So, tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling is supposed to mark the big moment where Hogan officially announces his retirement. For any of you that actually bought into that crap last week, I feel sorry for you.
We see Hogan and Eric Bischoff climb out of a car in the parking lot to kick off the show before going into the arena in Knoxville, TN, where tonight’s show takes place. Beer Money Inc.’s music hit and they make their way to the ring. They will be facing each other later on tonight. James Storm says he heard this was supposed to be Hogan’s retirement show. It’s about time Hogan takes a back seat and let everyone else in the back have a chance to entertain the fans. He’s not going to sugar-coat anything as their match is in the semi-main event slot tonight, but he hopes Hogan has fun trying to follow their match tonight.
Roode says that, seeing as Storm is the “Tennessee Cowboy”, welcome home. He doesn’t think the people here would expect anything less than what Storm just said. He was taken aback a couple weeks ago when Angle began making these matches for Roode. The members of Fortune aren’t just friends; they’re family. The matches he’s had with Styles and Kaz were both physically and mentally exhausting, but that’s what he needed. If he could beat them at their best, he knew he’d be ready for Kurt Angle. Tonight, he needs the same from Storm. He needs Storm to help him get ready for Kurt Angle, and bring his best in their match. 10 days from now, Roode is facing Angle at Bound for Glory for the World title, but all he can think about is tonight’s match, and how important it is to both of them.
We see Sting walking by a painting of a clown, wearing a red suit with a red and yellow “Hulkamania” t-shirt.
Taz informs us we’ll get highlights of Hogan’s “greatest” TNA moments throughout the night. I didn’t realize he had even a single great moment in this company. The first one is his debut with the company. Just riveting stuff.
MATCH 1: Gunner vs. Kazarian
Boy, Fortune’s entrance them is terrible, even for TNA. By the way, TNA-if you want people to stop referring to you as “TNA”, perhaps you should take the name off the t-shirts. And the title belts. Gunner backs Kaz into a corner, but Kaz gets a clean break. Gunner with an arm wringer. Kaz reverses into one of his own. Gunnter with a top wrist lock. Kaz turns it into an arm drag, followed by a dropkick. Kaz clotheslines Gunner to the floor. He goes for a springboard move, but Gunner pulls him to the floor. Gunner begins working on the left arm, slamming it into the apron and yanking it over the middle turnbuckle. Back in, Gunner stomps it. Kazarian turns an arm bar into a school boy for 2. Gunner comes back with an armbar takedown that Taz calls a “flying armbar”. There was no flying here. Kaz with uppercuts, but Gunner comes back with an inverted shoulderbreaker. Gunner goes for a hammerlock bodyslam, but Kaz escapes, hits a springboard back elbow, a spinning heel kick and a jumping thrust kick. Gunner goes for a kick, but Kaz catches him with a sweep and a springboard corkscrew legdrop for 2. Gunner throws Kaz shoulder-first into the ring post then locks in a standing armbar for the submission.
WINNER: Gunner. Okay, when has anyone ever won a match with that? He could have at least made it look better with a jujigatame or a fujiwara, but a plain old armbar? Come on.
Inexplicably, Earl Hebner reverses the decision and awards the match to Kazarian.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Kazarian. Okay, that was completely pointless.
Back from the break, and Alien Frat Boy is making his way down to the ring. Have I mentioned I hate Mr. Anderson? I have? Good, because it’s still true. He grabs a mic, of course. He makes a stupid comment about his hat. He says he’s here to apologize, something he rarely does. Not to Hogan, Bischoff or even Dixie Carter. The apology is to the people who mean the most to him, his “assholes”. God, I hate this man like poison. He says he’s not very good at playing the political game in this business. Yeah, no sh**. One of many reasons why WWE canned your ass. He’s seen people do it by kissing ass and “swing off the boss’ nuts” and see them go straight to the top, but he’s always worked to get to where he wants to be. In a moment of weakness, he joined Immortal. He admits he was wrong, but learned a lot from the experience. For one thing, Bully Ray is a giant douchebag. Once again, the pot and the kettle. Cue Blubber Ray.
He says he wants to make this real quick as he wants to take a piss on some big orange T. For whatever reason, this upsets the crowd. I know nothing about Knoxville, and I don’t care. Mr. Anderson talks about all the times that Ray has attacked him, and how he always gets the upper hand. Blubber Ray says he’s “immoralized” Anderson in front of all his “jackoffs” countless times. Yes, he used the non-existent word “immoralized”. Ray says there won’t be another match between the two of them. Anderson mentions BFG is in Philadelphia, and that’s where Ray cut his teeth in the business. He asks Ray if he’d deny the match if Anderson challenged him to a “Philadelphia Falls-Count-And-I-Mean-Frickin’-Anywhere” match (his words), and would Ray’s massive ego deny that? Ray just stares at him blankly as Anderson leaves the ring.
