Welcome to the 2-23-12 edition of Impact Wrestling. Before I get into tonight’s episode, I’d like to point out that, last night, I caught bits and pieces of the first episode of Ring Ka King. For those that don’t know, Ring Ka King (which loosely means “King of the Ring”) is TNA’s spinoff company that they have created in the country of India.
The promotion runs exclusively there, and features a few minor TNA workers, some guys native to India, a few indy mainstays and the rest of the roster is filled with WWE outcasts who have never worked for TNA like Nick Dinsmore, Christ Masters and Chavo Guerrero. In a 1-hour broadcast, I witnessed a total of two matches that lasted less than 10 minutes total, featuring Dinsmore as a nutty doctor vs. some local wrestler and a main event of Matt Morgan vs. Magnus. Aside from production values-which are vastly superior to TNA in the states.
Go figure-the show is somehow even worse than TNA. Even their main title belt is worse, looking like some guy just grabbed a random piece of metal sheeting, glued it to a hunk of leather and said “Done.” The people in India seemed to love it, but I think it’s mainly due to the fact that they are so incredibly starved for wrestling in that country that they’ll pretty much take whatever they can get. Oh, well. As Kelly Bundy always likes to say, “Case of rum, case of rum”.
Anyway, the show starts off with a video package for the World Champion, Bobby Roode. This eventually leads to footage of James Storm becoming #1 contender for Lockdown last week as a result of pinning Blubber Ray (a column that was linked on CNNSI.com, BTW), as well as Roode low-blowing Sting in the final moments of the show, which will eventually lead to a Roode/Sting match at the next PPV because no one asked for it.
Tonight, “Football guy” Brandon Jacobs is back. I guess he won something called a “Super Game” or something like that. I don’t know; I don’t watch hockey. The main event tonight will be Ray and Kurt Angle taking on Jeff Hardy and James Storm.
World Champion Bobby Roode makes his way into the Impact Zone. We see a bunch of tweets from TNA stars regarding what Roode did to Sting last week. I warned you guys; I warned you. People were saying that at least TNA didn’t shove Twitter down our throats as much as WWE. I said that it would take time, but eventually, TNA would probably be an even worse offender of it. That is EXACTLY what is happening now. Roode grabs a mic and tells us that, after last week’s beatdown on Sting, Sting sent out a message worldwide via Twitter, stating that he is, in fact, done. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s true; Sting has quit and he’s finished with Impact Wrestling. Roode says everyone has a chance to say goodbye tonight because Sting will be here tonight to tell everyone why he’s done. For now, let’s move onto a more important subject, and that’s Roode. He lists off a few accomplishments, namely winning the title and defending it successfully night after night. But now, ending Sting’s career is not only the biggest accomplishment in Roode’s career, but his entire life. He lists off guys Sting has faced in his career before saying he’s the only man who can say he ended Sting’s career. In closing, Sting, in all seriousness, let’s put our feelings towards each other aside and when you come out to say your goodbyes, remember one thing: tonight, when you say goodbye to Impact Wrestling, don’t let the door hit you on the a** (they bleeped it, not me) on the way out. Yes, TNA will allow buckets of blood to be spilled on their show, but the word “ass” drives them around the bend.
[adinserter block=”2″]Outside from earlier today, we see Crimson and Matt Morgan arguing about who was at fault in regards to losing the World Tag Team titles at Against All Odds. They have a rematch tonight. Matt Morgan calls them the two most dominant wrestlers in this company (uh…yeah…) and they lost as a team at the PPV. Tonight, they will win as a team and get the belts back.
MATCH 1-World Tag Team Championship: Crimson and Matt Morgan vs. Champions Magnus and Samoa Joe
I don’t think Christy Hemme knows how to pronounce the word “Samoa”. It came out as “Samatta”. I just noticed there is some countdown clock in the corner for a new MMA show. I give a damn, let me tell you. The challengers start by attacking the champions from behind. Magnus gets sent to the floor and Joe eats a double shoulder block. Morgan and Joe are legal. Morgan hits a sidewalk slam for 2. Crimson tags in and gets a punch in before taking a headbutt from Joe. Magnus tags in. Crimson ducks a shor-arm clothesline, hits a couple of his own then locks Magnus in a cravat for some kneelifts. A snapmare follows, and Crimson follows that up with a running knee. Magnus gets to a corner and kicks Crimson. Crimson comes back with a swinging reverse STO. He misses a corner shoulder charge, allowing Magnus to tag in Joe as we go to commercials.
