This week’s Impact opens up with a video package for the new World Champion, Magnus. Later tonight, we will have his official coronation ceremony.
Also tonight, Austin Aries defends the World X-Division title against former champion Chris Sabin.
Kurt Angle makes his way down to the ring. He introduces himself and says that 2013 was the worst year of his career. From his feud with Aces and Eights that took a toll on his body, to his personal problems that kept him out of the ring for some time. This is why he declined induction into the TNA Hall of Fame: he wanted to prove to everyone that he could earn it again. People call him a cyborg, but in 2013, he wasn’t one. He wants to explain his plans for 2014 tonight.
Before that can happen, however, Bobby Roode makes his way down to the ring. He asks if we are about to witness what he thinks we are about to witness. This is great. Kurt Angle, did you come out here to tell everyone you’re going to walk away and leave TNA like Jeff Hardy did last week? Have you finally come to the realization after months of getting repeatedly beaten Bobby Roode that you just don’t have it anymore? If you are going to walk away, before you do, look Roode in the eyes and tell him face-to-face that the IT Factor is better than you. Angle says he’s not leaving, and he’s here to make it perfectly clear he’s going to kick ass in 2014. That’s why he’s challenging Roode to one more match. Roode calls Angle crazy, then denies him the match. He has nothing to prove to the morons in the crowd or Angle himself. He has proven he is better than Angle, and he’s proven to the world Angle is not HOF-worthy. He and Angle are done. Roode starts to leave, then changes his mind and says that maybe he’ll accept one more match, but Angle needs to put something on the line. When Roode beats him again, Angle leaves, but more importantly, he never accepts a HOF induction in TNA. Angle’s glad Roode accepts. The match will happen at Genesis, but since Roode has a stipulation, he’s got one himself. It’ll be Angle/Roode…in a steel cage. Big f*cking surprise. Roode accepts, then goes for a sucker-punch. Angle sees it coming and begins pelting Roode with rights. Roode fights back, but the refs and trainers split them up quickly. Rockstar Spud hits the ring and says they won’t ruin this night. This is Madame Dixie Carter’s night. If these two want to fight so badly, they can each find a partner and fight it out in a tag team match later tonight.
Dixie Carter is backstage, saying tonight is the most important night in company history. It took her 11 years to find the perfect champion, and tonight, he will get the coronation fit for a king. The camera man says “cut”, and that they’re all done. She walks away into a side door, where a stagehand is waiting for her. He has a letter for her that he claims a courier just dropped off. She opens it, and all it says is, “See you tonight”.
We see Dixie now talking with Spud. She wants him to find out where this letter is from and what’s it about.
[adinserter block=”1″]Gail Kim is in the ring with Lei’D Tapa. She says it’s a brand-new year, which means a brand-new “Gail Kim Open Challenge”. She asks Tapa if 2013 was her year, and Tapa says nothing. Kim says 2014 will be a better year, and she hopes she’ll get real competition. Up to this point, everyone who has answered the challenge has been very unimpressive.
MATCH 1: Knockouts Champion Gail Kim (w/Lei’D Tapa) vs. Madison Rayne (non-title)
Rayne immediately hits a cross-body from the middle rope before throwing Kim to the corner to stomp her down, all the while screaming like a banshee. The fans chant “You still got it!” because they are morons. Rayne spears Kim before slamming her head into the mat several times. Kim whips Rayne down by the hair, then kicks her in the back before hitting her with mounted punches. Kim hits a forearm to the face and sends Rayne into the ropes. Rayne puts on the breaks, hits a suplex, holds on and hits a neckbreaker. Tapa trips her behind the ref’s back and pulls her to the floor. The referee admonishes Tapa as Kim rolls Rayne back into the ring for a 2-count. She goes for another pin and gets another 2 before slamming Rayne face-first into the mat. Kim applies a modified surfboard, then adds in a dragon sleeper before turning it into a rear chinlock. Rayne escapes, elbows her way out, and then gets yanked down by the hair. Kim kicks Rayne in the back and throws her in the corner before choking her over the middle rope. She goes for Eat Defeat, but Rayne counters into a backslide for 2 before the two simultaneously clothesline each other. Rayne fights back from her knees, hits a few forearms to the chest, a clothesline and a low seated dropkick. She connects with a running boot to the side of the head and a running hip bump in the corner. Kim avoids a second charge, but Rayne puts on the breaks and mounts the middle rope. She goes for what looks like a victory roll, but Kim simply dumps her on her face. She smacks Rayne across the head a few times and goes for Eat Defeat once more, but Rayne counters into a roll-up for 3.