Backstage on split-screen, we see Roode and Storm training.
Eric Bischoff is talking to Anonymous Interviewer. He doesn’t know how he feels about Hogan’s announcement on a business level. On a personal level, it’s tough, as he’s been a big Hogan fan forever, and that tonight, we’re facing the end of an era, and calls the night “bittersweet”. Does Hogan really need any more verbal fellating at this point?
In another area, Brian Kendrick is rambling about Austin Aries and BFG. I’m not recapping this. Kid Kash wanders in and says he couldn’t help overhear what was being said, and if he’s got something to say to Kash, say it to his face. Kendrick says that’s fair as Kash slaps him to the ground and beats on him for a minute. Wait, was Kendrick talking about Kid Kash during that incoherent tripe?
MATCH 2: Mickie James and Velvet Sky vs. Madison Rayne and Knockouts Champion Winter (w/Angelina Love)
Let’s see, with the participants in this match, we have two horses and a stick. Think we’ll see an equine tug-of-war? Winter and James start off. Winter with a waistlock. James reverses into a side headlock and an arm wringer. James is getting nice and chunky around the midsection, BTW. Rayne tags in. James with a headlock into a hip throw. Rayne with a head scissors. James flips out and gets a snapmare off a cartwheel. Sky had made the blind tag during this. She gets a seated dropkick on Rayne. Rayne with a jawbreaker. Winter tags in, right into a drop toehold. Sky with a clothesline. She tags in James, who hits a top rope Thesz Press. James with the Tunacanrana and a hangman’s neckbreaker for 2. James gets tripped by Love on the outside behind the ref’s back, which gets 2 for Winter. Rayne back in. Double corner whip, followed by Rayne being whipped into the corner by Winter. Rayne with a foot choke as Winter tags back in. Winter with some kicks before tagging Rayne back in. She does nothing before tagging Winter back in. Another double corner whip. Winter misses a charge, with James clotheslining Rayne down. Sky tags in and gets a spinning headscissors and a pair of clotheslines on Winter. Sky hits a sit-out version of the Pedigree for 2 before Rayne breaks it up. Rayne and James are brawling on the outside. Sky accidentally on purpose trips Winter up. Sky punches her. Rayne gets the schoolgirl on Sky while holding her tights for 3.
WINNERS: Madison Rayne and Winter. Rubbish.
We see Jeff Hardy enter the building. I love how TNA is billing this show as “live”, even though Hardy is actually serving his jail sentence as this show is airing.
This new FreeCreditScore.com band is much, much worse than the original band, and they weren’t even very good to begin with.
Highlight #2 of Hogan’s “amazing” TNA career features him and Abyss tagging together for a match last year. We see a shot of Dixie Carter minus her iPhone. It’s a Festivus miracle!
Backstage, Bischoff is talking to Kurt Angle. He asks to go out on Angle’s behalf to get rid of “this cockroach” once and for all, the cockroach being Jeff Hardy.
This segues into Bischoff making his way down the ramp, looking pissed. Or constipated. Or confused. I can’t tell. He tells the crowd to sit down, shut up and take notes. He just promised Angle he’d take care of a little “administrative detail”. He tells Jeff Hardy to come down to his ring. Now, Jeff. Now.
Jeff Hardy makes his way out. His entrance video looks like a poor man’s NES screen shot. Bischoff has had the honor in 25 years in this business to work with some of the greats. He rattles of a few legends (including Hogan and Angle, of course). Men that gave Jeff an opportunity. Um…Jeff debuted several years before Angle. Just saying. Bischoff always took advantage of his opportunities, never let anyone down or dropped the ball. What about WCW? He says Jeff has repeatedly dropped the ball. God gave him all the tools to succeed in this business, but he’s one of the biggest screw-ups Bischoff has ever seen. Despite him asking for everyone for another chance, Bischoff says he’s out of chances. He’s dropped the ball for the last time. At Victory Road, when Hardy came out so pilled up, he let everyone down. As far as Bischoff is concerned, Hardy is done, so why doesn’t he 12-step his way out of the ring. Jeff’s glad Eric expressed himself and got that all off his chest. Deep down, maybe some of these people agree with Eric. The idiots in the crowd, of course, boo this. He has one thing to say, then he’s out of here. Eric says if he wants to say goodbye, feel free. Jeff kicks Eric and gives him the Twist of Fate before screaming “Screw you!” into the microphone. Jeff immediately runs out through the crowd as Blubber Ray, Tom Cruise and Mr. Diet Shasta Orange hit the ring.