Back from the break, Joe has Crimson in a hammerlock and backs him into his corner. Crimson tries to fight out, but takes a thumb to the eye. Joe comes off the ropes and runs right into a spinebuster from Crimson. Morgan tags in, as does Magnus. Morgan with two shoulder blocks and an awful knee lift. Joe eats a discuss clothesline before Morgan rams their heads into each other and follows with a double clothesline. Magnus gets a boot up out of the corner and comes off the ropes with a cross body, but Morgan catches him and hits a swinging uranage. He goes for the pin, but Joe breaks it up at 2. All four men are brawling now, and the champs eventually take over with a corner whip on Crimson. Crimson defends against their attacks and goes for a clothesline on Joe. At the same time, Morgan is setting up for the Carbon Footprint. Joe sees him coming and moves, causing Crimson to clothesline Morgan. Joe throws Crimson outside as Magnus gets back in. Joe hits a uranage in the corner on Morgan before the champs hit the snapmare/elbow drop combo, with Magnus getting the 3-count.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: Magnus and Samoa Joe.
Up next, the relief pitcher for the New York Jets or whatever he is will be out.
Brandon Jacobs comes out to some generic music TNA whipped up in about 90 seconds. He grabs a microphone and introduces himself as the World Beer Pong Champion, saying you come to Impact Wrestling after an accomplishment like that, as it’s the next logical choice. As we all know, he was here last week when his buddy James Storm became #1 contender. He’s buddies with Storm because they both like beer. It was great to celebrate Storm’s win with him. Having said that, he admits he shouldn’t have crossed the barricade, as it wasn’t his place to do so. At the same time, Blubber Ray shouldn’t have spit in his face. Tonight, he’s here again to let Ray know he’s in his back yard one more time. They have unfinished business, one on one in this ring. There’s no one here to hold him back. Let’s go, Bully.
He continues to call Bully Ray out before Ray eventually makes his presence known, mic already in hand. He tells Brenda (his words) to settle down. Maybe they got off on the wrong foot last week. Ray reintroduces himself before asking Jacobs to look at his calves. This calf obsession is bizarre. Ray says they have a lot in common; they’re both champions, Jacobs plays for NY, and Ray is from there. He says there’s nothing he’d like to do more than come down to the ring and beat the crap out of a Superbowl champion, but he’s got an important tag team match tonight and doesn’t want to waste the energy on a guy who only scored 59 yards in the Superbowl, and didn’t even get a touchdown. So, what he’s going to do is stay on the ramp and keep making fun of Jacobs. Jacobs says he’ll come to Ray, then. Ray then runs to the back. You know, if TNA ever wants to bring this guy back for any reason and want him to talk, they would be well advised to script a g*damn promo for him. He was a deer in the headlights out there. Oh, and Brandon Jacobs was pretty awful on the microphone, too. See what I did there?
After the commercials, we see Brandon Jacobs walking around in the back. He gets stopped by James Storm and Jeff Hardy. Storm asks him if he wants Bully Ray. He screams that he wants Bully Ray. Storm says “We goin’ get Bully Ray”. Brilliant back-and-forth there.
MATCH 2: Zema Ion vs. Alex Shelley
Gotta love the kid in the front row who had no idea how big he was going to write “Charismatic Enigma” on his sign, so the word “Charismatic” starts level and then just drops to a slope at the end. Before Shelley can even get in the ring, Ion attacks him on the floor. He throws Shelley in the ring, and the match starts. Ion immediately hits a top rope seated dropkick for 2 before spraying his hair. World X-Division Champion Austin Aries makes his way out, popcorn and a glass of wine in hand. Shelley manages to trip Ion before hitting a seated hotshot and a slingshot splash for 2. Aries is sitting at ringside now, eating his popcorn. Shelley with an armdrag and a boot out of the corner. He hits a drop toe hold into the corner, then goes up and hits a missile dropkick, sending Ion to the floor. He goes for a springboard move, but Ion trips him up. Back in the ring, Ion hits a headscissors into a satellite armbar before going into the jujigatame. Shelley breaks the hold by getting to the rope. Shelley lands a dragon screw before a series of punches and chops. Step-up enziguri sends Ion into the ropes, where he is clotheslined over the top to the floor. Shelley follows up with a suicide dive. Ion stuffs his hairspray can into his tights behind the ref’s back before getting back into the ring. Shelley goes up for the double stomp, but Ion rolls out of the way. Shelley rolls through and hits a mule kick before looking for Sliced Bread #2. Ion shoves him off, causing Shelley to nearly collide with the referee. He manages to spray some hairspray into Shelley’s face out of the ref’s view before hitting the back suplex into a facebreaker combo. Ion hits a running double knee, grabbing Shelley’s legs upon impact, allowing him to go right into the pin and get the 3.