WINNER: Madison Rayne.
We see Velvet Sky and Chris Sabin in the back. Sabin tells her she needs to listen, and if she does what he says, he’ll walk out the new champion. If she doesn’t, he’s leaving the building without her.
Kurt Angle is in the back with Gunner and says he needs a partner. Seeing as Gunner has that briefcase, he knows Gunner will be World Champion very soon. Gunner takes that as a compliment, and seeing as he has problems with Bobby Roode as well, it would be his honor to tag with Angle. James Storm steps in, calls this situation interesting, then walks away while shaking his head.
MATCH 2-World X-Division Championship: Chris Sabin (w/Velvet Sky) vs. Austin Aries (Champion)
Sabin immediately goes for a rope-break as Aries looks for a lock-up. Back in, Sabin pulls the same stunt once more. Aries taunts him in the corner as Sabin asks for a kiss from Sky, which he gets. Aries uses the distraction to hit a running corner dropkick for 2. He goes for the brainbuster, but Sabin escapes and hits a mule kick. Aries comes back with a forearm in the corner and a running bulldog. He applies the Last Chancery, and Sabin is asking for Sky to help him out. She won’t, since it’s not her match. Sabin breaks the hold with a rake of the eyes, then goes out to the floor to scold Sky. On the apron now, Aries recovers and slams Sabin face-first into the buckles before slinging him back into the ring. Aries hits a jumping elbow for 2, then applies a stump puller, which I haven’t seen in ages. Aries falls back to turn it into a pin, getting 2. Sabin lands a knee to the gut and throws Aries to the outside. Aries lands on the apron, shoulders Sabin and hotshots him before hitting a slingshot corkscrew splash for 2. Aries connects with a Lionsault for another 2. Back on their feet, Aries boxes Sabin’s ears, then looks for the brainbuster again. Sabin escapes and hits a back suplex. Sabin sets Aries up in the tree of woe and looks for a baseball slide, but Aries keeps pulling himself up in the corner, eventually hitting a tornado ace crusher. Aries hits several chops before knocking Sabin to the floor with a rolling elbow. He goes to the top rope and connects with a double axe handle outside. Sabin is rolled back into the ring, and Aries is going up top once more. Sabin is begging for help from Sky, and she won’t give it to him. He turns around and gets hit with a missile dropkick before falling into a heap in the corner. He tells Sky to “go”, and she begrudgingly does so, jumping on the apron near Aries. Aries tells her to get down before she gets hurt, and the distraction allows Sabin to hit Aries with a low blow and roll Aries up with a small package for 3.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: Chris Sabin. After the match, JB congratulates him before giving him the microphone. Sabin thanks the one person who made this all happen…himself.
Up next, the “debut” of Samuel Shaw. Oh, joy.
Rockstar Spud is in the back, practicing his introduction for later when we hear Dixie Carter’s entrance theme, which is apparently his ringtone. He answers the phone, but there’s no one on the other line. Spud says that number has hung up on him four times today before pointing out it’s a 678 area code.
Samuel Shaw makes his way down to the ring for his match, but he’s in street clothes. He pulls a pair of black gloves out of pocket and puts them on, then escorts Christy Hemme out of the ring for the remainder of her announcing duties for this match.
MATCH 3: Samuel Shaw vs. Norv Fernum
Wow. Shaw gets an actual gimmick (complete with the commentators pretending to not know who he is), then upgrades his “gear” that consisted of board shorts and skate shoes to…white jeans, a long-sleeve thermal shirt and black work boots. I wish Dixie Carter would just admit this gimmick is an American Psycho rip-off, but considering she’s probably thinks no one’s ever seen the movie or read the book solely based on the fact that she saw the movie for the very first time a few months ago and then came up with this gimmick, that’s not going to happen. Shaw nails Fernum with a right before the bell, then sends him hard into the buckles. Fernum fights back with rights, ducks a clothesline, ducks a back elbow, ducks a big boot and hits a few kicks before getting hit with a quick belly-to-belly suplex off the ropes. Shaw hits a 3.0, all the while staring at Hemme at ringside. Fernum pulls himself back to his feet, and Shaw applies a head-and-arm choke, knocking Fernum out.
