Welcome to the 4-19-12 edition of Impact Wrestling. Lockdown 2012 is in the books, and from what I’ve seen and heard, it was a pretty awful show. Gee, a show overloaded with cage matches. Who would guess that it wouldn’t be very good? I know I was dying to see Robbie E vs. Devon in a cage match. Wasn’t everyone else?
The show opens with highlights from the PPV, namely the Roode/Storm match that saw Roode retain the title. I love how the highlights pretty much show nothing but Storm firing off Last Calls. As I’ve said before, TNA seems hell-bent on making Storm a one-move wrestler.
In the Impact Zone, Roode is making his way down to the ring. He’s sporting a new look, as the pseudo-mullet has been replaced with a standard, close-cropped ‘do. Roode says that, although the appearance has changed, ladies and gentleman, the champ is still the same. He is still the “IT factor” of professional wrestling, the leader of the “selfish generation”, and most importantly, still YOUR World Heavyweight Champion. And it feels so good to be your champion. He came out several weeks ago and promised everyone that he would walk into Lockdown and defeat James Storm in front of his friends, family and fans in his own backyard of Nashville, and he made good on his promise. He has to give James Storm credit; he promised everyone he’d give Roode the Last Call, and Storm nailed him with it. But, with that kick, Storm sealed his fate. He destroyed his dreams and destiny, as Roode is still standing here as champion. Roode has defeated every one of the fans’ heroes-Storm, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy and Sting. As far as Roode is concerned, there are no more heroes left for him to beat.
Mr. Anderson’s dumbass music as he walks his stupid self down to the ring, looking all angrypants. Anderson tells Roode to shut the hell up. Anderson is going to beat his ass (un-bleeped this time), bloody his face, and take his title. Anderson doesn’t need a bunch of weapons, including a beer bottle, to do it. Roode says that, while Anderson has been sitting at home in Green Bay, Roode’s been here, being the most dominant champion in the company’s history. There’s a lot of guys in line way ahead of Anderson, so he needs to grab a ticket and head to the back of the line.
Kurt Angle will also face AJ Styles later tonight, and we’ll be “treated” to a tag team match up next, as Bully Ray and Crimson will take on Austin Aries and Matt Morgan. One of these things is not like the others.
Off topic for a second, in case anyone was wondering, Mass Effect 3 is completely amazing thus far. This series is one of my all-time favorites in all of gaming history.
MATCH 1: Crimson and Bully Ray vs. Matt Morgan and World X-Division Champion Austin Aries
Christy Hemme, I don’t need to know the specific section of Brooklyn that Crimson is from, neither does anyone else. Morgan and Crimson start off by trading blows. Morgan shoulders him down, followed by a clothesline and a knee lift. Morgan hits a swinging side slam as he sets up for the Carbon Footprint. Crimson ducks, and Morgan gets crotched on the ropes. Ray hotshots the leg over the top rope, taking Morgan down. That was one of the slowest pump kick attempts I’ve ever seen. Crimson is working over the leg now. Morgan fights back with some punches, but Crimson ducks a discus clothesline and catches Morgan with an exploder suplex. I swear that’s one of the only move Crimson knows. Ray tags in and keeps working over the leg. Ray forgets how to put on a leglock before he punches Morgan in the knee. Crimson back in, who hits a leg DDT before locking in a grapevine. Morgan gets to the ropes to break the hold. Ray tags back in, and hits a rolling snap on the leg. Taz just compared Ray to Mil Mascaras with that move as I begin choking on my own bile. Crimson tags back in, and they do a wishbone on Morgan. Crimson bounces off the ropes and runs into Morgan, who attempted to hit the discus, but was completely out of place and basically hit a spinning shoulderblock instead. Way to go, genius. Morgan makes it to his corner and tags in the greatest man alive. Ray also tags in, where he’s beat on by Aries. Crimson tries to attack from behind, and Aries takes him down with a bunch of kicks. Aries jumps off Crimson’s back into some mounted punches on Ray in the corner. Aries ducks a spear attempt by Crimson, who ends up spearing Ray. Morgan takes Crimson out with a clothesline over the top rope, followed by a suicide dive from Aries. Aries hits a rolling elbow on Ray and a corner dropkick. Aries sets up for the brainbuster, but Ray rolls through into a schoolboy and nearly pulls Aries tights off (and weirdly stares at Aries’ ass) as the referee counts to 3.
