Storm’s music hits and he makes his way out. For those that didn’t watch last week (i.e. everyone but me), Storm is the new #1 contender for the World title after defeating Kurt Angle. He says it feels good to be here, knowing he’s now the #1 contender for the World Championship. He did exactly what he said he was going to do when he beat Kurt Angle last week, who calls the greatest wrestler on Earth. He then says he’ll whoop Bobby Roode’s ass at Against All Odds. He begins to spew his catchphrase, but Jeff Hardy’s “music” hits before he can complete the sentence.
Hardy comes out, looking like he woke up only seconds before he came out here. What is with both of these guys wearing dual wallet chains? Is that some new TNA thing I’m not aware of? Hardy says he got screwed at the PPV and he got screwed last week. “The creatures” keep getting screwed. No one is getting a title match with Roode until he’s had his final encounter. Storm reminds Hardy he got screwed a couple of months ago when he was World Champion and Roode screwed him. With all the screwing Roode’s doing, he must have a lot of child support to pay or something.
I hate to break this to Storm, but you only have to pay child support if you divorce the spouse that you have children with. Anyway, Roode’s music hits, and he tells them both to stop it. Can’t we all just try to get along for once? Roode says he’s flattered their arguing over a shot at his World title, but need he remind Storm of the stipulation Sting laid out last week?
The winner of Angle/Storm faces the winner of Angle/Hardy at the PPV. While Storm did beat Angle last week, no one won in his match, which makes Storm’s #1 contendership null and void. He’s all for giving to the needy, but he’s already given Hardy two title matches in five days, and Hardy failed both times. No more title shots for him, either. I smell a 3-way at the PPV.
Sting makes his way out now, microphone in hand. He accuses Roode of finding another loophole last week when he had Blubber Ray disqualify him last week. Sting says he’s going to fix all of that tonight with a new #1 contender’s match tonight between Jeff Hardy and James Storm. Meh. I still see a 3-way happening. Storm and Hardy shake hands before leaving the ring.
Tonight, Madison Rayne will face Mickie James in a Steel Cage Match. Maybe Mickie will be really smart and blow out her knee yet again.
Watching a trailer for Haywire. Gina Carano is no doubt hot, but after seeing her on Conan earlier tonight, I completely agree with Eric Gargiulo (Editor’s note: smart man!) on her total lack of charisma. Having said that, if I see this movie, it won’t be until it’s on Blu-Ray, and even then, I’m not sure.
MATCH 1: Gunner (w/Ric Flair) vs. AJ Styles
Tie-up to start, with Styles backing Gunner into a corner. He gives a clean break, and Gunner pushes him. Styles responds with a punch and a side headlock. Gunner throws him off into the corner sternum-first. Styles blocks a hip toss and turns it into a backslide for 2. Gunner with a side headlock now. They crisscross, with Styles landing a dropkick, sending Gunner to the floor in frustration. Flair calms him down and gets him back in the ring. Flair tries to trip Styles up, and Gunner knocks him down off the distraction. Gunner with some shots and a suplex for 2. Gunner goes into a waistlock before stomping on Styles’ right hand. More stomps before going back to the waistlock. Styles breaks out and punches Gunner. Gunner counters with a high knee for 2. Knee drop off the ropes gets another 2. Styles fights back up, but Gunner cuts him off with a forearm and whips him into the corner. Styles gets the boot up and hits a pair of clotheslines. Gunner throws him over the top rope, but Styles lands on his feet. Gunner tries to run him into the turnbuckle from the inside. Styles blocks it and hits the Superman. Kazarian and Christopher Daniels make their way out. Daniels is telling Kaz he knows what he has to do and to do it. Gunner fights back off the distraction and goes for the Mr. Pibb, but Styles slides out and hits a Ghetto Blaster. Flair jumps up on the apron to distract the referee, allowing Kaz to get on the apron and clothesline Styles. Gunner hits a DDT and gets the 3.
WINNER: Gunner. Kaz is still acting like he doesn’t want to do this as he and Daniels begin to leave. Gunner throws Styles to the floor and pulls the pads up for the DDT on the concrete. Styles manages to shove him off and leaves through the crowd.
Backstage, Magnus and Samoa Joe are telling Anonymous Interviewer they are ready for the Tag Team Champions, Crimson and Matt Morgan. Crimson and Morgan conveniently walk up right as this is being said and start talking trash.
Elsewhere backstage, Blubber Ray is talking to Sting. He knows Sting wants to lecture him about last week, but before that, Ray has something to say. Sting is going to do a favor. He apparently hasn’t lost a match since becoming a singles wrestler, he deserves a World title match, and Sting owes it to him to give him one. Sting says no favors, but Ray is going to do him a favor by not mouthing off and doing what he says. No title shots, and the next time Ray wants to talk to him, make an appointment. Ray says he does what he wants when he wants. He’s fine with an appointment, but next time, Sting will have to sit up and listen.