WINNER: Sam Shaw. After the match, Shaw takes his gloves off and stares at Hemme before heading to the back.
AI asks James Storm on Gunner’s actions recently, culminating with teaming with Kurt Angle tonight. Storm isn’t surprised, as Gunner is doing the same thing all of his other former partners have done. He made a career off being a tag team specialist. Angle made a mistake with his partner choice, and tonight, maybe Storm does the same thing. He opens a side door and says, “Hey, it’s just the guy I’m looking for.”
We see Bobby Roode in his locker room, talking about tonight’s tag team match. He knows Angle has Gunner as a partner. And he wants to know why this person off-camera wants to be his partner, and why Roode should trust him. The camera pans over and we see James Storm. He says he doesn’t trust Roode. He hates Roode. But he needs to be his partner tonight to send a message. Roode says that’s not his problem. He doesn’t need Storm. Storm says he’ll be out there one way or another: either as Roode’s partner, or kicking everyone’s asses, including Roode’s.
Kurt Angle makes his way down for his tag team match, and is followed by Gunner. JB stops Gunner on the ramp and asks him what happens if Storm is Roode’s partner. Gunner says if that happens, this is about to get more interesting, and more physical.
MATCH 4: Kurt Angle and Gunner vs. Bobby Roode and James Storm
Angle and Storm start the match. Storm applies a waistlock, and Angle counters. Storm counters into an arm wringer. Angle does the same before applying a hammerlock. Storm elbows out before running into a back elbow. Angle snaps off a suplex, then tags in Gunner. Gunner applies an arm wringer. He goes for a clothesline, but Storm ducks and hits a high knee. Roode tags himself in and runs into a shoulderblock. Gunner hits a back elbow off the ropes before Roode hits a right and throws Gunner into the buckles. Gunner no-sells, hits a forearm to the face, throws Roode into the corner and hits a running elbow. He connects with a slingshot suplex for 2. Roode comes back with a kneelift, but runs into a back elbow in the corner. Gunner and Storm exchange words, and when Gunner turns around, he runs into a spinebuster. Storm tags himself in and gets 2 before hitting some mounted punches. Storm connects with an uppercut, then tags in Roode. The two hit a double back elbow, and now Roode stomps Gunner down. He rams Gunner into the corner and tags in Storm, who does the same thing. Storm applies a front chancery, and now Gunner is powering his way to his corner. Roode distracts the ref, which means he doesn’t see the tag to Angle. As the ref gets Angle back on the apron, Storm and Roode double-team Gunner in the corner before making a fake tag. Roode thumbs Gunner in the eye before grinding his boot into the side of Gunner’s face. He hits a jumping kneedrop and tags in Storm. The former Beer Money partners hit a double suplex before having a brief stare-down. Gunner and Storm trade rights before Storm applies a side headlock. They crisscross before colliding with simultaneous shoulderblocks in the middle. Angle makes the tag, but the ref doesn’t see it. Roode makes a fake tag and goes after Gunner, but Angle shoves the referee away and hits Roode with a clothesline. He knocks Storm off the apron, then hits Roode with the 2/3 of the Murder-Suicide. Storm tries to clothesline Angle on the final third, but Angle ducks, lets go of Roode and hits Storm with an overhead belly-to-belly. Storm goes for the Last Call, but Angle counters into the ankle lock. Roode nails Angle from behind to break the hold, and that’s when Gunner recovers and locks in the Gun Rack. Storm hits Gunner with the Last Call, and Roode nails Gunner with a DVD for 3.
WINNERS: Bobby Roode and James Storm. Angle nails Roode after the match and goes for the Angle Slam, but Roode escapes and heads up the ramp. Storm grabs Gunner’s briefcase and drops it on his chest before leaving the ring.
Sting is seen walking around backstage when Rockstar Spud runs up to him. He accuses Sting of sending the letter. Sting tells him he’s here to talk to one person only and that Spud needs to get out of his face.