WINNER: Zema Ion. Good match. I just don’t understand why the X-Division can’t get more time. “Fast-paced” does not necessarily equal “quick or short matches”.
Video package for the Gunner/Garett Bischoff feud. I have absolutely zero interest in this.
Anonymous Interviewer is asking Garett about the comments his dad made last week. Garett says that there’s nothing anyone can say that will keep him from doing what he wants to do, and that’s being here in the Impact Zone every week, doing his thing. Hulk Hogan walks up, saying he figured Garett would say that. He’s not surprised, but does he understand what’s actually going on? There is a huge bullseye on his back because of who his father is. If he’s going to stay in this business, his dad will do everything he can to make Garett’s life a living hell, and he doesn’t have to choose to stay in this business. Every time Garett steps in the ring or walks around the building, someone is going to be there, looking to break his arm. It seems like they accidentally cut this short, as in mid-sentence, the camera switches to another part of the building…
…And who should be standing there? Hey, it’s World Champion racehorse Secretariat! What? That’s not a horse? You mean that’s Madison Rayne, my soulmate? Oh, dear. She’s going to be mad. It’s my fault, though. I should’ve known horses don’t carry title belts. She’s rambling on about Sting, saying she hopes Sting is done, because he hasn’t been fair to her or Gail Kim. Her being the #1 contender to Kim’s Knockouts title doesn’t do anything to their friendship. The other knockouts in last week’s battle royal weren’t suitable contenders, so she stepped in and did what she did because she’s a true champion, and Gail Kim only deserves the best competition.
Gail Kim will face ODB next.
MATCH 3: ODB (w/Eric Young) vs. Knockouts Singles and Tag Team Co-Champion Gail Kim (non-title)
Dear lord. I’d swear ODB got yet another boob job done. Those things are out of control. Gail Kim looks good in her see-through shirt, though. Just saying. A lot of stalling to start this match, until ODB chest-bumps Kim to the mat, followed by a drop toehold. ODB locks her in a front chancery and slaps her ass. She whips Kim into the corner, follows up with an avalanche and a bronco buster. Mike Tenay is showing how into this match he is by talking about Chris Brown and Rihanna or however you spell her stupid name. Thanks, “Professor”. Always there with the important facts, aren’t ya? Anyway, off the bronco buster, ODB folds Kim up for a pin, but only gets 2. Kim comes back with a knee lift and some uppercuts. She goes for a cross body, but ODB catches her and hits a fall-away slam. Kim slides to the ring apron and nails a kick to the head before climbing back in the ring with another kick, this time to the gut. Back up, Kim hits a forearm and a running clothesline for 2. ODB fights back with forearms, but Kim gets a knee up and throws her to the floor. ODB hangs onto the ropes, so Kim grabs her by the head and hits a suspended facebuster. Corner whip and charge, followed by a hair whip that gets 2. ODB fights back with elbows, but Kim immediately comes back with an iron octopus. ODB manages to reverse the hold into a sidewalk slam. Both ladies get back up, but Kim stays on offense with a clothesline. She throws ODB to the corner and hits a couple of gut kicks and a foot choke. Madison Rayne makes her way out to ringside, distracting Gail Kim, who wants to know why she’s here. Behind the ref’s back, Eric Young feeds ODB some booze from her flask. Because, you know, that’s an illegal move or something. ODB “boozes up”, knocking Kim down with a pair of shoulder blocks and a clothesline. Kim corner whips her, but ODB gets her foot up on the charge. She mounts the top rope and then proceeds to slam Kim’s face into her crotch. Yeah. I guess I’ll just call that move the Clam Buffet. ODB lets go and hits a Thesz Press from the middle rope. Kim tries to come back with a kick, but ODB blocks it and sets up for the Bammm! Kim escapes and goes right into Eat Defeat, getting the 3.
WINNER: Gail Kim. After the match, Madison Rayne comes into the ring and tries to celebrate with Kim. The champ isn’t having anything to do with it.