MATCH 2: Magnus vs. World Tag Team Co-Champion Crimson
Gee, I wonder who’s going to win here? Considering Christy Hemme once again made sure to point out Crimson is undefeated in her ring announcement, I’m definitely going with Magnus. Yeah. Magnus starts by attacking Crimson from behind with forearms. Misdirection clothesline gets 2. Magnus chokes Crimson with his knee, then hits a suplex for another 2. Magnus throws Crimson into the turnbuckle a couple of times, but immediately runs into the Red Sky for the 3.
WINNER: Crimson. Samoa Joe comes in after the match and beats Crimson down. He then punches the referee in the face before continuing the assault on Crimson. Magnus joins in and begins to choke Crimson with his foot. Matt Morgan finally gets down to the ring and begins punching both guys, but Joe takes him out with a chop block. He whips Crimson into Magnus, who hits a Michinoku Driver #2. Joe hits Morgan in the corner with a kick, followed by the snapmare/elbow combination from him and Magnus.
Eric Young is looking at a Bellator billboard. Some lady carrying a spoon walks by. Young tries to spar with the spoon. She says she’s a caterer. He calls her “Cyborg” and wishes her good luck on her next fight. ODB walks up and says she’s looking forward to his match with Angelina Love tonight, and tells him to feed her a sandwich. Young says he doesn’t fight women. ODB tells him if he does a number on Love, she might do a number on him later tonight. I just can’t express my extreme hatred for Eric Young enough.
We get a recap of what happened last week with the Bischoffs. We then get a video of Garett Bischoff “training”. It looks more like an episode of The Biggest Loser, only with a skinny guy instead. Garett then does some sparring with some indy wrestlers, hitting only the most basic of moves. He says he can’t wait to the see the look on his dad’s face when he announces who is training him.
Another video package. This time, one for the feud between Mickie James and Gail Kim & Madison Rayne.
In a locker room, Madison Rayne is rambling on about cages to Gail Kim. Kim tells her to calm down, and she’ll be there for Rayne like Rayne always is for her.
MATCH 3-Cage Match: Mickie James vs. Knockouts Tag Team Co-Champion Madison Rayne (w/Gail Kim)
James gets the jobber non-entrance here. Before the match starts, Earl Hebner ejects Gail Kim from ringside. James starts off with a pair of clotheslines, then slams Rayne’s head into the turnbuckle. Rayne kicks her off and begins climbing the cage, but James catches her and hits a sit-out powerbomb. James gets Rayne in the corner and chokes her with a foot. Snapmare and basement dropkick gets 2. James then hits…I don’t know what. Looked botched. Anyway, it gets another 2. James then locks in a version of the katahajime. Rayne gets back to her feet and winds up kicking James right across the face. James decides to more or less no-sell it and whip Rayne into the turnbuckles as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, James is still in control with corner forearms. Rayne rakes the eyes and begins to climb the cage again. James catches her, but eats a back elbow. Once again, no-selling here and she immediately hits Rayne with a flapjack. James goes to the top rope, but Rayne knocks her down onto the apron and hits a neckbreaker over the top rope. Rayne rubs James’ face into the cage. She then pulls James into the ring and hits a suplex, holds on and hits a neckbreaker for 2. Rayne picks James up by the hair and whips her back down before hitting the Taco Twister (which Taz calls “vintage Madison Rayne”, making me want to punch him right in his taint). Rayne rolls James over for the cover, but only gets 2. Rayne locks in a rear chinlock, but James fights back up. Rayne knees her in the stomach before corner whipping her, hitting a hip bump in the corner and a hair whip off the ropes. Another corner whip and hip bump. She goes for the hair whip again, but James reverses into a neckbreaker. James slams Rayne’s head into the mat a few times before they trade forearms and punches. James dominates and hits a pair of jumping clotheslines and a forearm. She goes for another flapjack, but Rayne rakes the eyes. Rayne kicks her in the head for 2. She mounts James and chokes her before punching her a few times. She goes to throw James into the cage, but James reverses and throws her into the cage a pair of times. James hits a pump kick and the botched tornado DDT to end it.
WINNER: Mickie James.
Austin Aries is in the back, talking to Anonymous Interviewer about how everyone wants to hear him talk. Even now, he’s talking about how people want to hear him talk about what he’s going to be talking about in a couple of minutes, and they still find it entertaining. This goes on for a little bit longer before he calls himself the greatest man that ever lived.
During the break, Tara and Velvet Sky met Mickie James in the back, congratulating her. Anonymous Interviewer asks how she’s doing. She feels amazing, and now she’s coming after Gail Kim and bringing the Knockouts Championship back to “Hardcore Country Land”. Interviewer asks what the hardest part of the match was. James said it was keeping her temper in check. He then asks about her knee for some reason, and she claims she’s still recovering from some knee injury she got in a match with Gail Kim at some point. The camera zooms in on her knee, showing…absolutely nothing appears to be wrong with it. James then rambles on about something I didn’t catch, and I really don’t care to do so. Sorry, but I’m not rewinding my DVR for this.