WINNERS: Bully Ray.
We see the totally not overrated and deserving Garett Bischoff walking around in the back, making his way towards the Impact Zone. He’ll be out to address a bunch of people who don’t give a damn next. Speaking of Garett Bischoff, if you want to see something entertaining in regards to him (believe it or not, one such thing does exist), go to Twitter and read Scott Steiner’s rants about him and his father. Although Steiner is normally delightfully batsh*t insane, he’s right on the money in regards to Garett.
In the back, Anonymous Interviewer stops Jeff Hardy to ask whose turn it is next, his or Anderson’s. He says it’s his. Anderson deserves a chance, too, and Hogan made the right decision tonight.
Garett Bischoff makes his way out, and he’s flanked by Anderson, AJ Styles and Rob Van Dam. One fan in the crowd has an oh-so intelligent sign that says “Bye-bye, Eric B*******”. Whatever. Garett is so over, the crowd immediately begins chanting “RVD! RVD!” Garett says Sunday was one of the biggest nights of his life. As a team, they went out there, fought a hell of a fight, came out on top, and together, they were victorious, getting rid of Eric Bischoff once and for all. He thanks all three of the guys in the ring before shaking their hands. Styles says he speaks for everyone when he says Garett has some balls. He took a beating, he got back up, showed heart and cracked a guitar over his dad’s head.
Because the segment’s already going so well, Ric Flair makes his way onto the stage. First of all, Garett is so nervous, he’s stumbling all over himself. Second of all, the collection of talent in the ring is only here because of Eric Bischoff (Bischoff, in this case, was bleeped, because we’re not supposed to hear that name anymore. Because we all care so much). Eric was one of the greatest innovators in the history of this business. Garett is a disrespectful disgrace and a punk. And these guys siding with him look like punks, too. Next week, Flair is having a tribute to Eric (bleep). He’s hosting it, he’ll be drinking at it, and the four of them need to find something else to do, because they’re not invited. And he is pissed off. Woooo! How is it that Flair, one of the greatest promo guys of all time, is now unbearable to listen to? Oh, and Eric Bischoff’s name was bleeped about 100 times during this segment, so expect him back really soon.
Kazarian is in the back, and much like Bobby Roode, he’s got a new look as well. In this case, though, it’s not an improvement. He looks like he should be the focus of an episode of “To Catch a Predator”. He tells Anonymous Interviewer he’s got someone who has something to say, and walks over to Christopher Daniels, who is leaning against a locker. Everyone wants to know what secret Daniels is holding over Kazarian. Well, the secret wasn’t about Kazarian; it was about AJ Styles, and based on some information he has on a piece of paper in his hand, maybe tonight’s the night to tell everyone. Wait, this angle is still going?
Angle/Styles is up next.
We see Tag Team Champions Magnus and Samoa Joe in the back. Television Champion Devon walks up and wants to know why they need to be in the ring later tonight. Magnus and Joe don’t know anything.
MATCH 2: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles
To show how valuable the TNA title is (which you can read about in a column I wrote on here), as the commentators are talking about what they just saw as Angle makes his way down, they only mention the Tag Team Champions being invited for Hogan’s announcement. Taz can’t stop talking about Styles’ black ring gear, for some reason. Tie-up to start, with Styles turning it into an armbar. He twists the arm, so Angle punches him into the corner. European uppercut by Angle. Styles reverses a corner whip, but Angle gets his foot up on the charge. He goes into a waistlock, which Styles reverses. For some reason, the screen goes completely black at this point, then goes into a commercial. I don’t think it was my signal, as the Spike TV logo was still in the corner of the screen the entire time. Sorry, folks.