In an interview from earlier today, AJ Styles is talking about how he’s past his feud with Christopher Daniels and Kazarian. They were two of his best friends, but they lost their way. He hasn’t lost his, so now he’s going to refocus and keep his attention on becoming World Champion once again.
After the commercials, we get a video package for Jesse Sorensen, who is recuperating from his horrible injury at Against All Odds. We get some comments from his mother and Jesse himself, who is in a neckbrace. Jesse’s mom got the initial call from Dixie Carter. Jesse then talks about being temporarily paralyzed, worrying he’d never be able to move again. Mike Tenay informs us that, since the video was shot, Sorensen has been released from the hospital and is now resting at home. Best of luck, kid.
MATCH 4-World Television Championship: AJ Styles vs. Champion Robbie E (w/Robbie T)
Did Styles get yet ANOTHER entrance theme change? Robbie T has a clipboard in his hand has been bedazzled with the words “The List”. I mentioned last week that Robbie T was working a couple of shows here in Colorado. My friend and local independent wrestler Arik Angel (@realarikangel), who worked these shows with T, had the following to say about him: “F*ck Rob Terry!” I think that says it best. The match starts off with Robbie trying to rush Styles, but Styles quickly sidesteps him, sending Robbie to the corner. Styles hits a quick hip toss before slamming Robbie into a pair of the corners. Backbreaker on Robbie, followed by a forearm. Robbie tries for a cross body off the ropes, but Styles catches him and hits a swinging backbreaker. Okay, word of advice to all TNA heels: the cross body off the ropes will NEVER work for you. It has failed on three separate occasions tonight alone. Styles locks in an inverted STF. Robbie taps right in front of the referee, but I guess it wasn’t an official tap, because the match continues. Go figure. Robbie slides to the floor and hides behind Robbie T. Robbie E slides back in the ring, and manages to stomp Styles down as he does the same thing. Robbie with a corner whip, but Styles comes back with a kick and a chop. Robbie counters with a modified side-Russian legsweep for 2. Robbie sends Styles sternum-first into the corner and follows up with a bodyslam. He goes to the corner, climbs the middle rope, fist-pumps and attempts to land a fist drop. I say “attempt” because his fist came nowhere near Styles’ face, and instead, caught Styles’ head with part of his quad. How in the hell do you botch a fist drop? Anyway, Robbie goes for the cover, but only gets 2.
He tries to corner whip Styles again, but Styles puts on the breaks and lands a back elbow. Styles comes back with some more shots, including a beautiful dropkick off the ropes. Corner clothesline follows, as does a pumphandle into a rib breaker for 2. Styles sets up for the Styles Clash, but Robbie T gets on the apron to jaw with the referee. This allows Robbie to land a blow to the back of Styles’ head. He gets in a few more shots before going for a clothesline, but Styles ducks the move and lands the Pele. He goes to the apron for a springboard move, but Christopher Daniels and Kazarian come down to the ring, where Kazarian promptly pulls Styles down off the apron and whips him into the guardrail, causing the DQ.
WINNER VIA DISQUALIFICATION: AJ Styles, with Robbie E holding onto the title as a result. As Kazarian makes his way back up the ramp, Daniels is looking at him with a surprised look, like he can’t believe what he just saw Kazarian do.
MATCH 5: Kurt Angle and Bully Ray vs. Jeff Hardy and James Storm (w/Brandon Jacobs)
I absolutely love how, despite months and months of Angle telling all of us that he would, without a doubt, be competing in the 2012 Olympics, he is now completely back-pedaling, saying he’s not sure he can make it. Gee, what a shock. Kurt Angle going back on his word and not following through on something he emphatically stated? I never would have guessed that in a million years. Not even. Despite showing a graphic that would imply Brandon Jacobs would be out here with the faces, he has yet to make his presence known. Angle weighs 226, my ass.
At most, he’s about 190-195 at this point. Storm then starts screaming about his friend who is a beer drinker, and has unfinished business with Bully Ray. Of course it’s the football guy, who runs down to the ring. Can we start this damn match, already? Okay, match finally starts, with Angle and Storm as the legal men. Angle backs Storm into the corner, but he fights out with punches. Hip toss, clothesline and high knee all come next. Storm hits a really dumb-looking facebuster, then kicks Angle in the knee and does it again. Ray causes a momentary distraction, allowing Angle to take over with punches and stomps. Storm gets back up and hits a couple of punches and a clothesline out of the corner. Storm locks in an arm wringer before tagging in Hardy. Angle immediately runs over to tag in Ray as we go to commercials once more.