Ethan Carter III makes his way down to the ring and says that, in the year 2013, he debuted and changed the face of wrestling. He can’t take all the credit, as his aunt D has put him against the toughest competition in all the land. Some of his doubters have said his competition has been inferior. Last week, he was in this ring with Jeff Hardy and Sting, and pinned Sting as easy as E-C-3. Now, Hardy has left TNA, probably to write poetry about his “creatures”. As EC3 tweeted Hardy earlier today, tonight is about redemption. He’s challenging Hardy to a match right here, right now. He then tells Christy Hemme to announce his opponent. Hardy’s music hits, but he doesn’t come out. EC3 points out that Hardy isn’t here. That means the bell needs to be rung, Hardy will be counted out, and EC3 will continue his undefeated streak.
The bell rings, and EC3 begins counting. When he gets to 9, Sting’s music hits. He says he’s not going to let EC3 trash-talk Hardy. Hardy is a man, and he’s not sure what EC3 is. EC3 says he’s a Carter and the man that beat Sting last week, so he’s done. Sting calls him a little puppy dog, waiting for aunt Dixie to come home, give him treats and rub his belly. He can’t even take a crap without being on a leash. He is Dixie’s lap dog. Why doesn’t he get off the leash and prove he’s a man and not a dog? EC3 isn’t going to let Sting manipulate him, and he leaves the ring as Sting chases him around. Sting says that must mean it’s true that EC3 is nothing but Dixie’s lap dog. EC3 turns around and heads back to the ring. He tells Sting he’ll fight him one-on-one…in two weeks at Genesis.
Joseph Park is in the back with Eric Young. He doesn’t remember what happened last week, but knows he’s Joseph Park, not his brother Abyss. Why did EY put him in a match with Bully Ray tonight? EY says that, two years ago, Abyss faced Bully Ray, and that’s when this all started, so that’s where they’re going to start in regards to getting to the bottom of this. EY walks off, and Bully Ray enters the area. He tells Park it’s in his best interest to not do this match. He’ll be out there all alone, and that’s something Ray identifies with. Park doesn’t want to be the guy that burns for the sins of Ken Anderson. He’s going to set Park on fire.
MATCH 5: Bully Ray vs. Joseph Park
Ray doesn’t bother to take his sunglasses or sweatshirt off for this match, and instead just stands quietly in the corner. Park slowly approaches him, and that’s when Ray looks up. He then kicks Park in the nuts.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: Joseph Park. Ray takes out a bottle of lighter fluid and begins squirting it all over Park, shooting him right in the eyes. That doesn’t sound right. He then pulls out a lighter, but before he can flick it on, Mr. Anderson runs down to the ring. Before he can attack, Ray sprays him with the fluid before holding the lighter up to his face. He then leaves as Anderson checks on Park as Taz says Park was “drownded” in lighter fluid.
We see Dixie Carter, Rockstar Spud and Ethan Carter III in the back, making their way towards the ring. Magnus’ coronation ceremony is up next.
Spud and EC3 are in the ring, which is decorated with ferns, flowers, a Union Jack and a throne. Spud says that tonight, history will be made. The event we are about to witness is in much greater magnitude than Katherine, the duchess of Cambridge and William, the Duke of Cambridge, and it starts with Madame Dixie Carter. This opportunity to be around the Queen herself is something every lad in his home country grew up only dreaming about. Dixie Land is a place where dreams always come true. But tonight, it’s not just about Madame Dixie; it’s about a man who is forever going to change the face of pro wrestling. A man who is king in stature, a man who is YOUR World Champion. Ladies and gentleman, a real man, a British man, YOUR World Champion, Magnus. So, in an effort to go on with the festivities, at this time, he’d like to present the master of ceremonies, Ethan Carter III. Spud bows to EC3 before handing him the mic. He says that, across the pond, Spud worships a king and queen. Here in America, all the power is held by the 1%. He is undefeated, and last week, he triumphed over Sting cleanly in the middle of this ring. But what is most important is that he’s a Carter. The world needs them. The true man of the hour, however, is Magnus. Magnus did more than rule a country; he became the World Champion, and thus now rules the world. Behind every great king is a great woman…END THIS BULLSH*T! Anyway, he introduces aunt D, who is actually more worthless than either EC3 or Samuel Shaw. That says a lot.
Dixie Carter makes her way down. She thanks the crowd and tells them she loves them. She’s here to tell us a story that she’s told to journalists many times, and it’s one of her favorites. She then recounts the story of how she discovered Magnus. Anyway, it ends with her knowing she’d sign Magnus. Fast-forward five years, Magnus is now the champion, and he did it all on his own, without any help. She asks the crowd to stand up and honor true royalty, her World Champion, Magnus.