Back from the break, Styles takes Angle down with a clothesline, a back elbow and a roundhouse. Angle falls to the corner, where Styles hits a jumping forearm shot. Angle reverses a corner whip. Styles counters a charge and hits the Superman. Daniels and Kazarian are at ringside. Just as Styles is about to go for the Styles Clash, Daniels jumps on the apron, paper in hand. Angle goes for the Angle Slam, but Styles reverses into an armdrag and takes Angle down with a discus clothesline. Styles grabs the paper out of Daniels’ hand, and as he’s trying to read it, Angle snags a quick schoolboy for the 3.
WINNER: Kurt Angle. After the match, Styles keeps looking at the paper, then looking at Daniels and Kazarian as they’re heading back up the ramp.
In the back, Joseph Abyss is handing his business card to a guy that looks like Mike Chioda. He comes across Gunner, who still says he doesn’t know anything, and to leave him alone. Abyss asks him if he’s familiar with the term “default judgment”. Gunner says he isn’t, so Abyss explains to him that it’s the failure of a defendant to answer a complaint by a plaintiff. Abyss has been investigating around here for weeks, and he’s not leaving until he has answers. Gunner doesn’t know where Abyss is, and last time he saw him, it was in the ring with Bully Ray. Go ask Bully Ray.
World Tag Team Champions Magnus and Samoa Joe make their way down to the ring. I guess it’s time for Hogan’s announcement, as Knockouts Champion Gail Kim makes her way down next. World Television Champion Devon is out next. My screen goes black again as a loud beep is heard, before immediately going to commercials. Spike TV’s signals suck something awful tonight.
Back from the break, World X-Division Champion Austin Aries has joined the others in the ring, and World Champion Bobby Roode is out now. Knockouts Tag Team Champions Eric Young and ODB aren’t here, which is fine, because those titles are even more worthless than the TV title.
In the back, Hulk Hogan comes across Rob Van Dam. He thanks RVD for putting a bullet in Eric (bleep). He’s got a #1 contender’s match tonight, and wants to make it a 3-way. RVD says that, if there was only a champion who lost the belt despite never being in a match. Hogan adds him to the match, but not before calling him “R-V-D-D-D-D-D”.
Hulk Hogan now makes hiw way out for his big announcement. When he says he’s right, he’s on the money, and change is definitely in the air. Starting next week, things are changing. There will be a special episode. Once a month, there will be one of these, and it will be called “Open Fight Night”, and at these shows, a piece of talent outside the company will get a chance to wrestle on the show, and they’re going to be judged by a panel of 3 judges. If the judges and Hogan like what they see, the wrestler will be offered a contract. Also on that night, if anyone on the roster gets challenged, you have to accept the fight. Roode asks Hogan who he thinks he is. Maybe he didn’t get the memo from Sting, but this is Roode’s show. He’s the champion, and no one tells him what to do or when to do it. Hogan called the champions out here for a reason. On “Open Fight Night”, not only does the roster need to be ready, but the champions will all defend their titles if they get called out. Gail Kim wants to know who decides this. Hogan does. He wants to hear what the fans have to say, so he asks them to tweet and Facebook him. He wants to know what the fans want to see, and which titles they want to see defended. Devon grabs a mic and says he agrees with everything Hogan just said. When he won his title, he told everyone he’d be a fighting champion. Whoever Hogan puts in the ring with him, he will “testify all over their asses (bleeped, despite being uncensored earlier tonight).” Hogan is glad, because he wanted to talk to Devon. When he was a kid, the TV title was defended every week, and from now on, that will be the case with the TNA title as well. Hogan then starts posing.
Hmmm…I write an article about how the TV title is worthless, and a couple days later, TNA makes an announcement that the belt will be defended every week from now on. Coincidence? Probably? However, we’ll see how long this sticks. TNA has made these announcements before, with both the tag team and X divisions, and they failed to deliver both times. Remember the TNA “Top 10 Challengers” bit? How long did that last, a week? Same thing will happen here, especially with “Open Fight Night”. If TNA can actually stick to it, more power to them, but based on their track record, I have very little faith in it.