Back from the break, Ray takes Hardy down with a clothesline. He whips Hardy into the corner, who knocks down Angle in the process. Angle trips him up and crotches him around the post. Behind the ref’s back, Angle grabs Hardy’s leg and whips it into the post before throwing him back in the ring. Ray lands some mounted punches, but misses an elbow drop off the ropes. Ray tags in Angle, who does more stomping. Suplex gets 2. Angle immediately goes into a waistlock (Taz: “a reverse gutwrench”). Hardy gets back to his feet and elbows out, but runs right into an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
Ray tags back in, but Hardy hits a reverse enziguri before tagging in Storm. Storm knocks Angle off the apron before hitting Ray with punches and a forearm. He hits the stupid facebreaker again before hitting a neckbreaker. Ray gets to a corner, where Storm charges at him. Ray back drops him over the top rope, but Storm lands on his feet and hits an enziguri and another forearm. Angle runs back into the ring and hits another belly-to-belly, this time on Storm. Hardy takes Angle down with a clothesline, and is subsequently taken down by a big boot from Ray. Rayn and Angle go outside to grab a table, but the face double dropkick it while the heels are still holding it, sending them down to the floor. Storm and Hardy grab the table and set it up, which allows Angle and Ray to get back in the ring. Angle hits a clothesline on Storm while Hardy takes the Bully Bomb from Ray. As Angle and Ray continue to set up the table, Angle turns around right into a Last Call from Storm. Ray throws Storm back into the corner as Brandon Jacobs climbs into the ring. Ray turns around and challenges Jacobs to a fight, then gets down into a 3-point stance. Jacobs does the same thing. Before Ray can do anything, Storm hits him with an uppercut, and Jacobs chokeslams Ray through the table. Storm immediately covers Ray for a 3.
WINNERS: Jeff Hardy and James Storm. Since when did this become a No DQ Match? I ask because Jacobs did all of this right in front of referee Brian Hebner, who did nothing but stare blankly at it. Oh, and after hitting ONE MOVE, Mike Tenay immediately begins verbally fellating Jacobs, saying he’s a natural for this business, and it looks like he was born to wrestle. After one single chokeslam. It’s Tony Schiavone/Dennis Rodman at Bash at the Beach ’97 all over again. Taz then makes the obligatory Jeremy Lin reference because, well, honestly, I don’t know why he made the reference. It had no place here at all. Brandon Jacobs once again grabs a mic and spits out Storm’s catchphrase to Bully Ray before Storm dumps beer on Ray.
Backstage, we see some production guy knock on Sting’s office door before opening it and telling him it’s show time.
Sting makes his way out. I’m sorry, this isn’t Sting; this is @STING, according to the graphic during his entrance. TNA is now just listing guys by their Twitter handles. I warned all of you. Sting tells the crowd that he’s made it public that he’s done. There’s too much slipping through his fingers, too much out of control and too much for him to handle. He’s been pushed over the edge because of Bobby Roode, so he’s done.
[adinserter block=”1″]As you would expect, Bobby Roode’s music hits. He slowly makes his way out, giving Sting a mocking clap, pretending to wipe tears from his eyes. Roode eventually climbs into the ring and says he has to apologize. He really didn’t want to come out here to interrupt Sting’s goodbye speech, but he couldn’t help it. He felt like he had to be out here with Sting when Sting tells the world that Roode is the better man, and that Sting is done. Sting tells Roode he didn’t win any war or any battle. As a matter of fact, Roode helped him out.
He woke Sting up. Sting begins wiping grease paint all over his face mid-interview. Sting says he feels so alive as he begins doing the stupid Joker voice. He says he’s not going to do things half-way anymore, and there’s no more Mr. Nice Guy. No more going back to the same pile of vomit over and over again (??). What he is going to do, though, is put on his boots, his tights, his war paint, and at Victory Road, he’s going to kick the living crap out of Bobby Roode. Roode goes for the low blow once again, but Sting catches the foot this time, puts it down, then hits one of his own. He then tells Roode to follow the yellow brick road to Victory Road. Oh, I get it. Sting then can’t figure out if “It’s show time” or “Ta-ta for now”. Whatever.
End of show.
Well, at least the X-Division match was good. The video package for Jesse Sorensen was a nice touch, too. Other than that…well, it’s TNA.
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