If you missed the last Impact Wrestling before Sunday’s Slammiversary then you didn’t see guys like Gunner and Eric Young featured in the main event. Decided last week, TV Champion Eric Young would buddy up with World Heavyweight Champion Sting against their two current rivals, Gunner and Mr. Anderson.
The match wasn’t anything to write home about, but it was just nice to see some fresh faces in the center stage. After a little back and forth that was surprisingly carried by Sting for the majority, Gunner pushed a distracted Eric Young into Sting, who fell prey to an F5 type maneuver from Gunner for the huge upset victory.
Like it or not, it was a huge risk to have such an undeveloped guy pin your Heavyweight champ. Personally, I’m happy about this – I read a couple of leaks that say that management is looking to push both Gunner and Crimson in this calendar year. I know that Crimson is ready, whose move set, athleticism, and penchant for winning streaks should make him viable. But what about Gunner?
The Anderson transformation from quasi-asshole to full blown heel has been so forced that it no longer makes his character feel genuine. He randomly threatens other wrestlers and says that he never liked anything Sting stood for. Sting’s whole gimmick from last year was about not trusting authority and deception, which are a lot of the same qualities that make a skeptical, gum smacking Anderson entertaining. Explain that logic to me.
On the other side of the match, you had Sting cut a promo telling Young to “knock off the comedy!” Are they even reading their own storylines anymore? He was conked in the head and is now a lovable three shades Of Mice and Men. After the loss, Sting shoved Young away and didn’t want any part of an apology or anything. Then, to top it all off, Stinger takes a play from the How To Be an Effective Heel playbook, stalks Anderson, assaults him, and covers him in face paint. Perhaps he just snapped, but for a guy who was so adept at sneaking around rafters and messing with people, Sting should have a little more mental resolve than that.
The upsets persisted through the night because earlier on Mexican America defeated the makeshift Tag Title team of James Storm and Alex Shelley. This ended up being a warm-up for Storm and Shelley, who will be defending the belts against The British Invasion at TNA Slammiversary. This match was a whole lot of fun, especially with Magnus on commentary, who was throwing out insults left and right, with a nod to him calling Mexican America “selfish pricks” in a good light.
The team of “Gun Money” dominated early and even combined some of their signature moves, but it wasn’t long before Sarita and Rosita ran interference. James Storm, ever the gentlemen, spewed Beer Money brand beer in Sarita’s face, but this distraction was long enough for Anarquia to regain health and avoid a Shelley superkick that landed square on the jaw of his partner. Anarquia threw Shelley out and covered Storm for the win.
Afterwards, heels butted heads as Mexican America stormed Hulk Hogan‘s office and in a round about way accused management of not giving them the title shot because “they were Mexican!” Hogan proceeded to sternly, but in that classic Hogan inflection, come back with something like “you’re about to call me racist, brother, and I don’t like it!” Come on, guys, Eliminate the Hate.
This wasn’t exactly a groundbreaking moment, but combined with other factors tonight it could be foreshadowing to a potential face turn for the Hulkster. The opening segment saw Sting address Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan, reminding Hulk of his glory days when the fans loved him and he wasn’t inflicted with the cancerous Bischoff. Fans will be quick to call this an all too surreal moment of clarity, because in actuality the company can’t change for the better with both Bischoff and Hogan, but I think it’s just a nod that their characters will probably divorce in the next couple months.
Bully Ray issued an open challenge which was summarily answered by Rob Van Dam. Nothing real memorable happened, but AJ Styles appeared up close in the crowd long enough to distract Ray so RVD could set up his signatures and end with a Five Star Frog Splash for the win. TNA is really trying to ham up Ray’s bullying – he actually chased Christy Hemme from the ring, called her a useless bimbo, and told her that her Playboy cover sucked. Now he’s picking on women, too? I’m calling it right now; we will see a promo soon where he steals a little kid’s lollipop from Universal Studios. Good luck in your match against monster heel, AJ.
ODB and Velvet Sky exchanged pretty funny promos before brawling in their second-to-last match of the evening. ODB continued with her “Velvet is a prissy, made up whore” routine, but then out of nowhere let out a large, guttural “BOOOM!” to no one in particular. Careful, Mrs. B, more stuff like that and you’ll end up on The Soup, but not under the “chicks, man” segment.
Velvet then cut a response wondering why ODB has to be so dirty and telling her “there’s an ointment for that.” I think the real story here was Velvet’s mess of a rug on top of her head. Her skunk curls looked like Medusa got in a fight with Shirley Temple at the Ale House for UFC night. I normally like textured hair, but Velvet needs to stick with the straight locks.
When their match started it was all ODB, who began brawling outside with Velvet and throwing her into guardrails and steel steps and anything else that was chained down. Looking like yet another depressing Velvet job, she caught ODB with a surprise DDT and barely escaped with the win, landing an approximate four moves of offense. I was kind of hoping for ODB to get up and tell Velvet to “go back to her home on Whore Island!”
In yet another match where a champion was pinned, Madison Rayne ran interference on behalf of Winter and Zombie Angelina Love, causing Angelina to hit Mickie James with a reverse DDT to beat James and Tara. Angelina’s ring psychology was great here, and she actually carried the match, but man was she looking super skinny tonight. I understand her commitment to fitness, but it’s becoming dangerously close to unattractive. Winter should probably woman up, stop feeding her only spiked alcohol and get a Big Montana meal from Arby’s.
My stinker of the night goes to Tara for selling out and being all buddies with Mickie James. Despite your hatred for Madison, you still also hated Mickie James enough to do things like RUN HER OVER WITH YOUR MOTORCYCLE A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO. Tara was lip syncing and dancing to Mickie’s country song like they just came down for breakfast at a slumber party or something. Sure, you can tag together, but have a little more animosity towards each other to make it believable.
The various promos of the night included a halftime in ring war of words between Kurt Angle and Jeff Jarrett. Honestly, all you had to do was hear what they were saying because it was pretty much the same riffraff you’ve been hearing for the better of two months. Just a way to remind fans that, “hey, yes, we are indeed fighting at Slammiversary!” Jarrett claims that Karen won’t be in attendance Sunday…wait, is TNA wising up to the fact that no one likes Karen? Probably not – she’ll be there.
Don’t forget about the Crimson and Samoa Joe match. Mike Tenay and Taz really hyped this cell phone video of the two guys brawling at what looked to be a sports bar. My money? It was the Chicago Cubs themed Friendly Confines down there in Orlando. I’d brawl a large Samoan man, too, if I had to eat their food and drink their watered down beer again. I’ll give them credit here – it was a quick, somewhat effective, and original way to bridge the gap to their match on Sunday. Although, I don’t know many cellular phones that shoot video in widescreen.
Abyss continued his quest to be the number one fanboy of “The Art of War” by running off quotes and telling Kazarian and Brian Kendrick that he will not destroy the X Division belt, but try to rename it the Extreme Division title instead. In light of semantics this was all a set up for Abyss to challenge both Kendrick and Kaz to a three way for the X Division at Slammiversary.
Full Impact Wrestling Match Results
Angelina Love and Winter def. Mickie James and Tara, pinfall
Mexican America def. James Storm and Alex Shelley, pinfall
Rob Van Dam def. Bully Ray, pinfall
Velvet Sky def. ODB, pinfall
Gunner and Mr. Anderson def. Sting and Eric Young, pinfall
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