As if they knew about this beforehand, TNA already has graphics ready for “Gut Check” and “Open Fight Night”. What are the odds?
Tonight, we will hear from James Storm.
MATCH 4-8-Knockouts Tag Team Match: Knockouts Champion Gail Kim, Madison Rayne, Rosita and Sarita vs. TNT (Tara and Brooke Tessmacher), Mickie James and Velvet Sky
Apparently, Tessy still works here. Not that it matters. Apparently, Velvet Sky’s new nickname is “Vel-Vel”. What the hell is a Vel-Vel? She’s got a nickname that sounds close to Velveeta and a gimmick involving pigeons flying out of her ass. And people wonder why WWE doesn’t see TNA as a threat. Miss Workrate herself starts things off with Sarita. She hits a crossbody and a Kelly Kelly headscissors. Sarita knees her in the back and tags in Rosita. Sarita hits a hip toss, but Rosita misses a somersault senton. Workrate hits a couple of awful knees to the face and a bulldog. She goes after Gail Kim, but Rosita attacks her from behind. Kim tags in and hits a forearm to the back of the head and a running clothesline for 2. Knee to the boob by Kim. Workrate chops her in the chest, kicks her in the gut, then does this sequence again. She goes for In Yo Face, but Kim slides out and tags in Rayne. Rayne takes a snapmare from Workrate, followed by a dropkick by a freshly-tagged James. James hits Kim with a weak uppercut before hitting a flapjack on Rayne. James goes up, but Rosita causes a distraction. James forearms her, and Sarita hotshots her across the top rope, allowing Rayne to get 2. Rosita tags back in and kicks her in the face and in the ribs, followed by a very low hurricanrana for 2. James reverses a clothesline into a neckbreaker, and both are down now. Tara tags in, as does Sarita. They trade some blows. Tara hits a back body drop after a kick, and she appears to be blowing all of her moves tonight. Tara takes way a damn long time hitting the standing moonsault, as she has to do a bunch of stupid dances first. She eventually connects and goes for the pin. She gets 2, but rolls away as Sarita comes in and tries to break it up with an elbow, nailing Rosita in the process. Tessy tags in, and they hit a double hip toss on Sarita. Sarita lands on the top rope and back flips off before doing her un-sexy sexy dance. TNT hit a double back elbow and mock her, making the dance even less sexy. Tessy hits a tilt-a-whirl arm drag and a Mug Shot out of the corner. Rayne breaks up the pin before tagging herself in, despite the fact that Sarita was never legal. Tessy hits some forearms to the face and a pair of clotheslines. She picks Kim up for a back suplex, but instead just throws her forward, face-first in a really bad spot. She goes for the pin, but all the heels come in to break it up. The faces then run to even things out, and they eventually brawl to the floor, with the two legal Knockouts still in the ring. Tessy goes for a monkey flip out of the corner, but Kim blocks it and rolls her up with her feet on the ropes. Workrate knocks the feet off before the 3 can be counted. Kim and Workrate start yelling at each other, which allows Tessy to roll Kim up for the 3.
WINNERS: Mickie James, Velvet Sky and TNT.
Mr. Anderson is in the back talking to Anonymous Interviewer about how he’s an asswipe, how he loves “Open Fight Night”, and how he’ll win the 3-way tonight.
We see footage from ODB and Eric Young’s honeymoon. They’re sitting poolside with their title belts. A waiter comes up, and Young gets in his face before stripping down to his underwear for no reason. ODB then puts an ice pack on Young’s junk. Because they’ve had so much sex, apparently.