I love how the crowd disagreed with everything Eric Bischoff said, despite the fact that, for once, he was absolutely 100% accurate.
Back from the break, Hardy is talking to the camera in the back. He says a lot of people were right about him. He made mistakes, he was wrong and he’s sorry, but he’s not going to take crap like that (Bischoff), and if he leaves, he’s leaving on his own terms.
Hogan “highlight” #3 is him announcing that Dixie Carter lost her lawsuit and that he’s still the owner of TNA. Hey, there’s Murphy! Remember him? Neither does anyone else.
MATCH 3: Samoa Joe vs. Crimson
When Christy Hemme just announced Joe, she sounded like she had a mouthful of marbles. Oh, and Christy? I don’t need to know the specific section of Brooklyn that Crimson is from. Thanks. Crimson starts by charging Joe in the corner with knees and punches. Crimson just pounds on Joe. Joe comes back with a thumb to the eye and some punches. Joe keeps yelling “Hah!” as he hits each punch. Crimson reverses a whip into a short-arm clothesline, and follows up with punches on the mat. Crimson locks in a cravat and hits a few knees, turning the move into a neckbreaker for 1. Joe pulls Crimson into the corner by the tights, hits a charging back elbow and a roundhouse kick. Joe with more punches. Crimson blocks a run off the ropes and hits a t-bone suplex, sending Joe to the floor. Crimson follows outside and throws Joe into the guardrail. Crimson gets into the ring just enough to break the count. Joe blocks a kick and slams Crimson’s “injured” leg into the guardrail. Joe does some stupid thing that sends Crimson to the mat on the floor that was somehow supposed to hurt Crimson’s leg. Back in the ring, Joe sweeps Crimson’s legs out. He goes for a spinning toehold, but Crimson pushes him off. He tries to pick Joe up, but Joe reverses and hits a chop block to the leg, followed by a running senton to the leg. Joe puts Crimson in a standing heel hook (at least, that’s what Taz is calling it, before saying “it’s not a heel hook yet”). Crimson reverses this into an inside cradle and gets the pin.
WINNER: Crimson. Crimson remains undefeated and needlessly protected while Joe continues to job to the entire roster.
Backstage, Anonymous Interviewer is asking Blubber Ray about Mr. Anderson. Ray says Anderson must have “balls this frickin’ big” to challenge Anderson at BFG. He started his career in Philly, and that’s where he’ll end Anderson’s. Screw you, screw Philadelphia. I’m Bully Ray. I’m from New York City. Just…brilliant promo here. Unbelievably intelligent and well-crafted.
TNA Merchandise: Just like Affliction, only people don’t call you a tool; they just laugh at you.
Backstage, James Storm cuts some random promo about how he’s going to beat Bobby Roode tonight. I had to recap one James Storm promo already tonight. That’s enough.
We get another video hyping Kurt Angle/Bobby Roode match, including some old footage from the weekly PPV days. Roode is narrating.
MATCH 4: James Storm vs. Bobby Roode
Does anyone else think the Fortune hand sign looks ridiculous? For some reason, referee Brian Hebner gets booed pretty heavily on his introduction. Tie-up. Storm with an arm wringer into an armbar. Roode reverses into a hammerlock. Storm with a headlock and a shoulder block. Storm blocks a hip toss and hits his own. They each miss an elbow and a clothesline. Storm goes for the Last Call, but Roode sees it coming and steps back. Storm with a waistlock. Roode reverses and gets a pair of Japanese armdrags. Roode goes for the fujiwara, but Storm slides out. Now they’re getting in each others’ face as we go to commercial.
You know, it’s really going to suck to Bobby Roode when he has to job to Angle at BFG despite all the hype and build-up.
Hey, Fiat! How’s that new add campaign with Jennifer Lopez working out for you? What’s that? It hasn’t helped sales at all whatsoever, and you spent a fortune getting her to be your spokesperson, thus negating profits? Ooh…
Whitney Cummings, get your greasy, oily visage off my TV screen now.