Magnus comes down, and I just realized the former Gladiator is now holding the belt that looks like it came straight from an episode of Battle Dome. It’s a perfect circle. Magnus takes a seat on his thrown and says this is your champion speaking, please return your women to their upright and locked positions, because it’s time for everyone to listen to him. He thanks Spud and EC3 for their kind words, words he deserves. Before they get on with the coronation, he has one more special person to thank, the one and only miss Dixie Carter. Dixie, you truly are the wind beneath his massive wings. As he stands before us today, the World Champion, he has mixed emotions. He’s honored and humbled at the same time. He can’t shake the feeling that everyone thought it would be Bobby Roode, Kurt Angle, or maybe even Jeff Hardy standing before you today as champion, and it’s not. It’s Magnus. The fans all doubted him. So when people ask him, “Magnus, why did you turn your back on the fans?” It’s real simple: they turned their backs on him. From here on out, he will never again take a backseat to anyone in this business, and he intends to be YOUR World Champion for a very, very, very, very, very long time to come.
Gunner’s music hits, and he’s got his briefcase in one hand, a mic in the other. He says history hasn’t been made, but tonight, his history begins. He’s ready to fight right here, right now. He’s cashing in now, so someone needs to ring the bell. Dixie interjects and says that isn’t happening. Gunner throws Spud to the ground before hitting EC3 with an elbow. He ducks a clothesline from Magnus and picks him up in a fireman’s carry, but Spud kicks Gunner in the nuts, allowing Magnus to escape and EC3 to hit Gunner from behind. Spud and EC3 double-team Gunner as Magnus orders them to pick him up. They hold him as Magnus taunts him with the belt.
[adinserter block=”2″]AJ Styles slides into the ring, carrying his belt. He ducks a shot from Magnus and takes EC3 & Spud out with a double clothesline. Spud goes flying as Dixie is ordering Magnus to get AJ out of the ring. AJ lays his belt down, takes his jacket off and challenges Magnus to fight him. Magnus instead bails as Dixie says this won’t be happening. AJ holds up his belt and says if she wants her intellectual property, here it is…with him. She can tell her lawyers to stop chasing him across the world, because he’s man enough to show up with this belt, right here and now. But, if she thinks he’s going to just hand it over, then she’s dumber than she looks. He didn’t come here because he wanted to or she made him; he came here because she screwed these people over. She screwed them when she made the World Champion a farce. He needed to come back here. Magnus is a farce. Magnus knows it. AJ knows it. The fans know it. He doesn’t care if Magnus wears that belt, because he’s not a World Champion until he beats THE World Champion. Magnus asks if AJ is challenging him. AJ says there are two belts, but there can only be one World Champion. Magnus starts to walk up the ring steps, and AJ says that if Magnus wants to prove he’s all that he says he is, he’s going to have to accept this match. Here’s another fun fact: these people are going to doubt Magnus was ever a World Champion anyway. Magnus cares about these people where he wants to admit it or not. If Magnus doesn’t accept, he’ll also doubt himself as a champion. The deal’s on the table, but if he walks out those doors, the offer goes with him. The choice is up to Magnus. Magnus tells AJ he’s not better than him, and he’ll never be better than him. If AJ wants Magnus to prove it, he’ll do it next week. Dixie screams that it won’t happen, and Magnus tells her if it doesn’t happen, he’s gone, too. No one is going to doubt him or his championship reign ever again. Dixie says she won’t risk this liability over AJ. Magnus agrees that AJ doesn’t have a contract, which is why Dixie will give him a one-night contract to make this match happen. Dixie says that if Magnus loses, she’ll have nothing. Magnus says that if she doesn’t make it happen, she’ll have nothing anyway. AJ accepts by offering a handshake.
End of show.
Dustin Nichols is a freelance writer, and you can keep track of all of his work on his Facebook page, which can be found at www.facebook.com/DustinNicholsWriter. Oh, and if you like bodybuilding, check out his mom’s official site by clicking the banner below:
[amazon_link id=”B00ESZZOBS” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: Raw 20th Anniversary Collection – The 20 Greatest Episodes Uncut & Unedited[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B00EHMYKGC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: History of the WWE[/amazon_link]