MATCH 5-World Television Championship: Gunner vs. Devon
Gunner immediately attacks from behind before grinding Devon’s face across the top rope. Elbow to the back of the head, followed by some shots in the corner. Another elbow. Devon eventually fights back with some punches. Gunner gets an elbow off off a charge and hits a clothesline for 2. Stomp and a kneedrop by Gunner gets another 2. Gunner chokes Devon over the middle rope as he tries to do a scary laugh. He hits some more forearms and elbows. Devon with more punches. Gunner with another back elbow for 2. Another 2 by Gunner. Gunner with a pair of jumping stomps for another 2. Man, this “Match of the Year” material. Punch by Gunner and a pieface. Devon comes back with a spear off the ropes (Tenay: “Shoulderblock, I think, to the gut”). He hits some punches to the gut, a clothesline and a back elbow. Shoulderblock off the ropes and a Thesz Press. Jumping headbutt and an avalanche in the corner. Devon hits a jumping clothesline off the ropes. Gunner tries for a clothesline, but Devon ducks and hits the standing spinebuster for 3.
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: Devon.
James Storm now makes his way out to the ring as Devon is heading up the ramp. They shake hands and hug. He gets in the ring and has something to say to everyone supporting him. He’s sorry. He feels like he let everyone down. He said he was going to win the title, because it’s something he believed he would do. When he saw Roode’s face, he was trying to hurt him, and that’s where his pride and ego got in the way. When he saw doctors and paremedics checking out Roode, he thought that would be enough. But, as he was in the back after the match, he began doubting himself and asking if he still wanted to do this. When he went home, his daughter asked where his title belt was. He had a hard time looking into her eyes, and he had a hard time looking at himself after that. When he finally looked in the mirror the next morning, he saw a man that was beat. Roode may have won the match, but he didn’t beat Storm. Storm beat himself. He’s wrestled with a bunch of different injuries, and he keeps doing it because of fans chanting his name. The ring is his piece of Heaven, and this is what he loves to do. He’s sorry he let his dad down, but he knows his dad is up in Heaven and still loves him. Roode said something about Storm’s luck, and maybe he was right. Maybe Storm’s luck has run out. Storm then drops the mic and leaves the ring.
MATCH 6-Triple Threat Match to determine a new #1 contender for the World Championship: Rob Van Dam vs. Mr. Anderson vs. Jeff Hardy
I love how Hardy mouths the words to his entrance theme whenever he comes out, because he’s the only person who can figure out what he’s even saying in the song. Tenay says Anderson will focus on a “power game” here. You kind of need muscle & power and, you know, not the body of a 12 year-old for that, Mike. Anderson takes RVD down with a clothesline before punching Hardy. He backs Hardy into the corner and stomps him. RVD takes them both down with clotheslines. Thrust kick for Anderson. Roundhouse for Hardy. Step-over spinning heel kick for Anderson. Monkey flip for Hardy. Jumping side kick from the top rope for Anderson. Hardy chopblocks RVD and hits a double legdrop pin for 2. Slingshot dropkick in the corner by Hardy. Sit-out gourdbuster by Hardy gets 2 as Anderson breaks it up. Anderson throws Hardy under the bottom rope into a ring post before putting RVD in a rear chinlock. RVD fights out, but Anderson hits a DDT for 2 as Hardy breaks it up. Anderson reverses a corner whip by Hardy, but Hardy gets his elbow up on a charge. Hardy goes up top and botches Whisper in the Wind (as always). Anderson counters a charging Hardy, nailing him with a swinging neckbreaker. RVD gets back up and hits Anderson with a spinning heel kick before landing Rolling Thunder on Hardy. Anderson picks RVD up and hits the rolling fireman’s carry slam. Hardy hits Anderson with a Twist of Fate. He goes up for the Swanton Bomb and connects, but RVD knocks him down with a spinning dropkick. RVD goes up and nails Anderson with the Five-Star Frog Splash. Hardy goes for Twist of Fate on RVD, but RVD counters into a splitting backslide for the 3.
WINNER AND NEW #1 CONTENDER: Rob Van Dam.
End of show.
Why do I get the feeling the Eric Bischoff (bleep) segment will take up way, WAY more time than it needs to next week?
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