Back from the break, Storm hits some shoulders in the corner, followed by a chop. Roode reverses into a chop of his own, followed by a snapmare and a rolling neck snap. Storm comes back with some clotheslines, but Roode counters with the same for 2. Apparently, A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels will have an “I Quit” Match at BFG. Storm and Roode trade punches, with Storm getting the best of the exchange. Roode reverses a corner whip and Storm runs into a boot. Roode slightly botches a middle rope blockbuster for 2. Storm sends Roode to the floor, but Roode lands on his feet. Roode tries to come back in, but Storm hits the suspended DDT for 2. I swear Storm just watches WWE every week and goes “Okay, which move can I steal today?” Storm gets a kick to the back of the head in the corner, but Roode comes back with a spinebuster for 2. Roode goes up top, but Storm knocks him down and hits an uppercut. Storm goes to the top for a superplex, which connects. This gets 2. Storm sets up for the Last Call, but Roode ducks. He goes for the Payoff, but Storm counters out. He goes for the Last Call again, but Roode locks in the Bowflex. Storm manages to roll through it to get to the ropes, breaking the hold. Storm hits a Codebreaker followed by a lungblower for 2 (Mike Tenay actually said “stabbed him in the back”, too. That’s not subtle or anything). Storm throws Roode into the corner, but Roode elbows Storm back, who collides with the referee. Storm rolls to the floor. Kurt Angle comes out and throws Storm into the stairs and guardrail. Not sure the point of that. Angle throws Storm back in the ring before leaving the area. Roode goes for the cover, but only gets 2 as Hebner miraculously recovers in time to make the count. Storm goes for the Last Call again, but apparently is too weak to stand all the way up. Roode hits the Payoff and gets the 3.
WINNER: Bobby Roode. Not a bad match, but I can’t give it that high of praise. Sorry, but I’m not a fan of Storm at all.
We see Hogan pacing in the back. His “retirement” ceremony is up next. L. Ron Hubbard help us all.
Back from the break, and Hogan is on his way out to the ring. For a guy supposedly retiring tonight, he doesn’t seem all that upset. Of course, the fans forget the last year and a half of Hogan destroying the company and are cheering him. Why? Because they believe this is real, despite Hogan’s track record of being full of sh**. Continuity is for saps, eh TNA? Hogan says that, when his feet hit the ground this morning, he realized this was his last day in the business. After 30+ years in the business, he says that was a tough cup of coffee to swallow. Everyone in Knoxville welcomed him with open arms. With all the love he received today, Hogan says he felt like it was his first day in the business. Yeah, before anyone knew you for the con-artist you turned out to be. He began asking himself what he was going to do after wrestling, and he began trying to think about what he was going to do to fill that void. Apparently, fans on Facebook and Twitter were repeatedly asking Hogan if he was really retiring, and he had to tell them all “yes” and lie to them all. Hogan holds up a red and yellow “Hulkamania weight belt and throws it over his shoulder like a title. He says that, at the end of the day, there have been generations and generations (“Thank you, Hogan” chant starts; Bunch of geniuses in Knoxville, eh?)…Hogan apparently loses his train of thought and says that Hulkamania had a 30+ year run, but now it’s time to put it to rest and let the celebration begin. Cue Sting.
Sting makes his way out, still in his red suit, “Hulkamania” shirt and yellow shoes. Hogan tells Sting he’s not welcome here, and won’t be turning this into “a damn clown show”. Sting says he’s sorry to bring rain to this momentous occasion, but he wants to know if anyone in Knoxville is buying this retirement thing. Knoxville forgets they were just cheering and boos Hogan. Hogan says everything is done and he’s officially retiring, brother. Sting says maybe he’s become so jaded that he can’t let Hogan have this moment, but maybe it’s because he knows Hogan better than anyone. It’s amazing there’s nothing sacred in this business any longer, and Sting has some footage he’d like to show. Hogan says he has one thing left to say and then the party’s over. Sting says fine, but he wants to show the footage first. The footage is security camera footage of Hogan and Bischoff in a bathroom, with Hogan talking about how he’s not retiring and he can’t believe everyone was stupid enough to believe him. Bischoff says all the hicks down here are selling their trailer homes in order to stock up on Hulk Hogan merchandise since it’ll be so valuable now.
End of show.
So…Hogan won’t wrestle Sting, but he’ll fight Sting and if Sting wins, Dixie gets the company back? Doesn’t that sound like a wrestling match to you?
As you can clearly see, Hogan isn’t retiring. And with him and Bischoff both signing brand new TNA contracts in the past couple days (and the fact that Hogan can’t take bumps), there’s a good chance he will beat Sting in what will probably be the worst match of the last 40 years, save for maybe Jenna Morasca/Sharmell and Trish Stratus/Jackie Gayda. Oh, and for all of you that bought Hogan retiring last week-especially those that were in the Impact Zone crying-All I have to say is, could you really be that stupid?
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Thanks for reading, and as long as Spike TV still fronts the bill, I’ll see you next week.