Moments ago, Jeff Hardy was in a locker room talking to Other Anonymous Interviewer. He talks about getting screwed twice, and he doesn’t feel like he won at the PPV since it was a DQ and he didn’t get the championship. This business is not fair, but in his opinion, fair would be to put him in a No DQ Match with Roode. Except that you just said the business isn’t fair, so why would you expect that to happen? Honestly, this promo came off as incoherent rambling and little else.
More video package time, highlighting Austin Aries. He claims he will be the last X-Division Champion there is, as no one will take the belt from him, and maybe it’s time to take the weight limit off the division and feed him some bigger guys because no one in the division can beat him.
Aries makes his way out to the ring. The crowd will have to excuse him for sounding like a broken record, but it’s the time of the month when he comes out after a successful title defense and states the obvious once again, and that’s that there is no one in the company on his level. Small “Aries” chant starts, but he tells the crowd he doesn’t care. There’s no one in the back to take him on, so maybe what he needs to do is get on his yacht and sail the world because there’s no one here who can stand up to him. The music for the Motor City Machine Guns hits, and Alex Shelley makes his way out. I had almost forgotten he still worked here.
One year ago, Shelley separated his shoulder. He compares it to dumping a box of Rice Krispies on the ground and stepping on it. Four months later, he came back, and Sabin then went on the shelf with knee injuries. His whole life has been about wrestling, punk rock and video games. He wanted to wait at home and come back with Sabin when Sabin was ready. But he couldn’t wait because he got sick of watching Aries, and says he couldn’t beat the piss out of a urine-soaked sponge. Aries asks if there’s any men in the back, because he’s sick of beating up on little boys like Shelley. Shelley says he’s sick of having a douchebag be the champion of his division. Shelley asked Sabin if he could come back without him for the moment, and Sabin was fine with it. Shelley accuses Aries of low-blowing him in their last match. Aries says it shouldn’t have hurt because there’s nothing down there anyway. Aries is sorry to hear Shelley’s story, but it’s too bad Sabin isn’t here because Shelley has been riding his coattails his entire career, and is a nobody on his own. Shelley says if that’s the case, Aries should have no problem putting his belt on the line against Shelley. Aries tells him he has to earn a title match like anyone else. Shelley can go to the back and find an X-Division wrestler. If he can beat them, he’ll get his title match. Shelley lets Aries pick the challenger, then says he’ll see him at Against All Odds. While I love both of these guys, this segment was awkward.
ODB is in the back, telling Anonymous Interviewer she wants Eric Young to destroy Angelina Love tonight. Winter attacks her from behind, and they trade blows. ODB eventually takes her down and begins to beat on her. Winter gets a piece of pipe that was laying around for some reason and hits her in the stomach. She then takes off her belt, whips ODB with it, then chokes her before yelling incoherently.
MATCH 3: Angelina Love (w/Winter) vs. Eric Young
Looking at Angelina Love just makes me want to throw up. I’m sure this match will be brilliant since Spike TV has a no man-on-woman violence policy. He locks up with the referee before the match starts. Ha. So funny. After the bell rings, Young locks up with the referee again, then locks up with a fan. He gets back in the ring and offers a handshake, then locks up with the referee again, turning it into a waistlock and putting the referee between him and Love, backing her into a corner. Love kicks him in the nuts, ending the “match”.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Eric Young. Love and Winter begin stomping on Young before ODB runs out and takes Winter down. Love pulls her off Winter, and they begin to double-team her. Winter takes off the belt to start the whipping again, but Young blocks her and throws both her and Love out to the floor. ODB and Young then make out in the ring, and I continue to die inside.
James Storm is talking to Anonymous Interviewer backstage. He has helped build this company, and it’s his time to shine. Jeff Hardy isn’t going to stand in his way. Interviewer asks if he’s been watching Bobby Roode’s matches. He has, and anyone in this business should watch their opponent’s matches. He has no other words for Jeff Hardy, and he needs to show everyone he can be the champion of this company.
Storm/Hardy is up next.
MATCH 4-Winner becomes the new #1 contender to the World Championship: James Storm vs. Jeff Hardy
Handshake to start, followed by idiotic dueling chants by the crowd. Storm immediately hits a hip throw into a side headlock and gets a 2. Hardy reverses for a 2 of his own. Storm throws him back down, and Hardy reverses into a head scissors, followed by a hip throw and headlock of his own. Storm reverses into a headscissors, but Hardy kicks out. They trade arm drags, with Hardy turning his into an armbar. Storm gets back up and gets in an arm wringer, followed by a side headlock. Shoulder block off the ropes, but Storm runs into a back elbow. Hardy hits a forearm and a clothesline, followed by a double legdrop. Hardy misses an avalanche in the corner as we go to commercials.
WINNER: No contest. As Roode walks back up the ramp, I notice two fans in the front row carrying cardboard title belts. To quote Mel Torme, I think that is just the tops.
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